The local market had a fantastic deal on fresh peppers the other day so I decided to buy a job lot while they were available (12 for £2!). With so many peppers I thought I’d make some jars of homemade roasted peppers. I just love roasted peppers. Hot, cold, on salads, with bean burgers, as a side dish – any way, any how! They’re fairly pricey to buy though and super easy to do yourself. They keep really well too so are a perfect thing to make whenever you get the chance to grab some cheap peppers at the market. They’re also a brilliant source of vitamins and contain compounds that are linked to weight loss, pain reduction, and disease prevention.
Peppers are actually a fruit, not a vegetable as commonly thought. They contain high levels of phytochemicals which have antioxidant properties. This means they help to neutralise free radicals in the body and so help to prevent cell damage. The different coloured peppers (red, orange, yellow, green, and the more unusual purple, brown and black ones!) are linked to the different families of phytochemicals they contain, but all have useful, similar health benefits.
They are one of the richest sources of vitamin C and A, and a cup of peppers can provide up to 100% of your recommended daily allowance of these vitamins. They’re also excellent sources of vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate (B12), beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, fibre and manganese. All these nutrients help boost the immune system and offer protection against diseases and conditions such as cancer, cataracts and other eye diseases. If you can, then go for a variety of colours in peppers to maximise the range of phytochemicals you consume.
It’s easy to include peppers in your diet – have them raw with hummus, scattered in salads, roasted or grilled as a side dish, or as part of a dinner party starter (such as these aubergine, pepper and goat’s cheese terrines) If you’re lucky enough to get a bargain in the market like I did then you can roast a batch of them and bottle them. This saves loads of money and means you can enjoy the peppers as and when you choose. They also make great gifts!
You will need:
Some peppers – as many as you like!
Some glass jars with secure lids
Coconut oil or olive oil (for roasting the peppers)
Olive oil (enough to cover the peppers)
Preheat the oven to 180 C . Remove the stem and seeds of the peppers and slice in to thick pieces. Spread out in one layer on baking parchment on a baking tray. Drizzle with coconut or olive oil and place in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes (or until the peppers are slightly charred on the edges and nice and tender).
Remove and allow to cool. While cooling place the glass jars in to the warm oven (without lids). Remove and then fill with peppers. Cover the peppers with olive oil and then put the lid on. If giving as a gift add a nice label! 🙂 These can be stored in the cupboard or fridge for many weeks. Once opened store in the fridge and consume within a week or so (nb. once opened the oil may go cloudy or solidify in the fridge, don’t worry about this – they’re still fine to eat!).