Red Bell Peppers are generally a little bit sweeter than the more common green bell pepper and both are meeker cousins of the more robust chili pepper. Generally referred to as a vegetable the boxy-shaped pepper is technically a fruit just like the tomato. A fruit receives this scientific designation as they are developed from the ovary in the base of the plant’s flower and they contain the seeds of the plant.
Dehydrated or dried bell peppers are best to use in dips, marinades, sauces, soups, salads, stews and stir fries. They also give a meatier texture than do fresh bell peppers. And as with their fresh counter parts the red bell pepper gives a more vibrant color to any dish. You can also substitute dried red bell peppers in any recipe that calls for fresh. Bell peppers rate a 0 on the heat scale that measures the hotness of peppers.
Findings in prehistoric Peruvian sites show that the earliest South Americans used bell peppers to flavor foods more than 6,000 years ago.
For dishes that dried bell peppers will be soaking in such as beans, omelets, wraps and stir fries you can just add them into the dish towards the end of the cooking process (typically about 15-20 minutes).
Helpful hints: when you need to rehydrate them just soak one part pepper in two parts cold water for about an hour and then simply drain off excess liquid and add to the dish. In any recipe that calls for fresh bell peppers you can substitute dehydrated bell peppers for fresh peppers by using about 1 tablespoon dried sweet pepper for about 3 tablespoons chopped bell peppers.
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