Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Capsicum Crunch

capsicumThis time of the year gourd family, bottled, ribbed and ridged, dominates the vegetable market. To make matters worse, they are extremely high on nutritional quotient and guilt gnaws you each time you avert their stare while looking for more options. Capsicum—the curvaceous, crunchy veggie not only rescues us from the gourd fare but also adds fire, zest and colour to your culinary skills. Besides the well-known, green-coloured capsicum, there are other kinds too, in richer hues, like—yellow and red.

Latino link

Like other relatives of the chilly family, capsicum originated in South America with seeds of a wild variety dating back to 5000BC. It was Christopher Columbus who discovered the luscious relative of aubergines and tomatoes in the new world and introduced it to Europe. The Portuguese brought it to the Indian coast and from there it was a comparatively short journey to the Himalayan heights.

 Health signal—red, green or orange

What is the difference between red and green capsicum? Other than the fact that the red ones come at a higher price, they are basically ripened form of green capsicum, hence sweeter. Green capsicum is the least mature type and has a fresh raw flavour. Yellow and orange capsicums are similar in taste to red capsicum, although not quite as sweet

Nutritional Profile–The two best antioxidants—vitamin C and vitamin A, through its concentration of beta-carotene, converge in capsicum. No wonder, this vegetable is a potent weapon to fight against free radicals. In case you are wondering what damage do free radicals wreck, a quick update.
Free radicals are the villains behind the build up of plaque in your artery walls. They cloud the lens of your eyes—cataracts, are responsible for debilitating joint pain. Antioxidants mop up free radicals there by restricting the damage wreaked by them. Capsicum provides with the goodness of vitamin C and A in a plump, bell shape, complete with a glossy exterior.

Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases. For atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, capsicum also contains vitamin B6 and folic acid. These two B vitamins are very important for reducing high levels of homocysteine, a substance produced during the methylation cycle (an essential biochemical process in virtually every cell in the body). High homocysteine levels have been shown to cause damage to blood vessels and are associated with a greatly increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition to providing the vitamins that convert homocysteine into other beneficial molecules, capsicum also provides fiber that can help lower high cholesterol levels, another risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
Capsicums are simply versatile. Put them in salads or raitas and they add crunch and texture to the recipe. Throw them in omlettes and sandwiches the outcome improves manifold. Cut them in juliennes and decorate your favourite recipe. Since they take so little time to cook, you can whip a quick fix if you have unexpected guests. If you want to impress your guests with something delicious try stuffed capsicum.

How to select and store

Choose peppers that have deep vivid colors, taut skin, and that are free of soft spots, blemishes and darkened areas. Their stems should be green and fresh looking. Peppers should be heavy for their size and firm enough so that they will gently yield to slight pressure. Avoid those that have signs of decay including injuries to the skin or water-soaked areas.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInFlattr the authorShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on RedditShare on TumblrBuffer this pageDigg thisShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
© 2014 Guardian Lifecare Private Limited.
Our Other Websites : – Corporate  |  Healthcare Products  |  Blog

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD