Capsicums

Capsicums are also known in New Zealand as peppers or sweet peppers.

Native to tropical America, capsicums then spread to Europe and have only been available in New Zealand for the past 30-40 years.

Capsicums are seed pods. They can be red, green, yellow, orange, white, purple-brown and lime green. Green and red come from the same plant, however yellow, orange, white and purple are different varieties. Red, orange, yellow and green capsicums are readily available. White, purple-brown and lime green capsicums have a more limited supply. Capsicums are sweet and juicy with a mild spicy flavour. Red capsicums, being riper, are sweeter than green capsicums. Shape also varies with each variety, from the more commonly found blocky shape to a pointy capsicum. Miniature varieties are sometimes available.

What to look for

Capsicums should be well shaped and have skins which are firm and shiny. Avoid those with soft spots or a shrivelled appearance.

Availability

All year.

Store

Refrigerate in the vegetable crisper. At cooler times of the year capsicums can be kept in the fruit bowl.

How to prepare

Remove the seeds and inner membranes. To stuff a capsicum, cut the stem off and remove the seeds from the top, otherwise it's easier to cut the capsicum in half first. To remove capsicum skins, roast, grill or barbecue until the skin blisters and blackens. Slip the burnt skins off. To make this easier place capsicums in a plastic bag or covered dish for a few minutes and then peel skin off.

Ways to eat

Capsicums can be eaten raw or cooked. Use raw in salads, cut into strips and eat with dips, or use as an edible garnish. Dice capsicums for use on pizzas; cut into chunks for kebabs; use in pasta sauces; or add to stir fries. Stuff with rice or a bread crumb mixture and bake. Add roasted capsicums, either hot or cold, to salads and sandwiches.

Cooking Methods

Bake, grill, roast, stir fry, stuff.

Nutrition

CAPSICUM - RED
Raw
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 capsicum - 74g
 Average
Quantity
per serving 
% Daily
intake per
serve 
Average
Quantity
per 100g 
 
Energy (kJ/Cal)89/211%120/29 
Protein (g)0.71%0.9 
Fat, total (g)0.10.2%0.2 
 - saturated (g)trace0%trace 
Carbohydrate (g)3.71%5.0 
 - sugars (g)3.74% 4.9 
Dietary fibre (g)1.14%1.5 
Sodium (mg)00%0 
Vitamin C (mg)103.6259% RDI*140A good source of vitamin C
Folate (µg)6332% RDI*85A good source of folate
Vitamin B6 (mg)0.4126% RDI*0.56A good source of vitamin B6
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg)11816% RDI*160A source of vitamin A Equiv.
Niacin (mg)0.747% RDI*1 
Potassium (mg)155 210 

Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.
*Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)

Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 10th Edition, Plant & Food Research - 2014

All capsicums are a good source of vitamin C and a source of vitamin B6 and folate. Red capsicums contain higher levels of both nutrients compared to the other colours and both red and orange capsicums are a source of vitamin A. A range of carotenoids are responsible for the different colours.  

Retailing

Always handle with care, as damaged capsicums decay rapidly. Temperature control is very important with capsicums. If stored below 7ºC, chilling injury or pitting will result. Temperatures above 10ºC will encourage ripening or development of red colouring in green capsicums and speed up decay. Display different coloured capsicums together to make an attractive display. Use QR code on labels.

Store at 7-10ºC with a 90-98% relative humidity. Lower temperatures will cause chilling injury.

Purchase capsicums with the New Zealand GAP logo.

Recipes

Stuffed potatoes
Stuffed potatoes

These delicious stuffed potatoes can be made early and reheated in the microwave or oven, and served. View Recipe

Capsicum, potato and asparagus salad
Capsicum, potato and asparagus salad

New potatoes at their best with delicious new season asparagus. View Recipe

Curried gourmets
Curried gourmets

A different and tasty one dish, no-fuss way to enjoy potatoes. View Recipe

View more Recipes

Images

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