Bell pepper powder is made from dried, finely ground bell peppers. Bell peppers come from South and Central America like all other chili peppers. They were first called bell peppers by Lionel Wafer in 1699. Lionel Wafer was a ship’s surgeon and privateer who wrote about his voyages in the New World. Bell peppers were also mentioned by Edward Long in the late 18th century. He noted that bell peppers were being cultivated in Jamaica and that they were prized for making pickles.
The bell pepper has evolved from its earliest form to the varieties that we know today. The evolution was brought about through careful selective breeding that took place over centuries.
Chili peppers are great for drying and were preserved by in this manner long before the Aztecs came along. Bell pepper powder is made from dried chilies that have been ground to a powder. Bell pepper powder has a lot in common with paprika in that both spices consist of dried and ground sweet peppers. Green bell pepper power is stronger and not quite as sweet as the red variety.
Bell pepper powder flavor profile
As noted above, bell pepper powder has a lot in common with paprika. The flavor profiles are similar as well. Bell pepper powder is sweet and fruity with a hint of herbaceousness. Like the bell pepper from which it comes, bell pepper powder has no heat. You can get its flavor with no risk of making your dish too spicy.
Health benefits of bell pepper powder
While some of bell powder’s health benefits may not survive the drying process, others do. You can get the nutrients below when you include bell pepper powder in your diet:
- Vitamins: Bell pepper powder is rich in vitamins A and C.
- Minerals: You will get a significant amount of your daily potassium from a serving of bell pepper powder as well as a good chunk of your iron and calcium.
- Fiber: As with the fresh fruit, bell pepper powder consists largely of indigestible fiber.
Bell pepper powder in your diet can help to treat or prevent some of the following health problems:
- Poor eye health: The vitamin A in bell pepper powder can help to delay or prevent declining eye health as a result of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Anemia: The iron in bell pepper powder can help to prevent iron deficiency since it does contain some of it but most importantly, the vitamin C it contains can help your body to absorb iron.
- Poor digestion: The fiber in bell pepper powder can help to make your digestive system function more smoothly and treat constipation and other problems.
Bell pepper powder is not a widely known spice — it shows up on the ingredients list of prepared commercial foods more often than it does on grocery store shelves. For example, it is used in some versions of Doritos Tortilla chips.
You can use bell pepper powder in many of the same applications that call for paprika or you can use it in place of fresh bell peppers in sauces and soups where you want the flavor but not the added bulk. Add red bell pepper powder to homemade pasta to give it an attractive red color or to cream cheese when using it to make a dip.