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The Chicago Botanic Garden’s featured vegetable for this month is the Costa Rican sweet pepper, Capsicum annuum var. This bright red fruit is especially flavorful when compared to other sweet peppers.
Costa Rican sweet peppers are perfect for salads or cut into strips to accompany your favorite vegetable dip. Maria Moreno-Cortes RD, CDE, Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian at NorthShore Health System, shares a refreshing recipe that is perfect for summer. Peppers are a great source of vitamin C and sweet peppers are high in vitamin A.
Roasted Red Pepper Yogurt Dip (Recipe makes 4 servings)
Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 70Fat: 1 gSodium: 51 gCarbohydrate: 6 gProtein: 9 g
Tip: Peppers thrive in heat and should be planted outdoors when the nighttime temperatures are above 55 degrees. Plant in full sun, 18 to 24 inches apart in rows spaced 2 to 3 feet wide. Peppers can be grown in vegetable gardens or in pots on the patio. Costa Rican sweet is a good variety to grow in a container.
Tip: Harvest sweet peppers as they ripen and turn red in late summer. Costa Rican sweet peppers start to reach maturity in about 70 days. Try to eat what you harvest the same day or keep them on the kitchen counter for up to a few days.