The Iowan
looking for something?

Fresh Flavors (4)

 

To keep peppers from tasting bitter after harvest, the soil should be kept moist with frequent watering. Peppers also welcome the addition of Epsom salts to the soil as a magnesium source that aids plant health.

Using cooked, frozen, or dried peppers in food dishes adds health benefits — thiamin, folate, and manganese — and flavor.

To dry peppers, place them on baking sheets; you can leave them whole or cut them in half. (Cut peppers expose more flesh to the heat.) Set the oven to a low temperature — 100°F to 150°F — and prop the oven door open slightly. If you have a convection oven, you won’t need to prop the door open because air will be circulating automatically.

Keep an eye on your peppers. Turn them over occasionally for even drying, especially if they’re on baking sheets. Bake for 1 to 3 hours.

Out of the oven, let them cool completely. Remember to put on your gloves, goggles, and dust mask if you crush the peppers by hand. Or use a coffee grinder or pepper mill.

If you crush the peppers to spice-size consistency, you can put the results in small air-tight jars for kitchen use. These make nice gifts, especially for those who don’t have gardens of their own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also skip the crushing step: Leave the peppers in their original shape and size, then place them in tall quart-size, air-tight jars.

The dried peppers can then be soaked in water to rehydrate them. The rehydrated peppers won’t have the exact consistency of fresh peppers, but add flavor to foods, especially sauces.

 

(Next: Fresh Flavors Online Extras)

 [ 1 ]   [ 2 ]   [ 3 ]   [ 4 ]   [ 5 ]   [ 6 ]

 

All content © 2014 The Iowan/Pioneer Communications, Inc., and may not be used, reproduced, or altered in any way without prior written permission.