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Bell Pepper Plants

Q.We planted our bell peppers last summer andhad a lot – so much I had to freeze some of them.

Zone Sarasota, FL | emgatt941 added on November 15, 2017 | Answered

I put them in those double-lining freezer bags, and in time they became fully loaded and expanded. I didn’t know that would happen. These were not cut open, just put into the bags as whole bell peppers. Well, took them out to use some last week and cooked them with ground beef and onions; packed many cooked bags into the freezer for future use for quick prep cooking. Anyway, that one batch I used for dinner into my spaghetti casserole gave me such painful stomach gas I was sick and could not eat for 3 days. So, now my question is this: These were home grown, from seed, turning out beautifully, but with painful results. How can I use the rest of these in recipes without the same dire results? Is there something I should have added to eliminate all that extra gas from forming from those bell peppers?

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Answered on November 15, 2017

Cannot help with immediate question, but share an experience with frozen peppers, mainly mildly hot varieties including Anaheim College, Beaver Dam, Cherry Bomb and others with 1500 to 10000 ratings on Scoville scale. Unexpected frost hit in early November of 2017, which broke the cell walls of peppers still on the vine and made them soft, as though the rotting had progressed. Two approaches provided interesting results.

First, we took most, cut off the stem end, scrapped out the seeds and a bit of the membrane holding the seeds, cut into large pieces, added several cloves of garlic, celery seeds, cumin, oregano, pepper, and 3.5% sea salt by weight of the mixture. Stirred and squeezed, then put in a wide mouth quart jar to ferment. Left in the kitchen fo 72 degree temperatures, unscrewed the lid every day to let out the CO2 from fermentation, will now run through large vitamix to chop up, then through a food mill to remove most of remaining seeds and skins and bottle as home made sriracha. Only downside is appearance. The peppers that were frozen had not turned red, so the sriracha is greenish, unlike the usual sriracha we make strictly from red peppers.

The second use was an experiment. We sauteed some onions, then garlic and finally the peppers that had frozen in a bit of olive oil, with the intent of killing the inevitable bacteria that would attack the softened flesh of the peppers. Then we separately sauteed some garden left overs including bok choy, red cabbage and leeks, then added some of the sauteed mildly hot peppers to make a sauce. Finally, we cooked some hamburger and divided it into small bits, added shell pasta, and topped the hamburger pasta with the pepper/cabbage/bok choy mix. Fabulous meal, modest heat, great flavors.

Tom Casten.

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