If you love gardening, you might be used to harvesting the excessive amount of vegetables once in a while. It is not a problem if you know what to do with them all. Not all people who love gardening love cooking—especially the ingredients you are not familiar with, such as banana peppers. No, it is not a banana mixed with some peppers. It is a variety of plants that are rich in nutrition and is easy to grow.
What are the Banana Peppers?
As a part of chili pepper family, the banana peppers—also called banana chili or yellow wax peppers—tastes moderately spicy. Their color is commonly bright yellow, even though sometimes it turns to green, orange, or red when they reach their ripeness. The pepper included in the species Capsicum annuum is generally pickled or stuffed with other ingredients. Moreover, the ripest peppers usually taste sweeter than the younger ones.
Banana peppers come in many types, such as the Cubanelle peppers—the sweet version of banana peppers—which usually garnish salads and the Bananarama also sweet banana peppers, only bigger in size (around 20.3cm) than the Cubanelle. If you love the spicy taste, you might as well grow the hot version of banana peppers, but do not expect them to be like jalapenos which taste so hot. Banana peppers are typically mild.
How to Grow and When to Pick Banana Peppers?
In cultivating the pepper, you need to expose the plant with bright sunlight, just like the other varieties of Capsicum annuum species. You can use seeds and cuttings to grow the pepper. Although banana pepper can grow in many climates, it is more likely to grow in warmer climates.
Speaking of when to pick banana peppers, first thing first is to check out the size of the plants. A banana pepper should be 4-8inches (10.16-20.32cm) in length, depending on the cultivar of banana peppers you have been growing. Its color should also be bright yellow or bright red when it is ripe.
Banana Peppers Nutrition and Health Benefits
The nutrition of a raw banana pepper includes 5% carbs, 92% water, and some unimportant fat as well as protein. The pepper is also high in vitamin C—to be exact is 100% Daily Value (DV) of the vitamin in 100g of serving. There is also 28% DV of vitamin B6 containing the pepper.
A banana pepper (33g) contains only 9 calories, 1.1g of dietary fiber and 0.15g of fat. That means it can help your weight-loss program. Plus, the banana pepper nutrients also can prevent and cure some health problems, such as:
- The vitamin B6 content in banana peppers may help you control the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
- Banana peppers contain vitamin C that can prevent gout to develop.
- The content of Capsaicin in any peppers (including banana peppers) can give heat that effectively kills several types of cancer cells.
- The Capsaicin content in banana peppers can protect your body from inflammation.
- Poor digestion. Banana peppers contain dietary fiber that will cure digestive problems like indigestion and constipation.
How to Pickle Banana Peppers?
Despite its mildly spicy taste, pickling banana peppers might bring the taste to a new level. The following pickled banana peppers recipe is for two servings, but please double or triple the serving as you wish.
- 2 cups of vinegar
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
- 454g of banana peppers, remove the seeds and slice them in rings
- Boil the sliced peppers, celery and mustard seeds, sugar, and vinegar.
- Pour brine (salt water solution) over peppers to ½” of the top of the jar.
- Clean up the rim of the jar and put a lid and ring on.
- Store it in the refrigerator.
You may also try canning banana peppers with proper procedure. Make sure that the jar lid has been tightly closed down, especially if you store it on one of the fridge’s shelves. The pepper will then marinate itself for a week or even longer.
The Other Beautiful Dishes Made with Banana Peppers
If pickling banana peppers are not enough, then you might want to try these recipes:
Stuffed Banana Peppers
Stuffed green peppers are more familiar, but you can always try stuffed banana peppers now. It will certainly taste milder than stuffed green (bell) peppers, but it is a different flavor. You may stuff the peppers with a large variety of ingredients like ground meat, sausages, quinoa, cheese, eggs, rice, or any other tasty alternatives. Fry the stuffed peppers in olive oil until each surface is browned. Serve it with some marinara sauce or melted mozzarella cheese on top. Yums!
When it comes to pizza, people usually choose savory toppings like sausages, mushrooms, and pepperoni, but what if you could enjoy a tasty and healthy pizza at the same time? Try banana peppers that taste sweet and spicy, making them get along well with the other topping ingredients like cheese, black olives, green leafy veggies— like spinach or arugula, and cure meat.
Make pizza dough (or you may buy some at a supermarket), roll it on a baking sheet and spread some sauce and the ingredients mentioned above (including the sliced banana peppers. Bake your pizza in your oven at 232°C for 20-25 minutes. Top it with parmesan or feta cheese.
Deep-fried Banana Peppers
In The U.S., fried banana peppers are one of the popular Southern dishes. Served as a side dish or appetizer, fried banana peppers are usually followed by main courses like fried chicken or steak. The ingredients to be fried can be freshly picked banana peppers or pickled banana peppers. The recipe is super easy, and your family and friends will love them. Check out how the dish can be done right here.
Wash and slice banana peppers into halves. Dispose the seeds and dry the halves with a paper towel. Dip the peppers into milk, and then coat them with mixed flour and crushed crackers. Fry them in cooking oil and serve them with some tasty sauce while warm.
So, are you ready to have a picnic party with delicious banana pepper dishes? Rush to the kitchen to make some, then!