What’s in the Garden? Banana Peppers

This morning I harvested a basket of sweet banana peppers.  No, they don’t taste like bananas,  They only have a similar color and shape. They are a member of the chili pepper family and have a slightly sweet and spicy flavor.  I did not have plans to cook these peppers today.  Instead, I was preparing them for the freezer to be used in future recipes.

First, I washed the peppers in cool water and then placed them on a clean towel to dry.  I cut the cap or top of the pepper off.  I didn’t throw these tops away.  I had plans for them.  I always try to be as frugal as I can.  Next, I sliced the pepper in half lengthwise and removed the seeds.  I repeated this with all the peppers.

I chopped the banana peppers so that they were prepped and ready to be used in two of my favorite recipes.  The first recipe is for sweet and spicy veggie stir fry.  For this recipe, I use 4 ounces of banana peppers, 4 ounces of bell peppers, and 8 ounces of onions cut into cubes.  You can place the cut peppers on a cookie sheet and place them into the freezer to freeze individually and then place into a freezer bag.  This usually keeps them from sticking to each other.  I however, just placed 4 ounces of banana peppers straight into a labeled freezer bag, sealed the bag and put it into the freezer of my refrigerator.     When I harvest bell peppers, I will add 4 ounces of them to this bag.  Since I did not produce many onions this year I will chop up 8 ounces of organic onions that I bought at the store and add it to the bag to make it complete.  Then I will move the bag or bags to the upright freezer.

The second recipe that I use banana peppers for is my fajitas. This recipe uses 6 ounces of banana peppers and 6 ounces of bell peppers cut into long slices.  Once again it is up to you if you want to freeze them on the cookie tray first.   I added 6 ounces of banana peppers to some bags that already had 6 ounces of bell peppers in them.  These completed bags will also be added to my freezer storage.
banana peppers sliced in ziploc

Now, back to the tops of the peppers.  Holding the stem in hand and using a little downward pressure, I removed the remaining peppers from the stems.  I saved the stems for the compost and diced the tops of the peppers.  I placed the diced peppers into a freezer bag to use in gumbo, gravy, sauces or on top of pizza.  I keep this bag in the freezer section of my refrigerator and add to it each time I  harvest banana peppers.  When the bag is full,  I move it to the upright freezer.

Growing, harvesting, prepping and freezing peppers saves me money and turns my meals into easy quick meals since all I have to do is empty the bag or bags into the pot.  In my next post, I’ll share my recipe for quick and easy Sweet and Spicy Veggie Stir Fry.

–Penny

banana pepper all ziplocs

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