Spotlight on capsicum

Nicole Toia,

As Autumn arrives and the weather starts to change, so to do the vegetables on offer.  One that we are most excited about coming into season is the crunchy capsicum. This juicy, crisp and versatile vegie comes in a range of colours and can be served in so many delicious ways. 

Ways to enjoy capsicums:

  • Raw (perfect for Crunch&Sip®)
  • Roasted
  • Barbequed or grilled
  • Stir-fried
  • Stuffed

Tell me the good stuff!

Capsicums, particularly the red variety are bursting with nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, folate and antioxidants. These nutrients help to keep our immune system strong, reduce inflammation and are important for heart, brain, and general health.

How do I choose the best capsicum?


Look for capsicums with glossy and firm skin, with minimal bruising or wrinkles. The colour of capsicums is determined by how ripe they are which is why red ones are usually the sweetest and will soften the quickest, yellow will have a mild taste, and green will be crunchy, slightly more bitter and will stay firm for longer.  

What to cook with your capsicums?

There are so many great recipes that are packed full of crispy capsicums. Why not try our hearty Spanish Couscous recipe below. It could become your new family favourite, and it makes an easy lunhcbox leftover to pack the next day too. 

Spanish Couscous 

  • 3 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes Spanish couscous
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-salt vegetable stock
  • 250 g cherry tomato, halved
  • 200 g green beans, halved
  • 150 g frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • lemon, cut into wedges
  • Preheat oven to 240°C. Toss the sweet potatoes with half the oil and place on a single layer on a lined oven tray. Bake for 20 minutes until tender and lightly browned.   
  •   Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large, deep, non-stick frypan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and stir until softened. Add capsicum and stir for 2 minutes. Add the paprika and stir for another minute.  
  •   Add the couscous, stock, tomatoes, beans and frozen peas. Stir, reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 minutes or until the stock has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and stand covered for another 5 minutes. Stir through the sweet potato and parsley and serve with lemon wedges. 
  •   Serve leftovers for lunch. 

Interested in more 'left-overs for lunch' inspiration? Find more great recipe ideas here. 

Recipe and image supplied by Cancer Council NSW Healthy Lunch Box website.