Bell Peppers are the meek cousins of the more robust chili pepper. Treated as a vegetable this boxy-shaped pepper is technically a fruit just like the tomato. Scientifically a true fruit receives this designation as they are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower and they contain the seeds of the plant.
Dehydrated or dried bell peppers are ideal to use in dips, marinades, sauces, soups and stews. Dried bell peppers can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for fresh. Bell peppers rate a 0 on the heat scale that measures the hotness of peppers. Green bell peppers have a stronger taste while red bell peppers are a bit sweeter but both add a delicious touch to salads, soups, stews and stir-fries.
Findings in prehistoric Peruvian sites show that the earliest South Americans used bell peppers to flavor foods more than 6,000 years ago.
For dishes that dried bell peppers will be soaking in such as beans, omelets, wraps and stir fries you can just add them into the dish towards the end of the cooking process (typically about 15-20 minutes).
Helpful hints: when you need to rehydrate them just soak one part pepper in two parts cold water for about an hour and then simply drain off excess liquid and add to the dish. In any recipe that calls for fresh bell peppers you can substitute dehydrated bell peppers for fresh peppers by using about 1 tablespoon dried sweet pepper for about 3 tablespoons chopped bell peppers.