Peppers offer our dishes a wide range of flavors. Here in Louisiana, we can’t live without them, they’re part of the trinity, you know “onions, celery and bell pepper.”

The green peppers that we refer to as sweet peppers are the bell, pimento, paprika and banana peppers, according to agriculture specialists. The name “bell pepper” comes from its bell-like shape. The “hotness” in a pepper comes from capsaicin, and there is only a small amount of capsaicin in a bell pepper.

Most of the bell pepper plants south Louisiana residents have growing in their gardens or on the side of their patios have finished producing. But, fortunately, bell peppers are available year-round in grocery stores. And that means we can enjoy stuffed bell peppers any time of year.

While green peppers are more commonly used, we can’t ignore the beautiful red, yellow and orange bell peppers we have available now. They are milder tasting than the green ones. Also, compared to green bell peppers, the red ones have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. They also have more vitamin C than green bell peppers. So, if you have a choice, select the red ones for health reasons.

When I got ready to stuff bell peppers, I only had green ones so I used them. If you’re serving stuffed peppers for a company meal, a platter of different colors would be pretty.

Buy bell peppers that are heavy for their size, free of any soft spots and have a nice bright color. Select those with fresh-looking stems. Store, unwashed, in the refrigerator for about seven to 10 days.

These recipes below offer you a choice. Stuff with meat, seafood and cornbread.

If your bell peppers are large, cut them in half lengthwise; otherwise, stuff them whole.