As children, we were instructed, and sometimes pleaded with, to eat our vegetables or try a fruit when in search of a sweet treat. While I was not particularly jazzed about the steamed broccoli on my plate as a kid, as I got older and started cooking for myself, a whole world of multi-hued produce opened my eyes to the delicious possibilities.
With the start of colder weather nearly upon us, eating foods in a rainbow of colours is more important than ever to help keep our immune systems strong and ready to combat colds, flus, and other viruses.
Colourful fruits and vegetables contain valuable phytonutrients. These compounds not only give plants their distinctive colour, aroma, and taste, but when we eat them, phytonutrients have been shown to have an array of benefits from anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Eating a rainbow of produce is easy. Nature provides so many colourful options readily available in any grocery store or market. Try to aim for two to three servings of different coloured fruits and vegetables at every meal, as well as one to two at every snack.
Read on and get ready for some eye-catching and tasty inspiration on how to paint your plate with the colours of the rainbow.
Red vegetables and fruits are rich in lycopene. This plant nutrient is a potent antioxidant that also happens to provide foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers, and grapefruit with their characteristic colours. Lycopene has been linked to a range of health benefits including promoting optimal heart health and potentially preventing or slowing down certain types of cancers.
The stars of this delicious curry dish are yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, which are high in a form of carotenoids called xanthophylls. These compounds have more of a yellow pigment as opposed to their orangier cousins, the carotenes. While a powerful antioxidant, xanthophylls are mostly associated with maintaining good eye health.
Deep green fruits and vegetables are high on the list of health-promoting foods. Green foods have been shown to contain high amounts of antioxidants and nutrients that promote good cardiovascular health and can inhibit certain carcinogens. Serve this frittata alongside a leafy green salad for an unbeatable green culinary experience.
Reminiscent of the stuffed cabbage of yore, the flavour profile of these stuffed chard smacks of cozy fall. It looks all fancy, but everything comes together surprisingly quickly. If desired, you can use turkey or pork sausage and brown rice. Time-saver tip For larger grains, such as wild rice and spelt, it’s a very good idea to soak them for several hours before cooking. This will slash the cooking time by about a third. If not soaking the wild rice, add roughly 20 minutes to the simmering time.
This stuffed eggplant is built upon layers of Middle Eastern flavours: smoky freekeh, tender chickpeas, and a herbal tahini sauce. The quick-pickled raisins add a sweet vinegary pop. Sweat it out Salting eggplant before cooking enhances the flavour by allowing eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and breaking its spongy texture.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.