Food & Drink

Purple foods will add a healthy pop to your plate

If you have a passion for purple, consider extending that preference to the foods you eat.

All deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and health-supporting plant chemicals, including antioxidants that add color to foods.

Anthocyanin produces the purple in some plums as well as peppers and grapes so dark that they appear to be black.

These beneficial phytochemicals are concentrated in richly colored foods and may reduce your risk for coronary artery disease and some forms of cancer.

Less common than the reds, greens, yellows and oranges we usually find on our plates, deep blue and purple add contrast.

Think about the pop a handful of blueberries adds to a bowl of cantaloupe cubes.

Other common choices in the blue-purple-black category include eggplant, blackberries, purple cabbage, purple kale and some types of lettuce.

Even more choices exist, however. Check the farmers market or grow your own. Try purple carrots, snap beans, scallions, basil, asparagus, potatoes – even purple cauliflower.

Think about creative ways to add a bit of purple to meals. A few ideas to get you started:

Add raw, purple snap beans, shredded cabbage, sliced plums, or chunks of grilled eggplant to a tossed green salad.

Serve purple carrots, cauliflower florets, or pepper strips with ranch dressing dip.

Use purple potatoes in potato salad and stir-fry.

A mixture of blackberries, blueberries and red raspberries or strawberries makes a good filling for cobbler, or use berry sauces over whole grain pancakes and waffles.