We’ve gotten on board the kale train, been intrigued and impressed with the powers of matcha, forged long-term relationships with broccoli, green beans, and asparagus, and powered through wheat grass shots after a workout. Green has certainly had its moment, but there’s a new power-food in town, and it’s bringing a pop of purple to the plate.
Did you know that purple carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and potatoes existed? And they are just as naturally occurring and delicious (if not more delicious) as their orange, green and white counterparts. The only difference comes in the potent amount of antioxidants and nutrients found in their violet hued forms. Less visually surprising purple foods like beets, plums, and prunes are also prominent contenders in this battle against the greens. Here’s why purple produce may be winning the fight:
Purple carrots, for example, originated in the middle east and the far east, and are just as common as the orange ones. Purple carrots have exponentially higher levels of anthocyanins and pro-vitamin A carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants. They are rumored to help with weight management, leaving you with a tasty snack to add to your list of healthy foods.
Purple cauliflower has a reputation for having cancer-fighting qualities, due to a high level of antioxidants and sulfur content, which when consumed, can rid the body of harmful cell-damaging toxins.
Plums and prunes pack a powerful punch of nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, B12, and potassium—and prunes may even lower your blood pressure if you eat them regularly.
Purple potatoes are considered to be the royalty of crops—and the darker the hue, the greater amount of antioxidants found in them; up to four times that of other “ordinary” potatoes. Think that only kale and spinach offer the most nutritional value? Purple potatoes contain just as much antioxidants, iron, folic acid and multi-vitamins as their leafy green friends. It seems that kale has finally met its match.
So if the green trend has left you feeling, uh… blue, swap out the leaves and stalks for juicy fruits and savory, complex carbs—take the bitter in exchange for the sweet and feel awesome knowing there’s no nutrient left behind.
For more information on power-vegetables and how to prepare them, check out Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables!—a cookbook designed to add oomph to produce and bring flavor to your weeknight cooking.
Photo Credit: Oksana S./Shutterstock