Benefits of eating blue/purple vegetables

Blue/purple vegetables have fewer nutrients than blue/purple fruits, but are still a valuable source of phytonutrients.

They contain fibre and other nutrients such as antioxidants.

There are similarities between this group and the red vegetable group, due to the anthocyanin content which gives the colour. Try some of the less common vegetables in the blue/purple group.

Get blue/purple protection by including vegetables such as egg plant, beetroot, purple skinned kumara, potatoes with purple flesh and/or skin, lettuce varieties with a dark purple tinge, purple or red cabbage, purple capsicum or cauliflower.

Try these quick and easy suggestions:

  • Make a stack of egg plant slices, whole flat mushrooms, thick tomato slices, pesto sauce and sliced cheddar or feta cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes.

  • Scrub but do not peel purple potatoes. Steam or gently boil until tender and toss in a little butter or olive oil. A delicious accompaniment to any meal.

  • Prepare a medley of vegetables, e.g. capsicum wedges, thick egg plant slices, onion wedges, peeled cloves of garlic, kumara slices. Roast or barbecue brushed with a mixture of oil, crushed garlic and a little brown sugar.

  • Trim beetroot ends but do not cut off. Microwave, boil or bake whole. Remove skin, cut to desired sized pieces and serve with sour cream sprinkled with lemon rind.

  • Toss drained, canned beetroot through a green leafy salad.

  • Make beetroot soup: peel and roughly chop 4 beetroot, 2 onions, 1 carrot, 1 potato, 1 apple and 1 cup shredded red cabbage. Place in a large pan with 2 Tbsp vinegar, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, ½ tsp ground cloves and 3 cups water. Simmer for 30 minutes then purée.

  • Add dark purple lettuce, such as red oak or red frilly lettuce, to a leafy salad.

  • Stir fry red cabbage over a high heat with a little cumin and oil. Add lemon juice, a handful of raisins and plenty of finely chopped fresh parsley.

  • Use purple varieties of vegetables, e.g. capsicums, cauliflower and asparagus, in the same way as the usual coloured varieties.