Benefits of eating red vegetables

From scarlet to crimson, red vegetables make an attractive and phytonutrient-packed food source.

Red vegetables are also often loaded with Vitamin C. 

The main  antioxidants of this group are the red pigments – anthocyanins and carotenoids. Lycopene is a carotenoid which is found in the red of tomatoes and is considered a nutritional “super-hero”.

There are similarities between this group and the blue/purple vegetable group, due to the anthocyanin content which gives the colour. 

Get red protection by including vegetables such as tomatoes, red capsicums, red onions, red skinned potatoes, red cabbage, radishes, and red skinned kumara.

Try these quick and easy suggestions:

  • Make a salad with tomato wedges, crumbled feta and crispy cooked bacon served on a bed of spinach leaves.

  • Enjoy sliced tomates by placing on toast or serve on crackers for a snack.

  • To make salsa, finely dice red onions and tomatoes and mix together. Spice it up with sweet chilli sauce.

  • Add tomato halves and red capsicum strips to the barbecue. Brush sparingly with oil and turn frequently during cooking.

  • Microwave red skinned kumara, with the skin on. Allow 3-4 minutes per kumara. Split and fill with pickle, cheese or sour cream and finely chopped red capsicum. Another tasty filling is chopped ham or salami, chopped tomatoes, pesto sauce and Parmesan cheese.

  • For a delicious soup, sauté 3-4 cups chopped carrots, onions, celery, leek, or kumara. Add one can of chopped tomatoes, simmer until vegetables are soft. Blend. Thin with tomato juice and season to taste.

  • Slice tomatoes, red onion and cucumber. Add basil leaves and a vinaigrette.

  • Leave the skin on 4 large red skinned potatoes, cut into wedges. Place in a roasting dish with 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint, 1 sliced red capsicum, ½ cup tomato paste, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp vinegar, ½ cup water with 2 Tbsp oil. Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. Turn during cooking. Add a little extra water at the end of cooking to give a smooth glossy coating.

  • Cut radishes into quarters and serve with a dip or hummus.

  • Cut tomatoes in half, place in a roasting dish, sprinkle with red wine vinegar and olive oil, season to taste, and bake in hot oven until reduced to approximately half. Add to cooked hot vegetables, or pasta.