Benefits of eating yellow/orange vegetables

Yellow and orange vegetables are very high in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids, which give the yellow-orange colour to these vegetables.

A wide range of other phytonutrients can be found in this group, including Vitamin C and flavonoids.

The yellow/orange group is a good source of fibre and has varying amounts of other nutrients, such as folate, potassium and calcium.

Get yellow/orange protection by including vegetables such as sweetcorn, kumara, swede, yellow/orange capsicums, carrots, yams and the pumpkin group, which includes butternut and buttercup squash.

Try these quick and easy suggestions:

  • Glaze carrots, swede, kumara, pumpkin or yams – either by themselves or as a mixture. Combine bite-sized vegetable pieces, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp margarine and 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind. Cover and microwave on high power for 4-6 minutes.

  • Peel and cut pumpkin into small chunks, add onion wedges and toss in olive oil with caraway seeds and plenty of black pepper. Roast until golden and succulent.

  • Extend meat sauces by adding grated carrot, kumara or pumpkin. Add to lasagne and bolognaise type meals.

  • Eat whole carrots, carrot sticks, or baby carrots as a snack or put in lunchboxes.

  • Add whole kernel corn to a  stir fry.

  • It is easy to cook a whole pumpkin: pierce 2 or 3 large holes in the top of the pumpkin to act as steam vents. Microwave on high until the base is soft (allow 12-15 minutes for a 2 kg pumpkin). Cool, cut in half, remove seeds and peel. Use in soups, pies or baking. Try mashed with sour cream, seasoned with nutmeg or ginger.

  • Cut kumara into ½ cm thick slabs, yellow/orange capsicums into 4-6 wedges and sweetcorn cobs into 2 cm thick wheels. Roast or barbecue brushed with a mix of oil, garlic and a little brown sugar.

  • Microwave a cob of sweetcorn, complete with husk, for 3 minutes on high. Once cooked, remove husk, add a drizzle of  oil and plenty of pepper. Alternatively, use frozen corn.