Eat the rainbow
Eating plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables is a well known route to healthy eating, but do you know the reason behind why we are encouraged to 'eat the rainbow'? The girls from Cooking them Healthy explore and explain the valuable health benefits of different coloured fruit and vegetables, and translate these into easy to prepare food you can enjoy.
The special compounds found in fruit & vegetables, as well as pulses, legumes, wholegrains, nuts & seeds and herbs & spices are known as phytonutrients (pronounced 'fi-toe-nutrients') . 'Phyto' means from derived from plants. Their purpose is to protect the vitality of the plant and they not only provide us with vibrant colour, but also possess health promoting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. We like to include as many of them as we can in our cooking.
To celebrate the start of summer with warm sunshine and longer days, Cooking them Healthy have created three bright colourful and of course, phytonutrient-rich recipes perfect for lunch outdoors. Each recipe could easily be packed up & enjoyed for a delicious picnic.
Where can I find phytonutrients?
Flavonoids are found in blue/purple foods such as blackberries, blueberries & red cabbage.
Beta-carotene are found in yellow & orange foods such as carrots, butternut squash, melon & papaya.
Lycopene is found in red foods such as tomatoes & watermelon.
Chlorophyll is found in spinach, spring greens, kale & broccoli.
White is a colour too! White foods are not to be overlooked; garlic, onions, leeks and cauliflower are examples of foods with their own valuable nutrients such as sulphur and the fancy named glucosinolates.
Recipe 1: Pack a punch paella
Our easy, quick yet totally delicious paella is the perfect dish to put a smile on everyone’s face! It is packed with colour, flavour and health boosting phytonutrients (these are the special health boosting properties found in vegetables). Tomatoes and sweet red peppers are rich in anti-inflammatory lycopene. And allicin, the compound in garlic, is known for its antibacterial and immune supporting properties. Cook up our ‘pack a punch paella’ and dream of sunnier climes. Get the recipe.
Recipe 2: Crustless quiches
The sweet yet humble pea is rich in a number of phytonutrients including saponins & flavanols, which support immune health as well as possessing anti-inflammatory properties. These lovely little quiches are also naturally gluten free. Get the recipe.
Recipe 3: Sunny carrot salad
Our simple yet delicious carrot salad is rich in the phytonutrient beta-carotene from the carrots, important for skin, eye and immune health. Miso is not only packed with zinc & manganese, but also phytonutrients known as phenolic acids from the fermentation process. This acts as a potent antioxidant in the body. Get the recipe.
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