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GroEdibles Blog

Apr 9

The Color Purple

Posted by GeriMiller on 9 Apr 2015. Filed under  Garden inspiration / observation, Health & Fitness, Plant Resources View Comments
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“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Long a favorite color of mine when I design a culinary potager garden or edible landscape, there is now a much more important reason to not only include these beautiful edibles in your garden but in your diet as well!

We’ve long been told by the American Cancer Society that the more colorful the fruits and veggies are, the better they are for us – that’s yellow, red, blue and purple – a rainbow of colors! But why especially purple, red and blue? According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, these darker colored foods contain important nutrients called anthocyanins, which are responsible for forming these colors in vegetables and fruits. As an antioxidant, anthocyanin protects against cell damage from free radicals. Many red, blue and purple foods also contain ellagic acid, a phytochemical that may prevent cancer as well as lowering cholesterol levels.

Here are some of my favorite purple, red and blue edibles:

  • Purple asparagus – Purple Passion, Sweet Purple
  • Purple basil – Amethyst, Purple Ruffles, Opal
  • Purple Beans – Royal burgundy, Royal Purple
  • Purple Belgian endive
  • Red beets – Bull’s Blood, Detroit Red
  • Purple bok choi
  • Purple broccoli – Purple Sprouting
  • Red Brussel sprouts – Red Ball, Falstaff
  • Red Cabbage
  • Purple carrots – Purple Haze, Cosmic Purple
  • Purple cauliflower
  • Purple corn – Peruvian varieties
  • Purple eggplant – Purple Rain, Black Beauty, Long Purple
  • Purple/red Kale – Redbor, Scarlet, Red Russian
  • Purple kohlrabi
  • Purple/red mustards – Purple Mizuna, Scarlet Frill, Ruby Streaks, Garnet, Red Giant
  • Purple/red orach – red, Purple Passion
  • Peppers – Chocolate Bell, Purple Jalapeno
  • Purple potatoes – All Blue, Blue Tomcat, Purple Majesty
  • And don’t forget the berries: blackberries, blueberries, elderberries, cranberries, pomegranates, concord or red flame grapes

Keep in mind that most purple veggies will turn green when cooked.

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