Odd-colored vegetables are all the rage, and the good news is they’re packed with healthy phytochemicals. Take purple carrots, for instance. Not only are they filled with vitamin A and beta carotene, they’re also a source of anthocyanins, the same antioxidants that color blueberries and make them the darlings of natural food movement.
But you can also grow red and yellow carrots that will really add a splash to salads.
An article in the current edition of Organic Gardening,www.organicgardening.com, suggests slicing these pretties into medallions and serving them with ranch dressing or dill dip — it’s much healthier than chips or crackers. Grated and sprinkled atop coleslaw, colorful carrots give that bland side dish panache. Roasting them and tossing them in olive oil and fresh or dried thyme brings out the sweetness in these colorful characters. However, boiling them in water will cause their unusual colors to fade.
Botanical Interests offers a 1gram packet of colorful Carnival Blend organic carrot seeds for $2.99. Its website,www.botanicalinterests.com, as well as its seed packs, offer lots of growing information. Full growing and problem-solving info is available at our website growing carrots.
Purple carrots, black tomatoes, orange beets and red string beans almost 2 feet long — what kid wouldn’t love to try them? Especially if they’re growing in their own backyard.
Surprising kids with crazy-colored veggies is a great way to get them interested in eating what’s good for them. While small children may not get the joke of serving strange-colored vegetables, a variety of bright colors will definitely pique their interest at dinnertime. Old-time gardeners suggest doing taste tests right in the garden. Next year, they will want to grow their own.
Cherry tomatoes in funky colors are perfect starters. Yellow-, orange- and black-skinned cherry tomato plants are available at most garden centers. Botanical Interests’ packet of tomato cherry rainbow mix seed ($2.69) contains seed to grow orange, brown, red, yellow and red/yellow varieties. The seeds are color-coded so you can pick and choose which colors to plant.