Purple food is one of the hottest health food trends of the year. But you don’t need a bottle of food dye to enjoy this trend. There’s tons of naturally purple foods, rich in the antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives food it’s purple hue. Anthocyanins have been studied for everything from cancer protection to cognitive function to cardiovascular health. Plus, it looks pretty on your plate!
Embrace the trend and add these 9 purple foods to your plate:
Black rice – Even though it’s called black rice, it’s actually purple. Black rice, also called forbidden rice, is a whole grain rice with an inky black color that turns purple after cooking. It tastes just like brown rice, with a slightly sweeter taste. Try it in: Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding
Elderberries – Elderberries are a small purple berry that have a long history of use in traditional medicine, where they’ve been used for everything from cold and flu relief to a natural laxative and diuretic. Because elderberries are very tart and bitter, most people enjoy them as a jam or in teas. Try it in: DIY Ginger, Cinnamon and Elderberry Syrup
Acai – An antioxidant rich Amazonian berry, acai berries taste like a tart-sweet berry with notes of chocolate. It sounds exotic, but it’s easy to find frozen acai puree in most well-stocked grocery stores, and acai bowls are widely available at smoothie cafes. Try it in: Tropical Acai Bowl, Beauty Green Smoothie
Purple corn – Also called blue corn, it is most commonly used in chicha morada, a purple corn drink made in Peru. It tastes almost the same as yellow corn, but with a more complex, slightly fruity flavor. It may be hard to hunt down fresh or dried purple corn, but blue corn grits or blue tortilla chips are more widely available. Try it in: Chica Morada
Purple potatoes – Although white potatoes are nutrient rich, contrary to popular belief, purple potatoes are a nutrition powerhouse. You can find purple sweet potatoes and purple “white” potatoes, both of which are packed with anthocyanins. One study found a daily dose of purple potatoes can help lower blood pressure. Try it in: Loaded Purple Hasselback Potatoes
Eggplant – Don’t peel off it’s bright purple skin! It’s rich in an anthocyanin called nasunin, which is protective for brain and cardiovascular health. If you find eggplant too bitter, salt it and let it drain in a colander before cooking. Try it in: Baba Ganoush
Purple cabbage – Purple cabbage, sometimes referred to as red cabbage, has a slightly earthier flavor than green cabbage. Plus, it’s rich hue is a gorgeous addition to salads and slaws, where it packs a slightly bitter crunch. Try it in: Cumin Chickpea Tacos with Purple Cabbage Slaw, Purple Cabbage Smoothie
Blackberries – Tart blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant contents of any food. In the summer, look for pick-your-own blackberry farms and stock up. Freeze or make jam out of what you don’t eat. Try it in: PB&J Breakfast Cake, Blackberry Basil Salad
Plums – Purchase fresh plums in season or enjoy dried plums all year! With juicy, sweet flesh and tart skin, plums are delicious in desserts, like fruit tarts, or in savory applications. With naturally occurring sorbitol, plums are helpful for promoting bowel regularity. Try it in: Balsamic Plum Stuffed Chicken, Peach & Plum Caprese Salad
What is your favorite purple food? Any new ones you’d like to try? Let us know in the comments section below!
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