As July 4th approaches, everyone is getting ready for backyard barbecues and picnics. One way to increase the nutrient density of your side dishes at this year’s party is to utilize the beauty of red, white, and blue fruits and vegetables.
Red and blue fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins and carotenoids, important phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. These pigments can aid in cell turnover, have neuroprotective effects, and help reduce cell damage from daily environmental and lifestyle stressors. Try red raspberries, strawberries, cherries, red bell peppers or even tomatoes for a boost of color. Blueberries, blackberries, and beets also give great red/blue/purple color. White-toned fruits and veggies like onions, garlic, and even scallions contain sulfides which can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Not only do these colorful fruits and vegetables taste great, but they’re also in season through the summer months so can be more affordable right now.
Enjoy the recipes below for a patriotic spread on your table!
Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad
1.5 cup blueberries
1.5 cup halved strawberries
1 cup banana slices
Juice of half a lemon
Fresh mint sprigs, finely shredded (to taste*)
Directions: Toss all chopped fruit together with lemon juice and mint leaves. Garnish with whole mint leaves.
*Mint has a strong flavor so adjust based on your preference
Red, White, and Blue Veggie Tray
1 Head of Cauliflower, chopped into bite size florets
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 bag blue corn tortilla chips
Veggie Dip of your choice
Directions: Arrange chips, and chopped veggies in sections on a platter, alternating blue and red. Place white veggie dip of your choice in a bowl in the center of the dish. Enjoy!