Purple foods, particularly purple fruits and vegetables, are sought after by health-conscious consumers and those in the know, as the vibrant colour indicates a naturally high presence of health-enhancing antioxidants.
From purple potatoes and carrots, to trusty red cabbage and blueberries, this list of purple fruits and vegetables boasts plenty of nutritional credentials behind the vibrant hues, they are not only a great way of adding colour to a dish, they should help you feel good about eating them too.
Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Image: Coconut and Berries
Roasted, juiced, spiralised, souped or blended into vegansmoothies, beetroot is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And if that wasn't enough, it's even low in fat.
Beetroot is also great for haute cuisine. Check out this stunning seafood recipe from chef Antimo Merone, at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana restaurant, for a lobster salad with beetroot puree.
Blueberries have long been recognised as a superfoodof the fruit world, catapulting them into the spotlight for those health-conscious consumers. High in antioxidants, this purple fruit is delicious eaten in its natural state, or baked into desserts.
Eggplants - or aubergines -are a versatile purple vegetable that can be eaten any number of ways. Full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, they are also said to have the potential to lower cholesterol and help manage weight. So, plenty of reasons to put eggplant on the plate.
Tired of white cauliflower? Try purple cauliflower, rich in vitamin C, with a half-cup of florets reportedly providing nearly half of the daily requirement for vitamin C.
Purple cauliflower also packs a nutritional punch when it comes to fibre, vitamin A, folate, calcium, potassium and selenium. All good news when it comes to staying healthy.
8. Purple Asparagus
This asparagus is so sweet it can be eaten raw, meaning you get to enjoy all those health-enhancing antioxidants to their full potential.
The rich colour of blackberries is a giveaway that they have some of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits. Rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C, they are low on sodium and calories. Enjoy them naturally to benefit from their nutritional goodness.
10. Purple Carrots
Believe it or not, a few hundred years ago, all cultivated carrots were purple; the orange carrot wasn't cultivated until the late 16th century. It's unsurprising to see purple carrots sprouting up again given their stunning colour coupled with their anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
11. Acai Berries
The açaí berry, a naturally blueish-purple fruit, is packed with antioxidants as well as being rich in fibre, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, C and E, mineral salts (calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium)... and the list keeps going.
Eye-catching purple corn contains a variety of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) including massive amounts of phenolics and anthocyanins, suggesting they are high in anti-oxidants... essentially helping us to stay healthy.
This purple yam is a staple of Filipino cuisine, where it is used in both savoury and sweet dishes. Ube is rich in fibre and contains virtually no fat - it's a great purple vegetable to add to your daily rotation.
An honorary member of the purple fruit or vegetable family, lavender is used in a variety of recipes and is prized for its health benefits. This fragrant herb aids in relaxation and stress relief.
Did you know grapes are botanically classified as berries? Red grapes, sometimes called purple grapes, are rich in heart-healthy resveratrol, a compound known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
When it comes to purple foods plums should always be on your list. This humble fruit comes in different varieties but the most popular one in the United States is the purple plum (also called black plum) with yellow flesh.
Plums are rich in fibre and help ease digestion, as well as being a wonderful source of vitamin A.
A list of other purple fruits and vegetables to keep on your radar
Concord grapes - this grape variety was developed in Concord, Massachusetts around 170 years ago and is used to make jelly, juice, wine, and even pies.
Raisins - this capsule of fibre, minerals, and vitamins is also high energy and comes in a variety of colours, from purple to red to yellow.
Purple Artichokes - you can give artichoke recipes a colourful twist using this royal-hued variety of the vegetable.
Pluots - as its portmanteau name suggests, the pluot is a hybrid between a plum and an apricot. Pluot is more plum than apricot, and is not to be confused with the plumcot, which is a 50-50 split between a plum and apricot.
Edible violets - violets have high amounts of vitamins A and C. Garnish a salad or brew a tea with them, or bake them into a desert. Just exercise restraint, because eating large amounts of this flower can give you digestive problems.
Black Currants - this berry, native to central and northern Europe and Asia, is rich in vitamin C and polyphenols, and is often used to make jams and syrups.
Discover Fine Dining Lovers' exclusive Why Waste? video series, featuring Massimo Bottura and his team of chefs, as they teach us how to repurpose leftovers and trimmings in delicious and imaginative ways, from vegetables to dairy. Take a look