Vegetables and fruit get their coloring from naturally occurring pigmentation. Some examples are beta-carotene in carrots, lutein in red peppers and lycopene in tomatoes. The colors of plants do more than just make them look beautiful; there are health benefits to the pigments that range from antioxidants, protection from heart disease and certain types of cancer. That’s good news for gardeners. There are so many colorful plants out there, many heirloom varieties, that you can plant a colorful rainbow of veggies.
These cute little root vegetables are easy to grow and add a little peppery kick to a salad. They are quick growing too: less than a month from seed to table. Mostly known for their red color, radishes are also available in pastel colors, striped and even black! The watermelon radishes pictured here are just gorgeous.
Watermelon radish is also known as Roseheart or Red Meat radish. This is an heirloom Chinese Daikon radish that has 4-inch round roots with white and green skin and a rose-red center. Unlike most radishes that have a peppery bite, these radishes are sweet, crisp and delicious.
Most of us are familiar with the deep purple, almost black color of eggplants. They are available in a range of colors from many shades of purple, greens, all white and even oranges. But check out these striped beauties.
There are several varieties of striped eggplants — some common varieties are Angels, Caliope and Nubia.
Orange carrots have only been around since the 17th century. They were cultivated by the Dutch in honor of William of Orange who led the struggle for Dutch independence. Until then, carrots were red, white, purple and even black.
The gorgeous purplish red exterior of these purple dragon carrots is a wonderful contrast to the brilliant orange interior. These pretty carrots will get anyone to eat their veggies.
Skip the plain white variety of cauliflower and go for color. Cauliflower comes in bright apple green, yellow and purples. They are high in dietary fiber, folate and vitamin C and depending on the color, you get an added dose of beta-carotene and anthocyanin.
“Cheddar Cheese”, “Violetta Italia” or “Green Macerata” are some of the colorful varieties of cauliflower you can grow.