On nutrition: Dietitians often encourage “eating the rainbow.” We do not mean eat the Skittles (although I will enjoy the small packs at Halloween)! We also do not necessarily mean the rainbow that is Canada’s Food Guide’s either, although it can be a good guide for some.
Eating a rainbow of vegetables means enjoying a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits to ensure adequate vitamins, mineral and nutrients for your body. Here are the following vegetables and their colours that I used for my Rainbow Vegetable Bake, along with other coloured vegetable options you can use instead:
Red-Orange: Heirloom Carrots
Orange: Carrots, Orange Peppers (can use sweet potato, butternut squash)
Yellow: Yellow Heirloom Carrots (can use yellow peppers)
Green: Broccoli (can use sugar snap peas, green beans)
Indigo-Purple: Purple Heirloom Carrots (can use purple potatoes or cauliflower)
Purple: Red/Purple Onion
Now this is the fun part: or should I say… nerdy dietitian part? Each colour provides different nutrients based on their colour. Let’s go through some of the goodness you get from each:
Rainbow Nutrients and Functions
Orange: Beta-carotene, carotenoids can be converted in the body to vitamin A - for vision and immune function
Yellow: Beta-carotene, carotenoids can be converted in the body to vitamin A - for vision and immune function
Green: Isothiocyanates, (induce enzymes in the liver that assist the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds). Vitamin K (blood clot formation), folic acid, potassium
Indigo-Purple: Anthocyanins (antioxidants - heart health, may help support healthy blood pressure, lower risk of cancer)
Purple: Anthocyanins (antioxidants - heart health, may help support healthy blood pressure, lower risk of cancer)
A special thanks to the amazing producers at Carron Farms for providing me with the beautiful Heirloom Collection Carrots that I used in this recipe. I always love connecting with farmers and sharing their passion for good, fresh food!
Easy-Peasy and Family Friendly!
Also, as an Art and Cooking Instructor at a private art school, I can tell you that children LOVE recipes with lots of fun and bright colours. This is a very simple recipe where children can get involved in the preparation of all the brightly coloured vegetables.
RECIPE: Rainbow Vegetable Bake
1 bag (900g, 2lbs) Carron Farms Heirloom Collection Carrots, chopped into similar bite-sized pieces.
1 pint grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped broccoli (about 1-2 heads)
1 red onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Can also add other herbs and spices!
Chop all vegetables to about 1-inch, bite-sized pieces. If you are using carrots, chop them smaller as they will take longer to cook, ~ ½ to 1 inch!
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Cover 2 baking sheets with tin foil and or cooking spray.
- Separate the vegetables according to colour into different bowls.
- Add oil, salt and pepper. Add other herbs if using. Mix each bowl together with a spoon or your hands.
- Arrange each vegetable by colour on the baking sheet.
- Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes. They are done when the vegetables are cooked through and slightly brown along the edges.
This recipe is very easy to customize. Below I added feta cheese before serving for more fun and flavour!
Please Note: I wrote this blog post not only to encourage families to eat/cook/enjoy more colourful vegetables, but also to commemorate the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, Florida one year ago. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Martin Luther King, Jr.