Purple is associated with royalty, Bishops, a rather fantastic rock band and super healthy vegetables. But what is it about purple vegetables that makes them so special?
Anthocyanins are a natural plant compound, or phytonutrient, and give a rich purple colour to certain vegetables and fruits. Proven to boost the immune system, anthocyanins help with the mopping up of free radicals and soothe inflammation. Eaten on a regular basis, anthocyanins will help with reducing blood pressure and improving brain function, including memory.
Anthocyanins are water-soluble so the best methods of cooking the vegetables are roasting, steaming, grilling or eating raw. In addition to anthocyanins purple vegetables also include all the normal vitamins and goodness you would expect to find.
Why Not Try These Purple Vegetables?
Not only will they do you good, they will look fabulous on the plate.
Pea Blauwschokker – So attractive that it features on the cover of the Suttons 2018 Garden Catalogue this heritage variety is new to our range. Ornamental enough for the flower border, the deep purple pods can be eaten young as mangetout. Alternatively, leave the pods to mature and enjoy the bright green, round peas within.
Carrot F1 Nightbird – When Suttons and Exeter University started testing carrots for anthocyanins it wasn’t a surprise that purple varieties contained high levels. However, Carrot F1 Nightbird was found to contain twice the levels of its closest rival. Now that was a surprise!
Carrot F1 Purple Haze – The rice purple skin contrasts beautifully with the orange beneath. Wash but don’t peel!
Carrot F1 Purple Sun – Not only purple skinned but purple throughout.
Cauliflower Di Sicilia Violetto – Nutritious with a sweet, nutty flavour.
Basil Round Midnight – Edible and highly ornamental this trailing basil works well in hanging baskets.
Kale Scarlet – As the name suggests, this is a reddish purple. Looks great on the plate or in the soup bowl.
Onion Purplette – A round spring onion that will make your salads look stunning and taste amazing.
Potato Purple Majesty – Retains the glorious colour when cooked. Purple mash anyone?
Radish Diana – Colourful, crisp and tasty.
Sprouting Broccoli Summer Purple – Fine flavoured purple shoots over a long cropping period.