If art throughout the ages is any indication, few things are as visually stunning as the intensity of color present in nature. In Eating in Color, registered dietitian and bestselling author Frances Largeman-Roth offers home cooks an easy, fun plan for utilizing the color spectrum to bring more vividly hued food to the table. From deep green kale to vermilion beets, Eating in Color showcases vibrant, delicious foods that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, diabetes, and obesity. Avocados, tomatoes, farro, blueberries, and more shine in stunning photographs of 90 color-coded, family-friendly recipes, ranging from Caramelized Red Onion and Fig Pizza to Cran-Apple Tarte Tatin. Clear preparation instructions and nutritional information make this an essential resource for eating well while eating healthy.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Since at least as far back as Roman times, the color red has signified power and wealth. Studies show that women are more attracted to men wearing red, and we all know the impact of a good red lipstick. This bold and beautiful family of fruits and vegetables is certainly physically attractive, but it also boasts a wide range of heart-healthy nutrients. Many members of the red family contain high levels of the antioxidant vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Vitamin C helps fight damage caused by pesky free radicals throughout the body. Potassium is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and keeps your heart beating regularly. And soluble fiber, found in many red fruits, helps lower "bad" LDL cholesterol.
Simply Red Fruit Salad
I usually like to combine contrasting colors in my fruit salads, but something interesting happened when I decided to go with just red hues. The salad became more like a watercolor painting, with each color bleeding into the other. And with the little jewel-like arils (pomegranate seeds) on top, this salad is not only sweet, it's good-looking, too. It's the perfect ending to a spring or summer meal.
½ cup (70g) DRIED CHERRIES
1. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the cherries and enough boiling water to cover them. Let sit for 15 minutes; drain and reserve the liquid in a large bowl.
2. Add the strawberries and grapes to the bowl with the cherries.
3. Over a bowl, using a sharp paring knife, remove the skin and white pith from the oranges, collecting any juices in the bowl. Use the knife to slice alongside both membranes of each segment, releasing the citrus segments and letting them fall gently into the bowl. Squeeze any remaining juice from the membranes. Transfer the segments to the bowl with the cherries, strawberries, and grapes; reserve the juice.
4. In a small saucepan, combine the reserved liquid from the cherries, the reserved juice from the oranges, and the lime zest and juice. Add the jam and bring to a boil, whisking vigorously to break up the jam. Boil for 3 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. Let cool completely at room temperature (chilling will cause the sauce to solidify).
5. Before serving, drizzle the sauce over the fruit and top with the pomegranate arils.
NOTE: See this page for instructions on how to extract pomegranate seeds (arils) from the fruit.
FAT 0.29g sat 0.03g mono 0.03g poly 0.1g
Goji–Chocolate Chunk Muffins
MAKES 12 MUFFINS
Goji berries have gotten a lot of hype and attention over the past five years. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamin A, and are touted for their immune-boosting and antiaging properties. They're also incredibly expensive, so if you can't find them, or if you don't want to shell out lots of cash for them, substitute chopped dried cherries.
COOKING SPRAY, for the pan
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the goji berries and enough boiling water to cover them. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, the wheat bran, wheat germ, cinnamon, brown sugar, and chocolate.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and milk. Stir in the drained berries. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, until the tops of muffins are golden and dry to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!
FAT 4g sat 2g mono 0.5g poly 0.3g
RECIPES: Simply Red Fruit Salad, Triple Berry Sauce
The basics: This sweet, juicy berry has grown wild for centuries in North America, South America, and Europe. A member of the rose family, strawberries have been cultivated since the thirteenth century.
Seasonality: Strawberry season is from April through September, and that's when you'll find the sweetest ones, but strawberries can be found year-round.
Good stuff: Packed with vitamin C and just 46 calories per cup (144g), strawberries make a wonderful, healthy treat. All those little seeds you see also contribute to the fiber in the berries — 1 cup has 3g. The ruby-colored berries are a significant source of folate, which is important for a healthy pregnancy and plays a role in keeping your heart healthy. Strawberries also contain the important electrolyte potassium, which is essential for muscle contractions and also helps keep your heart healthy.
Pick it: Look for brightly colored berries with that delicious berry scent. Avoid berries that appear soft or have any mold on them. They should also be uniformly red and should not have seedy looking tips. The caps should be green and unwilted.
Store it: Strawberries can be kept in the refrigerator for two to three days. If you purchased the berries in a container, keep them in it until you're ready to use them. If you purchased them loose, place them in a single layer on paper towels in the fridge.
Use it: Berries should be washed just before eating them. Delicious raw as a snack, strawberries make a bright addition to salads (both fruity and green), desserts, smoothies, and, of course, jams and compotes.
RECIPES: Simply Red Fruit Salad
The basics: A symbol of fertility since biblical times, the pomegranate has significance in many of the world's religions. Thanks to its medicinal uses throughout time, pomegranates are part of the coat of arms of several medical associations. The pomegranate grows throughout Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, India, and California. Inside the pomegranate's ruby case are hundreds of sweet-tart seeds known as arils.
Seasonality: Pomegranates are in season from September through January.
Good stuff: Preliminary research shows that chemicals in pomegranate juice may slow the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and might help fight cancer. More research is needed, but it's clear that pomegranates contain a high level of the polyphenol antioxidant ellagitannins.
Pick it: Choose pomegranates that are heavy for their size and have a smooth, unblemished skin. If purchasing just the arils — the jewel-like seeds inside the fruit — look for plump ones with a bright ruby color in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
Store it: Whole pomegranates can last up to a month at room temperature and up to a few months in the refrigerator. They keep best when individually wrapped in paper and stored in a lowhumidity compartment in the refrigerator.
Use it: Pomegranates are a bit tricky to tackle, but if you follow these steps you'll get all the tasty seeds out without staining your clothes, hands, or countertops:
1. Slice the fruit in half and then submerge both halves in a bowl of water.
2. Gently use your fingers to remove the cream-colored membranes, releasing the juicy seeds. The seeds will float and the waxy membrane will sink to the bottom of the bowl.
3. Once you've released all the seeds from the membranes, remove and discard the large pieces of the membrane and pour the contents of the bowl into a colander. Using a slotted spoon, you can then gently transfer the seeds to a clean kitchen towel to dry.
You can use the seeds in salads, atop yogurt, or blended into smoothies. Depending on the freshness of the pomegranate, the seeds will last from a few days to a week in the refrigerator. The seeds can be frozen for several months. To freeze, spread the seeds out on a wax paper–lined baking sheet and freeze for two hours. Then transfer to a zip-top plastic bag or other sealed container and return to the freezer.
Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich
One morning, while my husband and I took turns yawning and pushing our daughter, Willa, on the swing at the playground, I started fantasizing about making the ultimate breakfast sandwich. I asked Jon what would be on his, and it inevitably included sausage and hot sauce. Tasty, sure, but I wanted a combo that was not only satisfyingly yummy, but wouldn't leave me feeling weighed down with unnecessary grease. Herewith, my own ultimate combination, which packs plenty of protein, fiber, and calcium.
COOKING SPRAY, for the pan
1. Spray a small sauté pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the egg and move it around the pan with a spatula until scrambled, about 1 minute. Season with the salt and pepper.
2. While the egg cooks, toast the bread to your desired degree of toastiness.
3. Place the cheese on one slice of toast and the avocado slices on the other. Using a table knife, gently spread the avocado across the surface of the bread. Layer the scrambled egg over the cheese and top with the tomatoes. Place the slice of toast with the avocado over the tomatoes and gently press down. Slice in half and daydream about your ultimate egg sandwich.
FAT 24.6g sat 9g mono 7.7g poly 2g
Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler (aka Hangover Helper)
I haven't been on a bender since well before I had kids. But sometimes I'll get "overserved" at an event, or a new cocktail might leave me a bit more bleary-eyed than I'd like. That's when I turn to this refreshing concoction. The melon and cucumber help to hydrate you, while the salt and mint aid in settling your stomach.
2 cups (300g) cubed WATERMELON
1. Combine the watermelon, cucumber, lime juice, salt, and mint in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing to release all the liquid.
3. Into a tall glass filled with ice, pour ½ cup (125ml) of the watermelon mixture and top with ½ cup (125ml) or more of the sparkling water. Stir in agave to taste, if using. Sip slowly until you've recovered. Have another glass if you need it. Store any remaining cooler covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Stir well before drinking.
FAT 0.14g sat 0.02g mono 0.03g poly 0.04g
RECIPES: Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler (aka Hangover Helper), Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad with Thyme, Triple Melon Granita
The basics: Thought to be originally from Africa, the watermelon is an American favorite. The flesh of this juicy melon is usually a deep pink, but it can also be yellow or even white. Watermelons range from the size of a cantaloupe to a hefty thirty pounds or more. The melons usually contain black seeds, but seedless varieties (which still have a few edible white seeds) have become very common.
Seasonality: You can find them from May through September, but peak watermelon time is mid June to late August.
Good stuff: Consisting of 92 percent water, this hydrating melon deserves its status as a warm-weather staple. It also has earned its chops in the phytonutrient category, with high levels of lycopene. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that gives watermelon its color. Several studies have found that people with higher amounts of lycopene in their blood have a lower risk of some types of cancer. The evidence is strongest for cancer of the lung, stomach, and prostate. Lycopene may also help protect against cancer of the cervix, breast, mouth, pancreas, esophagus, colon, and rectum. Lycopene content is highest in fully ripe — and very red-pink — melons.
Pick it: A watermelon should feel heavy for its size and have a symmetrical shape. Avoid melons with soft spots or cracks in the rind. If buying a melon that is already halved or sliced, look for the flesh to have a bright color. The surface should not appear dry or grainy.
Store it: Watermelon is best kept in the refrigerator until used, but if you don't have the space, keep it in a cool spot in your kitchen. Once it has been sliced open, store the remaining watermelon in the refrigerator for up to three days, either wrapped tightly in plastic or stored in an airtight container.
Use it: Watermelon is incredibly refreshing eaten in slices and cubes. You can also juice it, use it in smoothies and drinks, or make frozen desserts out of it. It's a refreshing addition to fruit salads. In Asia, watermelon seeds are eaten plain or roasted and salted. Watermelon rind can be pickled.
RECIPE: Salad in a Jar
The basics: As Italian as its name sounds, radicchio is a variety of red chicory. It has a bitter, earthy flavor that helps balance out the richness of many dishes. Radicchio di Chioggia is the most popular variety of radicchio. The head is about the size of a medium orange, and the leaves are a deep maroon with white ribs. The milder radicchio di Treviso grows in longer heads, like endive (and is often referred to as red endive), but has the same coloring on the leaves.
Seasonality: Radicchio is grown year-round, but the peak growing time is from midwinter to early spring.
Good stuff: As with other lettuces, radicchio is very low in calories — 1 cup (40g) contains just 9. But it's loaded with the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein. Radicchio also contains fructans, which act as a prebiotic in the digestive system and may help reduce the risk of cancer. Prebiotics provide food for probiotics — good bacteria — to grow. Probiotics help maintain a balanced digestive system, support overall health, and may help prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections as well as eczema in children.
Pick it: Look for radicchio heads that are tightly packed with no signs of shriveling or browning.
Store it: Keep radicchio tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Use it: Remove the core of the radicchio and rinse and dry the leaves before using. You can chop or shred the leaves and use them in salads, as part of a crudité platter, or even as a pizza topping. You can also quarter the heads and grill, roast, or braise them.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad with Thyme
There's a reason why watermelon and cucumber are such a classic pairing — they're amazing together. The sweet, juicy melon and the crunchy cuke are in fact part of the same plant family, and both are packed with lots of refreshing HO. Oh, and this salad is a cool 83 calories per serving, which makes it even more enticing for summertime.
1 cup (150g) peeled and diced seedless CUCUMBER
In a medium serving bowl, gently toss the cucumber, watermelon, feta, thyme, vinegar, salt, and pepper together. Garnish with basil leaves, if using, and serve.
FAT 3.3g sat 1.8g mono 0.04g poly 0.06g
Excerpted from "Eating in Color"
Copyright © 2014 Frances Largeman-Roth.
Excerpted by permission of Abrams Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Blues, Indigos & Violets,
Blacks & Tans,
index of searchable terms,