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Good Gardening: Colorful Vegetables

 Multi colored carrots deliver a varied palette of both hues, and nutrients.
John Fischer
Multi colored carrots deliver a varied palette of both hues, and nutrients.

Hi All, Lane County Extension Master Gardener John Fischer here with KLCC's Good Gardening.

One of my favorite things about the Rolling Stones is their penchant to write songs about vegetables - like this classic (Comes in colors everywhere. It's like a rainbow.) I used to think the song was about beets which come in red, yellow, orange, and candy cane stripe varieties. But I recently realized it could be about carrots, or even cauliflower.

The multi-colored varieties of some traditionally monochromatic vegetables provide more than just a feast for your eyes. They have distinctly different tastes, textures, and nutrients too. If regular Detroit Red beets are too flavorful, try the candy cane striped Chioggia beets for a mild taste with a less overpowering color. Yellow beets are beautiful both cooked and grated raw into a salad. I find that dark red beets make the best borsht. Still unsure about beets? Try the Beet Chocolate Cake recipe from Linius Pauling Institute at OSU.

Multi colored carrots deliver a varied palette of both hues, and nutrients. Carrots mostly purple and yellow have been cultivated for thousands of years. They were primarily consumed as a cooked vegetable, but are often eaten raw now- in all colors. Purple carrots have higher levels of anti-oxidants than others, but all carrots are good for you.

Orange carrots became the standard due to propagation and seed distribution in the Netherlands- not as a way to honor William of Orange, who spearheaded the 17th century Dutch independence movement from Spain.

Cauliflower- a formerly white vegetable now comes in colors too. Orange, purple and green taste the same as white, but have more nutrients. Even broccoli comes in purple- but it turns back to green when you cook it.

All the multi-hued vegetables have been bred - none are genetically modified. I'm John Fischer with Good Gardening.

Copyright 2022, KLCC

John Fischer is a Master Gardener and Master Recycler and the host of KLCC's Good Gardening and Living Less Unsustainably.