By Caroline Moran
“Taste the rainbow” applies to more than just Skittles! Every color of produce provides a unique selection of beneficial nutrients, meaning that incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables can be an easy and delicious way to ensure that your body receives all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to keep you energized and healthy.
While we don’t want to put you to sleep with too many nutrition facts, let’s recap some of the benefits of the different colors of the rainbow. Red produce is an excellent source of antioxidants, while orange foods support your vision (ever heard the old saying that carrots are great for your eyesight? It’s true!). Your microbiome will benefit from incorporating yellow veggies, and your heart will thank you for adding some blueberries with breakfast. Green fruits and vegetables are a great source of fiber and antioxidants, and even the “colorless” brown and white foods (think onion, garlic, ginger, and parsnips) can serve to strengthen your bones.
The best part of “eating the rainbow” is the wide variety of foods that fall under each category, allowing for flexibility in food choices and more satisfying meals and snacks. Don’t love kale? Try eating more green apples, asparagus, cucumbers, or kiwi. Looking to switch up your favorite mango smoothie? Toss some peach, nectarine, or orange into the blender instead.
Here’s a fun challenge for your next trip to the farmer’s market (that kids will love too): try loading up your basket with items featuring each color of the rainbow. Beets from Green Jeans Market Farm and yellow squash from Gómez Veggie Ville are a great place to start. Bonus points if you grab a bundle of rainbow chard from Owl Wood Farm!
Turning over to this week’s recipe, author and registered dietitian Erica Baty is a huge proponent of maintaining a colorful diet. Her nutrient-dense orzo dish can be customized with any fresh vegetables of your choosing, though she offers up several great suggestions. Combine some freshly roasted local veggies with orzo pasta, a bright lemon vinaigrette, and, of course, crumbled feta or goat cheese for a quick, balanced weeknight meal.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park in downtown Saratoga Springs. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.