The Healing Power of… Purple?

November 13, 2008|Comments (26)

Okay, children of the eighties unite… don’t these babies look like they will open to reveal a rather ugly-faced doll with a signature on the hind end?  These are the fruits of fall gardening labors.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  Don’t you just want to stuff them and stick them in a casserole dish?  The best part? The color.  Check out these Chinese eggplants!

I adore purple vegetables!  Actually, purple vegetables are really amazing sources for cancer-fighting nutrients.  Purple fruits and vegetables carry more anthocyanins and phenolics than any other fruits and vegetables.  Not to mention that they are exceptional and exquisite… I feel like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch right now.

But it gets better.  This beauty isn’t skin-deep.  These two antioxidants (which are a direct result of a purple crop’s phytochemical signature) have been at the heart of much of the hype over blueberries as cancer-fighting agents.  Laboratory tests suggests that anthocyanins can slow the growth of colon cancer cells.  But anthocyanins are not just in blueberries… any purple or blue produce has a hefty dose of these antioxidants, which are also proven to help prevent and battle obesity, memory loss, urinary tract health, and the basic effects of aging.  Who wouldn’t want a cure for those?

Keep in mind that purple produce isn’t the only cancer-fighting produce.  This is the first in a series of posts about the amazing healing properties of fruits and vegetables that you can grow in your very own backyard.  Many of us sail past certain fruits and vegetables in the produce section simply because our parents never fixed them for us or we don’t think they can be covered with Ranch dressing/cheese (or we don’t know how to pronounce them properly and dread the checkout person asking us what the are).  Whatever our reasons, many of us are less than adventurous when it comes to our veggies.

So, I challenge you to find a fruit or a vegetable that you have never heard of or tried before.  Purchase it (or plant it) and prepare it as a side dish.  Consult this list of culinary vegetables and this list of culinary fruits.  Email me if you need help finding a recipe.

What’s the most exotic dish you’ve ever consumed?

Comments (26)| Leave a comment

  1. Michele on November 13th, 2008 9:22 am

    You picked my 4 favorites. I eat most of these weekly depending upon availability at the market. As a vegetarian I have lots of dishes to make with any or all.

    Great challenge to those who haven’t tried them.

  2. Tipper on November 13th, 2008 9:25 am

    Amazing purple photos!

  3. Fishing Guy on November 13th, 2008 10:06 am

    Lacy: Very neat post about Purple Power, nicely done.

  4. Ang in TX on November 13th, 2008 10:08 am

    Your cabbage looks wonderful. How do you keep the loopers away?

  5. Simple Livin' gal on November 13th, 2008 10:12 am

    Row covers help with cabbage loopers! Check out Seeds of Change to order some — they are cheap and VERY useful.


  6. Rosa on November 13th, 2008 11:23 am

    That’s one of my favorite colors! Thanks for the pictures! I particularly love the purple colrabbi! I remember the Cabbage Patch Kids…



  7. YDavis on November 13th, 2008 11:28 am

    Purple is my favorite color.

  8. Maureen on November 13th, 2008 12:28 pm

    For the purple challenged in the crowd (or just for me:) …….

    I can identify 3 of the 4….I think. Purple cabbage (love it), eggplant (not so much, tho maybe I just haven’t found the right recipe), no idea what #3 is but stunning photograph, and lastly, a beet?

    Thanks in advance for the recipes I will be emailing you for!!!

  9. Lynnie on November 13th, 2008 12:30 pm

    Cool! Looking forward to the series!

    Sometimes I feel like I put all this effort into feeding my kids all the things that I know will make them healthy, but I forget to eat well myself. For example, I just split a container of blueberries between them and didn’t save any for myself! Thanks for the reminder that we all need these things.

  10. Simple Livin' gal on November 13th, 2008 12:35 pm


    #1: red cabbage
    #2: Chinese eggplants
    #3: kohlrabi
    #4: purple radish

    Thank you for your wonderful comments! Maureen — I look forward to sending you some fun recipes just let me know what exotic veggie you find!

    Lynnie — I am not the least bit surprised that you put your family before yourself. You are such a good mom and so thoughtful!


  11. Kath on November 13th, 2008 12:44 pm

    With all that info I best start eating blue/purple foods. And by the way we love those Cabbage Patch kids. Each one of the kids had thier own. My sister would make them outfits for them- boy or girl. LOL Dresses, jogging suits, striped bib overalls, coats,etc.

    I just bought a bag of sweet potatoes. I am going to bake a couple of them and we’ll try them that way first. And I would like to try your sweet potato slices. So thats our challenge for this week.

  12. Robin on November 13th, 2008 1:18 pm

    Hey Miss Lacy! :mrgreen:

    Lovely purplie photos!

    Did you have any problems with pests on the cabbage? If so, how did you personally deter them? I’ve looked up things, but want to know what you did.

    None of our brocolli survived. Nor the Bok Choy. I am sad about that.

    I am loving eating vegetarian. In my fridge right now are beets, parsnips, sweet potato, brocolli, celery, radishes, lettuce, carrots, cabbage and so much more. This week we made up a lovely “mash”. :lol: We boiled a mix of carrots, white potato, sweet potato and parsnips and blended them all together with butter. Pretty tasty!

    Have a wonderful day, dear Lacy! :D

  13. Maureen on November 13th, 2008 4:29 pm

    Wow, that’s just sad….2 out of 4 correct …and my kids think I’m practically a vegan! Thanks for identifying the veggies Lacy.
    And I know you talked about row covers for the loopers, which we are looking at for our bigger beds, but much our cabbage is planted in pairs all over the yard. I thought I would at least give my recommendation for our method to Robin. It is a bit more labor intensive at first because we wait ’til the first signs of loopers and then just hand pick the bugs before spraying with BT (Bacillus thuringiensis). It’s a biological control and usually one or two sprayings is enough, but then we grow cabbage in the winter and loopers die out at colder temps.

  14. ellyn on November 13th, 2008 7:11 pm

    Great pictures. What is the third one? I love red cabbage and beets but eggplant is kind of icky to me.

  15. Laurie on November 13th, 2008 7:41 pm

    Good information there, Lacy!

  16. Paula on November 14th, 2008 12:30 am

    Your purple cabbage is way better than any ugly old doll. As a child of the eighties, I must have been a nerd because I never wanted one of those dolls. That won’t stop me from gnawing on your veggies though!!

  17. Ashley on November 14th, 2008 8:40 am


    I grew up in Hawaii and I LOVE poi. It is amazingly good for you and it takes on the flavor of almost anything your eating- just not cheescake! I’ll look for a good recipe for ya!

    Have a good day and I hope your getting rain too!


  18. Paulette on November 14th, 2008 9:25 am

    They are gorgeous! I so wish I had planted a fall garden :-(

  19. Jennifer on November 14th, 2008 10:30 am

    OKay now I’m hungry AGAIN!


    Thanks for the code tip!

    - Jennifer

  20. CC on November 14th, 2008 2:46 pm

    These pics are gorgeous. But… I don’t like any of those! I hope I’m getting those nutrients in other things I eat….

  21. Ann on November 17th, 2008 4:42 pm

    The purple is GORGEOUS! Wow. Most exotic dish? Ew, probably frog legs or sea urchin. Sea urchin was disgusting – very “gel” like. Ew.

  22. Dawn on November 21st, 2008 10:46 am

    Beautiful purple vegetables. I must say, I love growing them too, they look so lovely. This year I grew tiny blue peppers. I picked them, washed them and they dried out because I didn’t know what to do with the blueberry size peppers. I then crushed them and used them in chili. I will definitely grow more next year. They did very well and they had tiny little purple flowers that were gorgeous.

  23. A Tour : Razor Family Farms on January 21st, 2009 9:06 pm

    [...] contains everything you ever wanted to know about soil composition, DIY organic bug sprays, the benefits of eating purple vegetables, and composting.  It’s the real gem on this site yet it is often forgotten or skipped over [...]

  24. Jan on July 21st, 2010 8:46 pm

    Great post! Great photos!
    Can you tell me if there are any other purple vegetables or fruits, besides the four that are listed here and blueberries?

  25. Purple razor | Marasfabricshop on May 28th, 2011 12:57 am

    [...] The Healing Power of… Purple? : Razor Family FarmsI adore purple vegetables!  Actually, purple vegetables are really amazing sources for cancer-fighting nutrients.  Purple fruits and vegetables carry more anthocyanins and phenolics than any other fruits and vegetables.  Not to mention that they are exceptional … A Tour : Razor Family Farms on January 21st, 2009 9:06 pm… [...]

  26. john tyson on September 3rd, 2012 10:12 am

    On your site I like the purple middle photo but am not sure what it’s called it’s the one with bright green leaves which prout from the main body please advise

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