Posted on: June 22, 2015
The Patriotic Plate – Red, White and Blue Superfoods
Amy Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN
This 4th of July, celebrate our country’s independence with good health and a patriotic plate. Red, white, and blue foods are superfoods: nutrition powerhouses packed full of rich antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Red fruits and vegetables like strawberries, tomatoes, and pomegranate, are full of phytonutrients, anthocyanins, flavonoid compounds; nutrients that reduce cancer by fighting free radicals and preventing oxidative damage to cells. Red fruits and veggies are particularly high in the phytochemical lycopene, shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
White foods often get a bad reputation but fresh white foods, such as daikon radish, turnips, jicama or pears, are packed with nutrients. The anthoxanthins in white foods can reduce inflammation of all kinds. One of the most common anthoxanthins, quercetin, is linked with lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer, easing the symptoms of allergies, and helping with pain from arthritis.
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables like blueberries, beets, and eggplant, have rich doses of phytonutrients and flavonoids that lower your risk of heart disease. Flavonoids may also help improve memory with aging and prevent many cancers.
Try out these easy recipes for your 4th of July this year. These recipes are perfect for a party, cookout or relaxing picnic.
Grilled Chicken with Red & Blueberry Salsa
(Adapted from All Through The Year Cheer)
(Yield: 4 servings)
4 (6 oz) chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
1 tbsp olive oil (for grilling the chicken)
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 c fresh blueberries, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seed and diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
3 TB fresh minced parsley
2 TB fresh minced mint
1 TB lemon juice
1) In a bowl, stir together all ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to use (you can make this up to 1 day in advance but if you do so, I recommend waiting until right before you serve it to add the fresh minced herbs).
2) Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken breast, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until fully cooked (there should not be any pink).
3) Serve the grilled chicken topped with salsa.
Nutrition Facts: 278 calories, 12.2 g fat, 2.8 g saturated fat, 393 mg sodium, 7.7 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 33.6 g protein
Cous-Cous & Fruit Salad
(Courtesy of Eatingwell.com)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
1 cup chopped nectarine
1 cup mixed fresh berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
1. Whisk oil, orange juice, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooked couscous, nectarines, berries and almonds; gently toss to combine.
Nutrition Facts: 259 calories; 9 g fat; 1 g sat; 40 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 7 g fiber; 146 mg sodium
Red, White and Blue Yogurt Popsicles
(Adapted from The View from Great Island)
Yield: 10 popsicles
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
1. Using a small food processor, or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Set aside. Repeat for the blueberries.
2. Put your popsicle mold in the freezer and freeze till firm, at least an hour, or more.
3. Layer a little bit of the blueberry puree into the mold. Put in the freezer for 10-20 minutes until solid. Alternate with layers, putting in the freezer for 10 minutes in between each layer.
4. When done layering, insert the popsicle sticks. Make sure to get the stick a little bit into the frozen layer so they will stand straight. Put back into the freezer until solid.
5. Once filled and completely frozen solid, you can un-mold your pops. If the pops don’t come out of the mold easily, run the outside of the mold under hot water for a few seconds.
Nutrition Facts: 31 calories, 0.1 g fat, 8 mg sodium, 5.6 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 2.3 g protein