When it comes to food, pur­ple is the new green, writes ME­GAN BAADJIES

The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE VERVE -

PUR­PLE food is said to be one of the big­gest trends for 2017. Not only is it great for adding colour to an oth­er­wise bland meal or drink, but it also has great health ben­e­fits. From fight­ing can­cers to an­tiage­ing, adding this vi­brant colour to your diet should def­i­nitely be one of your New Year’s res­o­lu­tions.

Two of the coun­try’s for­mi­da­ble chefs and TV per­son­al­i­ties; au­thor Jenny Mor­ris, also known as the Gig­gling Gourmet, and the host of Just Cook­ing and ed­i­tor of Pick n Pay Fresh Liv­ing mag­a­zine, Jus­tine Drake, share their tips and ways to in­cor­po­rate pur­ple foods into your diet.

Mor­ris says pur­ple foods con­tains an­tho­cyanins, which are health­pro­mot­ing chem­i­cals that help pro­tect cells and heal.

“It can also be found in teas, honey, wines, fruits, veg­eta­bles, es­pe­cially the pur­ple ones,” she says.

“Pur­ple veg­gies to add to your diet are things like pur­ple car­rots, pur­ple cau­li­flower, pur­ple cab­bage, aubergines and pur­ple pota­toes.

“(It is) known as the food of the gods and 7 000 years ago they were re­served for In­cas kings in their na­tive Peru, then you have onions,” Mor­ris adds.

Pur­ple fruits in­clude pur­ple plums and prunes, pur­ple grapes, figs, pas­sion fruit, blue­ber­ries, black­ber­ries, young­ber­ries and black cur­rants.

Serves 4 500g lean beef mince olive oil 1 packet (250g) PnP sliced

mush­rooms 1 pun­net (300g) PnP

mire­poix mix 3 cloves gar­lic, crushed large sprig of thyme 2 cans (400g each) whole peeled toma­toes, crushed 1 cup (250ml) white wine 1 sa­chet (50g) tomato

paste pinch of cin­na­mon salt and milled pep­per 2 large brin­jals 1 ball fresh or reg­u­lar

moz­zarella, sliced hand­ful grated Parme­san hand­ful basil leaves for

serving

“These dark fruits and veg­eta­bles are high in an­tiox­i­dants which have amaz­ing heal­ing pow­ers and mop up all the free rad­i­cals and keep you look­ing younger,” says Mor­ris.

“They say pur­ple foods are good for fight­ing can­cer, fight­ing ul­cers.

“Pur­ple is af­ter all the colour that sym­bol­ises roy­alty, so it’s time to eat your fill of these royal fruits and veg­eta­bles,” says the Gig­gling Gourmet.

JUS­TINE DRAKE’S TIPS ON HOW TO IN­COR­PO­RATE PUR­PLE FOOD INTO YOUR DIET

When boil­ing beet­root, leave the skin and roots on for less colour leak­age (the skin is easy to re­move once boiled), plus you can add the leaves to stir-fries.

Grate red cab­bage into sal­ads and stir­fries for a quick and easy way to in­clude this pur­ple veg­etable in your diet.

Only add red cab­bage at the very end when stir-fry­ing, just be­fore serving, or the colour will leak and stain other veg­eta­bles.

There is no need to salt brin­jal un­less it is well past its sell-by date and likely to be bit­ter.

Lightly steam veg­eta­bles or snack on raw bits for best nu­tri­tional ben­e­fits.

Add a hand­ful of blue – or black­ber­ries to smooth­ies, break­fast bowls or sal­ads. oven-proof dish.

Dot over moz­zarella and sprin­kle with Parme­san.

Grill un­til bub­bling and golden.

Serve scat­tered with basil and ex­tra parme­san.

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