This week we are highlighting phytochemicals in purple and blue foods.
Anthocyanins – Found in eggplants, blueberries, blackberries, prunes, plums, beets, purple cabbage, and pomegranates. Anthocyanins appear to have beneficial effects against cancer, diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
Resveratrol – Found in red wine, grapes, purple grape juice, peanuts, and some berries. This polyphenol prevents cancer formation and acts as an antioxidant.
Ellagic Acid – Found in blackberries, raspberries, pomegranates, strawberries, cranberries, and walnuts. Ellagic acid appears to act as an antioxidant, deactivate carcinogens, and slow cancer growth.
Here are some yummy recipes featuring purple/blue foods courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research. Check them out at http://www.aicr.org/
Very Berry Whole-Wheat Bread Pudding
• 1 cup frozen or fresh cherries (tart or sweet), pitted
• 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 5 oz. fresh whole-wheat bread, cubed (about 3 cups)
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup low-fat milk
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• Canola oil cooking spray
• 1 oz. sliced almonds
• 1 tsp. powdered sugar, garnish
Combine cherries, berries, sugar and cinnamon in mixing bowl. Stir well to coat berries; add bread cubes. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and salt. Pour egg/milk mixture over berry/bread mixture and stir to coat bread thoroughly. Let mixture stand for 15 to 30 minutes to enable ingredients to combine and the bread to soak up the egg mixture.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch baking dish. Pour pudding mixture into baking dish. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and evenly distribute almonds over pudding. Return to oven and continue baking until pudding starts to set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
Optional fruit sauce topping
1 lb. bag frozen unsweetened mixed berries
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
Thaw berries; save drained juice and mix with cornstarch. Cook berries over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. Add juice mixture to berries and heat until thickened. Serve over or alongside pudding.
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 183 calories, 5 g total fat (1g saturated fat), 27 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 3.5 g dietary fiber, 248 mg sodium.
Blueberry and Red Onion Compote
• 1 Tbsp. unsalted sweet butter
• 1 Tbsp. canola oil
• 2 large red onions, halved vertically, and cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices
• 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
• 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
• 1 cup water
• Pinch of salt
• 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
In a heavy, deep saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Stir in the onions. Cook until the onions are wilted, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Mix in the sugar and vinegar. Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of water and the salt. Cook until most of the water has evaporated and the onions are simmering in thick, bubbly syrup, about 25 minutes. Add the blueberries. Cook further until the compote thickens to the consistency of jam, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.
Makes 2 cups (6 servings). Per serving: 84 calories, 4 g total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 11 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 53 mg sodium.