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Do You Have Enough Colourful Foods in Your Diet?

Blogger Renée Drochmann shares why it’s important to eat a rainbow of fruits and veg every day.

Renée Drochmann is accustomed to living a bright, bold, colourful life, but it’s not just her globetrotting ways that grab attention (she travelled through Asia, Russia, New York and Eastern Canada before settling in Vancouver a little over two months ago)—her Instagram feed @hungrybeargrazing is bursting with colourful photos that document her love of travel…and food.

“I’ve always cooked,” she says. “My mom’s a chef so I’m assuming that’s where it comes from.” And though she wouldn’t call herself a nutritionist (“not by any stretch”), she knows a thing or two about cooking with colour (and she just launched a blog to prove it)—so we chatted with her to learn more about eating our greens…and purples, and yellows and reds.

A breakfast smoothing will give your morning a colourful boost—this one is made with oats, soy milk, berries, banana, protein powder, honey, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pears. (Photo: Renée Drochmann.)

Why should I eat colourful foods?

“When I think of colour, I think of nutrition,” says Drochmann, “but it isn’t just about the health side of things.” In addition to vitamins, minerals and fibres, colourful ingredients add a ton of flavour—plus they look amazing! “People eat with their eyes—we all know that,” she adds.

You can throw just about any vegetable into a curry, but Drochmann’s favourite ingredient is sweet potato. (Photo: Renée Drochmann.)

Is it difficult to cook with colour?

For Drochmann, the easier a recipe is, the better! “I’m so not about overcomplicated cooking,” she says. But that doesn’t mean you have to automatically revert to salad, a dish even Drochmann finds boring and unsatisfying (“I’m going to be hungry 30 minutes later,” she laughs). From throwing a handful of berries on yogurt to puréeing hearty veggies in soups and stews, there’s a ton of options for creativity—just look at these sweet potato and smashed avocado “toasts.”

Cooking with colour doesn’t mean you have to give up sweets (these tarts look healthy and delicious)—just be sure to balance your indulgences. (Photo: Renée Drochmann.)

Do I have to become a vegan if I want to eat more colour?

“A lot of my cooking is vegan, but I’m definitely not a vegan,” says Drochmann. “I could never give up eggs!” She also loves sugar, so you’ll notice a ton of sweets on her Instagram. “I will say they aren’t healthy…but it’s all about balance.”

Top your dish with a crispy fried egg for an extra hit of colour. (Photo: Renée Drochmann.)

What are your favourite ingredients?

Red/Purple (high in antioxidants; reduces risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease)
Tomatoes and red bell peppers are obvious ways to fill your daily quota, but purple cabbage is Drochmann’s personal fave—she adds it to a lot of her homemade Asian dishes. A fresh handful of berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries) on top of yogurt in the morning works, too.

Orange/Yellow (high in carotenoids and vitamins A and C; promotes eye health and reduces risk of inflammatory diseases and arthritis)
“I cook with sweet potatoes most days,” says Drochmann, who often purées them in curries and soups. And she bakes with them! “Sweet potato brownies aren’t that colourful, but they’re delicious” she laughs.

Drochmann’s primary source of yellow comes from eggs: “Anything with an egg on top looks amazing,” she says, “and there’s so much #eggporn on Instagram.” Lemon, banana, yellow bell pepper and squash are also delicious.

Green (high in fibre and potassium; reduces risk of cancer and prevents macular degeneration)
Any leafy green will do! “I’m a big lover a kale,” says Drochmann. “You just have to cook it right.” The blogger also loves using bok choi and kiwi—the fruit looks especially good on a Muesli and yogurt tart.

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Nutritional information collected from nutritionaustalia.com and bodyecology.com

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