Private Chef Essex - Paige Bartholomew

How to Add Colour to Your Plate

Private Chef Essex - Paige Bartholomew

Eating a variety of colourful foods not only makes your meals more visually appealing but also enhances the nutritional value of your diet. Different colours in fruits and vegetables represent different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, each playing a unique role in maintaining your health. Here’s how you can add a splash of colour to your plate and reap the benefits of a vibrant, balanced diet.

1. Understand the Rainbow of Nutrients

Each colour in your food signifies a different set of nutrients and health benefits:

Red: Foods like tomatoes, strawberries, and red peppers are rich in antioxidants such as lycopene and anthocyanins, which support heart health and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Orange and Yellow: Carrots, sweet potatoes, and oranges are packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and flavonoids, essential for immune function, vision, and skin health.

Green: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli are high in vitamins A, C, E, and K, iron, and calcium, promoting bone health, vision, and a robust immune system.

Blue and Purple: Blueberries, aubergines, and grapes contain anthocyanins and resveratrol, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support brain health.

White and Brown: Cauliflower, mushrooms, and garlic provide important nutrients like fibre, potassium, and selenium, which support heart health and boost the immune system.

2. Start with Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the easiest and most colourful additions to your meals. Here are some tips to get started:

Mix and Match: Combine different coloured vegetables in salads, stir-fries, and soups. A salad with spinach, cherry tomatoes, orange bell peppers, and purple cabbage is as nutritious as it is beautiful.

Fruit Salads: Create a vibrant fruit salad with a mix of berries, kiwi, oranges, and mangoes. This not only adds colour but also a variety of flavours and textures.

Roast or Grill: Roasting or grilling vegetables like beetroot, carrots, and bell peppers brings out their natural sweetness and enhances their colours.

3. Incorporate Colourful Grains and Legumes

Don’t limit your colour palette to fruits and vegetables. Grains and legumes can also add a variety of hues to your plate:

Quinoa: Available in white, red, and black varieties, quinoa is a nutrient-dense grain that can be used in salads, bowls, or as a side dish.

Lentils: From red and yellow to green and brown, lentils are rich in protein, fibre, and essential nutrients. They can be used in soups, stews, or salads.

Wild Rice: Its dark hue and nutty flavour make wild rice a great addition to pilafs, salads, and stuffing.

4. Experiment with Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices not only add flavour but also bring a burst of colour and health benefits to your meals:

Fresh Herbs: Parsley, coriander, basil, and mint add vibrant greens and are packed with antioxidants.

Spices: Turmeric, paprika, saffron, and cinnamon not only enhance the colour of your dishes but also provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

5. Get Creative with Proteins

Protein sources don’t have to be bland. Add colour and variety with these options:

Fish: Salmon, trout, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and add a beautiful pink or red hue to your plate.

Eggs: Incorporate colourful vegetables into omelettes or frittatas for a nutrient-dense meal.

Plant-based Proteins: Tofu and tempeh can be marinated with colourful spices and herbs to make them more appealing and flavourful.

6. Make it Fun with a Presentation

The way you present your food can make it more appetising and enjoyable:

Layering: Create visually appealing layers in parfaits, bowls, and casseroles.

Garnishing: Use edible flowers, pomegranate seeds, or finely chopped herbs to add a pop of colour and elegance to your dishes.

Plating: Arrange your food thoughtfully on the plate. Contrast different colours and textures to make the meal more inviting.

Adding colour to your plate is a simple yet powerful way to boost the nutritional quality of your diet and make meals more enjoyable. By incorporating a variety of colourful fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins, you can ensure a well-rounded intake of essential nutrients. So, next time you’re planning a meal, think about the rainbow and let your creativity shine through your culinary creations. Get in touch with Chef Paige today to get started on your culinary journey.


Private Chef Essex - Paige Bartholomew