Eat Your Colors!

We hear over and over again that we need to consume lots of vegetables and fruit for good health, and the richer the color, the better.  Yet so many Americans fail to meet the basic recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake every day.  Not only are people missing out on the vast array of nutrients found in fresh produce, but they are missing out on some delicious food, too!

Take the berry smoothie that we had for breakfast this morning.  Packed with blueberries, raspberries, bananas, orange juice, and ground flaxseeds, it was a nutritional powerhouse.  It also tasted incredible!  All five of us slurped our portions down with delight – not drinking it because we thought we should, but because we wanted to, of course!

Lunch was a big hearty bowl of quinoa, topped with savory black beans and a heap of sauteed kale.  Another vibrantly colorful, delicious dish.  Granted, this one wasn’t received by my kids with quite the gusto as the smoothie, but they still ate it…majoring on the black beans and picking at the quinoa and kale.  But that’s okay!  Black beans are extremely nutritious and I felt great knowing they were gobbling up all that iron, protein, dietary fiber, calcium, folate, and tons of other nutrients.

Savory Black Bean Mash


  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat.  Add shallot and garlic, and cook until shallot is translucent.  Add black beans, vegetable broth, and cumin.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  As it cooks, it will thicken, and you can help this along by lightly mashing the beans when you stir them.

Enjoy over a bed of quinoa, cous cous, or brown rice (quinoa cooks up in about 20 minutes, so you can prepare them simultaneously) and top with vegetables of your choice.

Have you eaten your colors today?

2 comments Add yours
  1. You could pull a fast one, Mommy, and sneak the kale or spinach into the smoothie. I know that I’m not above that level of deception! I loved your post; but it made me think how lucky your boys are. Isn’t it a shame that most kids in this country are “eating their colors” in the form of brightly colored fruit ring cereal for breakfast, orange-colored snack items with lunch and lots of sugary red ketchup on their evening vegetable (and probably their only vegetable that day): some sort of fried potato thing?

    1. I don’t know why I didn’t see your comment until just now! Yes, we do love our green smoothies, too. I’m not above that either…though they do see me put it in and drink it anyway. 🙂 And yes…so very sad that many children are eating more artificial colors than real ones!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.