Eat a Rainbow Every Day

Originally Posted on June 30, 2013 

You may have heard the saying, "Eat a Rainbow Each Day" and it's good advice.  Each color of food carries essential nutrients and just like an artist needs a variety of paint colors to choose from, our bodies need a variety of colors so we can be the masterpiece we're meant to be.  

A fruit or vegetable’s color can tell you a lot about which nutrients it gives the body. The color of the skin is determined by the specific plant compounds it contains, and foods in the same color family provide similar nutrients and health benefits. Your goal is to add some of each color to your daily diet.


Red foods are made red by two antioxidants—lycopene and anthocyanin. Lycopene is associated with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration and is said to lower bad cholesterol and enhance immunity. Anthocyanin has been shown to possibly relieve pain, depression and anxiety.

Orange foods have high levels of beta-carotene, which has cancer-fighting, anti-viral and eyesight-improving qualities.

Yellow foods have high levels of beta-cryptoxanthin, a brain-booster.  Fruits and veggies with whitish flesh (garlic, onions, coconut, bananas, mushrooms) can help reduce the risk of stroke by 52 percent. A recent 10-year study concluded that the white-fleshed foods are rich in the flavonoid quercetin and were better than all other colored produce in reducing the risk of stroke.

Green foods get their color from chlorophyll, which is antibacterial and stimulates the growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissue.  Green foods are also the richest source of zeaxanthin and lutein, which research shows reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, inlcuding cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.  

The purple and blue colors in produce come from flavonoids called anthocyanins. These are powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage and may reduce cancer and stroke risks, improve memory and improve longevity.

For a wonderful article to read about the colors of produce, click here.

An important reminder for you . . . varieties of produce are heavily sprayed with pesticides, so choose organic especially for foods like berries, bananas and greens.


Raw Raspberry Key Lime Tarts

Originally Posted on September 7, 2015


Raw Tart Crust
  • 4 cups raw nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup pitted dates
  • Cashew Filling
  • 1 ½ cups of cashews (soaked for a minimum of 3 hours)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • zest of 1 small lime
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups organic fresh raspberries (from a 6 ounce container)

  • 1 cup organic fresh raspberries (from a 6 ounce container)

  • Soak the nuts for at least 3 hours in a large bowl covered with water on the counter top. Set aside. Coat the cavities of a 12-cavity muffin tin with coconut oil; set aside.
  • In a food processor, blend the nuts, sea salt, cinnamon and dates until mixture forms a dough. Scrape down the sides every few minutes.
  • Divide the mixture into the prepared cupcake cavities and use your fingers to mold the mixture into the cavity to form the crust on the bottom and up the sides. Transfer to the fridge.
  • Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Pat them dry with a cloth and transfer to a food processor. Add almond milk and puree until smooth. Add lime zest, lime juice, raspberries, pure maple syrup, coconut oil and sea salt. Puree again until smooth and well combined.
  • Remove crusts from the fridge. Spoon mixture into the refrigerated crusts and fill to the top. You will have some leftover filling that you can store in the fridge in a sealed container. Transfer back to the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours or until ready to serve. Before serving, remove from fridge and top the tarts with 1 cup fresh raspberries. Serve chilled.

Note: Serve any leftover cheesecake filling over coconut milk yogurt, fresh fruit or coconut ice cream.

Prep time: 6 hours
Total time: 6 hours

Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Author: Amie Valpone
Courtesy of:  The Healthy Apple
(Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Refined-Sugar Free, No-Bake)