Most of us have a few favourite vegetables and fruit and it is more than likely that at least one of these is coloured red.
Red is an attention grabbing colour and red varieties are perfect additions to help you serve up an interesting looking salad or plate of vegetables. Scarlet, crimson, fire engine, cardinal, crimson, ruby, vermilion are all different hues which can be used to describe the colour of your red vegetables.
In red coloured vegetables, the antioxidants are red pigments known as anthocyanins and carotenoids. Lycopene is the carotenoid found in tomatoes. Vitamin C, fibre and potassium are other beneficial nutrients found in vegetables and fruit of this colour.
RadishesSome of our best-selling radishes are the red varieties such as Cherrybelle, Red Cherry F1, Fire Candle and German Giant. The botanical name for radish is 'raphanus sativus' which says it all because raphanus means "quickly appearing" and radishes are certainly fast to germinate. This is a good reason why they also grow well as a microgreen.
Most people grow radishes to harvest as a root crop, but the greens are quite useful too. Try putting them in your soups, adding them when juicing or sautéed as a side dish. The pungent peppery flavour is lovely.
Carrot Nutri RedIf you have never grown Carrot Nutri Red, try them out. These cuties derive their colour from the high level of lycopene they contain. They look fabulous in your winter stews or casseroles. The process of cooking this variety actually improves the colour and texture. These carrots grow to approximately 25cm and are ready 70 days from planting.
They are yummy roasted with beetroot wedges as the sugar content and therefore the sweetness of both these vegetables is increased with roasting.
Detroit Dark Red Beetroot is a top seller in our organic range and one of our Top 20 sellers overall. It can be used fresh or canned for longer storage. This particular variety is a globe shape root crop and can also be used for growing as a baby leaf as the red veins in the foliage create a great look. These should be ready for harvest in 50-55 days so you won't have to wait too long.
To retain the colour in the beetroot when boiling them, twist the green tops off rather than cutting them. This will minimise the bleeding of colour into your pot.
Last year, here at Kings we tried beetroot cake and beetroot muffins. The water content of the beetroot produces a very moist cake consistency and the taste is unique with the earthy flavour of the beetroot being quite prevalent.
Brussels Sprouts Red RibsThe Red Ribs Brussels Sprouts have a nuttier flavour than the standard green varieties. They look like baby cabbages and the colour of the sprouts increases in intensity after a hard frost. They can be harvested in late winter.
Retain the great colour by steaming in minimal water or cooking in your microwave oven. If you are like me and find it hard to eat brussels sprouts, here is a quick recipe to try:
* Slice the brussels sprouts while cooking a couple of diced rashers of bacon.
* Throw the brussels sprouts slices in with the bacon and sauté for approx 5 mins.
* Add 1/4cup of maple syrup & a handful of any toasted nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts are nice)
* Toss and serve.
There's a pretty good chance you can get the kids to eat brussels sprouts when done like this!
CabbageThe two red varieties in our range are Scarlet O'Hara and Red Express. The Scarlet O'Hara is great for growing year round in most areas, maturing 75 days from transplant. The Red Express is from our organic range and is a good autumn crop.
The more acidic your soil, the redder your cabbage will be. To retain the red colour when cooking, add vinegar or acidic fruit to your water. The red cabbage tends to keep longer than other varieties.
LettucesWe have three red lettuce varieties for you to grow in our organic range. They are Red Flame, Biscia Rossa or Lollo Rossa. Red lettuce is full of good nutrients - calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, K and B6, iron, folate and potassium, to name a few. Darker coloured lettuces such as these contain more anti-oxidants than the lighter ones, making them a great choice for your salads or sandwiches.
Lettuce is known to have been served to Persian kings as early as 55BC - it has certainly stood the test of time as a favourite. A great addition to your meals!
Try serving a simple, tasty salad of red lettuce leaves tossed with rocket leaves, a few herbs and your favourite dressing.
This is a unique turnip being small and red in colour. The Red Round Turnip can be mistaken for a radish, as it is the same size.
Turnip Red Round
These small turnips are great for eating raw in a salad or on a vegetable dipping platter. The leaves can be used in a salad or stir-fry, but it's best to use them quickly. If you wish to store the turnips for a little while in your vege bin, remove the leaves first so they don't continue to draw nutrients from the bulb.
Add a lot of red to your autumn garden and cheer yourself up when you are eating your harvested produce in the cooler temperatures of winter.
Dana says ...
I can give a big thumbs up for the Nutri Red carrots.
I hate carrots. Loathe them. But I always grow them, and try slipping the odd one into my winter stews and casseroles because I know they are good for me. So when I moved into my new flat a few years ago and got the garden in, I settled on Purple Dragon and Nutri Red for my mandatory carrot growing.
What can I say about Purple Dragon. Well, it tastes more like a carrot than any carrot I've ever tasted - definitely not the carrot for me! But the Nutri Red... There was just something so enticing about it. The colour was wonderful. It snapped in half so beautifully, crisp and juicy. Even the big ones weren't at all woody. So I decided to try grating one into my salad. I loved it. And I haven't looked back since.
Carrots (Nutri Red anyway) have become a regular part of my diet now. They are a fantastic addition to sauerkraut and fermented pickles.
If you have a child (or a grown up 'kid') who doesn't like carrots, try them on the Nutri Red.
This autumn I've decided to try the Rainbow Blend as well, to see if there are any other varieties I might find edible.