Traditional recipes

If You Grew Up in the ’50s, You’ll Definitely Remember These Foods Slideshow

If You Grew Up in the ’50s, You’ll Definitely Remember These Foods Slideshow

These foods were popular then, but not so much now

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The world is a very different place today than it was in the 1950s. Back before iPhones, Google, and Uber there was Andy Griffith, Dwight Eisenhower, and the Space Race. Another thing that’s changed a lot in the past 60 years? Food.

If You Grew Up in the ’50s, You’ll Definitely Remember These Foods

iStockPhoto

The world is a very different place today than it was in the 1950s. Another thing that’s changed a lot in the past 60 years? Food.

Chicken a la King

This rich dish is made by smothering diced chicken and vegetables with a cream sauce and serving it over rice, pasta, or bread. Even though it was most likely invented in the late 1800s, it didn’t really catch on in popularity until the 1950s.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Named after opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, Tettrazini is a dish made with poultry or seafood (usually chicken or turkey) and mushrooms in a creamy sauce flavored with wine or sherry, served over pasta. It’s sometimes cooked as a casserole with a cheesy, browned crust. Some recipes include canned cream of mushroom soup, because of its ability to build a rich sauce.

Chiffon Cake

The secret behind chiffon cake’s moistness and airy lightness was a mystery from its invention in 1927 until 1948, when the recipe was purchased by General Mills. That secret? Vegetable oil, which (unlike butter) remained liquid at room temperature and kept the cake from going stale. It was one of the most popular homemade desserts during the 1950s.

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

iStockPhoto

Usually referred to by a nickname that we’re not allowed to print on a family website (S.O.S. for short), creamed chipped beef on toast is made by topping toast with (usually canned) thin slivers of dried processed (“chipped”) beef that have been rehydrated in a thick and creamy white sauce. It was served regularly to soldiers during WWII, who brought the recipe back home with them after the war. Today it’s still found on the menu at some restaurants, primarily on the East Coast.

Deviled Ham

Underwood/itemmaster

“Deviled,” in reference to food, just means “made spicy,” but today we only really see the term in reference to deviled eggs. In the ’50s, however, deviled ham was also quite popular, especially in canned form produced by Underwood. It’s a spread made of ground ham with seasonings, and if you’re a fan we hope you’ve realized by now that the homemade stuff is much better than the canned.

Dinty Moore Beef Stew

Dinty Moore/itemmaster

For a hearty meal right from a can, during the 1950s the go-to was Dinty Moore beef stew, with beef, potatoes, and carrots in gravy.

Green Bean Casserole

Created in 1955 by Campbell’s as a way to sell more cream of mushroom soup, green bean casserole quickly caught on as a quintessential Thanksgiving (and dinner party) side dish. In many ways, it’s the ultimate ’50s dish: It’s a casserole (check), made with nothing but canned green beans (check) and canned cream of mushroom soup (check), topped with canned fried onions (check). And almost despite of itself, it actually tastes good!

Jell-O Salad

Shadle/Wikimedia Commons

Molded gelatin was all the rage in the 1950s, and it took some pretty surprising forms. Of course sweet applications were most popular (usually made in a Bundt pan), but there were plenty of savory ones as well, including a tuna mold in the shape of a fish. At the end of the day, though, it was a great way to use up a family’s leftovers, and it was neat and tidy. That said, this is one trendy food we’re glad has fallen out of fashion.

Mary Kitchen Hash

Hormel/itemmaster

For a quick and hearty breakfast, there was always something satisfying about dumping a can of Mary Kitchen hash (either corned beef, roast beef, or sausage) into a frying pan, watching it sizzle, and topping it with a fried egg or two. The hash, which is made of ground meat mixed with chopped potatoes, is still around today.

Olive Loaf

jeffreyw/Wikimedia Commons

This lunchmeat can still usually be found behind the deli case at supermarkets alongside the bologna and roast beef, but it’s not nearly as popular today as it was in the ’50s. It’s made with a similar grind as bologna (that is, basically liquefied), however it’s usually made in a loaf pan instead of a sausage (like bologna is). It’s usually heavily seasoned with garlic, and is best identified by the pimento-stuffed green olives embedded in it.

Relish Tray

Back in the ’50s, it seemed as if every restaurant worth its salt would serve a complimentary relish tray when you arrived: vegetables including raw celery, carrots, radishes, and olives in an oval dish of ice. Now that’s hospitality.

Snowball

istockphoto.com

This is one dessert we’re sad has fallen out of fashion: a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in shredded coconut and usually drizzled with chocolate sauce. Delicious.

Stuffed Celery

Back in the ’50s, folks thought of all kinds of ways to fill the ridge in a stick of celery. From “ants on a log” (peanut butter and raisins) to cream cheese, Roquefort, garlic, and olives, you knew you came to the right party when there was stuffed celery.

Swanson Frozen Turkey Dinner

iStock.com/Lynne Mitchell

The ’50s was the era of TV Dinners, and Swanson’s turkey dinner – the first one to hit the market, in 1953 – is the most iconic one of all. Just pull it out of the freezer, pop it in the oven at 425 for 25 minutes, and you’re good to go.

Tuna Noodle Casserole


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Grow in the Garden!

Be sure to select the most nutrient-dense vegetables to grow in the garden. Not all are created equal! We found vegetable varieties bred specifically for better health, from tomatoes to carrots to zucchini. Bring good taste and good health to your garden and table!

We all want to provide our families with the most nutritious meals we can and if you are growing your own vegetables you definitely are eating the freshest possible produce you can get.

One way to increase the nutritional content of what you grow this summer is to pay attention to your soil and be sure that you are replacing all important trace minerals.

Another way is to grow varieties that have been bred to have higher levels of phytonutrients. What’s that you ask? Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that protect the plants from insects, disease, drought, and other forms of adversity. Some of them, like the antioxidants, have been found to help humans weather adversity as well by strengthening our immune systems, protecting us from cancer, warding off heart disease, lowering cholesterol, and supporting healthy vision. Several universities around the country have plant breeding programs that are looking at ways to increase the healthy antioxidants in different vegetables.

More Nutrient-Dense Vegetables

These vegetable varieties were bred specifically to be more nutritious.

  • ‘Valentine’ grape tomato is the result of a collaboration between Penn State and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It has high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
  • Heath Kick’ is a red plum tomato that has 50% more lycopene than the average tomato.
  • Tasti Lee’ is a 6- to 9-ounce tomato developed at the University of Florida that has 40% more lycopene and is heat tolerant.
  • Mighty Sweet’ (below) is a grape tomato with high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.


Photo: Mighty Sweet from Burpee

  • High Carotene’ is a 3-ounce tomato that has 2 to 3 times more beta-carotene than the average tomato. Beta-carotene protects us against heart disease, viral infections, cataracts, and cancer.
  • Power Pops is a small red cherry tomato that has more carotene and lycopene than most other varieties. It grows only 9 to 12 inches tall making perfect for growing in a container or hanging basket. Heathy snacking at your fingertips!
  • Caro Rich’ (below) is an 8- to 12-ounce orange-yellow beefsteak tomato with 10 times the beta-carotene of a regular red tomato. It was developed at Perdue and is low acid and resists cracking too.

  • Purple Dragon’ carrots have purple skin and a sweet orange core. They also have more lycopene than regular orange carrots. ‘Atomic Red’ is a deep red carrot high in lycopene. Carrots ‘Candysnax’ and ‘Sugarsnax’ were bred to be higher in beta-carotene.

  • Adirondack Blue’ potatoes are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins that are strong anti-inflammatories, promote heart health, fight viral diseases, and support cognitive function.

Cauliflowers

  • Violetta’ and ‘Graffiti’ are both purple cauliflowers that have high levels of anthocyanin. They are best eaten raw since the color and potency diminish when cooked.

  • Cheddar’ cauliflower develops 8 inch heads in about 70 days and has 25 times the beta-carotene of white cauliflower. Instead of fading, its color deepens when cooked.
  • Raven’ zucchini, developed at the University of Wisconsin, has 4 times as much lutein as standard zucchini! Lutein is a great vision protector, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Spotlight on Blue Tomatoes

This brings us to blue tomatoes! That’s a color not found in nature or is it? Actually Dr. Jim Myers of Oregon State University found wild blue tomatoes growing in Peru and the Galapagos Islands that had high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries or red cabbage not in tomatoes. After 12 years of breeding and cross-breeding the blue varieties—which were not very tasty—with red tomatoes, he created a blue tomato with anthocyanin’s disease-fighting properties. They were developed using traditional plant breeding techniques and are not genetically modified.

Photo: ‘Indigo Rose’ tomato from Johnny Seeds

Look for plants with ‘Indigo’ in their name to try one of these. They were bred enough times to be stable and open-pollinated so other breeders have used this line to create their own blue tomatoes. There are now quite a few varieties out there that have varying degrees of “blueness”.

To fully develop the darkest coloration, the fruits need full sun as they ripen. Look for ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Blue Beauty’, or ‘Wagner Blue Green’ which has dark blue skin and bright green flesh.

Natural ripening increases the amount of phytonutrients in any vegetable and makes them more readily absorbed, which is just another good reason to grow your own instead of relying on commercial produce which is picked green before being shipped to the store.

Whether or not you choose to seek out varieties that have been bred to have high nutritional content remember that the most nutritious vegetables are the ones you eat, so grow what you like and fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables.


Watch the video: Growing up in the 1950s (December 2021).