Every now and then the wellness program at my office highlights a challenge. The one starting this next week is to eat 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit in the colors of the rainbow for a whole month.  Doing so (and logging my progress) earns me points towards a better health care plan rate, but I also see it as a great reminder to vary my fresh food.  We sometimes get in a rut, such as always grabbing an apple or carrot sticks for lunch.

When you stop and think about it though, how much blue or purple food do you eat? Probably not much, which I had demonstrated with my Does Color Effect Taste Experiment, but there are other options besides blueberries.

purple cauliflower

Take, for instance – purple cauliflower. Like many other blue/purple veggies and fruit it gets its color from anthocyanin which is thought to help reduce chances of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It is also the chemical behind the acid-base indicator made from cabbage. You may notice the cauliflower gets a pinkish hue when you add the lemon juice in this recipe as a result of the lower pH in that area.

purple cauliflower dip

Chemistry aside, I used the purple cauliflower to make a unique, light take on hummus. Mixing in the cauliflower not only gave the dip color, it also adds a sweetness to the snack. I enjoyed this with carrots and crackers, so be creative (or sneak in another color). I’m sure you will see some other challenge inspired dishes over the next month.

purple cauliflower dip

Purple Cauliflower Dip

1 lb purple cauliflower florets
One 15.5 can garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek


Add the cauliflower and garbanzo beans to a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the lemon juice and the olive oil and continue to process until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.  Once smooth, stir in the salt, garlic powder, basil, and fenugreek. Serve with crackers, chips, or carrot sticks.