If you are as much into Instagram as the typical Gen-Zer or Millennial, chances are you are well aware of the increasing popularity of pink foods.
These days, foodies demand that their dishes have as much visual appeal as they do flavor. However, consumers are also opting for healthy cuisine that is made with organic ingredients.
This is where naturally colorful food bridges the gap between nutrition and aesthetic appeal.
According to food research and consulting firm Technomic, pink foods are anticipated to take this year by storm. Let’s discuss why pink foods are more beneficial than you might think. We’ll also find out how we can leverage this trend by adding simple everyday foods and snacks to our grocery lists.
What Makes Food Pink?
‘Anthocyanins’ are naturally occurring compounds that give fruits and vegetables a pink hue. Plants produce anthocyanins to protect themselves from environmental stressors. For example, drought, freezing temperatures, and ultraviolet light.
Anthocyanin compounds are listed in the flavonoid family and have a strong antioxidant effect on the body when consumed. Foods which contain anthocyanins include pomegranates, grapes, cherries, guava, and pink peppercorns.
‘Betalains’ are another form of naturally occurring pigment that gives some plants a distinctive pink color. Betalains are nitrogen-based pigments that are found in plants that thrive in hot, arid climates.
Betalains protect these plants from the heat, and when consumed, are also natural antioxidants. Foods which contain betalains include beets, Swiss chard, red dragon fruit, and prickly pear.
Foods That Are Naturally Pink
There are tons of pink fruits and vegetables out there that are packed with nutrients and can visually enhance your dish as an added bonus. Let’s cover 6 pink fruits and vegetables that you should add to your shopping list today!
All the naturally-pink fruit fit to eat!
When it comes to pink fruits, it doesn’t get much juicier than watermelons! This sweet, yet refreshing fruit contains loads of vitamins a, vitamin c, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and lycopene.
Watermelons are a great way to stay healthy and hydrated, and they are easily accessible (9/10 times they can be found in your local grocery store).
Ever had a prickly pear margarita? They’re delicious! Prickly pear is also known by a few other names: cactus fig, cactus fruit, and mission cactus, among others. This fruit with many names has a taste that’s a cross between watermelon and bubblegum. Yum!
Though not pink on the outside, the insides of guava are a beautiful pale pink. We recommend trying guava juice. It’s delicious and pretty to boot.
Strawberries are juicy, seed-filled berries that have a tangy yet sweet flavor profile and are the most popular pink fruit. If you want to instantly upgrade the visual appeal of your dish, adding strawberries is a no brainer.
Whether it is via fruit trays, salads, or smoothies, apples are a tangy but sweet way to add pink foods to your diet.
Cripps pink apples, also referred to as ‘pink lady’ apples, have a rosy exterior that will greatly enhance any pink dish.
‘Pink pearl’ apples are another type of apple that makes a wonderful pink food option. Unlike the pink lady apples, the pink pearl apples have a pink interior, which is sure to take your food presentation to another level!
Pink grapefruits are hybrids between sweet oranges and the tropical fruit known as pomelo. Pink grapefruits deliver a sweet and sour note to a range of dishes, including cocktails, salads, smoothies, and sorbets.
Raspberries are acid, yet slightly sweet berries that are popular for a reason. They are good sources of dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin e, and other vitamins and minerals.
Lilly Pilly Berries
Lilly pilly berries are aromatic pink berries which are native to Australia and are known for their bitterness. Their flavor profile is quite complex and is greatly reminiscent of cranberries. They are mostly used to make foods such as jams, smoothies, chutneys, or other pink desserts.
You may be less familiar with pink vegetables than pink fruit, but there are plenty to choose from.
Rhubarb is a fleshy stem/stalk that is native to southeast Asia. When Rhubarb is eaten raw, it has a distinctly sour taste, but becomes tart in flavor when cooked with sugar. It is often used in pies, sorbets, crumbles, galettes, sauces and jams.
Pink Radicchio, also known as ‘Pink Chicory’ or ‘Radicchio La Rosa del Veneto’ is very mild in flavor. Its leaves resemble rose petals, and it has a texture that is often described as ‘soft’ and ‘lettuce-like’. Pink Radicchio is rich in copper, zinc, and vitamin k.
Pink Swiss Chard
Pink Swiss Chard, also referred to as ‘Flamingo Swiss Chard’, has pink stalks that have a very mild spinach-like flavor. It is one of the most excellent sources of vitamin k, as well as a whole host of other vitamins and minerals.
When added to a healthy diet, pink swiss chard is particularly useful to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Swiss chard can be sauteed, added to soups, salads, pizzas, pastas, and quiches.
Watermelon radish is a relative of the Daikon radish family. It has a pink interior that is spicy, yet mildly sweet. Watermelon radishes can be roasted, pickled, or added to a salad for a satisfying crunch.
Pink Banana Squash
When cooked, pink banana squashes have a sweet, yet savory flavor that is often compared to butternut squash. Uses can range from soups, side dishes, pies, even bread recipes like this Butternut Squash Banana Bread.
Ornamental Cabbage and Kale
The pink varieties are bred for their colorful foliage and are too bitter to be consumed. If you are looking to enhance the visual appeal of your dish with an inedible pink garnish, ornamental cabbage and kale should do the job.
Enjoy this refreshing pink lemonade drink that fits perfectly with the trending pink foods theme.
Beyond being delicious. These biscuit sticks make a perfect centerpiece when arranged in a beautiful wine glass.
This strawberry cream-flavored protein bar is a delicious, low-calorie way to enjoy a pink snack while sticking to your fitness goals.
This tasty pink pretzel snack is free of trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. It’s a great way to add a guilt-free pink snack to your diet.
Food to Serve at a Pink Party
A beautifully summertime cocktail that tastes just as good as it looks. If you’re a fan of tropical drinks, this one is perfect for you with cream of coconut, pineapple juice and plenty of booze.
Super popular in coffee shops in Korea, this dessert-like drink is made from your milk of choice combined with a fresh (and refreshing) strawberry puree.
The pink color might not be natural, but it doesn’t make these adorable and impressive cupcakes any less perfect to serve at a pink party. Make them pastel pink or really go for it with hot pink.
Let’s be honest, as much as we all love Starbucks, our wallets aren’t as big fans. That’s why knowing how to whip up a few of your favorite drink creations at home is a must.
Why love these easy cookies? Once you’ve mastered the meringue, the world is your dessert oyster. Look at all these fancy meringue desserts just waiting to be made!
This drink is similar to the Korean strawberry milk above as it uses strawberry puree. You can also make this one dairy free by swapping out the dairy for a whole milk substitute.
Delightful pink cupcakes that will be a showstopper every time. The pink sugar and fancy edible pearls put these cupcakes way over the top. In the best possible way.
A quick and easy bread recipe that really tastes more like dessert. If you can’t find fresh strawberries, it’s totally ok to use frozen. Just make sure you drain them so your pink bread doesn’t come out soggy.
These chewy treats are a great way to enhance any pink-themed party. If you’ve never cooked with rose water before, what are you waiting for? It’s a personal favorite.
You might not think that a smoothie is worthy enough for a party, but just think of all the possibilities! From adding pink sugar to the rim of your glass to serving them in extra fancy pink glasses.
If you’re looking for a throwback, JELL-O is the perfect option for a pink party. And if you’re looking to up your JELL-O game, try out a few fun JELL-O jiggler molds.
Homemade strawberry ice cream is a wonderful dessert that is easy to make and is the perfect addition to any event.
These colorful candied grapes can be made in dozens of flavors and colors!
Interested in learning more about different foods and colors? Check out our articles on:
Have questions or suggestions for more pink food? Leave them in the comments below. Until next time: Stay salty, and sweet 😉