Vector-valued images such as RGB color images or multimodal medical images show a strong interchannel correlation, which is not exploited by most image processing tools. We propose a new notion of treating vector-valued images which is based on the angle between the spatial gradients of their channels. Through minimizing a cost functional that penalizes large angles, images with parallel level sets can be obtained. After formally introducing this idea and the corresponding cost functionals, we discuss their Gâteaux derivatives that lead to a diffusion-like gradient descent scheme. We illustrate the properties of this cost functional by several examples in denoising and demosaicking of RGB color images. They show that parallel level sets are a suitable concept for color image enhancement. Demosaicking with parallel level sets gives visually perfect results for low noise levels. Furthermore, the proposed functional yields sharper images than the other approaches in comparison.