Springtime Veggies

Springtime is here and that generally means warm days, cold snaps and sudden showers.  All that unpredictable weather brings us the amazing beauty, colors and flavors of spring.

With longer and warmer days it’s time to start seeing springtime veggies and some favorite fruits too!  Following the seasonal patterns of fresh produce will help you pick the freshest and most nutrient dense varieties so check out your local springtime farmer’s markets or even the produce section in the grocery store.  Spring produce can offer a wide variety of choices depending on where you live, check out this reference guide to see what is available locally in North America.

My Top 14 Springtime Favorites

Avocado:

Avocados are considered a spring fruit on the West Coast and a fall fruit in Florida. Avocado is an excellent source of folate for brain health and potassium for heart health.  Packed with healthy fats to reduce inflammation and keep you feeling full and satisfied.  Due to the wonders of transport, we can enjoy avocados virtually year-round. Try adding avocado to your favorite hummus or smoothie recipe.

Apricots:

Apricots are high in lycopene and beta-carotene making them great guardians of the heart and eyes. They also provide the benefits of fiber and are packed with vitamin A and other cancer-fighting phytochemicals. The peak season for this fresh fruit is from May to August. Two of our favorite apricot treats are, Fruit leather and Apricot Ginger Cookies.

Asparagus:

Asparagus packs a whopping amount of vitamin K, which is important for bone health and is high in folate, which helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.  Although asparagus’s peak season is considered to run from April to May, in warmer climes, the green spears can appear as early as February. Asparagus is delicious steamed, grilled and oven roasted.  Eat asparagus to feed your microbiome.

Broccoli:

Immune system boosting, cancer fighting and anti-inflammatory. Excellent source of fiber which helps lower cholesterol.  Supports all phases of the bodies detoxification process.  Eat it raw on a salad, steamed in a stir-fry, roasted in the oven, in a casserole or blended into soup.

Beets:

Excellent source of antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties and promote detoxification, and have cancer-fighting properties.  Beets are delicious eaten raw, steamed or roasted.  Beet green can also be added to salads, juiced, blended into smoothies or added to soups and will provide a slightly bitter flavor.

Carrots:

Carrots are high in beta-carotene which can be converted in the body to vitamin A which is essential to help maintain healthy eyesight. Carrots are also rich in carotenoids which help regulate blood sugar.

Dandelions:

Dandelions, generally known as weeds, should be eaten.  Dandelion greens have more vitamin A than any food except cod liver oil and beef liver! They are also rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin K and fiber.

They are also beneficial in easing digestion, decreasing inflammation, aiding in detoxification and eliminating water retention.  Add dandelions to your morning smoothie, steep to make tea, or toss into a salad.

Fennel:

Revered for its unique licorice-like flavoring, fennel contains a unique blend of phytonutrients that are powerful antioxidant that reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer, and when combined with fiber, as is the case in fennel, can help eliminate potentially carcinogenic toxins from the colon to prevent colon cancer.  Add to stir-frys, salads or soups.

Grapefruit:

Rich in vitamin C to help boost immune function and reduce inflammation.  High in Lycopene which has been shown to have anti-tumor properties.  The pectin in grapefruit helps lower cholesterol. Try the Greens and Grapefruit Salad, a perfect spring celebration for your tastebuds!

Kale:

Kale is loaded with antioxidant vitamins, and rich in the natural plant compounds called phytochemicals.  Provides high doses of Vitamin K, A and C.  Make some delicious crunchy chips, toss into a salad or blend into a smoothie or soup.

Peas:

Like most legumes, peas are low in fat and high in fiber and are a good source of plant protein. Green peas can usually be found year-round, in fact, only 5% of peas are eaten fresh due to canning and freezing.  They are at their peak from April through July.

Radishes:

This quick-growing plant is often red or pink in hue and imparts an earthy, spicy flavor to dishes. Add raw radish for a burst of flavor  that ranges from mild to sharp, depending on variety. Packed with vitamin C and potassium for immune boosting and kidney and cardiovascular health benefits.

Rhubarb:

Rhubarb is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Rhubarb stalks (the only part of the plant that should be eaten, because the leaves are mildly toxic) lend a crisp, tart addition to recipes. Harvested from April through July and can easily be found frozen year-round.

Strawberries:

Strawberries are available year-round in most areas of the country, but their peak season is from April until June. They are also packed with phytonutrients, fiber and vitamin C, with just 1 cup meeting 100% of your daily vitamin C needs. Use the vitamin C in strawberries to improve your skin, make a tasty treat or store your harvest for later.

Do you need some more recipe ideas for your springtime produce?  Let this delicious collection of recipes help you celebrate spring!

 

Get busy in the kitchen this spring with these delicious spring recipes featuring: asparagus, strawberries, apricots, grapefruit, rhubarb, carrots, beets, broccoli, green peas and assorted greens.

Download the Spring-Celebrations-eBook here.

3 Comments

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field