Spring Produce and How to Enjoy It
In-season produce always puts a spring in our step (and taste buds) this time of year. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not only tastier, but they're also more nutritious and affordable. As if we needed any more reason to love spring, we've listed six in-season produce items you can use to make deliciously healthy meals.
Artichokes: Fresh artichokes can be intimidating, but we promise they have delicious, we mean great, hearts. Choose artichokes heavy for their size with compact/tight leaves and give a little "squeak" when squeezed. Just one of these antioxidant-rich veggies provides over 20% of your recommended daily intake of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate, making them a top-notch dietary addition.
The Most Amazing Roasted Artichokes
Asparagus: Stringy. Slimy. Yucky. Unless... they're in season! Asparagus is a time-sensitive veggie. From the moment it's harvested, its spears begin to turn fibrous and stringy, so buying these guys in season (and locally) helps provide the authentic asparagus experience--crisp, tender, and flavorful. Choose stalks according to the intended cooking method with tightly closed buds. Thicker stalks can handle high heat methods like grilling and roasting, while thinner stalks are preferable when boiling or sauteing.
Lemony Asparagus Pasta Recipe
Broccoli: These tiny trees come packed with big nutrition! One cup of broccoli has more than the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. That's more than an orange! Plus, they're full of fiber, vitamin A, and kaempferol--a powerful anti-inflammatory. Whether serving it raw with a tangy sauce or roasting it with EVOO, be sure to pick bright green, tightly clustered heads of broccoli with firm stalks for ultimate freshness and nutritional value.
Favorite Broccoli Salad Recipe
Micro Greens: If you're searching for a way to quickly "grow in" on the farming fun this spring, microgreens may be the answer. For those unfamiliar, microgreens are young, tiny leaves harvested from many different leafy greens. While exact nutrition depends on the variety grown, most microgreens are high in zinc, iron, and magnesium. Another perk of microgreens? They can be grown indoors and harvested within just two weeks! When you're ready to enjoy the veggies of your labor, add these baby greens to a sandwich for extra flavor or on soup for texture!
Mushroom-and-Microgreen Omelet Recipe
Strawberries: Brighter days (and strawberries) are ahead! Your grocery store probably stocks strawberries year-round, but the "berry" best ones definitely arrive during spring. We're talking extra juicy, extra sweet...just out-right extra delicious. Fresh strawberries have an extremely high water content (great for staying hydrated), vitamin C, and potassium! While the options for cooking with strawberries are nearly endless--pies, cakes, jams--serving them fresh is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake (Vegan + Paleo)
Spinach: Get ready to go through a whole bunch (and more) of spinach; this superfood gets super flavorful in spring and easily incorporated into so many dishes. Wilt it down as a side, eat it raw in a salad, add it to a smoothie, muffin, pancakes, or really, anything else! This leafy green is versatile and a terrific source of protein, iron, and fiber. If possible, head to your local farmer's market and search for bunches of spinach with minimal wilting and leaves that are dark green, glossy, and crisp.
Spring Spinach & Strawberry Salad