Your Spring Guide to Seasonal Eating

March 10th, 2017

Eating seasonally is great for your body, taste buds, and wallet. Since spring is just over a week away, we’re going to talk about some of the best things you can buy and eat during this wonderful season. But first, let’s dive a little deeper into the reasons behind seasonal eating.

Why Eat What’s In Season?

The difference is always clear to me between a piece of fruit that is fresh and one that has been chilled and held in a warehouse before it got to my home. When produce is fresher, you get more of its nutrients. It has had time to ripen in the sun for longer, which makes it tastier as well as healthier. The wonderful flavors of freshly grown fruit and vegetables make it my favorite reason to eat seasonally. After all, we’re more likely to eat what’s good for us when it tastes great, so that’s enough reason alone to eat what’s in season!

As a bonus, it’s also more cost effective to eat seasonally because of the simple law of supply and demand. Produce that’s in season is generally more abundant, and therefore more affordable.

Spring Produce

Before we jump into the specifics, I want to remind you of one more thing: What’s harvested by season can vary by location. For a look into your local seasonal harvest, you can go to your farmer’s market or do a quick Google search for local and seasonal produce. But for now, here is a broad list of fruits and vegetables that are typically in season in the spring:

Artichokes

Arugula

Asparagus

Beets

Bok Choy

Carrots

Cherimoyas

Fava Beans

Garlic

Leeks

Salad Greens

Mangos

Morel Mushrooms

Peas

Potatoes

Radishes

Ramps (wild onions)

Rhubarb

Scallions

Spinach

Spring Onions

Two Easy Ways to Incorporate Spring Produce Into Your Diet

Here are two of my favorite spring recipes—they present a wonderful opportunity to eat some of the tastiest produce fresh and raw.

Spring Salad with Olive Oil Dressing

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup arugula

1 cup spinach

1 cup romaine

3 carrots

3 large tomatoes, diced

1 large bulb fennel, diced (discard tops)

1 cup fresh chopped basil leaves

1 large onion of your choice, diced

1 large cucumber, diced

 

Dressing Ingredients:

¼ cup extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil

½ cup red wine vinegar

2 T. Dijon mustard

¼ cup freshly chopped basil leaves

2 T. balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, pressed

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare Salad: Wash greens and spin-dry or dry between paper towels. Place in a large bowl. Add all other vegetables, except tomatoes, and mix well. Set aside to make dressing.

 

  1. Prepare Dressing: Pour olive oil into a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add red wine and balsamic vinegars, mustard, garlic, and basil leaves. Place lid on jar. Shake well to mix all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

  1. Serve: Add tomatoes and dressing to the salad, toss well, and serve cold. Enjoy!

Spring Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh mango (or 8 oz. mango juice)

1 ½ cups fresh spinach

1 ½ cups fresh kale

1 T. chopped fresh ginger root

Ice cubes

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Mix until well blended. Pour into a glass and store unused portion in a covered glass or thermos in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy!

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