Early Spring Produce
How you nourish your body is extremely important, and although we have access to so many whole foods options year-round thanks to agricultural technology, we’re still quite restricted in our choices for much of the year. With spring just around the corner, we’re about to see a boost in fresh fruits and vegetables available to you in your local supermarket. Get excited— we’ve got a delicious list of produce to prepare for, and ideas on how you can use them in your regular meal planning (so that you can start planning now!). From the later weeks of February through March, April, and May, you’ll be able to find more of these in the aisles of your local supermarket:
Packed with amino acids and tons of other essential nutrients, asparagus is a powerhouse that definitely tastes best when purchased in season. Fresh asparagus is a delicious addition to stir fries, and when roasted (a cooking method that helps to preserve the nutrients in the vegetable), it makes a tasty side dish for any entree. We love mixing it into our pasta dishes with a little bit of olive oil and lemon!
High in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories, artichokes have similar nutritional constructs as other greens but a vastly different shape. You can boil artichokes and scrape the meat off the inner edge of the leaves, but the rest of the leaves and the stem should not be eaten. The heart of the artichoke is what is most commonly used in recipes, as it yields the most “meat”, and this can be eaten on its own, or used in any number of recipes. We love it as a unique and healthy topping for a homemade pizza!
Also known as green onions, these leafy, bulbous greens look rather odd compared to your typical onion. Don’t be fooled— though small, they’re extremely tasty, and they’re an easy way to add onion flavor to your favorite recipes. Rather than cutting up the bulb, you chop the green stem into little rings that can be used as a garnish for chicken, fish, soups, and plenty of other dishes. Mix into your scrambled eggs or make an omelette with scallions, baby tomatoes, and feta for a tasty breakfast!
Throughout the citrus-producing states that ship nationwide, grapefruit is in season in the early spring. Packed with vitamin C, these tart fruits are a great, low-calorie way to get your fruit intake in— and they’re lower in sugar than many other fruits, which is another reason why it makes such a great option. It’s delicious when halved and sprinkled with a little bit of sugar for breakfast, but you can also mix it into smoothies with yogurt, berries, almond milk and a banana. If you’re feeling adventurous, it can also be used to make a unique and healthy marinade for chicken and fish!
While spinach is available year-round, it’s “in season” throughout the spring— which means that the price will drop and you can eat more of it (something you should definitely do, considering how good for you it is!). This leafy green is full of iron and other essential nutrients that help you maintain an overall healthy balance— and it’s low in calories, and can easily be tossed into just about any recipe. We recommend a simple spinach saute with garlic and cannellini beans to harness the power of this plant!