Looking for ways to expand the way you eat fresh? Stock up on what’s in season, and cultivate your palate with variety this spring.
The weather is warming up, which means farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and local shops are overflowing with bright, colorful, fresh seasonal produce. What an exciting time of the year!
Because it’s such an abundant time for fresh produce in the year, you can easily expand your culinary horizons and see if you can discover new ways of enjoying them. Incorporating produce of any kind – fresh, frozen, canned, or even 100% juice – can help you get the nutritious goodness to help you feel your best.
With so much variety out there, let’s take a closer look at some of the most accessible fresh veggies during this time of the year and how you can incorporate them.
Spinach and Spring Greens
Spinach often gets touted as being one of the “best” leafy greens because of its impressive nutrition profile, but don’t forget about other options. Arugula, spring mix, lettuce, and other greens are popping up this time of year, and the quality and texture can’t be matched when they’re fresh in season. These are one of the few veggies that should be eaten fresh, as freezing them does not preserve the texture. Explore your options with colorful, vibrant salads filled with crunch and flavor!
Frozen peas are versatile, and can easily be added to savory, hearty meals all year round, but they really shine in the springtime when you can source them fresh. Incorporate them into flavorful meals that will fill you up and pack in the nutrition. Don’t forget that canned peas are also an option if fresh or frozen are tough to find!
Radishes are great to add to veggie trays and snacking with some of your favorite dips. But when they’re in season they make great additions to salads, appetizers, and sandwiches. Just look at the amazing color they can add! Use a mandolin slicer if you have one, or carefully slice into thin coins as you layer them into your recipes.
Asparagus are one of those vegetables that are incredibly tasty when prepared simply. It tastes amazing grilled or roasted with just a little butter, sea salt, and garlic.
Eating a fresh artichoke for the first time can be quite an experience for me, but the effort is well worth it. If that’s not your style but you still love the flavor, go with a canned version for a low-hassle way of incorporating this spring vegetable into your meals.
Although fresh produce is more abundant starting in the spring, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using frozen or canned veggies. Sometimes it’s a matter of cost, but also consider convenience and food waste when you’re shopping.
If purchasing more fresh produce than you can use leads to more food waste or storage issues, opting for canned or frozen options can be a great alternative. They’re more shelf-stable and you don’t have to sacrifice quality or flavor. And, depending on where you live, some options may be more affordable or easier to find.
At the end of the day, incorporating produce of any kind can help you get the nutritious goodness to help you feel your best. Whether it’s fresh, frozen, or canned, you can benefit from adding more fruits and veggies to your week in any way that’s convenient, affordable, and most of importantly…
Adapted from the original article.
Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD is a Kansas City-based Registered Dietitian helping individuals jumpstart their journey to wellness. By breaking the cycle of dieting, Cara focuses on creating sustainable lifestyle changes for people who are motivated to reclaim their health. Connect with Cara over at Street Smart Nutrition.