Spring is a time to celebrate new beginnings and to refocus on proper diet, daily exercise and healthy living habits that may have slipped during the cold winter months. Say goodbye to heavy comfort foods and welcome in light and nutritious meals made with the season’s freshest produce.
Though many fruits and vegetables can by enjoyed year round, nothing beats the flavor and freshness of seasonal spring produce. Asparagus, artichokes, peas, leeks, garlic, radishes, beets, strawberries, cherries and kiwi are just a few of the stars spring has to offer.
Want to add spring produce to your repertoire but not sure how? Here are some easy ideas to get you started:
Asparagus – Place asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese and roast at 400°F for about 10 minutes.
Artichokes – Bring water to a boil in a large pot, place a steamer basket on top, and place artichokes stem-side up in basket. Cover and steam about 25 to 35 minutes.
Radishes – Wash and cut radishes into quarters; toss with olive oil, garlic, pepper and thyme; and roast at 400°F for about 15 minutes.
Peas – Toss whole wheat pasta with peas, fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and Romano cheese.
Leeks – Make a soup: Sauté leeks and cauliflower in olive oil and garlic, add vegetable broth and simmer for 45 minutes, then blend soup and season with salt and pepper.
Cherries – Enjoy cherries as an after-dinner treat. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin which may improve sleep.
Kiwi –To enjoy fresh, simply slice kiwi in half and spoon out the green fruit – its packed with fiber.
Lemons – Use lemon to add refreshing flavor to water – it adds vitamin C and may encourage you to drink more fluids.
Apricots – Place apricot halves on a large roasting pan, drizzle with honey, and roast at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Top with Greek yogurt.
Strawberries – Marinate strawberries in balsamic vinegar and a little sugar for about an hour before serving.
Published March 1, 2018