Spring has finally sprung! The wonderful warm weather brings seasonal vegetables and fruits with it. This produce will now be available to us locally and at cheaper prices, making spring the perfect time to try new recipes and incorporate it into some of your favorite dishes.
Apricots, honeydew, limes, mango, oranges, pineapple, and strawberries are all back! A general rule of thumb when purchasing fruit is to choose fragrant, bright-looking fruits that do not contain any soft spots. Fruits can be enjoyed alone or mixed into various dishes. The recipe below from Betty Crocker includes both greens and fruit to yield a fresh and delicious side to any meal! Mandarin oranges can also be used as a substitute for fresh oranges when they are not in season: Orange and Strawberry Salad.
Collards, butter lettuce, mustard greens, radicchio (similar to red cabbage), spinach, and Swiss chard are just some of the greens that flourish in the spring months. Greens can be served cooked or uncooked and paired with various vegetables, fruits, and proteins. When purchasing greens, look for crisp leaves and vibrant colors. Some holes are common, but remember to wash and dry the leaves before eating. As a result of their color, dark leafy greens are a great source of beta-carotene and lutein which are important for skin, bone, eye, and heart health.
Artichokes, asparagus (green, purple, and white!), peas, broccoli, green beans, and Vidalia onions are some of the other vegetables that we will be seeing more of this season. Each of these vegetables can be served paired with a protein, such as chicken breast, or added to a salad. Green beans are a wonderful source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. Vidalia onions add flavor and some sweetness to the green beans in this recipe from food.com: Fresh Green Beans with Caramalized Vidalia Onions.
Of course many of these fruits and vegetables will also be available year round in canned and frozen versions. Check out Fruits and Veggies: More Matters for recipes, storage tips, and more fruit and veggie info!