springtime vegetables and fruit

It’s my favorite time of year and spring vegetables and fruit are here! I can’t wait for the farmers market nearby to open on May 2nd. But until then, there are great vegetables in season that you can pick up at your grocery store. Please note that depending on your region some of these vegetables may not be available.

Artichokes: Look for tight, compact leaves and fresh-cut ends. Artichokes are low in calories and sodium and have no fat or cholesterol!

Apricots: Come into season towards the end of spring in the warmer areas where they grow. Dried apricots are over 40% sugar, so buy them fresh and in-season!

Arugula: Arugula is fragile and will not remain fresh long (about two days), even in the refrigerator. It helps promote strong, healthy bones.  Try adding it to pizza, sandwiches or omelets!

Asparagus: Someone I know 😉  calls this the “stinky vegetable”. But this stinky vegetable also happens to be one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables. Only 20 cals, no fat or cholesterol, low in sodium, and a good source of potassium, fiber, folacin.

Beets: Try to find fresh beets with their greens still attached. These can be messy to cook, but are worth the trouble! (wear an apron!)

Carrots: Baby carrots, not the milled down ones sold as “baby carrots” at grocery stores – are available in spring and early summer. Unlike most other vegetables, carrots are more nutritious when eaten cooked than eaten raw (except when juiced).

Green onions or scallions: Are cultivated year-round in temperate climates and come into harvest in the spring in warmer areas. They may be cooked, either whole or chopped and also enjoyed fresh as in salads or sauces.

Lemons: Are juicy and best from winter to early summer. We all know these little guys add a fresh and tangy twist!

Grapefruit:  from California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona comes into season in January and stays sweet and juicy into early summer.

 

Kohlrabi: is harvested in the fall in cooler areas, and through early spring in more temperate areas. Kohlrabi (a sort of turnip, but similar in taste to a brocoli stem or cabbage heart) is a good source of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C.

Kohlrabi

Morels: are found in the wild in the spring. Look for these mushrooms at specialty markets and foragers’ stalls at farmers markets, although they can be  steep in price. You should soak them to clean thoroughly.  Sauteing in butter brings out their nutty flavor.

Kumquats are still available in very early spring. Short digression…Kumquats remind me of…when I was little I had a hamster named Cherry. She had a couple of litters of which I named the babies all fruit names after their mother. When I started running out of traditional fruit names, I moved to some odd ones. And that is how one of the chubby little baby hamsters was named Kumquat. So Kumquat= baby hamster in my mind.

 

Mint starts thriving in the spring. Add to iced tea or make a mojito!

 Peas come into season in the spring and continue in most areas well into summer. These well-known veges are a create addition to any stir fry, pasta dish, salad, etc.

Radishes are at sweet and crunchy in the spring- a great addition to a salad!

Spring onions are onions that farmers pull from the field in spring and early summer. The flavor has more of a bit and heat than regular onions.

 

Strawberries are mostly grown in California or Florida. Peak season is April through June.  Don’t hate me, but I’m not a huge strawberry fan, but…I do enjoy them in salads!

 

happy grocery shopping!

-jess

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s