Produce That Has Sprung

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in The Nutrition Key with BRG | 0 comments

Do you find yourself eating the same fruits and vegetables each week? Every time you go to the grocery store, you want to try that new produce you spot, but shy away from it because you just don’t know what it is. So instead, you pick up spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries once again.

 

Let’s change that!

 

With the start of a new season comes fruits and vegetables that are at their peak. You can usually find these yearlong, thanks to warmer states and importing from other countries, but right now they’ll taste the freshest (and are most likely cheapest!!).

 

Here are 4 in-season produce:

 

1.) Fiddleheads are tightly coiled tip of ferns. They are delicate delights that are available only in early spring (right now!) when ferns grow their new shoots. They are known to have a grassy, spring-like flavor with a hint of nuttiness. Some may even say it’s a cross between asparagus and baby spinach. It is a great source of vitamin A, C and potassium.

 

Fiddleheads should be lightly cooked or completely cooked to remove any potential for food-borne illness. Try steaming or sautéing for a tasty dish. They pair well with lemon and mixed into egg dishes. Or, you can sauté them and eat as a side.

 

These produce might be difficult to find in your grocery, so head out to your local farmers market; you’ll have a better chance of finding it!

 

2.) Fava Beans, also known as the broad bean, is a large green vegetable that reminds me of edamame. It is commonly used as a crop plant, which farmers use in place of pesticides to replenish the soil’s nutrients, increase fertility, and manage pests and weeds.

 

This bean comes in a pod that is tender enough to eat, but most choose to shuck it and only eat the pod.   It’s bright green color and smooth pod adds a rich texture and flavor to chicken and pasta dishes.

 

After you cook the pods, you can mix them with olive oil, garlic and parsley for a delicious snack rich in folate, manganese, iron and fiber.

 

3.) Papayas, are a more common fruit, yet some people still haven’t tried it! It has a soft, butter-like consistency with a sweet, musky taste. The seeds are also edible, but they have a peppery flavor that is not always enjoyable.

 

Papayas are a rich source of vitamin C! Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body to protect your cells from damage and aids in keeping your immune system healthy.

 

You can eat papayas raw, added to a salad or salad, or made into a soup (recipe here). This fruit allows you to get creative when figuring out how you’d like to incorporate it into your diet.

 

4.) Artichokes are available yearlong, but they are best during spring. This vegetable is often forgotten and only eaten when a “spinach and artichoke dip” is ordered as an appetizer at a restaurant. Credit is not given to this delicious vegetable!

 

Artichokes provide you with fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, folate and potassium. It also is a great source of vitamin k, which is essential in your body’s ability to form a blood clot.

 

When you are ready to cook them, trim off the leaves, and let the artichoke soften in boiling water. You can then add it to a mix of vegetables, pasta, salad, or alone as a side. It is very versatile! Here is a recipe for stuffed artichokes!

 

It is important to try a new fruit or vegetable here and there to switch up your meals. It can become a fun way to experiment with new recipes and flavors. You’ll learn more about what kind of foods you like and you’ll have fun doing it. Don’t shy away from trying new foods!

 

Your Turn to Take Action: How will you include these vegetables at your meals this month? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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