No need to wait until summer. As soon as spring has sprung, it’s officially farmers market season! And even though you won’t find berries or peaches just yet, there’s plenty of spring produce and other ingredients to enjoy this season.
After a winter of indulging in your favorite comfort foods, it will feel great to cleanse with some fresh vegetables and fruits. Here are a few spring ingredients to enjoy this season, a look at their health benefits, and how to use them in some delicious recipes.
Fresh snap peas taste nothing like the frozen or canned mushy peas you grew up eating. These have a nice crunch to them and work well in recipes like stir fry, soup, or sautéed on their own. If you don’t like orange juice or other citrus fruits, snap peas are also a great way to get in your Vitamin C — just one cup as 96 percent of your daily-recommended value.
Asparagus has a very limited season from March to June—so if you want to enjoy the fresh version, the time to buy it is now! Asparagus is a powerhouse nutritionally if you’re keeping healthy; it is full of fiber, folate, vitamins C, A, and K. It may also help you lose weight (it’s a diuretic) and lower your blood pressure. Enjoy it steamed or roasted on its on own, or make up a risotto or soup for a yummy treat.
You’re probably thinking, how can an ingredient as useful as lemon have a season? Most lemons can be picked year-round, but some varieties you can only pick in the springtime. Lemons can bring some much needed freshness to your food this time of year and are a good source of Vitamin C. Try squeezing some on fish or seafood, or use the lemon peel in baked goods.
If you’ve only tasted artichokes in spinach dip, you’re missing out. The whole version is delicious dipped in aioli or butter. Artichokes are full of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Look for artichokes at your local farmer’s market and just steam them and enjoy.