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Spring Produce Guide

Spring-produce-guide-2015
After a long winter who doesn’t enjoy the first signs of spring? Along with longer days, spring brings a whole new crop of vegetables and fruits for us to enjoy! Spring clean your diet with the best of this season’s fresh produce. We are sharing our favorites, and why we like them in the list below.

Apricots

Smooth and sweet, apricots are related to peaches and should be a rich orange color. They’re delicious on their own and taste wonderful in a green salad. They’re a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as numerous antioxidants.

Artichokes

Did you know artichokes are actually the buds of a purple flower? Choose tight buds for the best taste. They are rich in folate, fiber, vitamins C and K. They are also number 7 on the USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list!artichoke-580696_1280

Asparagus

Asparagus is at its peak now! It has folate for heart health as well as vitamins E, A and C. They should be bright green, show no signs of shriveling and have a tight and firm tip.

Grapefruit

Tangy and tart with a hint of sweetness grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C and lycopene. Serve grapefruit at breakfast, serve with chilled cooked shrimp and avocado or chop with cilantro and chili peppers for a salsa.

Lettuce

Choose dark leafy greens, such as romaine. Romaine contains large amounts of vitamin K and is a good source of vitamins A and folate. It is always delicious in a salad or green juice but it also tastes amazing when grilled!

Peas

Green peas for shelling should have green, glossy pods that feel firm and full. Snow pea pods should be flat with almost no visible lumps of peas inside. As for the health benefits, peas provide us with key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Radish

Radishes are of spring’s first and finest treats, peppery in taste and vibrant in color. They are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and have a mere 9 calories per ½ cup. Throw them in a salad raw or cook them for a more mild taste. radishes-322830_1280

Ramps

Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are popular with chefs and foodies. These vitamin and anti-oxidant rich vegetables are only around for a short time during the spring. They taste like onions and garlic and can be cooked similarly to leeks and scallions. Here’s a recipe round up that will make you fall in love with ramps.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb has a sour flavor and pairs well with strawberries, grapefruit and orange. It’s very popular in many Middle Eastern and Moroccan dishes. Choose thick, firm stalks with no wrinkling or other signs of drying and trim any leaves. It’s low in calories and high in vitamins A, C and K.

Spring Onions / Scallions

Part of the onion family, spring onions have a milder taste than their counterparts and don’t overpower dishes. They are high in the phytonutrient polyphenol and are a good source of biotin and manganese. Don’t over peel the spring onion or you’ll lose its nutritional benefits. They’re delicious in salsa, guacamole, soups, rice, vegetable dishes and salads.

Strawberries

Look for bright red, firm berries that have bright green cap, are free of mushy spots and mold. Strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges and are a good source of manganese and potassium. They are the most popular berry in the world.strawberries-499118_1280

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is high in a number of vitamins, antioxidants and contains the more rare phytonutrient belatian. Choose crispy bright looking leaves with unblemished stalks. Chard can be used in place of spinach and similarly cooked.

Visit your farmers market or the produce section of your grocery store and try something new along with your seasonal favorites.

What is your favorite spring vegetable or fruit? Tweet to us @eatsmartscales.

 

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