Ahh, the nose-tingling, allergy-inducing scent of spring… it’s just around the corner!
As much as you may want to stay snuggled up inside your winter hibernation jammies, allergies are no excuse for you to miss out on the healthy, invigorating opportunities the spring season has to offer.
Did You Know?
Since there are multiple ways of delineating the seasons, spring is perceived to begin on different days all around the world. In the U.S., the official calendar first day of spring is March 20th.
Head on over to your local farmer’s market now that the season for abundant produce is drawing closer. Spring is the best season to fully-fledgedly embark on that trip toward healthy eating!
Ever heard of a Cherimoya? What about purple asparagus? Did you think watercress was a just a weed or could only be used as a garnish? Let’s take a look at all of these wonderful ingredients and more. It’s time to get your fruit and veggie on!
Got some leftover cauliflower after trying out our delicious cauliflower-crust pizza recipe?
This warm and delicious watercress and cauliflower soup makes for a nice transition from winter to spring during those colder days: http://www.marthastewart.com/336017/watercress-cauliflower-soup
Substitute the butter with a couple teaspoons of olive or canola oil and you have a healthy, spring-time appetizer. Slowly simmer any leftover soup with some cooked brown rice and chopped chicken breast on low-medium heat for about 10 minutes and you have a quick and easy makeshift risotto for dinner!
Don’t be fooled by their sneaky little name! Rather than being a winter vegetable, snow peas begin to reach the peak of yummy perfection around the months of March and April.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a warm chicken and snow pea salad: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/warm_snow_pea_chicken_salad.html
The trick is to remember not to overcook the snow peas once they are transferred to the pot.
Because the recipe calls for chopping them into slivers, they have the potential to easily be over-cooked and can turn mushy and brown as a result.
Keep a close eye on them when you place them into the pot and turn off the stove after a few minutes to maintain the crunchiness and naturally sweet flavor of the snow peas.
Healthy Cooking Tip
The key to healthy cooking is flavor, flavor, FLAVOR!
Low-fat and low-calorie options don’t necessary have to taste bland; when you substitute high-calorie ingredients with the low or fat-free, low-calorie options, you can amp up spices and background flavor profiles to maintain the tastiness of the recipe.
For example, when you take butter out of a savory recipe, you can replace it with olive oil as well as some minced garlic to satisfy your taste buds.
For desserts, if heavy cream is substituted with fat-free milk, try adding a few dashes of vanilla extract to evoke that creamy flavoring.
You can experiment with different flavors and see which ones work best for you!
White, Green, & Purple Asparagus
Did you know that asparagus came in three different colors? Now’s the time to incorporate them into your colorful salads and stir-fries!
Also known as the “custard apple,” cherimoya have the unique taste of a banana and an apple combined. Each bite is composed of a fluffy, condensed sweetness that melts on your tongue. Pop a few in the freezer and eat with a spoon for an instant fruity ice cream!
Rhubarb is known to be one of the best weight-loss ingredients due to its extraordinarily low calorie content. It also packs a punch in nutrition with its high amounts of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, B complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, and much more. Known for its versatility, rhubarb can star in a bunch of dishes, both sweet and savory.
For dessert, forget the unhealthy rhubarb pies and cheesecakes—
Checkout this delightful strawberry rhubarb chia pudding recipe from Kitchen Konfidence! http://www.kitchenkonfidence.com/2014/04/strawberry-rhubarb-chia-cups
Strawberry-Rhubarb Chia Pudding
Far from being unhealthy, this low-calorie dessert option is packed with wholesome ingredients and features pudding made from chia seeds, ubiquitous for their high fiber and protein content.
The ingredients promote heart health and aid in healthy weight loss, and is even filling enough to throw in your bag for a quick, yet hearty breakfast!
Click here for a comprehensive list of the in-season produce for the spring months: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/whats-in-season-spring