Spring is a time of year that many look forward to. The cold of winter begins to subside, the days are longer, the sun is brighter, and the in-season produce variety is more abundant. Research shows that the seasonality of produce affects not only the nutritional profile, but also the price, making these items easier on our wallets. Spring is a great time to begin incorporating your favorite bright fruits and vegetables into recipes for meals that burst with freshness, flavor and health-promoting vitamins and minerals. As more produce comes into season, don’t be afraid to try out some new options that you may be unfamiliar with or experiment with new ways to incorporate your favorites.
- Citrus fruits (orange varieties, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
- Asparagus (Green, Purple and White)
- Bok Choy
- Greens (Spinach, Arugula, etc.)
- Lettuce (Butter, Manoa, Red Leaf)
- Swiss Chard
- Vidalia Onions
Each of these produce items have unique nutritional qualities and flavor profiles and are guaranteed to make any dish tasty! You can find so many powerful nutrients in fruits and veggies, including vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, dietary fiber and many more vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin C is one of the most common nutrients found in produce and is needed in our body to support our immune system, wound healing and providing antioxidants. You might be familiar with the fact that citrus fruits provide us with high amounts of vitamin C, but did you also know that strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, mangoes, arugula, artichokes, broccoli, Vidalia onions, and spinach are also good or excellent sources of vitamin C too?
If you’re looking for new recipe ideas that combine many of the foods and nutrients mentioned previously, check out these recipes below.
Get in the springtime spirit with this fun and kid-friendly Confetti Fruit Salsa which features fresh mango, kiwi, apples, pears, strawberries and lime. Serve it with cinnamon pita chips and you’ll have a tasty and healthy treat!
If you’re trying to consume more seafood this year, look no further than these two delicious salmon recipes, Skillet Salmon with Autumn Swiss Chard Salad and
Hoisin Glazed Salmon Sandwich with Bok Choy Slaw. You’ll not only boost your EPA and DHA Omega-3 intake, but also get to try swiss chard or bok choy, which are veggies that are less commonly used in meals. These veggies are both high in vitamin A, vitamin K, and swiss chard provides a good source of magnesium, copper and manganese.
Lastly, if you’re a fan of spinach and artichoke dip, this next recipe is for you! Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Seared Chicken is a savory option that combines spinach and artichoke hearts with creamy cream cheese and seasonings and is stuffed inside butterflied chicken breast.
As we progress further into spring, be on the lookout for the produce items that are ripe now and add them to your cart during your next shopping trip. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or learn new and creative ways to use your favorites. Just remember, try to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies and your body will thank you.