Spring is for revamping – and your meal options are no exception. If you’re a creature of habit, here’s a nudge to try some new, seasonal options. To help savor the very best of spring gardens, The Local Moms Network contributor Stefani Sassos, Registered Dietician and Deputy Nutrition Director for the Good Housekeeping Institute, offers five healthy suggestions. Also included are mouthwatering recipes sure to inspire. Asparagus with walnuts and Parmesan? Yes, please.
This leafy green is very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. The color of stems can vary between white, yellow and red. Raw Swiss chard is very bitter, so it’s best cooked: sauté with olive oil and garlic. Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, potassium and fiber, Swiss chard is a no-brainer to keep in the rotation this spring.
Radishes add the perfect tang and bite to your salads. They are naturally low in calories but are packed with nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. There are a variety of different radishes available, some are round while other varieties are shaped more like a carrot. Radish colors include green, white, red, purple, pink and even yellow. Use them to add vibrancy to your dish.
This versatile veggie is a good source of folate and vitamin A. Look for bright green stalks with tips that are firmly closed. Pro tip for storage: wrap the end of the stalks in a wet paper towel, then place in a plastic bag and store in the fridge for up to four days. Either raw or cooked, asparagus is a delight you wait for all winter.
Frozen and canned peas are available year-round, but spring is when you can experience freshly-picked peas full of flavor. Look for bright green peas that are firm and plump. Snow peas should be flat with small peas inside the pod. Add them to salads and pasta dishes for both texture and color.
You’re likely most familiar with rhubarb as a pie filling, but it can be used in savory dishes as well. Plus, it’s loaded with vitamin C and even calcium. Make sure to remove any leaves from rhubarb since they are poisonous. (This is usually done for you at the grocery store, but be alert if purchased at the farmer’s market.) Wash the stalks, then chop them up to add the perfect tartness to sauces and stews.