Spring Clean Diet: 15 Spring Fruits And Veggies
We all can’t wait to see spring again. Not only that are we saying farewell to snow and cold weather, but we are also changing our daily habits, and change is always good. Besides first traces of warm air and sunshine that wakes us from winter sleep, we also have the chance to eat lighter food. Every season has its food, and spring is the right time for a nice and refreshing diet! Your body will be grateful and you will feel much better. The lack of energy is normal for transitional periods between the seasons, but you can boost your energy by eating these springs fruits and veggies!
2. Did you now that Louis XIV of France used to call asparagus “the king of food”? That’s because asparagus is royally nutritious! Asparagus is low in fat and extremely high in fiber. It is also a great source of vitamin C, B vitamins and iron. You can find fresh asparagus from March to June, during its peak season, although it can be found year-round. Asparagus is great when it’s roasted, grilled or just lightly sauteed in olive oil.
3. You can find sweet cherries during the late spring and early summer. Besides being extremely delicious, sweet cherries are packed with fiber and potassium. They are also low in calories and very high in antioxidant activity. If you ever wondered why they are so brightly red, it is because of their anthocyanin content. This plant chemical is the reason why cherries are good antioxidants.
4. You can find fresh peas such as sugar snap peas, green peas and snow peas during the whole year. However, you should know that their peak is from April through the whole July. Peas are very healthy because they are low in fat and high in fiber and plant protein. Green peas contain more B vitamins and zinc, and snow and snap peas have more vitamin C. You can cook them, toss them in salads or eat them as a side dish!
5. Radishes are like a synonym for spring! They contain almost no calories at all and they have a very distinctive flavor, which makes them great in salads. This flavor ranges from mild to sharp, which depends on the type of radish. Always pick radishes that are very deep in colors and that have solid roots. They are great in soups and cooked dishes, as well as in condiments. One cup of sliced radishes gives you 30% of daily vitamin C intake.
6. You probably already know that fava beans are great in soups, salads or even main dishes! Their rich flavor makes them awesome in everything you prepare. They are packed with fiber, which is great if you’re planning to begin your spring diet. Because fava beans are so high in fiber, you will feel full for a longer time. Young favas can even be eaten raw or cooked. However, mature favas must be shelled and skinned.
7. Apricots are just great. They taste great, they smell great and they are incredibly healthy! Apricots are very high in beta-carotene, which is great for your skin, hair and nails. These spring fruits also contain vitamin C, fiber and they are low in calories. So don’t be afraid to bring home plenty of apricots this spring. Their peak season is from May to August and you can eat them raw, in jams, salsas, salads… in short- however you like them!
8. The peak season for artichokes begins in March and it continues through May, although they are harvested during the whole year. They are incredibly rich in fiber and they are very low in calories! Artichokes are also a great source of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and vitamin C. If you don’t like how they taste, try to bake them, or just toss them in pastas or even salad and you will be surprised!
9. Rhubarb is technically a vegetable but it is very often used as a fruit! Rhubarb is a fantastic source of vitamin C, potassium and even manganese. The only part of the plant that you actually eat are Rhubarb stalks, which are pretty tart, but when you add some sugar, they give that rich texture to pies and sauces we love to eat. You can also add rhubarb to salads and salsa or just blanch it or dice it!
10. Morel Mushrooms are cone-shaped, and they have kind of spongy texture. Morels are real springtime delicacy. During the spring, mores have a big comeback at fine restaurants and farmer’s markets. Morel Mushrooms are actually members of the truffle family and they are maybe best know for their interesting looks and nutty flavor. This flavor makes them ideal for sauces and pairing with other spring veggies.
11. Aubergine (egg plant) is technically a fruit! You can buy it during the whole year, but its peak season begins from May and ends in October. Aubergine is actually native to South-East Asia, however, it is grown all over the world. There are many different types of aubergine, but all these varieties share the same mildly smokey, bland flavor. It is also known for its spongey flesh that becomes soft when cooked.
12. You can find the first, fresh lettuce from early May. Lettuce is either crisp or floppy and we use it mainly for making salads. Most lettuce types have green leaves, and some of them even have red tinges. They are recognizable for their delicate, clean flavor. Besides in salad, you can use lettuce in soups or with different types of dressings. Lettuce is rich in fibers and very low in calories, which makes it great for diets!
13. Spinach is around during the whole year, but it is best in its peak, which begins in April. Spinach is used in almost every cuisine around the world, which makes it very popular among vegetables. Its color varies from bright green when young, to darker green when older. Also, spinach is recognizable for its bitter taste, so you either love it or despise it. Spinach goes great with dairy products and eggs.
14. You can easily say that spring greens are the first cabbage of the year. Their peak is in April and it continues until June. When buying spring greens, choose firm and fresh leaves and reject wilted plants. Have in mind that you should use spring greens within a couple of day when stored in fridge. You can eat them raw or you can steam them. Drizzle them with melted butter and take good care that you don’t overcook them.
15. Sorrel is best from early April to September. It is known for its sharp and lemony taste. Its name “sorrel” derives from the French for sour. Sorrel is actually very popular in France! They use it for making soups and sauces, but they also serve it with egg dishes and fish. Younger leaves, which are best in the spring, should be used in salads. However, if you use sorrel during the summer months, it’s better to use it for soups and sauces.