10 Fresh Spring Foods to Look Forward to

10 fresh spring foods to look forward to

You know it’s spring when peas and rhubarb are readily available at farmers markets. Some of the first produce items of the year, peas and rhubarb are just the beginning of a long list of fresh springs foods to fill our tummies with!

Eat with the season by stocking up on the following fresh-picked fruits and vegetables while their flavours and nutrient contents are at their peak:

Berries

Berries

Who needs dessert when fresh-picked strawberries and boysenberries are available beginning in late spring. These little gems add vitamin C, flavonoids, and a range of micronutrients to your diet.

Tip: Choose plump berries that are free of mold and store them in the refrigerator. Wash immediately before eating, but don’t wait too long – berries spoil quickly.

Cherries

Cherries make their debut in late spring, offering a sweet and juicy way to boost your antioxidant intake. Eat them fresh by the handful, add them to smoothies, or slice them onto green salads.

Tip: Store fresh cherries in the refrigerator and rinse them immediately before eating. Cherries spoil quickly so enjoying them as soon as possible!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Tart, yet perfect for healthy spring desserts and baking. Rhubarb contains vitamin C and fibre.

Tip: Choose firm stalks with no marks or bruises and store in the refrigerator. Rinse thoroughly and be certain to remove the leaves before eating (they contain toxins!).

Asparagus

Beginning around May, fresh-picked asparagus spears are available. A quick sauté or steam is all they need for an easy supply of vitamin K, folate, and minerals [1].

Tip: Choose crisp asparagus spears with green or purple colouring on the tips. Store them refrigerated with the ends wrapped in a damp cloth to maintain freshness.

Brassica Veggies

Brasscia Veggies

Broccoli, cauliflower, savoy, and red cabbage begin their harvest in late spring. These nutritional powerhouses belong to the Brassica family, which are known sources of glucosinolates [2]. Eat them raw in salads or cook them by gently steaming, roasting, or sautéing.

Tip: Look for firm broccoli florets that are dark green or purplish; cauliflower that is compact and cream coloured; and compact cabbage heads with firm, crisp leaves. Store in the refrigerator.

Greens

Celebrate spring with a mouthwatering menu of tender leafy salads, hardy collard sautés, fresh kale chips, spinach smoothies, and steamed Asian greens. Low in calories and packed with a broad range of vitamins and minerals.

Tip: Choose greens with firm, crisp leaves and a uniform colour. Refrigerate then rinse before eating.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

These delightful fungi add welcoming earthy flavours to soups, salads, dips, and spreads – including the morel mushroom that can only be harvested from the wild in mid-spring.

Tip: Store mushrooms in a paper bag or their original store packaging in the refrigerator. Before eating, clean away dirt using a dry produce brush.

Peas

A handful of fresh shelled peas or snap peas is a surprisingly effective way to satisfy your sweet tooth. They contain fibre and are also a versatile ingredient for spring recipes.

Tip: Store peas in a breathable container in the refrigerator and keep shelled peas in their pod until ready to use.

Radishes

Radishes

Fresh, crisp, and a little spicy, radishes come in a variety of colours and can be eaten raw, pickled, cooked, or used as an edible spring garnish. They contain vitamin C and enough water to make them very refreshing.

Try our recipe for Fresh Radish Butter Spears!

Tip: Look for radishes that are bright in colour and free of cracks and wilted leaves. Remove the stems before storing and keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Spring Herbs

Spring soups and salads aren’t complete without the addition of fresh spring herbs, such as chives, mint, and oregano.

Tip: Store herbs as potted plants in your windowsill or garden so they’re fresh and ready to eat all season.

References:

[1] USDA. “Basic Report: 11011, Asparagus, Raw.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. Web. 10 April 2017.

[2] Verkerk, R., Schreiner, M., Krumbein, A., et al. “Glucosinolates in Brassica Vegetables: The Influence of the Food Supply Chain on Intake, Bioavailability and Human Health.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009, Vol. 53, Suppl. 2, S219.