What’s in season this spring?

Cooking with seasonal fruits and vegetables can bring not only a flavor explosion to any meal but also a huge cost savings for your budget. With the Spring Equinox occurring today, it’s a perfect time to start swapping out some of your winter recipes with those featuring spring produce. For this spring, consider incorporating some of these seasonal fruits and vegetables:

  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Lettuce
  • Mangos
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions and Leeks
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

Strawberry Rhubarb pie anyone? Perhaps, let’s get tropical with a nice Mango Pineapple Banana Smoothie! But don’t forget one of the most protein- and fiber-packed items on this list – peas.

Peas are a very versatile menu item even though many of us probably dreaded eating them as youngsters. Using ingredients in new ways can many times evolve our taste and likeness for them. For easy ways to incorporate peas, try this Roasted Peas recipe or Smashed Peas With Mint Bruschetta recipe.

Using seasonal produce comes with many benefits. For one, seasonal produce tastes better. Fruits and veggies that have been naturally ripened on the vine/tree at the proper harvesting time will have much more flavor and nutrition. Which leads me to my next point – seasonal produce has a higher nutritional value. These items are more likely to be consumed closer to their harvesting date. Certain antioxidants commonly found in produce, like vitamin C, can rapidly decline when stored for extended periods of time.1 Third, incorporating seasonal produce is a great cost savings since many times these items are more likely to come from local farmers who do not have to invest heavily in transportation or storage. This cost savings ends up trickling down to the consumer.

How do you enjoy cooking with seasonal produce?

1. Barrett D. Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Fruits & Vegetables. Food Technol. 2007;61.

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