Healthy Spring Foods and Recipes – Part 1

Healthy Spring Foods and Recipes - Part 1

Spring is finally here in full force, and that means it’s time to devour all of the season’s goodness before summer stomps in and wilts all the delicate young greens with its blazing temperatures, crushing humidity, and buckets of fresh tomatoes. Okay, that metaphor was a little elaborate, but you get the point.

Fresh veggies in springtime – is there anything more idyllic? Below, please find my top spring foods, why you should eat them, and a delicious recipe featuring each one. Bonus eco-points if you buy your spring produce at the nearest farmer’s market!

Ramps

Also known as wild leeks, ramps are briefly in season from late winter to early spring. Their delicate onion-esque flavor makes them a popular foodie ingredient. One cup of ramps gives you 30% of your daily vitamin A (pow!). They’re also a great source of vitamin C, along with trace minerals selenium and chromium.

Cook ‘em up: Introduce ramps into your cooking rotation with the incredibly easy Ramp Crostino from MarthaStewart.com.

Asparagus

Oh, asparagus. You are everywhere in spring. And you are delicious. These bright green spears are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and the large amount of the prebiotic inulin means they’re great for your digestive system, too. They’re also a powerhouse source of vitamin K – we’re talking 69% of your daily requirement, people -  in just one cup.

Cook ‘em up: Pair the spears with mozzarella, parmesan, and olive oil to make the Shaved Asparagus Pizza from Smitten Kitchen. Pair with a glass of white wine.

Watercress

Might “watercress” be the most refreshing-sounding word in the English language? We certainly think so.

This peppery leaf grows on top of streams, and is best eaten fresh, young, raw, and in springtime. Its health benefits are numerous – it’s got a reputation for defending against lung cancer and is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, the B-vitamins, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.

Cook ‘em up: This simple, flavorful watercress salad from Rachel Ray gets a jolt from fresh herbs and lime.

Photo attribute: guardian.co.uk

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