As winter finally gives way to spring, there is a nice variety of fresh produce that you can be incorporating into your healthy eating meal plans. This is just an idea of some of the things that are reaching their peak.
You should check out your local farmers market or local produce stand to see what they have available. Many farmers use high tunnels in their fields so they are able to grow some produce year round, although the cold of this past winter made that very difficult.
Newly in season
- Haas avocados
- fava beans
- English peas (shelling peas)
At their peak
- morel mushrooms
- edible pod peas
- spring salad mix
- field rhubarb
- green garlic
- navel oranges
This is just a sampling, there are many different fruits and vegetables that are available year round. Be sure to add them to your diet to stay healthy and well nourished.
Choose fava beans that have firm pods, but without too many markings. Store them in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Fava beans are low fat, and they are a great source of iron, copper, B1, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. They are also a good source of fiber.
Choose medium sized pods that are bright green and firm. Refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag for up to 5 days. Leave them in the pods until you are ready to use them.
English peas provide vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and fiber.
Ripe artichokes should be plump with tightly closed leaves. Pull one of the leaves back to check for black blemishes on the heart..
Artichokes are low sodium, and provide fiber, folate, magnesium, and vitamin C.
Look for asparagus with dry stalks and tight tips. Wrpa the ends of the stalks in a paper wet towel and put them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to four days.
It is a good source of Vitamins C and A, and folate.
Morel mushrooms should smell earthy and fresh. Stay away from mushrooms with slime or soft spots. Clean your mushrooms with a damp cloth or a soft brush to remove the dirt. Store unwashed in a paper bag in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Morels are a good source of Vitamin D, copper, and iron.
Rhubarb stalks should be flat and firm. The deep red stalks are sweeter. Refrigerate the stalks inn a plastic bag for several days.
Do not eat the leaves.