One of the reasons I love springtime is because of the variety of fruits and vegetables that are at their peak. It’s a perfect time to spring clean your diet. The weather is getting warmer so we can start moving away from those heavy stews and casseroles we turn to for comfort in the cold winter. We can start eating cleaner, lighter meals that are chock full of these gorgeous and nutritious fruits and vegetables.
The list below describes many of my springtime favorites. They can usually be found in many stores year-round. However, when they are at their season’s peak, they reap the most nutritional benefits and are more economical as well.
Artichokes – Low in calories, artichokes are also high in fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin C.
Asparagus – At their peak from March through June, asparagus is high in fiber and a good source of iron, B vitamins, and Vitamin C. To retain freshness and nutrition place them in cool storage, but the soonest you eat them after buying, the better. I love to roast asparagus in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and sodium-free lemon pepper.
Blueberries – The typical harvest season for blueberries begins in May. Blueberries pack a potent bunch of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C while low in calories. Try to go for organic since blueberries are the Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.
Peas – English, sugar snap and snow peas are all at their peak from April through July. Like most legumes, peas are high in fiber and are a good source of plant protein. Nutritional benefits vary depending on variety, with English peas providing more B vitamins and zinc, while snow and snap peas offer more vitamin C. Peas make a great side dish, but are also great in salads, stir frys, even dips.
Radishes – An excellent accoutrement to salads, radishes are low in calories but pack a vitamin C punch.
Strawberries – these juicy berries are an ideal mid-morning snack or guiltless dessert as they are packed with fiber and just 1 cup meets 100% of your daily Vitamin C needs. Also on the Dirty Dozen list, it’s worth picking up organic strawberries.