LIFE'S HEALTHIER AT THE VILLAGE

Seasonal Spring Foods for a Healthy Body

Springtime is here, meaning beautiful weather, lots of sunshine, and time outdoors, and nature seems to be showing off with an abundance in bloom. But spring also means that a new harvest of vibrant and delicious fruits and vegetables are in season. Village dietitian, Jamie Miller, has the scoop about what produce we should be filling our baskets with right now for the tastiest and most nutritious plates. 

Why Eat in Season?

There are so many benefits to keeping the seasons in mind while shopping for your fresh produce. First, foods that are in season are much more affordable. When farmers are harvesting a large abundance of produce due to the crop being in season, the cost of the produce will go down. If people feel that healthy eating is causing their grocery bill to climb, they probably are not buying seasonal produce. 

 

Second, fresh foods that are in season are also packed with the highest amount of nutritional value since they are consumed closer to their harvest time. Some antioxidants such as vitamin c, folate, and carotenes decrease when produce is stored for periods of time, such as with non-seasonal fruits and vegetables.

 

By eating seasonally, we also can support more local farming which means less transportation, less refrigeration, fewer hot houses, and less irradiation of produce. It’s a helpful way to be mindful of the environment.

 

And lastly, but most importantly, in-season produce just tastes the best! This is because seasonal fruits and vegetables have been able to naturally ripen and be harvested at the correct time. Out of season produce must be transported long distances, chilled to preserve, then artificially ripened in heat. All of these measures change the taste and texture of the fruit. But when you eat a fresh peach in the summer months or an orange in the winter, its flavor is unmatched!

What's in Season for Spring?

Inspired to fill your kitchen with some seasonal produce this spring? Stock up on some of these fruits and vegetables, then try out a new delicious and nourishing recipe!

  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Spring onions
  • Radishes
  • Herbs
  • Lettuce
  • Baby carrots
  • Leeks
  • Fennel
  • Peas
  • Turnips
  • Fava Beans
  • New Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Apricots

SPRING RECEIPES

Spring Green Salad

  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed, stringed, cut in half on diagonal
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, tender tops only
  • Salt
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 6 ounces), trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint

Fill a large bowl with ice water; set aside. Cook peas and asparagus tips in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain from the hot water then transfer to the bowl with ice water to cool. Once cooled, transfer to a kitchen towel to dry. Toss peas, asparagus, sliced radishes, sliced green onion, and feta in a large bowl. Add oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the salad and toss to coat. Season salad with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish with fresh mint.

Spring Leek and Asparagus Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks tops removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 pound asparagus (save 3 stalks for optional garnish) ends removed, cut rest of stalks into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley (leaves and stems)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Garnish: shaved asparagus, dollop of greek yogurt

Slice leeks in half lengthwise and rinse under cold water to remove any dirt. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat on the stove. Add olive oil, sliced leeks, and garlic cloves. Lightly sauté until leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add cut asparagus and stir to combine. Cook until asparagus is tender, about 6 minutes. Add fresh parsley and cilantro and stir to combine. Remove from heat and ladle contents of stockpot into a high-powered blender (may need to do in batches) or use an immersion blender. Puree until smooth, taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish (optional) with shaved asparagus and a dollop of Greek yogurt

Moroccan Spiced Roasted Carrots

  • 12 ounces trimmed small carrots with tops
  •  2 teaspoons olive oil
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1/2 teaspoon paprika
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt 
  •  1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  •  1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachios
  •  1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss together trimmed small carrots with tops, olive oil, ground cumin, paprika, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt in a bowl. Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Combine yogurt and lime juice in a bowl. Place carrots on a platter; drizzle with yogurt mixture, 1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachios, and 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

For the filling

  • 4 cups diced strawberries
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • ½ orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch/flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the crisp topping

  • 3/4 cup rolled or quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

Optional: yogurt, natural whip topping, or ice cream for serving



Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss together trimmed small carrots with tops, olive oil, ground cumin, paprika, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt in a bowl. Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Combine yogurt and lime juice in a bowl. Place carrots on a platter; drizzle with yogurt mixture, 1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachios, and 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro.

About The Author

Jamie Miller

As a true southern girl at heart, Jamie received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Science from Baylor University then completed her dietetic internship at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Jamie has extensive experience with childhood nutrition, working for a non-profit child food program and then also for Head Start Preschool Programs. But during this time, Jamie simultaneously devoted her dietetic career to adult health and wellness and nutrition coaching through private practice and telehealth clients. Now as the registered dietitian for Village Health Clubs and Spas, Jamie loves partnering with individuals as they work towards their personalized health and nutrition goals. One of her favorite aspects of nutrition counseling is helping individuals discover how truly delicious healthy eating can be! For healthy eating to be a lifelong commitment, she believes we must make our daily eats totally cravable and nourishing.

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