Spring has sprung. And in some regions, we’ve even skipped right to summer. In any case, a transition into warmer weather means two things: spring cleaning and shifting our eating to more seasonal foods.
In addition to spring cleaning your house, one thing you might consider doing is spring cleaning your kitchen. Chances are throughout winter you stocked up on cold-weather foods that are too heavy for spring and summertime. Start by throwing out food that’s gone bad, and then donate any unwanted canned goods to charity. It’s beneficial for you, your family and the community.
Another great way to get spring-ready is by adding more figure-friendly foods to your diet. Foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories are great choices. Here is a list of six healthy foods for springtime from DietsInReview.com’s Registered Dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, as well as a few easy-to-prepare recipes for even more inspiration.
First up, artichokes. This funny little vegetable that’s native to the Mediterranean region is loaded with potassium, Vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Try adding it to your dinner table with this delicious and healthy recipe for Artichoke Soup.
Another great springtime veggie? Asparagus! I can eat an entire pan if I’m not careful. In addition to tasting great, asparagus is also high in Vitamin K, Vitamin A and iron. Try roasting it at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, seasoned lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Or in this chilled Asparagus Pasta Salad that’s portable and perfect for picnics.
We can’t say enough good things about spinach as it’s loaded with folic acid, Vitamin A, and even antioxidants. My personal favorite preparation is throwing a handful into a traditional smoothie for a nutritional boost without the slightest difference in taste. Or try this delicious Spinach Quiche that would be a great option for a healthy weekend breakfast or brunch.
Radishes can get a bad rap since they aren’t the most flavorful root veggie in the bunch. But they’re full of dietary fiber and low in calories making them a great vehicle for a delicious dip. Try this lower calorie version of a Spinach Veggie Dip for a great appetizer at your next gathering.
Here’s a springtime food you might not know: Fiddlehead ferns. These odd-looking vegetables resemble spiraled-up asparagus and are very high in iron, magnesium and Vitamin C. Although they’re versatile to cook with, trying this simple approach to Fiddlehead Ferns - which employs a steaming method and only requires 5 ingredients – is a great place to start.
And last but not least? Sugar snap peas. You’ll find these delicious little guys throughout summer and fall, and they’re a great source of iron and Vitamin A. Eat them raw, with veggie dip, or with a little protein in this Asian inspired Pork and Sugar Snap Pea dish. It’ll be a crowd pleaser no matter whose palette you’re trying to please.
March 30th, 2012