6 spring vegetables to get excited about
Spring. What a great season. Winter is (finally) settling down, the days are getting warmer, the light lingers longer, the birds are chirping and the trees are starting to bloom. Spring is also the time when we say ‘goodbye’ to heavy winter vegetables (we’re looking at you potatoes, squash and beets) and say hello to the fresh and spring vegetables the season is all about. For inspiration, we’re sharing our six favorite spring veggies to get excited about. They don’t last long so start shopping!
6 spring vegetables to get excited about
Asparagus is an excellent source of folacin, glutathione and protein, as well as thiamine and vitamin B6. It is also packed with rutin, which is excellent for strengthening capillary walls. Asparagus cuts itself in that when you break them, they break exactly where they need to be trimmed – a little trick of nature. Asparagus should be kept upright in water to maintain freshness, so don’t buy them if they are only in bunches or if the shell is dry. Look for stems about six to ten inches long that are a nice crisp green. Stems should be sturdy and the ends should be tightly closed. Avoid very thick stems or stems that are white at the ends, as these tend to be very woody and many of the stems are lost. Asparagus is more versatile than most spring vegetables as it can be served in many ways from soups to salads and as a perfect complement to fish, poultry and meat. It can also be prepared quickly and easily, from a quick zap in the microwave to grilling. It also has a clear, distinct flavor with a slightly bitter, but pleasant undertone.
If your kids are reluctant, mention the pee smell. That alone might convince them to try it.
While radishes are best known for the small, round, red-skinned variety, there is actually a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and even flavors. They can be small and round, like a nut, or they can be quite large and tubular, like a carrot. They also come in a rainbow of colors, from deep red to pink and purple to stark white and black. And as a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli (a well-known nutritional powerhouse), radishes have a host of health benefits, from helping flush toxins from your body to fighting cancer and keeping you cool and hydrated all summer long. This is one of the most underrated spring vegetables, and you should be excited about it!
Rhubarb is a beautiful plant with its ruby red to light pink stems and bright green leaves. It is actually a vegetable, but its delicious taste is better suited for desserts, so many consider it a fruit. Rhubarb is a source of potassium, vitamin C and calcium and is also an antioxidant. Rhubarb is a great plant for your garden because it is quite robust. It comes back every spring and allows you to make tasty pies, crumbles, jams and chutneys. But watch out! The leaves of rhubarb are actually poisonous and should be discarded so only the stems can be consumed. Rhubarb stalks must be cooked before eating. And if you get inundated with it often, we have lots of great ideas for rhubarb.
This list of spring vegetables is a bit misleading since arugula is actually an herb. It has a wonderfully peppery taste with a hint of mustard. It is also called rocket. The smaller the leaves, the smoother and less bitter the taste. Arugula should be thoroughly soaked and cleaned as it can have a lot of grit like spinach. It is packed with healthy nutrients, including phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is also a powerful antioxidant containing vitamins A, K and C. It is great for young women trying to conceive as it is an excellent source of folic acid.
You’re forgiven for not having a clue what this is. Morels are a wild mushroom recognizable by their spongy, brain-like appearance. They are visited every spring by mushroom enthusiasts. They grow around many types of trees, including apple trees, so they can often be found in apple orchards. However, since there are both poisonous and edible versions, buy them from the grocer to be on the safe side. Morels are low in fat and high in iron, vitamin D and phosphorus. Morels should be cooked before eating, as they can make you sick if eaten raw.
Peas are an excellent source of folacin and contain vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium. In season, they are a delicious snack eaten raw. Combine them with mint in season and enjoy peeled or in the shell, fresh off the vine.
Peas should be bright, deep green and the pods should be shiny. You rarely find them shelled because the pods protect them and are often delicious to eat. Store peas in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for a few days, but preferably eat them as fresh as possible. Add peas to rice and stews, in salads and soups, and in or out of their pods. Peas are easy to grow at home and can be eaten right off the vine. If you’ve only had canned peas, you should definitely try them fresh. Frozen peas are quite tasty and can be eaten all year round.
Tagged under: fresh vegetables, vegetarian ideas, spring vegetables
Category: recipe geek, food