As we emerge from our winter cocoons to greet the changing season, our bodies start to crave sunshine. We yearn for blossoming trees, and fresh, flavorful meals. One powerful way of aligning with the excitement of springtime is by cooking with produce that has come into season!
Not only will your mouth delight in the flavors that come from seasonal spring produce, but it’s also more economical for your wallet to buy produce currently in abundance. Spring produce (especially leafy greens) are also known to have alkalizing and detoxifying properties. Which is just what our bodies need after a winter spent eating richer foods. Embrace the flavors of spring and tune in to nature with this list of seasonal spring produce with recipe suggestions from our Food Monster App.
Carrots are a resistant crop capable of tolerating the brutal winter chill, but they actually prefer growing during the milder spring climes. Not only are carrots incredibly versatile to cook with, but they are also packed with nutrients such as beta-carotene and vitamin A.
Try spicing it up in the kitchen with these Skillet-Roasted Chili Carrots, or if you’ve got a sweet tooth delight in this Walnut Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, the perfect dessert to take to a spring picnic!
Apricot Tart with Lavender Sugar/One Green Planet
Apricots become perfectly ripe and juicy towards the end of the spring season and make absolutely mouthwatering desserts. They also are an excellent nutritional snack to take on the go because they are loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C.
If you are feeling extra elegant, try this Apricot Tart with Lavender Sugar, pictured above, or if you want to bask in the sun with your grilling tools try these Grilled Apricots with Almond Pistachio Ricotta.
3. Dandelion Greens
Spring Salad/One Green Planet
Dandelion greens are at their peak freshness during the mid-Spring season. You will begin to see them popping up at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Dandelion greens are the perfect greens to eat after winter’s many indulgences because they work wonders at removing toxins, and promoting and balancing good bacteria in the gut.
If you’re craving a salad that is the epitome of spring, try this Spring Salad with Edible Flowers and Dandelion Greens, pictured above, or nourish your body with this Dandelion Green Smoothie.
Biting into a delectably juicy cherry is sure to put a smile on your face. They’re rich in vitamins and antioxidants. And thankfully sweet cherries come into season during the spring months!
Eggplant-Bacon Wrapped Asparagus/One Green Planet
When you think spring produce, asparagus is probably one of the first that comes to mind with its verdant vibrancy and fresh taste. Asparagus will be the most flavorful from March until June. You may notice that it is now much more cost-effective to buy than before.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake/One Green Planet
You can find pineapple at your grocery store year round. But it will be found in abundance at its ripest from March through July. Pineapple may be the perfect remedy after cold and flu season because its richness in antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes can help boost the immune system.
Artichokes undergo their main harvest during the spring months when thistles are the largest. Although getting to the heart of the artichoke takes effort, it’s completely worth it for the taste and texture alone. Artichokes are also another highly detoxifying food because they are rich in antioxidants cynarin and silymarin which aid in removing toxins from the liver!
Strawberries first begin to ripen during the spring season into early summer and are undeniably tastier this time of year. Fresh, frozen, or baked, you cannot go wrong with this delectable berry rich in immune-boosting antioxidants!
Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad/One Green Planet
Spinach is one of the most versatile greens. It’s mild yet refreshing and luckily, it happens to be at its tastiest through spring. Sneak as much spinach into your diet as possible this time of year because it is chock-full of nutrients like vitamins a, b, and c, as well as iron.
As early as May, peas become vibrant and delicious. They’re the perfect staple ingredient to add to your diet flowers bloom around you. The more vibrant the pea pod, the fresher they will be!
For a fancy alternative to avocado toast, savor the complex flavors of this Spring Pea Toasts with Radish and Lavender.
This root vegetable will spice up any dish this spring with its crisp and crunchy texture, and slight peppery taste. Radishes are also rich in vitamin C, zinc, and phosphorus, and are incredibly hydrating so they are perfect for rejuvenating the skin after being in the sun.
For a salad that hits all the notes this season, try this Quinoa Edamame Salad with Radish.
Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Pies/One Green Planet
Nothing says springtime more than a rhubarb pie mixed with fresh, seasonal berries. Rhubarb season begins in the early spring and extends through the summer, and because of its tart flavor, it is balanced out by sweetness very well.
For a classic interpretation of a rhubarb pie, try these adorable Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Pies, pictured above, or for a tart, yet savory sauce to smother over your grilled veggies this spring, try this Rhubarb BBQ Sauce.
Scallions, or spring onions, add a pop of color and mild onion flavor to all sorts of dishes. That being said, scallions are much more than a garnish and are actually filled with important nutrients like vitamin K and vitamin C, two vitamins vital in replenishing the immune system after the winter months.
If you are looking for inspiration in adding this verdant onion to your meals that goes beyond just a garnish, try this Roasted Carrot Salad with Charred Scallion Cilantro Pesto, or these Scallion Pancakes.
For more fresh spring recipe ideas like 15 Amazing Spring Raw Food Recipes, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead Image Source: Woody Hibbard/Flickr