Spring vegetables are coming into season! With summer quickly approaching, one can expect for people to start focusing on vacations, working on that “bikini-body” or just relaxing in general.
Coming out of the cold, winter months can be an overwhelming process for many. Luckily, there are many perks that we can look forward to, which can help us get out of that Winter slump.
One major highlight for me is the fact that some of my favorite fruits and vegetables come back into season. “Did any fruits and vegetables really go away?” you may ask.
Yes, some did and understanding why and how it benefits the environment and ourselves is crucial to to maintaining this practice.
Why Eating Seasonally is Important
It wasn’t until I lived in South Korea, when I truly understood what eating seasonally was. I remember in November, I was trying to find pineapple. The closest thing to pineapple I could find was overpriced frozen pineapple chunks or canned pineapple with a questionable expiration date. Needless to say, I quickly learned that patience was a virtue when it comes to finding certain produce in South Korea.
Initially, I was annoyed with this practice since my selfishness of wanting a certain fruit salad clouded my judgement. However, I wasn’t about to go with the pineapple submerged in syrup or break the bank.
Evidently, eating seasonally helps you save money. Going for produce that is within that harvesting season costs less since there is a larger supply and it costs farmers and distributors less money to get it to the grocery store.
Also, when there is a consistent supply going to the grocery store, you’re more likely to have the healthiest and tastiest food. Fruits and vegetables that are grown in season are more likely to make it to the store without spoiling, losing nutritional value while maintaining full flavor.
In addition to you benefitting from eating seasonally, it also helps out local farmers and farmer’s markets in your area. Truly, you can shop at larger supermarkets for fruits and vegetables, but if you want to have fresh produce while supporting your community, seek out local farmers.
This can be done by shopping at a nearby farmer’s market, where you can meet farmers in your area, have a wider variety of options and also help your community. Thanks to farmer’s markets and face-to-face interaction with farmers themselves, it is easier to be informed and understand the importance of eating produce seasonally.
How to Find Local Markets
If you are interested in finding farmers markets in your area, you can start with Google. Not only can you try to find one through Google Maps, but you can also use Local Harvest, which is a website that connects people in a community with farmers in their area. You can find their website here.
They can help you find certain farmers, farmer’s markets and even guide you with which produce to keep an eye out for, depending on the season. Check out our article on our favorite summer vegetables to learn more about them!
Speaking of the season and now that it is Spring, let’s take a look at which vegetables you should be buying now!
Look For These Spring Vegetables
One of the most popular spring vegetables is asparagus. Asparagus is also low in calories and packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and you can learn more about it’s benefits here.
Try our: Spring Frittata Recipe
As Healthline perfectly states, “Radishes may not be the most popular vegetable in your garden, but they are one of the healthiest. These undervalued root vegetables are packed with nutrients. They may even help or prevent some health conditions.”
Green peas are healthy, full of fiber, antioxidants and are undeniably delicious. However, if you follow the paleo diet, you might not want to overdo it on the green peas since they are considered legumes. Learn more about legumes here.
Spinach is one of my favorite vegetables. “Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer, and reduce blood pressure levels. There are many ways to prepare spinach. You can buy it canned or fresh and eat it cooked or raw. It’s delicious either on its own or in other dishes.”
In all honesty, I didn’t have my first artichoke until I was 20 years old! Such a shame since they are so delicious and healthy. “Its [artichokes] alleged health benefits include lower blood sugar levels and improved digestion, heart health, and liver health.”
Beets are Paleo and they are loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals. “In fact, beets are known to be a health promoting and disease preventing functional food. Researchers consider beetroot to be a promising therapeutic treatment in a range of health issues associated with oxidative stress and inflammation; their antioxidants are even considered to have chemo-preventive activity.”
“Leeks belong to the same family as onions, shallots, scallions, chives, and garlic. Leeks are nutrient-dense, meaning that they’re low in calories yet high in vitamins and minerals. One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked leeks has only 31 calories (1 Trusted Source). At the same time, they’re particularly high in provitamin A carotenoids, including beta carotene. Your body converts these carotenoids into vitamin A, which is important for vision, immune function, reproduction, and cell communication (2).”
“The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food. It is crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious. Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants (1 Trusted Source).They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.“
Try our: Curried Carrot Fries Recipe
“Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage. It has thick, dark-green leaves that make a great addition to soups and stir-fries. Bok choy contains the mineral selenium, which plays an important role in cognitive function, immunity and cancer prevention (36 Trusted Source).“
Try our: Breakfast Stir Fry Scramble Recipe
“Despite its impressive nutrient content, cabbage is often overlooked. While it may look a lot like lettuce, it actually belongs to the Brassica genus of vegetables, which includes broccoli, cauliflower and kale (1). It comes in a variety of shapes and colors, including red, purple, white and green, and its leaves can be either crinkled or smooth.”
Try our: Pork Cabbage Rolls Recipe
Which spring vegetable is your favorite? Leave us a comment and let us know!
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