Spring is approaching! Here are some tasty veggies and fruits in season currently: Artichoke, Asparagus, Haas Avocado, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Fennel, Kale, Leek, Lemon, Lime, Mushrooms, Spring Onions, Orange, Peas, Radish, Rhubarb, Spinach, Strawberries and Tangerines.
Artichokes are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium, and are a good source of folic acid.
Asparagus is best cooked quickly to preserve it bright green color and the healthy nutrients. Depending on the thickness, a pound can be microwaved or steamed in 5-8 minutes. For salads or dipping, try blanching asparagus. Simply place stalks in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove from boiling water and immerse in cold water.
Avocados are the most practical “go anywhere, eat anywhere” food. They do not need to be cooked, require no refrigeration; they come with their own carrying case and even have a built-in serving bowl! So next time you and your baby are on the go, drop an avocado and a spoon in your diaper bag, and you are all set!
When it comes to great-tasting nutrition, broccoli has a lot to offer. The stems of broccoli are similar tasting to asparagus and the florets are like cauliflower. A cup of cooked broccoli offers as much calcium as 4 ounces of milk, as much Vitamin C as an orange, and is very rich in vitamin A. Broccoli contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc too. It is also high in fiber and low in calories.
According to the Pioneer Valley Growers Association, Cabbage is loaded with Vitamin C and folate. It also provides fiber and is low calorie!
When buying cauliflower, select one that is white or creamy white in color, firm, and heavy. Cauliflower is also available in green (sometimes called brocciflower) and purple varieties too.
Mushrooms are high in the B-vitamins, riboflavin and niacin, which promote healthy skin and good vision and ensure that the digestive and nervous systems function as they should. Mushrooms are an important source of potassium; in fact, one medium-sized portabella contains more than a banana. Mushrooms also contain essential minerals including selenium, pantothenic acid, and copper, all of which work to keep the body healthy.
Green garden peas (a.k.a. English peas and Sweet peas) are a valuable source of protein, iron and fiber. Fiber helps to reduce cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Sugar snap peas and snow peas, contain much less protein, but they are an excellent source of iron and vitamin C that work to keep your immune system functioning properly.