With winter ending and spring fast approaching, it’s time to introduce new flavours to your plate with these seasonal foods.
March marks the end of winter (hurrah!) and the beginning of spring – even if it doesn’t quite feel it yet. (You know, that whole in like a lion, out like a lamb thing?) But when it comes to our food, it’s an interesting month: You’ll find the tail end of winter produce is still available during early March, then later in the month, early spring produce makes its debut. Soon, you’ll be planting your garden and humming around the local farmers’ markets that’ll begin to spring back up on every corner (pun intended!). Until then, add these 10 ready-right-now fruits and veggies to your grocery list.
Why should you make them a priority this month? One steamed artichoke has around 65 calories and a whopping 10 grams of fibre, and they’re an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Plus, they contain the antioxidant silymarin, which helps protect from heart disease and helps your liver do its job.
Cara Cara Oranges
These juicy babies were originally discovered in 1976 at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela. Now, they’re grown in California and available December through April. This orange has reddish-pink flesh and a sweet, tangy flavour similar to strawberries and cranberries. Because they’re seedless, many folks prefer using them in recipes like fruit salad, salsa, or dipped in dark chocolate. Yum!
This leafy green is an excellent source of fibre, folate, and vitamin K. It’s also brimming with minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. In fact, spinach is one of the best sources of the antioxidant lutein, which helps keeps your eyes and your skin looking great! To get the most nutrition out of your spinach, look for those with vibrant, deep leaves – pass on those that are wilted. (Spinach is also one of the 7 Brain Foods to Eat Every Day.)
These gold oranges are grown in California and Florida and are available January through June. Unlike other citrus fruits, kumquats have a pale orange rind that you can eat (it’s the sweetest part of the fruit!). Inside, the flesh and juice are sour. Kumquats also have seeds that are super bitter and that you shouldn’t eat – spit them out or remove when cooking. One kumquat has only 14 calories and 14 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C, so snack on ’em fresh, muddle in cocktails, or bake into muffins, breads, or cakes.
Bosc and Anjou Pears
Both the green and red varieties of Bosc and Anjou pears are now in peak season. One medium pear is has about 70 calories and 6 grams fibre, which is 24 percent of the recommended daily value (we can’t complain about that!). Pears can be baked, poached, roasted, or grilled. Plus, fresh pears can be added to smoothies, spinach salad, or fruit salad. Pro tip: apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear with your thumb. If it’s firm, it’s ripe.
This member of the mustard family has a slight peppery flavour. Radishes can be found in a variety of colours, ranging from red to purple to white to black, and this low-calorie superstar has 20 calories per cup and is brimming with vitamin C, folate, potassium, and folate. Munch on them for a snack, or sauté, braise, glaze, or pickle them. And don’t forget about the leaves -they can be added raw to salads or cooked like spinach.
Also called Chinese cabbage, bok choy is at its peak during the winter months. It has a sweeter flavour than red or green cabbage, and can be used in most recipes calling for raw or cooked cabbage. Choose boy choy with firm, smooth, white stalks and dark, crisp greens. Avoid those with wilted, broken, or spotted leaves, limp stalks, or any discolouration.
The end of March is peak season for this early spring favourite. The differences between green and white asparagus: white has a milder flavour and is grown undergrown without exposure to sunlight. One cup of chopped asparagus has 30 calories, is a rich source of folate and thiamin, and a good source of fibre, iron, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. For best results when cooking this veggie, make sure the spears are all the same thickness so they cook evenly. (It’s the perfect time to cook up this Asparagus with Oyster Sauce!)
Also called green or spring onions, scallions are in season beginning late March. They’re slightly sweeter than onions, with a slight peppery bite. For the best flavour combo, use the green tops for sweetness and white ends for crunch. Scallions are versatile and can be added to most any dish where you want a hint of onion-y flavour, like pasta salads, soups, pizza, guacamole, salad dressing, and scrambled eggs.
This sweet and tangy member of the citrus family is now in season! One medium grapefruit has about 100 calories and is an excellent source of the antioxidants vitamins A and C, providing 70 percent and 24 percent of your daily recommended amount, respectively. Toss grapefruit segments over a spinach salad, or use in a seafood marinade or homemade vinaigrette. For best results, store grapefruit wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer for up to two weeks. Psst: the heavier the fruit, the juicier it will be!
(Article source: Shape)