Eat in season: vegetables to put on your plate this spring!
[caption id="attachment_32211" align="alignleft" width="150"] Leanne Lovsin, Guest Blogger[/caption]
This blog was written by guest blogger Leanne Lovsin.
Did you know that choosing to eat locally grown fruits and vegetables is good for the environment? Local produce doesn’t have to travel very far to arrive on your plate; this helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a win-win situation! You help support the local economy, eat fresh and delicious food, and improve your carbon footprint.
Hungry yet? Here are four seasonal vegetables that can be found at your local farmers’ market this spring!
Radishes (available March-November in Western Canada and May-November in Central and Atlantic Canada)
These root vegetables pack quite the punch! Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours, radishes are full of vitamin C and potassium and are a refreshing change from the other root vegetables we’ve been eating all winter long.
Try eating them raw (with some hummus on the side), sliced on top of a salad, pickled, fermented (it’s great in homemade kimchi), grilled, or roasted. The options are endless!
Asparagus (available March-June in Western Canada and May-June in Central and Atlantic Canada)
When asparagus is in season, you can find it just about anywhere! Take advantage of the availability, because it’s basically a superfood—asparagus is loaded with nutrients (folate, vitamins A, C, E, K, and chromium), antioxidants, and cancer-fighting compounds such as glutathione, which helps to break down carcinogens and free radicals.
The nutrients in asparagus are best preserved when the vegetable is roasted, grilled, or stir-fried (not boiled). Celebrate the return of warm weather by firing up those barbecues and putting some asparagus on the grill!
Morel Mushrooms (available April-June in Canada)
Morels are a highly coveted mushroom. Adored by food-lovers all around the world, this mushroom cannot be farmed; it must be foraged in its natural environment. These honeycomb-shaped fungi are bursting with vitamin D, antioxidants, iron, and B vitamins.
Due to their spongy texture, make sure to clean morels really well before cooking them! Like other mushrooms, morels are great sautéed with butter or oil. Morels make a delicious, earthy side dish for spring dinners.
Rhubarb (available March-June in Western and Central Canada and May-June in Atlantic Canada)
Perhaps you’re already well-acquainted with this vegetable—strawberry-rhubarb pie, anyone? Rhubarb is a stalky, tart plant commonly used in sugary desserts. High in potassium, calcium, and vitamin C, it is the perfect ingredient to add to a dessert to make it more nutritious. Just don’t eat the leaves—they’re poisonous!
Take advantage of all the fresh rhubarb coming your way this Spring and whip up some pies and crumbles! These desserts typically freeze well, so get baking now and you’ll be fully stocked for summer.
Happy eating! Share your favourite springtime recipes in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!