Eating for the Seasons: Spring Foods

Eating for the Seasons - Spring Foods

It’s officially spring and with that comes another installment in our eating for the seasons blog series. Remember that ‘eating for the season’ means choosing fruits and vegetables that are in their peak season. This will help extend the life of your produce and be more cost effective overall.

Springs Foods in Season (March – May)

The complete list of fruits and vegetables in season this spring is included, along with links to a few recipes using spring produce. What interesting recipes can you find that use these foods? I challenge you to try at least one new produce item each month during this spring season!

Fruits:

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Cherimoya
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries

Vegetables:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Belgian Endive
  • Broccoli
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Chayote Squash
  • Chives
  • Collard Greens
  • Corn 
  • Fava Beans
  • Fennel
  • Green Beans
  • Leeks
  • Mustard Greens
  • Peas
  • Radicchio
  • Rhubarb
  • Snow Peas
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  • Vidalia Onions
  • Watercress

Now put these delicious ingredients to use in these healthy recipes!

Chicken Cucumber Avocado Salad

Try this recipe for a refreshing dose of potassium, fiber, and heart-healthy fats from avocados. The monounsaturated fats found in avocados may help lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and shredded
  • 1 large cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 4-5 large Roma tomatoes, sliced or chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix together shredded chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, avocados, and chopped parsley in a large salad bowl. 
  2. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Toss gently to mix all of the flavors through. 
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Grilled Corn Salad with Peppers and Basil

This recipe will provide a healthy dose of insoluble fiber from the corn. Insoluble fiber helps feed the good bacteria in your gut, which will aid in digestion. Corn also is loaded with phytochemicals that promote healthy vision.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Grilled Corn Salad
    • 4 ears fresh corn
    • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
    • 1 tsp. Salt
    • 1/2 tsp. Paprika
    • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
    • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup basil leaves, julienned
    • 1 Tbsp. Chives
  • Honey Lime Dressing
    • 2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 Tbsp. Lime juice
    • 1 Tbsp. Honey
    • 1/2 tsp. Salt
    • 1/2 tsp. Cracked black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat a grill over high heat. 
  2. Remove the husks and silks from the corn. Drizzle each ear of corn with a teaspoon of olive oil, then rub the oil into the kernels. Sprinkle with the salt and paprika. 
  3. Place the corn directly on the grates over high heat. Grill, turning a quarter of a turn every 3-4 minutes, until charred and tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the corn from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle. 
  4. Slice the kernels from the cobs and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the bell pepper, scallions, basil, and chives. 
  5. In a small bowl, combine the honey lime dressing ingredients and whisk until the honey is dissolved. 
  6. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt, pepper, or lime juice if needed. This salad can be served warm immediately, at room temperature, or transferred to the fridge and served chilled. This recipe keeps in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days. 

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Reap the health benefits of blueberries from this recipe. Blueberries are among the most nutrient-dense berries with a large dose of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C and K.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter or coconut oil, divided
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen blueberries, divided 
  • 2 tsp. Raw sugar (optional)
  • Optional toppings for serving: plain/vanilla yogurt or whipped cream, additional maple syrup or honey for drizzling, and/or additional fresh fruit

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish. Once the oven has finished preheating, pour the nuts onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 4-5 minutes, until fragrant. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, toasted nuts, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Whisk to combine. 
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the milk, maple syrup, egg, half of the butter or coconut oil, and vanilla. Whisk until blended. 
  4. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the berries for topping the baked oatmeal, then arrange the remaining berries evenly over the bottom of the baking dish (no need to defrost frozen fruit first). Cover the fruit with the dry oat mixture, then drizzle the wet ingredients over the oats. Wiggle the baking dish to make sure the milk moves down through the oats, then gently pat down any dry oats resting on top. 
  5. Scatter the remaining berries across the top. Sprinkle some raw sugar on top if you’d like some extra sweetness and crunch. 
  6. Bake for 42-45 minutes, until the top is nice and golden. Remove your baked oatmeal from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top before serving. 
  7. This oatmeal keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for 4-5 days.
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Sarah Brunner Registered Dietician at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian

Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

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