It has been a long winter and a longer year. It’s time to welcome warmer weather, sunshine, blooming trees and flowers. Spring helps us feel alive again after the dreary days of cold and gray skies. And there is hope that we will see a lessening of the epidemic that has worried us for so long.
In spring, our menus change. As the cold recedes, nature brings a new growing season. We start making lighter meals, using the first veggies and fruits of the season. Fresh leafy greens, spring onions, chives, mint, asparagus, artichokes, beets, strawberries, cherries, and mangoes, all abundant at this time of year, are incorporated into our healthy and delicious meals.
To help usher in a spring celebration, try our Spring Greens Soup. It combines vegetables, especially leafy greens, that are among the first vegetables available in colder climes. Dark leafy greens are particularly nutritious. Data from the USDA tells us that the “vitamin K content of dark green leafy vegetables provides a number of health benefits including: protecting bones from osteoporosis and helping to prevent against inflammatory diseases. Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods.”
Besides vitamin K, leafy greens also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, folate, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. That’s a lot of goodness!
Watercress is also considered a seasonal spring vegetable, one we’ve highlighted in our recipe, Spring Pasta with Zucchini and Watercress.
One of the first herbs that pop up in our gardens in the springtime is mint. It’s always at its best at this time of the year. Try our fresh Cilantro Mint Chutney with a South Indian favorite, uttapam. This savory pancake is made with a fermented batter.
In keeping with the Spring theme, make your uttapam with spring green onions and cilantro.
Another delicious way to taste the spring is with our Multiplier Onion pesto made from a variety of spring onion that are rich in thiamine, as well as vitamins C, B2, A, and Vitamin K. Like we say in the intro, “The fresh flavors of this pesto will elevate any salad, pizza, sandwich, or pasta dish and will have you dreaming of summer!”
Another lovely side dish to serve in the spring is our Fresh Peas with Scallions, Lemon and Mint, utilizing abundant produce of the season.
Two vegetables that are at their finest in spring are asparagus and artichokes. This recipe for Orange Steamed Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts uses both! Tasty and oil-free, the recipe comes to us from one of our favorite chefs, Ramses Bravo, who demonstrated it at one of our Chicago-area Veggie Fests.
Strawberries are plentiful in the spring. We have two recipes you can try for your spring menu. The first recipe joins strawberries and rhubarb into a deliciously sweet, tart pie.
Our final recipe is one for coconut whipped cream served on top of a bowl of fresh, sliced, juicy strawberries.
We hope you are enjoying the warmth of the season. Take a walk, plant some flowers, and enjoy nature’s bounty featured in some of our delicious recipes!
–M for the Veggie Fest Team