The days are warming up, everything is starting to look green and it feels like it’s finally spring. It’s time to get outside, shake the dust off your running shoes, start moving and also start looking at the produce sections of your grocery or local markets for some of the local foods that are now starting to arrive.
As we get into the season, remember to support your local growers as you eat deliciously and healthily. Here are 4 foods to get you started.
- Last night I had asparagus for dinner. It was so yummy and tastes to me like spring. I love it lightly steamed, roasted or grilled (a little crunchy, not mushy) as a side dish but it’s also good in a salad, omelette or even in soup. For only 25 calories in 6 spears you get about 25% of your recommended folate, plus fibre, vitamin C, some B6 potassium and the antioxidant glutathione When you buy asparagus, look for bright green stalks, that are straight and firm with tightly closed tips.
- Radishes are local these days. Their crunchy, spicy flavour makes them great as a snack as well as a colourful addition to salads or fresh vegetable trays. A half-cup serving is satisfying at only 9 calories and provides you with some vitamin C, folate and potassium.
- I’m starting to see rhubarb and it’s another reminder that it’s spring. Stewed rhubarb is tasty on its own and sometimes I put it over ice cream or frozen yogurt. It’s also good in crisps, tarts, cobblers, compotes, chutney or mixed with applesauce or berries. A cup of fresh rhubarb contains only 25 calories and it’s also a good source of fibre.
- Spinach and other greens are starting to appear. They are all really low in calories – a cup of raw spinach contains 10 calories – and are packed with nutrition including vitamins A, C, K, folate as well as fibre, iron, potassium and calcium plus some important plant chemicals including lutein which is important for eye health. Spinach is good cooked with olive oil and garlic as a side dish, raw in a salad, added to pasta, on top of pizza, in omelettes, quiche, soups and dips.