After a long, cold winter, the spring season has finally arrived! It’s time to start spring cleaning—and no, we don’t just mean your house. Along with the warmer weather comes an abundance of fresh produce, making it the perfect time of year to spring clean your diet. Gone are the days of rich and heavy winter foods. It’s time to welcome fresh fruits and vegetables into your everyday lifestyle.
Cooking Light provided a great guide to the best spring produce. So next time you’re in the produce section at your local Sparkle Market, look for these foods that are in season:
While they’re available almost all year-round in most areas, strawberries’ peak season is from April until June. Just one cup of these delicious berries is packed with 3.5 grams of fiber and meets 100% of your daily vitamin C needs. When shopping for strawberries, make sure they’re plump, firm, well shaped and uniformly colored. They make a sweet addition to salads, meals and are even a great substitute for dessert!
Like strawberries, asparagus can be found all year round, but peak from March through June. Add these veggies to your diet, and you’ll be glad you did—they’re full of nutritional value (i.e. low in fat, high in fiber and a great source of iron, B vitamins and vitamin C). “Once harvested, asparagus can deteriorate rapidly,” Cooking Light says. They advise to place them in cool storage to retain freshness and nutrition. Roast them, grill them or sauté them—they make a great side dish to any meal.
Artichokes peak from March through May. According to Cooking Light, a 2-ounce serving, approximately the size of the bottom of one large artichoke, has roughly 3 grams of fiber and merely 25 calories. They also are a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin C. Artichokes are a great ingredient to add to dips, pastas and salads.
Fresh peas—sugar snap, snow and green—are best from April through July. Low in fat and high in fiber, peas also make a good source of plant protein. Depending on the type of pea, their nutritional value can vary. Peas make a great addition to salads and are even great on their own!
Spring and summer (May to August) are the peak seasons for 50-calories fruit. Pick these up next time you’re at Sparkle—they’re full of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and fiber. Apricots can sweeten up a variety of your recipes whether they’re jams, salsas, sandwiches or salads.
Tons of flavor and very few calories—one cup of sliced red radishes will give you 30% of your daily vitamin C in less than 25 calories. To choose the best radishes, Cooking Light advises to pick the ones that are deep in color with solid roots. Try using radishes with soups, condiments and cooked meals.
Your local Sparkle Market has all of spring’s best produce! Clean out your kitchen, stop by and stock up on these fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables!