Spring is definitely on our door step now. I can see the green returning to the trees along the Yarra.
Do you enjoy eating with the seasons? It can be a challenge sometimes, especially as the major supermarkets work hard to keep their shelves stocked with our favourite fruits and vegetables all year round….sometimes to the detriment of our wallets and our taste buds. But I do believe there are benefits to eating with the seasons.
Spring is a time for purifying and detoxing our bodies (i.e. giving ourselves a bit of a spring clean). Drinking plenty of water and adding more fresh or uncooked foods to our diet (now that the weather is warming up) is a great way to help cleanse our bodies.
So here are just some of the fruits and vegetables to include in your diet as we go through spring:
Papaya or pawpaw – like a trip to the tropics without leaving home, full of vitamin C, carotene and fibre. Try it for dessert or to enliven a fruit salad.
Pineapple – similar to pawpaw in nutritional content, try pineapple blended with mint for a refreshing drink on a warm day.
Blood oranges – these get their dark colour from the same anti-oxidant found in blueberries, eat them fresh or try adding them to salads and using the juice in your salad dressing.
Rocket – sometimes called arugula, has a peppery taste and is a good source of many vitamins and minerals including folate and beta-carotene. Rocket is low in calories and great for stimulating your digestion. Add some to a salad or sandwich instead of your everyday lettuce.
Asparagus – containing fibre, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and more, this is such a versatile vegetable and very quick and easy to prepare. I love barbequed asparagus tossed with a little olive oil and garlic. Or maybe in a spring risotto with fresh peas, corn and mint.
Green beans – more fibre, vitamins and minerals, they can be eaten hot or cold. Try them in a salad with almonds or with Parmesan and fresh basil. They also go well with hot spices in curries.
Asian greens – think choy sum, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, Chinese broccoli to name a few. They are an easy addition to stir-fries and Asian soups as well as an endless variety of Asian salads. Try them with a lime juice dressing.
Eggplant – A great way to get some purple into your diet. Eggplant is a great addition to a vegetable lasagne or a green chicken curry or even just grilled with a little olive oil.
Corn – rich in vitamin A as well as having good amounts of potassium and magnesium along with other vitamins and minerals. Also a good source of fibre. Steam it, boil it or barbeque it or even add corn kernels to a salad.
Peas – Fresh green peas have the most vitamin C of all the legumes as well having a good spread of other vitamins and minerals. Peas go really well with mint in a salad or tossed into a frittata or just lightly steamed and served with your favourite meat.
Basil – Definitely a sign that summer is on the way. Add fresh basil to your salads or whip up a batch of pesto to have with pasta or use as a dressing. Basil, tomato and good olive oil are just meant to be together.
Mint – As I said above, I love mint with pineapple in a smoothie but it goes well with watermelon too. Or simply add some to your water for a refreshing drink. Or don’t forget to add some mint to salads (especially with feta) or stir some through your steamed rice.
This is not an exclusive list but hopefully, I’ve inspired you to think about mixing up your food choices and adding some new season’s foods to your diet.
The more variety the better!