Spring is here! As a dietitian I always think about all the delicious fruits and vegetables that come with the warmer weather. Once summer hits berries, basil, apples and other tasty produce will be ready to enjoy. However, some people forget about the veggies that are in season during spring. I choose three items that I thought people might not make at home on a regular basis. I hope you will enjoy the info and recipes.
Choose artichoke heads with tightly closed leaves. The artichoke should be heavy for its size
Place artichokes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Artichoke is a good source of vitamin C. magnesium, dietary fiber, and potassium. It also contains the flavonoid silymarin that is thought to help with cholesterol levels and promote liver health.
Choose bright green asparagus with tips that are closed, compact, and firm.
It is best to keep fresh asparagus moist until use. If you are not going to use it the same day you buy it, trim a little of the bottom off and store upright in a container with a little water. For longer storage, wrap the ends in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the crisper section of the refrigerator. Asparagus will usually last 4-5 days in your refrigerator.
Strawberry Asparagus Salad (I skip the dressing from this recipe and just do balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It is a lot less sugar! I even use almonds that do not have sugar on them.)
Asparagus is a great source of vitamin C, folic acid, B6 and thiamine. It is high in glutathione, an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage.
Choose kiwi, otherwise known as Chinese gooseberries that are unblemished a little fuzzy. Ripe kiwi should give slightly to pressure. If you purchase a kiwi that is firm you can ripen it in a brown paper bag on the counter. Be sure to check daily for ripeness.
Kiwi can be stored for days on the counter or for up to six weeks in the refrigerator.
Great in fruit salads, also try the recipes below:
Charred Jalopeno, Kiwi, & Cucumber Salsa (Great with kale chips)
Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C, in fact it is thought to have the highest vitamin C content of any fruit. It is also a great source of vitamin E, potassium, and dietary fiber.