What Do We Mean With “In Season Vegetables”?
Buying fresh vegetables is a delicious and cost effective way to boost your immunity and heighten your overall health. The best way to choose what vegetables to buy and when, is to understand what vegetables are in season at the time. What does it mean for a vegetable to be “in season”? Well, the time of year when a vegetable is at it’s most ripe is considered it’s season. These vegetables will be plentiful in your local grocery stores and at their lowest price as well!
Benefits Of Buying In Season
Why should one purchase vegetables when they are in season anyway? Well, there are multiple benefits to both your health and your bank account.
When a vegetable is in season, it is at its most ripe. When a vegetable is ripe, it has its highest volume of nutritional value. It is wise to purchase the vegetables that are in season because they will offer more health benefits than those that are not in season.
Another benefit to purchasing vegetables in season is that there is a more plentiful supply of these vegetables in the stores. Because they have more easy access to the in season vegetables, stores are able to offer them at a much lower price than when they are out of season.
Top 10 Spring Vegetables
Asparagus is a delicious and versatile spring vegetable. This spring staple can be found growing naturally in the wild, than a perennial in home gardens and in full supply in grocery stores this time of year. Asparagus can be found in three main types. 1. Green- this is the most common type. 2. White- this asparagus is grown in the absence of sunlight to create the lack of photosynthesis that makes the asparagus green. 3. Purple- this type is fun and beautiful when raw, but does turn green when cooked.
Asparagus is known for its astringent, or cleansing properties and is a valuable health food. This vegetable offers two-thirds of your daily vitamin K and one third of your daily folates. It also delivers high volumes of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and B and is a rich source of fiber.
Just for you, I would like to share my favorite Grandmother’s Asparagus Recipe, it is considered more like a starter, but can also be enjoyed as a main course with steamed potatoes.
Preparation time: 30 minutes, 3 hours in the refrigerator and again 30 minutes for the presentation*
For 4 Persons:
- 24 thin asparagus
For the marinade:
- 0,5 liters of french fries sauce
- worcester sauce
- coffeecup of pickle liquid
For the presentation:
- 24 slices of thin sliced ham
- 4 eggs
- some salad
Preparing the marinade:
Take a large low oven dish. Put in the French fries sauce, pepper, salt, Worcester Sauce and Pickle liquid. Mix the marinade
Preparing the asparagus:
peel the asparagus , put them in a casserole with water, they must be completely covered. Put some salt in the water and boil them for 10 minutes (depending a bit on the thickness of the asparagus. Pick softly in one of them with a fork. They are best “all dente”. Put them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Leak the asparagus and put them gently in your marinade. Make sure all asparagus are covered in the marinade, put some film over it and put the dish in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
* you can very well prepare this meal the evening before, and leave the asparagus in the marinade in your fridge overnight. They might even taste better! Do the presentation part just before serving.
Take a flat presentation dish
Leak your asparagus by putting them on a drip plate
Boil your eggs ( I usually boil them 10 minutes, to make sure they are hard) and cut them in 4 parts
Take a slice of ham and put 3 asparagus on it and roll the ham around it
Put some salad on the sides of your presentation dish and lay the asparagus rolls in the middle. Put the egg around it and Voilà, you are ready to serve!
The artichoke is a unique delicacy that is actually a member of the thistle family and is related to sunflowers. The artichoke is actually an unopened flower bud that is highly nutritious and tasty. With a rich, buttery flavor, this spring vegetable is highly sought after for upscale restaurants and health food stores alike. The artichoke can be cooked in a variety of ways and is a wonderful addition to pizza or used than a dipper at fondue parties.
Artichokes are one of the spring veggies that is packed with nutrients. A single artichoke offers 10 grams of fiber and 3.5 grams of protein. This will fill you up while offering multiple health benefits to your digestive and cardiovascular system. Artichokes are also packed with antioxidants that are useful to all systems of your body, especially your immune system.
Broccoli is a commonly overlooked source of nutrition and flavor. This cool weather plant will also deliver wonderfully throughout the summer months in cooler climates. This spring veggie looks like a tiny tree and can be cooked in many different manners though it is often steamed or cooked in soups and stir frys.
One cup of chopped broccoli has the same amount of vitamin C as an orange which meets your minimum daily needs. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin A which is good for your eyes, hair, and skin as well as being a good source of cancer fighting antioxidants.
Carrots are a popular and delicious root vegetable that are common in recipes for all seasons. Though they can be grown and harvested throughout the year, carrots are considered to be in season in the winter and spring due to the fact that cold weather causes them to convert their starches into sugars to avoid freezing. This means that carrots are at their peak of flavor and nutrition in the winter months. Carrots are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and potassium.
Radishes are a hardy and spicy cousin to broccoli and kale. These resilient spring root crops are about the size of a golf ball and have a deep red-purple tone. Radishes are easily stored in a bowl of water in your refrigerator for several days. Enjoy the greens stored in a wet paper towel for up to weeks in the refrigerator.
The radish is a fantastic way to add some flavor and concentrated nutrition to your spring meals. This little veggie boasts one third of your daily vitamin C needs in one cup. In addition to this, the radish is a great way to add folate, fiber, potassium, and B vitamins to your daily meals.
The strawberry is a bountiful spring fruit that is adored by all. This berry was once reserved only for royalty and is often the first fruit to ripen in the spring. Enjoy this popular berry in yogurt, fruit salads, deserts, and dipped in sauces. The fruit of the royalty has become the fruit of the people!
Strawberries, in addition to being delicious, are packed full of nutrition. These delightful little berries are packed with antioxidants and are prized in cancer fighting diets. One cup of sliced strawberries contains 149% of your daily vitamin C needs.
The pea is a tiny powerhouse that is prized for its high levels of protein in health supplements. Though these supplements make use of dried peas, the fresh green pea is a delight in salads, stir fries, and a crunchy, healthy snack.
With nearly nine grams of protein per cup, green peas are a fantastic healthy choice in weight loss and bodybuilding diets. The vast variety of antioxidants and nutrients found in this spring vegetable make it a fantastic addition to any meal. Peas are good for your digestion and are also used highly in cancer fighting diets.
Arugula is the newest craze in salads, stir frys, and health food stores. This peppery spring salad has the spotlight now, but has been valued throughout history than a power food that is one of the earliest leafy greens to mature in the spring. This made it an essential food supplement after the long winters without fresh greens.
Arugula is a cousin to the radish and also boasts a mild peppery flavor. Add a half of a cup of chopped arugula to your next salad to attain 14% of your daily intake of vitamin K, 5% of your daily intake of vitamin A, and 5% of your daily intake of calcium, manganese, and folate.
9. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are another zesty addition to a spring salad or stir-fry that will liven up the flavor while packing the dish full of health benefits. This spring vegetable has been prized for ages for it’s nutritional value, anti-inflammatory, and cancer fighting agents.
Just one cup of cooked mustard greens provides you with 500% of your daily vitamin K, 175% of your daily vitamin A, and 60% of your daily vitamin C. Adding a few leaves to a dish each day will keep you feeling happy and healthy through the long spring months.
10. Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is a cousin to spinach and has large, spinach-like leaves. This tasty spring vegetable is often sold in bundles with multicolored stems. Swiss chard is delicious wilted in a hot pan, cooked in bean soups, and added to pasta dishes.
Swiss chard is known to improve heart and circulatory health and packs a nutritional punch. Enjoy three times your daily recommended amount of vitamin K in just one cup. Swiss chard is also packed full of other vitamins and nutrients that make it an all around healthy and delicious spring vegetable.
Happy Healthy Shopping
What are your favorite spring vegetables? Do you have any nice recipes you want to share with us? Just leave them down in the comments, thanks a lot in advance!
I hope that this article has helped you to understand the many benefits of purchasing vegetables that are in season, as well as outlining the many health benefits of the top ten spring vegetables. Happy healthy shopping everyone!