Most produce is available year-round, but it doesn’t stack up to the taste of the fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market that were picked within 24 hours of your purchase. Not to mention you’re doing the environment a big favor by buying your produce seasonally and locally.
Aside from the beautiful warm weather, spring and summer brings with it plenty of flavorful, super healthy foods just waiting for you to throw in your reusable bag and add to your next meal. Keep an eye out for these fruits and vegetables next time you’re at your local farmers market, and celebrate the end of winter with these yummy recipes.
Artichokes might be a pain in the butt to prep, but the flavor-packed taste of the fresh veggie easily trumps anything you’ll find in a can. Make sure you cut out the choke when cooking. These delicious green vegetables are a good source of niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper, and a very good source of vitamins C and K, folate and manganese.
These green (or white) stalks are generally harvested between May and July. They’re a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of vitamins A, C, E and K; protein; thiamin; riboflavin; niacin; folate; iron; phosphorus; potassium; copper; manganese; and selenium.
Sweet cherries, aka wild cherries, are a juicy treat in the spring. Fun fact: All parts of the plant are toxic except for the ripe fruit. They’re a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.
Like artichokes, these little guys are a chore to prep — they have to be peeled twice — but their versatility makes them a springtime staple for fresh-food lovers. Fava beans are a good source of riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus and potassium, and a very good source of folate, copper and manganese.
A favorite of the ancient Greeks and Romans, leeks are slightly sweeter than their onion cousins. These tall, green vegetables are a good source of vitamin B6, folate, iron and magnesium, and a very good source of vitamin A, C and K; and manganese.
Recipe: Leek and Parmesan risotto
These funny-looking mushrooms are prized by gourmet cooks for their rich, earthy taste. Interestingly, many people make a sport out of hunting these elusive fungi, which tend to be a little pricey because of how perishable and delicate they are. Mushrooms are generally a good source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, zinc and manganese, and a very good source of riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium.
Second only to bananas as America’s favorite tropical fruit, pineapples are sweet, tart and deliciously juicy. They are a good source of thiamin, vitamin B6 and copper, and a very good source of vitamin C and manganese.
Recipe: Sweet and spicy Thai pineapple
These root vegetables are generally harvested between April and June, and are often eaten raw in salads, pickled or cooked in a variety of dishes. They are a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese, and a very good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium.
Scientifically speaking, rhubarb is a vegetable, but the culinary world considers it a fruit due to its unusually sweet taste. It can be used in desserts like rhubarb pie or roasted as a side for more savory dishes. Rhubarb is a good source of magnesium and a very good source of vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium and manganese.
Recipe: Roasted rhubarb clafouti
Leafy green vegetables like spinach pack a ton of nutrients and antioxidants with very few calories. Opt for the greenest bunch you can find for the most health benefits. This particular leafy green is a good source of niacin and zinc, and a very good source of protein; vitamins A, C, E, K and B6; thiamin; riboflavin; folate; calcium; iron; magnesium; phosphorus; potassium; copper; and manganese.
Recipe: Quinoa spinach bake
These little green legumes can be incorporated into an infinite number of springtime dishes, thanks to their mild flavor, and just one tiny pea holds a plethora of vitamins. Green peas are a good source of protein, vitamins A and B6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of vitamins C and K, thiamin and manganese.
The 27th best U.S. food in terms of antioxidant capacity, strawberries are at the peak of their season between April and July. These juicy red berries are a good source of folate and potassium, and a very good source of vitamin C and manganese.
Recipe: Skinny strawberry smoothie