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Healthy Living Blog

Information and inspiration to help you make a habit out of living healthy.


Produce to Spring for Right Now

Thursday, May 02, 2019

By , YMCA Registered Dietitian

All of those April showers have not only brought May flowers, but an abundance of delicious produce. This time of year, the Farmers Market begins to fill up, and our favorite fruits and veggies come into season.

The beauty of our modern era is that we have the ability to eat a tomato in the dead of winter, but I can guarantee that it will taste better if you eat it on a hot summer day!

When you choose produce that is in season in your area, it means it didn’t have to travel hundreds of miles to wind up on your dinner table. Another great thing about seasonal produce is that it’s often less expensive.

Download Our Guide to Eating Seasonally

The following four fruits and veggies are just coming into season in Middle Tennessee and will be readily available, probably more affordable, and definitely more delicious. Have fun incorporating them into your spring cooking (which, let’s be honest, is way more enjoyable than spring cleaning!).

Asparagus

This stalky vegetable is, strangely enough, a member of the Lily family. It can come in a variety of colors including purple, white, and the most obvious, green. It is an excellent source of Vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and maintaining strong bones. Additionally, it is a good source of folate which is a vital nutrient, especially during pregnancy.

Cooking tip: Asparagus doesn’t need much to taste delicious; simply snap off the fibrous end and throw it on the grill.

Snap Peas

In the Middle Tennessee area, snap peas are in season from May through July and are unique because you can eat the entire pod! These slightly sweet and satisfyingly crunchy legumes are surprisingly high in Vitamin C, with just half a cup containing 100% of your daily recommended intake!

Cooking tip: Munch on these raw as a mid-day snack, or toss in a stir-fry for a weeknight meal that will whip up in a flash.

Strawberries

Strawberries seem to be one of the quintessential signs that summer is upon us. In fact, the Nashville Farmers Market uses a Strawberry Jubilee to kick off their peak season every year. When these berries are red and ripe, they don’t need any sugar to taste sweet enough to curb a candy craving. Their bright red color is due to the presence of anthocyanins, which are phytonutrients that can help prevent cancer and heart disease.  

Cooking tip: Throw some in a smoothie for a delicious breakfast or top a handful with a small dollop of whipped cream for a decadent dessert. Yum!

Rhubarb

This vegetable kind of looks like a red stalk of celery, and it is often used alongside strawberries in dessert dishes. Rhubarb can taste pretty sour when eaten raw, but it doesn’t have to be limited to dessert recipes.

Cooking tip: Mix rhubarb puree into your morning oatmeal for an added dose of fiber, or try mixing it in a homemade barbecue sauce that is sure to impress!

Hungry for more?

Try these 4 Fresh Spring Recipes. You can also learn more about healthy eating in a personalized, nutrition counseling session. We're here to help you reach your goals!

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