There are so many great things about spring: longer days, the return of sunshine, and an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies at the market. After a long winter of eating cold-weather comfort foods, most of us could use a little spring detox.
Look for these tasty and nutritious superfoods to start showing up at farmers’ markets and in grocery stores in the coming weeks.
Asparagus – While asparagus in often in stores year-round, it’s really a spring crop. The tough, bland asparagus of winter time can’t compete with fresh, tender springtime asparagus. Have some with a little olive oil and pepper as a side dish to get your daily dose of folate, which can help improve your mood.
Spinach – Spring greens are some of the first things to make their way to farmers’ markets as winter fades. Spring spinach is sweeter and more tender than the stuff you’ve been buying all winter. It’s also high in vitamin C and folate to give you an immunity boost.
Artichokes – Fresh artichokes, not the ones you get in a can, are both delicious and really good for you. They look a little weird when you buy them whole, but all you have to do is steam them and then scrape the tender parts of the leaves with your teeth. They’re great with a little lemon, and are loaded with prebiotics for healthy digestion.
Strawberries – There’s nothing better than the first strawberries of spring. They’re packing with antioxidants to help prevent aging, and also have enough vitamin C for a serious immunity boost.
Arugula – This peppery green is a great way to brighten up a salad. It’s also delicious as a fresh topping on pizza right after it comes out of the oven. These leafy greens will give you a mega dose of magnesium for bone and muscle strength.
Beets – If you hated beets as a kid, give them another try this spring! Try juicing them or adding some to a smoothie if you don’t love eating them on their own. Beets are full of potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, and vitamins A, B, and C.
Fiddleheads – You probably won’t find these in the supermarket, but you’re sure to see them at farm stands. These young ferns are foraged, and are full of vitamins A and C. Boil them, then sauté with olive oil and garlic for a delicious side dish.
Fennel –This licorice-flavored veggie is popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Use it raw in salads or sautee it for a healthy dose of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Green Garlic – Also known as garlic scapes, this veggie is immature garlic that looks a bit like a scallion. They taste like a more mild form of garlic. Try them in an omelette for an immunity boost.
Rhubarb – There’s more to rhubarb than pie. To get the most out of this antioxidant-rich food, don’t drown it in sugar. Try it in a lightly-sweetened crumble, or use it as a savory ingredient in salsas and chutneys.