Spring is a very colorful and energetic time of year, the temperatures increase and it’s the perfect time to be more active outside in the fresh air. Food along with your mood can also be colorful and energetic this time of year. Colorful meals and snacks typically contain more fruits and vegetables therefore increasing the nutrient value of the dish overall. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium and fat but rich in healthy antioxidants, fiber and vitamins and minerals. This spring think about incorporating vibrant colorful fruits and vegetables into all of your meals and snacks.
Here is a list of some fruits and vegetables that are in season during the spring months.
- Artichokes- are in season both in the fall and spring, these nutrient rich vegetables can be added to any pasta dish or on top of pizza.
- Arugula- is rich in color and calcium compared to plain lettuce. Arugula can be used as the leafy base of a salad or even thrown into a green smoothie.
- Asparagus- Asparagus has a natural detoxing effect on the body. Toss in olive oil and light sea salt and pepper and roast or grill asparagus for 15-20 min.
- Beets- Beets are rich in both iron and vitamin B, a great food to incorporate into any pregnant woman’s diet. They are also known for their cleansing effect on the body, specifically the liver. They can be added to a salad or thrown into a smoothie for a low sugar sweet flavor.
- Cherries- can be eaten as a snack, but can also be used in homemade sauces and spread on grilled chicken or lean pork tenderloin. Cherries are a lower glycemic fruit, meaning they do not raise blood sugars dramatically, keeping insulin hormones within normal ranges.
- Grapefruit- typically comes into season in the winter months but still stays juicy through the spring months, it is a natural appetite suppressant and some research shows it fights belly fat. Can be eaten whole or made into an unusual fruit salad with other fruits and vegetables.
- Lemons- Also come in to season during the winter months, but stay juicy through spring. Lemons add flavor to almost any dish, place sliced lemons on top of fish or chicken while it’s grilling, and add it to water for additional antioxidants to boost immune system.
- Mint- This herb is naturally high in antioxidants and can be added to water for a refreshing cool flavor or even a salad for the same effect.
Grapefruit, Arugula and Mint Spring Salad
2 grapefruits peeled and sliced into wedges
3-4 c fresh arugula
10 mint leaves sliced
1 jicama (peeled and diced)
1 large red bell pepper diced
Combine all ingredients and serve chilled as a fruit salad.
“Greens” Smoothie (1 serving)
½ cup kale, arugula or spinach – stems removed
Chopped and firmly packed OR organic frozen option
¼ cup parsley and mint leaves loosely packed
½ c beets
½ medium organic apple, cored and coarsely chopped
½ medium organic pear, cored and coarsely chopped
1 scoop protein powder
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
½ cup ice
¾ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
Blend all ingredients till smooth.
This is a preview to an article that will be featured in Progressive Grocer Magazine.
Dr. Kantor’s greatly anticipated new children’s book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice, is now available. Be sure to order this highly reviewed book, filled with healthy living tips for the whole family. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.