Eat seasonally and locally
When you commit to eating seasonal, locally-sourced vegetables, you not only follow the natural agricultural rhythm of the Earth, you also nourish your body with produce that offers peak nutrition and taste while supporting your local farmers and economy.
With supermarkets boasting just about all produce items year-round, it can be challenging to know the seasonal patterns of fruits and vegetables. One solution is to frequent your farmers' market, another boon to your local community, or you can visit SustainableTable.org and do a search for your state to see which produce items are in season.
Top 7 Spring vegetables
Here's a list of our favorite spring vegetables along with a tasty array of spring recipes.
An anticipated hallmark of spring, artichokes pair deliciously with lemon, garlic, wine, and herbs. Resembling swollen, green pine cones and exuding a nutty flavor, this spring vegetable can be steamed and eaten alone with melted butter, or transformed into many unique to spring dishes.
Also known as rocket, arugula is a peppery, leafy green that can be puréed into pesto, tossed into salads, or gently wilted into warm rice and pasta dishes.
A spring favorite, asparagus is a low-calorie (only 4 calories per spear), ultra-versatile vegetable that can be steamed, roasted, sautéed, and even puréed. Best yet, in addition to its distinct flavor, asparagus is loaded with vitamins A and C, folic acid, and a bevy of cancer-fighting phytonutrients.
Despite broccoli's year-round presence at the supermarket, this hardy crucifer is at its seasonal best in the spring. Part of the Brassica family, which includes cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, this spring vegetable is a tasty cancer-fighter that can be eaten as a side or a super-healthy ingredient in many spring recipes.
Venture to your farmers' market to pick the freshest fava beans. These short-season beans are tasty sources of fiber, protein, vitamins A and C, potassium, and iron. Favas can be cooked and puréed into a dip or pesto, tossed into pasta or rice dishes, and seasoned with a little sea salt for an easy side dish.
Even though rhubarb is a vegetable, its lovely red-hued stalks are most commonly cooked like a fruit, starring in pies, crumbles, and cakes.
Popeye knew what he was doing – the health benefits of spinach are enormous! A leafy, good source of vitamins A and C, folate, fiber, and antioxidants to combat cancer and heart disease, not to mention boost skin health, this low-calorie spring vegetable is a fave green for salads, layered in sandwiches, and sautéed as a simple but delicious side.
More on eating locally