Food & Nutrition

10 Foods That Taste Best in Spring

Don't miss 'em!

Nothing shakes up a food rut like the bounty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that signal spring is here. These fresh flavors and textures make it easy to eat a rainbow of vitamins and nutrients every day. Try these simple, delicious recipes, or create your own. 

Vegetables

Asparagus: Don't be fooled by the size of these delicate green stems—thick stalks can be just as tender and delicious as thin ones. Give the vegetables a good swirl in cool water, as gritty soil can get trapped in the heads. Snap or cut off the bottom inch or so, then blanch, roast, steam or grill until tender. 

Cook it up: Farrotto with Asparagus, Feta, and Dill 

spinach

Spinach: Filled with iron, niacin, zinc, calcium and a host of other nutrients, spinach is as nutritious as it is versatile. Use raw leaves in a salad, on sandwiches, or in grain bowls—or cook and add to pasta, pizza, or eat it on its own as a side dish. Tip: Buy more than you think you need, as spinach cooks down quickly.

Cook it up: Spinach and Cheddar Frittata

kale

Kale: This superfood is a true chameleon: you can crisp it in the oven for "kale chips" (a big hit with kids), use it in hearty, flavorful salads, or cook it into soups, stews, and casseroles. Dark, flat-leaf Tuscan kale (aka Lacinato or Dinosaur kale) and curly kale ar the most common types—though they have a slightly different taste and texture you can use them interchangeably in recipes.

Cook it up: Rigatoni with Sausage and Kale

bell peppers

Bell peppers: Favorites of the crudite platter, these sweet and crunchy vegetables are refreshing (thanks to a high water content) and nutritious, with high vitamin C and B6, beta carotene and folic acid. Sweet raw, they're even sweeter cooked.

Cook it up: Peppers Stuffed with Herbed Ground Turkey and Rice


Fruits

lemons

Lemons: Lemons make everything brighter—from fresh brewed iced tea to zingy lemon desserts. This versatile citrus can be used as a main ingredient in sweet and savory recipes, and it’s also a secret weapon of chefs: A squirt of lemon can finish a dish, brightening the flavor of everything from soup to seafood recipes.

Cook it up: Lemon Bars

strawberries

Strawberries: Few things are more refreshing than a sweet, juicy strawberry. (Or more nutritious: These little red gems are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, folate, and dietary fiber!) Delicious eaten out of hand, they also make for a sweet surprise in salads, desserts, and other recipes. Tip: No need to slice off the entire berry top—simply pinch off the green leaves, then enjoy every bite.

Cook it up: Fresh Strawberry Crepes

cherries

Cherries: Put a bowl of sweet cherries on the kitchen counter and they’re likely to be gone by the end of day. Few can resist this stemmed seasonal fruit. Pitted, these antioxidant-rich powerhouses are a fun addition to fruit salads and salsas, a sweet topping on fresh or frozen yogurt, and bring a fresh twist to cakes and cobblers.  

Cook it up: Sautéed Tilapia with Almonds and Cherries

raspberries

Raspberries: Delicate fresh raspberries are not only a good source of vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber, they also make a granola-and-yogurt breakfast special, add moisture and flavor to pancakes and muffins, and are delicious baked in crumbles and cobblers. And don’t forget to throw a handful of fresh or frozen berries into your next smoothie. 

Cook it up: Raspberry Peach Cobbler


Herbs

parsley

Parsley: Flat-leaf parsley is essential to the food of many cultures—you’ll find it in everything from Italian to Middle Eastern cuisine. It adds a fresh, herbal note (some say with hints of licorice, though if you’re not a fan that shouldn’t stop you from trying it) to raw and cooked dishes. Tip: The tender stems are also edible, so feel free to chop them along with the leaves in whatever recipe you’re using. 
 

Cook it up: Garlic Seared Shrimp

oregano

Oregano: So much more than a dried herb good for sprinkling on pizza, oregano is bright, bold, and aromatic when fresh. It livens up any dish and pairs well with lemon, garlic, and other fresh herbs. Try it in place of basil in pesto, add its tender leaves to your next green salad, or add it to meatloaf or burger mix before cooking.

Cook it up: Roasted Baby Potatoes with Oregano and Lemon

 

RELATED: Set a Nature-Inspired Spring Table