With its abundance of bright green veggies and sweet berries, May is the perfect month to start incorporating healthy, in-season produce into your family’s diet.
There are many reasons to eat fruits and vegetables that are in-season rather than those grown in a far-away climate and then shipped thousands of miles to stores. First of all, it’s tastier—your produce has been picked at its peak ripeness and likely hasn’t traveled too far to get to your local grocery store or farmers market. Second, in-season fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients you don’t get from produce purchased out-of-season.
If you can, buy in-season produce that has been grown locally. Besides being better for you, eating locally grown farm products supports the local economy and the farmers all around the region who work hard to provide the best their fields have to offer. Every time you buy locally, you can feel good knowing that the money you spend is going right back into the local economy.
For those of us here in Indiana, May brings a delicious assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables. Use this helpful seasonal ingredient map to identify the best of the seasonal harvest in your area no matter the time of year.
To get started buying healthy seasonal produce this May, look for these fruits and vegetables at your local grocery store or farmers market:
Asparagus: One of the first veggies to make an appearance when spring hits, asparagus is packed with antioxidants, fiber, folate and vitamins A, C, E and K. Broil a bunch with some thinly sliced lemon wheels to make an easy and elegant dinner side dish, or throw a few chopped-up spears into a frittata or stir-fry.
Collard greens: This leafy green Southern favorite is low in calories and full of vitamins A and K, as well as a range of healthy B-vitamins and essential minerals. Use the leaves as an alternative to tortillas in your next lunch wrap, or top a roasted sweet potato with a heaping spoonful of braised collards.
Peas: Sugar snap peas, snow peas and green peas are all in season during the spring. Their low calorie count and high amounts of fiber and vitamin C make them excellent additions to pasta, salads or stir-fries.
Spinach: There’s no dish springier than a big, beautiful spinach salad. Top yours with strawberries and balsamic vinaigrette for a colorful, nutritionally packed lunch or side salad. You can also add a handful of spinach to your favorite fruit smoothie for an added nutritional boost.
Strawberries: Strawberries aren’t just delicious—they’re also full of antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium. Stir a few into your morning yogurt or oatmeal, or just eat them on their own for a sweet, healthy afternoon snack. If you’re feeling indulgent, bake up your batch of spring strawberries in a shortcake or pie. Remember: good nutrition is all about moderation.
Once you get all your in-season fruits and veggies home, you’ll need to find ways to incorporate them into some of your favorite recipes. Spend some time browsing sites like Epicurious and Cooking Light, which are great for finding some springtime menu inspiration.
Posted: 5/20/2015 by
Filed under: Fruits, Nutrition, Produce, Seasonal, Veggies