Spring! Eating with the Seasons

It’s time to start leaving the heavier meals of Winter behind and ease into the ​light and fresh foods of Spring!

There are so many benefits to eating with the seasons. Not only is each season’s produce much fresher, it is less expensive and it’s environmentally much kinder. Best of all when you eat seasonally and locally, it is richer in nutrients and we are provided with the foods we most need to support us through the transition to the next season.
​Eating seasonally is one habit alone that goes a long way in supporting your body. I’ve come to realize first hand just how significantly we are affected by what we put into our bodies at different times of the year.
​So, to help embrace the season, here are my top suggestions for Spring foods and how to add them to your diet. Most require minimal cooking so they’re ideal for those quick, delicious meals when you would rather be out enjoying the nice weather.

Arugula

Arugula’s aromatic, peppery flavour adds a wonderful dimension to a salad and your health. Rich in vitamins like A, K, and folate, plus chlorophyll, fibre and even water, these leafy greens will help reduce inflammation. The phytochemicals, antioxidants and essential minerals found in arugula help cleanse out toxins in the body.

How to eat it
Just toss raw greens in a bowl with other veggies, nuts or seeds and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar or citrus juice. Chop or tear them into bite-sized pieces to enhance the texture of your salad.

Artichokes

A wonderful choice for the liver and the gallbladder because it increases bile flow. Available in both spring and fall, artichokes are rich in folic acid, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and many minerals. These nutrients help lower cholesterol, reduce free radicals, and ensure optimal metabolic cell function.

How to eat them
There is an art and science to the basic way of cooking an artichoke. Watch this video to help conquer your fear of cooking artichokes here

Asparagus

Helps cleanse the kidneys and reduces water retention. It is also a rich source of folate as well as high in glutathione, a vital antioxidant for detox. Abundant in vitamin K, as well as copper, selenium, B vitamins and many other important nutrients. Try this tasty Spring recipe.

What to do with them
Asparagus is delicious simply sautéed with a garlic and sea salt in some butter, ghee, coconut oil, or even
a little vegetable or chicken stock. Just be sure not to overcook it! You want it to remain vibrant green and retain its shape as it softens a bit but stop cooking before it gets too wilted. About 10 minutes should do it!

Dandelion

Stimulates the digestive juices, helps to digest fats and supports the body’s natural detoxification
processes. Spring is the ideal time to benefit from dandelion greens, as they become too bitter in the summer.

What to do with them
You can juice with dandelion leaves, cook with dandelion leaves and drink dandelion tea.

Garlic

Antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-cancer. Garlic is one of the best antioxidants and is vital for proper detoxification.
Need I say anything on how to use Garlic?

Mint

This powerful herb grows like a weed and sometimes doesn’t get enough credit for its powerful healing properties. Mint contains an antioxidant called rosmarinic acid, which can relieve seasonal allergy symptoms (the not-so-great side effect of spring!), the menthol it contains is a natural decongestant, and it can also soothe an upset stomach.
How to use it
Mint is a delicate herb so it’s better not to cook it. I love adding it to water or iced tea for refreshing natural flavoring, it also makes a great edible garnish, and can be chopped and added to fruit salads. Here is one of my top Spring recipes using Mint

Peas

Peas typically have a very short growing season of just a few weeks and that makes them all the more special. High in nutrients and gut healthy fibre.

How to eat them
You can eat sugar snap peas straight out of the pod for a light snack, add them to salads, smoothies, stir- fries, noodle dishes, and basically anything!

Strawberries

Is there anything better than biting into a fresh, ripe, fragrant, and delicious strawberry in late spring/early summer? Despite being a fruit and containing fructose, strawberries can actually help balance blood sugar, and the polyphenols they contain will support immunity, healthy cell renewal, and many other functions.

How to use them:
Add them to smoothies, You can also put them on your chia pudding or oatmeal. You can make a quick chia jam by chopping them up and simmering in a bit of water with a cinnamon stick and then adding some vanilla extract and maple syrup at the end.

Radishes

A great detoxifier, radishes are great at removing waste and toxins from both the stomach and liver. They are also a natural diuretic and help treat urinary and kidney conditions, not to mention fight cancer, hydrate your skin, reduce fevers, and even treat insect bites.

How to use them:
I love them sliced thin for a raw salad, and you can also roast them, Great sliced in half – or leave them whole to use in a veggie dip platter.

Still wondering how to incorporate these into your diet? Hop over and get my collection of favourite Spring recipes.

Happy Spring!

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