Bloomin’ spring fruit and veg
With the first rays of spring sunshine, fruits begin to blush and vegetables bloom. Get the best of British spring fare to boost your health and delight your taste buds.
The sun is finally starting to shine and you are feeling like eating more fresh and light food. Mother Nature has got it all planned… With the arrival of spring, you can now enjoy a host of seasonal vegetables and fruits.
Markets are bursting with local colour and flavour, so follow our guide to some of spring’s delicious and nutrient-filled natural goodies.
Asparagus: delicate and subtle goodness
Dressed in purple, green or white, the asparagus subjugates our taste buds with its tender and delicate flesh. From February through to July it’s high season for asparagus and you can enjoy them steamed or in a chilled soup. Despite their stringy appearance, asparagus spears contain non-irritating fibre, which does wonders against constipation. And the delicate asparagus tips also contain minerals and B-group vitamins, all adding to our daily nutritional quota.
Try our recipe: Chargrilled asparagus with hollandaise sauce
Radishes: ripe and ready to nibble
Cute, red and round, radishes are blooming in spring. Radishes are light in calories (only 15 Cal for 100g) and are full of minerals such as potassium, which helps flush out your urinary system. A bit difficult to eat? Not at all if you get them young and fresh at your farmer’s market. And remember that the round radishes are sweeter and pack a little less punch than the oval version. Like all the vegetables from the crucifer family, radishes also contain specific elements that could help slow down the development of cancers.
Try our recipe: Smoked trout and pancetta salad (with radishes)
Rhubarb: sour but oh so sweet
While it seems to have originated in China a good few thousand years back, rhubarb is now as a traditional British favourite. We all have wonderful memories of homemade rhubarb pie or jam. The rhubarb stalk, whether it be red, pink or green skinned (careful, the leaves are highly toxic and are never eaten) is a source of Vitamin K and Vitamin C. Studies have found that rhubarb has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic effects.
Try our recipe: Rhubarb and ginger meringue cake
Spinach: for vitamin-rich salad
Spinach is at its nutritional best when eaten raw or lightly steamed or blanched. It’s a good source of Vitamin A and C, as well as iron and calcium. Spinach contains lots of water, so you’ll need to buy a lot if you are going to eat it cooked as it reduces by about three-quarters. If you’ve never eaten raw spinach, give it a try as it has a great taste and texture that compliments just about anything you put with it. Baby spinach leaves are perfect as the base for warm salads, a must for spring.
Try our recipe: Spinach, pear and chicory salad
Watercress: a bouquet of minerals
Watercress is one of the oldest leafy vegetables known to man, and is still going strong thousands of years later. A rather delicate plant, watercress belongs to the cabbage family and contains lots of minerals such as iron, calcium and folic acid, not to mention Vitamin C. Watercress, with it’s fresh and slightly peppery tang, also appears to have anti-carcinogenic properties and due to its high iodine content, supports the thyroid gland. Both watercress leaves and sprouts are a great addition to spring salads.
Try our recipe: Watercress and roasted walnut salad
Hygiene tip: for the leafy greens that you are going to use raw, such as spinach, watercress and salad leaves, make sure that you wash them thoroughly in running cool water before use (even if you buy them ‘already washed’ in sealed bags).
Copyright © 2011 Doctissimo
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