-by Jen Wilson | 04/02/2018 |
There are lots of good reasons to eat seasonally: when fruits and vegetables are fresh, their nutrition is at its peak, and it’s more environmentally sustainable, for starters. Ayurveda encourages eating seasonally too, and if you’re growing your own food, then it just makes sense to eat seasonally. But it can be difficult to eat the fruits and vegetables that are in season if they’re new to you, or if you’ve eaten them for six weeks in a row. Luckily, we’re getting into spring, which is one of the best times to try new exciting produce that is only available for a short time during this time of year. Don’t miss out on these “limited edition” goodies from nature’s larder—let’s take a look at a few of April’s finest, freshest offerings and see how they’re best prepared.
Bok Choy is an excellent source of iron, making it a great addition to the diet for women especially. It’s also full of antioxidants (those good-for-you things that fight diseases and boost immunity) and vitamins A and C. Bok choy’s calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K content makes it perfect for strengthening bones, and it’s also a well-known cancer fighter. It can even help maintain a healthy heart because it’s got folate and vitamin B6! It’s a leafy green veggie, so its health benefits are numerous—this is just scraping the surface!
- This might not be groundbreaking information, but bok choy is truly yummy combined with other veggies in a delicious stir fry.
- April’s weather is often mercurial—one day it’s cold, the next it’s hot. On a warm day when you want something refreshing, try this raw cucumber noodles with peanut sauce recipe—the bok choy packs even more nutrition into the dish.
- Who needs takeout when you can make your own veggie ramen? Bok choy and other healthy veggies give this meal new life.
- Want your own bok choy garden? You can grow bok choy from the veggies themselves by cutting the stalk near the base and sticking it in a cup of water until it develops roots.
Avocado can get a bad rap for everything from being high in fat to causing the downfall of the millennial savings account, but these little wonder fruits are pretty awe-inspiring. It’s an excellent source of vitamins (like vitamins K and C) and other essential nutrients (like folate and potassium). And while avocado is slightly high in fact, those are healthy fats—the ones that help your body absorb other vitamins. They’re also good for the heart and can even lower bad cholesterol levels (in a surprisingly short amount of time). And we’re still discovering other health benefits of avocados—like improving eyesight, preventing osteoporosis, improving digestion, and decreasing risk of depression. So yes, slices of avocado make pretty much every sandwich taste better, but let’s look at some other ways to get your avocado fix!
- The biggest surprise in this vegan chocolate mousse recipe isn’t even the avocado pureed to a silky-smooth mousse—it’s the inclusion of black pepper essential oil! (You can also make it without the essential oil.)
- The creaminess of avocado is also perfect for smoothies—like this one with banana, too.
- Toss avocado in a blender with green onions, garlic, lemon juice, and salt for a vegan avocado crema.
- Blending avocado can also create a vegan casear salad dressing—with no anchovies in site! If it’s pasta sauce you want, try this recipe.
- Avocados are crucial for vegan sushi rolls!
- A poached egg in an avocado is a totally photo-worthy recipe—and a great quick breakfast meal.
Arugula has an interesting, peppery flavor that is sometimes found added sparingly to salads or sandwiches or even lightly atop a cooked pizza. But if you’re willing to consider arugula as more than an afterthought or garnish, you can really reap the benefits of its nutrition! In addition to being a known detoxifier, arugula is full of vitamin K, which decreases inflammation and also supports bone health. The vitamin C in it helps you fight off illness and your immune system stay strong, and the antioxidants in it can even help prevent cancer. It can even improve vision and lower glucose levels, making it a great choice for those with diabetes!
- Sometimes simplest is best: arugula is really stellar in fresh salads—add it to one featuring pomegranate arils, kabocha squash, goat cheese, and hazelnuts.
- Almost anything goes in a Buddha bowl, but arugula’s peppery, fresh flavor is a truly special addition. Don’t forget the avocado (also on this month’s list!)
- Arugula is more than a garnish when you add a heaping handful to this vegan breakfast hash—and seasonal avocado is crucial in this one, too!
- Arugula is especially yummy when grown as a microgreen!
Vitamin C, calcium, vitamin K—these are some of the nutrients you’ll find in turnips. Along with being good for your bones and immune system, turnips can fight inflammation and help prevent cancer. Turnips are a great source of other antioxidants and fiber, too, making them a good choice for weight loss or to improve digestion. And don’t forget to eat the tops! That’s where you’ll find B vitamins, calcium, copper, manganese, iron, and a slew of phytonutrients that reduce oxidative stress.
- This roasted turnips and pesto dish has minimal hands-on prep time—and making pesto with the turnip tops while the turnips roast means there’s zero waste!
- Those roasted turnips are also excellent on a goat cheese salad.
- Another hands-off recipe—make veggie chips with those turnips!
- Add turnips to your favorite soup recipe—like sancocho.
- No matter how you eat them, don’t forget to eat those turnip greens, too!
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