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Add these spring veggies to your seasonal menu!

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Spring is a beautiful season. It brings awakening, new life, freshness, and a wonderful variety of delicious veggies!

Here are some ideas on how some of the common favorites can be incorporated into a menu:

  • Artichokes: baby artichokes can be eaten raw with just a little olive oil and salt; otherwise, try baking, broiling, grilling, roasting or stewing. Butter-based sauce makes them absolutely irresistible and so does a little house-made aioli. They also go well with garlic, sage, mint, onions, thyme or parsley. Artichokes are nutritionally dense, with 105 Calories per average ‘globe’ as well as high in Vitamins A, C, K, magnesium, potassium and folate.

  • Carrots: who doesn’t love carrots? Of course, we are talking whole carrots, – the ones that come with long, green stems! Sweet and flavorful, they are delicious when roasted, although other methods work well also. And did you know that you can eliminate the need for butter or cream by pureeing carrots into a creamy sauce? And here is another trick: add a little fresh carrot juice into your carrot dish – it brings back the sweet flavor that may have disappeared during cooking. Carrots are known to be good for our eyes, immune function, and skin. After all, they are the ultimate sources of Vitamin A, along with fiber and potassium.

  • Asparagus: delicious in all cooked forms (or raw if very young) and goes perfectly with garlic, ginger, shrimp, prosciutto, pancetta, lemon or lime, morel mushrooms, Parmesan, mascarpone or goat cheese, onions, shallots or leeks, thyme, chives or chervil. Rich source of Vitamins A, C, and K, and folate.

  • Fava beans: the task of shelling and peeling these might seem onerous, but it is well-worth it. Fava beans are generally cooked (boiled, simmered, pureed) and served in a risotto, pasta, or on their own as a side. Try pairing with spring onions, basil, rosemary, thyme, and garlic; sheep’s milk or pecorino cheese, and of course, olive oil. Favas are high in fiber and manganese, iron and B vitamins.

  • Avocados: did you know that avocado’s botanical relatives are allspice and bay leaf? Mother-nature never fails to surprise! Avocados are often used to add richness and creaminess to the dish. Because of their mild flavor they can be a great balance to bitter herbs (i.e. endive) or served in combination with citrus, tomato, or hot peppers. High in potassium, good fats and other anti-inflammatory nutrients.

  • Radishes: crunchy and pungent, these are delicious served in a salad with white wine or cider vinegar, or with a soft-cheese dip. The younger the radishes are the better, otherwise they become too hot and soft. They are high in potassium, vitamins B and C, and fiber.

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