With spring right around the corner our bodies are in need of some spring cleaning! March is the start of spring produce which means lots of greens.
Eating and living seasonally can help you tap into your bodies natural rhythms which can help you foster mindful eating and live a healthier lifestyle. Seasonal foods are less expensive, fresher, and more nutrient-dense than produce grown out of season. If you're feeling a little out of touch which foods to eat during the season, take a trip to your local farmers market and see what they have to offer.
What produce is in season in march?
Artichokes are known to be a superfood since they contain high levels of antioxidants. They are low in fat, high in fiber, and a great source of magnesium, folate and probiotics. Artichokes are considered flowers and can be eaten raw, boiled, grilled, steamed, baked or stuffed. I love eating mine grilled or in my Creamy Lemon Artichoke Pasta.
Asparagus is a classic spring vegetable that is known as a detoxifier. Eating asparagus can make your pee smell, which is actually a good sign of the toxins being flushed out of you system. It's rich in B vitamins, vitamin K and high in folate. Each stalk of asparagus has to be harvested by hand and comes in three varieties- green, white and purple. It's common to snap off the ends of asparagus, but you can simply use a vegetable peeler to shave off the tougher layer on the bottom.
Avocados are considered a berry thanks to their fleshy pulp and large seed. They have more potassium than bananas and are full of healthy fats that will keep you full and satiate. Avocados also have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit. When it comes to buying an avocado you don't need to buy organic. According to the Clean Fifteen List this is one of the safest crops when it comes to pesticide exposure due to their thick outer shell.
Beets breath life back into your bloodstream and have been used for centuries to help flush out toxins in your body. Beets tend to have an earthy flavor, but in spring beets tend to be smaller and sweeter. The deep red color comes from betalains (a type of natural plant pigment) which contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Beets also have nitrates which can help with blood pressure and enhance your fitness performance. If you can find beets that still have their greens attached consider that an extra bonus. They are one hundred percent edible and the flavor and texture is similar to chard.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is found year around. It's a healthy plant based omega-3 and high in vitamin C, and folic acid. When cooking broccoli it's important to pre-chop the vegetable and allow it to sit for a minimum of 40 minutes. This allows the enzyme called sulforaphane to become active, therefore you will get all the anti-inflammatory properties. When broccoli is at it's peak I love eating the whole vegetable from the florets to the stock.
Brussel Sprouts are a fun cruciferous vegetables that resemble mini cabbages. They tend to have a bad reputation, but if prepared properly they will have a sweet, nutty, crispy texture. These little vegetables will keep you full for a long time and have four grams of protein per cup. Brussels are also known to lower inflammation and are rich in vitamins C, K, folate and fiber.
Cabbage is an underrated, budget friendly vegetable that is loaded with nutrients. It's rich in vitamin K, folate, magnesium, fiber and purple cabbage even has amounts of antioxidants. Cabbage comes in a variety of colors and can be eaten both raw or cooked. I love making homemade sauerkraut or eating it raw in my Sesame Asian Chicken Salad.
Leafy greens fuel your body and help eliminate toxins. They contain living enzymes that can help decrease inflammation and help deliver oxygen to your cells. Dark leafy greens like collards, kale and swiss chard contain high level of fiber, vitamin K, and iron. There are many ways to eat leafy greens other than making a salad. You can freeze them and add them into smoothies, sauté them with olive oil and garlic, or you can even make them into a pesto.
Leeks look like giant green onions and are a great alternative to an onion. Their flavor is mild, somewhat sweet and they have a creamy texture when cooked. Just like onions and garlic leeks are part of the allium family and are rich in antioxidants and sulfur compounds. I love making leek chips for a snack or using them in my Creamy Cauliflower and Leek Soup.
New Potatoes are immature potatoes that are harvested early. They hold their shape really well when cooked and are sweeter in flavor. New potatoes have a really thin skin therefore you don't need to peel them. Potatoes are considered nightshades and are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin C, and are beneficial for our gut bacteria.
Radishes have a high water content and are great for hydrating your body and repairing skin damage. This root vegetable comes in a variety of colors and has a sweet peppery taste. Just like beets, you can eat the greens attached to them.
Pineapple is at it's peak this month and it's packed with vitamins and minerals. It's rich in vitamin C, magnesium and can help boost immunity and digestion. I love grilling it or making it into a seasonal salsa like my Cajun Cod with Pineapple Mango Salsa.
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