Eating seasonally has numerous documented benefits for both your body and the planet, including being more nutritious than foods grown conventionally in greenhouses or shipped to your city from far-away locales. Yet many people are unsure of where to start when it comes to eating seasonally. These seasonal recipes will help get you started. These seasonal recipes feature three popular spring vegetables — rhubarb, strawberries, green peas, and spring greens, all of which tend to be available from local farmers in the spring in most areas of the country — and are bursting with flavor and immune-boosting antioxidants.
BREAKFAST: Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie
This breakfast shake looks and tastes like a strawberry milkshake, but it has a secret ingredient: Fresh, spring rhubarb.
Rhubarb is a bit of an unusual vegetable that many people don’t try, yet it’s a great way to experiment with seasonal recipes and locally grown foods. A single 3.5-ounce serving of rhubarb is high in fiber and gets you 26% of your daily value of vitamin K1. Vitamin K is a cofactor for certain plasma proteins, and helps your immune response and specifically your immune system’s T cells.
Rhubarb is naturally quite sour, which is why you often see it in baked goods and pies containing lots of sugar. But not here! When paired with strawberries (which tend to reach peak ripeness and sweetness in late spring), you help to balance out the rhubarb flavor while also adding lots of immunity-enhancing vitamin C.
2 cups frozen strawberry
1 1/2 cup fresh rhubarb
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 1/2 cup oat milk
1/3 cup acai or pomegranate juice
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy. Enjoy!
LUNCH: Bacon Pea Salad
Spring-grown peas are superior in flavor and texture from the normal stuff you might buy frozen or canned.
Green peas are an amazing source of vitamin A, vitamin K vitamin C, and important minerals like manganese, iron and folate. They’re also high in a type of fiber that supports healthy blood sugar, and contain saponins, which are a type of plant compound that may prevent various forms of cancer.
This seasonal recipe pairs sweet, juicy peas with the crisp saltiness of bacon (you can use a vegan bacon product if you don’t eat meat). This sweet-and-salty duo creates a satisfying, filling lunch that is as tasty as it is nutritious.
8 slices bacon, cooked to a crisp, patted dry with a paper towel to soak up the oil, and crumbled
4 cups fresh, local peas (shelled)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (ideally sharp cheddar or spicy pepper jack)
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp honey, ideally local and raw
2 tsp rice vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add in the rest of the ingredients and toss. Enjoy!
DINNER: Sautéed Lemon-Garlic-Infused Shrimp Salad
This seasonal recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, making it a great way to elevate your busy weeknight dinner routine with a gourmet spin. It stars fresh spring greens. Use whatever you can find locally, such as spinach or red lettuce. Fresh greens are so much more flavorful than the pre-packaged salad mixes you might usually buy, and they’re high in a wide array of vitamins and minerals.
On top of the bed of seasonal, local greens, you’ll enjoy sweet charred corn and plump, flavorful garlic infused with the tantalizing flavors and aromas of garlic and lemon. Every bite provides surprising textures and a balance of tangy and sweet.
6 ounces medium peeled and deveined shrimp
Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp crushed garlic
3 cups fresh spring greens
2/3 cup corn niblets (fresh or canned, ensuring you drain the corn if you use canned corn)
Combine the shrimp, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Set it aside to marinate while you char the corn.
In a skillet on medium heat, add the corn. Saute for 5 minutes or until the corn is charred. Stir often to keep the corn from sticking to your pan. Charring the corn enhances its natural sweetness.
Once the corn is sauteed, add the shrimp. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the shrimp is done and pink.
Toss the greens in a medium bowl. Top with the corn and shrimp and enjoy! Using a dressing is optional because the corn and shrimp combination is so flavorful.
Hungry For More Seasonal Recipes and Spring-Specific Seasonal Health Ideas?