The minute spring rolls in, an abundance of fresh colorful vegetables and fruit arrive at grocers and farmers’ markets. If you’ve been looking for interesting and delicious ways to introduce them into your diet, we’re here to help you out.
Juice and Smoothie It Up!
Pretty much every spring vegetable and fruit can be squeezed into a juice or a smoothie; even cauliflower as it’s known to add more creaminess to the drink. If, on the other hand, cruciferous upset your stomach, you can always steam them before you toss them in your blender. Kale, spinach, avocado, broccoli, peas, carrots, lemon, early strawberries, and even cherries, depending on where you’re located, can all be blended up and become your new favorite breakfast on-the-go or refreshment snack.
Soup Is Always a Good Idea
Soups are amazing for those crisp spring evenings when the sun is starting to set, and it’s still not warm enough to take your dinner outside without bundling up in two layers of clothing. Step away from the winter root vegetables and bring in new micronutrients with peas, broccoli, celery, and even purple cabbage, and experiment with everything you encounter on your weekly food haul.
Mix in some greek yogurt, coconut milk, or creme fraiche to add a touch of healthy fats and protein, and serve it with a toasted slice of sourdough or almond crackers, and enjoy every spoonful.
Cutting up vegetables and turning them into a salad isn’t the most inventive thing in the world, but spicing it up with interesting combinations like shaved asparagus and goat cheese, artichokes and radishes, and strawberries with rhubarb and hazelnuts, mixed with homemade delicious dressings like dill shallot vinaigrette or Meyer lemon pesto makes the world of a difference.
Sprinkle over some chopped toasted nuts and seeds and a handful of fresh herbs, and voila, you have the best possible spring lunch you could ever ask for. Don’t be afraid to mix ingredients you never normally would, and play around with learning more about your palate.
Vegetable Pasta? Yes, Please!
Ever since the vegetable spiralizer became the most sought-after kitchen tool and the word “zoodles,” or zucchini noodles, entered the official lexicon by way of Merriam-Webster, people have been trying to use it on every vegetable you can even think of, from sweet potato to cucumber.
Although some foods cannot be turned into spaghetti due to their size, shape, or consistency; carrots, cucumber, zucchini, daikon radishes, and even butternut squash all proved to be incredible pasta substitutes, not only for their similar texture but also for their ability to handle sauces and broths.
Because zucchini and cucumber fall under summer vegetables, stick to carrots, beets, cabbage, and bell pepper, all which can be used to turn into low-carb bolognese. Use this guide to find the best blade and setting for your vegetable of choice, and try out different sauces and topping ideas—quick, fun, and really simple.
Crispy and Roasted
Move over, potato, here comes your substitute: crispy broccoli and cauliflower. Spread them on a large baking sheet, spray them with olive oil and spices, crank up the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes and enjoy your new favorite Netflix snack!
Play around with different spice combinations, or add some cheese or nutritional yeast on top, to satisfy your “cheesy” cravings and feel good knowing you’re fueling your body with tons of vitamins and minerals.
Did Somebody Say Veggie Desserts?
Vegetables aren’t only made for savory dishes. Just look at avocado mousse or rhubarb crisp; there’s just something special about spring vegetables that gives them a slightly sweet kick and makes them a perfect companion for chocolate, butter, sugar, and flour.
Give this strawberry-rhubarb pie a try and dare yourself into making a green pea cake, feeling your horizons expand as your tastebuds decipher what in the world you just put them through; they’ll be glad you did.
Spring Bread Variations
Step outside your comfort zone and play around with all the spring vegetables when you start planning your next bread-baking series. Add in some chopped asparagus, artichokes, and red onion, throw in a bunch of fresh herbs like basil and mint, or fold in some roasted carrots and bring an element of surprise to your daily meals, experimenting with new flavors and textures.
If bread isn’t your forte, try turning the same mixtures into biscuits, scones, focaccias, muffins, and other savory pastries—let your imagination run wild!
Can’t Go Wrong with Fritatta
If all else fails, or you simply cannot think of anything creative, whipping up a nice rich vegetable frittata is always a great idea. Don’t be afraid to add as many vegetables as you want, sprinkle in fresh herbs and spices, and pour in a generous amount of eggs (5 to 7). Bake in the oven, or practice your cooking skills by turning it over on the stovetop, and grab a slice of this protein-rich spring medley.
Get encouraged to pick up some new vegetables and fruit this spring and put your cooking skills to the test—you just might discover some new favorites!