Spring is in the Okanagan air! Can you feel it? In the blink of an eye, it’ll be time for fruit (or its fermented cousin...) on the beach, salads and BBQ's, flip-flops and sunscreen.
Start your spring time with these nutrient-packed foods that come into season in this pre-summer season. The benefits of stocking up on the fruits and veggies that are the first to arrive in your farmers' market or local shop are amazing: They’re sold at optimum freshness—having been grown locally rather than shipped from another continent —which means they'll have a higher nutrient content too! Another bonus? You're now part of the rockin' food movement (when you buy local.)
So stock up on my 7 go-to picks below to help cleanse up before the heat! And to help you along your weight-loss journey, subscribe to my email newsletter for healthy recipes, restaurant/shopping guides, and essential nutrition tips with the motivation you need!
Their bright red hue surely adds aesthetic to a salad, but radishes’ color is responsible for more than just decorative flair. Radishes get their red hue due to a phytochemical that has been shown to burn fat and reduce the risk of diabetes (due to their ability to reduce the accumulation of free radicals, promote glucose uptake and energy metabolism, and reduce glucose absorption in the intestine.) To add them to your spring time diet, try slicing up the spheres and topping them with hummus or feta for an easy, high-fiber snack. Radishes are also easy add-ons to your spring salads.
As one of the very first veggies to make it to the farmer’s market, asparagus is highly regarded in my books. It's rich in calcium, copper, folate, and iron in addition to vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. A 2010 study by the Department of Pharmacology at Kasturba Medical College found that the diuretic quality in asparagus helps to purge toxins from your system. This means our 'cleansing in the spring' theory is real - and when we follow the cycles of nature, it provides us what we need in each season perfectly. A great mix of both soluble and insoluble fiber, asparagus is great for your gut, too.
This plant might look like celery, but if you’ve ever been adventurous enough to cook with it, you know that this tart vegetable loves to partner with fruit to become a sweet treat. (Just don’t eat the leaves, because they’re poisonous). I've got just the recipe for those of you who don't like baking (it's super easy!) but trust me on this one - rhubarb needs to be turned into a healthy breakfast/healthy dessert because, well, you just can't have it any other way!
/// Morel Mushrooms
These mushrooms are the third highest vegetable source of vitamin D (only behind two other mushrooms.) This vitamin has many functions beyond its classic role in bone metabolism, one of which is regulating your immune system. So besides climbing out of that dark and dreary hole that you dug yourself into this winter and slipping into some Vitamin-D-producing rays, make sure to grab some morel mushrooms from a Moran!
///GREENS (Baby Spinach/Dandelion Greens/Stinging Nettles)
These bitter-sweet spring greens are bursting with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Nettles are great for our livers. A recent study found that steaming greens increases antioxidant properties by 67 percent. And studies have found that greens are protective against obesity as well as depression, fatigue and immune system issues. For stinging nettles, by steeping the leaves in water and straining (a French press works great for this), you can avoid being stung by the hairs that coat the leaf stems. This plant has been used for years in the UK as a springtime cleanse to rid the body of toxins after a winter filled with fatty foods!) Let's face it, we can all use more green foods in our diet. If you're new to eating greens, explore the recipe that turns my non-greens-eating clients into where's-my-daily-green freaks!
/// Fiddlehead Ferns
These seasonal delicacy's are lovely spirals are packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids, and they are only around for a few weeks in early spring. Clean your ferns well by removing the papery outer coating and then soaking them briefly in a bath of cold water with a bit of lemon and salt. Drain and then steam them for 5-7 minutes. Add the steamed fiddleheads to a skillet with a few tablespoons of melted butter and cook on each side for a minute or two. They’ll turn golden like asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
/// Garlic cloves
Garlic contain the active anti-inflammatory allicin while delivering a boatload of flavor. Garlic isn't for garlic bread. It's for stir-fry, soups, casseroles, eggs, ok..... it's good pretty much everywhere. I'm trying to get everyone on fresh LOCAL garlic right now, as this go-to flavour supports liver enzymes and processes important to your body’s natural cleansing regime. Don't worry about the wafting scent of garlic, if everyone in the house eats it, no one will notice!
After adding these foods into your diet, you'll be feelin' more ready for the summer and it's relaxed vibe. Start your spring time off RIGHT with these nutrient-packed foods that come into season in this pre-summer season.
If you're still in need of a spring kick-in-the-butt, now's a great time to grab my [RESET] (whole-foods, foods-based cleanse) package with recipes and shopping list to get yourself feeling GOOD. Happy Eating!