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Ah, glorious spring! Flowers are blooming, the weather is warming and there’s a whole new crop of produce to choose from in the grocery store.

Here’s what you should be looking for, buying and eating during the spring!

RHUBARB

Why you should eat it:

  • Rhubarb is loaded with fiber and also vitamin K, which we love because vitamin K supports bone growth and can limit neuronal damage in the brain, even to the point of Alzheimer’s prevention!

Shopping:

  • Stalks that are deep red tend to be sweeter, so choose the ones on the more “ruby” side of the spectrum.

Storage:

  • Both fresh and cooked rhubarb freeze well, so if you’re a fan of this red look-a-like of celery, stock up during the spring!

How to use it:

  • This vegetable is prepared like a fruit and made into desserts, like pies and such. For your next family gathering, wow everyone with a honey stewed rhubarb crumble!

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ASPARAGUS

Shopping:

  • Look for firm, slender and unwrinkled stalks. Thicker asparagus can mean it’s from a later harvest and be bitter or woody, but that’s not always the case.

Storage:

  • Storing raw asparagus upright in an inch or two of water in the refrigerator helps prolong its shelf life. I personally use a coffee French press to store ours after purchasing, as it’s usually the perfect size!

Prepping notes:

  • Gently bend asparagus to find it’s natural breaking point and discard the 2 – 3 inch stem.
  • Asparagus is awesome because it’s so quick and easy to cook! Just place the spears on a foil lined baking sheet, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in a 375 degree oven for about ten minutes or until the asparagus is bright green and tips are just starting to brown.

FAVA BEANS

Why you should eat them:

  • Fava Beans are loaded with a wide range of vitamins and minerals and are also an inexpensive source of lean protein!

Shopping:

  • Look for bright green pods, free of yellow spots. Large pods have firm, starchy beans, while smaller pods are sweet and tender.

Prepping notes:

  • To shell a fava bean: shell the beans from the pod, then remove the waxy covering from the individual beans. Or – buy canned fava beans! Go organic, if possible to avoid BPA exposure from the can.
  • Toss them into salads, whole grain pasta dishes, vegetable succotash or mash them to create a “hummus” like texture.

PEAS

Why you should eat them:

  • A cup of peas has less than 100 calories but lots of protein fiber and micronutrients.

Shopping:

  • FYI – larger pods contain firmer peas, so keep an eye out for those! But if you need a handy dandy shortcut, go for the frozen type.

Prepping notes:

  • Both freshly shelled and frozen peas only need to be cooked briefly (1-2 minutes).
  • Add them to soups, quinoa or brown rice dishes!

ARUGULA

Why you should eat it:

  • This salad green has nutritional benefits for nearly every area of the body, from the brain to the liver, as well as the skin.

Prepping notes:

  • Arugula shouldn’t be washed until right before use
  • Arugula tends to have a lot of grit, so wash it in a large bowl of water, agitating the leaves to remove any dirt. Then rinse it with clean water.
  • Try arugula in your salads, or toss it with olive oil and lemon juice and use it to top a pizza!

BEETS

Why you should eat them:

  • These purdy crimson vegetables may help ward off cancer due to their powerful phytonutrients.
  • Beet juice helps with blood flow and lowering blood pressure – sometimes just in a matter of hours!

Shopping:

  • If leaves are attached, the quality of the leaf is a good indicator of how fresh they are. The leaves can be sautéed or added to salads. Or, do as I do and throw them into your green shakes!

Prepping notes:

  • Hold off on washing these bad boys until ready for use.
  • Roasting beets helps bring out the sweetness and concentrated flavor. The skins easily peel off after roasting.
  • Grate raw beets and add to a salad! I actually love grating both beets and apples into mine. It’s a deliciously sweet combo!

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ARTICHOKES

Why you should eat them:

  • A serving of artichokes has more antioxidants than blueberries – true story!

Shopping:

  • Look for a firm and heavy artichoke.

Prepping notes:

  • Trim a half-inch off each leaf and then place the artichoke in a pot half filled with boiling water. Immediately bring water to a simmer and cook that ‘choke for 25 – 45 minutes or until the leaves are easily removed.

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SPINACH

Why you should eat it:

  • This superstar of a vegetable is loaded with wide variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber and also has a decent amount of protein. It’s definitely one of the healthiest veggies on the planet!

Shopping:

  • Look for dark green, glossy leaves. Or, opt for the frozen type!
  • Go organic whenever possible.
  • Always buy more than you think you need, as spinach has a high water content and reduces to a quarter of its size when cooked!

Prepping notes:

  • If you’re going the cooked route, sauté or steam spinach with garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Baby spinach is excellent in salads. I love mixing it with some baby romaine just to mix things up a bit!

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Comments

Georgia

I look forward to your post’s. Love the tip’s. Thank you Ms. Audrey.

Reply

Kathy

Audrey,

I love reading your posts they have so much good information in them.

Thanks so much for the good advice

Sincerely

Kathy

Reply

Audrey Dunham

Thanks, Kathy! That means a lot.

Reply

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