Spring has sprung, and fresh, in-season produce can add a punch of flavor and nutrients to your plate. To keep things simple, try cutting up fresh fruit or veggies and make a platter of them for snacks or meals or eat them with a low-sugar yogurt or in a green salad.
Read on for more options to inspire your eating:
— If you're not going anywhere tropical for spring break, in-season mangoes can transport you for the afternoon. My favorite variety are yellow-skinned ataulfo. Be sure to feel them before buying, the flesh should be soft and give with pressure, not mushy nor hard. Try a mango lassi smoothie, homemadecreamy mango pops, ablack bean mango salsa,black rice side with mango and peanuts, or a chia pudding.
— Moro, Cara Cara, Clementines and naval oranges galore line supermarket shelves this spring. Inherently portable and brimming with juicy goodness, oranges are delightful and convenient. Use a fancy peeler to get easy access to eat slices raw or try a lightened up orange chicken in an avocado dressing, or a whole wheat orange cranberry bread.
— If anything can clear away the winter doldrums it's fresh, juicy, tasty strawberries in the spring. Eat them plain, dipped in chocolate or topped on a smoothie bowl. My family enjoys whole grain crepes with vanilla yogurt, strawberries and a dash of cinnamon. For a healthy treat, try easy two-ingredient strawberry banana ice cream.
— Pineapple can be delicious grilled to be eaten as a side or on a grilled hamburger or chicken sandwich. Try pineapples in a stir-fry, fried rice or chunked on a kabob with fruit or grilled meats and veggies.
— One full-flavor, easy way to enjoy green beans is to oven-roast them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese. They're also delicious, fresh and bright in a lemon feta side, and good in a lightened up casserole or easy one-skillet chicken, bacon, green bean entree. Add fresh or frozen varieties to your favorite shepherd's pie or hearty chicken pot pie. I really enjoy green beans in soups like this chicken pot pie soup or a veggie-rich minestrone soup.
We could all use a little variety to fortify our health and our satisfaction in food. Try something new, or an old favorite this week.
What is your favorite way to eat spring produce?