Spring has sprung. Need proof? Just take a walk through the greenmarket. Indeed, nature’s springtime bounty is abundant right now, which is great news for hungry health nuts like us, since there are so many gorgeous vegetables to chow down on this time of year. Ahead, we’re sharing five of our favorites, including our preferred ways to eat them. Read on!
What they are: Mushrooms! But these special mushrooms have a distinctive look – they kind of resemble little sponges. They have a lovely earthy, meat flavor that packs a serious punch. (Which is a good thing, as they tend to be pricier ‘shrooms.)
Why they’re great: Morels are high in both iron and phosphorus. In fact, one cup of morels will provide you with your daily-recommended iron intake – a boon if you’re a vegetarian and/or if you’re not into chowing on red meat.
How to eat them: Morels should always be cooked, as they contain trace amounts of toxins that are removed easily through heat. With that said, we recommend eating them sautéed, or in pastas and risottos. We personally think this pasta recipe looks delicious.
What they are: A sprawling, stalk-like vegetable with a mild, onion-y taste. They look a bit like scallions, with a white base and green tips.
Why they’re great: They’re an excellent source of Vitamin K, which helps to build strong bones, prevent blood clots and protect your heart. Also, leeks are rich in the B vitamin folate, which is a critical nutrient for mamas-to-be.
How to eat them: Braised or in soups, thanks to their onion-like qualities. We’re salivating over this vegan potato leek soup.
What they are: The slender, green stalks your mom always used to make you eat growing up. They have a slightly bitter flavor and, texture-wise, are somewhere in between a broccoli stalk and a celery stick.
Why they’re great: Asparagus is packed with a ton of essential nutrients, including Vitamins A, C, E and K. They’re also rich in folate and possess anti-inflammatory properties to protect against disease.
How to eat them: We love pairing them with eggs – this combination is an easy classic.
What they are: The stuff of baby food dreams. Just kidding – they’re sweet and tender bites of green goodness.
Why they’re great: These little powerhouses are packed with fiber, copper, Vitamins C, K, and B1, as well as manganese.
How to eat them: Our new obsession is adding in some green peas to our guacamole to intensify the color, add a touch of sweetness and enhance the texture. Here’s a recipe from ABC Cocina.
What it is: It’s a vegetable, but it’s often mistaken for a fruit because of the sweet, vibrant taste of its signature stalk.
Why it’s great: It’s rich in antioxidants, calcium and Vitamin K. It’s also a source of lutein, “the eye vitamin,” which is critical for promoting ocular health.
How to eat it: Only eat the stalks, as the leaves are high in oxalic acid, which can be toxic. With that said, rhubarb is a hit baked goods – hello, rhubarb pie! – so we’re all about recipes like these chia rhubarb muffins.