Insider’s Viewpoint: Spring Clean Your Diet with Seasonal Produce
One of the best things about springtime is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since many of us have a hard time getting the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every day, choosing seasonal produce can be very helpful. Not only are the flavors fresher but the cost is lower. While fruits and vegetables can be purchased in many different forms year round, it’s great to stock up on fresh seasonal produce. Here are some of our favorite spring picks …
How To Store, Select, and Prep 4 Spring Favorites
Look for firm, bright green stalks with tight tips when buying fresh asparagus. Asparagus can be stored in a tightly wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to wash them thoroughly and snap off any tough ends before using.
- Asparagus is a good source of vitamin C and folic acid.
- It is excellent grilled, broiled or in a stir-fry.
Choose semi soft mangoes with smooth skin. A few black spots may indicate a sweeter and very ripe mango. Keep them on the counter to ripen and then transfer to the refrigerator for a few days once they have fully ripened. Just before eating, wash and peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler. Use a sharp knife to score the fruit in a vertical and horizontal fashion, making squares or cubes, and scoop away from the fruit stone to make mango cubes.
- This tropical fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A and C.
- Mangos are great in oatmeal, yogurt, salsa, salads and smoothies.
This vegetable is best during the spring. Choose spinach leaves that are slightly crisp and bright green in color. Fresh spinach should be unwashed, wrapped in a paper towel then placed in a bag in the refrigerator. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- It is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C and folic acid.
- Spinach can be consumed cooked or raw.
- Baby spinach is especially great to use is salads.
- We love to use spinach in stews, soups and smoothies.
Choose smaller bright red berries with a sweet aroma when buying strawberries. Use them as soon as possible after purchase for the best flavor. Strawberries should be removed from their container and arranged in single layer in a covered container. Refrigerate and use them within 2 days. Wash strawberries right before serving with a gentle spray of water.
- These delicious berries are an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Strawberries are great in smoothies, salads, on top of waffles or as a dessert with fresh whip cream.
Berry Mango Spinach Salad
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Number of Servings: 4
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and sliced or cubed
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- Half a small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped asparagus
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
For the Dressing
Juice of 1 lemon 1/4 cup olive oil 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, to taste Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Place spinach in a large bowl or on salad plates if you prefer to arrange separately. Top the spinach with the fresh mango, strawberries, avocado, red onion, and asparagus. Lightly toss the ingredients to mix.
- Add the sliced almonds to the bowl or on the top of the salads if plating separately.
- Meanwhile prepare the salad dressing. Place the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and black pepper in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine.
- Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad plates or over the large bowl and toss again to coat.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Calories: 283, Protein: 4 gm, Total Carbohydrates: 22 gm, Fiber: 7 gm
Total Fat: 22gm, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 45mg
Director of Health and Wellness