Well Spring is officially in full force now and with the warmer temperatures comes an array of fresh and colorful Spring fruits and vegetables. Though you can get most items year round, there is nothing that compares to the taste of getting them at the peak of the season.
Some of the best Spring items are: arugula, asparagus, carrots, grapefruit, kumquats, lettuce, morel mushrooms, oranges, pea greens rhubarb, snap/snow peas, spinach, strawberries (late Spring) and okra. So go ahead and load up that grocery cart or better yet, visit your local farmers market/roadside stand and enjoy the fresh and healthy benefits (and taste) of what Spring has to offer.
To get a head start, here are a few easy and healthy Spring fruit/veggie recipes as well:
SNOW PEAS WITH TOASTED ALMONDS
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Dash of salt
In medium skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add almonds to hot oil and cook until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add snow peas and shallot; sauté until snow peas are crisp-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and serve.
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SPRING PEAS WITH MINT
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 cups fresh baby peas or thawed frozen baby green peas
- 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 cup loosely packed mint, torn
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
In a bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar. Add the peas, red onion, and mint and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to a platter and serve.
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DARK CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
- 4 oz. dark chocolate (60% to 70%), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup lightly salted roasted pistachios, finely chopped
- 12 large strawberries
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do not let water boil or bowl touch water.) Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted. Carefully remove bowl and let chocolate cool for 5 minutes. One at a time, hold a strawberry by stem and dip into chocolate, coating about two-thirds; allow excess to drip off. Immediately dip into crushed pistachios. Set strawberries in 1 layer on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 10 minutes.
ENJOY AND HAPPY SPRING!
Paula Jamieson – Certified Fitness Trainer/Nutritionist