Providing your family with food made with fresh ingredients, such as seasonal produce, not only requires little effort but also ensures your family consumes the healthiest ingredients possible. These seasonal recipes for spring will inspire you to choose local and/or organic produce when preparing meals for the family.
When it comes to which fruits and vegetables are in season, growing seasons and crop availability will vary depending on your region. In warmer areas, seasons start earlier and last longer while in colder areas harvest times start later and tend to end sooner.
Why should you buy seasonal fruits and vegetables?
- More cost effective: When produce is in season locally, the abundance of a specific crop usually makes it less expensive.
- Optimal flavour: Locally grown produce is fresher and more flavourful than produce that is chilled and shipped. Produce that is not in season is picked when it is still immature, which causes nutrient loss and greatly affects the overall flavour.
- Freshness: Seasonal fruits and veggies are picked at the ideal ripeness and are therefore more flavourful.
- Local means less pesticides: Produce that is shipped contains higher levels of residual pesticides.
You can easily find out which produce is in season in your area by looking for local produce in your grocery store or by visiting farmer’s markets. Besides, offering more flavourful foods to baby and the family, eating in-season produce is an effortless way to save money on groceries.
Below is a list of common seasonal fruits and vegetables for spring, accompanied by a variety of healthy recipes for the family:
Asparagus is an excellent source of folate, vitamins K and B1, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
Blueberries are one of the highest antioxidant-rich fruits. Antioxidants are essential to in optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cells. They are a very good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber, and manganese.
Carrots are a crunchy powerfood, loaded with healthy benefits, most notably beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the liver and promotes healthier skin and better vision.
Spinach is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense food high in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins K, A, and C. Due to its high iron content it’s an ideal food for babies who don’t eat meat.
Peas are high in fiber and protein and have strong anti-inflammatory properties. They are a good source of vitamins A and E and also contain a variety of immune-boosting antioxidants.
Strawberries are low in calories, high in fiber and contain a ton of antioxidants. They are a great source of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K, all of which promote bone health. They also contain biotin, a B-vitamin that helps build strong hair and nails.