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Love:

Those of us who live in the SLC can probably, safety say it’s SPRING! We know not to get over zealous, we could possibly get snow until June! It’s true folks, but we’ll take the fact that we have had 70 degree weather as a sign that it is time to stop hibernating and get out and see each others faces again.

Also, it’s time to start planting seeds in our gardens which is exactly what we did after our Easter brunch with the family. Working out in the garden got me thinking about this post, I have been getting a lot of request to share what is in season. I did a post on like this for Winter veggies and thought it was time for a Spring version. Thanks to my TBC (Tall Bitches Club) Kim I have this new BEAUTIFUL book on vegetables, one of the coolest books and gift. ‘Vegetable Literacy’ by Deborah Madison. I’ll be using this book for info on the veggies below. Enjoy!

Nutrition:

1. Artichokes- Artichokes are rich in antioxidants, high in fiber, endowed with vitamins C,K and B6 and with such minerals as magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese and phosphorus. Artichoke leaves also contain an extract called cynarin which is the basis of herbal medicines that are used for treating the liver, gall bladder and kidneys, reduces high cholesterol, lowers high blood pressure and other conditions.

Food: Artichoke Cottage Cheese Dip w/ Crispy Pancetta

2. Arugula- Arugula is in the cruciferous family (think cabbage). Like other cruciferous veggies arugula contains a group of anticancer compounds know as glucosinolates. These compounds exert antioxidant activity, but more importantly they are potent simulators of natural detoxifying enzymes in the body. Like other greens, arugula is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, as well as phytochemicals, such a carotenes and chlorophyll.

Food: Wild Mushroom Ravioli w/ Spinach Arugula Salad

3. Asparagus- Asparagus is low in calories and sodium but high in folate and is a significant source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and B6, potassium, and thiamine. Also a great source of fiber.

Food: Quinoa w/ Spring Veggies and Miso Dressing

4. Beets- Beets are LOADED with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C, they are a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron. Their leaves are packed with even more nutritional goodies, such as choline and folate. Today beet juice is thought to cleanse the kidneys and gall bladder among other things.

Food: Spinach Beet and Quinoa Salad-It’s What’s for Lunch

5. Chard and other greens- Chard and greens are nutritionally awesome, it possesses vitamins K, A, C, B and E, the M minerals, magnesium and manganese, along with potassium and iron. Chard has high fiber but almost no calories.

Food: Tortilla Soup

6. Fennel- Fennel helps sweeten the breath and aids in digestion. They are regarded as a purifier, as the base for an effective cough syrup and as a repellent for fleas. Fennel provides eaters with vitamin C, folate and potassium.

Food: Roasted Fennel Tomato Soup

7. Green onions/scallions- Strong tasting onions are the ones who that prevent blood clotting, lower the heart rate, benefit the stomach and provide us with a long list of vitamins, B, C,and E, and disease fighting quercetin in amounts that far exceed those found in other extremely good-for-you veggies.

Food: Pineapple Pad Thai w/ Crispy Tofu

8. Mint- Mint contains a compound known as perillyl alcohol that has been shown to inhibit the growth or formation of cancer. It also contains the substance rosmarinic acid, a powerful antioxidant that blocks the production of allergy-producing leukotrienes.

Food: Minty Pea Dip & Pistachio Stuffed Dates

9. Parsley- Parsley is high in vitamin C, A and the more elusive K. It is also a good source of antioxidant nutrients, rich in folate, good for the heart, and according to one study, helps prevent some forms of arthritis.

Food: Pasta alla Friends

10. Peas/pea greens- Peas fall into the Legume family which are of special importance: they are among the oldest cultivated plants, they have nurtured people all over the world, they’ve often taken the place of meat, and they contain some of the attributes we’re obsessed with today, namely, low to moderate glycemic index number, a high proportion of protein, vitamins and minerals; and fiber-lots of fiber. Plus, they are in some instances, delicacies (consider a bowl of fresh peas).

Food: Pea and Kale Puree w/ Pasta and Scallops

11. Radishes- Radishes are a member of the cruciferous family (cabbage), the radish shares the cancer-protective actions of it cousins broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. They help maintain a healthy gallbladder and liver and improve digestion.

Food: No recipe- I guess I know what’s next on the list!

12. Spinach- The fresher and the greener and more lively, the more vitamin C spinach contains. Good source of vitamins A and K, manganese and folate in great amounts, the first two exceeding daily values by a long shot.

Food: Ravioli Salad

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