If you ever really want to hear me nerd out about nutrition, ask me about eating for the seasons. (Wait…stick with me for a sec!)
Yes, there are all the financial, environmental and freshness benefits that I go into in this blog. But the coolest part to me is how the produce that is in season tends to be packed full of the EXACT nutrients that our bodies need at that time. There is no better example than spring.
As we are adjusting to the longer days we can feel excited to shed some layers and feel lighter. Both externally (yup, summer is coming) but also internally. Our liver has been working hard over the winter months and can feel sluggish.
As we learned in the Craving a Cleanse blog, the most important part of cleaning out your body is what you are ADDING. As luck would have it, the produce coming into season (bitter greens, asparagus, celery, citrus, berries, lettuce, etc.) naturally support the liver and helps detoxify our body. Isn’t that cool?!
Even if you don’t share my excitement about the circle of life?, I guarantee that you are going to love these recipes below. They all incorporate the best detoxifying produce of the spring season in drool-worthy fashion. For a complete list of what is in season in your area, check out SeasonalFoodGuide.org.
I didn’t realize it until I was writing this post, but asparagus is my favorite vegetable. Or at the very least, it’s the one that I eat the most. Part of that is I love vibrant color and taste, but it’s also because it is incredibly versatile and easy to cook. I love grilling asparagus or slicing it into stir-frys, however most of the time I am doing a very simple roast with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Follow the link below to find a really wonderful recipe that combines both ease and taste.
Recipe and photo credit: Simply Recipes
Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad
Arugula doesn’t get as much attention as it’s brassicaceae brothers Kale and Cauliflower, but it has just as many health benefits and has been associated with helping increase blood flow and circulation. Part of the reason that is usually passed by for other leafy greens is it’s distinct peppery taste. That is why I love combining arugula with a softer, sweeter fruit. I also tried grilling peaches (also in season) for the first time last year and can honestly say that my life has never been the same. I typically use my grill pan so they are not as beautiful as this Feasting at Home recipe, but they still taste amazing. If you aren’t eating grilled peaches, you might want to re-evaluate some things.
Recipe and photo credit: Feasting at Home
Carrot & Grain Salad
Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s show 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food? It came out a few years ago but it is new to me and I have been watching it almost every night on Hulu. He makes cooking so fun and approachable and the whole premise of this series is that he makes meals using only 5 ingredients. Plus the theme song is Back to Life by Soul II Soul so I spend have my time singing and half my time drooling. I watched this recipe the other night and it is packed full of seasonal produce (except for the pomegranates). Be sure to check out the show as well as Jamie’s recipe.
Recipe by Jamie Oliver and featured on: The Happy Foodie
Oven Roasted Artichokes
Artichokes intimidate me. Intellectually I know they are a powerhouse when it comes to liver and gut health, but the idea of cooking them seemed too hard. Moreover the recipes I tried were either super bland or covered in so much sauce that they may have caused more gut issues than they cured. That is until I stumbled across this gorgeous recipe from A Chef’s Kitchen. Roasting the artichoke with lemon and garlic really enhances it’s natural flavor and (dare I say) you don’t even need the butter. Although I won’t judge you if you use it;)
Recipe and photo credit: From a Chef’s Kitchen
Hopefully you found these recopies from chef’s far more talented than myself inspiring! Having said that, there is so much wonderful food in season this time of year that you don’t need to over-complicate it. Incorporating detoxifying produce can be as simple as adding sliced carrots to your lunch, opting for a kiwi for a snack or serving leafy greens with your dinner. Start where you are and build from there. But if you do make that artichoke recipe, please invite me over.