Asparagus and Other Seasonal Vegetables
Living in a country where food is easily attainable, it can be easy to forget that a lot of produce is seasonal. However, there are main benefits to organising your meals around what vegetables are common that time of year. For Spring, it’s all about the asparagus. In today’s blog, we’ll talk about the benefits of eating seasonally, what vegetables are in season this Spring, and easy ways to prepare and use this produce.
The Benefits of Eating Seasonally
As an Asparagus-Lover, I would happily chomp on the vegetable any time of the year. But, did you know that Asparagus Season is actually only from late April to late June? Sure, you can buy it whenever in the supermarket, however it won’t be as fresh or plentiful. Here are some benefits to buying your produce seasonally:
- Not only do vegetables look more vibrant when they’re in season, they’re also tastier! This is because they were able to grow and ripen in a natural setting.
- Because this produce is picked at the peak of the season, they are full of healthy vitamins and minerals. Therefore you’re not only buying a good look asparagus — you’re also reaping the full nutrimental benefits of the vegetable, too!
- Buying seasonally (and locally) does wonders for the environment and can help to say you money! In season produce is less likely to need heavy doses of pesticides. What’s more, locally-sourced ingredients require less transportation and thus fewer preservatives!
Asparagus and Other Spring Seasonal Vegetables
So, now you know why you should eat seasonally, what should you be eating?
High in fibre and vitamins, Asparagus can improve digestion and lower blood pressure. What’s more, it’s very simple to prepare. You can either eat it raw or steam/sautée it! A tried and true preparation is to fry the stems in a pan with salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, and lots of garlic. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for an extra punch. Remember to snap off the ends of the asparagus to avoid the extra chewy, extra tough part.
This flower-like produce is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. They also supply important minerals such as potassium and iron. Artichokes can seem a little overwhelming at first — especially as you shouldn’t really eat every part of the vegetable. Instead, once steamed, every petal is picked off and sucked for its “meat”. Once you reach the centre, be careful to cut off the “furry” part so you can fully enjoy the artichoke’s “heart”. Like with asparagus, you can’t go wrong with a butter and garlic dipping sauce.
Fava Beans help to boost immunity and lower cholesterol. What’s more, they have anti-inflammatory properties. Like asparagus, lava beans can be eaten raw. However, they are very quick to cook make them the perfect addition to any recipe. Pureeing the beans is an excellent way to make a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes!
A “superfood”, Leeks contain a hefty dose of vitamins and minerals. What’s more, this onion-like vegetable is very versatile — much like asparagus and the other vegetables on this list. It can be added to classic soups like Leek and Potato, prepared as a side with olive oil and salt, or added to a casserole.
A type of mushroom, morels contain high amounts of potassium and copper which contribute to improving heart health. They have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It’s possible to hunt for these mushrooms by yourself, but be careful not to consume something that is poisonous accidentally! Morels add an earthy kick to pasta sauces and meat dishes. They can also be eaten by themselves by frying them with soy sauce, lemon, and garlic.
Other Seasonal Veg Include: Carrots, Peas, Spinach, Potatoes, and Watercress.