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5 Seasonal Spring Foods to Buy! - Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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5 Seasonal Spring Foods to Buy!

5 Seasonal Spring Foods to Buy!

Spring is in the air, which means there’s a fresh array of seasonal foods to buy!  Next time you are at the farmer’s market or simply exploring the produce aisles, keep an eye out for my five favourite Ontario-grown goodies. In this blog, I will highlight some the nutritional benefits, how to use them and how to store them for maximum freshness.

 

Check out Andrea’s Top 5 Spring-Fresh Foods & Why! Click To Tweet

 

Top 3 Reasons to Eat Seasonally:

  • Saves money, this is because these foods are in peak supply and without expensive transportation costs
  • Enjoy some of the best tasting foods that are picked at peak freshness
  • Supports the local economy and Ontario farmers

Andrea’s 5 Favourite Spring Foods:

 


Ontario Growing Season    

Nutritional Benefits: 

How to Use:

Storage Tips

Strawberries

June to July

One serving of strawberries (1/2 cup sliced or 1 cup whole): 


50 calories



Excellent source of vitamin C with 160% of your daily requirement



Contains 3.5 grams of fibre which helps in feeling full and reducing risk for heart disease



Contains the antioxidant, anthocyanins which helps in the prevention of diabetes, cancer and heart disease

 

Enjoy strawberries either raw or cooked: 


Eat strawberries on their own for a snack or dessert


Add to salad, smoothie or yogurt parfait


Add to homemade baking (pies, muffins)

Stores in the fridge for 3 to 5 days


Asparagus

May to June

One serving of asparagus (1/2 cup cooked or approximately 5 spears) contains:



20 calories 

 

30% of your daily folate, which helps to build new red blood cells and prevents birth defects

 

3 grams of fibre per serving to keep you feeling full and control blood sugars

 

Asparagus contains a variety of other vitamins and minerals such as: vitamins A, C, K as well as iron, potassium and calcium

Grill on the BBQ



Roast in the oven (try my Crunchy Garlic & Parmesan roasted asparagus 



Steam in microwave or on stovetop with Dijon cream sauce


Add asparagus to pasta sauce, cold salad, soups, stir-fry, great with egg dishes


Store asparagus standing with the bottom of stock in  water


Can be stored for 4-5 days in fridge


Radishes

May to November

One serving of radishes (1/2 cup sliced):



10-15 calories



Provides 20% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C helps in the growth and repair of bones, teeth, skin and acts as an antioxidant that may reduce risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases



Contains 1.5 grams of fibre per serving


Contains a small amount of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and potassium  


Enjoy raw or cooked

 

Add on top of a salad with crunchy ingredients like apples, celery or walnuts

 

Add to veggie platter

 

Add to soups, stir-fry’s or casseroles

 

Mix radish greens into your salad or sauté them with garlic and olive oil

Store unpeeled radishes on their own (remove the greens).

 

Place radishes in plastic bag or vegetable crisper

 

Last in the fridge for at least a week

 

The greens can be cleaned and stored in a plastic container for 3-5 days

Spinach

May to October

One serving of spinach (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw):



10-20 calories



 60% daily recommended vitamin A; important for vision, skin & immunity   


Cooking spinach increases antioxidant amount 



Three cups of raw spinach, has 90mg of calcium, whereas one cup cooked has 260mg. 



Contains potassium, vitamin K, iron, folate, magnesium & vitamin C


Eaten either raw or cooked:



Spinach salad (try my recipe with strawberries and feta cheese link below)



Sauté spinach in stir-fry, or add to soup, sauces, casseroles.



Spinach pesto to top on sandwiches or pizzas



Spinach dip


Add to smoothie


Unwashed spinach lasts for about 4 days in the fridge


Can also buy frozen


Cherries

June to July

One serving of cherries (1 cup):

 

50 calories

 

Contains 26% of your daily vitamin A, which is important for vision, skin and immune system  

 

Contains 17% of your daily vitamin C requirement, which helps in the growth and repair of bones, teeth, skin and acts as an antioxidant that may reduce risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases 

Enjoy raw or cooked



Add to smoothies, oatmeal, baking, salads



Add to yogurt parfaits


Fresh dessert option


Store unwashed in the fridge


Last for 4 to 7 days in the fridge



Cherries can be frozen 

 

Fresh inspiration to add Ontario Spring produce to your diet! Click To Tweet

 

Bottom Line:

To celebrate the freshness of spring, be sure to add seasonal produce to your diet.  You can’t beat the freshness of buying in season and you’ll be saving money and supporting local farmers as well.  Share how you will be enjoying Spring fresh foods this season!

For more in season foods all year long, check out the Foodland Ontario Guide.  This blog was inspired by Dietetic Directions’ contribution to a Global News article with dietitian’s top spring picks, 10 nutrient-packed springtime fruits and veggies you should be eating.

 

Happy Spring everyone!