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Seasonal Spring Recipes: Asparagus, Spinach, and Strawberries… Oh My!


Seasonal Spring Recipes: Asparagus, Spinach, and Strawberries… Oh My!

We both love eating seasonal fruits and vegetables and try to do it as much as possible. Not only is it better for the environment, but it also helps keep our diets naturally varied both in taste and nutrition. Focusing on what’s in season can help prompt you to come up with creative meal ideas and keep meal boredom at bay. Today, we’re focusing on three of the most widely available seasonal fruits and veggies available in May: asparagus, spinach, and strawberries. No matter where you live in the country, it’s almost certain that you’ll find at least one of these at your local farmers market.

Here are some of the nutrition perks of each spring food, followed by some of our favorite recipes that use them:

Strawberries: A superfood for your skin and digestive system, strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and fiber. They also offer a great way to add natural sweetness to foods like plain yogurt or oats instead of opting for pre-sweetened varieties.

Asparagus: In addition to being a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, and chromium, asparagus is packed with antioxidants that have been shown in research to neutralize free radicals that can damage your cells and cause disease and signs of aging.

Spinach: Spinach is a nutritional winner many times over. If you missed our Battle of the Greens blog, we named spinach #1 out of the healthiest salad greens because it has over 20% of your daily needs of 12 nutrients, including vitamins A, C, K, B2, B6, iron, folate, magnesium, and potassium. Eat spinach for its benefits to your energy, skin, and immune system.

Spring Super Energy Breakfast Smoothie
Serves 1

1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1/2 a frozen medium banana
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup raw baby spinach
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp chia seeds
Ice as needed

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add ice to desired consistency.

*You can also use 1% milk, unsweetened soy milk, or hemp milk.

Spinach & Fennel Salad with Strawberries, Pine Nuts, and Tuna
Serves 1

1/2 5-ounce can Bumble Bee® Albacore Tuna in water, drained and flaked
1 1/2 cups raw baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp minced shallot
1 tsp honey
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium salad bowl, toss spinach with strawberries, fennel, and pine nuts.  Top with tuna. To make dressing, whisk both vinegars, shallots, and honey until combined.  Then whisk in olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing over the salad.

Roasted Asparagus
Serves 2-3 as a side dish

1 bunch (about 1 pound)asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more for drizzling after cooking, if desired
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread asparagus spears evenly on the baking sheet, making sure they do not overlap. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until asparagus is slightly browned and tender, turning once during cooking time. Drizzle with additional lemon juice if desired.

 Barley Risotto with Asparagus from Real Simple® Magazine

Check out this amazing barley risotto recipe we recently found.  Doesn’t it sound awesome?

What are your favorite fruit and veggie finds for spring?

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