By Published On: March 15, 2022Categories: Plant-Based Health & WellnessComments Off on Benefits of Healthy Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Northern California has an extensive list of fruits and vegetables for each month. Whether you’re having a garden party or a picnic, here are some healthy in-season fruits and vegetables to add to your food basket.

FRUITS

With the arrival of spring, add the zing back into your meals with light and colorful citrus fruits. These fruits are beautiful to look at, tasty to eat, and have an array of health benefits. Go ahead and brighten up your plate with these incredible fruits.

GRAPEFRUIT: 

According to WebMD, grapefruit is rich in vitamins A and C, which help boost your immune system. The citric acid in grapefruit can help prevent kidney stones. It is also a good source of calcium and iron.

Sweet and tangy, this large, bright yellow fruit is perfect with various meals. You can enjoy it by adding it to your salad as a healthy alternative to salad dressing. Cut the grapefruit into chunks for smoothies and add it to your blender. You can also make a quinoa bowl with grapefruit and avocado.

KUMQUAT:

The name “kumquat” is derived from the Chinese words “gam,” meaning gold, and “gwat,” another word for tangerines. WebMD states that kumquats are rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and fiber. They are also low in fat and sodium.

Kumquats may look similar to oranges, but they are oval and are smaller than regular oranges. While you can have kumquats raw, you can add them to jams, jelly, and marmalades. You can enjoy them either candied or pickled.

Here is a small tip: Always choose kumquats that are firm instead of soft.

LEMONS:

This bright yellow citrus fruit has a distinctive sour taste due to its richness in citric acid. According to WebMD, lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, citric acid, fiber, and iron. While it may not have high iron levels, it still helps your body absorb more iron from the plant-based foods in your diet. The fiber reduces constipation and gastrointestinal issues.

The lemon’s unique flavor makes it a popular ingredient in drinks, desserts, and meals. You can make a classic, ice-cold lemonade with sugar and water. You can use lemon to add flavor to a risotto dish and bring out the zest with a lemon meringue pie. It also makes for a tasty garnish in your tea or other beverage of your choice.

MANDARINS:

While they belong to the same family as oranges, mandarins are smaller, sweeter, and easier to peel. Mandarins are sweet, easy to prepare, and are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. WebMD states that they are rich in vitamins A and C and are a good source of soluble fiber, which helps reduce LDL cholesterol.

You can enjoy mandarins by adding them to salads, fruit kebabs, smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt parfaits.

VEGETABLES

It is easy to whip up a delicious main dish or side with spring vegetables as the main ingredient. Here are eight vegetables to enjoy this spring.

ASPARAGUS:

The name asparagus is derived from the Greek word asparagos, which means “to spring up.” Although the most popular one is green, you might also find white and purple asparagus. According to Nourish by WebMD, they are high in folic acid and a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin, and vitamins A, B6, and C.

Looking for ways to add asparagus to your diet? Try the following:

  • Grill it with spices as a side dish.
  • Cook and chill it to add to salad.
  • Chop into small pieces and add it to a stir-fry.
  • Sprinkle it with cheese, then bake it as a snack.
  • Add to pasta for a fresh twist.

CABBAGE:

Cabbage comes in various shapes and colors, including red, purple, white, and green, and its leaves can be either crinkled or smooth. A Healthline article states that cabbage is packed with vitamins B6, C, and K, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It is also high in fiber and contains powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and sulfur compounds.

Cabbage can be easily incorporated into different dishes, including salads, stews, soups, and slaws. You can use it as a topping for tacos and sandwiches. Some other things you can try are stir-fry, pancakes, dumplings, and stuffed cabbage rolls.

CAULIFLOWER:

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, containing almost every vitamin and mineral you need. According to Healthline, these include vitamins B6, C, and K, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also contains a high amount of fiber, which is essential for digestive health and may reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.

Cauliflower makes an exceptional side dish, and you can also combine it with dishes like soups, salads, stir-fries, and casseroles. Here are some other dishes you can cook with cauliflower – rice, pizza crust, hummus, tortillas, and mac and cheese.

KALE:

Kale is one of the healthiest and most nutritious green vegetables. There are many types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple and have a smooth or curly shape. Healthline states that kale is rich in vitamins A, B6, C, and K, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

From smoothies to soups and everything in between, you can add Kale to various dishes. These include kale chips, quinoa bowls, Caesar salad, pasta, chickpea stir-fry, veggie burgers, and more.

Some of the other vegetables you can feast on this spring are:

  • Pea Shoots
  • Radish
  • Snow Peas
  • Winter Squash

Don’t forget to stop by our website for new and exciting vegan recipes!

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Chef Lauren and Megan from Planted Table

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After transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, we want to inspire others with tips, easy vegan recipes and more. Our blog features our vegan journey and recommendations on lifestyle, cooking, nutrition, travel, parenting and more.

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