Spring is often associated with planting new produce, but it’s also the season when several fruits and vegetables become ripe enough to eat. Make the most of this seasonal bounty by including some in your daily diet.
Strawberries give you a healthy dose of vitamin C and antioxidants, which help fight cell damage. You can eat them on their own or add them to several other foods for some extra sweetness. Try the following:
• Top whole wheat pancakes with sliced strawberries instead of covering them with sugary syrup.
• Add strawberry slices to a salad made with mixed greens, low-fat cheese, lean turkey, chopped almonds or walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette.
• Make a smoothie with fresh strawberries, bananas and other fruits. Add some orange j uice for added flavor.
Asparagus provides your body with important nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate and beta-carotene. These nutrients might help lower your risk of heart disease and other health problems. You can include more of these springtime greens in your diet by doing the following:
• Sauté shrimp or chicken in olive oil, then add asparagus, garlic, lemon and red pepper flakes for a heart-healthy dinner.
• Put diced raw asparagus, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil in a food processor to make a healthy dip for whole wheat crackers.
• Make a spring salad with pieces of asparagus and sliced strawberries. Mix honey, vegetable oil and lemon juice for healthy dressing.
Rhubarb contains vitamins C and K, potassium, fiber and calcium, making it a very healthy vegetable to eat. Although it’s usually associated with pies, you can use rhubarb in healthier ways, including the following:
• Top lean grilled pork with sauce made from rhubarb, lime and vinegar for a zesty yet sweet kick.
• Roast rhubarb and strawberry pieces with balsamic vinegar and salt, then use them on yogurt or whole wheat toast.
• Make healthy muffins with oatmeal, whole wheat flour and rhubarb.