Last updated on March 23rd, 2023 at 10:44 am
Wondering what to eat aka what’s in season during spring? Here are 10 of the best healthy spring foods that you can add to your favorite recipes while they’re in season and full of nutrients!
With spring approaching and bringing new life to flowers, herbs, and plants you may be craving a new beginning for your healthy diet. And indeed spring symbolizes hope and new opportunities.
It is the time when the whole of nature revives and reinvigorates after the long, cold winter. And it comes as no surprise that you feel the surge to start afresh, cleanse and recharge your body to its full potential. Well, if you’re wondering what to eat during spring to do just that, these healthy spring foods can certainly do the job.
One of the first healthy spring vegetables that declare winter over is spinach. This leafy green that belongs to the amaranth family and originated in Persia has the potential to reduce oxidative stress and high blood pressure while also promoting eye health. Not only is it packed with essential nutrients, but it’s really easy to incorporate this good-for-you leafy green into your diet.
You can either add fresh baby spinach to your green salad or just blend them into your smoothie. In both cases, you will certainly boost your vitamin and fiber intake for the day. If you prefer spinach cooked, then add some green goodness to your hearty soup, sauté the spinach for a healthy side or enjoy it cooked with bulgur or rice.
Favorite Recipes with Spinach To Make During Spring:
Arugula comes next on our list of healthy foods, heralds of spring. It originated in the Mediterranean region and is a close relative of broccoli and kale. This green leafy veggie is nutrient dense and full of antioxidants but is low in fats, sugar and carbohydrates.
Arugula’s slightly bitter taste and strong peppery flavor make it the perfect addition to a spring salad. You can also use it as a healthy add-on for your wrap, pizza, or sandwich. If you are a pesto lover who doesn’t have basil on hand, then try making it with arugula. You won’t be disappointed.
Favorite Recipes with Arugula To Make During Spring:
When looking for healthy spring vegetables to include in your menu you just can’t go without radishes. Similarly to arugula, these annual root veggies from the Brassica family are close relatives to cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Their small bulbs can come in different shapes and colors but have one thing in common.
Radishes are low in calories, however, they are high in essential nutrients and have the potential to improve your health. They are even used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
So, slice fresh, tender radishes to add to your favorite salad and boost your vitamin C intake. Just a cup of this crunchy vegetable will provide you with as much as a quarter of your daily need. You can also use radishes in salads, in wraps, on toasts or as a healthy snack with some hummus or other dip!
Favorite Radish Recipes To Eat This Spring
Asparagus or sparrow grass is one of those healthy spring foods that are highly valued for their nutritional value, exquisite taste, and health benefits. The young shoots are at their best either in spring or early summer and are considered to be a delicacy in the vegetable world. As for the color, American and British varieties are green, while French asparagus is purple. The variety that is grown under the soil is white. Whatever the color, asparagus is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Moreover, this vegetable is so versatile that you can enjoy its wonderful flavor in a variety of dishes. You can steam, boil or saute asparagus. Or to intensify the flavor, you may also grill or roast it for a few minutes and serve it as a delicious side. Roasted asparagus can be an excellent addition to salads, pasta, omelets, stir-fries, frittatas, etc.
Favorite Asparagus Recipes To Eat This Spring
When these healthy green leafy vegetables appear in the farmer’s market I know it‘s spring again. Lettuce has the reputation to be nutrient-poor and a waste of chewing power, but that’s not actually the case. There can be many different varieties of lettuce but they all make a great base for a healthy salad. Another thing that they all have in common is they’re low in calories and rich in vitamins (especially B, C and K) as well as antioxidants. That’s why lettuce may help with weight loss, while simultaneously fighting and controlling inflammation in the body (source).
So, if it’s early spring and lettuce is available, don’t think twice. Make sure you include it in your arsenal of healthy spring foods, such as green or mixed salads, or lettuce wraps. As strange as it may seem, you can also cook lettuce in a soup. You may also grill or sauté it, make pesto, or add it to your favorite sauce.
Favorite Spring Recipes With Lettuce:
Parsley is a flowering plant that is native to the Mediterranean region and the first records of its cultivation date back to 3 century BC. Today it is one of the most popular and widely used green herbs in European, Middle-Eastern as well as American cuisine. Parsley is famous not only for its unmistakable fresh flavor but for its numerous health benefits as well.
Although parsley is in season from spring to early fall, it is often grown in greenhouses and is easily available throughout the year. So, whenever you see a bunch of fresh parsley, use it to elevate the flavor of your dishes. It goes really well with soups, stews, salads, seafood, roasted potatoes as well as grilled vegetables.
Favorite Parsley Recipes To Make This Spring: Super Fresh Quinoa Tabbouleh
Scallions or green onions are one of the first healthy spring vegetables that give us the much-needed freshness and energy boost, especially after the long dark winter. They have long, hollow, tender green stalks and a white base. Just one cup of chopped scallions provides you with as much as 10% of your daily need for fiber. Green onions also prevent infections and the high content of vitamins and antioxidants improves your overall well-being.
What’s more – it’s actually super easy to add scallions to your spring meal plan. Just chop the scallions and use in your favorite salad or stew. You can cook them in stir-fries, soups, frittatas as well as sauces. Another option is to grill them whole and serve as they are or pair them with asparagus.
8. Green Garlic
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words healthy spring foods. Green garlic is probably not the most popular vegetable in the world. However, it has a wonderful mild flavor and indisputable benefits for your health. Green garlic is basically immature garlic that looks a lot like green onions. It is well-known for its natural antibiotic properties that help you fight colds and infections.
As for its culinary worth, you can use both the tender stalks and the bulb instead of regular garlic, onions, or scallions. A good idea would be to sauté it with other vegetables or use it in soups, frittatas, rice dishes, stir-fries or stews. It will also work great if you chop or mince it in salad dressings.
Carrots, on the other hand, are one of the most popular healthy spring vegetables. Their bright orange color speaks of a high content of carotenoids, especially beta carotene although there can be purple, red, white, and yellow varieties as well. These humble veggies are often called a superfood due to their impressive antioxidant content and amazing health benefits.
Whether raw or cooked, you can incorporate carrots into a variety of dishes – from savory to sweet. For example, you can grate them in a big vitamin-packed salad or treat yourself to a glass of energy-boosting carrot juice. If you prefer them cooked, then you may roast, boil, or steam them and serve them as a main or side. You can even make a yummy carrot cake to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Favorite Recipes With Carrots To Enjoy This Spring:
This leafy green that can be used both as an herb and veggie has a very distinctive lemony flavor. It is also called spinach dock and is one the best healthy spring foods to add to your diet. You can find this wild green at farmer’s markets during spring when it is in season. Sorrel is high in fiber as well as vitamins, especially C and A.
The tart, lemony flavor makes sorrel popular in many spring dishes, especially soups and rice-based meals. It also pairs well with potatoes, carrots, eggs, and oily fish. It’s also one of the green vegetables used in Greece as filling for spanakopita.
More Healthy Foods To Eat
And now you know what’s in season and what spring foods we need to be enjoying more! If you’re into eating healthy, here are some other healthy foods to eat more often:
- 8 Anti-Inflammatory Herbs And Spices To Add To Your Diet
- 20 Alkaline Low-Carb Vegetables
- 52 High-Fiber Foods To Eat More Often
Healthy Spring Foods
Enjoy more of these healthy spring foods while they’re in season to boost your nutrient intake. Start with this simple bulgur and spinach recipe, it is perfect for spring!
- 1 1/2 cups bulgur (coarse)
- 1 1/2 cups spinach (thightly packed) or 1 cup frozen spinach
- 1 large onion (or 3 scallions)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin (ground)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp dried chili/hot paprika (optional)
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- some chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Start by chopping the onion and mincing the garlic. Wash bulgur well and drain.
- In a large pan at medium-high heat, add onion & garlic and stir for about 1 min. Add the cumin, turmeric and chili, stir and immediately add some water (2-3 tbsps), so that the spices don't burn. Stir again.
- Then add the rinsed and drained bulgur and the spinach. Pour in about 1 cup of water (preferably boiled). Might be a little more than that, make sure it covers all the ingredients. However, it should be too much, just to cover. Add a few pinches of salt. Stir and then cover with the lid. Reduce heat a little bit and let cook, checking from time to time if more water is needed.
- When bubbles appear, stir and add the fresh mint.
- Cooking should be done in 15 minutes. After that add olive oil and some more salt if needed - this dish is low-sodium, so it might seem a little tasteless if you haven't added enough salt. When you do - stir again, add some walnuts if you wish and serve warm.
- To reheat - you might want to add some water when do this, since bulgur soaks up most of it and the dish might seem dry.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 10gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g