As spring arrives, so do the fresh
flavors of the season. Many fruits and vegetables are at their peak,
even if you have them available in your grocery store year around. Let’s
take a look at those fruits and vegetables that are bursting with flavor and
freshness when winter passes.
Peak growing time for asparagus is March through June. Preparing asparagus is a snap. Simply bend the bottom of the asparagus spear until the tough part breaks off. The spears can be steamed for about 4 minutes or baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Time can vary depending on the thickness of the spears. If we're in a hurry, we can toss the asparagus with olive oil and salt. If we really want to jazz up this vegetable side dish, here's one of my favorite toppings:
- 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. of fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
Puree the cilantro and lime juice on low in a blender or small food processor, while slowly adding the olive oil until everything is mixed and smooth. Drizzle over cooked asparagus. This also goes well over fish.
It wouldn’t be spring without juicy fruits. Peak season for strawberries is April through June, and this is when they will be most flavorful. Try this delicious smoothie for breakfast. Blend the following ingredients until smooth:
- 1 cup of milk (or milk substitute)
- 1/2 cup of strawberries, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. of ground flaxseed
- 20 g of protein powder
- 1/2 cup of ice or more (depending on how thick you want it)
Blend and enjoy.
Sweet cherries, such as Bing and Rainier, are available from May to August. While they are delicious to eat as is, try this tasty cherry salad:
- 3 cups of baby spinach
- 2 Tbsp. of red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup of Rainier cherries, pitted and halved
- 3 Tbsp. of crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 Tbsp. of Dijon mustard
- 1/4 Tbsp. of honey
- 1/8 Tbsp. of salt
- 1/8 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
Combine the ingredients for the dressing, and drizzle over spinach and red onion, coating it evenly. Divide the dressed salad between two bowls. Top each bowl of salad evenly with cherries and feta cheese. Enjoy!