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Spring is in Bloom and So Are These Three Fruits and Vegetables

One thing that makes me feel in tune with the changing seasons is eating fresh, in-season produce grown near my home in Southern Oregon. In the late spring, you can find me picking cherries from the trees I planted in my front yard. In the summer, my family and I pick blackberries growing wild in the Oregon countryside. In the fall, you’ll find us picking apples in a local orchard.

Throughout all three of these seasons, our local farmers’ market is a staple for seasonal fruits and vegetables that we don’t grow or pick ourselves. Now that it’s getting warmer, it’s almost time for farmers’ markets to open again. What’s in season near you will vary, but here are some spring treats to be on the lookout for in the coming weeks.

  • Garlic Scapes.
    If you’re wondering, “What are garlic scapes?” these funny-looking vegetables are worth trying. Garlic scapes (also called green garlic) are the part of the garlic plant that grow above the ground. They look like big curly scallions, but they have a garlicky taste, and they make a delicious pesto.
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Garlic scapes are part of the allium family, along with onions, scallions, shallots, and garlic. Not only do alliums add zing to your cooking, these vegetables are associated with lower rates of both cancer and heart disease.[i]

  • Asparagus: Asparagus is at its best in the spring, when the shoots are thin and tender. Try this recipe for roasted asparagus with a fried egg and a little grated Parmesan on top. This is how Italians celebrate the arrival of spring. (And who are we to question Italians’ culinary wisdom?) 
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Asparagus is also a highly nutritious vegetable. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and K and a good source of thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folate, iron, copper, and manganese.[i] Eat up!

  • Strawberries, the first fruits of spring, are coming soon! Juicy, red, local strawberries are nothing like those sad, white-centered berries you can get in the supermarket all year long. If you’d like a constant supply of delicious strawberries within steps of your back door, try growing them in a Tower Garden! This strawberry-spinach salad is a classic spring combination.

 

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Strawberries are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, and they are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese.[1] Eat them every day, and you could see your levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides go down, according to a recent study.[2]

Which spring fruit or vegetable are you most looking forward to eating again? Share in the comments below!

References

[1] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-galland-md/health-benefits-garlic_b_900784.html

[1] http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2311/2

[1] http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2064/2

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286313002490?via%3Dihub

 

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