Spring has Sprung!
And with Spring comes the beginning of delicious fresh produce, the perfect treat after a long winter. If you are looking for spring snacks or a side-dish, be sure to try these seasonal and tasty options.
Asparagus: A versatile and tasty spring vegetable, look for asparagus that is bright green, about the width of a pencil, with heads that aren’t dry and flaky. It is an excellent addition to salads and pasta primavera. It’s also the perfect spring snack (and fun finger food) when lightly tossed with olive oil and salt, then grilled or roasted until tender.
Strawberries: These bright red berries pack a nutritional punch and are often found on sale this time of year. They are a great addition to spinach salads, yogurt parfaits, smoothies, even peanut butter sandwiches! For a classic snack, just cut off their stems, slice and serve. For a more surprising option, lightly drizzle the sliced strawberries with balsamic vinegar and garnish with basil.
Artichokes: If you’re new to this spiky, flower-like vegetable, don’t be intimidated! Simply steam the artichoke for about an hour, then pull off a leaf and dip the meaty end in your favorite dip (melted herb butter, mayonnaise, and vinaigrette are popular options). For eating the heart, scoop out the feathery parts and enjoy. To mix it up, add spices to the steam water (we’re a fan of cloves, bay leaves and lemon juice!)
Apricots: These small orange fruits are an easy on-the-go spring snacks that will help keep you full with lots of fiber! While tasty eaten whole (beware the pit!), for a fun twist try halving them and then grilling. The heat sears in the sweet juices. Top with a little vanilla yogurt for a healthy and delectable indulgence.
Spinach/lettuce/leafy greens: ‘Tis the season of salads! And these leafy greens are coming into season with a vengeance. Just pick your favorite green(s), your favorite additions, and your favorite dressing! A couple possibilities are: Spinach, walnuts, mixed berries, goat cheese with a sweet vinaigrette. Or arugula lightly tossed with parmesan, olive oil and lemon. Or mixed greens with asparagus, sunflower seeds, roasted beets and tossed with balsamic vinegar. Roasted veggies, grilled chicken or shrimp, or poached fish all make fantastic additions, turning this spring snack into a meal.
As the weather gets warm, frozen grapes, frozen blueberries, and frozen peach slices or pineapple chucks become the perfect in-season, healthy and delicious snack on a hot day. Yum!