One of the best ways to eat natural is to eat what’s in-season. It allows you to buy from local farmers in many cases, is less expensive than paying for the world-traveled fruits and veggies, and means you have a whole new selection of recipes to use each season! It truly is fun to switch it up every three or four months with new flavors in our diet. You’ll never have a chance to be bored with “what’s for dinner” because as soon as you think you can’t use zucchini another way, it’s out of season and you can move on to a new vegetable of choice.
Some of the most common fruits and vegetables (and herbs) in-season right now are: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, cilantro, fava beans, fennel, kiwi, leeks, lemons, lettuce, mint, morels, new potatoes, oranges, parsley, peas, radishes, rhubarb, scallions, snap peas, strawberries (just starting), sweet onions, and turnips. There are more but these are the primaries that we are all familiar with. Coming soon in late spring are carrots, chards, cherries, garlic scapes and grapefruit. If these are some of your favorites, feel free to stock up and freeze them for indulging when they are not in season.
One of my favorite vegetables, the turnip, is at its prime. I use the turnips as a replacement for potatoes in various recipes and as a side. Turnips are a fiber rich vegetable and not a starch, for those of you cutting down on starches or trying to increase your fiber. (They do not mash with the same consistency as a regular potato does but are an excellent substitute, with more flavor, in almost every other way.) A turnip side dish that is always a hit can be found below.
Many herbs are coming into season now and are an excellent accent to foods and dishes. Herbs can be used to infuse flavor into anything, including beverages. The use of herbs is easy, adds such strong flavors that it reduces your use of salt, have their own health properties and just makes it all seem more exciting and gourmet!
Let your taste buds come alive with the new spring foods and flavors!!
Cut turnips into 1 inch chunks or thick french fry cut. Spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle turnips with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and rosemary stripped from their stems. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Turn every 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan if desired.