With Spring finally here and summer around the corner, I wanted to talk about seasonal crops and their nutritional value. (*Little side-note, these are mid-western crops.) Some of the ones that are going to be popping up and ready to go in June are arugula, radishes, mustard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, green onions, kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, parsley, and chard. Wheew!! That’s a lot of veggies and greens!! 🙂 I LOVE this time of year because there are so many greens to choose from!
I know several of these, especially the greens, can be overwhelming at first. You don’t know how to use them, they don’t sound appetizing, etc. Because greens can be the most intimidating, we’re going to talk about those today. There are two easy ways you can enjoy some of these greens. First is in a smoothie. I love throwing together some frozen berries, mix in Sun Warrior’s grain free plant-based protein powder, add in some superfoods (like cacao nibs/powder, flax/chia seeds, maca powder, etc.), throw in some sea vegetables like nori or dulse (you can’t taste them and they are good for those with thyroid conditions), and then of course, add in my favorite greens!! However, I highly recommend you pick a piece of the green leaf first, taste it, and decide if the flavor is too strong for you. Most of these will taste the exact same way in a smoothie. For example, I will not put arugula or kale in my smoothie. They both have pretty bold tastes that I don’t care for. Spinach is PERFECT in a smoothie! It doesn’t have much of a taste when eating it raw so you can’t taste it at all in a smoothie!
The second easy way is to saute them. My favorite of all the greens mentioned above is spinach and chard, although I haven’t yet discovered a green that I don’t mind sauteed. Even the ones that have pretty strong smells and pretty bitter tastes raw, have a much milder taste when sauteed. Here is a quick and easy recipe:
EASY GREENS RECIPE
1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 tsp Better than Bouillon, chicken flavored
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups greens, diced, stems separate from leaves IF the stems are a hard stem (like a chard).
Salt & Pepper to taste
Turn your burner to medium, add in the oil. Once the oil is hot, add in your onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. If you are working with a green that has hard stems, such as a chard, you’ll want to put those in next. Let those cook about 3-5 minutes (I prefer five because I prefer mine to be a little softer). Then add the rest of the ingredients, cooking for another 3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted. Bam, you’re done! You can eat these as a side dish or throw additional vegetables on top. I like to eat spinach with my sweet potato and eggs in my pre workout but I love to eat chard by itself. If you are making some homemade soup, you can always add ins some spinach and kale, adding a lot of nutrients without changing the taste of the soup!
As always, enjoy finding ways to add in some of these delicious crops whenever you can. It’s always more nourishing to your body to eat crops that are in season. Oh, and there’s the added benefit of it being cheaper on your pocket book! 🙂
For additional benefits of eating in season, check out this link!!