Spring has already started, and with its arrival, the local markets are swept over by local gardeners. There are so many fresh spring vegetables available this time of the year that creating healthy eating habits is easier. They will improve your health, your skin, your mood, and your general wellbeing. All you need is some easy and nutritious spring vegetable recipes ideas. With this post, I want to walk you through eight of these vegetables, their health benefits, and some ideas on how to include them into your daily menu.
Asparagus season is short, only from April to May, so make sure you enjoy it while it is fresh. This spring vegetable is very popular and used in dishes all over the world. The reason is simple: it has low calories, but it is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One cup (approximately 180 grams) has only 40 calories, yet it contains not only vitamins C, A, K, and E but also small amounts of potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. It also has a good amount of fiber, which can improve digestion.
And probably one of the things that make asparagus so loved by people is its versatility. It can be steamed, grilled, wok-fried, roasted, sliced in a salad, etc. Your imagination is your limit on how you can cook it.
To store it, you should not cover it and use a small inch of water. In order not to lose part of its flavors, it is recommended to store it outside the fridge for no longer than three days. When cooking, remember first to snap off the tough ends.
Recipe idea – Spring Vegetables Carbonara
My favorite recipe using asparagus is a vegetarian carbonara. Instead of bacon I use fresh asparagus and mushrooms, with only minor changes to the rest of the recipe. All you need is mushrooms, garlic, asparagus, whole wheat spaghetti, eggs, Parmesan, peas, salt and pepper, water, and olive oil.
First, you cook the pasta according to package instruction. In a separate pan, you cook the mushrooms and asparagus. Use garlic to give them better flavor. When the vegetables are ready, add the pasta to the pan, together with the beaten eggs and grated Parmesan. Mix it all together for a few minutes so that the flavors spread evenly throughout the dish. And then you can enjoy your vegetarian carbonara dish!
I discovered this recipe using the MealPrepPro app, and since then, I have tried to do it as often as possible. On this app, you can also see more detailed instructions on how to prepare this dish.
For me, radishes are synonyms with countryside. My grandparents harvest them every spring in their gardens, and I enjoyed eating them raw or added to a fresh salad. Now I discovered that they can also be fried, boiled, or even pickled.
Radishes are a good source of antioxidants and vitamin C, but also contains small amounts of potassium and iron They reduce the risk of diabetes, enhance liver function, and improve the cardiovascular system, all while having only a few calories. A cup of fresh, sliced radish contains below 10 calories.
To store them, cut off their root ends and leaves and place them in cold water in a sealed container or jar. This way, they can last for a week or longer in your fridge.
Recipe idea – Spring Vegetables Fresh Tostadas
Fresh tostada is a recipe I developed by experimenting with some other recipes I found on the internet. And it is simple and fast to prepare. The first step is to take a tortilla and bake it until it gets crispy. Then I add canned and smashed black beans on top of it (it takes too much time to boil them myself), chopped tomatoes, sliced red or green onions, crumbled feta cheese and fresh radishes. Sometimes, I also add some spicy or sour sauce. It tastes amazing, and it is a great way to enjoy fresh vegetables. Another variation I often do of this meal is by replacing the black beans with roasted zucchini or eggplant.
Green onions are another ingredient I associate with my grandparents and spring visits to the countryside. Especially on Easter this is the one ingredient that never left the table. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and iron. These ingredients are the reason why green onions have such a great anti-inflammatory effect, lower cholesterol levels, improve digestion and boost immunity.
Cooking them is also quite easy. You can eat them fresh or boil, grill, steam, or even fry them. Storing them is also easy. Wash and try them. Then seal them in a plastic bag and put them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Recipe idea – Spring vegetables omelet
This ingredient is really simple to incorporate in any recipe, as you can easily add it at the end to spread the flavor around. You can use it as a pizza topping, add it to your soup or even mix it in the pasta.
However, my favorite recipe with green onions is combining it with eggs. Whether we talk about boiled, scrambled, or fried eggs, eating them with green onion enhances the flavor of both ingredients. My favorite combination of all is preparing an omelet topped with feta cheese and green onion. It is one of the easiest, fastest, and tastiest breakfast meals I know.
Kale is an ingredient I recently discovered and introduced in my diet. It is an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants to the diet. Whether it is part of a cooked dish, a salad, or a smoothie, kale can boost your health and detox your organism. Its benefits are similar to those of brussels sprouts and broccoli, so you can choose the one you like more and make it part of your daily meals.
To store kale, you should put it in a plastic bag, seal it, and deposit in your fridge in the crisper drawer.
Recipe idea – Caldo Verde Portuguese soup
Caldo verde is a Portuguese green soup based on potato, kale, and sausages. I discovered this dish while being in Lisbon and I felt in love with its taste and flavors. It can work as an appetizer, lunch, or light supper in the evenings. To make it suitable for vegetarians, I use vegan chorizo made of peas and soya.
To prepare caldo verde you need to cook onions and garlic, and then add vegetable stock, potatoes, and carrots to the pot. When vegetables are soft, all content is blended. The creamy result is put back into the pot and kale leaves are added. Vegan chorizo is cooked separately and added to the mixture when served.
As a secret tip for the recipe, try cutting the kale leaves very thin, so they almost look like grass. The flavors will infuse much better and the texture will be amazing.
Most lettuces can be generally placed in one of the categories: looseleaf, butterhead, crisphead, and romaine. From all, iceberg lettuce is the one with the lowest amount of nutrients. Among the benefits, bone strengths (through vitamin K rich content), hydration (95% of raw lettuce is water), and improved vision (through vitamin A components). It is also great for diets, as one cup of lettuce contains under 10 calories.
To preserve it for longer periods of time, envelope the lettuce in paper towels and refrigerated in the crisper drawer.
Recipe idea – Lettuce soup (Romanian traditional meal)
Lettuce a simbol of green spring vegetables and it is usually used in salads, wraps, sandwiches, and smoothies. However, in my country we have a traditional recipe of lettuce soup. All you need is a lot of lettuce, some green onions and green garlic, milk, sour cream or Greek yogurt, eggs, and dill.
First you boil the lettuce leaves in water on a pot. Then you add the green onion and hot milk on top of them. In a separate bowl, green garlic, dill, sour cream and two egg yellows are mixed. Then, the mixture is put inside the pot with the other ingredients and incorporated slowly. Optionally, you can also add a little lemon juice or some vinegar.
Spinach is a great source of fibers, and it can boost health in several ways. It can improve eye health and it is a great antioxidant. I love the effect it has on the metabolism, as it reduces oxidative stress, which triggers accelerated ageing and slow digestion.
To store spinach for longer periods while preserving its freshness and health benefits, you should first stem, was, and dry it. Afterwards, you can put it in a plastic bag, seal it and refrigerate up to two weeks.
Recipe idea – Green Energy smoothie with spring vegetables
As a child, I loved boiled spinach with fried eggs. It is amazingly tasty.
However, today I eat a lot of spinach mainly in the form of smoothies. Probably my favorite smoothie is the one I call Green Energy. I blend avocado, banana, spinach, oat milk and some whey protein powder. I love this vibrant green smoothie and I usually enjoy it as a breakfast in the mornings when I am not in a rush.
Green peas are quite nutritious and they are very easy to find spring vegetable. They contain fiber and antioxidants, as well as carbs in the form of starch. But the best benefit from my point of view is that they are very filling and an excellent source of protein. They are probably the richest plant in proteins, and this is especially helpful when dieting. Proteins and fibers can help keeping appetite under control through their nutritious and filling effect. The fibers can also benefit digestion, and the low glycemic index can keep blood sugar low.
In the fridge, green peas should be stored in a sealed plastic bag, after they were washed, shelled, and boiled one minute.
Recipe idea – Butter and garlic roasted peas
I love using green peas as a side dish. And it is quite easy to make some butter and garlic roasted peas.
To prepare them, I first melt the butter on the stove, and then I pour it over a backing sheet filled with peas and minced garlic. I put everything in the oven and roast it for 20-25 minutes. It is not the healthiest side dish you can find out there because of the high amount of butter necessary to toss all the peas, but it is definitely one of the most delicious ones you can taste.
There are many fresh herbs spring is gifting us with, among which my favorites are chives, cilantro, dill, basil, mint, and parsley. Just like lettuce, they contain a large amount of vitamins K, A and C. And most of them are also having an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.
Recipe idea – Parsley and tomato salad
Any salad, meal or dish can be enhanced with the addition of fresh herbs. However, I will detail here one of the recipes in which herbs are the star of the plate and that I always loved. This is a parsley and tomato salad.
It is an incredibly easy salad to prepare that is every common in Eastern European countries. All you need is to toss some chopped parsley, garlic and cherry tomatoes with olive oil vinaigrette and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. You can also turn this into some delicious bruschetta, by placing the mixture on top of bread.
Spring is the best season to clean: your diet, your home, your life. Earth is providing us with fresh new sources of amazingly healthy dietary products, which you should try to incorporate into your daily life. If you need more ideas of spring vegetables you can find fresh in your local market this period and delicious recipes you can cook with them, you can also use the two graphs below to guide you.
From the recipes mentioned above, have you tried any of them? What other amazing recipe ideas do you know using spring vegetables? Let me know your ideas in the comments below and do not forget to subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to receive a notification of new posts.