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What’s in Market: Seasonal Greens

by Lauren Eden on March 30, 2017

This season, go green!

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), dark leafy vegetables contain some of the best cancer-fighting properties that money can buy. Aside from being a fantastic source of an endless amount of nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K,  Vitamin B6, fiber, and folate, these greens also have a range of carotenoids. It is believed that the carotenoids act as an antioxidant and remove harmful free radicals that could potentially lead to cancer development. Here are some of our favorite spring options for seasonal produce:

 

Watercress

In a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, watercress topped the list of the most nutrient-dense Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables (PFV). Although it’s available year-round, watercress is at peak freshness from April through September and can be found at many local farmer’s markets. Boasting a peppery flavor similar to other members of the mustard family, this underrated veggie can add great flavor in salads or egg dishes. We particularly enjoy it in soups and recommend trying our Cream of Watercress Soup and Watercress & Seaweed Soup.

 

Arugula

Similar to watercress, arugula also has a peppery taste that can add zest to any dish. Our Arugula Salad with Artichokes, Olives, & Feta is a perfect springtime side dish or light meal. Plus, artichokes also hit their peak during spring, specifically from March to May, so it gives you even more of an incentive to try it out!

Spinach

Spinach is easily accessible throughout the year and can be found in a variety of forms: bagged, frozen, canned, etc. However, we believe that the taste and texture of fresh bunches of spinach cannot be beat! Make sure to check for vibrant green leaves when purchasing during their peak season, from March to June.  Our Greek Pasta Salad incorporates the cancer-fighting nutrients of this leafy green into a light, flavorful dish that’s perfect for the approaching warm weather. Find more of our spinach recipes here.

Swiss Chard

Last but certainly not least is Chard, an incredibly versatile cruciferous green. Its peak season begins in May/June so it might not be at your farmer’s market just yet, but it’s worth being on your table when the time comes. Use fresh chard in some of our recipes including the Spring Pea Salad that is the most seasonally appropriate.

Spring doesn’t only mean fresh leafy greens. Other vitamin and mineral-packed herbs and vegetables including parsley, asparagus, radishes, fennel, and peas are also in-season or soon to be.

 

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