April is one of my favorite months of the year. The days are longer, the air seems fresher, and the weather tends to be perfect for me. April marks a change in season and a time for renewal. Beautiful flowers are in bloom, and spring fruits and vegetables are fresh with ripe flavor and texture and all-important nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.
To help you embrace the season, I’ve compiled a list of my five favorite spring foods, fresh and grown right here in Florida. The best part of eating fruits and vegetables that are grown here, they are bursting with freshness and flavor.
Blueberries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C, high in antioxidants, and just 80 calories for a cup. So, grab a handful or two of these tiny gems. It’s a smart, delicious, and easy choice you can make every day. Add them to salads, yogurt, cereal, or eat them whole.
Spinach is a great staple to add to your diet—rich in vitamins A and K, potassium, and iron. Raw spinach weighs in at just 20 calories for 3 cups. It makes an excellent base for a salad (toss in some of those blueberries). Toss it into pasta dishes, soups, or sauté it with some garlic and olive oil as a side dish.
Snap peas, also known as sugar snap peas, are one of the first vegetables ready for harvest each year in many parts of the country. Rich in vitamins like K, A, and C and minerals like beta carotene and potassium. At 20 calories for ¾ cups, they make a great midday snack. Add them to salads, eat them fresh or mix them into a stir fry.
You may know carrots by their orange color, but there are different varieties that create a whole rainbow, including purple, yellow, and white. They can be traced back about 5,000 years. One medium-sized carrot has about 25 calories. A beloved veggie to many, it’s an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Peel them and eat them whole, toss into salads, roast them in the oven, make soup. They even make an excellent cake and go great in some oatmeal raisin cookies.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that Florida is the nation’s largest grower of fresh field-grown tomatoes.One medium tomato is only 25 calories. A great source of lycopene, a natural antioxidant, a good source of vitamins C and A, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in sodium, you can eat these all day long. Great for a salad, try them for soups, slowly roasted in the oven, combine with some carrots and onions for a great sauce.
Enjoy the spring season, and don’t forget to visit our recipe page for some great recipes.