Eating sensibly—and seasonably

14 Mar 2014

Spring often brings with it a sudden burst of energy to refresh your wardrobe, clear out the kitchen cupboards, move the furniture around and get decluttering.  It’s also the perfect time to take stock of your diet. 

Before you head out to the supermarket next time, make sure your shopping list has some lighter, fresher and more hydrating foods on it.  Your diet should contain more fruits and vegetables than other foods so load up the trolley with lots of wonderful seasonal produce.

So which fruits and vegetables are seasonal?  Take your pick from some of these spring favourites and check out what you can do with them once you’ve stocked your fridge.

Dried apricots are available at any time of year, but the fresh ones come into season in spring.  With an almost musky and faintly tart edge to them, fresh apricots are loaded with vitamin C.
Try: chopping fresh apricots into a salad.  Alternatively, grill them to bring out their sweetness and serve with Parma ham, goat’s cheese and rocket leaves.  Delightful!

When you hit up the supermarket in the spring, you can’t fail to miss the displays of asparagus.  Packed with age and disease-fighting nutrients, asparagus is a ‘must buy’ item.
Try: drizzling asparagus spears with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt, then grilling for about 5 minutes. Yum!

One of the highest antioxidant vegetables around, artichokes have a wonderful nutty flavour when steamed.  Make sure you get your fix!
Try: tearing off the outside leaves, cutting off the stems and tips of the leaves and steaming them on the hob or in the microwave.  Serve drizzled with a simple oil and vinegar-based dressing.  Fabulous!

Broccoli is a go-to choice because it’s brimming with antioxidants and is high in fibre. 
Try: serving broccoli steamed or sautéed, or even raw dipped in hummus or another healthful dip.  If you fancy a nutritional double whammy, why not look for recipes for a vibrant broccoli and asparagus soup? Scrumptious!

Chives are one of the many seasonal herbs that are especially good in the spring.
Try: sprinkling finely chopped chives on a salad or a piece of mustard glazed black cod.  Tasty!

When it comes to nutrient richness, spinach comes top of the rankings.  Protein, iron, vitamins, minerals—spinach has them all!  It’s also a super versatile ingredient.  No fridge should be without a bunch or two of spinach.
Try: a tasty weekend brunch of poached eggs on a bed of steamed spinach and grilled Portobello mushrooms.  Alternatively, use it in place of lettuce in sandwiches or stir it into a simple pasta sauce. Delish!

Often referred to as the “king of fruits,” mangos have high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and fibre and are fantastic for the health of your skin.
Try: a healthy spring dessert of fresh strawberries topped with a mango puree. Divine!

Final word:
Decluttering your diet doesn't have to mean completely eliminating sugar, carbohydrates or fat.  You don’t have to always follow the rules.  It’s OK to incorporate a few ‘play foods’ in your diet.  Remember, food is one of life’s great pleasures.  From time to time, everyone needs the occasional piece of stodgy cake or bar of chocolate.

Tell us what diet changes you’re making this spring…and don’t forget to mention those all-important treats!

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