The changing of the seasons provides us with more than just longer days and warmer weather. While those are a huge bonus to spring-ing forward this time of the year marks the coming of a fresh new crop of produce: leafy greens, slender spears of asparagus, vibrant red beets, fresh peas, and green beans! We have rounded-up three reasons why eating in-season produce is better for just about everyone and four recipes to give you major #foodpiration this spring:
It’s More Cost Effective:
Food that is grown in its proper season, like squash in the fall and strawberries in the summer, thrive and grow in abundance. As the classic supply and demand theory would have it, in-season fruits and vegetables produce a greater supply than the demand, which consequently drives down the price. Making it more cost effective for consumers to buy produce that is ripe for the pickin’ during that season.
It’s Better for Mama Earth:
Non-seasonal foods are usually picked too early and travel long distances. Since, grocery stores have strict cosmetic guidelines, fruits and vegetables are usually filled with chemical ripening agents, wax coatings and preservatives to ensure they will last. By locally sourcing in-season produce, you reduce your carbon footprint: eliminating gas emissions, from the trucks that would transport the produce, and the chemicals used on the plants that wreak havoc on the ozone.
It Taste Better:
When produce is grown in it’s proper season and under the appropriate growing conditions it keeps all of it’s natural nutrients. Majority of the time, local or in-season produce doesn’t endure the same amount of travel as out-of-season produce. This allows for the produce to hold onto it’s nutrients and in turn deliver some mouth-watering flavors. Are you ready to hit up your local farmer’s market yet? Check out Local Harvest to find one near you!
Avocado and Radish Toast
- 2 Pieces Seeded Bread
- 1 Avocado
- 1 Lime
- Sea Salt
- 2-3 Radishes
- Handful of micro greens
- Optional toppings: olive oil, salt + pepper
- Toast the bread.
- Halve the avocado and scoop the flesh into a small bowl. Halve the lime and squeeze the juice over the avocado. Add in a pinch of sea salt, to taste. Using a fork, smash the avocado until a creamy mixture forms.
- Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice the radishes.
- Slather each piece of toast with the smashed avocado, layer the radish slices, and sprinkle the micro greens on top. If desired, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roasted Beet Hummus
- 1 (15 oz.) Can Chickpeas (rinsed + drained)
- 1 Cup Chopped Beets (peeled + cut into 1/2″ cubes)
- 3 Tbsp. Tahini Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Clove of Garlic (minced)
- 1 Lemon (juiced)
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- For Serving: Feta Cheese + Pita Chips
- Optional toppings: Mint Leaves
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the beets with a pinch of salt and pepper and a small dose of extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine and place on a baking sheet, roast for 30 minutes, flipping the beets one time halfway through cooking. After roasted, set aside until cooled to room temperature.
- In a food processor, blend together the chickpeas, beets, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Continue to blend until smooth. If the mixture is too dense, add water 1 tablespoon at a time and blend until the hummus reaches the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with a sprinkle of the optional toppings: feta cheese and mint leaves.
Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese
- 3 Cups Fresh Spinach (chopped)
- 3 (6 oz.) Cans of Artichoke Hearts
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Sour Cream
- 1 Cup Shredded Cheese (we used a blend of mozzarella, Monterrey jack and provolone)
- 4 Pieces of Seeded Bread
- Dice the 2 cloves of garlic, chop the artichokes and spinach.
- Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the spinach and a pinch of salt, and sauté for a few minutes until just limp. Add the artichokes and sauté for another minute or so, until heated through. Drain off any liquid from the pan. Stir in 2 tablespoons sour cream and another pinch of salt.
- Spread olive oil on one side of each of the 4 bread pieces. Heat a griddle pan to medium high heat. Place 2 pieces of bread on the griddle, buttered side down. On each piece, spread some shredded cheese, the spinach artichoke filling, some more cheese (1/2 cup cheese per sandwich), and the other piece of bread. When the bottom bread is browned, flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
Spicy Peanut Tofu and Bok Choy Rice Bowl
- 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Sriracha
- 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
- 1/4 Tsp. Salt
- 1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
- 14 oz. Extra-firm Tofu (pressed and cut into 8 slices)
- 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
- 1 Bunch Bok Choy (roughly chopped)
- 4 Cups Brown Rice
- 1/4 Cup Crushed Peanuts
- 1/4 Cup Scallions
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a bowl, whisk soy sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha, brown sugar, peanut butter and salt until ingredients are mixed together.
- Brush both sides of tofu slices with peanut sauce. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
- In a large sauté pan, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add garlic and bok choy and toss to coat. Add remaining sauce and sauté for 5-8 minutes or until greens are wilted and crisp-tender.
- Divide rice between four bowls. Top with bok choy, tofu, crushed peanuts and scallions.