When you think about foods for spring, you might picture colorful dyed eggs and chocolate bunnies. While it can be tons of fun to dye eggs with natural ingredients, you don’t have to stick with egg salad all season — especially not when there’s an abundance of in-season produce to choose from!
As buds start to blossom and trees get their leaves, dozens of delicious fruits and veggies are finally coming into season. Let’s explore what those foods are, and how you can work them into your spring menu at home. Read on for 59 mouthwatering ideas, including 30 seasonal fruits and veggies, 12 spring herbs, and five edible blooms you can enjoy straight from your own flowerbeds. Plus, we’re sharing a dozen delectable recipes that celebrate all the flavors of spring.
Why Choose Seasonal Spring Produce?
Picking in-season fruits and vegetables has its advantages. One of the perks is that it can be more cost-effective. Unlike imported produce, locally-grown and harvested foods don’t have to travel very far, keeping costs lower along the way to your table.
Even more importantly, choosing seasonal produce is gentler on our planet. Fewer gas emissions go into transporting locally-sourced produce, so you can enjoy more flavor and nutrients without putting such a strain on the environment. Plus, farmers and grocery stores don’t need to rely on chemical ripening agents, preservatives, coatings, and other harsh treatments to ensure their produce looks fresh. If your veggies are plucked off the vine when they’re naturally ready, they’ll look and taste fresh without any of those unwanted extras.
30 Seasonal Spring Fruits and Veggies
The arrival of spring means it’s time to bid farewell to wintertime favorites like oranges, squash, and pomegranates. But don’t worry — there are plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables to choose from between March and May.
Below are some of the highlights of what you’ll find in a spring harvest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s seasonal produce guide and the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s “What’s in season?” list for spring:
- Belgian endives
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
- Fava beans
- Green beans
- Mustard greens
Each of these options will contribute its own combination of nutrients to your spring plate. For instance, garden peas offer high levels of iron, zinc, magnesium, folate, and manganese along with vitamins A, C, and K, while spinach is a great source of plant protein. (Psst… That’s why spinach is one of the 20+ superfood ingredients hidden in our Perfect Bars! We snuck it in there along with other spring veggies like kale, celery, and carrots.)
Of course, seasonality and local availability will vary by location and climate. You and your local farmers probably won’t have too much luck growing pineapples in a cooler region! But you can also learn about what’s available in your state at this time of year by searching GRACE Communication Foundation’s interactive Seasonal Food Guide.
12 Seasonal Spring Herbs
There are plenty of aromatic herbs and edible flowers in season during the spring months as well. Here are a dozen herb garden flavors that will undoubtedly elevate your spring cooking:
5 Edible Spring Flowers
Pretty spring blooms like the following five plants can add a cheerful splash of color to any freshly prepared dish:
12 Recipes Featuring Fresh ‘Springredients’
Now that you’re up-to-date on what’s fresh from the farm, embrace the best of spring with these recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between.
- Asparagus and Farro Salad: Tender grilled asparagus stalks can help lower blood glucose levels and offer a range of vitamins including K, C, A, and E. Mixed in with a handful of fresh dill and nutritious ingredients like chopped almonds make this farro bowl an ideal dish to serve this spring.
- Avocado and Radish Toast: Elevate your avocado toast game with not one, but two flavorful spring showstoppers. Creamy avocados are a delicious source of healthy omega-3s and play well with the bitter crunch and antioxidant properties of radishes.
- Ants on a Log: This classic snacktime favorite is a great way to dress up fresh celery and make it a little more kid-friendly. It’s a vitamin-rich, low-GI veggie that also provides potassium and folate. You know the drill: Add a dollop of organic peanut butter down the center of the celery stick and decorate it with little raisin “ants.”
- Bok Choy and Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl: Craving something spicy? Grab a bunch of bok choy for this spicy tofu rice bowl recipe. This cruciferous vegetable — also called pak choi or Chinese cabbage — is beloved around the world for its antioxidant properties and nutritious levels of vitamins A, B6, C, K, and beta-carotene.
- Moroccan-inspired Roasted Carrots: Smoky, savory flavors like paprika and cumin bring out the natural sweetness of spring’s most iconic root vegetable. Carrots help promote healthy eyes and cholesterol levels and make a great side dish — but they’re just as good dunked in a dill yogurt sauce.
- Pappardelle with Mushrooms, Peas, and Greens: Choose a hearty whole-wheat pasta as the base for your seasonal spring veggie blend. The garlic and thyme white wine sauce will lift up the fresh flavors of locally-sourced mushrooms and tender peas.
- Purple Kale and Pansy Salad: A bowl of deep purple greens and velvety pansy flowers tossed in a tangerine poppy seed vinaigrette might just be the most beautiful thing you’ll eat all spring. Incorporating spring herbs like mint, thyme, and parsley is a delicious way to celebrate what’s going on in your garden during this time of year.
- Rhubarb and Date Yogurt Parfait: This recipe will be reminiscent of your Grandma’s rhubarb crumble, but it’s a more nutritious way to start your day at the breakfast bar. Roasting down the rhubarb brings out its sweet-tart flavors, which are balanced out by creamy low-fat Greek yogurt and chopped pistachios.
- Roasted Beet Hummus: The only thing better than hummus is hummus featuring seasonal spring veggies like beets. They’ll give your homemade hummus a delicious magenta color, as well as folate, fiber, and blood-pressure-lowering nitrates.
- Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese: Pile up a load of artichoke hearts, spinach, and a gooey three-cheese blend onto whole-grain seeded bread and you’ll forget all about the April showers and May flower maintenance you need to do. This in-season approach to comfort food is a great source of plant protein and dietary fiber.
- Spring Veggie Quiche: Jam-packed with seasonal favorites like asparagus, garden peas, spinach, spring onions, and chives, this quiche recipe ticks all the boxes! It’s sure to make an impressive centerpiece for your weekend brunch, but is equally magnificent at dinnertime with a tossed side salad featuring fresh lettuce and other seasonal greens.
- Strawberry, Radish, Avocado, and Chive Salsa: This savory take on spring’s sweetest berries incorporates a host of seasonal ingredients packed with nutrients and farm-fresh flavors. Try serving it with grilled chicken or on a bed of leafy greens.
And don’t forget that Perfect Bars are always in season! Fresh from the fridge, our flavorful array of protein bars keep tastebuds and tummies satisfied all year round. Choose your favorites and have them delivered to your doorstep today!