Spring Eating: How to amplify the nutrition and taste of your dinner recipes
The absolute best way to get high nutritional value in your foods, without increasing your spending, is to eat seasonal ingredients from local sources.
In summer and autumn, this is easy-peasy for me. But spring?! Take a look at the picture below I captured from my local market here in Luxembourg.
We're talking leeks and turnips. How the heck am I going to transform my tried and true weekly recipes to incorporate leeks as the star of the plate?!
So, I searched my beloved cookbooks and my own favorite old recipes to provide you with a number of spring inspired dinners and lunches.
These recipe ideas are aimed to bring your market finds to the center of your plate, not just the side dish.
Dig in to turnip the volume on your family's nutrition and leek go of the winter foods.
If you aren't already convinced of shopping at farmers markets, what are you waiting for? Yes, the products you find are seasonal and local and bursting with nutrients. BUT (arguably more importantly) they also taste BETTER.
They are crispier, juicier, spicier and fresher than what you find in the store. They have traveled less, meaning that the great natural flavors are allllll still there.
Plus, spring weather makes it so much more enjoyable to hit the markets. I have so many fond memories from my own childhood of searching out fresh foods with my mom (and of course, turning them into delicious meals and desserts).
As a child, this is truly where I found a spark for nutrition. What better way to teach your kids about nutrition than to make it this simple?!
Instead of buying the "promising" foods in diet culture that can be hard to find and even harder to explain the benefits of, buy whole, real produce. Set a great example for your children on what a healthy relationship with food and eating looks like and make nutrition fun! Not to mention, I left the market last week with free goodies (pears, apples, lemons) that the stands give you on top of what you are buying.
If you are a market newbie and not sure which produce to buy, a general rule of thumb is to look for bright colors and mix it up. Color = more variation of nutrients. Fill your bags with all the colors of the rainbow to make sure you are getting a balanced dose of the minerals and vitamins your body is begging you for.
I like to nerd out and strategically decorate my plate to make sure my body is full of the good stuff, but if you need a simple approach, just focus on bringing in bright colors and lots of them!
Even if you can't get to the local market, purchase the in season food at the grocery store. Teach your kids (and yourself) the benefits of eating whole and in season food, and reap the nutritional and flavorful benefits!