• Royal Brown

Your Spring Produce Guide: Part 1



Spring is happening now! Farmers' markets will be popping back up and grocery stores will begin stocking most of what is in season. Since we are in quarantine, and not sure when our time will come again to take our precious time in the grocery store or gather together at farmers' markets, knowing what options you have available will make you excited about your next meal! You can prep beforehand on what will be the best produce to have before heading out to the market and find the best recipes for yourself or your family.


Did you know that more than 60% of African American women eat less than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day? To make sure we are getting an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables during this time, and continuing healthy habits; below is a guide to help you with what is best right now, how to shop, and different ways of adding the produce to your meals.


Cherries


Cherries are ready to harvest at the end of spring. You will begin to see sweet cherries from May all the way to August. However, sour cherries have a much shorter season and can be found for a week or two, usually during the middle of June in warmer areas and as late as July and August in colder regions. So depending on where you live, you can expect to see different types of cherries at your market starting next month.


Health benefits of cherries:

  • Cherries act as a degreaser for your liver pushing out unwanted toxins

  • The rich fiber in cherries help push out poisons from the small intestine and colon


Shopping at the market:

  • Bing and Rainier varieties, are available from May to August

  • Always look for shiny, plump cherries with fresh green stems

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Garlic

Most people who eat garlic normally love it! Believe it or not, the majority of the world’s cuisines are cooked with garlic. So, if you are one of those people who enjoy garlic, the best season to buy is happening now!


You’ll likely taste the pungent and spiciness to garlic when it is raw. However, when it is cooked that flavor will mellow out, so depending on what you are cooking or your style. If you sensitive to garlic or it is too much for you try onions!



Health benefits of garlic:

· The medicinal pungent and astringent properties of garlic fights viruses

· The liver's immune system welcomes the compounds of garlic and its ability to attack toxins, and kill off germs and bacteria



Shopping at the market:

· Choose firm garlic, not soft cloves

· You will most likely find the biggest bulbs in the summer

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Peas (garden, snap, snow)

Peas come into season in the spring and continue in most areas well into summer. Peas thrive in cool weather spring all the way to the warmth of summer. The best way to reserve their sweet flavor and crispy texture is to barely cook them.



When to use peas:

  • Toss them into pasta, rice or quinoa

  • Briefly boil with a small amount of butter, salt, and chopped basil or mint

  • Sauté snow peas in sesame oil and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and salt


Health Benefits:

  • Choose peas that are crispy and bright green with fresh ends!

  • Peas are high in fiber and immediately work for our digestion

  • Good source of iron and aids in immunity

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Radishes



Did you know radishes come in different colors? Different radishes look white, purple, or red. Radishes are mostly eaten raw and found mostly in your salad.


Health Benefits:

  • Strong medicine for our livers and body

  • Stopping infection and boosting the livers immune system by increasing the white blood ability to fight infection


At the market:

  • Try not to buy the ones chopped and packaged in plastic bags, you want fresh!

  • Avoid radishes with bruises, cracks or a woody texture

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Spinach

Spinach is our nutritional powerhouse. There are lots of ways to add this leafy green into your meals, and there's no better time to do it than spring. If possible, you should buy organic spinach.



Health benefits:

  • The mineral salts in spinach are easily absorbed by the liver

  • Spinach helps release nutrients into the intestinal tract

  • Allows better B12 production


At the Market:

  • Make sure spinach does not have signs of yellowing or sliminess

  • Fresh spinach, not sold in bags, will smell sweet, not sour

  • Look for crisp spinach






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Sources:

Watson, M. (2019, September 27). Fruits & Vegetables to Dig Into This Spring. Retrieved from https://www.thespruceeats.com/fresh-spring-fruits-and-vegetables-2217705


William, A. (2018).Medical Medium Liver Rescue. Hay House.


Gans, K. M., Risica, P. M., Kirtania, U., Jennings, A., Strolla, L. O., Steiner-Asiedu, M., … Lasater, T. M. (2009). Dietary behaviors and portion sizes of black women who enrolled in SisterTalk and variation by demographic characteristics. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2657871/




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