Spring is here! The weather is warming up, the flowers are blooming, and the days are getting longer. With this shift in season, we see a transition in the types of meals and ingredients on our plate.
From the warming stews, curries and cooked dishes of winter, to the lighter and brighter meals of spring. We’re keen to get into the kitchen to whip up all our favourite recipes that incorporate more fresh spring produce. Some of our favourite types of meals at this time of year include nourish bowls, salads, stir fries, frittatas, tacos, pasta dishes and fritters. It’s a time where we move away from focusing on warm or cooked dishes and start to bring in more of a mix of cooked and raw components.
Seasonal eating is the way that we’re designed to eat, so as the seasons change it’s great to incorporate the foods that are grown and harvested in this time. Here’s a full list of spring produce for us here in Australia:
Apple, asparagus, avocado, banana, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherry, cumquat, grapefruit, honeydew, lemon, lime, loquat, lychee, mandarin, mango, mulberries, orange, papaya, pepino, pineapple, rhubarb, strawberries, starfruit, tangelo and watermelon.
Artichoke, Asian greens, avocado, beans, beetroot, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, choke, corn, daikon, eggplant, fennel, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onion, spring onion, parsnip, peas, potato, pumpkin, radish, shallot, silver beet, spinach, squash, swede, sweet potato, tomato, turnip, watercress, witlof and zucchini.
Herbs and Spices
Basil, chervil, chilli, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.
Based on information sourced from www.sustainabletable.org.au
Some of the spring vegetables we’re most excited to use are cabbage, watercress, cauliflower, leek, pumpkin, zucchini, Asian greens, and peas. On the fruit side of things, we’re planning on enjoying plenty of pineapple, blueberries, lime, and papaya.
To have some fun, let’s shine a spotlight on one fruit and one veggie that we’re particularly loving this spring! Peas and papaya, over to you.
Often purchased frozen, green peas would have to be a staple in almost every household. Peas are a part of the legume family, like beans and lentils, but they’re commonly referred to as a starchy vegetable. With a great dietary fibre content, peas support the health of our gut and digestive system. They contain antioxidants that fight off free radical damage in the body and contain small amounts of protein that help to make our meals filling. Thanks to a relatively low glycaemic index and their combination of fibre and protein, they can benefit our blood sugar levels and help keep them balanced. The humble pea makes a great addition to any number of meals.
Also known as pawpaw, papaya is a tropical fruit with vibrant orange flesh. This super fruit is high in antioxidants, including carotenoids and vitamin C. Antioxidants help prevent free radical damage in the body and help to decrease inflammation. Like all orange fruits and veg, it’s also a great source of beta-carotene. Our body has the ability to turn beta-carotene into vitamin A, which plays a role in our immune system, eyesight and skin health. Papaya also contains an enzyme called papain, which can break through tough proteins and support our digestion. Just to add to the list, it also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that may decrease the risk of certain types of heart disease and cancer. So, not only is this wonder fruit great for it’s delicious tase, but it also has some amazing benefits.
Now that spring has sprung, you can expect lots of spring produce and fresher, brighter meals to appear on the meal plan.