Seasonal Eating: Spring

eatspring

 

Have you ever noticed we often crave light, fresh salads in Springtime, refreshing fruits and high-energy carbs in Summer, and heartier, fattier fare in the Fall and Winter? These are more than the whims of appetite.

We reap major rewards by syncing the foods you eat to nature’s well-timed offerings like improved digestion, a stronger immune system and increased energy.

“From an anthropological standpoint, our bodies naturally want to shed the extra layer of weight we can carry from winter. The types of foods that we find ourselves drawn to now—bright, crisp vegetables that sprout from the ground, foods that symbolize rebirth and growth—help us achieve this and fulfill our nutrient needs at the same time,” says chef Marissa Lippert, MS, RD, founder of Nourish Kitchen + Table.

These foodie leanings are both intuitive and supported by a 5,000-year-old tradition. In Ayurveda, basing your diet on a spring, summer, fall, winter rotation and relying on the foods harvested during each season is believed to help keep the body in balance.

“I don’t know of any Western research on the subject, but Ayurvedic medicine advises eating with a seasonal rhythm and spring is the cleansing time,” says functional medicine specialist Dr. Susan Blum, MD, MPH, founder of the Blum Center for Health and author of The Immune System Recovery Plan.

What’s in season depends on where you live, but in general these are spring staples: Asparagus, Artichokes, Arugula, Spinach, Radish, Turnips, Chives, Carrots, Peas, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Apricots, Fava Beans, Fennel, Morels, Leeks

 

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these recipes for recent musings from my own kitchen:

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It’s also the perfect time to spring clean the kitchen:

  • Toss out anything that expired in 2011.
  • Get rid of old, barely-there condiments.
  • Read the labels of the packages in the pantry and part ways with anything that has more than 5 ingredients (especially anything hard to pronounce).

What are your favorite flavors and traditions at this time of year? 

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