5 Spring Vegetables You'll Want On Your Menu
Each morning you can hear them: the sounds of spring are finally here and coming through your window, hailing a fresh new season of singing birds, sunshine and absolutely no frozen precipitation left to frost over everything until late September. That means prime-planting season has returned in Canada, and amateur growers everywhere are tilling the earth and prepping greenhouses in anticipation of another juicy haul of spring vegetables.
Growing your own can be extremely fulfilling, but if your thumb isn’t green and you’re buying all your own produce, you can still save more money buying what’s in season. This can help your bottom line AND help spruce up your menu, just in time for spring!
Need a quick refresher on which are in-season at this time of year? We’ve got you covered.
This delicious addition to sauces, compotes and pies grows just as great outdoors as it does under greenhouse conditions. Make sure the stalks are crisp and firm with a deep ruby red or green colour before buying or harvesting. Also, be careful not to consume any of the rhubarb leaves. They’re full of a substance known as oxalic acid, which can seriously irritate your palette and can, in some cases, be toxic.
Picture a perfectly baked, juicy strawberry-rhubarb pie and tell me you Wild strawberries once grew plentiful along the St Lawrence River. Jacques Cartier himself described vast fields of berries in bloom when visited in 1534, and these gleaming red antioxidant-loaded jewels have been a favourite ever since.
In excellent ingredient in BBQs and stir frys, asparagus is an excellent choice for in-season eating; just one pound of fresh asparagus can yield four healthy servings if used inside of a few days. Look for bright green stalks with tightly closed tips, standing firm in your produce aisle.
A delicious and indispensable salad topper cooked or raw, radishes were dined on by the ancient Romans as an appetite stimulant. Now, there are numerous studies into whether or not these sprouts may also help fight cancer. And while this is the season for picking up radishes, you might want to take your time — they’ll be more mild when the growing season starts, and taste stronger nearer the end.
Developing ways to control much of the environment surrounding your vegetable garden is certainly one of the finer examples of humanity domesticating nature. If you’re particularly industriousness enough to own and operate a greenhouse, then your lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers should all be getting ripe for the picking this time of the year.
If seasonal May fruits and veggies aren’t your thing, you’ve always got the classic fallback crops: mushrooms, onions, carrots, rutabega and sweet potatoes can be grown all year round. Spring brings plenty of options to your kitchen, so get out there and get your hands on some of these great ingredients!
Don't forget - with every delicious veggie comes the need to learn proper food safety and handling procedures. Check out our blog on washing vegetables correctly.