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Published on May 19, 2015

Spring Clean Your Diet

May 19, 2015

Let the freshness of spring inspire you to freshen up your eating habits.

Has your diet been stuck in a winter rut? In the colder months, we tend to go into hibernation mode, storing fat from eating cheesy casseroles and meaty stews. Now that warm-weather produce has returned, get your diet back to a fresher, healthier place. Not sure how to start? These tips can help:

Cherimoya

Cherimoya

Try something new.

Apples, carrots, green beans—week after week, your shopping cart is filled with the usual suspects. Take a chance and diversify your produce portfolio with some lesser known in-season fruits and veggies, including:

  • Cardoons—related to artichokes; staple of Mediterranean cooking
  • Cherimoya—tropical fruit with a creamy texture; also known as custard apple
  • Nopales—meaty leaves from the edible prickle pear cactus; fresh, tangy flavor; texture similar to okra
  • Radicchio—similar in appearance to red cabbage; bitter, spicy flavor; leaves can be chopped and added to salads

Get creative with your cooking methods.

You steam broccoli. You sauté mushrooms. You grill asparagus. Why not mix it up? Cooking vegetables in different ways unlocks different flavors and textures, making a well-worn veggie taste new and exciting again. Try sautéing your broccoli. Bake your asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Grill portabellas whole. Most fruits and veggies can be prepared multiple ways—don’t be afraid to experiment!

Join an Ingredients for Healthy Living Class

Ingredients for Healthy Living helps you create a healthier food plan depending on which foods are in season, what your family likes, and the foods you already have at home. Not only will you make more informed choices, but you can also save money and time.

Visit the Health and Wellness section for Healthy Eating Classes!


Spring Salad With Honey Dressing

The peppery bite of purslane greens mixes with sweet honey and fresh strawberries in this well-rounded seasonal salad.

Ingredients

Salad:
2 cups purslane leaves, chopped
2 cups Romaine leaves, chopped
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
10 radishes, sliced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 cups cannellini beans

Dressing:
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

Place all dressing ingredients in a covered jar. Shake until blended. Combine salad greens in a large bowl and top with radishes, strawberries and beans. Add dressing, toss lightly if desired, and serve.

Nutritional Information

Serves: 8
Calories: 200
Total fat: 15g
Saturated fat: 2g
Carbohydrates: 14g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Fiber: 3g
Sodium: 180mg
Protein: 3g

Recipe courtesy of Better Health Foundation (fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org).

Sources: localharvest.orgusda.govucanr.edu

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