Spring produce is here! Time to eat well and spend less by enjoying fruits and vegetables in season.
Yes, spring is officially here. While you make not see it on the ground outside, you will at the market soon enough. Spring produce is on its way. I know this because I live on the west coast. If you local area doesn’t yet have berries and asparagus, my guess is that the farmers in these here parts will be sending some your way soon enough.
One great way to save money and to eat well is to buy produce when it’s in season. I have eaten watermelon in winter and it just doesn’t taste all that great. In season fruits have better flavor. That’s all there is to it. Since they are abundant in their season, they also have a lower price point generally speaking.
Not sure which fruits and veg are just made for spring? Wondering what to do with them. Read on for a round-up of spring produce-inspired recipes.
Buy bright berries with a shine to them. If they are dull, they aren’t fresh. Store them in a paper-towel lined, airtight container. Do not wash them until right before eating. Buy organic if you can since strawberries hold a lot of pesticide residue.
- How to Freeze Berries
- Chocolate Strawberry Scones
- Make Homemade Jam
- Red Banana Smoothie
- Alea’s Strawberry Sorbet :: from $5 Dinners
- Yogurt Mixed Berry Pie :: from Cooking on the Side
photo source: Aimee from Simple Bites
I have never been a fan of rhubarb. I think I had a bite of strawberry rhubarb pie once when I was ten at Knott’s Berry Farm. I don’t think it made much of an impression. You can usually find rhubarb available in mid to late spring. The stalks, similar to celery, have a tart taste. (The leaves are toxic. Don’t eat those.)
- Strawberry Rhubarb Mania :: from $5 Dinners
Basic Rhubarb Compote :: from Simple Bites
Pavlovas with Lemon Whipped Cream and Vanilla-Rhubarb Compote :: from Simple Bites
- Fresh Strawberry and Gingered Rhubarb Pie :: from Food for My Family
Asparagus, a perennial vegetable, is considered one of the clean fifteen in terms of pesticide residue. I’ve seen it as low as $2 a bundle in these here parts. It’s delicious lightly steamed, roasted, blended into soup, or tossed into salads.
- Spring Vegetable Soup
- Oven-Roasted Asparagus
- Grilled Jarlsberg with Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Pesto :: from Panini Happy
- Grilled Asparagus Tartines with Ricotta, Pesto, and Scallions :: from Panini Happy
Cream of Asparagus Soup :: from Simple Bites
Asparagus with Mustard Vinaigrette :: from Simple Bites
Artichokes are a perennial thistle. We once had them growing wild behind our house. The globe variety are both a challenge and a delight to eat. Serve with a variety of dipping sauces for a fun appetizer or try one of these recipes.
- Preparing Artichokes
- Sauces for Artichokes
- Slow Cooker Garlic Artichokes :: from Cooking on the Side
- Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Artichokes :: from Simple Bites
- Spring Vegetable Orzo Salad :: from Food for My Family
photo source: Shaina from Food for My Family
Peas, whether snow, sugar snap, or sweet, are easy to grow and fun to eat. Technically a legume, they eat like a vegetable. Pea tendrils, the young shoots of the plant, have the flavor of sweet pea, but the texture and crunch of a green. Try them if you find them at the market. They are delicious tossed into salads and sauteed greens.
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Orange and Avocado Salad with Pea Tendrils
- Skillet Eggs
- Chicken Pot Pie
- A Salad Bar How-To
- Asian Chicken Salad with Honey Sesame Dressing :: from Food for My Family
Pea-camole :: from Simple Bites
Pasta Primavera :: from Simple Bites
Sweet cherries are more readily available in my neck of the wood than the tart pie cherry. So, I lean on the sweet variety which is also less expensive. Enjoy them for fresh eating, for jam, or tossing into salads and dessert.
- Sweet Cherry Pie
- Cherry Limeade Muffins
- Layered Fruit Salad
- Red, White, and Blue Trifle
- Cherries Jubilee
- Cherry Garcia Ice Cream :: from Life with L and E
Canned Cherries :: from Simple Bites
Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam :: from Simple Bites
My dad always grew a patch of radishes in our backyard garden. His favorites were hot and spicy. I’ve enjoyed the variety of radishes we get in our produce box from Abundant Harvest Organics. Watermelon radishes, pictured above, add bright contrast and a slight sweetness mixed with spicy.
- Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad
- Mom’s Relish Tray
- Chopped Salad with Avocado and Radish
- Radishes with Herb Butter :: from Simple Bites
- Radish and Sugar Snap Pea Salad :: from Simple Bites
- Radish Sandwiches :: from Simple Bites
- Make Your Own Fruit Rolls :: from Food Your Way
- Apricot Lavender Butter :: from Simple Bites
- Canned Apricots in Honey Syrup :: from Simple Bites
- Smoked Pork Chops with Jalapeno Apricot Chutney :: from Food for My Family
This post is part of an ongoing series about how to eat well and spend less. Along with some fabulous foodies, organizers, and frugalistas, I’ve been bringing you suggestions on how to eat like a king without becoming a pauper to do it.
This month we’re talking about spring. From what to find at a great price how to dehydrate greens to fresh fruit and veggie snacks, we’ve got you covered.
Be sure to check out what the other ladies are sharing this week:
- Aimee from Simple Bites
- Amy from Kingdom First Mom
- Carrie from Denver Bargains
- Katie from Kitchen Stewardship
- Mandi from Easy Homemade
- Shaina from Food for My Family
Got a favorite spring produce recipe?
Be sure to share it in the comments.