Want to know the key to maintaining a healthy diet? Eat the colors of the rainbow. Now, let’s be honest. Fresh produce is amazing, but in-season produce is even better. Fruits and vegetables consumed during their peak season are not only fresh but have more nutrients. Not to mention, this produce will taste better and cost less. If you’re wondering what’s best right now, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick guide for May’s in-season fruits and vegetables.
Avocados are an awesome superfood. Technically a berry, avocados offer dozens of vitamins and minerals that aid in keeping you healthy. The pear-shaped fruit is low in sugar and high in good fat, which helps lower bad cholesterol if eaten in moderation. Add some avocado to your salad, sandwich, smoothie, or brownies.
Blackberries are known for their antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These low-fat, low-calorie berries are great for satisfying cravings. Blackberries are higher in fiber than many other fruits, so consuming them will help you feel full longer. What’s more is they are also high in vitamin C, which aids in your in the production of cartilage and collagen.
Considered a smooth-skinned Peach, Nectarines tastes great and are great for you. This nutrient-rich fruit strengthens the immune system and promotes beautiful skin. If you didn’t know, Nectarines can:
- Lower anemia risks
- Provide antioxidant defense
- Enhance cardiac health
- Aid in digestion
- Boost immunity
- Improve vision
- Aid in weight loss
- And so much more.
Nectarines are typically eaten fresh but make flavorful jams and pies.
Strawberries are packed full of vitamin C and manganese. Known for their aroma, color, juiciness, and sweetness, strawberries are not technically a berry, but an aggregate accessory fruit. The benefits vary from bone health to digestive health to eye health. Not to mention, strawberries help control hunger.
Try a delicious smoothie bowl with a few of May’s in-season fruits. Here’s a simple recipe.
You will need:
- 1 cup of frozen strawberries
- 1 cup of frozen blackberries
- 1 whole banana
- Optional: 1 cup of arugula
- ½ cup of sweetened non-dairy milk
- Toppings: Fresh fruit, nuts, seeds
- Combine fruit, vegetables, and milk in a blender until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
- Pour mixture into a bowl.
- Add desired toppings.
Closer to the end of May, watermelons are in-season just in time for Memorial Day cookouts. This refreshingly sweet and low-calorie favorite is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. According to the USDA, watermelon is 91.5% water making it a great source of hydration.
A cousin to cabbage, kale, and radish, arugula leaves have a peppery, almost spicy flavor, and a strong scent. These greens are, however, a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, Calcium, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium. Arugula is known to help fight against inflammation and lower cholesterol. You can try the leaves in a salad or chop it up to add in a sauce.
We should be grateful most nutrient-rich foods come in low calories packages, and asparagus is no exception. Packing a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants this vegetable lowers blood pressure, improves digestive health, supports a healthy pregnancy, and helps you lose weight, among other things. Not to mention, it is easy to make and add to dishes. Try asparagus raw with a dipping sauce, roasted with garlic, or sautéed in a stir-fry.
Rhubarb has red, edible stalks with greenish leaves. Parts of it are used to make medicine, while to stalk is reserved for food. If consumed regularly, Rhubarb helps maintain digestive health, strong bones, cognitive function, and weight loss. The stalk is also a great addition to pies and crumbles.
Cleaning fruits and vegetables
With concerns over foodborne outbreaks, it’s essential to clean produce before consumption. Washing fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to protect against illness, pesticides, and contamination. Here’s a simple way to wash your produce:
- Fill a large bowl with water, then add 1-2 teaspoons of salt.
- Place produce in the bowl/pot and let it sit in the solution for five minutes.
- Remove produce and rinse with fresh water.
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