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by • April 10, 2015 • Recipes, What's in SeasonComments (0)1451

Spring’s Best of the Bunch

 

With spring well into bloom, we’ve gathered another bunch of Spring’s best fruits and veggies just for you! Here’s our second list of seasonal picks for spring with all the need-to-know info to keep these treats at their absolute yummiest!

SPRING VEGGIES – March, April, May

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collard greens

>> nutritional facts
Collard leaves are low in calories and contain no cholesterol. They also contain a very good amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber that helps control LDL cholesterol levels and offers protection against hemorrhoids, constipation, as well as colon cancer diseases.

>> buy the best
Look For: fresh fruit, bright, crispy leaves with stout stalks
Avoid: bunches with yellow discolored, sunken-looking leaves.
If possible, we recommend choosing these greens from a nearby organic farm in order to get maximum health benefits.

>> storage how-tos
Collards have a relatively good shelf-life. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

>> prep process
Wash the whole bunch in cold running water for few minutes until all the grimy dust and dirt wash off from the leaves. Rinse in salt water for about 30 minutes to kill any germs, cysts, and to rid off any residual pesticides.

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corn

>> nutritional facts
Corn contains important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. It’s also a good source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidant, ferulic acid. Ferulic acid has proven to play a vital role in preventing cancers, aging, and inflammation.

>> buy the best
The best corn has vibrant green husks, fresh silks and tight rows of kernels. Husks that are dried and brown with kernels that aren’t firm to the touch indicate that you should walk away from this corn.

>>storage how-tos
Refrigerate corn with its husk still on for up to 1-2 days.

>> prep process
If you buy organic corn, you do not need to worry about washing. Just remove the husk and silk. However, you can wash the husked cob in cold water or dip it in salt-water for about 15-20 minutes. Then just dab them dry using a paper towel.

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arugula

>> nutritional facts
Known as “salad rocket,” arugula is packed with antioxidants, vitamin A, C and K, minerals and iron. It is also known to be a good source of folates. When given to a mommy-to-be during their conception time, folate can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn.

>> buy the best
When selecting the best bushel possible, look for leaves that are a crispy green color. Fresh arugula should be forest green!

>> storage how-tos
Store your bushel of arugula in the vegetable compartment of your fridge, as it has relatively high humidity. Do not wash until ready to eat.

>> prep process
Cut open the bushel and trim the lower stems. Throw away any yellow, wilted, bruised leaves. Put the leaves in a large bowl of cold water, and swish thoroughly to remove any sand, soil or dirt. Drain the water, pat down with a dry cloth, and you’re done!

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radishes

>> nutritional facts
Radishes are a great source of vitamin C, antioxidants, electrolytes, minerals and dietary fiber. Due to the high vitamin C content, regular consumption of radishes can help your body fight off harmful free radicals, inflammation and boost immunity.

>> buy the best
Look for radishes that are smooth, brightly collared with tops that are green and looking fresh. Stay away from the ones that are soft, dull in color, have brown or white scars and black tops. If the radish tops are yellow, limp or slimy, the radishes are old or have not been properly refrigerated.

>> storage how-tos
Radishes can be stored in a plastic bag for up to one week in the fridge.

>> prep process
Cut off the roots and leaves, wash and pat down with a clean cloth.

SPRING FRUITS – March, April, May

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apricots

>> nutritional facts
Apricots are low in fat, and free of saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. They’re an excellent source of vitamin A and C, potassium and fiber. Not to mention they’re delicious!

>> buy the best
The best apricots are uniformly colored; they’re an orange/yellow shade all over.  Once it passes the color test, lightly grip the apricot and make sure it’s firm and plump. An apricot that’s too hard is not quite ripe, and an apricot that’s too soft has already passed its prime.

>> storage how-tos
Wait until the apricot is ripe and then keep refrigerated in a plastic bag for 3-5 days.

>> prep process
Rinse under water before eating!

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honeydew

>> nutritional facts
Honeydew is fat free, saturated fat free, low in sodium, cholesterol free and high in vitamin C.

>> buy the best
Look for nearly spherical honeydew melons. They should have a surface that’s not waxy or fuzzy. They should also feel heavy for its size, and smell like sweet flowers!

>> storage how-tos
Did you know honeydew tastes better when not refrigerated for a few days? Leave the melon at room temperature for a few days before refrigerating it for up to 2 weeks.

>> prep process
When ready to eat, cut the melon in half, making sure to cut through the stem area. Scoop out sees and pulp with a spoon. Then, you can cut to your liking! Honeydew can be served as-in, in halves, or cut into quarters or eights so that the flesh is spooned directly out of the rind.

happy pickings!

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