Cropping up soon
The first crops of spring will have the most nutrients. When our ancestors foraged food sources, they were naturally eating a seasonal diet that was rich in fresh vegetables in the springtime. Eating fresh (and local, when possible) spring vegetables is a great way to eat a more nutrient-dense and sustainable diet. While we’re a couple of weeks from seeing much growing in Wisconsin, spring vegetables are coming into grocery produce sections and singing their siren’s song with the very real promise of warmer days ahead.
Mind & Body
These new crops have nutrients which refresh your mind and body. While there is still a chill in the air, they can put a spring spin on warming soups and lighten up comforting dishes like herby pestos and pastas during this season of change. vomFASS products will add a clear, clean crescendo to these flavors of spring vegetables and herbs.
If you’re heading to the grocery store this week, look for these first crops of the season…
Asparagus starts showing up at the markets in February, but really comes into force in March and April. Full of vitamins, folate, fiber and antioxidants, these tender shoots can be baked, roasted, steamed, boiled, or grilled. Serve them simply as a side, turn them into a soup, add them to pasta or salad for a tender al dente crunch. Try finishing with a drizzle of vomFASS FassZination Pistachio Oil and a dash of vomFASS Forest Raspberry Balsamic Star
Artichokes have two seasons, spring and fall, but their big season is spring. Artichokes are thistle flowers and the parts we eat are the petals of the flower (the "leaves") and the heart, underneath the thistle choke. One artichoke offers 3.5 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber, which are great for satiety, as well as cardiovascular and digestive health. The best way to eat an artichoke is simply steamed and drizzled with your vomFASS olive oil of choice.
While you can get broccoli and its tender sister broccolini all year round, they are happiest, sweet and tender, in the cooler months. Did you know that broccoli is a superfood? It's high in protein, fiber, and vitamins A and C. In fact there is actually much more vitamin C in broccoli than in oranges: while broccoli contains 89 milligrams of vitamin C, oranges only contain 53 milligrams per 100 grams.
What do these greens have in common? They are all peppery, and can jazz up anything they're served with and made delicious in their own right with a dash and a splash of vomFASS truly extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Don't wait for summer basil, enjoy a fresh arugula pesto this week!
Delicious raw or cooked — try roasting thickly sliced fennel with olive oil and vinegar. Fennel is one of Italy’s most popular vegetables. In many parts of the world, it’s common to eat a little bit of fennel after a meal to aid with digestion and relieve gassiness. Fennel has been shown to help with digestion by reducing inflammation in the bowels. When raw, it boasts a crisp, mild licorice flavor with hints of celery. When cooked, the flavors magically transform with both sweet and savory notes.
What is green garlic? Immature garlic that hasn't yet developed its bulb. Use green garlic in place of regular garlic, leeks, or green onions. What are spring onions? Mature green onions that have started to develop a bulb. Roast them, grill them, use them in place of onions. Both green garlic and spring onions are available in the spring and amazing when roasted.
Like broccoli, spinach and chard are also cool weather crops. They're some of the most versatile of greens — tender and mild in flavor. The cooler the spring, the sweeter they are. Try them sautéed with vomFASS Ginger Sesame Oil and finished with vomFASS Plum Balsamic Star. Fun fact: Swiss chard isn’t from Switzerland. It’s actually native to Mediterranean countries.
Did you know that peas are a great source of plant-based protein? One cup contains almost nine grams of protein, making them a healthy food option. Peas are also high in fiber and vitamins A, C and K. Fresh green peas are a quintessential spring vegetable. With a sweet and delicate flavor, they can be added to a long list of recipes. Peas can be eaten raw or cooked, and are great in salads, soups or as a side dish. You can also blend them to make drips or spreads that pair well with raw vegetables.