We love a zingy citrus and brussels sprouts salad as much as the next person, but as Winter drags on, all those leafy greens can get a little dull — so we welcome verdant Spring produce with open farmers market totes. With that in mind, we've compiled a handy guide to what fruits and vegetables we can all look forward to devouring this season, from peppery radishes to exotic cherimoyas, and loads in between.
The beginning of March is a funny fruit season. Despite living in Northern California, where produce is typically bountiful, the fruit section seems pretty dismal lately, save for the large triangular stacks of citrus fruit. Here's a fruit salad to satiate you until Spring officially begins and brings in apricots and fragrant strawberries.
Your taste buds will delight in the textural roller coaster: first, you'll crunch into the pomegranate seeds and pistachios, which pave the way for velvety goat cheese, and finally burst into the juicy pockets of the citrus fruit and kiwi. This sweet-sour salad is like nature's most succulent bowl of SweeTarts.
Here at YumSugar HQ, we like to eat seasonally, but with the vast abundance of fruits and vegetables available, it can be a little tricky to keep track of what's available when. While one could always just take a stroll through the market to find out what's in season, we'll be turning to this comprehensive glossary in order to plan our menus ahead of time.
Try as I might, I've never been able to get over a long-seated mayonnaise aversion. While its full-bodied creaminess adds dimension and a silky texture to a whole host of classic dishes, I recoil in fear at the barest glimmer of the condiment.
For the most part, I've been able to get on with my life — let's be real, this is a quintessential first-world problem — but at the same time, I often feel as if I'm missing out on something essential. Classics like potato salad, tomato-mayonnaise sandwiches, and Waldorf salads have graced my lips but a handful of times in my two-plus decades of life. That is, until now. . .
When Autumn breezes bring in the vibrant pomegranate, it is easy to forget its more familiar Fall counterpart, the apple. In abundance at the supermarket all year round (but truly in season later Summer through Fall), the apple's health benefits are easily overlooked. Weight loss, heart health, and metabolic syndrome are just a few issues that apples have the ability to aid with. This super fruit, combined with other seasonal produce like beets, celery, and endive, makes this salad a celebration of Fall flavors.
From Food Network Magazine
Flavors of Fall: Beet and Apple Salad
2 thinly sliced apples
4 thinly sliced celery stalks
1 minced shallot
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp. sugar
3 tbs. chopped walnuts
3 tbs. olive oil
3 oz. unpacked endive
Salt and pepper to taste
- Toss sliced apples, sliced celery stalks (with leaves), and minced shallot in a bowl with the juice of a lemon.
- Peel beet, then slice into matchsticks and add to the bowl.
- Toss in sugar, chopped walnuts, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Serve on a bed of sliced endive.
Nutritional Source: Calorie Count
Read the original recipe on Food Network.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, your family will get its fill of apples with this baked dessert that combines fresh apples with healthy oats and just the right amount of brown sugar and spice. This recipe is a great opportunity for introducing basic knife skills to your child — with lots of adult supervision. What makes this dessert even more fun is baking in individual ramekins, making them the perfect single-serving size.
There's nothing worse than loading up during your weekly trip to the farmers market and then forgetting about all your goodies, only to find them languishing limply in your crisper drawer days later. To keep produce fresher for longer, follow these tips.
- Some fruits and veggies produce a gas called ethylene as they ripen. This gas can prematurely ripen foods that are sensitive to it, so keep ethylene-producing foods away from ethylene-sensitive foods. Avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, pears, plums, and tomatoes, for example, should be stored in a different place than your apples, broccoli, carrots, leafy greens, and watermelon. Get a longer list of fruits to store separately here.
- Keep potatoes, onions, and tomatoes in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge. The cold will ruin their flavor.
- Store unripe fruits and veggies like pears, peaches, plums, kiwis, mangoes, apricots, avocados, melons, and bananas on the counter. Once they're ripe, move them to the fridge. Banana peels will turn dark brown, but it won't affect the flesh.
- Store salad greens and fresh herbs in bags filled with a little air and sealed tightly.
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes, will do fine for up to a week in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, but you can lengthen their lives by storing them in the fridge in a mesh or perforated plastic bag.
Keep reading for more tips and tricks for keeping produce fresh.
When fresh fruit isn't available, dried fruit is a great option. Since it doesn't spoil as quickly, it's great for packing in your purse, desk drawer, or gym bag, and can be added to so many dishes including salads, yogurt, oatmeal, and baked goods. There's also a huge variety to choose from, and since it's made from fresh produce, it's packed with lots of vitamins and fiber.
Beware though — dried fruit is calorie dense, so it's important to watch portion sizes and resist mindlessly snacking on handful after handful. Check out the breakdown below to see how your favorites compare.
|1/4 cup serving||Calories||Carbs (g)||Fiber (g)||Sugars (g)||Protein (g)||Calcium (mg)||Potassium (mg)|
Don't see your favorite dried fruit? Keep reading to find out the calories in figs and raisins.
Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, who trains everyone from Lady Gaga to Jessica Simpson, has some definite opinions when it comes to fruit. In fact, he wants you to know that when it comes to choosing which fruits to snack on, not all of nature's candy is created equal.
Pasternak recommends eating fruit containing higher amounts of fiber, which helps you stay fuller and more energized for a longer period of time. So what's Pasternak's simple trick for choosing the best fruits? "Stick to fruits with edible skin or fruits with edible seeds," he told us at a recent Subway event. "These fruits all have a minimal impact on our blood-sugar level, take a little bit longer to break down digestively, and are more sustainable forms of energy. Certain tropical fruits such as papaya, mango, pineapple, and bananas have very little fiber and are extraordinarily high in calories per unit of mass weight compared to the higher-fiber ones."
The produce that gets Pasternak's stamp of approval are skinned fruits like apples, pears, peaches, plums, and nectarines, or ones with edible seeds like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwis, or pomegranates. He's also a fan of high-fiber citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit.
But while he may have a fruit hierarchy, Pasternak clarifies that he doesn't bans other fruits. "That's not to say that I don't eat pineapple or banana, because I do. I just make sure I have less of them," he explains. "There's no such thing as a bad fruit. Every fruit has some sort of quality to it that makes it important to have as a part of your diet."
This awesomely creative recipe comes to us from Miles McMath, the director of Culinary Operations at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Since cancer patients often experience unpleasant side effects to their treatments and research has shown that well-nourished children have a higher ability to withstand infection and tolerate therapy, Chef McMath is tasked with engaging the hospital's little patients in the kitchen through hands-on cooking activities.
Click here to get the complete recipe for Good For You Fruit Sushi — it's composed entirely of fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients. Feel free to customize your menu by omitting some of the "condiments" and/or substituting the homemade fruit leather with its store-bought equivalent.