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Spring’s Seasonal Produce

With every transitioning season, comes a surge of new produce items available at their peak (meaning the freshest picks at desirable prices)! Be sure to try varieties that you never had before and in more ways than one! Revel in that fact that you will be expanding your culinary wings while obtaining the most nutritionally from your delectable, seasonal dishes.

If you have yet to try tangelos, you are in for a sweet treat! Tangelos are a hybrid of grapefruit and tangerine. Their citrusy flavor is refreshing and delicious in salads, with yogurt or on their own as a snack. They are also bursting with Vitamin C!

Though potatoes are a staple vegetable in many homes all-year round, you are likely to find the freshest lot on sale in stores now through May. Get your fill on these fibrous tubers by baking, boiling or roasting potatoes.

Whether you indulge in green, white or purple asparagus, you will be loading up on B vitamins and fiber. I love grilling asparagus and using fruits as a complement in a side dish, but they are also a great addition to pastas or frittatas!

Did you know that asparagus is best stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel?

The healthful qualities of mushrooms are typically overlooked, when in fact they are an excellent source of many phytonutrients that boost our immune system! Not sure if you are a mushroom fan? Try sautéing them briefly with thyme and add them to a risotto! Stuffed mushrooms are also a popular favorite.

Honeydew melons always seem like a characteristically “warm weather” fruit, perfect for a picnic or an afternoon snack! Like cantaloupe or bananas, honeydew melons are a significant source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate our body’s fluid and electrolyte balance.

Ready for a fun fact about strawberries? A study named them the third highest antioxidant-containing U.S. food! Incorporate strawberries into your daily servings of fruit and reduce your chances of catching a seasonal cold, for sure.

Roasted Chickpea & Tangelo Salad

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

ROASTED CHICKPEAS

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed thoroughly and dried
  • ¼ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

SALAD

  • 2 cups spinach or mixed greens
  • 1½ cups arugula
  • ¾ cup fennel, shaved
  • 2-3 tangelos, zested and segmented
  • ½ cup mint, roughly chopped
  • ½ tablespoon pecorino romano, grated

CREAMY CITRUS DRESSING

  • 1 tablespoon fat-free mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon tangelo zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (Make sure chickpeas have dried almost completely before proceeding to the next step).
  2. In a bowl, mix spices and extra-virgin olive oil with the chickpeas. Coat thoroughly.
  3. Place chickpeas in a baking dish. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove dish and shake chickpeas as to prevent sticking. Place back in the oven and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, whisk together all ingredients for the Creamy Citrus dressing. Set aside.
  5. Assemble salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Top with roasted chickpeas and lightly dress with Creamy Citrus dressing.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 211 calories, 4 g Fat, 8 g Protein, 34 g Carbohydrate, 9 g Dietary Fiber, 444 mg Sodium, 1 mg Cholesterol

Source: WHFoods.org

Article originally published on the Pathmark Nutrition Tip Blog

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