5 Seasonal Cooking Tips for Spring

04/13/2016

By: Kayla Brown

Start your spring out right with these 5 tips on shopping locally, eating green and creating simple yet refreshing recipes. 

  1. If You Don’t Already – It’s Time to Think Green

Now is the perfect time to incorporate as many greens into your meals as possible. Leafy greens like cabbage and spinach are in peak season right now, and fresh herbs are much easier to find – or grow on your own.  

Pro Tip: Make it easier on yourself by preparing your greens! Once you’ve bought them, wash, cut and store them so that they can be eaten at any time. 

  1. Swing Back Into Buying Locally

Use this time to shop at your local farmers market or plan to visit farms in your area. The benefits are endless. You get to know exactly where your food is coming from, and the farmers are right there! Take the opportunity to ask about how the food was grown, how to cook it and what produce they expect to bring next week. Don't be shy and enjoy the experience.

Pro Tip: If you’ve got your heart set on particular items, get in early. The season's first fruits and vegetables are likely to disappear within the first hour that the market is open. However, if you’re looking for great deals rather than a specific selection, shop during the last hour of the market. Most times, farmers offer heavy discounts to avoid driving back with loads of compost.  

  1. Be Sure Not to Over Cook

Coming out of the slow cooking meals of fall and winter, we get used to over cooking. Remember that over cooking changes the texture and flavors of your foods. Spring’s leafy, crunchy and fresh ingredients do not need to be left on the stove top for long periods of time.

Pro Tip: Under cook your vegetables. You do not need to leave them wilted or roasted for long. In the spring time, enjoy your vegetables crunchy and with a bite. It’s a luxury you don’t always get to enjoy when fall comes back around.

  1. Whip Out Your White Wines

Traditionally, greens have been the rival of wine. Due to the bitterness in vegetables like asparagus and artichoke, greens are typically considered the opposite of foods that pair well with wine. Save the red for a later date and pair your greens with a wine that lacks bitterness.

Pro Tip:  The wine you are choosing should have more acidity than the greens, so that your greens don’t end up tasting flat. White wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, Albariño or Verdejo pair well with sharper and crisper foods.

  1. Use Your Grill Again

It’s finally time to cook outside! Take advantage of the warmer months and experiment with grilling your meals. Grilling is a simple and relatively easy way to cook lunch or dinner when it’s nice outside. 

Pro Tip: Grilling can be healthier than many meals made inside the kitchen because you don’t need tons of oil or creams. You can go the traditional route and grill things like burgers, chicken or pork. But you can also spice it up and try grilling sandwiches, pizzas or vegetables.

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