Sample Fresh Vegetables Spanning the Spring and Summer Seasons
The end of Spring and beginning of Summer brings a variety of vegetables and a perfect opportunity for you and your family to try new vegetables. Almost everyone would agree on the health benefits of vegetables. There are an abundance of essential nutrients found in vegetables including:
This article will highlight unique health benefits and interesting recipes for these six seasonal vegetable stars including both green and starchy vegetables.
Okra, mainly fried, is known as a staple in southern cooking. However, okra is worldwide and is used in a variety of cuisines including Asian and Caribbean. Okra’s uniqueness comes from its higher protein content relative to other most other green vegetables.
Okra’s tendency to develop a slimy texture when cooked makes many people shy away from its use. However, faster cooking or use of acidity in okra dishes help to control this problem. This simple Indian stir-fry okra recipe is a great first step to enjoy okra without deep-frying it.
Vitamin C with its anti-oxidant boost is the main benefit from these multi-colored vegetables. Red bell peppers also give an added pytonutrient, lycopene. The multiple colors also mean multiple subtleties in flavor.
Bell peppers are used mostly as an accompanying ingredient in dishes or as part of a salad. However, bell peppers can shine in the old standard of stuffed bell peppers or in soup recipes such as this roasted red bell pepper soup.
Like Okra, peas are found across the globe in various varieties. The green pea is in season currently. Enjoying these fresh beauties not only is a treat to the taste buds, but peas are loaded with vitamin K which is important in blood clotting and bone health.
Peas are mostly either a side-dish or as part of the ingredients in a main dish. Most people think of a side of warm peas on a plate, but this pea salad recipe highlights the flavor peas with a cool twist.
Eggplant is good either as a main dish or key ingredient in a main dish. Most people would name Eggplant Parmesan as a dish using eggplant; however, sometimes simplicity is the key to enjoyment of eggplant. This simple recipe for Eggplant french fries is both healthy and kid-friendly.
Least is more when it comes to receiving the health benefits from spinach. Raw or slightly cooked spinach retains the most of its nutrients. Simplicity in the form of this easy to prepare spinach salad is an excellent way to enjoy this vegetable.
Summer corn sweetness is a staple at picnics and barbeques. Corn is loaded with vitamin B6, but it is also loaded with sugar and carbohydrates. There are between 100-130 calories in an ear of corn, depending on the size.
If you are concerned about calories or want to try corn in a non-traditional way, try this corn relish recipe. The fish in the dish can be changed to suit your taste.
If the health benefits and tasty recipes haven’t convinced you to step-up the number of vegetables in your diet, consider this fact. Most vegetables, particularly the green ones, have less calories and sugars per serving compared to the majority of foods. More vegetables in the diet are an easy way to fight against weight gain. Keeping in mind a few simple tips will help you to maximize the health benefits of powerhouses of nutrition.
- Tip: Goal 3 to 5 ï»¿
The USDA recommends three servings of vegetables per day for young children and five servings for adults.
- Tip: Know your Portions ï»¿
This handy reference helps you determine the proper portion sizes for vegetables
For Parents trying to boost vegetables in their childrens' diet - The Sneaky Chef
Fruit and Vegetable of the Month and other information - Fruits and Veggies: More Matters