Spring Foods and menu planning

 

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As we move out of winter’s cold and darkness, our bodies are ready to move and possibly cleanse. Spring cleaning of your home as well as your body may be in order. There are lots of great food choices to help get the body’s systems moving and refreshed from winter’s more heavy food and sluggish physical activities.

Spring foods are not only lighter, but cooking times should be shorter. It’s also a great time to add fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, and kefir.

In Chinese medicine, spring is the time of the wood element. The emotion is anger, the color is green and the organs are liver and gallbladder. It’s a perfect time of year to get out in the sunshine and take walks.

When considering your household and body, think green. Can you switch to green cleaning products? Have you considered what is in your body products that may be adding to your body’s burden to detox? If you’d like some help with non-toxic bath and body products, let me know as USANA has a great line that I use with my whole family.

[tweetthis]Eating spring greens help move energy in the body. The bitterness of greens stimulates the gallbladder to release bile. [/tweetthis] They are also high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

If you’d like to know more about eating seasonal whole foods, my favorite resource is “Real Food All Year” by Nishanga Bliss.

I do love spring and love seeing all the new veggies that are coming into season. I especially enjoy asparagus. My favorite way to prepare it is to toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a cookie sheet. Then bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until your desired tenderness. I like a little crisp to mine rather than mushy.

Another good spring food is sauerkraut. Here is a link to my recipe as well as a quick video showing you how easy it is to prepare. I love sauerkraut. I especially enjoy it when it’s spicy. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage and really great for gut health. Fermenting your foods changes the chemistry of them. As a result, beneficial bacteria is produced. That bacteria can improve your digestion, your immune system, and endocrine function. Fermentation has been used for years to preserve veggies and other perishable foods for long periods. Your immune health is ruled by your gut health.

Living in California, we sometimes forget that fruits and veggies actually have a season because we seem to be able to get anything we want all year around. Trust me, eating seasonally will allow you to get the best flavor out of your foods. Remember to try farmer’s markets as well because you know their produce is grown locally and recently picked. Making it not only seasonal, but also packed with flavor.

Some other spring veggies to seek out are:
artichokes, arugula, avocados, bok choy, baby greens of lettuces, beets, carrots, fennel, green garlic, green onions, leeks, spring onions, radishes, rhubarb, turnips, and watercress
Some fruits to try:
cherries, grapefruit, kumquats, lemons, mandarins, and strawberries

Also, here is my menu for 2 weeks starting March 26. If there are any recipes you’d like, just email me.

Enjoy spring and all the wonderful food choices.

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