Spring showers aren’t the only things that come with this new season. Farmers markets are starting to fill up with all of the fresh flavors of spring. Next time you go shopping for vibrantly colored veggies, make sure that you’re picking out the very best ones. Not all produce is going to be fresh and perfect looking. Keep these tips in mind when selecting your produce to ensure that you’re getting the very best produce of spring:
These fresh green stalks are in tip-top shape from February to June. Asparagus should be thick, compact and plum with green, tightly closed leaves. You want to stay away from the stalks of asparagus that have dry or hard-tipped leaves. To keep them this fresh, wrap the ends in a wet paper towel and stand the stalks up in an inch of water.
Nothing says spring like biting into fresh, sweet corn on the cob. In order to make sure you’re picking out the best corn for your family, you’ll want to peel back the husks to examine the kernels. The corn kernels should be free of blemishes, tightly packed and plump. If the corn has dried out silk, that’s a sign that the corn is likely old.
Arugula is a much healthier alternative to iceberg lettuce for your salads, plus, you can add it to virtually any dish, like stir-fry or omelets. When picking up some fresh arugula, look for bright green leaves with the roots still intact.
Okra is filled with vitamins C and K, along with folates and fiber to help with digestion. The peak season for this vegetable is May through September. Look for pods that are crisp, small and brightly colored with no brown spots or blemishes. Keep okra fresh in the refrigerator by wrapping them up tightly, much like you would asparagus. This spring veggie can be grilled, fried, steamed or pickled and contribute plenty of flavor to your dishes.
Green beans are the perfect snack and a delicious side dish to any spring entree. When you head to the farmers market to fill up your basket with green beans, make sure they’re crisp and have a nice snap to them – you should never be able to bend the vegetable without it breaking. The beans should also have a vibrant green color. Store your beans in a plastic bag in the fridge to keep their flavor and texture intact.
Learn to cook with vegetables and gain the knowledge needed to incorporate this fresh spring produce into any dish in a variety of ways.