Pop quiz: April showers bring…okay, yes, they do bring May flowers. But they also bring fresh spring produce! If you’ve relied on frozen fruits and veggies over the long winter, it’s time to explore your local farmer’s market, co-op, or farm stand to see what’s seasonal and new. Let’s look at a few spring fruits and vegetables to learn more about how they can help keep you healthy – and see exactly how to fit them into your Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL) program:
Apricots: These sweet and tangy fruits grow in a variety of climates and are amazingly versatile.
Nutritional profile: Rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, fiber, iron, and the antioxidant lycopene.
Try them in: Sweet or savory dishes. They are delicious stirred into yogurt or cereal for breakfast. For dinner, try searing them and serving with duck or lamb; they are also wonderful thrown into a salad of mixed greens with some chicken, goat cheese, and toasted pecans.
Carrots: We’re betting you may be looking for some ways to use this everyday vegetable beyond carrot sticks.
Nutritional profile: High in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, and trace elements. Carrots also contain other carotenoid compounds, along with lutein and lycopene, which are potent antioxidants.
Be adventurous by: Coating them with a miso glaze alongside your favorite lean protein, like chicken, turkey, or fish. Another unusual way to use them for weight loss is in macaroni and cheese. Adding carrots can reduce the amount of cheese needed and eliminate the use of butter altogether, as well as up the nutrient density. Simply cook until very soft, puree, and add to taste to your mac ‘n cheese!
Honeydew: A dieter’s dream, honeydew packs a lot of flavor and fiber with very few calories – but it’s not just for breakfast.
Nutritional profile: Rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and potassium.
Get creative by: Dicing finely along with onion and some herbs and making a honeydew salsa. Serve a hearty portion over chicken or mahi-mahi and skip the starchy carb. Or cube honeydew, wrap with a small amount of prosciutto, and throw into a spinach salad (another great spring vegetable)! Toss with a light balsamic vinaigrette.
Morel Mushrooms: Morel hunting is an essential rite of spring in many communities across the U.S. Competitions and parties spring up once the season begins. The unique flavor profile of the morel, along with its prehistoric appearance and elusive growing patterns, has given it quite a fan club. If you see morels for sale in your hometown, don’t be scared away—the humble morel can be a delicious and low-calorie addition to your spring meals.
Nutritional profile: Contain iron and B vitamins like thiamin and niacin, and are a source of fiber and trace elements.
Bring out the morel’s hearty flavor by: Serving with shrimp and a hint of brown butter. Morels also go well with other spring vegetables like artichokes, leeks, and asparagus—simply stir-fry and serve with whole-wheat pasta or over chicken. Although morel lovers may tell you they must be cooked in butter, just a tiny bit brings out their flavor. Morels are also wonderful when deglazed with white wine after sautéing with a touch of butter. The resulting sauce adds lots of flavor to your dish without overdoing the calories.
Find out what ingredients you should always have at home
Learn how to shop for healthy foods on a budget
. Find a center
near you to schedule a consultation with a CMWL doctor.