Food/Drink Spring foods

Published on March 19th, 2013 | by Elizabeth Blessing

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Spring Foods – Elizabeth Blessing

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Consuming spring foods will help you ascend from a winter slumber

Spring is the first season of the year, and represents youth with the tender young plants and the signs of new life all around. It is a time of new beginnings, reflection and ascending out of winter’s slumber. We rise early with the sun, start to become more active and naturally cleanse. Plants start pushing their way upwards and the sight of green nourishes the soul.

In the spring, we naturally eat less, and sometimes even fast in order to cleanse the body of the fats and heavy foods of winter. Our diet should be the lightest of the year and contain foods that energetically are ascending and expansive. These include young plants, like baby carrots, beets, turnips, fresh greens and sprouts.

Sweet and pungent flavors have expansive and ascending qualities, and are the dominating flavors in the spring months. Pungent cooking herbs include mint, basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill and and bay leaf. Complex carbohydrates, such as grains, legumes and seeds have a slightly sweet flavor that is increased during sprouting. Sweet fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and peas, are some of the first produce to come into season. Intensely pungent foods, like spring garlic and onions, are used in detoxification and cleansing of the body during the spring.

Spring cooking tends to be simple, shorter and at higher temperatures, such as sautéing, steaming or quick simmering. The food is not as thoroughly cooked, especially the inner part, giving a semi-crisp texture and fresh flavor.

Meals should lighten up and incorporate more sprouted foods and raw fruits and vegetables.

Sprouting grains and seeds are a common spring food prep technique. Foods that have been sprouted are cleansing, cooling and encourage movement and activity. Sprouts are nutrient-packed and full of flavor. Most sprouts have a slightly sweet flavor due to the higher levels of the disaccharide, maltose. This simple sugar will eventually elongate and become starch as the plant grows and develops.

Raw foods are also thought to be cleansing and cooling. As the temperatures increase so does raw food consumption. Our greatest consumption of raw food should be during the spring and summer months.

Numerous farms, such as This Old Farm, Local Living Produce, Grateful Greens and Van Scoy Greenhouse will be supplying Green BEAN Delivery with lettuces, spring onions, salad mix and even greenhouse English cucumbers, beefsteak tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. As spring approaches summer, look for even more local produce from our amazing network of local farmers.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Blessing is co-founder and chief nutritionist of Green BEAN Delivery. Originally from Noblesville, Ind., Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Indiana University and a Master of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. After graduating from Bastyr, she worked as a nutrition educator for Washington State University King County Extension’s Food $ense Program. While at Food $ense, she co-authored nutrition education curriculum. Now Elizabeth is the on-site Nutritionist and a Food Service instructor at The Chef’s Academy, the Indiana Business College’s culinary school. Get her nutrition tips and recipes each week on the Healthy Times blog.


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