The Ultimate Spring Produce Guide

Seasons come and go, and with them, so do most fruits and vegetables. With spring upon us and summer not that far away, now is the time to take advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables as soon as they appear in your market. To alert you to what to keep an eye out for, we've compiled a list of spring's top produce and paired each item with tasty recipes you and your family will enjoy. We hope this guide becomes more than just another shopping list; perhaps some of these vegetables, fruits, and recipes will help pique your interest in trying something fresh and new.

ASPARAGUS

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Serve this bright-green vegetable at your next spring dinner party. It’s a delicious treat that tends to pair well with most foods, and it doesn’t hurt that it looks fancy on whatever dish you serve it on… that’s always a plus, right? Add these Mini Cornbread Stratas with Ham, Tomato & Asparagus to your next party menu.

BEETS

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When it comes to nutritional value, beets are hard to beat. The beet bulb can be roasted, steamed, boiled, or even enjoyed raw. And those leafy greens attached to the stem? Totally edible, too. Like spinach, beet greens can be boiled, sautéed, or enjoyed fresh in a salad. For a healthy springtime snack, try these delicious roasted Beet Chips.

KALE

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The kale craze is here to stay. The dark leafy greens contain an impressive list of nutrients and can be incorporated in a number of recipes. Curly kale is great when sautéed or roasted alongside meats or other vegetables. Tuscan kale, which is thinner, is better raw in salads, soups, and pastas. Get cooking with kale with this flavorful Tilapia with White Beans and Kale Skillet.

MANGOES

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Mangoes sold in the U.S. are primarily imported from other countries, which is why their availability in supermarkets is year-long. Mangoes’ peak season, however, is between May and September. They have a very juicy and sweet taste profile, which lends itself to dishes that are sweet or savory. Is your mouth watering yet? Try these Walking Fish Tacos with mango salsa to curb those cravings.

PEAS

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These green little wonders go with soups, stews, salads, pastas, pot pies, purees, and many other dishes. Due to their sweet flavor, ease of cooking, and versatility, peas are a wonderful treat to include in your springtime meals. Get started with these Baked Vegetarian Samosas.

RADISHES

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Crisp and crunchy with a pop of color: What else could you ask of a vegetable? This veggie has a slight peppery taste, which makes it a perfect addition to any dish. It doesn’t hurt that you can eat it raw, pickled, roasted, sliced, or sautéed. It also works as a crisp garnish on spicy dishes like these Spicy Korean Chicken Street Tacos.

RHUBARB

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From the looks of it, you might think rhubarb looks like celery’s blushing cousin. But unlike its green counterpart, it is too tart to eat raw and is actually treated as a fruit because of its popular use in pies; in fact, its nickname is “pieplant.”

SPINACH

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You can find this popular leafy green on many dishes including dips, salads, quiches, casseroles, egg recipes, and the list goes on and on. Served raw, as it’s used in most salads, its taste is quite bitter—but when cooked, it turns mildly acidic. Its diverse taste profile is why this veggie is used across many cuisines. Although it is available year-round, spinach is at its freshest and most tender in early spring. Try this Asian Chicken Noodle Soup on for size.

LEMONS

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Although the availability of this fruit is also year-round, small lemons are at their best from January until March. Because of a lemon’s citrus fragrance and tartness, it goes well with a variety of ingredients and seasonal dishes. For a fresh, lemony recipe, take a bite out of Grilled Romaine Salad with Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette.

STRAWBERRIES

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Strawberries are red, juicy, and delicious. They taste great on their own, but they also go well in breakfast recipes, salads, and especially desserts. Peak months for this fruit are April through June. Put those fresh strawberries to use with this Strawberry Poke Cake. Who’s ready for some dessert? 

ZUCCHINI

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Zucchini is a type of squash that can be prepared and enjoyed in endless ways. You can simply sauté or grill with other veggies, shred and bake for sweet zucchini bread, or even spiralize into ribbons as a substitute for pasta. Because it’s so easy to prepare, you can incorporate zucchini easily into any quick weeknight meal, like this Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet.

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