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5 seasonal recipes to try this spring

What’s in season during March and April? Take inspiration from Dr Natasha Fernando’s five seasonal spring recipes.

Food has the power to soothe the soul; it can pick you up when you’re feeling low and, with the right ingredients, leave you feeling nourished, restored, and revived.  

Spring is just around the corner. With it comes lighter days, warmer walks, and lots of flavoursome and colourful seasonal ingredients to liven up our plates.   

So, as you make your way out of the long winter hibernation, here’s some of my favourite produce to eat in spring, why it’s good for you, and some tasty ways to cook them. Enjoy!   

Why eat seasonally? 

Eating food that’s in season can be both good for you and the environment. Picking food at its peak means it’ll taste delicious and is likely to be full of nutrients. Have you ever tried growing your salad or potatoes? If you can, it’s delicious.  

Of course, we can’t all be completely self-sufficient, but eating seasonally means you can support local or UK producers. Sourcing food from far afield can have a high environmental cost in the country where it’s produced (like water stress and loss of biodiversity) [1]. 

What’s in season during spring? 

Travel and modern growing techniques mean that we’re likely to see much of the same fruit and vegetables at our supermarkets all year round. But, if you’re buying local, or just looking for what’s in season, then a few foods come into their own during March and April. 

Spring seasonal vegetables 

  • Asparagus  
  • Spinach 
  • Spring greens  
  • Spring onions 
  • Rhubarb 
  • Jersey Royal potatoes 

Five seasonal recipes to try 

1. Breakfast: Spinach smoothie  

Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal of the day. But, with only two-thirds of adults in the UK eating breakfast regularly (according to the Association of UK Dieticians), how important is it [2]?

Eating a balanced breakfast helps you replenish energy stores, calcium, and protein that have been used for growth and repair through the night. The key here is balance. You’re unlikely to get all of this from some sugary breakfast options!  

Luckily for our spring recipes, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense, leafy-green vegetables you can eat.  

One cup (25g) of raw spinach contains

  • 0.7g of protein 
  • 121 mcg of vitamin K 
  • High levels of folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C  
  • Some magnesium, iron, potassium, and (somewhat) calcium [3]  

The lack of iron and certain vitamins can make you feel tired or fatigued. If you’re having more tired days than not, then an Advanced Tiredness and Fatigue Blood Test could help you to investigate your lack of energy.  

Spinach smoothie ingredients: 

  • 100g of baby spinach 
  • 1 banana 
  • 200ml unsweetened almond drink 
  • A couple of pinches of ground cinnamon 
  • A large handful of ice 
  • 1 tbsp chopped almonds 

Method: 

  1. Blitz the spinach, banana, almond drink, a pinch of ground cinnamon, and a large handful of ice in a blender. 
  2. Serve sprinkled with chopped almonds and a punch more cinnamon. 

2. Lunch: The ultimate spring salad 

This seasonal lunch salad from co-op recipes, is packed with seasonal produce – and we can imagine it served on a platter as part of an alfresco meal on a warm evening. Yum! 

This recipe features a British seasonal favourite, asparagus. It’s low in calories and a great source of nutrients, including fibre, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.  

Ingredients: 

  • 650g Jersey Royals 
  • 125g British asparagus tips 
  • 100g frozen peas 
  • 300g frozen broad beans 
  • 200g radishes, sliced 
  • 100g feta, crumbled 

For the dressing: 

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated 

For the garnish: 

  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs, toasted 
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped 

Method: 

  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 12-15 mins, or until just tender. 
  2. Drain and cool, then cut into slices. 
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus stems into ribbons and place them in a bowl of cold water. 
  4. Meanwhile, cook the peas and broad beans in boiling water for 4-5 mins, adding the asparagus tips for the last minute. 
  5. Drain and plunge into cold water to refresh. 
  6. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and season, then mix the ingredients for the garnish together in a separate bowl. 
  7. Drain the asparagus ribbons and toss with the potatoes, peas, beans, asparagus tips and radishes. 
  8. Add the dressing and toss again. 
  9. Serve in a big bowl sprinkled with the crumbled Feta and the garnish. 

3. Main side: Jersey Royals with wild garlic 

Jersey Royals are famous in the UK for their unique taste, flavour, and delicate skins. And they’re pretty nutritious, too. 

Jersey Royals are a good source of complex carbohydrates - energy for the body and vital for growth and development.  According to nutritionists, foods that contain carbohydrates are an important part of our diets and can be included as part of a healthy balanced diet. As a general rule, a recommended portion of carbs is about the size of your fist [4].

They are also a good source of vitamin C (especially the skins), which is essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, bones, teeth, and gums. Vitamin B is also present in potatoes and helps carbohydrates work properly to provide energy for the body.  

This recipe mixes the best of Jersey Royals with another of my seasonal favourites, wild garlic.  

Ingredients:  

  • Jersey Royals 600g, washed 
  • Wild garlic a large bunch, finely chopped 
  • Extra-virgin rapeseed oil 
  • Smoked Cornish salt 

Method: 

  1. Boil the potatoes until they’re tender, about 8-10 minutes.  
  2. Drain them well then mix the potatoes with the wild garlic, a drizzle of rapeseed oil, and a pinch of smoked salt.  
  3. Toss to wilt the wild garlic, then tip into a bowl to serve. 

4. Main side: Spring greens with lemon dressing 

Spring greens belong to the brassica family. They provide vitamin C to support your immune system and vitamin K to build bone strength. Try to eat spring greens as close to when you buy them as possible and keep them refrigerated to make the most of these nutrients.   

This simple spring greens recipe is an easy accompaniment to any main dish. It’s fresh and tasty – exactly what spring food is all about.  

Ingredients: 

  • 250g broccoli, halve any thick stalks  
  • 400g Spring greens, thick stalks removed and shredded 

For the dressing: 

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil 

Method 

  1. To make the dressing, mix the garlic, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and some seasoning. 
  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add the broccoli and greens, and cook for about 5 mins until tender. 
  3. Drain well, then toss through the dressing and serve. 

5. Dessert: Rhubarb and ginger crumble 

Rhubarb is known for its sour taste, but did you know that its roots are used medicinally in Asia? It's an excellent source of vitamin K1 (important for making proteins for blood clotting and healthy bones), and it's high in fibre [5].

I’ve chosen this recipe because it gives you all the deliciousness of rhubarb without lots of added saturated fats and sugar. It also gives you an injection of ginger – said to be one of the healthiest spices on the planet. That’s because ginger contains gingerol, which is used to aid digestion and reduce nausea and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects [6]. 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 stalks thinly sliced rhubarb (about 3 stalks) 
  • 2 tablespoons date/ maple syrup, plus more by the tablespoon if desired 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 30g finely chopped raw walnuts 
  • 25g rolled oats 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter 

Method: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, oats, almond butter, and cinnamon. Pulse until mixed well and set the crumbled mixture aside. 
  2. Remove ends and thinly slice the rhubarb. 
  3. Place the sliced rhubarb in a saucepan with the syrup and ginger. Bring to the boil slowly (over medium heat). 
  4. Reduce and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the rhubarb has broken down. 
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. 
  6. Taste and add more syrup by the tablespoon if too tart. 
  7. Spoon the rhubarb mixture into an oven proof dish and top with the crumble mixture. Add a tablespoon of date/ maple syrup on top of the crumble.  
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes in the preheated oven until the crumble is browned. 

Nutrition Blood Test 

If you’re looking for a general nutrition overview, or if you follow a plant-based, restricted, or special diet, a Nutrition Blood Test can check whether you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet. With this home finger-prick test, you can also check your cholesterol status and levels of inflammation, which can both be influenced by diet.   

Shop our home Nutrition Blood Test or visit the Test Finder to find the right blood test for you.  


References 

  1. Healthline. 2022. 11 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Ginger. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger#1.-Contains-gingerol,-which-has-powerful-medicinal-properties> [Accessed 1 February 2022]. 
  2. Brown, J., 2022. Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?. [online] BBC. Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20181126-is-breakfast-good-for-your-health> [Accessed 1 February 2022]. 
  3. Medicalnewstoday.com. 2022. Plant power: The 10 veggies with the most protein. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318600#3.-Spinach> [Accessed 1 February 2022]. 
  4. BDA.uk.com. 2022. Carbohydrates. [online] Available at: <https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/carbohydrates.html> [Accessed 1 February 2022]. 
  5. Brown, J., 2022. Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?. [online] BBC. Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20181126-is-breakfast-good-for-your-health> [Accessed 1 February 2022]. 
  6. Healthline. 2022. 11 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Ginger. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger#1.-Contains-gingerol,-which-has-powerful-medicinal-properties> [Accessed 1 February 2022].