By Siew Guan Lee, MS, RD – University of Idaho Extension
Fruits and vegetables taste better and cost less when they are in season. As you enjoy fruits and vegetables at their peak of freshness, you also save money because in-season produce are typically on sale at the store. Before heading to the store or checking out the farmer’s market near you, let’s take a look at what’s in season now:
As the weather warms, asparagus grow fast across southern Idaho. When buying asparagus, choose stalks that are bright green, firm, with tightly closed tips and no flowering. Asparagus can be eaten raw, steamed, grilled or roasted. Not sure how to roast asparagus? Check out our video.
Fresh greens such as Swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, and kale are high in vitamins A, C, K, potassium and folate that are essential for health. They are the basis for many tasty recipes. You can add these to your smoothies, soups, casseroles or have a fresh green salad.
Red onions, yellow onions, white onions, green onions, leeks and shallots are available year-round. They are great to add flavors and nutrients to your meals. Want to know how to reduce tears when cutting an onion?
Chef’s Tip – cut off the top and peel the outer layers of the onion. Leave the root end intact because it has the highest concentration of sulphuric compounds that make you cry. You can also chill the onion before cutting.
While you can find frozen peas in the store at any time, fresh sugar snap peas and snow peas are in season during May and June. Choose firm, bright green, medium-sized pods with no signs of decay. You can enjoy them fresh or add to soups, stews, stir-fry or rice dishes.
Radishes can be spicy as they become more mature. They are perfect to add a tang to your recipe when fresh. They also add a savory flavor when cooked. Choose radishes that are firm, smooth, and free of blemishes. They should be stored in a plastic bag and refrigerated for use within 1 week.
As spring has sprung, you may find these deep red stalks topped with bright green leaves in farms or gardens. Note that the stalks are good to eat but the leaves are toxic and should be discarded. Due to its tart flavor, rhubarb is often used in pies and sauces.
Interested in knowing more about fresh foods in Idaho? Check out: www.IdahoPreferred.com.