March/Early Spring: 'Tis the Season for Produce!

It's that time again!  More new in season fresh produce!  Now that winter is coming to an end you will notice with each month becoming warmer, more produce will become available.  Have you noticed a difference at your local farmers market?  As I mentioned in last months 'Tis the Season for Produce, were you able to see how many grocery stores and even some farmers markets provide out of season produce? 

Again, eating in season is not only a healthy eating habit for you and your family, but also helps to preserve our cultural diversity.  Harvesting what we have at the moment is key.  In order to conserve our produce and all food worldwide, we must adhere to food seasonality.  Depleting soils of their much needed nutrients or not harvesting naturally is detrimental to our well being as well as Mother Earth.  I've noted March's new produce additions below for you to become more familiar with our upcoming spring availability.  Stay seasonal my friends!

Here are our seasonally local produce based upon our current end of Winter through the start of Spring:
Early March-April for the New Jersey & New York Metro areas

kale.jpg

CHIVES

March-Early October
Herb. Part of the allium family.
High in vitamin A, C, K, great protein source, calcium, & folate.
Contains allicin that helps to control blood pressure/cholesterol and quercetin that has an antioxidant complex used to combat disease.
Uses: Seasoning foods, garnishing, salads, soups, omelettes prior to serving, but best used raw, limit cooking due to its delicate nature.

 

NETTLES
March-May
Herb.  Resembles oversized mint leaf.
Good course of vitamin A, K, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, fiber, & protein.
Medicinally used for detoxifying & anti-inflammatory i.e. gout, anemia, joint pain.
Uses: Quick cooking like spinach; soups, sauce, pesto
Storage: Very perishable, refrigerate for a few days, can blanch & prep for freezing.

 

MINT.png

MINT*

March-August
Herb.  Various forms of mint produces like spearmint & peppermint are mostly used for cooking.
High in vitamin A, C, iron, manganese, folate, & calcium.
Medicinally used for centuries for ailments i.e. stomachaches & respiratory issues i.e. colds, bowel issues, skin irritations
Uses: Not cooked, garnish, raw, mix in salads, press in meats to season, creamed, muddled, steeping.
 

MORELS.png

MORELS

March-May
Vegetable.  Wild Mushroom variety with honeycomb texture.  Yellow, black, & white color. Similar to truffles.
Decent amount of iron and lesser amounts of vitamin D & B.
Contain toxin, hydrazine, never eat raw!  Once cooked, the toxins are removed. Can also interact with alcohol negatively causing stomachache, loss of muscle control, and heightened intoxication.
Uses: Cooked ALWAYS! Sauteéd, fried, broiled, or baking
Store: In paper bag, don't clean/wash until ready to use. Freeze or dehydrate to store too.

RAMPS**
March-Early June
Vegetable.  Peppery taste resembling onion & garlic.
High in vitamin A, C.
Medicinally said to prevent or fight cancer, due to the selenium.
Uses: Sauteéd, chopped & cooked, pickled, raw (if brave!)
Store: In wet paper towel & plastic bag, or freeze. Lasts 3-4 days.

mushrooms.png

MUSHROOMS

March-November
Vegetable.  Edible fungus, many varieties.
High in vitamin B2, niacin/B3, B5, and minerals like copper, selenium, phosphorous, & potassium, iron and some protein.
Medicinal benefits for immune system & cholesterol.
Contains smal amounts of agaritine, which can turn into carcinogenic compounds, to prevent this cooking mushrooms is recommended.
Uses: Raw, sauteéd sliced in salads, cooked in risotto or rice, side dish, soups or any type of dish.

Let's not forget about some of the other produce from the last seasonal produce blog that are still in season too!
KALE*
HORSERADISH
SPROUTS

** Only New York    * Only New Jersey

See more below for previously noted seasonal produce