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Winter is over and it’s starting to finally warm up again, which means cravings for fresh greens are kicking in. Just like how we change our clothes as the seasons progress our natural cravings for food will too. Our bodies were designed to adapt to our surroundings. This means when it starts getting cold outside we will crave heavy and warm foods and during hotter months our bodies will crave cool and refreshing foods.
Springtime brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables; the majority being fresh greens. Greens that are in season include arugula, kale, bok choy, collard greens, dandelion greens, parsley, spinach, spring baby lettuce, Swiss chard and pea shoots. They can easily be found at your local farmers’ market and should be incorporated into your diet as much as possible.
Here are a few more reasons why we crave fresh greens in spring:
• Nutrition – Fresh greens are full of antioxidants and minerals that your body craves. They offer the most nutrition than any other food. The primary vitamins include C, K, A and foliate. They are also high in iron, potassium, and fiber.
• Detox – Spring greens allows your body to detox after a winter full of comfort foods. Winter weather is hard on your body and the threat of illness is much higher resulting in a poor immune system. Detoxing helps boost your immune system and enhances your digestive system; protecting you from illnesses during the warmer weather.
• Keep you cool – Greens are lightweight, low in calorie and have a high concentration of water. They are also low in fat and sodium. All these factors work together to keep you cool during warmer weather.
• Lose weight – Greens are good for weight loss because they are low in calories, fat, and sodium. Studies have shown that greens also have nutrients that help burn fat cells. After a long winter, your body craves greens to help lose the extra weight that kept you warm.
As you can see, our bodies crave greens during spring for good reasons. They help supply nutrients that were missing during winter, help cleanse the body to prepare for warmer weather and they aid in weight loss to keep you cool. They are light, refreshing and high in vitamins responsible for energy levels. In the winter, all your body wanted to do was rest but now it is time to get moving, enjoy mother nature and fill up on spring greens.
Enjoy this take on a fresh green spring salad.
- 1 ½ Cup frozen green peas
- 1 Pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 12 Ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 3 Tablespoons shallots, minced
- 3 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 ½ Teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¾ Teaspoon salt
- ½ Teaspoon black pepper
- 4 Ounces pea tendrils or watercress
- 2 Cups baby spinach
- 1 Cup parsley leaves
- ½ Cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 Avocado, cubed
- 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the green peas, asparagus and sugar snap peas. Cook for three minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.
- 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the minced shallots, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
- 3. Combine the pea tendrils, baby spinach, parsley leaves, mint leaves and cubed avocado in a large salad bowl.
- 4. Drizzle the shallot mixture over the greens and toss until well coated.