Seasonal Superfoods

The earth’s seasons cause profound changes in our weather. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to adjust our diet to conform to these changes? For example, the cooler or colder weather of winter generally leads us to eat heartier, more substantial meals. So, too, should we seasonally adjust the superfoods we consume. This will maximise the benefits of these already healthful foods. Read on to learn more and to find some delicious recipes.

Seasonal Superfoods for Spring

spring season

Spring is the season when we shake off the cobwebs of winter and look forward to warmer weather. The length of days increases. When it’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s fall in the Southern Hemisphere. Various cultures celebrate spring the festivals at which special foods are enjoyed. In addition, spring encompasses the ideal of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth (1). Superfoods for spring offer a great variety of choices, so you won’t get bored with the same old thing. Vegetables for spring include asparagus and artichokes, and also lettuce, spring onions, broccoli, radishes and strawberries (2).

Arugula is another delicious spring superfood to consume as the days grow warmer and longer, along with scallions (3). Finally, be sure to expand your dietary choices to include as many of the above listed foods. They will help you feel your best! Cucumbers are another great seasonal superfood to include in refreshing salads. Try the following recipe for a delicious spring salad.

More Spring Superfoods

cucumbers

  • 4 hothouse cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced in half rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Mix the cucumbers, red onions, and 1-1/2 tablespoons of salt in a bowl. Pour them into a colander and suspend it over a bowl. Wrap the bowl and colander with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to drain for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the bowl.

Pour the yogurt into a sieve lined with a paper towel and suspend it over another bowl. Wrap the bowl and sieve in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the second bowl.

When the cucumbers are ready, roll them up in paper towels or a kitchen towel and press the towel lightly to remove most of the liquid. Place the cucumbers and yogurt in a large bowl with the sour cream, vinegar, dill, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Toss well and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and serve chilled (4).

Seasonal Superfoods for Summer

During the summer season, it’s great to engage in warm-weather activities like football, boating and touring. Summer boasts the longest days of the year, but day length begins to shorten as the season progresses. Since the days are long and warm (5), it’s a good idea to change up your superfood consumption to include a range of superfoods like blackberries, Romaine lettuce, chives, sweet peppers, watercress and tomatoes (6).
Your choice of superfoods for the summer season should mirror the incredible variety of nature’s bounty at this time of year.

More Summer Superfoods

Fresh-Vegetables

Why not include a range of fresh vegetables in your list of summer superfoods? Select garlic, and fresh herbs, which can be used to flavor the dishes you prepare. Other good choices are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and bok choy (7). Treat yourself to a juicy slice of watermelon, another key superfood (8). Fat-free milk and yogurt are dairy products that are perfect superfoods for those warm summer days (9). Finally, sweet, tender and juicy pomegranates make a light, refreshing dessert or snack in the summer (10). Here’s a great recipe idea.

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney

  • 1-1/2 cups cubed peeled ripe mango (about 1 medium)
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons diced jalapeño pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. Cool completely. Store chutney in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days. (11)

Seasonal Superfoods for Autumn

Autumn is the season that moderates the heat of summer. There’s a crispness in the air that’s full of promise.as we transition into the cold of winter. Days begin to grow shorter and deciduous trees shed their leaves (12). Seasonal superfoods include carrots, grapes, apples, sage and green beans (13). Parsnips and pears also are good choices for autumn meals (14).

More Autumn Superfoods

Along with the bracing weather of autumn comes a plethora of cool-weather superfood choices like beet greens, Brussels sprouts, chard, leeks and rutabaga (15). These delicious foods lend plenty of flavor and nutrition to our autumn meals. Here’s a great recipe to try.

Warm Whole-Grain Salad With Fennel, Arugula, Prosciutto, and Pecorino

salad

  • 1-1/2 cups rye berries, wheat berries, spelt grains, or farro grains
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed and cut into quarters
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small bunch arugula, cut into thick ribbons (about 3 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons pitted chopped olives
  • 1-1/2 ounces prosciutto, excess fat removed, sliced into thin ribbons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1-1/2 ounces pecorino or parmesan cheese, shaved into thin slices with a vegetable peeler (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 teaspoons juice and 1/2 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain or dijon mustard

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Place grain in a medium saucepan, cover with water by 2 inches, and season heavily with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until grain is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and drain grain. Cover the strainer with a lid to keep grain warm. While grain cooks, roast the fennel. Toss fennel quarters with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a small rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning once, until fennel is tender and golden-brown, about 30 minutes. Remove fennel from oven and let cool slightly before removing core from each quarter and slicing into thin slices. Transfer grain to a mixing bowl and add chopped fennel, sliced arugula, olives and half of the prosciutto and cheese. In a small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and mustard and whisk until smooth. Pour dressing over grain mixture and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a serving platter and scatter with remaining prosciutto and cheese. Serve immediately (16).