Since the groundhog saw his shadow, we are in for at least six more weeks of winter. Luckily, you can start thinking spring now with these six “spring” vegetables. Although they are at their best during the spring months, you can find them today in the produce section of your favorite supermarket. So why not let your taste buds think spring has sprung and add one these to your next meal.

Asparagus

Once thought of as the vegetable of the wealthy, asparagus has now become mainstream and spring is the best time to try some. It is packed with vitamin K and folate and is best when grilled or roasted with a tiny bit of lemon and olive oil.

Artichokes

People tend to be intimidated by this fiber-filled vegetable because it looks strange. But it is loaded with calcium and potassium, and you can cook it easily by just steaming it. They are a great alternative to chips for dipping in your favorite dip.

Beets

This ruby red jewel is a nutrition powerhouse containing fiber, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese and vitamin C and that’s just the beet itself. The beet greens are a source of protein, folate, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese. During the spring, beets tend to be tenderer and can be easily incorporated into salads. Beets are so amazing that they were served in space during the Apollo 18 mission.

Carrots

Filled with beta-carotene and vitamin A, carrots are their sweetest during the spring. They can be eaten raw as a great snack or grilled/roasted to enhance their flavor. This is a great time to try the red, yellow or purple varieties, which are packed with anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants.

Radishes

During the spring, radishes are smaller, sweeter and even crunchier. They are a great source of vitamin C and are rich in minerals like sulphur, iron and iodine. The spiciness of this vegetable makes them an easy snack or perfect addition to any salad.

Spinach

The idea that spinach makes you strong is somewhat true. Spinach is an amazing source of calcium, vitamins A, K and iron. Since calcium helps with bone development, and iron strengthens your blood cells, it really does aid in making your body stronger. During the spring, the leaves are smaller and tenderer. Since spinach contains non-heme iron, pair it with foods high in vitamin C, like oranges and strawberries, to increase your body’s uptake.

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Written by Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD. Joanne is a Rise Coach and Registered Dietitian. She has over 20 years of experience in nutrition counseling and wellness. Joanne loves running, going to the beach and spending time with her kids.  Want to work with Joanne or another Rise coach like her? Get started at www.rise.us/r/JOANNEPEREZ