Spring Superfoods

When you think of a superfood, what usually comes to mind? Probably the usual suspects of blueberries, kale and avocados. But what if we told you artichokes, leeks and fava beans were just as nutritionally dense, and super delicious? We’re sharing 8 of our top spring superfood picks, along with some tasty preparation recommendations, to keep your energy levels up and your belly flat this spring. Who knew you could build a six-pack at the Farmer’s Market?

 

 

Artichokes

 

Superpowers
Did you know that artichokes have more antioxidants than heavy-hitters like blueberries and dark chocolate? Plus, they’re high in fiber and folic acid, can soothe an upset stomach, and help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. They also support brain, liver, and bone health, and help balance blood pressure.

 

Super tasty…

Grilled or sautéed when fresh, or you can even enjoy canned artichoke hearts on top of a hearty spring salad.

 

 

 

Asparagus

 

Superpowers
Say hello to fiber and vitamins A, C, E, and K, along with glutathione – a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens. Current studies suggest that eating plenty of asparagus could even help you stay mentally sharper as you age. They also are said to prevent hangovers…just sayin’.

 

Super tasty…

Roasted with mushrooms, simply steamed, or thrown right on the grill.

 

 

Broccoli Rabe

 

Superpowers
A hybrid between broccoli and kale, this leafy green goes by other names like broccoli raab, rapini and Chinese broccoli. But don’t discard the stems! Eating the stems, leaves, and florets will give you a hefty dose of antioxidants and vitamins C, K, and A.

 

Super tasty…

With chicken or turkey sausage, with roasted peppers, or with a drizzle of lemon and olive oil.

 

 

Fava Beans

 

Superpowers
Favas, or broad beans, are chock-full of protein to keep you strong, and fiber to keep your cholesterol in check. In addition to containing practically the whole alphabet of vitamins, fava beans contain L-dopa, a substance associated with supporting muscle function. Great to enjoy before your next ILKB class!

 

Super tasty in…

With herbed “green” risotto, in a veggie-packed vegan salad, or mixed with olive oil and spices as a dip.

 

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Fennel

 

Superpowers
Fennel (the bulb that smells a bit like anise, or licorice) has been around in kitchen and for medicinal purposes since ancient times. High amounts of fiber and potassium keep your heart in shape, while an aromatic essential oil called anethole has been proven to fight fungus and bacteria. Talk about a superfood!

 

Super tasty…

In a spring salad with orange segments and a light vinaigrette, roasted with carrots alongside lean pork, or in a comforting leek-and-fennel soup.

 

Leeks

 

Superpowers
Like onions, garlic and other flavors in the allium genus, leeks have plenty of heart- and liver-friendly enzymes.

 

Super tasty…

Paired with omega-rich salmon, blended with cauliflower for a low-card soup option, or sautéed with carrots.

 

 

Peas

 

Superpowers
Whether you like English peas, snow peas or sugar snap peas, they all provide awesome sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Small but mighty peas will also make your bones stronger and keep cholesterol in check.

 

Super tasty…

When mixed with aromatic mint, mashed in place of potatoes (or added to potatoes for extra nutrients), or even as a fiber-loaded pea hummus.

 

Strawberries

 

Superpowers
Low-cal? Check. Low-carb? Antioxidants? Check. Check. Sweet and delicious? Check. What’s not to love! Strawberries fight inflammation and deliver vitamins A, C, and E.

 

Super tasty…

Dipped in dark chocolate (hello, extra antioxidants!), in a spinach salad with balsamic dressing, or thrown in a smoothie.

 

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