Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size

    Get Fresh: Spring Veggie Recipes

    By Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD
    WebMD Magazine - Feature

    Fresh and vibrant spring vegetables -- and the dishes you make with them -- are a welcome change after winter's hearty fare.

    "Spring vegetables are younger and sweeter," says Keith T. Ayoob, EdD, a registered dietitian. They're also brimming with nutrition.

    Recommended Related to Diabetes

    Diabetes Complications: What's Your Risk?

    Heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation, kidney failure. When doctors describe these diabetes complications, it may sound melodramatic -- like an overblown worst-case scenario. The truth is, these things can happen when blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol are out of control. "A lot of people don't really think it will happen to them," says David C. Ziemer, MD, director of the Diabetes Clinic at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. "For a lot of folks, the wake-up comes when they actually...

    Read the Diabetes Complications: What's Your Risk? article > >

    Here are some of Ayoob's best tips for getting these veggies onto your plate.

    1. Eat the whole plant.

    Many of us toss perfectly edible parts of plants. Those green fronds on carrots and fennel? Ayoob blitzes the greens into pesto, or uses them to garnish. "They're loaded with potassium and vitamin C and everything that leafy greens have."

    If you buy artichokes, get the ones with the longest stems -- the stem is an extension of the heart, he says.

    2. Try veggies ungarnished first.

    Ayoob suggests you try ones like steamed artichokes without any dressings or salt at first.

    "I recommend that to educate your palate a bit, because if you're always filled up with fatty stuff, you don't get to really taste the vegetable."

    3. Shop the rainbow.

    Even spring's daintier vegetables come in an array of colors: Blushing radishes, bright green peas, and new white onions are among the colorful produce this time of year.

    Eating a variety of colors and types of vegetables ensures you get an array of phytochemicals,  plant-based nutrients with disease-fighting benefits.

    4. Freshen up favorite recipes.

    Since spring vegetables are tender (think peas, leafy greens, new potatoes, and radishes), they cook up quickly, making them an easy add-in to curries, frittatas, soups, and stir-fries.

    5. Put herbs on the table.

    "Herbs and spices can help you eat more fruits and vegetables, plus they have their own antioxidants they can bring to the table," Ayoob says.

    And of course, using herbs and spices adds flavor, which lets you use less salt. Mint, for instance, wakes up salads, including chicken and tuna salad. Get in the habit of setting out chopped spices and herbs along with the salt and pepper.

    6. Plant a garden.

    You could try to grow some potted herbs and veggies. It doesn't get fresher than pulling a carrot from your backyard or trimming cilantro and basil from the pots on your windowsill. Not only do they look attractive, they're a visible reminder to eat more vegetables.

    It's time to wake up your dishes with everything vegetables have to offer. Start fresh with these recipes.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Middle aged person
    jennie brand miller

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    type 2 diabetes
    food fitness planner