Spring Vegetable Recipes and Tips
Fresh seasonal veggies are one more reason to celebrate spring.
Corn is just beginning to come into season now, giving us yet another reason
to celebrate spring. And there's no tastier way to enjoy corn than fresh off
the cob. Although corn is considered a "starchy" vegetable, each ear
contributes 2 grams of fiber, 35 micrograms of folate and antioxidant
phytochemicals, along with about 83 calories.
- To buy: Look for ears with tight rows of kernels, green husks, and fresh
silk underneath the husks. You can peel away the top of the husks to do a quick
inspection before buying.
- To store: Refrigerate with the husks on and eat as soon as possible,
preferably within a couple of days.
- To cook: Pull off and discard husks and pull off the silk strings. Cook in
the microwave, in boiling water, or over the grill. One of my favorite ways to
cook corn is to bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the ears and
cover the saucepan. Bring back to a boil, then turn off the heat. The corn is
tender-cooked after about 10 minutes.
Swiss chard, a member of the beet family, is in season in spring in some
areas of the country. This dark leafy green vegetable has bumpy (not flat)
leaves that look like other greens, but stems that look like thin celery. Both
leaves and stems of Swiss chard are edible. It comes in green or red varieties.
A cup of cooked chopped Swiss chard has 4 grams of fiber, a whopping 10,000 IU
of vitamin A and 6,000 micrograms of beta carotene. It also has vitamin C (32
milligrams), folate (16 micrograms) and calcium (101 milligrams).
- To buy: Look for bunches of chard with fresh, crisp, green leaves that
aren't yellow or discolored.
- To store: Store your bunch of chard, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the
vegetable crisper for up to 3 days.
- To cook: The leaves and stems can be steamed, cooked in a microwave,
sauteed in a nonstick frying pan with a little canola or olive oil (about 5
minutes) or blanched (plunged into boiling water briefly until just tender,
then rinsed in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.)