Daylight savings is a friendly reminder that spring is just around the corner. Adding a few seasonal favorites to your plate can go a long way in supporting your workout and giving your body maximum benefit.

 

I grew up in an Italian family in Philadelphia, and my family had huge gardens. Aside from homemade pizza and pasta, most of the ingredients we used came from our backyard or from fishing, clamming, and digging for dandelion greens. I remember looking forward to seasons based on the fruits and vegetables that would arrive.  

 

Nowadays, you can purchase any produce you want all year long, but the out-of-season produce is so far removed in flavor from my childhood memories.

 

3 Seasonal Favorites for Spring

In the last twelve months, I have worked hard to base my plate on the seasons. This attention to my food ensures most of my meals will be the freshest they can be, offering my body maximum nourishment. Here are a few favorites that are easy to prepare and fun to eat.

 

Stovetop Artichokes  

This spring beauty has lots of vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Although they can be a challenge to trim the first time, it’s a breeze once you’ve mastered the technique. You can add up to four artichokes to this recipe or simply enjoy a single serving.

 

Stovetop artichokes.

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 1

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 whole organic artichoke, trimmed
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil  
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter or Ghee, melted
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

 

Method:

 

  1. Trim artichoke by removing bottom row of leaves and any that are not looking their best.
  2. Take the pointed end of each leaf and snip it off, using scissors to cut a straight line across.
  3. Finish by trimming all pointed edges until completely removed up to the top of the artichoke.
  4. Place artichoke and the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan in 1/4-inch water.
  5. Bring to a boil at medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and place a lid on the saucepan.
  6. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until fork soft.
  7. To eat: Peel away each layer and dip in the melted butter or ghee.

 

Sautéed Leeks

What a tasty and easy vegetable to enjoy. Leeks offer huge antioxidant support and protect our blood vessels, making them a perfect vegetable to eat on those days when we push hard during our workout. They are also simple to prepare.

 

PrepTime: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 bunch of leeks
  • 3 Tablespoons ghee
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

 

Method:

 

  1. Trim leeks by removing the top and bottom.
  2. Slice into 1/4-inch rounds and wash well. Tip: submerge sliced leeks in a bowl of water to remove any dirt or grit that is hiding between the layers. Remove from the water and pat dry with a towel.
  3. Heat cast iron or desired pan to medium high heat and add ghee.
  4. Add leeks to the pan, sautéing for about 15 minutes until slightly soft and golden in color.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

 

Roasted and Charred Asparagus

This is an all-time spring favorite. Asparagus is loaded with K and B vitamins, and offers bone health support. Every athlete should consider including it in their diet during the spring season.

 

Roasted asparagus.

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 orange
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

 

Method:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Trim asparagus by snapping the ends, about 1/4 inch from the bottom.
  3. Melt coconut oil on stovetop.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place trimmed asparagus on tray.
  5. Coat asparagus with melted oil.
  6. Place in oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove and add 1 teaspoon of orange zest to asparagus turning at the same time.
  8. Return to oven for 5 additional minutes until slightly charred or until desired done. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

 

More Delicious Ways to Eat Your Veggies:

 

Photos courtesy of V. Capaldi.

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