As we all begin to emerge from our restful winter hibernation, we can find little reminders of the active energy of Spring everywhere: the smell of mint as we walk through tall grasses, the rapid daily growth of spring peas, fast-moving storms that bring quick rains (or snow if we look at last week!). Spring energy is here and it’s a time of growth and expansion. Though we may not always realize it, our bodies move with seasonal energy - think “spring cleaning”. This is the time to clean out the cobwebs of last year and start fresh! As the days lengthen, our metabolisms naturally ramp-up and we become more active. This is why it’s important to eat foods that can help support your springtime metabolism as we move more into the longer days of summer.
The first spring greens that we see in our gardens are packed with the fiber and minerals we need to support our digestion and stimulate our metabolisms. These greens tend to be bitter, sour and/or pungent. These flavors work to stimulate our livers and balance blood sugar in order to regulate our metabolisms. Metabolism kickstarters you can find in our garden right now include different salad mixes, arugula, parsley, collards, kale, kale rabe, chives, and many more!
Spring meals should be prepared with the energy of spring in mind:
● quick sautés that allow your food to keep a good crunch
● light steaming
● fresh ingredients
● mixtures of warm and cool items (think cooked quinoa salad with fresh radishes and carrots).
We can now slowly start to move away from slow-cooked stews and heavy casseroles - but keep them for a rainy day! As we can see with our current weather, spring is a time of transition. Some days can sneak up on 80 degrees and others are barely breaking out of the 40s with wind and rain in tow. This is a time to listen to our bodies and support them where we can. So fill up on fresh salads on those warm, sunny days but also don’t avoid cozying up with some hot soup and tea on those cold rainy days!
My favorite fast spring meal is a salad packed with fresh greens, peas, radishes, a hardboiled egg, and sunflower seeds topped with a lemon, rosemary, and tahini dressing! And for those cooler days, I like to make a homemade pizza with pesto made out of fresh garden herbs. What are your favorite ways to eat with the seasons?