Eat with the Seasons – Fresh Picks for May

May 2016 - Community & Environment

We love this time of year! Warmer weather means our fields are starting sprout fresh, delicious, vibrant organic fruits and veggies. Our local suppliers make sure that what’s picked in the morning can be on your dinner plate that night – and we all know that eating foods in season means better flavour, and better health – for you, and our planet.

Here’s what you can expect to find at Nature’s Fare Markets in May to freshen your winter-weary palate…

…plus fragrant arugula, spinach and nettles, dainty green onions and salad turnips from the Fraser Valley.

Dandy Dandelions
A member of the sunflower family, these medicinal and culinary powerhouses can be used from root to leaf tip. Rich in fibre, potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins K, A and C, young leaves (picked before flowers appear) are best eaten raw in salads, or whirled into green juices and smoothies. The bigger they get, the more bitter they become.

For a quick dish, simply sauté chopped onion with garlic ‘til soft, then add dandelion greens with a twist or three of pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Dandelion can also be added to soups, stews, casseroles and stir-fries, just like spinach or kale.

Traditionally, country folk have foraged the young stinging nettles in early spring to use as a potherb, and to make nettle beer and a blood-purifying tea. Medicinally, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it’s also been used medicinally to treat painful muscles and joints, urinary issues and allergies. A good source of iron, silica, calcium and potassium, they are also wonderful in a variety of dishes – after some careful handling to avoid stings from their hairy, heart-shaped leaves.

Simply boil the leaves for 2-3 minutes to render them sting-free, rinse in cold water and squeeze out any excess water. Ready to go, use them like spinach – as a pizza toppings, in egg dishes and stir fries, to stuff pasta and in rice dishes…or simply sauté them with a little oil or butter, garlic and a squeeze of lemon.

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