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HomeHealthy FoodWhat's in Season: April Produce Information

What’s in Season: April Produce Information


April Produce Guide Collage

Written by Diann Leo-Omine & Lisa Lin, Photographs by Lisa Lin. This submit was initially printed in 2017 and has been up to date to incorporate produce-picking suggestions and extra images.

In Sacramento, early spring is marked by 70-degree temps and the start of t-shirt climate, simply peaking to about 90 levels in late April. Spring right here provides solution to summer time on the blink of an eye fixed. Speak about a brief season! Fortunately, no matter how scorching it will get, the native produce proves that it’s nonetheless April.

Avocado Toast

AVOCADO

Do you want me to inform you why you need to eat creamy and candy avocados? Let me rely the methods. Avocados are filled with nutritional vitamins Ok, E, D, and A. On high of that, avocados additionally boast good-for-the-heart monounsaturated fat. Other than topping toast and smashing into guacamole, there’s loads of inventive methods to get your every day dose of avocado.

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE AVOCADOS

Select avocados which are heavy and with none hole spots. Hold your avocados at room temperature. To hurry up the ripening course of, place in a paper bag till the pores and skin simply begins to yield. They ripen earlier than you understand it, so test day-after-day! In the event you’re not prepared to make use of the ripened avocado simply but, you may pop them within the fridge. They will last as long as 5 to 7 days, particularly if you happen to put them within the fridge earlier than they’re absolutely ripe.

RECIPES USING AVOCADOS

Beets

BEETS

Diet for worth, nothing beats beets. Unhealthy meals puns apart, it’s no shock why earthy but candy beets are touted as a superfood. They’re chock stuffed with nutritional vitamins and minerals, together with vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Beets are additionally a pure supply of nitrates.

Don’t overlook in regards to the leafy inexperienced tops, both–they’re loaded with B nutritional vitamins. Sauté the greens and their stems such as you would with rainbow chard. You possibly can even mix them right into a smoothie–see beneath for a smoothie recipe that places these beet greens to work!

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE BEETS

Select beets which are heavy for his or her dimension and unblemished, ideally with taproot intact. Hold beets free in a plastic bag in your fridge’s crisper drawer. The beets ought to keep contemporary for as much as a month. 

In the event you occur to search out the beets with their greens, trim the stems about two inches from the highest of the beet. Hold the greens and stems in a bag within the fridge crisper, and use inside per week.

RECIPES USING BEETS

English Peas

ENGLISH PEAS

English peas, also referred to as shelling peas and backyard peas, are the identical peas you probably have saved in your freezer proper now. In the event that they’re the identical, why are contemporary peas well worth the effort of shelling? Recent peas have extra taste! The candy style of those springtime treats are incomparable to any frozen or canned pea.

Peas from earlier within the season are sweeter than these picked later, as they turn out to be extra mealy and starchy the longer they sit on the vine. That stated, the sooner season peas are improbable uncooked, whereas the later season peas are higher cooked. 

Not like snow peas or sugar snap peas, the pods of English peas are fibrous and really powerful when cooked. That’s why I usually compost the pods after I extract the seeds. 

A few of you could have observed at farmers markets, some farmers develop out sugar snaps till the peas inside develop to be the identical dimension as mature English peas. Though the 2 varieties of peas look comparable, solely English peas will style candy; the peas contained in the pods of sugar snaps style fairly bland.

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE ENGLISH PEAS

Decide English pea pods which are unblemished, agency, and with seeds. In the event you can’t prepare dinner them instantly, hold the pods in a plastic bag within the fridge crisper. For longer storage, I shell the peas and retailer them in a vacuum sealed bag within the freezer in order that they don’t develop freezer burn.

RECIPES USING ENGLISH PEAS

Green Garlic
The inexperienced garlic on the left is younger elephant garlic, which is why the stalks are thicker.

GREEN GARLIC

Inexperienced garlic is basically garlic that hasn’t absolutely matured. This allium resembles a cross between a leek and a inexperienced onion, with straight, flat inexperienced stalks and a large base. If the plant is extra mature, the bottom might be extra bulbous as a result of the pinnacle of garlic is taking form on the backside.

Inexperienced garlic tastes rather more gentle in comparison with standard garlic. You possibly can slice inexperienced garlic thinly (inexperienced leaves and stem) and use in salads or stir fries. If the stalk of inexperienced garlic has a completely fashioned bulbous base, you may extract the person cloves of garlic from the bulb and use them such as you would standard garlic. Word that due to their milder taste, you might want to make use of extra cloves of garlic in a recipe.

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE GREEN GARLIC

Select inexperienced garlic bunches with sturdy, shiny inexperienced stalks. Retailer inexperienced garlic in a plastic bag within the fridge for as much as per week.

RECIPES USING GREEN GARLIC

Kohlrabi

KOHLRABI

Have you ever handed up kohlrabi at your native farmer’s market simply because the extraterrestrial-like stalks look intimidating? Concern not! This bulbous, cruciferous veggie is expounded to cabbage and tastes like – shock – cabbage and broccoli. Kohlrabi is wealthy with vitamin C. 

Peel the thick bitter pores and skin away from the bulb, and also you’ve acquired some scrumptious peppery crunch to your salads, stir fries, or a fantastic candidate for roasting within the oven. Mama Lin loves so as to add diced kohlrabi to her dumpling filling for crunchy texture. 

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE KOHLRABI

Decide kohlrabi that also seems inexperienced (or purple) and is agency and unblemished. You possibly can watch this video the place Mama Lin shares her tips on easy methods to decide kohlrabi. Wrap the kohlrabi in a plastic bag and retailer within the fridge for as much as per week or two. In the event you discover kohlrabi with its greens, prepare dinner the greens such as you would kale or spinach.

RECIPES USING KOHLRABI

Lettuce
Little gem lettuce

LETTUCE

Lettuce is a real welcome of spring, a break from the hardier and heartier greens like kale or cabbage. Ice inexperienced, grass inexperienced, sea inexperienced with speckles of violet, full-on burgundy–lettuce spans the spectrum of shade and form. The dietary worth of lettuce will differ by the variability, however typically comprises nutritional vitamins C and A, folate, and potassium. 

Head lettuce are varieties of lettuce with extra tightly packed leaves and oftentimes have leaves that type a rosette sample on the heart. Examples of head lettuce are Romaine, iceberg or butter/butterhead lettuce. (Word: some folks contemplate butterhead lettuce to be leaf lettuce because the outer leaves are looser.) In distinction, leaf lettuce are looser clusters of leaves. Examples of leaf lettuce embrace purple leaf, inexperienced leaf, or oak leaf lettuce.

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE LETTUCE

Select lettuce with vibrant shade and crisp texture. Keep away from lettuce with giant browning spots. A wilted, has-been head of lettuce is not going to enhance itself, and will not even final the experience residence! Head lettuce will final per week after which some within the fridge; leaf lettuce tends to have a shorter storage time and ought to be eaten inside 5 days.

RECIPES USING LETTUCE

Mixed Mushrooms

MUSHROOMS

White button, cremini, portobello, oyster, shiitake, enoki, and the listing goes on. Whereas the dietary advantages fluctuate primarily based on the kind, mushrooms typically pack extra protein and B nutritional vitamins than most different varieties of produce.

This versatile fungus is properly utilized in plant-based diets for its meaty style. Mushrooms are, in reality, a pure supply of monosodium glutamate (MSG). I usually use dried shiitake mushrooms as a significant umami booster in my vegan recipes, like for congee or savory tang yuan.

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE MUSHROOMS

Normally, select mushrooms with agency stems and tightly closed caps. In the event you bought mushrooms in a plastic clam shell, simply depart them within the clamshell and refrigerate. Equally, retailer shrink-wrapped packages of contemporary mushrooms of their bundle, unopened. In the event you bought mushrooms loosely, retailer them in a paper bag. Then, cowl the paper bag with a material or mesh bag in order that they don’t dry out simply. Eat the mushrooms inside per week. 

RECIPES USING MUSHROOMS

Rhubarb

RHUBARB

The looks of rhubarb on the farmer’s market is the surest signal that spring is right here. Resembling a reddish-green celery stalk, rhubarb is formally labeled as a fruit by the USDA, although its stalks and leaves botanically make it a vegetable. How complicated! In any case, rhubarb provides a great supply of fiber and vitamin K1.

Rhubarb is so generally baked with strawberries, it’s thought-about a “pie plant.” Nevertheless, rhubarb’s bitter tartness can be a fantastic match with proteins like hen or pork.

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE RHUBARB

Select rhubarb stalks which are agency and unblemished. Hold rhubarb in a plastic bag in your fridge crisper for as much as per week. Prepare dinner’s Illustrated recommends wrapping rhubarb in foil to maintain it contemporary, however I personally haven’t tried this. IMPORTANT: Trim off any leaves that you just may discover on the stalks! The leaves are poisonous if consumed in giant portions.

RECIPES USING RHUBARB

Swiss Chard

SWISS CHARD

Swiss chard is a relative to the beet and nutritionally just like spinach, with excessive ranges of nutritional vitamins C, Ok, and A. With stems of many colours, you may need seen the silver (white stalks), ruby (purple stalks), and rainbow (purple, yellow, inexperienced stalks) varieties. Just like the beet, the leafy high and crunchy stalk are each edible. 

The uncooked leaves are a bit extra bitter than spinach however have a large floor space excellent for wraps. For the rainbow selection particularly, the stems are filled with antioxidants! Word that the stems take a bit longer to melt in comparison with the leaves.

HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE SWISS CHARD

Select swiss chard with crisp, shiny inexperienced leaves and agency stalks. Wrap a humid paper towel across the swiss chard and hold in a plastic bag within the fridge crisper. The chard ought to final for just a few days and as much as per week this fashion.

RECIPES USING SWISS CHARD



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