In the United States, we are very lucky (or very spoiled, depending on how you look at it). We can get almost any food at any time of the year, regardless of what’s in season. On the other side of the world, where our winter is their summer, Chile provides fruits and vegetables to the United States all winter long.
Nonetheless, even though these fresh foods are available all winter, it doesn’t mean they’re comparable to fresh food that is grown nearby. Modern produce transportation is a miracle, but food grown closer to home will have a fresher taste and better nutrients.
Whenever possible, we at USConnect strive to provide the freshest, most local food available. This means our salads use greens grown closer to our commissaries, and they come fresher to you. Try some carrots with hummus; locally grown carrots are sweeter and more tender than those that have been transported. Whenever possible, add some vegetables to your meal; the extra nutrients will make you healthier. Dark vegetables like kale and spinach have the most nutrients and anti-oxidants.
What can you do at home? Snap peas and green beans are delicious in the spring. Try sautéing them with some minced shallots and a light coating of vegetable oil. Asparagus is a classic spring vegetable; try grilling or roasting it with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or bake it in a quiche with mushrooms and red onions—providing protein and vegetables in one dish. A lovely spring salad combines baby spinach, sliced strawberries, chopped green onions, and crumbles of blue, goat, or feta cheese. Toss with a champagne vinaigrette for a lovely light flavor.
No matter how you get your vegetables, you can be sure that spring is a great time to begin. The warmer weather encourages us to get outside and reduces cravings for fat- and carb-heavy comfort foods. It’s spring, and it’s time to freshen up with vegetables!