In this Guide to Spring Food, we’re showcasing 10 of the most popular seasonal ingredients for spring: strawberries, avocado, fresh herbs (basil, cilantro and parsley), asparagus, artichokes, peas, fennel, rhubarb, fava beans, and radishes. You’ll learn about the health benefits of in season produce AND we’ve rounded up 100 delicious Spring recipes that will inspire you out of the winter blues and into your kitchen!
UPDATE: This post was originally published in March 2018. We've updated it to add 100 recipes and new seasonal ingredients.
What's not to love about Spring? The fresh air, colorful blooms and sunny rain showers can bring a smile to anyone's face as winter's grasp starts to thaw.
Spring officially starts March 20th and some of our favorite ingredients are just waiting to blossom! While nutritious leafy greens like arugula, collard greens and spinach thankfully grow year round to get us through winter, I for one am ready for an influx of some more in season, local and colorful produce options.
There’s nothing like getting fresh fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market or CSA to inspire clean, healthy eating.
Read on to discover some recipes that are bound to become some of your favorites this spring!
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD + 100 COMFORTING SPRING RECIPES
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries just may be one of the most exciting things about spring! There's nothing like a fresh, ripe, juicy, in-season berry, and strawberries peak from April through June. Stock up and freeze them so you have them on hand to make green smoothies and yummy treats like Berry Cobbler later in the year, or make your own healthy jam to can and give out as gifts.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C and filled with antioxidants, which make them a great immune system booster. They're also a wonderful source of folic acid, so if you're trying to get pregnant, strawberries are a perfect fruit to befriend.
SPRING RECIPES: STRAWBERRIES
- Strawberry + Pickled Beet Salad with White Balsamic Dressing
- 5-Minute Superfood Strawberry Chocolate Oatmeal
- Superfood Frose (Frozen Rosé Wine Slushy)
- Easy Berry Cobbler with Peach Nice Cream (Gluten Free)
- Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie
- Strawberry Chia Seed Popsicles from Jar of Lemons
- Strawberry Salsa from Cookie & Kate
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Truffles from Katalyst Health
- Strawberry Banana Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal from Ambitious Kitchen
- Low Carb Strawberry & Cream Crepes from Keto Diet App
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: AVOCADO
Avocados have really been center spotlight over recent years, appearing in everything from chocolate mousses to smoothies to even ice cream! It's no wonder, with their creamy flesh, versatility and renowned health properties that avocados are being celebrated.
Unlike most fruits, avocados are low in carbs and high in healthy fats. They're heart healthy and perfect for an anti-inflammatory diet. Did you know they contain more potassium than bananas?
SPRING RECIPES: AVOCADOS
- Thai Coconut Shrimp Ceviche with Mango Avocado Salsa
- Blueberry Guacamole with Roasted Corn
- Easy Homemade Spicy Tuna Poke Bowls
- Twice Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with Chipotle Beans
- Tuna Salad with Avocado, White Beans & Pesto (Dairy-Free)
- No-Bake Mini Chocolate Mousse Tarts (Vegan + Gluten Free) from Goodie Goodie Gluten Free
- Baja Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema + Chipotle Slaw (Gluten Free)
- Chicken Avocado Poppers from Haute & Healthy Living
- Avocado Toast 5 Ways from What's Gaby Cooking
- 3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Truffles from Byte Sized Nutrition
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: FRESH HERBS
What adds more flavor to food than fresh herbs? This is one of the key ways that I make healthy food taste delicious and vibrant, not to mention their mouthwatering aromas.
Think beyond the garnish and try highlighting herbs as a focal point in your cooking. In addition to the more common herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley, other herbs like chervil, chives, dill, horseradish root, mint and tarragon are also in season in spring.
Herbs have powerful health benefits, too, because of their abundance of protective polyphenols. In real human speak, that means they're plant compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that have been shown to combat such diseases as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and more.
Polyphenols are anti-microbial, so they can help protect us from harmful bacteria as well. Go herbs!
SPRING RECIPES: FRESH HERBS
- Shakshuka (Eggs in Tomato Sauce) with Swiss Chard Pesto
- Green Detox Smoothie with Citrus + Herbs
- Crostini with Canned Sardines, Sherry Pickled Chiles + Herbs
- Healthy Turkish Breakfast Bowls with Herbed Yogurt
- Easy Shrimp Pasta with Arugula Pesto (Gluten Free)
- Chimichurri Steak Bowls with Roasted Potatoes
- Herby Yogurt Frittata from Rune Haus
- Herb Loaded Kale + Quinoa Salad from Monday Sunday Kitchen
- Whipped Parsnips with Fresh Herbs from Nyssa's Kitchen
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: ASPARAGUS
Asparagus is a classic veggie that never goes out of style. Although it creates a strong smell after being ingested (c'mon, you know the one I'm talking about!), there's still so much to love about asparagus. It has virtually no fat or calories, but is packed with nutrients.
Asparagus is loaded with Vitamin K (great for blood clotting and bone health), is a natural diuretic (supports detoxing), and nourishes our digestive tract (supporting good, healthy bacteria in our large intestines).
SPRING RECIPES: ASPARAGUS RECIPES
- One Pan Lemon Roasted Salmon, Potatoes and Parmesan Asparagus from Half Baked Harvest
- Spring Frittata with Asparagus, Leeks & Dill from Clean Cuisine
- Chicken Bacon Avocado Salad with Roasted Asparagus from Pinch of Yum
- Creamy Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta from Minimalist Baker
- Light Creamy Asparagus Soup from Recipe Runner
- Asparagus Ribbon Spring Salad from Healthy Feels
- Asparagus, Spinach and Walnut Risotto (Vegan + Gluten Free) from Vancouver with Love
- Low Carb Fried Asparagus with Spicy Mayo Dip from Savory Tooth
- Sheet Pan Cod with Asparagus + Cherry Tomatoes from Belly Full
- Healthy Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breast with Provolone from Wholesome Yum
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: ARTICHOKES
Is it just me, or do artichokes look like something from a foreign land? I mean, how on earth do you eat an artichoke anyway?! That's exactly what you'll find out in some of the recipes below. While canned artichoke hearts are a lifesaver, preparing and eating fresh artichokes is a delicious, worthwhile venture.
Did you know that artichokes rank number one among all vegetables in terms of antioxidant count? Artichokes are also rich in fiber (one medium artichoke has 25% of your recommended daily intake!) and also contain a unique form of fiber known as inulin, one of the most available prebiotics in the food supply. (source)
SPRING RECIPES: ARTICHOKES
- How to Cook Artichokes in an Instant Pot from Clean Eating Kitchen
- Italian Vegetarian Antipasto Sandwich from Killing Thyme
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip from Vegan Richa
- Creamy Tomato Artichoke Chicken (Whole 30) from 40 Aprons
- Mediterranean Salmon and Artichoke Skewers from Sunkissed Kitchen
- Artichoke and Cannellini Bean Hummus from Sandra's Easy Cooking
- Marinated Grilled Artichokes (Vegan) from Funny Love
- Artichoke Risotto with Gremolata from My Three Seasons
- Spring Cobb Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes + Radishes from Kiwi and Carrot
- Low-Carb Meat Stuffed Artichokes from My Life Cookbook
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: PEAS
What do the words garden, snap, and snow have in common? They're all varieties of peas, of course! If you've only ever had peas from a can or frozen, you're totally missing out on this humble yet sweet, crunchy, and nutritious legume!
Peas are packed with vitamins and minerals like antioxidants and flavonoids, particularly vitamin C, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese. These nutrients help lower cholesterol levels, build strong bones, and can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. (source)
SPRING RECIPES: PEAS
- Thai Green Curry Pea Soup from Cupful of Kale
- Potato and Egg Salad with Peas and Herbs from The Clever Meal
- Wasabi and Sweet Pea Hummus from Sincerely Tori
- Green Goddess Bowls with Pea Pesto from Healthy Little Vittles
- Baked Green Peas Fritters from Curry Trail
- Easy Roasted Salted Green Peas from Lemons & Basil
- Snap Peas with Pancetta and Parmesan from Never Not Hungry
- 15-Minute Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice from A Sassy Spoon
- Sesame Snow Pea Salad from Nutrition Stripped
- Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic Scapes + Basil from Tasty Seasons
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: FENNEL
If you like licorice, then you'll love fennel! It comes in many forms since the entire fennel plant is edible, including the bulb, seeds, stalk and leaves. You may find the bulb used to flavor soups, or chopped up in salads, stews, pasta dishes and more. The seeds are most commonly used in teas, spice blends, dry rubs for meat, and to make fennel essential oil.
Practitioners have been using fennel as a healing and health boosting plant for thousands of years across many different cultures. With its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-tumor and antispasmodic properties, it's no wonder! From treating simple issues like the common cold and cough, to more complicated conditions like cancer, arthritis, colic, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, liver pain and kidney issues, fennel really is an ancient wonder. (source)
SPRING RECIPES: FENNEL
- Vegan Bean Stew with Fennel from Lazy Cat Kitchen
- Fennel Apple Salad from Delightful Mom Food
- Easy Cucumber Fennel Juice (No Juicer Required!) from Sweet Simple Vegan
- Creamy Carrot, Sweet Potato + Fennel Soup from Ruby Josephine
- Savory Granola with Fennel + Chili from Quite Good Food
- Warm Radicchio, Brussels Sprouts + Fennel Salad with Tahini Granola from Floating Kitchen
- Purple Cauliflower Soup from Waves in the Kitchen
- Sheet Pan Roasted Fennel + White Beans with Parsley Oil from With Food + Love
- Vegan Cheesy Baked Potatoes with Fennel, Lime, Mint + Cucumber Salsa from George Eats
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: RHUBARB
Rhubarb is the first vegetable of spring in many areas, and while it's typically thought of as fruit because of its sweet, tart taste and tendency to be found in baked goods (rhubarb pie anyone?), it's actually a vegetable.
It's no surprise if you've ever had rhubarb that fiber is one of its health hallmarks. It's been shown to protect the intestinal wall, and has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for soothing stomach ailments and relieving constipation. Rhubarb also makes an effective poultice for relieving fevers and swelling, and potentially protects against osteoporosis due to its Vitamin K content. (source; source)
SPRING RECIPES: RHUBARB
- Shredded Brussels + Kale Salad with Rhubarb, Grilled Oranges + Citrus Tahini Dressing from Healthy Little Vittles
- Paleo Ginger Rhubarb + Vanilla Cream Bars (Vegan) from the Nourished Mind
- Easy Rhubarb Raspberry Compote from Abra's Kitchen
- Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Oat Bars from The Healthful Ideas
- Old Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Pink Lemonade from Flexitarian Nutrition
- Honey Roasted Rhubarb from The Pretend Baker
- Rhubarb Strawberry Smoothie from The Healthy Tart
- Rhubarb Cashew Ice Cream Cake from Eat Your Way Clean
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: FAVA BEANS
Though fava beans–also known as broad beans–take some time to prepare as you have to shuck, blanch, and shell them, it's well worth the effort.
Why? Fava beans are a lean protein choice with lots of fiber and some of the top high-folate foods around. Folate is useful for energy metabolism, support of the nervous system and healthy red blood cells, and crucial for moms-to-be. Some studies also show a decreased risk of heart disease, cancer, and depression in people who eat folate-rich foods. (source)
SPRING RECIPES: FAVA BEANS
- Herby Romaine Salad with Fava Beans + Radishes from Thyme & Toast
- Fava Bean Dip with Cumin from Where is My Spoon
- Fava Bean Shakshuka from The Cook & Him
- Fresh Fava Bean Salad + A Fava Spread (Vegan) from The Hungry Bites
- Peruvian Mushroom + Broad Bean Soup from The Taste SF
- Italian Riviera Fava Bean Pesto from A Small Kitchen in Genoa
- Roasted Swet Potato + Giant Corn Peruvian Salad from Beyond Mere Sustenance
- Broad Beans with Spring Onion Pesto from Taste Is Yours
- Broad Beans Falafel with Tahini Sauce from Quite Good Food
- Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Broad Beans from the Chick Who Eats
SEASONAL SPRING FOOD: RADISHES
Peppery and crunchy, radishes come in nearly all colors of the rainbow: red, black, pink, dark grey, purple, yellow, two-tone green and white. While often overlooked at the supermarket, radishes add delightful flavor whether raw or cooked, and have a myriad of health benefits.
Radishes are a good source of vitamin C, which may help fight disease and rescue healthy cells from harmful free radicals. (source) Did you know vitamin C is essential in collagen production? Radishes are also a natural remedy for jaundice as it detoxifies the blood of toxins and waste. (source)
SPRING RECIPES: RADISHES
- Vegan Radish Soup from The Little Plantation
- Pan Seared Radish with Sweet Peas + Red Rice from Tales of a Kitchen
- Low Carb + Keto Loaded Radishes (a.k.a. ‘Potatoes') from Gnom Gnom
- Silky Mushroom Congee with Roasted Radishes from My Goodness Kitchen
- Spiralized Radish + Arugula Salad with Quinoa, Hemp Seeds + Pepitas from from Eating By Elaine
- Grilled Flank Steak with Radish Chimichurri from The Original Dish
- Spring Time Paleo Radish Tart from Rezel Kealoha
- Braised Green Daikon Radish with Orange Juice from Food Fidelty
- Roasted Watermelon Radishes from Peel with Zeal
- Raw Creamy Watermelon Radish Pizza from My Organic Diary
What are some of your favorite ways to prepare these spring foods? Let us know in the comments below!