Preparing Tasty Spring Leafy Vegetables
As avid food enthusiasts, we always know when Spring has arrived by trading in our hearty winter pies and veggie-packed stews for leafy greens and pasta dishes. Moving away from our cozy knitted socks and hoodies is also a surefire sign, but that's a story for another day.
At present, our focus is on indulging in seasonal foods and reintroducing fresh, leafy ingredients into our diets and onto our plates. As the name suggests, spring greens are currently at their peak, both in terms of nutrition and flavor. These delicate vegetables are in season from April-June, making it the perfect time to incorporate them into your springtime cookbook.
First, let's delve into some interesting veggie-related facts and then inspire you with some veggie-filled and vegan recipes that are bursting at the seams with the humble spring greens.
What exactly are spring greens?In short, "spring greens" are the first cabbages of the year. While the term can denote a range of green veggies and salad items, it refers specifically to one vegetable that stands out from the rest. In comparison to the darker collard greens that we associate with winter recipes, they are somewhat similar to cos-lettuce in shape, albeit looser in form. In addition, they do not have the hard centers that other cabbages possess. Their taste is a bit sweeter, which is why they make the perfect addition to spring or summer recipes and offer a delicate finishing touch to your dishes.
Nutritional Value of Spring GreensBeing part of the brassica family, spring greens are rich in the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Vitamin K helps to promote normal bone health while vitamin C supports the immune system. In fact, some research suggests that plant-derived natural compounds, such as those found in spring greens, may contain anti-inflammatory properties that help safeguard against heart disease and strokes. As you can see, spring greens can play a vital role in constructing a colorful, delectable, and well-balanced plate this spring. Oh, and did you know that 4 heaped tablespoons, or 80g, of spring greens accounts for one of your five a day, too? It's true!
How to Prepare Spring Greens
1. Storage TipsThe moment you bring your greens home, pop them directly in the fridge and aim to eat them within a few days. Although they can last for up to a week, they are most fresh and flavorful during those first few days. To keep your vegetables fresh for longer, put them in an airtight container if you only use a small amount.
2. Preparation TipsWhile some spring greens come prepped and chopped, others do not. If yours require some work, you can easily remove the leaves from the center and rinse them thoroughly before chopping, slicing, or leaving them whole, depending on your recipe.
3. Cooking TipsSpring greens are very versatile when it comes to cooking. Many prefer to sweat them down with butter in a pan for an extra dose of flavor. However, they can also be steamed, sautéed, or thrown in with a stir-fry in a frying pan. Whichever method you choose, a sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper, or a squeeze of lemon can really enhance their taste.
If all this sautéing and steaming has left you feeling peckish, then you're in luck because the next bit is sure to satiate your appetite.
Vegan and Vegetarian Lunchtime Recipes
1. Soba Linguine With Tofu & Spring GreensLight, fresh, and super quick to make, what more could you want? Add this recipe featuring a Cauldron Organic Tofu Block to your vegan cookbook and step into Spring the right way!
Looking for some delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes to satisfy your taste buds? Look no further than Cauldron's spring green-inspired dishes! Below, we've listed four tantalizing recipes that are perfect for dinner, lunch, or even a hearty snack.
First up, we have a mouth-watering Soba Linguine with Tofu and Spring Greens dish that's sure to be a hit at any meal. Loaded with crunchy green beans, succulent marinated tofu chunks, and a drizzle of sweet maple syrup, this recipe is simply irresistible.
Next, try our Vegan Sticky Sesame Tofu with Spring Greens dish that's as simple as chop, stir, fry, and serve! With the perfect balance of saltiness from Tamari and a hint of sweetness from maple syrup, this savoury, sticky tofu dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
For a satisfying lunchtime option, check out Cauldron's Tofu, Squash and Spring Greens Loaf with Roasted Carrot Chutney. Made with creamy Cauldron organic tofu block, fresh greens, and crunchy seeds, this recipe takes the classic lunchtime loaf to the next level.
Last but not least, warm up your spring evenings with a bowl of Cauldron Vegetarian Cumberland Sausages on a bed of creamy mash and layers of spring greens, cabbage, and onions. This veggie twist on a traditional Irish dish is the ultimate comfort food and is sure to provide a big, warm hug in a bowl.
At Cauldron, we love seeing the spring green-inspired dishes you cook up in your own kitchen. Share your creations with us on Instagram, and we'll reshare our favourite recipes to our story!
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