5 Must-Try Spring Veggies for the Family

Gina Ruskie, RD, Nutrition & Health Manager, Unilever

Moms know that veggies are important for the whole family and nutrition experts agree – veggies have vitamins and minerals, fiber, they are low in calories and can be convenient, delicious and even fun to eat! Chaitali Savjani MS, Nutrition and Health Manager at Unilever, says that spring is the perfect time of year to toss together a cornucopia of seasonal veggies. And, she notes, farmer’s markets and grocery stores are stocking their produce sections with spring veggie selections that you may not have tried in the past. Chaitali assures us that it can be easy to add new veggies to your dinner plate. Here are her five spring veggie picks that you may not have considered, with simple and delicious ways for the family to enjoy them:

Artichokes

Choose a plump, heavy artichoke from your local market for a veggie that is low calorie and a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate and magnesium. Because of the artichoke’s unique shape, Chaitali says that families will love this fun-to-eat food. Despite their appearance, artichokes can be simple to prepare. Chaitali suggests using the microwave for a quick and easy dish. Place whole artichoke (with top 1/3 and stem removed) in microwave steam bag. Heat on high for about 5 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with low fat cheese and spices, and serve!

Asparagus

Families will love eating spears of asparagus with their fingers and Moms will love the nutrition they provide. Chaitali agrees because they are a good source of vitamin C, high in folate and a good source of vitamin A. 

Butter Lettuce

With its sweet, almost buttery taste, butter lettuce can be washed and tossed into a salad with sliced apples, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and a light Balsamic dressing. Chaitali notes that families will appreciate it’s delicious taste and Moms will love that it’s an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C and folate.

Collard Greens

“This big, dark green, leafy veggie can be surprisingly easy-to-prepare and good for you too,” comments Chaitali. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin K and manganese, and a good source of vitamin E. Wash, chop and steam them for about five minutes and sprinkle with spice and top with a poached egg for a tasty meal made in just minutes!

Swiss Chard

“With its rainbow of colors – red, pink, orange and yellow – winding through the deep green leaves, Swiss chard is an exciting veggie to prepare for the family,” says Chaitali. Swiss chard is a good source of magnesium and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. To up the flavor, sauté it with minced garlic and onions, a splash of lemon juice and sprinkled with light Parmesan cheese. And, to save on saturated fat, Chaitali recommends sautéing with Country Crock® instead of butter.*


* Country Crock® Regular and Churn Style have 60 calories, 7g fat, 2g saturated fat and 0g of trans fat per serving. One serving (1Tbsp.) of butter contains 100 calories, 11g total fat, 7g saturated fat. (www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp)




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