Hello, May! The earth is thawing, daffodils are blooming, and bare branches are turning green. Here in the Rocky Mountains, spring is unparalleled. Like other temperate climates, we welcome it with open arms. With sunnier days and warmer temps here to stay, our local park beckons. It’s full of color and vitality, a celebration of nature’s unfolding. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to transition into spring eating. As new fruits and veggies fill the produce aisle, we can take advantage of diversifying our plates and supporting local farmers. Today, we’re diving into produce in season—May version. Consider this your May 2022 produce guide: a cheat sheet for what’s in season this month.
HOW TO EAT IN MAY, ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
Ayurveda advises local, seasonal eating—acquiring and consuming foods that are picked or harvested during a particular time of year. From an evolutionary standpoint, this was the way our ancestors ate. Since then, accessibility has come a long way. We’re blessed to have access to a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, year-round. It allows us to eat diversely and healthfully (despite the change in seasons). That said, it’s beneficial to eat seasonally and locally—for your health, your community’s economy, and the planet at large.
EATING LIGHTER IN THE SPRING
As you focus on eating produce in season, this May, it’s an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen.
1. Go heavy with herbs! Dill, cilantro, parsley, chives, etc. are wonderful additions to salads, marinades, dips, sauces, and entrees. They’re packed with flavor and antioxidants.
2. Add tang and freshness with lemon zest.
3. When choosing grains, opt for lighter grains, like like millet, quinoa, and basmati rice.
4. Get creative with spices—black pepper, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, and mustard seeds.
5. Try new greens. Your plate should represent spring’s bright green landscape.
6. Roast your veggies—even radishes! Roasting them neutralizes their sharp bite. Just add olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
May 2022 Produce guide
May is all about late-spring fare. Take what’s in season in April, and add the following: apricots, cherries, mangoes, okra, pineapples, strawberries, Swiss chard, and zucchini. Get ready for berry pies, crumbles, and cobblers. In the spirit of keeping up with spring’s most delicious produce, below are the ingredients to focus on in May.
The U.S. grows about 90 percent of apricots, worldwide! And most of the apricot production and storage happens in California. This fruit is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and fiber. Knowing when to pick and eat an apricot makes all the difference — apricots should be a yellow-orange color and feel slightly soft. You can create your own apricot jam, eat them as a blood sugar-balancing snack with raw nuts, or chop them and add them to a bowl of Greek yogurt with chia seeds.
Look for artichokes that feel heavy when you pick them up, and whose petals (leaves) haven’t opened wide. New to artichokes? Check out this guide on how to cook and eat them.
Although we’re weaning out of peak asparagus season, take advantage of this bright green vegetable. Roast, grill, steam, or boil them. They’re great with any protein, leftover in a salad, or even on a pizza.
Cherry season starts in May, although depending on where you live you might not see a lot of fresh cherries until June. Here in Colorado, we don’t tend to see them at the farmers market until the middle of summer. When shopping for cherries, look for bright green stems, which are signs of freshness. You want cherries that are firm, plump, and dense, with shiny skins and saturated color. Avoid bruised or wrinkled cherries. My favorite cherries are these!
The most commonly consumed fruit (world-wide), mangos are high in vitamin A and C. There are many, many different varieties, but mangoes are best when they have a sweet aroma and feel slightly soft, yet firm to touch. Mangoes are delicious in smoothies, salads, salsa, and alongside a protein-forward breakfast.
Of all the spring produce, okra tends to fly under the radar. An underrated vegetable, okra is delicious! Okra is a staple in the South, but some regions of the U.S. are largely unaware of it. Okra is super versatile—you can boil it, fry it, pickle it, and grill okra.
Although widely available year-round, peak pineapple season lasts from March until July. This is when you’ll find the sweetest, juiciest pineapple. A ripe pineapple should have a firm shell but be slightly soft with a bit of give when you squeeze it. To limit the impact on blood sugar levels, pair pineapple with protein or healthy fats to minimize a potential blood sugar spike.
Tender enough to eat raw and hearty enough to stand up to a sauté, Swiss chard is a super versatile green. It’s one of the first spring greens ready for harvest, making it one of May’s best farmers markets finds. Chard can be steamed or sautéed, and it’s great in soups, stews, frittatas, and more. Chard always has green leaves, but the stalks can be a variety of colors.
Summer is the perfect time to savor just-harvested zucchini, but you may see zucchini at the farmers market now. Its peak season is June through August. Look for zucchini that are small to medium-sized. They should be firm to the touch. Really fresh zucchini will bristle with tiny hairs! Keep zucchini tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. This is my go-to zucchini bread recipe.
Check out my guide on how to store fresh produce so it lasts longer!
The 7 Best seasonal eating cookbooks
Armed with everything you need to know about produce in season, this May, these are the best seasonal eating cookbooks. Happy spring cooking!
the Lost Kitchen
Six Seasons: a new way with vegetables
Molly on the range
Love & Lemons every daY
Images courtesy of Unsplash.
This article contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Wellness with Edie! This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.
Leave a Reply