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Farmers Market: Spring EditionFarmers Market: Spring Edition

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Farmers Market: Spring Edition

Apricots

Despite their small size, fresh apricots are loaded with plant nutrients that act as antioxidants and protect cells against the damage that causes disease. Apricots also supply vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Eat them fresh for a healthy snack that will satisfy a sweet tooth. They can also be chopped for salsas and sliced to top salads and sandwiches.

Eggs

Spring provides free-range hens with the greens they love. As the antioxidants rise in their diet, the egg yolk turns a deeper shade of yellow and the flavor is enhanced. Pick up fresh eggs at your local farmers market and taste the difference.

Whether you eat the whole egg or only the white, each part supplies valuable nutrients. Egg whites contain high quality protein and B vitamins. The yolk contains the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Eggs pair well with spring vegetables in quiche and omelets. Slice hard boiled eggs, and use them as a topping to give salads a boost of protein.

Fava Beans

One cup of boiled fava beans provides 12.9 grams of protein and 9.2 grams of fiber. Like other legumes, fava beans are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron and potassium.Try substituting fava beans for chickpeas in homemade hummus or use them as a salad topping. Mashed, seasoned fava beans make a delicious side dish.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a source for vitamin C and calcium. Resist the temptation to load it with sugar to tame the tartness. Instead, cook down rhubarb with strawberries or raspberries and stir the fruits in yogurt and oatmeal. Diced rhubarb can also be added to salsa and to savory stuffings for chicken breasts and fish.

Shallots

Shallots are packed with disease fighting flavonoids. They also supply potassium, vitamin A and folate. Shallots can be used in many of the same ways you use onions and garlic, and their milder flavor makes them ideal for use in raw preparations. Stir diced shallots into pasta and potato salad, slice rings to top flatbreads and sandwiches, or blend shallots into marinades and salad dressings.

Sweet Cherries

The antioxidants in sweet cherries have been found to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and protect against chronic disease. Cherries also provide B vitamins and potassium. Add cherries to your fruit salad, sprinkle them over cereal and yogurt, and blend them into smoothies.

Thyme

Thyme is a hearty herb and one of first to grow back in the spring. Its leaves contain disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamin C and iron. Use fresh thyme in marinades for meats and vegetables, and blend it into salad dressings. Thyme is also delicious when used to flavor soups and when tossed with roasted spring vegetables.

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