Spring into Season: Reach your weight loss goals with these recipes

Spring has certainly sprung, and with it, an abundance of fruits and veggies come into season.

Not only will in-season produce be a little easier on the wallet than other produce- but the nutrients are also at their prime. This means all in-season produce will have their maximum benefit, so if losing weight is your goal, here is a great way to start.

Most of us know that to lose weight, eating well is a key factor. However, even when we know this the allure of a cheeseburger and fries can still hit you from time to time. The truth is, just as some of us need a personal trainer to help motivate us physically, some of us need a little motivation nutritionally.  Thats why its important to find a program, like Smart Workouts Weight Management program, that will combine all aspects of your health. These types of programs that combine an individualized exercise program, nutritional education, and healthy eating counseling are the ones that we have found to be the most successful in helping people reach their weight loss goals.

Eating more fruits and vegetables can be a key component to weight loss, but sometimes incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet, whether in season or not, can be tricky. Your goal should be to find recipes that are not only easy- but taste great as well.  There is also a bonus: in season produce will also taste the very best during their season.

Here is a short list of healthy fruits and vegetables in season now:

Asparagus

Avocado

Peas

Carrots

Rhubarb

Strawberries

Two of my favorite recipes (from eating well.com) using two in-season items are below.  Not only are they healthy, they are easy and taste great too!

Happy Spring Eating!

-written by Sandra Partyka, C.H.C.


Strawberries: Not only will one cup of strawberries provide 3 grams of fiber and keep you fuller longer, it also packed a full day’s dose of vitamin C.

Strawberry Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick slices whole-wheat bread
  • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups sliced or diced hulled strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone, (Italian cream cheese)

Directions:

  1. Toast bread in a toaster.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the mixture begins to bubble, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add strawberries and stir until juices begin to exude and the berries are heated through, 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone on each piece of toast. Top with the warm berries.

Asparagus: Asparagus contains many anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which can help alleviate certain chronic issues in the body, and can reduce risk associated with chronic diseases like Diabetes and Heart Disease. A cup of asparagus will also provide 3 grams of fiber, and a powerful punch of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. It is also a great source of folic acid, which is critical for heart health.

Penne with Asparagus and Lemon-Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
  • 2 bunches scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 12 ounces penne
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and browned in places, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk ricotta and lemon zest in a large bowl. Cook penne until just tender, about 10 minutes. Measure out 1/4 cup of the pasta-cooking water; stir into ricotta mixture until creamy. Drain the penne and mix into the ricotta mixture; toss to coat. Add the vegetables and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, garnished with basil.

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