7 Recipes to Help You Reap the Nutritional Benefits of Spring

We're manifesting warm weather in the kitchen.

The Spring Equinox may be just around the corner, but these endless, frigid days make it difficult to imagine that shedding winter coats could be anywhere in sight. Just the idea of switching from warm meals to cold smoothies and salads seems downright unappetizing. But before we know it, spring will creep up on us. We’ll swap jackets for cardigans, take the table outside for brunch, and start re-incoproating sunscreen into our skincare routine.

Instead of waiting around for spring to make its grand appearance, perhaps we can begin coaxing it along in the best way possible—eating. Yep, we’re talking about swapping out those winter vegetables for spring’s own variety of vibrant, flavorful produce. These next few months boast delicious ingredients to start experimenting with, including artichokes, watercress, apricot, fennel and vidalia onions.

So don a pair of shorts and flip flops while you whip up one of these spring-inspired meals in protest of the lingering winter weather:

Chicken Piccata with Artichokes

The artichokes in this dish are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants and tons of fiber. Try braving the tundra and firing up your grill to enjoy your chicken on the smoky side.

Baked Vegan Onion Rings

We love any excuse to eat a big plate of onion rings, but with this recipe, you don’t even need one. This baked edition of your favorite fried food is devoid of all guilt.

Beet, Orange, Watercress and Walnut Salad 

Watercress might not normally be a kitchen staple, but this green is definitely worth a second look. The leafy green is packed with vitamins and minerals that boost heart health, strengthen bones, and lower risk of cancer. So serve this up for a hearty dinner salad, or make a big batch for your weekday meal prep.

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Mustard Greens, Leeks, White Beans, and Cilantro Tahini

Mustard greens are another veggie that seem reserved for overpriced farm shares and the perfectly stacked shelves of Whole Foods. But next time you’re strolling through the produce section at your local grocery store, try swapping your usual pick of spinach or kale for this green instead. Combined with the hearty tastes of sweet potatoes and beans, this recipe makes for an easy dinner with a major fill factor.

Apple and Celeriac Soup

If you’re not quite ready to part ways with winter comfort food, this dish is for you. Celeriac—an unusual root that slightly resembles the mandrakes from Harry Potter—contains a nice amount of protein for a satisfying bowl of soup that introduces the flavors of spring into your meal rotation.

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan and Chives

Parmesan and fennel are a match made in spring heaven. The veggie contains vitamin B-6, an excellent metabolism-booster to get you ready for bathing-suit weather.

Asparagus, Tomato, and Fennel with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Asparagus can be difficult to cook to perfection. It tends to move between two extremes—droopy and sad, or too stalky to choke down. But this recipe finds a happy medium, while incorporating all the ingredients that make up a well-textured, inventive salad.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

20 Science-Backed Ways to Clean Up Your Diet

6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Fridge

12 Infused Waters That Make Hydrating Less of a Chore