BOISE, Idaho — Trying to eat a well-balanced diet sometimes means finding yourself in a rut while making sure you're getting your daily amount of fruits and vegetables. So what are ways you can spruce up your spring and summer menu and meet your nutritional needs?
First, look at what's in-season. Right now, asparagus is a great choice to add to your meal, and in the next few weeks, you can expect to see local cherries, berries, lettuce, potatoes and onions on store shelves.
"I'm always trying to eat in-season. It can be more nutrient dense, it's traveled less, and it's supporting our local agriculture," explains Molly Tevis, Regional Dietitian for Albertsons.
Next, once you've figured out which veggies to add to the shopping list, it's down to figuring out how to prepare them. Tevis says one of her favorites to remix is asparagus by making asparagus "fries" or chopping up raw asparagus and mixing it into eggs. It can even be used to replace a popular dinner staple.
"I actually like to shave the asparagus with a vegetable peeler, and it turns it into noodles," says Tevis. "You can use it in place of noodles or you can even just throw it in and mix with your regular veggies for a fun salad."
Also in-season right now: rhubarb. Typically, only the red stalk is eaten and not the leaves, providing you with fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. Rhubarb is also good to pair with other locally-sourced ingredients.
"It [rhubarb] can be quite sour so we usually see it paired with strawberries or berries or something like that to help balance it out. My favorite kind of go-to to use rhubarb is to make some crumbles or some whole wheat muffins," says Tevis.