20 Apr 3 Funky Spring Vegetables and What to Do With Them
As winters sparse root vegetables begin to trickle away, the new abundance of vibrant spring vegetables leaves the change nearly unnoticed. The fields and the trees stretch, brushing off any last snow, and the earth begins to come alive with buds and sprouts! Not only is nature waking up, but so are our bodies, you may notice that you no longer crave that warm hearty root vegetable stew and are beginning to yearn for something less heavy. The salad trend is starting back up and people are once again looking to juicy fruits for a sweet snack. Spring is officially upon us!
There is a lot to be excited about at New Dawn Farm, the greenhouses are warming up with the energy of life as little green sprouts pop up through the fresh soil. While the usual suspects are there – radishes, spinach, and beets – you will also find some unexpected vegetables, such as garlic scapes, kohlrabi, and micro-greens. Though these vegetables are less common, don’t feel intimidated! We can help you familiarize yourself with these veggies and suggest some yummy ways to cook these greens up!
- Garlic Scapes
Garlic scapes are the flowering stem of the garlic plant, they are cut off to allow the bulb to grow larger. The scapes contain a flavor blend of mild garlic and sweet onion, making them similar to scallions. Scapes are an excellent source of vitamin B6, meaning that they can help produce red blood cells and neurons in the brain and nervous system, strengthen the immune system and lower cholesterol. Using these versatile stems is as easy as using scallions, garlic or onions. They can add flavor to any dish or sauce, try making these unique Garlic Scape Biscuits or this simple Scape Cream Cheese.
Kohlrabi is a distant relative of the cabbage but with more of resemblance and taste of the broccoli stem. Most of these onion shaped vegetables taste sweet but there are a few that have a bit of a bite to them… either way, they play very nicely with salads and in stir-frys. Kohlrabi is high in vitamin C and is a great source of potassium and fiber, making them excellent for strengthening the immune system and aiding in brain function as well as in digestion. Try mixing these nutrient packed veggies into a slaw or into a feisty bowl of kohlrabi curry!
Microgreens are a trending addition to many salads and sandwiches, they vary in plant and therefore nutrients but are universally harvested after the first set of true leaves sprout. At this stage most leafy plants are packed with nutrient from the soil because they are gearing up to grow exponentially, so theoretically you are getting more “bang for your buck”. Microgreens can be an exciting addition to many meals as they often have a strong flavor and slight crunch. They are typically mixed within a salad or added atop a pizza or fried egg. Try mixing things up with this Chickpea Blini.
Post written by Kayleigh Hill, Keene State Dietetic Intern