Warm sun, clear blue skies, flowers blooming… It must be spring! Nothing makes me happier than the feeling of a renewed, fresh start, including all the plant foods we get to enjoy during this time. Your next trip the farmers market—with reusable bags in tow—will be even better with the plethora of in-season fruits and vegetables available, just waiting to be made into delicious healthy and hydrating meals! See below for some of my faves and a few recipe ideas to make with them!
Artichokes – The #1 highest antioxidant level of all veggies! Which means this funny little thistle is power for your immune system, loaded in calcium, iron and zinc.
Arugula – The high vitamin A content improves the condition of bones, teeth, eyes and teeth. All things we really like right? It also protects the skin and metabolism.
Asparagus – Serves as a natural diuretic, which aids in releasing fluids and rid the body of excess salts. Its anti-aging properties help the brain fight cognitive decline.
Broccoli – Vitamin C Sulphur and amino acids make this veg a super detoxifier. It can even reverse the negative effects of sun exposure on your skin with its folates.
Cabbage – Your best friend for digestion! Rich in fiber, it helps move water through the bowels, and gets rid of that belly bloat. Plus, it banishes free radicals away.
Cilantro – The ultimate detoxifier for heavy metals and toxins in the body. It’s anti septic, anti fungal, builds the blood, rebuilds cell membranes and bone health.
Fava Beans – Super nutrient dense: rich in protein, copper, B1, magnesium, potassium and the amino acid dopamine. This improves your mood and fights depression!
Sugar Snap Peas – Rich in fiber and protein, these babies keep you fit and lean with long term snacking. They also aid with fatigue and give you a natural boost!
Spinach – Delicious raw or cooked, spinach aids in the growth of bodily tissues. The collagen gives you lustrous locks, vibrant skin and strong nails! Yes, please!
Zucchini – So low in calories, but so filling and nutrient dense, it is the perfect veg for weight loss. If you haven’t make zoodles apart of your weekly meal plan, start now!
Apricots – Fight inflammation, are full of phytonutrients and enzymes, support a healthy digestive system and combat eye damage from blue light exposure.
Avocados – They look great on toast, have more potassium then bananas, give us the healthy fats we need to thrive and make for an amazing face mask!
Blueberries – This superfood is packed with antioxidants and prevents signs of aging like wrinkles, age spots and hair loss. Less Botox, more blueberries!
Cherimoya – Super high in vitamin C, you can eat these with a spoon, and be thrilled to know they fight anxiety, tension and irritability!
Grapefruit – Thick slices in a mason jar will create a perfect visual for the ‘gram, but its also ultra alkalizing, subtly sweet and tart, and helps you feel full fast!
Kiwi – The skin and seeds are edible and chock full of Vitamin, C, K, E, folate and potassium. Chop them into salads, toss into smoothies or just grab ‘n’ go on the run!
Lemons – The most perfect natural medicine ever! I love hot water with lemon before bed, and squeeze slices into my water (with no ice or straw), when I’m out.
Pineapple – It instantly gives you tropical vibes, tastes like heaven, can help cure coughs and colds, and improves circulation. Plus, it boosts our while blood cells!
Strawberries – They’ve been called nature’s perfect food, for good reason. They’re the perfect substitute for a sweet tooth craving, so ditch the white sugar and have berries!
Tomatoes – Tomato lycopene is an antioxidant warrior! They lower cholesterol and support cardiovascular health. Slice and drizzle balsamic on them, you’ll thank me.
Now that we’ve stocked up on fresh, organic produce, let’s start prepping some refreshing and tasty dishes! Remember, the more raw, living nutrients you get in, the more hydrated you are and the better your internal organs function. Plus, hydration via living nutrients stimulates your cells to multiply, which makes hair grow, skin glow and muscles tone. Eating green never sounded so sexy!
Gangsta Detox Juice
My signature juice is seriously one of the best-tasting creations I’ve ever concocted (and makes you feel like a serious badass). This energizing and ultra hydrating blend gets you invigorated and ready to take on the world! Every single client or friend that has had this instantly becomes hooked.
What You Need
1 full bushel organic cilantro
1 organic cucumber
1 organic lemon with skin (remove seeds unless you have a high power blender like a Vitamix)
Handful frozen organic pineapple bits
6 large organic lacinto kale leaves
What You Do
Add ice (if desired) and fill your blender halfway with water. Blend until produce is smooth. Do not strain, keep the pulp, the fiber is what fills you up and is full of super nutrients! Once poured into your glass mason jar, gulp down or sip throughout day. Add water if you want it less concentrated. Enjoy!
Springs Bounty Raw Super Salad
My favorite salad contains 3 types of greens plus veggies and fruit! I love adding citrus and sweet fruits to densely green salads, it adds a lightness and freshness, and is surprisingly complimentary to the savory veggies. Let’s get prepping this organic medley!
What You Need
2 cups arugula, 2 cups spinach, 2 cups chopped cabbage, tossed together in a large salad bow
1 large broccoli head, stalk finely chopped, florets loosely chopped
6-8 stalks of asparagus, toss base and chop rest into half inches
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped up as desired, with skin
Juice one lemon, pour over greens
1 avocado, chopped into large cubes
6 strawberries, finely chopped into little squares
Half cup blueberries.
What You Do
This is almost the entire grocery list from above! Depending on your hunger level (and if you want to share) this can serve 2 people. After a grueling hot yoga class, I like to devour this bowl all to myself! I like to sprinkle a little Himalayan sea salt onto my avocados for more flavor and add some pumpkin seeds into the salad for even more plant protein (the best kind). Once you have all the ingredients ready, just start layering! I like to get really creative and “dress up” my salad, meaning I arrange all the toppings to be visually pleasing, and start outward in. The eyes feast just as much as our taste buds, and the more colorful and pretty your bowl is, the better it is received into your body. Get your bounty on and take this spring season head on!
Monica Victoria is a plant based nutritionist, vegan chef, wellness educator, devout yogi and fitness enthusiast. Her focus is guiding people into a state of alkalinity, via living foods and a lifestyle overhaul. With an emphasis on disease prevention via plant foods and cardiovascular health, Monica guides her clients to live an empowered life.