Look for these seasonal fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and in produce departments for the best flavour (and greatest value) when they're in season. Guide to fruits and vegetables for the end of May.
At the end of May, all food markets, fairs and even supermarket shelves in Odessa begin to fill up with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Everyone is waiting for fresh strawberries, juicy apricots, tender peaches and green peas with asparagus with a characteristic aroma. So The Odessa Journal will tell what to buy at markets at the end of May and which fruits and vegetables will bring maximum benefit at this time.
What are the benefits of seasonal fruits and vegetables? Seasonal vegetables and fruits grow, as a rule, not in greenhouses, but in natural soil under the sun, without artificial lighting, so they have a maximum of vitamins and microelements.
- The less a product is in stock, the lower its price
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables that are not stored for long have the best taste
- They contain a minimum of preservatives, they are safer
The most delicious spring radish is thin-skinned, not bitter, juicy. Radish is rich in vitamins C and B, and also contains iron, potassium, fiber, phytoncides. Its consumtion is useful as prevention of colds, strengthening of the body, normalization of bowel function and cholesterol levels.
You can eat it just like that, you can make a light soup from radish with gorgonzola, or you can make a simple snack by lightly pickling thin radish slices in a mixture of freshly squeezed orange and pomegranate juices. In hot weather - a refreshing and light salad, bright and cheerful.
What is nice, today asparagus can be found not only in the menus of the restaurants abroad. It is successfully grown in Ukraine, and demand and supply are increasing every year. The seasonal product is green or green asparagus with a purple tint.
Fresh asparagus - a source of vitamins B, C, E, A, PP, as well as zinc, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron. It is also rich in asparagine, which is important for blood vessels, lowers blood pressure.
Young or Baby Potato
The season of young potatoes has started - this dish traditionally is on the dinner tables in late spring and early summer. Young potatoes are distinguished by a thinnest peel that can be peeled even by hand, a high concentration of nutrients, low calorie content and a relatively small amount of starch, which makes it an excellent product for diabetics and children.
Young potatoes are boiled completely in salted water for 15-20 minutes and served with butter or sour cream and fresh dill. Potatoes can be fried, baked, cooked vegetable stew.
It is not necessary to peel young potatoes before cooking. However, this can be done easily and quickly: pour a large amount of salt into a plastic bag, put the washed potatoes. Rub well and then rinse the tubers under running water. Another way is to immerse the potatoes in very hot water and then in very cold water, and the skin will go away.
There are two types of young green peas: capsicum and shelled.
Capsicum peas are called "sugar" or "everything is edible". Indeed, the pods are so delicate that you do not need to remove even the "thread" that connects the halves of the pod. They can be cooked in no time and readily goes into any dish.
Shelled young green peas is sweet and tender, quick to cook, and incredibly versatile, fresh peas are the ultimate springtime treat. For best flavour, choose small peas, which are younger, sweeter, and more tender than large ones, and make sure they’re as fresh as possible. Once picked, peas’ high sugar content changes, causing them to lose much of their sweetness and become starchy and dull. You know peas are fresh when their pods are firm and green, so avoid any that are yellowing or wilting. Boil young peas well, stew, steam, fry - they are good in any form! The main thing is not too much heat treatment so that it remains bright and elastic.
Due to its high yield, cream tomato, the varieties of which are very diverse and it is very popular. Plum tomatoes are elongated and really resemble large plums. It also has thicker skins and sweeter flesh than regular tomatoes. This sweet tomatoes can also be used for soups, salads, sauces, and other tomato dishes. It’s good for cooking and canning because its water content is relatively low, and it yields lots of thick sauce. Plum tomatoes are also delicious slow-roasted. Also plum tomatoes are known as the best tomatoes for making sauce for paste.
They are not very high in calories and can be included in even the strictest diet. Cream tomato contains a lot of sugar and B vitamins, which help to relax the nervous system, improve mood and fight apathy. Also in the tomato there are vitamins H and PP, fiber and anthocyanins - all of them are needed to effectively cleanse the body of toxins and heavy metals. Tomato also contains a lot of potassium and magnesium, which are necessary for the health of the cardiovascular system and heart.
May is the season of white cabbage, this vegetable is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, especially in young cabbage. It would seem that everything is simple - well, who is not familiar with cabbage? But, a young vegetable has a different taste and texture.
Young cabbage contains almost all groups of vitamins and minerals. It is simply impossible to overestimate its benefits on the human body! The most interesting difference between cabbage and other vegetables is the concentration of vitamin C and the ability to store it for more than six months. Cabbage contains even more vitamin C than citrus! Young cabbage almost does not contain starch and sucrose, so properly prepared dishes from young cabbage will please even diabetics.
Look for brightly colored young cabbage. The green heads of cabbage are especially good, almost like the peel of a lime. It's tender and crunchy and is very good in salads and green soups.
The flesh of young zucchini is tender and juicy, of varying density. The colour is white, yellowish or cream. The zucchini taste is not very pronounced, it can be more or less sweet depending on the variety. Zucchini is rich in several vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds.
For Ukraine the white Zucchini (Iskander or Hero variety) is more popular. One of the simplest methods of cooking these veggies is a quick saute or baking. But they can also be fried, marinated, shaved raw into a carpaccio or diced into a salsa. And there’s no need to peel this vegetable, either, because the skin is as delicious as it is nutritious. Just try not to overcook it. Otherwise, it can get soggy and lose its texture because it’s high in moisture content.
Raw zucchini offers a similar nutrition profile as cooked zucchini, but with less vitamin A and more vitamin C, a nutrient which tends to be reduced by cooking. It may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Adding zucchini to your diet may aid your vision.
In May it's started the season of green onions, parsley, sorrel, dill, spinach and any other fresh herbs are healthier than ever.
To be continued in June...