Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD
Your guide to eating seasonal vegetables this spring
Updated: Apr 27, 2021
When it comes to summer eating, grilling outside and crunching on crisp salads, corn on the cob, and juicy sweet fruits come to mind. However, during the spring, the weather can still have its cold moments where eating outside may not always be the most ideal option. Therefore, if you want to learn about how to enjoy the spring harvest with the taste of grilled summer vegetables, then read below to your go-to guide to enjoying the tastiest spring season yet!
What are seasonal vegetables?
Seasonal vegetables are those that you purchase and consume around the time of their harvest. Typically, when vegetables are in season, they are more plentiful and in turn are lower in cost than during off-season months. Not only that, but seasonal vegetables will usually be at the peak of their flavor during harvest. Therefore, it's best to choose vegetables during their season of harvest to enjoy the best tasting produce for a budget-friendly price.
Spring Vegetables in Harvest
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the following vegetables are in season for the spring.
Roasting Vegetables in the Spring
In order to enjoy the taste of summer in the spring, I recommend roasting vegetables to bring out their natural flavors and provide a slightly charred crispy texture. The amount of time it will take to roast vegetables will differ depending on the vegetable. You can roast just about any vegetables, but the spring vegetables most ideal for roasting include:
Garlic (for seasoning vegetables)
Herbs (for seasoning vegetables)
Use the following spring vegetables But read below for guidelines on roasting spring vegetables.
How Should I Season Vegetables Before Roasting Them?
When it comes to seasoning vegetables, I like to keep it simple with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Cooking experts recommend choosing an oil, an aromatic such as onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, or ginger, as well as herbs and spices to create the ideal roasted vegetable. Examples of plant-based oils you can use to roast vegetables in a healthy way include:
Feel free to use your preferred plant-based oil for roasting, but if you're looking for something unique, you should try the Brightland olive oil. The AWAKE oil is ideal for roasting vegetables, while the ALIVE blend is perfect for dressings and drizzling over your favorite salads, bread, or sorbet. This brand also makes a garlic oil as well as special edition flavors like chili, basil, and lemon oils at around $40 per 12.7 fluid ounce bottle. It's a beautiful and light oil perfect for adding just a touch of flavor to your roasted vegetables. This
brand also makes a double-fermented balsamic vinegar ($44 for (1) each 6.7 fluid ounce bottles of champagne vinegar and balsamic vinegar) that provides the balsamic flavor to your veggies that my husband describes as "refreshing and subtle."
Besides salt and pepper to season your vegetables, herbs and spices that taste great on roasted vegetables include:
garlic (minced or powdered)
chili powder or flakes
I also enjoy using balsamic vinegar to drizzle and toss certain vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts in before roasting. (Note: Brussels sprouts aren't spring vegetables, but are still in harvest in Colorado because it's still snowing here in spring time.)
What Temperature Should I Roast Vegetables?
Cooking experts suggest an ideal temperature for roasting vegetables is around 375 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (F) (190.5 to 218.3 degrees Celsius (C)). When I roast vegetables, I find I produce the best results around 400 degrees F (204.4 degrees C). However, the ideal temperature for roasting vegetables may differ in your kitchen depending on your oven. So, start on the lower end of the ideal temperature range and turn up the heat of this isn't enough to produce the texture you desire.
How Long Should I Roast Vegetables?
Just like the temperature you roast your vegetables depends on your oven, the time you roast your vegetables will depend on the vegetable you roast and the texture you prefer. Here are some approximate roasting times for spring vegetables at 400 degrees F (204.4 degrees C):
Asparagus: 20-25 minutes
Broccoli: 15-20 minutes
Carrots: 30-35 minutes
Celery: 20 to 30 minutes
Mushrooms: 25 to 35 minutes (depending on thickness of sliced mushrooms)
Onions: 35 to 45 minutes
Radishes: 25 to 30 minutes
Rhubarb: 25 to 30 minutes
Turnips: 25 to 30 minutes
Start by roasting your vegetables on the lower end of the time range, then check to see if the vegetables are to your liking texture wise. For the ideal roasted vegetables, they should start to become a few shades
darker than golden brown around the edges. You can always roast longer if you prefer a crispier, charred vegetable flavor and texture.
Final Note on Spring Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a delicious way to enjoy seasonal produce and fit your daily dose of fiber and antioxidants in your day. It may take a small bit of time to prepare the vegetables for roasting, but if you make a large batch on a large baking sheet, you can make enough to enjoy for several meals throughout the week.
Seasonal Produce Guide: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide
The Kitchn: https://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-temperature-for-roasting-vegetables-236661
The Spruce Eats: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-make-roasted-vegetables-4063968
Bon Appetit: https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/how-to/article/simple-roasted-vegetables