May Seasonal Vegetables: Time to Lighten Up

May seasonal vegetables | pickled radishes healthy canning jar | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Domino

One of the best things you can do for your body is to eat more vegetables.  May seasonal vegetables are light, hydrating, and heart-healthy.  We will be focusing on the veggies that are harvested each month so you can start building your recipe file.  This makes grocery shopping more fun and will give your menus more variety. You will look forward to farmer’s markets each month and your body will thank you for the nutrients of local produce!

May seasonal vegetables | Chickpea Salad Cucumbers Tomatoes vegetarian | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Skinny Taste | Recipe: Chickpea Salad with Cucumbers and Tomatoes

The Skinny on May Seasonal Vegetables

It’s time to lighten things up and add hydrating foods to your diet. May seasonal vegetables, like cucumbers, are rich in electrolytes and can prevent dehydration. They are the total vanity vegetable and promote healthy skin and prevent bad breath. We’ll leave all the masks and eye treatments for another time! Toss a few into a crunchy chickpea salad and get a dose of protein to boot.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups diced cucumbers, partially peeled
1 cup diced, seeded tomato
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper, to taste
15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Click here for full recipe and instructions. This yummy salad can work as a lunch or side dish. Avocados are also in season this month; consider tossing a few in as well.

May seasonal vegetables | Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats recipe black beans corn Cinco de Mayo | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Making Thyme For Health | Recipe: Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats

Low-Carb Mexican Food

Zucchini (in the form of zoodles) is another seasonal favorite. Low in sodium and high in potassium, May seasonal vegetables can benefit your heart health. The fiber content of zucchini lowers cholesterol as well. Go ahead and add this next recipe to our Cinco de Mayo party list. Your heart will thank you.

Ingredients:
4 large zucchini
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup salsa, use your preferred level of spiciness
1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 jalapeno, or poblano pepper, cored and diced
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
salt to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese

Click here for full recipe and instructions. One thing we really like about this recipe is that you don’t have to cook the zucchini ahead of time. Simply scoop them out, stuff them and they’re ready to go. A total crowd-pleaser and kid favorite.

May seasonal vegetables | Quinoa Salad Radishes Walnuts Spring Onions healthy vegetarian recipes | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Alexandra Cooks | Recipe: Quinoa Salad w. Walnuts, Radishes, & Spring Onions

The Mighty Radish

Packed with Vitamins E, A, B6, and K, radishes will keep your body in good working condition. Add radishes to the hydrating May seasonal vegetables bundle. Like cucumbers, their high water content helps keep your energy boosted throughout the day. Also, they are a low-glycemic alternative to oranges with one-third your daily dose of Vitamin C.

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
1 cup frozen edamame (or fresh fava beans if you can find them)
1 cup walnuts, toasted*, and chopped
1 small red onion, minced to yield 1/4 to 1/2 cup
4 to 5 scallions or spring onions, rinsed, trimmed and finely sliced, white and most of the greens
8 to 10 radishes
kosher salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 to 2 lemons
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Click here for full recipe and instructions. Much like our favorite arugula salad (also in season), this recipe contains few ingredients but is big on flavor. It’s got all of the right texture and crunch and is high in protein.

May seasonal vegetables | Low Carb Keto Zucchini Quick Bread recipe sweet savory | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Jennifer Banz | Recipe: Low Carb and Keto Zucchini Bread

Quick Breads

We know what you’re thinking: thanks for including a quick bread recipe. Include May seasonal vegetables into a yummy loaf of bread without sacrificing your diet. Quick breads take very few ingredients and are easy to make. This recipe uses almond flour which makes it low-carb and can be adjusted for sweet or savory options.

Ingredients:
2 Cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Granular Sweetener
1 teaspoon Baking soda
2 Large Eggs, Beaten
1/4 Cup Melted butter
1 1/2 Cups Grated Zucchini with peel

Click here for full recipe and instructions. The trick to this recipe is to squeeze as much liquid out of your grated zucchini as possible. The almond flour keeps the bread moist in flavor and adds some extra protein as well.

May seasonal vegetables | Warm white bean arugula salad recipe radishes pesto health benefits | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Fool Proof Living | Recipe: Warm White Bean Arugula Salad

Warm White Beans

Consider tossing a few extra radishes into a warm white bean salad. White beans mix well with May seasonal vegetables and add some additional heartiness. You can use canned beans but we recommend taking the time to cook up a fresh batch. They are less mushy and they are firmer in texture. Soak them overnight and make a large enough batch to use in other recipes.

For the beans:
1 cup Navy or Cannelini (or both) white beans, soaked overnight*
1 bay leaf

For the Arugula-Almond Pesto:
2 cups arugula, rinsed and spin-dried
1/3 cup sliced almonds
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil*

For the Salad:
3 cups arugula, rinsed and spin-dried
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, as garnish (optional)
a slice of bread, (optional)

Click here for recipe and full instructions. We also recommend making a double batch of the arugula pesto and using it later on pasta. It is super delicious as a sauce on toast or eggs as well.

May seasonal vegetables | radishes carrots fennel radicchio turnips health benefits recipes farmers market | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Jill Shepherd

Farmer’s Market Fodder

Lightening up doesn’t mean going hungry. Getting the right nutrition into your body makes it work more effectively and you will feel great as a result. May seasonal vegetables are: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocado, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, horseradish, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, and zucchini.  Enjoy these easy recipes and stay tuned for next month’s batch of vegetables to try.

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