It is officially spring! This season is the perfect time to jump start some new gluten free habits. The warmer weather, extended daylight hours, and all those spring fruits and veggies can help add a spring to your step.
Here are some easy tips to help renew your gluten free meals and lifestyle:
1. First, let’s do some spring cleaning!
The cold dark days of winter are finally gone! So let’s clean the cupboards. Use up your canned and frozen items and start replacing them with fresh selections from the farmers market or your local grocery store. This is also a great time to make a clean sweep of the pantry. If you are unsure whether or not some of your shelf-stable items are gluten-free, donate to a local food bank – you will be doing double good. Check the best by dates on your staples – it is easy to stock up and not use staples like baking soda and spices.
2. Add in some of the delicious spring fruits!
Spring fruits include mango, pineapple, strawberries, apricots, rhubarb (technically a vegetable but often used in fruit combinations) and honeydew. There is nothing like that first delicious fresh strawberry of the season.
3. Don't forget seasonal veggies!
While there may not be an abundance of spring fruits, there are basketfuls of great spring veggies! On the vegetable side we have a plethora of spring greens for all kinds of salad cravings: collard, mustard, spinach, Swiss chard, and the lettuces: butter, red leaf, and baby spring lettuce.
Now with a great selection of greens for the base of your spring dinner, spring is the season for artichokes, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, radicchio, watercress, endive, fennel, and peas. Check your local farmers market and watch for new additions each week.
4. Fresh and festive recipes
With the great weather and longer days, let's add some spunk to the menu with some spring recipes. As we come out of the cold months often we want foods that are lighter in flavor and texture. These recipes are sure to please your palate as well as your budget!
Some ideas are a baby greens spring salad with goat or feta cheese, a stir fry with snow peas, mushrooms and chives, or salmon with quinoa and a mango salsa. The possibilities are endless!
5. Get outside!
Finally the best way to get that spring feeling is to put a little spring in your step – well, not literally. But it is a great time to renew your resolution to be more active. No, you don’t have to join a gym or commit to a Spartan Race – were talking about being more active in ways that you can commit to throughout the year. Enjoy the lingering sunshine and take a walk after work. Plan to do it three times per week and you will feel the difference.
Add a bike ride or a hike on the weekend. Not only will you be able to enjoy the great weather, local parks but both hiking and biking are great cardio activities.
Enjoy working in the yard and garden – while these often don’t seem like exercising, they can be a great work out with a beautiful yard, garden or window box as the result. Also, enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors is a fantastic way to get outside and enjoy spring's bounty!