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It's a Spring Thing! (Fruit 'n Veggie Guide!)
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It's a Spring Thing! (Fruit 'n Veggie Guide!)

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04.08.11
 

'Tis the season for springtime fruits 'n veggies! Sure, you can get off-season produce year-round, but now is when these picks taste the best and are least expensive. So read up and veg out!

 
 
  Artichokes

Don't be scared of their seemingly impenetrable exterior -- artichokes rock! Not only are they super-low in calories (about 60 calories a pop), but they also contain fiber, potassium, folate, magnesium, and vitamin C. Plus, new studies suggest they could be a good source of certain antioxidants that help keep your liver healthy.

 
 

Sassy 'n Steamy Artichoke - Forget super-oily restaurant versions! This steamed 'choke with a duo of guilt-free dipping sauces is the way to go!

 
 
  Mangoes

When it comes to sweet, juicy, tropical fruit, mangoes are one of our top picks. In addition to being INSANELY delicious, they're loaded with vitamin C. Plus, mangoes are a good source of fiber, vitamin A, and other antioxidants. And a cup has only about 100 calories! The only difficult part is removing the pit -- if you have trouble, maybe invest in a mango splitter. 

 
 

Crazy Calypso Salad - Chopped mango brightens up this fresh 'n fabulous salad, which happens to contain another spring selection on this list... spinach!

Crazy-Delicious Caribbean Black Bean Broccoli Slaw - Adding mango to crunchy coleslaw? It's so crazy, it works!  

 
 
  Asparagus

Here's a real superstar of spring. Asparagus is great in that it tastes terrific, seems kinda fancy and special, AND is chock-full of nutrients. It's an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, and it also contains folate, B vitamins, fiber, and other helpful stuff. Add in anti-inflammatory benefits and heart-healthy properties, and what more could you want? Eat this veggie -- a serving of eight spears has only about 25 calories. Nice!

 
 

So-Fancy Fish Pack - Protein and veggies, all wrapped up and ready to chew! Put that asparagus to good use, people...

Vampire-Proof Chicken 'n Veggie Pasta - Another tasty asparagus dish. And the portion size is LARGE!

 
 
  Strawberries

It's the start of strawberry season! Did you know that the world's most popular berry is also high in vitamin C? A cup of the red berries meets the recommended daily value of vitamin C for less than 50 calories. Who doesn't want to eat a cup of strawberries? (Okay, other than people who are allergic!) Another fun fact: Some say you can use a mixture of puréed strawberries and baking soda to whiten your teeth; you'll probably want to brush away the seeds afterward though... (BTW, we have NOT tried this.)

 
 

Strawberry Short Stack - A breakfast that tastes like dessert kinda takes the edge off having to wake up in the morning.

 
 
  Spinach

There's a reason we need no excuse to sneak spinach into our recipes. Our pals at World's Healthiest Foods rank the leafy green among their top picks for nutrient richness -- it's LOADED with iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, and K. Plus, it's super-yummy and easy to prepare. In a hurry? Eat it raw in a salad or cook just until wilted in a skillet with nonstick spray -- consume a whopping 4 cups (measured raw) for under 30 calories. WOW!

 
 

Spinach, Tomato, Feta 'n Egg Wrap Attack! - Eat your veggies all day long! This will start you off right...

Takes-the-Cake Ziti Bake
- Spinach makes another appearance in this intensely delicious, amazingly low-in-calories entrée!

 
 
  Grapefruits

These giant citrus fruits have a long season, and we're right in the middle of it! Fiber, vitamin C, and lycopene are just a few of the goodies that grapefruits bring to the table; they also rate highly in antioxidant activity and can help fight disease. (Heads up: Grapefruits have been found to interact with some prescription drugs, so do your research if you take any meds.) A standard-sized fruit has about 50 calories... Mmmmm!

 
 

Cool 'n Creamy Fruit Soup - Yes, FRUIT SOUP! Don't knock it 'til you spoon it...

 

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CHEW ON THIS:

Today, April 8th, is National Empanada Day. If you've got a copy of Hungry Girl 300 Under 300, make the World's Easiest Chicken Empanadas -- SO GOOD!

Click here for a printable, text-only version of this page.

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