Lots of produce are beginning to make their ‘in season’ mark this spring! It’s not too early to get going on your shopping for recipe making. Local grocery stores will have many of these foods. And farmers markets have already begun carrying these in season items. Wherever you shop, you will love getting your hands on this produce!
What’s more fun is that you can experiment with all of these recipes I am including in this post. And they are all gluten free! That’s because produce is fresh and gluten free. And it’s basically as simple as that. There is literally nothing else to it. When speaking of fresh produce and what’s in season, a gluten full human and a gluten free human are the same in one. Like a symphony. Or a professional ballet. Or a really awesome date. Here are 7 favorite spring produce for gluten free cooking!
First up is the artichoke. It’s very cool looking. It’s green and has these thick spikes. These puppies are in season now! Most artichokes you find will most likely be grown and transported from California. In California, artichokes are in season from March through the end of May. So go out and get one! If you’ve never prepared an artichoke before, use this as your guide. When you’re finished, put your artichoke hearts in this over the weekend for a fun brunch. Or Easter for that matter. You won’t believe the flavor. It’s awesome. Do it, then tell me how it went. I love hearing about these things in the comments section at the end of each post! So feel free to discuss!
Next up are baby carrots. Not baby-cut carrots. But baby carrots. So, baby-cut carrots, I would go out on a limb and say are very much in season during the fall. That’s because baby-cut carrots are actually dwindled down regular carrots. So, the orange carrots that are lunch box heroes, those are known as baby-cut carrots. Quite good. But I guess not great for you. But that’s neither here nor there. They’re gluten free, so eat them if you want. I’m not here to judge. What is in season now are real baby carrots! They’re young carrots that are sometimes deformed or simply pulled out of the ground to make way for the bigger crop. They’re cute! And you can find them popping up in the spring at farmers markets and whole foods stores. Grab some and make this with them! In this recipe I used full grown carrots, but I believe roasted baby carrots would even enhance the flavor. Since they’re more sweet.
Ok I’m sick of talking about baby carrots. Onto strawberries! In with strawberries. It’s early, but get ready. By the end of April these red beauties will be ready to start their harvest. Now, in Indiana we go to the strawberry farm annually. I wrote about it here. We always like to pick our strawberries in late spring or early summer. I find the later we go, the less juicy and gorgeous the fruit is. In the dog days of summer, strawberries lose their appeal and just aren’t good for picking any longer. Markets will still have fresh strawberries through late summer and some are shipped from other states. But if you wanna pick fresh strawberries at a farm, go sooner than later! By the end of this month, you’ll see how much better strawberries will begin to taste when you purchase from your local grocery store! You can make this salad dressing with your in season strawberries. It’s fantastic. And it’s the easiest salad recipe ever. Your belly will thank you for it!
THE NEW POTATO.
New potatoes are in season in the spring! These little cuties are baby potatoes, essentially. Just like baby carrots, they’re the first crop of potato picked and harvested early in the spring. Farmers pick them to make room for the more mature growing crop. Instead of tossing, these are sold in stores and farmers markets as fresh produce. New potatoes are perfect for roasting because the thin skin allows flavor to just penetrate through the dish. Plus, roasting these gives the outer skin a fantastic, crispy texture. I usually use new red potatoes to roast with in this dish, but any baby potato will do. You will love it. This would be a perfect side dish to serve at Easter. Next month when the Indy 500 rolls into town, I’ll be whipping up these red potato chips for guests.
Next we have lemons! Seriously, lemons are hot right now. Well, sour really. But during the spring they’re at their peak performance. Juicy and bright and wonderful, lemons begin to go out of season once early summer hits. So, get some dishes going right now with lemons! Any salad can be enhanced with this yellow beauty in a vinaigrette. Quarter and stuff them inside the cavity of a whole chicken, and you’ve got yourself an awesome meal. Here’s a smoked rosemary chicken that is perfect to make with fresh lemons! And be generous with the lemons if you want. It only enhances the flavor!
Is it annoying that I keep starting each produce title with a ‘The’ in front of it? I can’t stop laughing. Ok I’m just gonna keep it there.
In Indiana, lettuce really pops up and is in season during early spring. Because our climate is still cool around here, lettuce begins to make its mark around the midwest about this time. This avocado chicken salad is one of the most popular recipes on my blog. It’s absolutely perfect served on a bright green bed of lettuce. Use the lettuce leaves as a wrap. This salad is great to serve at springtime or to take to work with you for lunch. Eat it with homemade sun-dried tomatoes. Everyone at the office will be jealous. Or think you’re showing off. If that is the case and you get embarrassed, just drop off the salad at my doorstep along with a fork and napkins please. Thank you.
Spinach. This is a green, cold weather crop. It’s at its best during the springtime and early summer. So get this at your local farmers market or whole foods store or mass grocery store as soon as possible. You will see how great spinach looks and tastes right now because it’s in season. April is a great month to make this spinach pesto with pistachios and the amazing BellaVitano cheese. I can’t speak of it, since drool is hitting my keyboard as we speak. So, go to the recipe, get that spinach and have a heyday. You can use this pesto all spring with pasta dishes, chicken dishes, steaks…you name it. This spinach pesto is absolutely amazing.
And there you have it! These are just a few of my very favorite produce in season that are popping up this month and next. But a ton more are out there! Like asparagus! There are herbs too, and flowers in season this spring. Even dandelions for crying out loud! Here is a great fresh produce guide to start your research. So, get some coffee and google around. You can even type some produce ideas in the search box at the top of my blog, then see what you find. And any dish you find on fromentfree.com will be gluten free!
Spring is one of the best seasons to experiment with new ingredients. These 7 favorite spring produce for gluten free cooking will help you get started. You can spring clean your kitchen and make so many dishes with seasonal fruits and vegetables right now. Whatever you do, you’ll see how it will all be gluten free. That’s how easy cooking with fresh produce can really be. It will all be naturally gluten free. There’s just nothing else to it.
Have a great weekend! It’s finally not raining here and the sun is making its way through our windows as we speak. I can tell its gonna be an awesome, outdoor day. Maybe I’ll pick some dandelions in the front yard? Not the back yard, as that’s the turf for the dogs. Or maybe I’ll go pick up some spring lettuce and whip up a fun chicken dish or something? Hmmm. No sure yet. But I will let you know!