It is officially Spring! Signs of birth, regeneration and new life are everywhere. April positively kisses us with a refreshing array of seasonal produce such as pineapple, watercress, young spinach and Swiss Chard, beets and their greens, strawberries, arugula and asparagus, and nettles and radishes. This is the month when you can start adding more of a variety of veggies to your juices, experimenting with the expanding varieties of greens for your green smoothies, and putting together mouth-watering fresh main meal salads. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Wild Spring Tonic
Nettles are available for a short time in co-ops and health food stores, and you can find them growing wild. Wear kitchen gloves to handle them, but once they’re juiced they won’t sting a bit. This juice is brimming with nutrients!
1/2 fresh organic pineapple, peeled
1 fresh apple, cored
1 small beet plus its stems/greens
2 gloved handfuls of nettle
Run everything through your juicer and pour into a beautiful glass. Sip slowly and savor.
Beginner’s Choice Green Smoothie
This is only one of many variations you can try out with seasonal greens and fruits whether you are adept or new to smoothies. Coconut water always makes a wonderful base.
Water of one young coconut
2 cups fresh ripe organic strawberries
1 ripe banana
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 medium Swiss Chard leaf
Blend all ingredients in your Vita-Mix or other blender and enjoy!
April Showers Meal Salad
Very simple but elegant. This salad will satisfy you without weighing you down.
1 bunch of watercress
1 bunch of arugula
1 cup of fresh basil or parsley
5 radishes, sliced paper thin
2 Tbs. of chopped red onion, or scallions
1 stalk of celery, minced
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
tender top portions of 3 asparagus spears, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup raw pine nuts, ground in a coffee or spice grinder
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbs. raw honey (optional)
Clean and chop all the greens and spread onto two serving plates. Top with the next five ingredients and sprinkle with ground pine nuts. Drizzle with lemon juice and honey or one of your favorite zesty raw salad dressings. Serve with spiralized beets for a very colorful presentation.
Spring Pesto Wraps
Chard makes a quick and delicious wrap for any kind of filling you desire. Here is one that you will enjoy:
4 large Swiss Chard leaves, washed, with the thickest part of the stems removed
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked and rinsed
1/2 cup raw pine nuts, soaked and rinsed
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 cup fresh chopped basil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh ground cumin seeds
pinch of Celtic sea salt (optional)
Put all ingredients except the Swiss Chard into a food processor and blend until a paste forms. Add approximately 1-2 Tablespoons of water if the mixture is too thick. Spoon mixture onto Swiss Chard leaves and roll up the leaves burrito-style. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange on a platter surrounded by beautiful spring pansies.