By Health Coach Melanie Rathbun FMCHC
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow ~ Proverb.
The first day of spring has come and we’re well on our way to longer days filled with sunshine, flowers, new hopes, and new beginnings! What is your favorite part about spring?
We’ve been busy in the Horse Lover’s Kitchen preparing some traditional selections, including vegetables, that celebrate the harvest this time of year. With Easter just around the corner, we’ve included a few extra recipes this month that could make for a well-balanced meal to share with loved ones. There is a recipe for dill carrots, steamed asparagus as well as a lovely braised lamb shank (with some garlic of course!).
In moderation, lamb is an excellent source of protein along with nutrients like iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12. When selecting your lamb meat, it would be wise to pay attention to how it has been raised. Feeding animals a grass-fed diet means that the meat is naturally more tender and lean, with a pure, mild flavor.
Grass-fed meat is lower in saturated fat and higher in vitamin A, vitamin E, conjugated linoleic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids compared to grain-fed meat.
Get to know your farmers who are producing grass-fed meats, and ask questions about the difference between grass-fed and conventionally-raised meats to gain a better understanding. Find out what they feed the animals from start to finish. Farmers are passionate about what they do and are often happy to respond and help educate you on the vast differences in the quality of the livestock produced. You will likely come to appreciate the importance of selecting quality meats for you and your family.
Next up is carrots, which we all know are good for us, but why is that? This root vegetable is a great source of fiber, beta carotene, vitamin K1, potassium. and antioxidants. They have also been linked to improved eye health. Carrots get their bright orange color from beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A, which in turn has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.
Finally, we’re on to asparagus. If you don’t already eat asparagus often, you might consider incorporating this tasty and nutritious addition into your diet. Asparagus is loaded with vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate, and is a good source of antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and glutathione. It can be steamed, roasted, sauteed, or even eaten raw as a snack or added to salads, stir fries or egg frittatas. Asparagus is seasonal for spring and a welcome change to many folks this time of year. When purchasing asparagus, make sure the stalks are firm to the touch, able to stand up straight, and have a smooth texture. Avoid stalks that appear limp or wilted. The tips of the asparagus should be closed and compact, free from spreading or softness.
We hope you have fun in your kitchens trying these recipes. Have a lovely start to spring and a wonderful Easter Celebration! From our kitchen to yours.
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