Spring Produce Guide + Menu Favorites

Spring is a wonderful time to explore the bounty of fresh produce that nature has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, nothing beats the flavor and nutrition of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. 

The first step to selecting the freshest spring produce is to know what’s in season. Spring is a time for new beginnings, and the same goes for fruits and vegetables. Some of the most common spring produce items in your area include:

Choosing local produce is always a good idea, as it’s often fresher and more flavorful than produce that has been shipped from far away. At grocery stores and farmer’s markets look for signs that indicate which items are locally grown, and ask the vendors if you’re not sure. 

Learn more about the benefits of local and seasonal eating in this post

Spring is a time to experiment with new flavors and recipes, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Look for unique varieties of fruits and vegetables that you may not have tried before, such as purple asparagus or yellow tomatoes. Experiment with different cooking methods and seasonings to bring out the best flavors in your spring produce.

Remember, freshness is key when it comes to making meals with spring produce. And by knowing what to look for in each type of fruit and vegetable, you can make sure you’re getting the freshest produce around.

With this in mind, Chef Pete and the team at Pete’s Real Food have created Spring Recipes highlighting the bounty of the season.

All Chef Pete’s meals are seasonally and locally sourced from farmers we know, ensuring you get the highest quality, best tasting ingredients in our delicious meals.

Our Spring Menus feature many of these delicious ingredients:


The springtime bounty of tender asparagus spears extends through early summer. Shave asparagus into ribbons for a salad or coat and roast spears for a tasty side

Look For: Select bright green spears with tight heads that don’t look limp or soggy. Asparagus size is a matter of preference: Choose thick spears for roasting and thinner spears for quick steaming. Check the tips and ends. Ultra-fresh asparagus tips will have a slightly purplish hue. Ends that look pale or woody will be fibrous and tough.

Store: Store spears like a bouquet of flowers. Trim asparagus ends, then place ends-down in a large jar of water in the fridge for up to three days.


Beets are of the sweetest vegetables around and can make an excellent addition to salads and are especially delicious when roasted. 

Look For: Choose small to medium beets. (Larger beets will be more fibrous and less sweet.) They should be plump and firm, with smooth, undamaged skin. Check any greens attached. They should look perky. Limp, wilted greens have already started tapping the attached beets for moisture.

Store: Cut away greens and taproots, as these will pull away moisture. Store in the fridge crisper up to two weeks.

Try our Herbed Chicken with Marinated Golden Beets and Kale (it’s AIP compliant too!!!)


Carrots grow best in the cool temperatures of spring and fall. Spring carrots are especially sought-after for their sweetness. These crowd-pleasing root vegetables can be used in almost anything from dips to soups and salads, and are a favorite snack simply eaten alone. The greens can also be used to make pesto and sauces.

Look For: There should be no signs of wrinkling or molding. Check any greens attached. They should look perky. Limp, wilted greens have already started tapping the carrot for moisture.

Store: Remove tops or leaves, and store in the fridge crisper up to two weeks.

Have you tried our Gomen, Atkilt and Misir Wot (Ethiopian collards, cabbage and carrots and lentils)?

Fresh Herbs

A wide variety of fresh herbs including favorites like basil, parsley and cilantro are at their tender, fragrant best in the spring. 

Look For: When buying fresh herbs, select bright green bunches with thin, tender stems and no signs of yellowing or browning. Check the stem bottoms. They should be bright and firm, not brown and gooey.

Store: Store fresh herbs for five to seven days in a jar or vase filled with water on the counter or in the fridge (except basil, which gets brown in the fridge). Change the water regularly.

There is a ton of herb flavor in our Arugula-Basil Pesto Chicken with Roasted Veggies 

Kale, Collards, Mustard, And Turnip Greens 

The cool temperatures of spring keep bitter greens tender and sweet. April, May, and June are also prime seasons for baby versions of these leafy greens. 

Look For: Leaves should be lush and full – avoid any that are wilted or yellowing. Test for tenderness by rubbing a leaf between your fingers; if it feels tough or fibrous, it probably will be, even after cooking. These greens are fairly interchangeable in recipes, so if the greens called for in a recipe don’t look great in the store, feel free to make a substitution.

Store: Stem, wash, and dry greens as you bring them home. Store them wrapped in dry paper towels or in a lidded container for three to five days. Wilted greens can be re-plumped with a 15-minute soak in a bowl of cold water.

Consider adding our Shredded Beef with Collard Greens and Roasted Turnips to your weekly meal order or try our Brussel-Kale Hash with Steak from our breakfast menu.


This bulbous member of the cabbage family is a cool-weather crop that’s grown and harvested in spring and fall. Sliced, or grated, kohlrabi adds sweet crunch to salads. 

Look For: Choose firm, small bulbs with vibrant greens attached. Avoid kohlrabi that looks dry or shows signs of cracking. Peel before using and reserve the leaves, which can be prepared like other greens. 

Store: Place kohlrabi in a paper bag, and refrigerate for up to seven days.

This delicious Braised Chicken with Bok Choy and Kohlrabi-Mushroom Stir Fry is AIP compliant too

New Potatoes

New potatoes are delicious steamed, pan or oven roasted. You could even boil, crush and then roast them for a delicious side. Dress new potatoes as soon as they are cooked to help them absorb the flavours of the fats, acid and seasonings.

Look For: Choose any size, any color that's firm, bright, and unblemished with thin, almost translucent skin that's flaking in spots.

Store: Keep in a paper bag in a cool, dark place for up to several days.

Try our BBQ Short Ribs with Cabbage Slaw and Chive Mashed Potatoes


Fresh peas are a springtime favorite. Snow peas and sugar snap peas can be eaten whole after removing the stems and the strings. Garden peas should be shelled and blanched in boiling water just until they turn bright green (1 to 2 minutes). Try them smashed with olive oil, dill and black pepper and use as a spread or a dip.

Look For: Ripe snow peas should be light green and almost translucent, with tiny seeds. The pods of garden peas should be glossy, crunchy, sweet, and full of medium-size peas. Sugar snaps should be bright green with plump pods.

Store: Keep all varieties unwashed and loosely wrapped in plastic in the vegetable drawer. Leave garden peas in their pods until you are ready to use them.

Our Spring menu includes peas in our Roasted Garlic-Parsley Chicken Thighs with Leeks, Peas, and Mint


Spring radishes aren’t just red; they come in a rainbow of varieties with names such as watermelon and purple plum. Their piquant crunch works well in salads, salsas, and sandwich toppings. Radishes can also be braised or roasted like turnips and potatoes. Enjoy them with other root veggies.

Look For: Look for medium-size, vibrantly hued radishes with no cracks (a sign they’ve been in storage too long) or indications of spoilage. 

Store: Place in a breathable (mesh or paper) bag in the fridge crisper drawer to allow humidity to circulate without trapping moisture. Save any greens; they can be cooked like kale or spinach. 

Check out our Braised Beef with Roasted Purple Potato Wedges and Watermelon Radish and Avocado Salad


The tart, celery-like stalks of the rhubarb plant pair beautifully with apples, berries, and other sweet, juicy fruits. Velvety-soft cooked rhubarb is delicious is both sweet and savory applications. You can also finely dice rhubarb and add it to salads for a surprising hit of tart flavor. 

Look for: Pick small- to medium-size stalks that are reddish pink; larger stalks may be stringy. 

Store: Remove and discard the leaves (which contain high amounts of oxalic acid and are poisonous), then store the stalks like celery in the crisper drawer. Freeze raw, chopped rhubarb for future use. 

Spring Onions/Green Onions/Scallions

The fresh, mild flavor of young onions is essential to many cuisines and flavors from Mexican to Asian. Green onions and scallions are two names for the same, pencil-thin vegetable. Spring onions have white or red bulbs that are wonderful roasted or grilled whole. 

b Choose onions that look firm with lots of green. The tips should be pale white, with no browning. 

Store: Wrap in a damp paper towel, and place in a resealable container for optimum freshness for up to a week.

Chef Pete uses these 2 produce items in his Grilled Steak with Roasted Broccoli and Spring Onion + Rhubarb Chutney

These are just a few of Chef Pete’s Spring favorites and how he has used them to create delicious meals for our Spring menus which include options from Paleo, to Vegan, Keto to AIP, breakfasts, snacks and treats and kids lunches. All our menus change weekly – order your selections from this week’s menus here >>>>>>

Eating seasonally will help to create more variety in the types of fruits and vegetables that you consume. It’s time to enjoy all of the wonderful spring produce and the many different ways that you can use these ingredients in your weekly meal selections. Bon appétit!

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