As self-confessed food lovers, we know Spring has sprung when we swap the filling winter pies and warming veg-packed stews for leafy greens and pasta dishes. Ditching the knitted socks and hoodies is also a telltale sign, but that’s a whole other blog in itself!
Right now, we’re focussing on eating with the seasons and introducing those fresh, leafy ingredients back into our lives and onto our plate. As you can probably tell (the name is a tiny give away), spring greens are at their very best nutritionally and taste-wise right now. They’re in season from April-June, so now’s the perfect time to pick them out of the veggie line-up and add them to your spring cookbook!
We’ll take you through some of the veg-packed facts and then inspire you with some veggie and vegan recipes filled to the brim with the humble spring greens!
What are spring greens?
Let’s cut to the chase. Although ‘spring greens’ can sometimes be used as a term to encompass green vegetables and salad, they are, in fact, a specific vegetable that sits in a league of its own.
Simply put, spring greens are the first cabbages of the year; they differ from collard greens (the greener, later growth) – the ones we associate with winter dishes. They are very similar to cos-lettuce in their shape, but they’re looser in form, without the tough heart that other cabbages have. They taste slightly sweeter, which is why they’re so perfect for spring/summer recipes and add a delicate finishing flavour to your food.
Nutritional Benefits of Spring Greens
Stemming from the brassica family, Spring Greens are rich in vitamin K, which helps to maintain normal bone strength, and vitamin C, which helps to support your immune system. There is even some evidence to suggest that some of the natural compounds found within plants, such as spring greens, may have anti-inflammatory properties which have been suggested to help protect against strokes and heart disease. As you can tell, spring greens can play a key role in building a balanced, tasty and colourful plate this spring. Did you know that 4 heaped tablespoons (or 80g) of spring greens also counts as 1 of your 5 a day, too?!
How to cook spring greens
1. How to store spring greens
As soon as you’ve bought them and brought them home, pop them straight in the fridge and try to eat within a couple of days. Although they’ll usually last up to a week, they’re at their tastiest, most nutritious and freshest during those first few days.
Another handy tip for keeping your greens fresher for longer; if you only use a small portion, rather than putting the open packet back in your fridge, pop them in an airtight container first.
2. How to prepare spring greens
You’ll find some spring greens come prepared for you – already washed and chopped! But, if not, simply remove the leaves from the centre, give them a good wash under the tap and chop, slice or leave them whole – depending on your recipe and how you’re going to enjoy them.
3. Cooking spring greens
Spring greens are very versatile in cooking, but many agree that they are delicious when sweated down with a knob of butter in a pan! Other ways to cook are; steamed, sauteed, or thrown in your frying pan with a stir fry! Whichever way, slightly seasoned with salt and pepper or a squeeze of lemon is top-notch.
If all this talk of sauteeing and steaming has you hungry for more, you’re going to enjoy the next part. Trust us.
Vegan and Vegetarian Lunch Recipes
1. Soba Linguine With Tofu & Spring Greens
Light, fresh and super quick to whip up! Need we say anymore? Add this Soba Linguine with Tofu and Spring Greens recipe made with a Cauldron Organic Tofu Block to your at-home vegan cookbook and step into Spring the right way!
2. Vegan Sticky Sesame Tofu with Spring Greens
This vegan Sticky Sesame Tofu with Spring Greens made with Cauldron Marinated Tofu Pieces is as easy as chop, stir, fry and serve!
A drizzle of maple syrup brings a hint of sweet flavour, and tamari adds a touch of salt; throw in some spring greens, tofu and a handful of green beans, and you’re wok ready!
3. Tofu, Squash and Spring Greens Loaf with Roasted Carrot Chutney
Turn your lunchtime loaf into a truly tasty occasion with this vegan Tofu, Squash & Spring Greens Loaf with Roasted Carrot Chutney.
We’ve taken the classic, freshly-baked loaf and added a combination of creamy Cauldron Organic Tofu Block, fresh greens, crunchy seeds and sweet squash to take it to the next level.
4. Cumberland Sausages with Baked Seasonal Colcannon
Perfect for those cooler Spring evenings, a warming bowl of Cauldron Vegetarian Cumberland Sausages on a bed of creamy mash and layers of spring greens, cabbage and onions. This veggie traditional Irish dish is the definition of a giant hug in a bowl!
At Cauldron, we love to see and hear about what you’re cooking up! Share your fresh spring green recipes with us on Instagram, and we’ll reshare our favourite creations to our story!