Embracing Raw Foods & Seasonal Spring Veggies


Spring is in full swing and many of us have been feeling the heartiness of winter shedding from deep within—as the lightness of spring prepares to carry us forward. Spring is a time where we intuitively steer towards lighter foods—like vibrant, crisp, and refreshing raw fruits and vegetables. This shift in energy makes spring the perfect time of year to cleanse our digestive systems!

A diet composed of both cooked and raw foods is important for optimal digestive health. Foods in their raw, whole form present ample amounts of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes essential for many functions in the body. However, some nutrients—such as water soluble vitamins and enzymes—may be deactivated when exposed to heat. Consuming foods in their raw state alongside a nutritious cooked meal is a sure way to boost digestion, as well as to cleanse and detoxify the body to prepare for the heat of the summer.

We find great joy in browsing the farmers’ markets this time of year (we love our Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets!) for local produce galore—this is a great way to recognize what’s in season, and to connect with your food and it’s source. Now is the time to load up on vibrant leafy greens such as arugula, chard, collards, kale, dandelion, lettuce, and spinach—greens we try to feature often in our dishes, particularly during this time of year. The markets also bring us an abundance of other beautiful spring fruits and veggies like onions, snap peas, fennel, radish, asparagus, peaches, cherries, strawberries and apricot. To add some extra flavor to your springtime fare, try snipping some fresh herbs like chives, tarragon, mint, and dill—all lovely additions to a fresh seasonal salad!

At Golden Roots Kitchen, we are dedicated to crafting seasonal offerings. We highly recommend that you personalize your cooked GRK meals by adding an array of raw, seasonal fruits and veggies as accompaniments. An easy way to do this is to add a handful of leafy greens to supplement your cooked GRK dish. Or, perhaps pairing one of your favorite cooked proteins with one of our raw dishes or salads—like this week’s Zucchini Salad with Arugula, Mint, and Lemon. In a pinch, we love drizzling some greens with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and topping with fresh stone fruit we picked up at the farmers’ market—think peaches or nectarines!—for a refreshing bite.

We’re certainly inspired by all of the newness that this season provides—and hope you are too! Take a Saturday or Sunday and venture to your local markets to revel in all of the beautiful produce spring has to offer, and then have some fun in the kitchen! And of course, let us know how we can help you supplement all of your continued culinary adventures :)

Wishing you wellness, always,

Dena & Mary

Dena Zlotziver, M.Ed., is a teacher, writer, and member of the kitchen staff at Golden Roots Kitchen.

Mary Smith has her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition and Food Science, and serves as GRK’s in-house nutrition expert.

Melanie Geist