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Cilantro, Sorrel, and 8 More Fresh Produce Picks for May

10 Fruits and Vegetables in Season During May

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Spring is in full swing with fresh a bounty of produce available at the market. Besides filling your basket with plenty of fruits and vegetables, stock up on fresh herbs, which add a burst of flavor in dishes without adding a ton of calories. Fresh herbs also contain small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, making them a delicious and healthy addition of your diet.

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Avocados

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One serving (or one-fifth of a medium-sized avocado) contains 50 calories. And seventy-five percent of avocados are composed of healthy, unsaturated fat. This delicious fruit is also brimming with 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals—plant chemicals that help prevent or fight disease. Use in guacamole, sauces, smoothies, or salads. (These 10 Savory Avocado Recipes (That Aren't Guacamole) to get you started.)

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Chives

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Chives are related to onions, leeks, and garlic, all of which are considered aromatic vegetables that add a ton of flavor to a wide variety of dishes. Chives have a milder flavor than other aromatic veggies, so they’re perfect for dips, soups, mashed or baked potatoes, omelets, fish, and seafood dishes. Heat destroys their delicate flavor, so add chives to dishes right before serving (slicing or chopping chives helps maximize their flavor). 

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Ramps

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Sometimes referred to as wild leeks, these babies are typically available at the farmers market for a limited time during spring. Ramps are part of the Allium family, along with garlic and onions, and have been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Enjoy ramps raw or cooked in soups, omelets, pizza, and pasta dishes.

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Broccoli Rabe

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Also known as Italian broccoli, broccoli rabe has a strong, bitter flavor similar to cabbage and turnips, but it's mellowed out by cooking. An easy way to prepare it is to steam and then sauté with a touch of olive oil and garlic, and a squeeze of lemon.

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Apricots

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One cup of fresh apricots contains 75 calories, three grams of fiber, and is bursting with the antioxidant beta-carotene. (They're one of 6 May Superfoods to Eat.) Enjoy apricots in both savory and sweet dishes—you can add sliced apricots to green salads, mix into muffin batters, or serve topped with frozen yogurt. Bought a few too many at the store? Blanche extras in boiling water, slice, remove the pit, and freeze for up to three months.

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Fiddleheads

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These coiled fern fronds appear on the plant for about two week before they blossom into green, feathery leaves. When cooked, they taste like a cross between asparagus and green beans. One half cup of fiddleheads contains 35 calories and almost 30 percent of your recommended daily amount of fiber. But fiddleheads spoil quickly, so store them in the fridge tightly wrapped and use within two days.

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Vidalia Onions

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The official state vegetable of Georgia is only available for a limited time. A cool fact about these sweet onions is that they are grown in low-sulfur soils that prevent the bulbs from developing a pungent taste. As such, Vidalia onions contain fewer sulfur compounds, so you’ll tear less when slicing them. Due to their mild flavor, Vidalias are versatile and can be used in a wide variety of recipes.

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Blackberries

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One cup of these dark-hued berries contains 62 calories, 8 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. Blackberries contain quercetin, an antioxidant shown to help decrease the risk of heart disease. Tart and sweet, these fat juicy berries compliment the sweetness in many desserts. To prevent mold growth, always wash your blackberries before using or eating.

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Sorrel

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One half cup of chopped sorrel has over half your daily recommended amount of vitamin C with smaller amounts of vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Add fresh sorrel to salads, or cook into soups, sauces, and stews. At the market, choose sorrel with bring green, crisp leaves and avoid those that are wilted and have a brown color or yellow blemishes.

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Cilantro

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This love it or hate it herb grows best during the spring when temperatures are milder, and compliments the flavor in Asian, Latin, and Mexican dishes. Unlike most herbs, both the stems and leaves are edible. Use in salsa, guacamole, pasta salads, and rice dishes, or chop and sprinkle over grilled fish or pizza. (Cilantro is also one of the Top 50 Summer Diet Foods for Weight Loss.)

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