April signals to many the start of springtime, even if it might be the snowiest month in other parts of the country (sorry, Colorado). With the flowers peeking through the ground also comes a new array of fresh produce and veggies that are waiting for you to capitalize on. Shopping seasonal produce saves you money in the long run and also benefits local farmers, especially those who farm sustainably. So to clear up any questions, here's our April Seasonal Produce Guide to help you get started.
If there was ever a time to eat fresh asparagus, it's springtime. Not that asparagus out of season isn't good, it's just not as good as it when it first rises.
Try shaving it over your salads or lining a puff pastry, gruyére-filled tart with it. Find the recipe for an Asparagus Gruyére Tart with Balsamic Glaze here
Dwight Shrute had it right: "First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go, 'Wow, I need this beet right now.' Those are the money beets."
That being said, your local farmer's market will undoubtedly have some of the prettiest beets you've ever seen this spring. So what can you do with your beets? Try this Roasted Beets and Green Beans recipe on for size.
Broccoli thrives in the cooler spring months, and this is when you'll find the freshest around at farmer's markets its season comes to an end. While it's popular with cheese, try switching up your routine.
This Broccoli and Basil Pesto with Fusilli recipe makes for an easy back pocket pasta-style dish that can be remixed however you like.
4. Brussels Sprouts
If you've held ill will toward Brussels sprouts, now is the time to let that grudge go. Their peak season ends in April, with the last fresh batches coming through local stores.
If you're ready to dive into the world of Brussels sprouts before we say goodbye until September, this Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts bowl recipe is the perfect cool comfort food.
5. (California) Avocados
Avocados are essentially in season all year when sourced from Mexico, but local California avocados start to come into season in April.
Play with your pasta this month by making this Avocado Fettuccine Alfredo recipe that's a healthier twist on an Alfredo sauce normally full of butter or cream.
6. Citrus Fruits
Grapefruits are sweetest in the spring, and oranges are nearing the end of their peak season. This is the end of kumquat season, though, so find them fresh on shelves while you can!
Take advantage of this fresh citrus with this Citrus Beer Sangria recipe, perfect for front porch sippin' just as the weather warms up.
Leeks are hard to clean, but that shouldn't stop you from using this member of the onion family for the good benefits you receive from it. They help with inflammation and cardiovascular trouble.
To celebrate leek season in style, try this Ham and Leek Quiche recipe for a lazy Sunday brunch. There's nothing a quiche can't solve, y'all.
Whether you're a mushroom hunter or just love the earthy, spongy texture, there's no denying that April is prime mushroom season for morels, the highly sought type that is delicious.
Embrace mushroom season with this Creamy Baked Chicken Gnocchi with Spinach and Mushrooms recipe, perfect for a quick weeknight oven casserole.
Fresh peas are at their peak in the springtime, and it's also when you'll find the fresh local varieties around your farmer's markets. While they're an easy green addition to almost anything, a few recipes stand out.
This Split Pea Soup with Ham is perfect for Easter leftovers, or delicious on its own as it's a hands-off recipe.
Radishes are at peak freshness during April, and they are an under-used vegetable in my opinion. They're delicious in a slaw for tacos and add a fresh crunch to salads raw. My favorite way to eat radishes is on the grill in a cast iron skillet with butter, because I love butter.
For a light lunch, consider this Carrot, Radish, and Cucumber Salad that you can make in big batches and portion out for lunches throughout the week.
11. Chocolate Cake
Chocolate cake is always in season, don't even act like it isn't. And you know what makes chocolate cake even better? When you add Dr Pepper.
These Chocolate Dr Pepper Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream will speak volumes for you when it comes to expressing your love.
Watch: Kit Kat Released a Birthday Cake-Flavored Candy Bar in April