Every January in Portland our Winter Flowering Cherry trees start to bloom and my husband exclaims that “Spring is here!”  I always have to correct him by reminding him they are called “Winter”  flowering cherry trees.  But then he goes on to say well yes, that is true, BUT…  think about it, the daffodils are up in February, and the daphne flowers, and then in March all of Portland explodes in flowering plum, cherry, magnolia.  So REALLY, those “winter” flowering cherry trees are just heralding the begining of the end of winter.

spring in a bowl

spring in a bowl

But for me the real sign of spring is new radishes!  I love their spicy crunch.  (delicious when sprinkled with really good salt)  Often eating seasonally turns out to have health benefits and I wondered what those might be for radishes.  Radishes are high in Vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, B6, and fiber.  Because they are in the family of cruciferous vegetables (Kale, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Turnips) they offer protection against cancer.  In the Chinese calendar, spring is associated with the Liver, and radishes contain sulphur based compounds that increase the flow of bile.  Stimulating a sluggish gallbladder and liver after a winter of eating heavier foods sounds like good medicine.  And in case anyone needs one more good reason to eat radishes, their high water and fiber content means that they are filling and satisfying for anyone looking for a snack that can support weight loss.

radishes and crackers

Eat fresh sliced radishes on a cracker (gluten free crackers from Mary’s Gone Crackers shown here) with a little chevre.