GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The arrival of spring usually conjures images of fresh fruits and vegetables, but not necessarily pineapples and artichokes. However, with consumers seeking more in-season produce than ever before, Meijer produce buyers report an increased demand for both foods in March.
According to Statista.com, Americans now consume more than seven whole fresh pineapples annually, showing a steady increase in consumption since 2000. Pineapples are also known to be rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, so they help to fight the seasonal allergies that tend to start flaring in March.
Once considered a garnish for hams, pineapples can be found in many different dishes today. At this time of year, many Midwesterners enjoy pineapples as a dessert in the form of a classic upside-down cake. If you are looking to add a little spring to your meals, try a Cast Iron Upside-Down Cake.
Artichokes also come into season in March. Meijer buyers report long-stemmed artichokes are gaining popularity among consumers. Producers include the stem because it’s an extension of the heart, which many people would argue is the veggie’s best-tasting feature. According to WebMD, artichokes are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and K, claiming the seventh spot on the USDA's top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list. Artichokes pair very well with green olives, raw almonds, goat cheeses, lemons and asparagus.
Artichokes are often enjoyed steamed. If you are new to artichokes, try Steamed Artichokes with Lemon and Mint Aioli.
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 235 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.