Farmers Market Season
Hello Healthy Friends! Can you believe that we are midway through the summer? Where does the time go? I don’t have an answer; however, since it is summer, this means that farmers markets are in full swing. If you are someone that just doesn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables or think they are just too expensive, visit a farmers market and you’re sure to be persuaded to purchase.
Food at the farmers market is more affordable and simply tastes better than that at a commercial grocery store because it is locally grown and naturally ripened. Taste is a key factor in our food choices and delicious, fresh produce can help us eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables have so many health benefits and farmers markets are wonderful places to find the ideal specimens of your favorite summer foods. I always enjoy picking out all of my favorites, but discovering a new fruit or vegetable is fun as well. When you encounter a new fruit variety or heirloom vegetable you’ve never seen before, you’re in the right place to find out more about it – you can ask the farmer who grew it!
To find your local markets and learn what your local farmers are harvesting right now, consider using websites such as LocalHarvest.org and the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program and Local Food Directories.
I would advise you to shop early in the day to have your choice of the most beautiful produce but if you are looking for discounted fruits and vegetables, some farmers will offer discounts for produce remaining at the end of the day.
If you head out to the market to purchase fresh greens for your dinner salad, here are a few recipes of homemade salad dressings for you to try. These recipes will save you calories, hidden sodium, sugar, and even preservatives that come in the bottled dressings.
Creamy Dressing: Mix together 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional) and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix well and refrigerate. This one goes well over garden salad topped with feta cheese.
Lemon Vinaigrette: Mix together 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (optional), 3 tablespoons fresh or bottled lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix well and refrigerate. This one goes well with grilled vegetables over grilled shrimp or chicken.
Enjoy and, as always, Be Well!
Sherry Jenko, NDTR, Wellness Coach
Sources: Eatright.org and Whatscooking.fns.usda.gov