Eat local farmers’ market foods this summer!
Without question now is the best time to visit your local farmers market. The produce available will inspire you to enjoy more of the good stuff (fruits and veggies) we all need for better energy, health and vitality. Since the produce is fresh you often can enjoy these with very simple cooking and preparation methods.
Why should I visit the farmers’ market?
Farmers’ markets are full of inspiration and taste. While certainly you can buy locally grown fresh fruit and veggies at major grocery stores, I frequently visit farmers’ markets in my area as the selection is always exciting to both my dietitian and foodie palate. Often because the farmers market is dealing with smaller growers (than grocery stores) you get a gorgeous selection of really high quality and delicious tasting foods.
I am also often surprised that many grocery stores will boast that they carry local Canadian produce but when I look at where foods are coming from they are often from faraway places when we have local produce available in our own area. (For example, I recently could not find local Alberta and BC greenhouse carrots, beets, peaches or nectarines at the grocery store, while down the street at the farmers market these items were available in abundance for similar or lower cost).
What should I buy at the farmers’ market?
Let your senses do the shopping. Go for the features, new arrivals and locally grown items that look and taste the best.
One of the best ways to approach meal planning is to LET THE VEGETABLES DRIVE DINNER. While many people decide a weekly menu based on the protein they want to have (such as chicken, salmon or tofu) and then pair this with a grain and vegetables, start with the vegetable first. This style of meal planning allows you to utilize the best seasonal items at the market and also to minimize food waste since you will think about weekly meal planning in order of which vegetable needs to be used first.