When you shop at a farmers' market, you are doing a lot of good: You are supporting locals in your community; you are helping those locals keep your own food really, really fresh and delicious; you are helping to save the environment by reducing fuel consumption of shipping your foods from far away to your local chain super market; you are helping to keep your local environment greener and healthier for your family and those around you by sustaining farms; you are buying the freshest and healthiest food possible for your family. It's really a win-win-win scenario. I love farmers' markets because all the food is so fresh. Sure, you need to scrub a little to get those carrots dirt-free, and you need to rinse your lettuce a few times to remove any grit and ladybugs before eating, but it's totally worth it and the flavors are so much better, too. Have you ever eaten a carrot from a farmers' market and then one of those baby carrots from a bag from the supermarket right after? Try it sometime. You'll see that the baby carrot tastes pretty bland after that fresh one right from the earth. Here are some of my favorite farmers' market finds at the moment:
Assorted leafy greens like dandelion, arugula, kale, chard, sorrel. You can use these as salads, or as a sautéed side veggie with garlic and oil, or get creative and make a pesto for pasta even.
Root veggies such as carrots, turnips, parsnips, onions, garlic and beets- Great roasted simply in the same pan as some chicken or chops, or chopped and tossed into a soup on a rainy day, or just raw as a snack or salad or slaw.
Fresh herbs like basil, mint, oregano and thyme- These add amazing flavor to almost any dish. I love making tea with mint as well. Just boil water, toss in a nice handful of torn leaves, cover and let steep about 7-8 minutes until water is bright green and enjoy hot or chilled. Delicious, refreshing and also great for you.
Homemade berry jams (yum!) I love these on toast for breakfast or use them to make jam cookies.
All that fresh fruit! Who can resist their sweet, juicy, refreshing goodness?
Tomatoes! We eat these every day, mostly raw in our salads but of course they are great in sauce too, especially with some spaghetti!
Flowers. These are just so bright and beautiful. I always want to bring home a large bunch and have to restrain myself.
Do you like to shop at farmers' markets? What are your current favorite finds?