Welcome to the Dietitian's Corner!

The Farmer's Market: A Celebration of Fresh Food!

Farmer’s market season is here, allowing us to get outside and get a good dose of fresh air and exercise.  Farmer’s markets provide us with the freshest produce possible because fruits and vegetables are allowed to fully ripen before being picked. Visiting farmer’s markets also allows us to help strengthen the local economy by supporting area farmers.

Here are some tips to make the most of your farmer’s market experience:

    1. Go early:  You’ll be able to fight the crowds and get a good look at what all the farmers have to offer if you arrive when the market opens. Get a sense of what you want to purchase before you decide to buy.
    2. Go late:  Just before closing time, you will be able to get more for your money. Farmers are more willing to give you a better deal because they would rather sell their produce than take it back with them.  Be aware that selection may be limited at this time.
    3. Bring cash: Farmers can not make change if the total you owe is less than your farmer’s market voucher. Bringing extra cash will help you to get more produce with your vouchers.
    4. Bring your own containers and shopping bags:  Bringing your own containers or bags to the farmers market allows you to get great produce, help local farmers, and help save the environment all in one step. It’s a win-win-win!
    5. Dress comfortably: Most farmers markets are open rain or shine. Wearing comfortable walking shoes and appropriate outerwear will help you to enjoy your time at the market.
    6. Ask questions: Unfamiliar produce may become your favorite new addition to your meals. Don’t be afraid to ask farmers about their produce so you can try new things.
    7. Wash your produce: Remember that produce can be a popular place for bacteria to grow and lots of hands may have touched the produce that you have purchased. Wash your produce under cool running water before using it.

There is a wide variety of produce available in the spring and early summer at the farmer’s market. From asparagus to peas, red potatoes to berries of all kinds, there is something for everyone.  Here are some recipe ideas to help you explore the produce options during this season.

    1. Tangy Sugar Snap Peas

      In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 pound peas, 1 small onion and 2 Tablespoons water.  Cover and cook in high for 5-7 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring twice. Drain.

      In a small microwave-safe bowl, ombine 4 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir in 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar and 1 Tablespoon water until smooth.   Cook, uncovered, on high for 30-45 seconds or until thickened, stirring once.  Add to pea mixture.  Toss to coat.

    1. Blueberry Crisp

      Mix 4 cups blueberries and 1/3 cup sugar in a baking dish and spread evenly.  Mix 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl.  Cut 5 Tablespoons butter into small pieces and work into dry ingredients with fingers until mixture is crumbly. Add 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds. Sprinkle topping over berries.  Bake 30-40 minutes, until top is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Serve warm.