The enthusiasm for local farmers markets is at an all-time high and as we all try to get closer to our food, but it's not always easy to break out of the norms caused by year-round availability of summer produce shipped from thousands of miles away to your local grocery store.
Here are some tips for making the most of your farmers market until the end of the season:
Know what to expect! Check out the product lists, which many farmers markets share ahead of time on their websites, Facebook pages, twitter feeds, and/or via weekly emails. This time of year, you can expect to find great root veggies, like carrots, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, and celery root. Farms are also producing lots of dark leafy greens like collards and kale, which tend to taste even better after light frosts. They’re full of great nutrients to prepare your immune system for winter! And of course, fall wouldn’t be fall without lots of squash, cabbage, and brussels sprouts!
Try something new! See a squash you’ve never cooked? Ask the farmer about their favorite ways to prepare and eat it, take it home, and look up some recipes online or in your favorite cookbook and try a recipe you would have never tried otherwise!
Read your favorite seasonal eating blogs for recipes! Here are a few of my recipes from last fall/winter:
- Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup
- Blue Potato and Leek Soup
- Vegan Locavore White Soup
- Potato and Turnip Soup AKA "Neeps and Tatties Soup"
- Sweet and Sweaty Vegetarian Chili
- Vegan Vitamix Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
And lastly, read! There are so many great books on seasonal cooking out now. Here are a few of my favorites:
Full disclosure: A version of this post will appear on http://unionsquaremain.org/food/farmers-market/
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