After too many food industry documentaries this last month, I walked down to the farmers market on my lunch break. I love the Farmers Market, but I hate to admit that I have under utilized the resource for way too long. I will occasionally stop by when I remember the hours, but I haven’t made this a regular routine. As a dietitian who is always promoting local, farm fresh foods (and constantly referring to a calendar/schedule) I had to wonder why I didn’t have this recurring event on my weekly calendar.
My experience was wonderful. As I entered the grounds, an A-frame told me there would be a free yoga class, a 5K run and live music. (Not only do they have fresh foods, but they are bolstering community, love it!) I made the rounds finding beautiful bunches of vegetables, honey, organic grass fed meats, fresh and salted seafood, baked goods and a series of other tents. The venders are all friendly and willing to discuss their products with or without a sale. The prices are fair, and only slightly more expensive than the local cost effective market and maybe even less expensive than the more upscale food markets. The variety in vegetables was similar from farmer to farmer as this is what is currently in season and ready to be picked. Zucchini, yellow squash, corn, berries, and a host of greens adorned the stalls.
I enjoy looking at the available foods and thinking about how to create a meal from the ingredients. I thoroughly enjoy the creativity of this, but with our fast paced culture and food companies creating products that are inexpensive, quick and easy to prepare, I find many people do not know what to do with basic ingredients anymore. I think this extra step, although enjoyable and a better healthful decision was a major reason why I didn’t make use of the Farmers Market more regularly. AND, I actually enjoy doing it and have this skill. This has the chance to be a wild card meal and having the time and energy to prepare a meal from unexpected or more limited ingredients may be a deciding factor for many more people than just me. However, a mountain of evidence shows us that choosing and preparing our meals as a family from locally sourced foods has exponential health benefits.
I bought blueberries, cucumbers and a basil plant.
Today, by chance, I picked a cucumber from my own plant my friend had given to me, and made lunch. Cucumber salad sourced almost entirely from my yard and teff bread. My lunch was healthy, satisfying, and pesticide free.
Cucumber Salad (2 servings)
Cucumber – 1Mint – 1 TChive – 1 TApple Cider Vinegar – 1 TSea Salt – 1 tsp
Seed and chop cucumber, mint, and chive and place in a bowl. Add ACV and sea salt. Toss and enjoy.NOTE: When made with a local cucumber, the flavor is powerfully delicious.
Teff Bread (2 servings)
Teff Flour – 1 cupWater – 1 cupEgg – 1 (optional)Tumeric – 1 TBlack Pepper – ¼ tspSea Salt – 1/8 tspCoconut Oil – 1 T
Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, water, egg, turmeric, black pepper in a bowl. Batter should be thin. Pour on cookie sheet an move batter to edges with spatula, if necessary. Bake for 7-10 minutes on the middle rack. Edges may slightly curl up. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle sea salt over bread. Cut with knife into squares and enjoy plain, with grass fed butter or more coconut oil.
Visiting the Farmers Market and being able to prepare a weeks worth of meals for my family may not be entirely reasonable currently, but if I can make a few meals for a few days sourced from my own vegetables or the farmers market, I improve my health by eliminating the chance of GMO crops or animal/products that have eaten GMO crops, added sugars, and chemical compounds while I reduce my carbon footprint and grocery bill. I’m in.