From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting your local farmers, farmers markets make shopping a pleasure rather than a chore.
Farmers Markets vs. Grocery stores
I used to be intimidated by Farmers Markets. The different types of produce intrigued me, but I had no clue what to do with them. Not to mention only hipsters with reusable bags were allowed in and I did not make the cut.
Thankfully my fellow dietitian/mermaid/bestie dragged me to a few in college and taught me the ropes. Turns out you can learn a lot just from talking to the farmers! They LOVE telling you which veggies are in season, how to best enjoy them, what to cook with it, how much to buy for one person, and soooo much more.
When was the last time you learned that in a grocery store? Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy, but farmers are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook what they are selling.
Compared to grocery stores, farmers markets:
- Positively impact the health and diet of their community, especially in areas that otherwise lack sufficient access to fresh, healthy food.
- Support Family Farmers
- Protect the Environment
- Always have fresh and HIGHLY nutritious, seasonal produce.
- Are budget friendly.
Farmers Market tips
If you have a local farmers market, I highly recommend checking it out! Get your reusable bag, grab a hard cider with the local hipsters, and put the fun back in food shopping.
Stick to the basics
Pick one or two familiar foods to start. Get your favorite snack veggies like tomatoes, carrots, or cucumbers and venture into new produce picks or recipes after a few trips.
It's easy to "over-buy" when it comes to freshly picked produce. Make a list of your go-to meals that use common or in-season produce. Keep it simple like this easy breakfast using farm fresh eggs + blueberries + sourdough bread, or a lazy lunch with tomatoes + fresh mozzarella + hand picked basil.
Be adventurous (eventually) & ask questions!
Not everyone geeks out over grocery shopping the way I do, especially Tommy.. he gets lost when unattended at the store. But I wanted him to experience our local farmers market and ohhh boy did we have fun.
We started the day with a walk and clearly followed ALL the rules. Then headed to breakfast where Cooper was spoiled with biscuits and bacon.
And finally, we ventured off to the farmers market! Not only did I discover he REALLY likes cherries, we stepped way outside our comfort zone and bought ostrich filets! As a reformed picky eater this was INCREDIBLY challenging but I'm so glad we tried it.
What started as a simple question, "what the heck does it taste like?" Turned into a nutrition and cooking lesson, but also the best meal we've had in a while. Not to mention all the amazing produce we took home!
I highly encourage you to support a farmers market near you and check out the simple, flavorful dishes I plan to make this week!
✨ Creamy Tomato Penne Pasta
✨ Egg & Avocado Toast
✨ Zoodle Caprese Salad
✨ Fresh Cherry Sorbet from Kroll's Korner