Each spring I am excited to head out to the Farmer's market to pick up fresh produce - lettuce, berries, and tomatoes. But, with Labor Day long gone and the Fall holiday's quickly approaching I often forget about the plentiful Autumn produce that the local Farmer's Market has to offer.
Local, seasonal produce is by far the healthiest option no matter what "diet" plan is currently on trend. I think whether we are low carb, paleo, keto, or vegan we can all agree that more fresh veggies on our plate equal a healthier body. Whether you pair them with steak or tofu is up to you.
Let's explore why we need to head to a Fall Farmer's Market this week and enjoy the Autumn harvest.
1. Get More For Your Money
Often times in-season produce at a farmers market is lower in price than the local supermarket, but sometimes certain prices are a little higher. If you do end up paying a little more on your grocery bill than usual, you can feel good about the fact that you are getting more too. There is more nutrient density, variety, and flavor in freshly harvested local produce. Most growers use organic methods and pick and sell their produce at peak ripeness. Studies tell us that this results in higher nutrient density compared to produce picked early and shipped across the country.
2. Experiment with New Foods
At the grocery store, I go with a list and hit all the usual aisles. I don't often take time to check out what's new (and usually that wouldn't be much anyway). At the market, make a point to consider new options. Look at stands with unfamiliar produce, even spices, and sauces. Let your kids pick a new fruit or vegetable to try and I bet they will be more likely to eat it at dinner if it was their idea. If you are choosing vegetables you've never cooked before, don't be shy. Ask at the stand how it should be cooked and most attendants will be happy to share their favorite recipes.
3. Add More Variety to Your Diet
Fall vegetables often go neglected now that we have grocery stores that ship out of season produce all year round. We can buy pumpkins in May and Tomatoes in December, but I promise they won't taste nearly as good. The autumn harvest is full of nutrients our bodies need, especially this time of year. Here are some of my favorite fall vegetables and their benefits:
- Brussel Sprouts - full of fiber to ward off cardiovascular disease
- Broccoli - loaded with vitamin C to boost immunity
- Celery Root - contains potassium and magnesium to decrease blood pressure
- Onions - antiinflammatory agents help decrease pain from arthritis
- Spinach - various compounds are believed to decrease cancer risk
- Pumpkin - rich in beta-carotene which has a long list of vital health benefits
What is your favorite way to enjoy these fall vegetables? For me, simple roasting them with some healthy oils and spices is both easy and tasty.
Here's a link to a fall recipe to try. . . Roasted Fall Vegetables.
So, find out if your favorite Farmer's Market is still open this fall. And when you go, head over to Facebook and post a picture so we can try it out too!