Summer isn’t summer without visiting the Farmer’s Markets. However, sometimes they can be overwhelming. You may walk around wondering which selections to make while sampling everything there is to offer. Luckily for you, we are Farmer’s Market pros and can give you an idea of what items to be on the lookout for.
Mushrooms are a product that usually sells out at farmer’s markets. So if you are into mushrooms, make any mushroom booths your first stop. Additionally, this is a good time to try a mushroom variety you haven’t yet explored. For example, you can oftentimes find chanterelles or lion’s mane mushrooms at farmer’s markets. Mushrooms are low in calories and high in antioxidants making them a nutritional side dish option.
It is possible to find decent honey at the grocery store. However, the honey from your neighbor’s backyard will always be best. If your neighbor doesn’t have honey, then your best honey will be found at farmer’s markets! Honey at farmer’s markets will have a lesser chance of being “cut” with syrups and sugars. Pure honey and honeycomb truly help with many ailments. Honey is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. It can be ingested, used topically, and combined with other ingredients like garlic for additional benefits and flavors.
Fresh mozzarella is a wonderful thing and is making more and more appearances at farmer’s markets lately. If you happen to see a cheese called burrata, grab some of that too! Burrata cheese is mozzarella that's formed into a thin pouch and then filled with soft, stringy curd and cream called stracciatella. It’s a great topping for pasta or can be used as a dip. Mozzarella also contains bacteria that act as probiotics. These probiotics may improve gut health, promote immunity, and fight inflammation in your body.
A Greenheart favorite available at farmer’s market includes fresh-picked fruits and vegetables, but specifically, peppers. Peppers are also low in calories and high in nutrition. Peppers contain the carotenoid compounds beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, plus vitamin C, which are all critical to eye health. Lutein amounts in red peppers specifically have been known to neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Peppers likely protect cartilage and bone thanks to their abundance of vitamin C. In fact, a half-cup of red bell pepper gives you a full day's supply of the recommended milligrams of vitamin C.
Plants and herbs
Most smaller farmers and gardening enthusiasts take pride in their crops. For this reason, purchasing herbs and plants at the farmer’s market is ideal. Some great snags that can be utilized diversely to be on the lookout for include: thyme, aloe, mint, chives, basil, and lemon balm. You can keep these plants on your kitchen window seal or repot them on your patio. Fresh herbs add life to drinks and dishes in the kitchen. Plus, having aloe on hand is never a bad idea. Don’t be afraid to add aloe and herbs to smoothies or soups as well!
We hope this lists gives you some direction as you visit your next Farmer’s Market. You can also find a Greenheart booth at local farmer’s markets and fairs. Stop by and visit us and get some fuel for your day!