Farmer’s Market Finds: Easy to Prep and Great for Your Health!
When it comes to finding fresh local foods at your local Farmer’s Market or grocery store, it’s important to know which foods benefit you the most! Not only that, but it’s essential to living a healthy lifestyle for the future. That’s why our awesome team at CHI Health’s Nutrition Services is here to show you various Farmer’s Market Finds everyone should have in their diet!
Farmer’s Market Find #1: Cherries
Cherries are one of the healthiest fruits in the entire world. One cup of cherries, which is about 20 or so of them, are only a hundred calories and provide 15% of your daily vitamin C needs. Cherries have also been shown to be preventative for diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and can prevent obesity as well. In fact, some studies have even been shown to help regulate blood pressure.
How to Prepare Cherries
- The cherries are pretty easy to prepare. All you really have to do is take them home and wash them off.
- Then, if you’d like to use them in cooking; just remember there are pits inside of them. So, you’ll want to slice them open and get those pits out before cooking.
More Benefits of Cherries
You can use them in pies, you can use them in breads, and you can use them for muffins! You can even throw them on your cereal or yogurt. Otherwise, you can just have them how they are and have a container ready to throw away your seeds in.
Another great benefit of cherries is if you have diabetes or insulin resistance they are low glycemic index fruit. So, they won’t have a big effect on your blood sugar.
Farmer’s Market Find #2:Watermelon
Watermelon seems to be one of the favorite fruits in the summertime! Summertime really is the best time of the year to buy them, because that’s when it’s the ripest and freshest!
So, where can you get the best watermelons? At your local Farmer’s Market or grocery store! Something you’ll want to keep in mind when you buy them, is to look for one that has a nice big yellow spot on it. You’ll notice that the watermelon will feel hallow in your hands.
What are the Health Benefits of Watermelon?
The benefit of watermelons are that they are a low calorie food. In fact, just one cup of watermelon gives you only 46 calories with 92 percent of that being water. In addition to being low in calories, watermelon also offers a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants.
Because they are really important for preventing cancer, regulating blood pressure, and help with macular degeneration. It can even give vibrancy to your skin and hair! So, why not take advantage of this amazing fruit?
Steps to Cutting a Watermelon:
Cutting a watermelon can be done in a lot of different ways. But, if you would like to cut bite-size pieces, rather than the large wedge pieces here are some steps for you!
- Trim off the ends of the watermelon and lay it flat to make it easier to cut.
- Then, flip it over to skin off the edges around the outer surface of the watermelon. You should see that pink from the inside peeking through.
- From there, you’ll want to start by cutting it lengthwise and then from the other direction.
- Finally, you should end up with some nice cube-sized pieces!
Watermelon is great for hydrating, low in calories, and can also do great things for your health!
Farmer’s Market Find #5: Cauliflower
Cauliflower is all the craze right now, as people are trying to switch to lower carb options, but is it really that healthy? The answer is… Yes! It’s a very healthy. A cup of cauliflower is only 25 calories and provides about 10 percent of your daily fiber needs!
Something else that is great about cauliflower is that it has many vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. In other words, it’s got it all! In fact, it’s even got a little dose of protein as well.
For your cauliflower you can either eat it fresh, or roast it in the oven.
To Roast Your Cauliflower You Need to:
- Cut it up into florets and then throw them into a gallon sized plastic bag.
- Once, it’s in the bag you can play around with olive oil, salt pepper, dill, basil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder or whatever seasonings you like. Shake the bag up and let the seasonings spread over the entire batch of cauliflower.
- Bake about 20 to 25 minutes in an oven warmed to 450 degrees.
- Put it on a baking sheet with aluminum foil that way clean-up is easy.
Cauliflower is best in the month of September, October and November, but is available all year round. In the summer months, there are yellow and purple cauliflower with just as many of the great properties as the white cauliflower does. So, try to substitute your rice for cauliflower or add it on as a side dish. You won’t regret adding this amazing vegetable to your diet!
Check out even more of our Farmer’s Market Finds too!
Michelle Yates, RD, LMNT, is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health Lakeside Hospital, specializing in the Medical/Surgical unit & the Oncology unit. She doubles as a dance instructor as well as a master’s student for Health Psychology. Her passions are to help others break free from any negative ideas of food they carry, along with opening their eyes to the joys of “everything in moderation”.