Local farmer’s markets will be in full swing through October. This means plenty of time to cash in on the health benefits that fall produce has to offer. From broccoli to Swiss chard, these plants provide major benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. While visiting your local market this weekend, be sure to check out these finds and more.
Below are some yummy and healthy Farmer’s Market finds, their health benefits, and how to prepare them.
• Health Benefits: Rich in antioxidants which help prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
• Dip slices into Greek yogurt
• Homemade applesauce
• Sprinkle slices with cinnamon and bake
• Health Benefits: Excellent source of Vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting and bone health.
• Sautee with olive oil and garlic
• Combine florets, chicken and whole grain pasta for a fresh meal
• Health Benefits: Good sources of vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin).
• Riboflavin keeps blood cells healthy and helps with metabolism.
• Sautee, roast or steam
• Season with celery seed, tarragon or thyme
• Add to sandwiches or soups
• Health Benefits: Excellent source of Vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system and lower hypertension.
• Cut into cubes and roast in the oven with canola oil or wrap in foil and grill
• Health Benefits: Excellent source of vitamins K, A and C. Vitamin A is essential to vision and immune system health.
• Sauté in oil with garlic for a few minutes, until wilted
• Add to soups or enjoy as a side
Produce sold at farmer’s markets is often picked the same day it is sold. This keeps nutrients locked in, to provide you with the most health benefits.
Don’t be afraid to try new things from your local market. Get expert advice from growers on how to best store and prepare produce. I find they have great tips for getting the most of your farmer’s market haul. Visit your local Extension website for more information and tips. What will your next farmer’s market find be?