by Lauren Rae, CPT at TRYM Fitness and Sunwarrior Contributing Writer
Gardens are blooming and farmers’ markets are booming! Now is the best time to save some cash on fresh, organic produce while supporting your local community. Head out for some fresh air at the local farmers’ market because buying and consuming freshly-picked produced is more cost effective as well as more delicious and nutritious! Put money back into the hands of the people who grow your food and cut down on your costs by cutting out the conventional food brokers and grocery stores. You get a health benefit as well, since food items shipped over a greater distance lose flavor and nutrients during the time it takes to get from farm to table.
You can find your local farmers’ market through websites like Local Harvest and FarmersMarket.com. Sites like these can provide information about local and organic foods, farms, and more. Never buy overpriced, GMO produce again by connecting to the vast directory of locations where you can purchase produce and other food items grown nearby. You can also check your community’s website for information on the city’s services and events.
If the farmers’ market isn’t your thing, looking into CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in your area is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with nearby farmers and in return receive regular deliveries of produce during peak seasons. U-Pick farms (farms that open up the fields to the public during harvest season) are also a great way to spend an afternoon outdoors! However you go about getting your produce, remember to buy locally and organic whenever possible.
Favorite Summer Recipes from the Farm
- 1 cup cooked black quinoa (cooked in water or vegetable stock)
- 1–2 large zucchini
- Cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Small bunch of fresh basil
Using a vegetable peeler or mandalin slicer, gently strip the zucchini into thin slices. Over medium heat, drizzle the olive oil into a sautee pan and add the garlic. Once heated, add zucchini strands, tossing every minute or so, until soft, about 3–5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste then add your cherry tomatoes and chopped basil and toss again. Serve hot over ½ cup cooked quinoa. Serves two.
Vegetarian Summer Club Sandwich
- 2 slices of Ezekiel bread
- 1 tablespoon avocado
- 1 tablespoon hummus
- 6 slices of cucumber
- 1 portobello mushroom
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small handful of spinach
- 1 small handful of spicy bean sprouts
Cut your red bell pepper in half and remove the seeds. Place the pepper skin-side-up next to the portobello mushroom on a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the tops are nice and brown and the veggies are soft. Lightly toast your bread and spread one piece with your hummus and the other with avocado. Layer on the cucumber, spinach, spicy bean sprouts, and finish with your portobello mushroom and roasted red bell pepper. Slice in half and enjoy!