Veg-inspiration: April Farmers Market Finds

By Willow & Stephanie - POSTED ON 18 April 2012

CATEGORY: BEE Nutritious Eating Green

Farmers Market VegetablesWe think that one of the most enjoyable spring/summer activities is heading out to the farmers market. The beauty of colorful fresh produce makes us wish that we were pro photographers, and the excitement of potentially finding a new fruit or veggie to take home and try makes us even more excited for meals than usual. If you’re looking for inspiration to eat more fruits and veggies, we highly suggest heading to a farmers market.

With the unseasonably warm weather this year, some produce that we typically don’t see until early summer are already being sold. Here are some of our favorite farmers market finds that we’ve spotted recently:

Asparagus: This is one of our all-time favorite veggies. It tastes delicious grilled, roasted, or steamed/microwaved; it can be cooked quickly; and it is packed with vitamin C. Toss cooked asparagus with a little olive oil, sea salt or parmesan cheese, and pepper, and it’s ready to eat.  When picking out asparagus, make sure to check the tips of the spears, if they’re wet, mushy, or shriveled, put the bunch back. For maximum freshness, store with the ends trimmed, upright in a glass with about an inch of water, tops covered with plastic wrap or a bag.

Garlic scapes: Scapes (as they’re typically called) are shoots that grow out from garlic bulbs.  Farmers harvest them earlier than the garlic so that the garlic bulb can get enough nutrients — so scapes have a mild garlic flavor.  For cooking, scapes are versatile. They can be brushed with olive oil and grilled, then squirted with a spritz of lemon and sea salt and eaten as a veggie side on their own. Or they can be tossed into soups, salads, or stir-fries to add a boost of flavor.

Cucumbers: While cukes are available year-round at the supermarket, you typically won’t see them out at farmers markets until June.  But we spotted them this past weekend, thanks to this warm weather!  Fresh cucumbers remind us of summer and one of our favorite ways to eat them is drenched in red wine vinegar and sprinkled with garlic powder, black pepper, sea salt, and a dash of olive oil.

Other veggies that you’ll see popping up right now are kale, spinach, arugula, and broccoli rabe.

Anyone else head out to the farmers market this past weekend — or plan to next?  Let us know what you find!

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