All Posts In Farmers’ Market Finds

Market Watch: Green Tiger Zucchini

by in Farmers' Market Finds, July 18, 2014

zucchini
If zucchini is a seasonal staple in your kitchen, be on the lookout at farmers markets for tiger zucchini, a less common variety. Named for its pale green stripes, tiger zucchini is a European hybrid that is best when harvested young (on the smaller side). The flavor is sweet and nutty with a tender crunch.

One medium specimen of the summer squash has only 30 calories and 2 grams of each fiber and protein. And it’s not so shabby in the vitamin and mineral department: Each tiger zucchini contains 56 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin C, 4 percent iron and 15 to 20 percent of B vitamins folate, B6 and riboflavin.

Thanks to their good flavor, tiger zucchini can be used in any recipe that calls for conventional zucchini, including these:

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Market Watch: Donut Peaches

by in Farmers' Market Finds, September 1, 2013

donut peaches
Bursting with fresh summer sweetness, these lesser-known peaches are worth scooping up if you see them at the market!

Also known as a Saturn peach, this pleasantly “smushed” variety is a bit tricky to slice uniformly. But that’s part of what makes the peaches special–they’re a little goofy looking, but the flavor can’t be beat. Chomp into this tender and juicy peach, and you’ll find that it’s delicate, sweet and less acidic than traditional kinds.

Because of their odd shape, donut peaches are difficult to peel. They’re best for snacking out of hand or in recipes where that deliciously fuzzy skin can be left intact. Salsa and muffins are two personal favorites.

Recipes to Try:
Peach Muffins
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze
Rosemary-Mustard Pork with Peaches
Frozen Fruit Cups
Mango and Peach Salsa

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

Market Watch: Heirloom Eggplants

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, August 4, 2013

heirloom eggplant
Most passersby ooh and ahh over these fantastically gorgeous nightshade veggies and then pass on buying them because they have no idea what to do with them! I’m here to help.

You certainly won’t come across these gorgeous gnarly varieties of eggplant in your local large chain grocery store. White, striped and even pumpkin-shaped — these oddly-shaped eggplants are mild and sweet and can be enjoyed in any eggplant recipe. They work especially well for roasting, grilling and other recipes where a perfect round shape isn’t necessary.

These eggplants go by names like Rosa Bianca and Pandora Striped; ask farmers at the market which varieties they’re growing.

Recipes To Try:
Eggplant Salad
Eggplant Ricotta Bites
Roasted Eggplant Spread
Grilled Eggplant with Yogurt and Mint
Roasted Eggplant Salad (Baingan-Bharta)
Pork Tenderloin with Eggplant Relish

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

Market Watch: Goat’s Milk Feta

by in Farmers' Market Finds, July 20, 2013

cheese
Sometimes I go to the farmers’ market in search of items that have nothing to do with produce. Local farmers often have other goodies like meats, cheeses, eggs, honey and baked goods to offer. On a recent trip to my favorite market I picked up a package of a profoundly delicious cheese: feta made from local goat’s milk.

Originating in Greece, feta cheese has been made for centuries. Classically made with sheep’s milk, some versions may also be a combination of both sheep and goat’s milk. Newer versions of this cheese from countries other than Greece may also be made with cow’s milk. Curds of the cheese are pressed together into blocks and stored in brine, which contributes to feta’s unique tangy flavor.

Cheese lovers will also be happy to know that feta is naturally lower in calories. One ounce of feta contains 40 fewer calories and 3 fewer grams of fat than the same portion of cheddar.

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Market Watch: Green Peas

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, June 22, 2013

green peas
Green peas are sitting in natural, pretty little packages just waiting to be plucked. Visit your local farmers’ market and dive into a basket of this spring treasure.

Also known as English Peas, inside the inedible pods are tender and succulent peas. Shelling them does take bit of elbow grease and patience, but the sweet, fresh flavor is totally worth it. Use them in any recipe that calls for fresh or frozen peas. You can also munch on them raw or blanch and freeze them for later.

One cup of shelled green peas has 117 calories and one gram of fat. It also has 7 grams of hunger-fighting fiber and 8 grams of muscle-building protein. Don’t forget about vitamins and minerals – calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, thiamin and vitamins A, C and K can all be found in peas.

Recipes To Try:
Fresh Pea Ravioli With Crispy Prosciutto
Pasta With Tomato and Peas
Tuna Pasta Salad
Spicy Cheesy Rice
Asparagus and Fresh Pea Frittata With Tomato-Basil Concasse

Market Watch: Broccoli Rabe

by in Farmers' Market Finds, May 15, 2013

broccoli rabe
Also known as Italian broccoli, I grew up calling this veggie rapini. It has a pungent and bitter flavor similar to turnips and cabbage that gets mellowed out by cooking. It’s also a nutrient powerhouse, packed with calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamins A, C and K.

When at the market, look for a nestled bunch of bright leafy greens, with tiny broccoli-like buds peaking out. To prepare, steam or blanche in boiling water, then sauté in olive oil and garlic. Finish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve as a side dish or incorporate into soup, quiche or pasta.

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In Season: Ramps

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, May 7, 2013

ramps

A true sign of spring, this specialty produce can only be found for a limited time.

What, Where & When
A member of the Allium family along with onion and garlic, this wild variety of onion is sometimes referred to as a “wild leek.” Looking much like a scallion, a tiny bulb elongates to a skinny stalk with green feathery leaves (all parts are edible).

 

Lovers of this spring goodie are fans of its fresh onion and garlic flavor. Cooking will mellow out the pungent flavor of a raw ramp.

A serious farmers’ market treasure, ramps are harvested through the spring and early summer– look for them at markets from April through May or early June.

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Market Watch: Fingerling Potatoes

by in Farmers' Market Finds, October 20, 2012

fingerling potatoes
Slice and roast them or steam and smash them. Sprinkle with salt and some freshly chopped herbs and the delightfully earthy flavor only gets better. Is your mouth watering yet for some fingering potatoes?

Resembling chubby fingers, this variety of spud can be found at farmers’ markets now. Look for skins with golden, rose or even purple and blue hues. The color of the creamy, yet sturdy flesh will also vary from pale yellow, white and purplish-blue.

Some of the most well-known varieties are Russian Banana, French Fingerling and Purple Peruvian but there are even more out there – ask your local farmer what they’re growing.

Recipes to Try:
Dill Fingerling Potatoes
Grilled Potato and Pepper Salad
Crudite with Olive Crème Fraiche
Healthy Roast Fingerlings with Lemon

Market Watch: Early Apples

by in Farmers' Market Finds, September 15, 2012

apples
It’s only mid-September but I’ve been enjoying apples for months –thanks to these early varieties.

  • Delightfully crisp Gala are super crunchy and sweet with rosy skin. They’re good for applesauce or snacking.
  • Streaked pale green and red Honeycrisp are slightly tart and fabulous for baking or applesauce.
  • Red and shiny with a touch of green, MacCoun have the best of everything – sweet, tart, crunch. Fabulous for vegetable, chicken or tuna salads
  • Petite, Early McIntosh have the aroma of an orchard and are perfect for little hands (my kids gobble them up). They make a sweet and delicious pie, too.

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Market Watch: Sun Jewel Melon

by in Farmers' Market Finds, August 5, 2012

melon
After my weekly CSA delivery, I was prepared to write all about a gorgeous looking spaghetti squash that was in my share. But when I open the “squash,” I discovered that it wasn’t a squash at all, but a melon!

I put in a call in to my farmer (yes, proud to say I have her on speed dial); I wanted her to enlighten me – what was this bright yellow melon called? She introduced me to the Sun Jewel. This Asian variety (also called a Korean Yellow Melon) has pale yellow flesh that tastes similar to honeydew, but with more of a cucumber-pear flavor.

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