by Dana Angelo White in Farmers' Market Finds, July 20, 2013
by Dana Angelo White in Healthy Recipes, In Season, July 18, 2013
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.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Recipes, In Season, July 13, 2013
It’s prime season for summer squash, and like most folks, I get all jazzed up when the zucchini harvest arrives. Here are 22 healthy ways to devour this summer goodie.
Soups, Salads, Snacks … and a Cocktail!
Zucchini is the chameleon of the produce world, adapting to any surrounding flavor and texture. It’s tremendously delish raw or cooked, shredded or sliced, roasted or pureed.
Who says a zucchini can’t be a meal?! These recipes prove this veggie is up to the challenge.
There’s nothing wrong with going the more traditional route. These simple side dishes turn up the flavor.
Breads and Muffins
Don’t count out the baked goods. Zucchini adds a subtle sweetness and helps keeps breads and muffins moist.
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 »
by Dana Angelo White in In Season, July 6, 2013
Pick up a bunch (or two!) of this fragrant herb while it’s in season. And don’t worry about how you’ll manage to use it all—there are just so many delicious ways.
Go the traditional route and whip up a mean pesto sauce. Use as a condiment or as a sauce for fish or pasta dishes.
Infuse your favorite olive oil with basil. It only takes a few minutes!
Having a few guests over? Whip up simple finger foods using fresh basil leaves.
Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta
Black Pepper Basil Farmers Cheese Bruschetta
Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers
by Dana Angelo White in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, June 22, 2013
This lesser-known herb is a must-have in my garden. Learn more about the flavor of marjoram, plus find out why the ancient Greeks would stock up on it for funerals.
According to the Food Lovers’ Companion, marjoram was used in funeral wreaths to symbolize happiness in life and the afterlife. Sprigs of this herb tout small and delicate oval-shaped leaves that are bright green.
The most common variety is called sweet marjoram. It’s a member of the mint family but it has a flavor similar to oregano, only sweeter. It can be found both fresh and dried in large markets and specialty grocery stores – look for it fresh at the farmers’ market during the spring and summer months.
by Healthy Eats in In Season, May 31, 2013
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
by Toby Amidor in In Season, May 17, 2013
What They Are and When to Enjoy:
Radishes belong to the cruciferous vegetable family which takes its name from the Latin root crux, meaning cross. But rest assured, eating them is no cross to bear! They are deliciously crisp and fresh tasting with a subtle spiciness.
Enjoy radishes at their finest in April, May and June. Red Globe are the most common variety in the U.S and are frequently sold with their greens attached. To choose the best ones give them a squeeze. The bulbs should feel firm, not soft. Crisp, green leaves and medium-sized roots are also good indicators of a winning bunch.
by Dana Angelo White in Farmers' Market Finds, May 15, 2013
This spinach-like, tart herb is now in season. Pick up a bunch and get cooking!
Although commonly defined as an herb, sorrel is part of the buckwheat family. It was used by the Greeks and Romans to help digestion. It was also wrapped around meat to help tenderize it. During the Middle Ages, before citrus fruit was brought to Europe, folks used this green herb to add a sour punch to dishes. Once citrus fruit reached Europe, poor sorrel was cast aside. Only recently has this citrus-flavored herb been gaining popularity.
Its tart flavor and tenderizing capabilities come from a compound called oxalic acid, which can also be found in spinach and black tea.
Your best bet is checking your local farmer’s market for sorrel starting in mid-May. Its leaves can either be shaped like a shield or rounded. The color can range from pale to dark green and range from 2 to 12-inches in length. Keep your eyes peeled though, sometimes the young leaves are tossed together with the salad greens. As the herb ages, the acidic flavor becomes stronger.
Varieties also vary in sourness with Garden and Belleville being the strongest flavored, while Dock sorrel is one of the mildest varieties.
by Dana Angelo White in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, May 7, 2013
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.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Recipes, In Season, February 9, 2013
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.
This unique variety of oranges has been gaining popularity. But if you want to catch them, get to the market now; they’re only in season for a short time.
What, Where, & When?
These oranges were first discovered in 1976 at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela (hence the name) and are now grown in California. They’re a type of navel orange that’s a cross between the Washington and Brazilian Bahia navel oranges.
The seedless orange has reddish-pink flesh and a sweet yet tangy flavor similar to cranberries, strawberries and raspberries. They’re available December through April.