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Savor Summer with a Trip to the Farmers Market

Good nutrition makes such a difference in how you feel. While it can feel tough to make a lifestyle change, you will notice positive results when you start making better food choices. You’ll have more energy, joy and zest for life. And what better time to embark on a healthy eating journey than during the summer months when fresh produce is plentiful?

Shopping the farmers market is a great way to savor summer, break out of a food rut and learn where your produce comes from.

Tips for shopping the farmers market

Here are some tips for making the most of the farmers market.

  • Arrive early to get the best picks of the day. Do a lap around the market first to see what’s available before making a purchase.
  • Know what’s in season. Keep reading for a list of summer fruits and vegetables.
  • Bring small bills and reusable bags. If you plan to buy eggs, meat or cheese, pack a cooler as well.
  • Embrace imperfect-looking produce. Heirloom tomatoes, for example, can look misshapen compared to conventional tomatoes, but they taste delicious.
  • Try something new. Buy a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before. You may discover a new favorite.
  • Talk to the farmers. If you aren’t sure if something is ripe or how to use it in a recipe, ask the farmer or a volunteer. They are happy to help.
  • Leave your pup at home. Most farmers markets discourage pets (aside from service animals) for safety reasons.
  • Have fun! Farmers markets often have free samples, live music, local meat, artisan bread and cheese, fresh eggs, flowers, handmade beauty products and art.

What’s in season this summer

When you eat by the seasons, you can enjoy fruits and vegetables in their peak state. Here is what’s in season during the summer months:

  • Arugula
  • Avocadoes
  • Beets
  • Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • Cantaloupes
  • Chard
  • Cherries
  • Chile and sweet peppers
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Figs
  • Green beans
  • Herbs
  • Kiwifruit
  • Okra
  • Potatoes
  • Salad greens
  • Spinach
  • Stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines)
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini and summer squash

Once you have your produce, browse cookbooks or food blogs for healthy recipes. Vegetables can be grilled, roasted, tossed in a salad or eaten raw with hummus. Add fresh fruit to your oatmeal, cereal, smoothie or salad. The options are endless!

For more information about your health or to find a primary care provider, visit pardeehospital.org.

Susan McKenney

Susan McKenney, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, BC-ADM

Family Nurse Practitioner
Pardee BlueMD - 712 Fleming St.
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