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FARMERS MARKET FINDS – HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PURCHASES

Farmers Market Finds

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Farmers Market finds are really pretty special if you think about it. They are created or grown by folks in your local area. 

Farmers Market Finds

One of my favorite things about Farmers Markets are that you will never find the same thing each week. 

Another reasons I love these markets is that it’s a great way to see and realize that the “buy local” and “farm-to-fork” movements are alive and well in your community.

Soon local farmers markets will be opening up across the United States.  To help you get the most out of your market visits, we’ve complied some tips on what to do with all of the fabulous finds you bought home with you. 

Farmers Market Finds

If you’ve never been to a Farmers Market before, you may have questions such as:

 
Farmers markets are usually outdoors, however, sometimes they are indoors.  At these physical retail marketplaces, which are ran by famers, you will find prepared foods, flowers, meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, baked good, and sometimes handmade items such as soaps.
 

IS THE FOOD AT FARMERS MARKET MORE EXPENSIVE?

 
Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  It really depends on how well the seller researches products and their prices.  It really comes down to you as the consumer knowing what things cost. I have found though that many times it’s the same or cheaper.  I like supporting our local farmers so if I can pay the same price I would at a big chain, why shouldn’t I support a local business?
 

EVER WONDER WHERE YOUR PRODUCE EVER CAME FROM?

Yeah, I have wondered that too.  What chemicals they used, how recently it was picked, what was done to fast ripen it.  That’s another reason I absolutely adore these markets.  Many times, sellers will list their profiles at their booths so you can learn more about them. 
 

DO I NEED TO BRING MY OWN SHOPPING BAG?

 
I normally bring my own, so I have it.  Usually the merchants will have their own bags though for you to use. 

 

Here are some Tips to help you get the most out of your Farmers Market Finds!

1. Make Fresh Salsa

Don’t get me wrong, canned salsa is just as good as fresh salsa, however, there is just something about fresh from the garden salsa!! The flavors marry together terrifically, and they are always delish! The flavors pop together nicely and it’s a wonderful experience!

Here are a couple of recipes for salsa that I think you will enjoy!

Garden Fresh Salsa Verde 

Jalapeno Peach Salsa

 

2. How to Handle the Peppers you bought

To avoid “jalapeno hands,” it’s best to wear gloves when handling them. If, however, you skip this step and find your hands burning – don’t despair! The capsaisin that makes peppers hot breaks down better in oil than it does in water. Therefore, coat your hands in olive or vegetable oil, or slather on a heavy hand cream to minimize the burn until it goes away.

Here is a pepper recipe that always works well with fresh farmers market finds!

Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

 

3. Buying Meat at Farmers’ Markets 

Meat from local farms and CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture) can be quite a bit more expensive than what you find in larger grocery stores.

To save money, look for more affordable “mini-farm sampler” type packs that feature a small amount of several different types of meat. (Most of the meat used in these recipes was sourced this way). It’s a great way to try new things and save a little money in the process.

4. Preserve Fresh Herbs  

Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavor to recipes without adding extra calories. Unfortunately, they can get pretty pricey and they don’t have a long shelf life. However, most fresh herbs can be preserved for later use.

For example, fresh basil can be dried in the oven or frozen in ice cube trays covered by a layer of olive oil.

5. How to Measure the Fresh Produce you bought

When working with garden-fresh produce, such as ears of corn, it can be tricky to know how much to substitute when necessary. As a rule of thumb, an average medium-sized ear of corn will yield between ¾ – 1 cup of kernels.

 

6. Make meatballs from the fresh ground beef you bought 

Homemade meatballs are a great idea to make ahead and freeze.  To help meatballs keep their nice, round shape, bake them for 15-20 minutes on a lined baking sheet before adding them to a baking dish with sauce.

One of my favorite new recipes is this Honey Siracha Glazed Meatball dish by Eat Yourself Skinny.  I used ground beef in lieu of the ground turkey. They are amazing and great for lunches or dinner!

7. Mason Jar Salads 

For best results, use wide-mouthed mason jars. You can use any jars you have on hand, but the narrower-mouthed jars make it a little tougher to get the salad out. Pint-sized jars are great for smaller lunch portions, while the quart-sized versions are perfect for a hearty dinner serving.

If you use an oil-based homemade dressing, the oil may solidify in the refrigerator. For best results, allow your salads to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.

The key to a successful Mason jar salad is the order of your ingredient layers!

8. Prepare Ahead of Time

To make sure you have all the supplies you need to take care of and get the most out of your farmers market purchases, pick up the following recommended items:

Storage containers

Farmers Market Cookbooks

Vegetable peelers

Strawberry hauler

Vegetable brush

Vegetable drying mat

 

 

 


 

Other recipes that will work great with the produce you purchased:

Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce

If you’ve asked  yourself if there are any Farmers Markets near me, make sure to head over to this site.  You can search for the closest market to you!  By using this site, I found four near us that I knew nothing about!

 

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