Visiting The Farmers’ Market? Add These To Your List!

Ah, summer! The season of warmth that calls for long, lazy hours by the pool, hearty barbecue get-togethers, and cookouts. The timing is perfect because this also happens to be the best season to visit the local farmers’ market. These pop-up markets, bursting with summer colors and happy energy are your go-to for the freshest, healthiest fruits and vegetables.

Shopping at a farmers’ market is just as much enjoyable as eating all that produce. When you encounter tables and tables of fresh local food swathed in Nature’s most bountiful colors and smells, it can be a little hard to control yourself and you may end up buying things you won’t even eat.

So rather than filling your shopping bag with unnecessary foods that may go to waste, put these seasonal favorites down on your grocery list. These items are truly the best when bought from a local farmers’ market and you can enjoy the luscious, nutrient-packed taste all through the season!

1. Homegrown Honey

Locally made honey scores much higher than store-bought honey in terms of authenticity and
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When it comes to sweetening homemade iced teas and whisking up a batch of salad dressings, local honey always scored high over regular, store-bought honey. Its taste is also completely unique, with each batch bringing in the essence of the surrounding trees, flowers, and fields. Beekeepers are now combining homegrown honey with a myriad mix of flavors and if your local apiary at the farmers’ market has bee pollen to offer, you’re in for a real treat!

Note: Make it a habit to ask where the honey has come from. Although this is a rare occurrence in farmers’ markets, some local vendors try to sneak in store-bought honey and pass it off as homegrown honey.

2. Freshly Baked Bread

 Farmers' markets are brimming over with freshly baked breads from hamburger buns to baguettes that are gluten-free.

There’s is nothing that smells more delicious than freshly baked bread. Farmers’ markets

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will always be full of vendors selling everything from freshly baked hamburger buns to baguettes that are gluten-free. Keep a special lookout for international bakery staples like donuts, croissants, and perhaps even a new twist on the regular pop tart.

3. Mushrooms

Farmers’ markets sell not just fresh mushrooms, but also oysters, shiitakes, and morels.

Mushrooms are a delicacy that is hard to come by unless you want to go foraging in the forests. Besides, it’s totally unnecessary when your farmers’ market has so many vendors selling not just fresh mushrooms, but also oysters, shiitakes, and morels displayed in opulent bouquets, begging to be picked!

4. Grass-Fed Beef And Dairy

Farmers' markets are stocked with products from grass-fed animals that are not only tastier, but also healthier.

As with all types of organic food, the environmental impact of products derived from animals has much more to do with

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how they were raised and what they were fed on than how far they traveled. This is why buying local beef and dairy is so important because you can be sure that the animals were raised pretty much entirely on grass produce. This means there are much fewer greenhouse gas emissions and lower ammonia levels as compared to that in corn-fed animals that are raised in confinement.

Products from grass-fed animals not only taste better but are also much better for your health. For instance, grass-fed meat obtained from free-roaming buffalos and cattle is much lower in calories than that from their confined counterparts. Plus, it has been shown that grass-fed meat delivers a higher dose of omega-3 fatty acids that can boost brain and memory power and keep heart disease at bay!

5. Free-Range Eggs

Farmers' markets offer free-range eggs that are not just lower in cholesterol, but are also rich in vitamins and nutrients.

The debate as to whether or not free-range eggs

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taste better than store-bought ones is still ongoing, but we do know one thing for sure – they’re definitely healthier. Eggs that are brought in fresh from the farm contain far lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fats while being high in vitamins A, E, and D. They also offer higher doses of the beta-carotene that acts as a powerful antioxidant, and heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Spices

Farmers’ markets have a much wider, not to mention fresher range to offer as compared to supermarkets and grocery stores.

Yes, it’s true that grocery stores and supermarkets sell loads of spices but farmers’ markets have a much wider, not to mention fresher range to offer. You can also be sure that these contain no added preservatives or artificial ingredients. Be it dried sage or thyme, cinnamon or chili pepper – there’s no spice that you won’t find in a good farmers’ market. Depending on your location, you could even ask for some hard-to-find ethnic varieties

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to go with your international dishes!

Note: This list doesn’t include any fruits or vegetables but that doesn’t mean we don’t recommend you buy them from the farmers’ market. It’s a given that summer fruits and vegetables sold by farmers will always be your best bet, especially if you’re looking at peaches, berries, asparagus, tomatoes, onions, and rhubarb. So by all means, do include these in your grocery list. The focus of this article is on foods whose authentic, locally made or locally grown versions are tough to come by in conventional departmental stores, hence we suggest stocking up on them each time you find yourself visiting the farmer’s market.