How to Master Your Farmer’s Market

How to Master Your Farmer’s Market

When it comes to your weekly trip to the farmers market, it’s always better to have a plan. I love to hop on my bike and cruise down to the local market to relax and take in that sweet, slow Sunday morning moment. I always end up chatting with the local vendors and taking some time to smell the fresh flowers. But, i’ve learned that my time is spent better when I have a few goals set in the back of my mind. Here, are my tips for your next trip to the market:

 

  • Bring your own bag: I have a rotating selection of re-usable bags I’ve purchased over the years from Trader Joe’s, Wegmans and Whole Foods. These bags always come in handy and can be folded up and thrown in your purse/tote!

 

 

  • Have a menu in mind: it always helps to know what you’ll be cooking up that week. With everyone’s busy schedules these days there’s barely time to make it to the grocery store after work with everything else going on. I always find time to plan out a weekly food schedule so I know exactly which vendors to hit up and check off my list!

 

 

  • Make friends with vendors: not only is it always a great conversation, but I love chatting with the local vendors to talk about the latest yield they produced, their growing process and to pick their brains for any tips on how to use the ingredient, garden my own or even food storage. Plus, you never know what fresh produce their keeping hidden under the table for you!

 

 

  • Early bird does get the worm: one of my favorite routines is heading over to the market right when they open with my cup of joe. It’s a warm, sunny morning and you get first dibs on all the freshest picks! However, if you are on a budget… head over there near closing time instead to get some last minute deals on the produce they don’t want to take with them – you can always throw some bruised veggies or fruits in a soup stock or smoothie!

 

 

  • Know how to store your purchases: whether you’re buying food for the next food days or stocking up for a few weeks, know which to eat first and what you can store. Educate yourself and organize your food schedule so you can get the most from your items!

 

The Effect of Food Miles

The Effect of Food Miles

A simple term that not many people have heard of – yet, is extremely important in the food industry. Food miles refers to the amount of miles your food has traveled from where it was grown to where it reaches you, is purchased by you or is consumed by you. Whether it’s a mango from Peru, an avocado from Mexico or vegetables from across the country, your food may be spending some major airtime just to get into your grocery cart.

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Energizer Smoothie

Energizer Smoothie

This smoothie is one of my staples throughout the week. Not only is it filled with superfoods that keep my body nourished – but it keeps my energy level up and my tummy satisfied.  It’s simple to make and your body will be thanking you later.

Throw all these ingredients into a blender. Mix until it’s a smooth, creamy smoothie substance!

  • handful of kale
  • handful of spinach
  • 5 raspberries or strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup homemade almond milk or cashew milk (can substitute store-bought)
  • tbsp flax seed
  • tbsp chia seed
  • tbsp hemp seed
  • tbsp coconut oil (unrefined)

Tip: if I just worked out the night before or know I will work that night I add a scoop of grass-fed protein powder!

Blueberry Date Go Bars

Blueberry Date Go Bars

Love granola bars? Me too. Why buy them at a store when you can make your own in a few simple steps? I love this recipe not only because I know every ingredient that goes into it and my body, but because you don’t have to bake anything and it produces a yummy, gooey, raw energy bar.

First step – get a large bowl. We are going to combine all the following ingredients together in a bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • handful of blueberries – get fresh, local blueberries from Great Country Farms!
  • 10 pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried goji berries
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

tip: if you have a sweet tooth – feel free to add in some cacao nibs!

Some health side notes – flaxseed is a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B’s.  Chia seeds has been proven over and over to have a whole slew of health benefits including filling your body with antioxidants, protein, fiber, healthy fats to name a few and helps with weight loss. Hemp seeds are a rock star in helping fats be converted to energy.

Directions:

Mix all of these ingredients together. Feel free to roll up your sleeves and really mix it together with your hands! Don’t worry about the blueberries breaking and getting mushed – we want that!

Next, lay out a large rectangle of either parchment paper or wax paper. Put the big, sticky bunch of mixture onto the paper and flatten it out. This part is really up to your own preference on how thick you would like the pieces to be. It could be 1/2 inch thick or up to an inch thick! Create a rectangle shape while you are flattening the mixture out so the pieces will be easy to make into equal squares when cutting (but don’t cut them yet).

Then, lay the flatten mixture with the parchment/wax paper in the fridge. Let it refrigerate for 1-2 hours before eating to let the shape take its form a bit more. However, these bars will be soft, slightly gooey and easier for your body to digest and not to mention packed with omega 3-fatty acids, protein and energy! You can leave them in the fridge all week to grab whenever works for you and your family. I usually end up bagging them individually and taking it with me to work for breakfast. Or if I am constantly on the go – these are perfect to carry along just in case you I don’t have time to grab some food or need a pick me up!

 

 

 

 

Ginger-Lemon Wellness Shots

Ginger-Lemon Wellness Shots

Start you day off by treating your body with a ginger-lemon shot. Ginger, a powerful digestive and health aid along with lemon as a natural detoxifier create the ultimate duo. A very simple recipe that goes a long way for your health. All you need is ginger root and a few lemons!

To make: put a big piece of fresh peeled ginger root through a juicer, pour the ginger juice into a glass and squeeze fresh lemon in! I usually make 2 or three shots depending on whoever is at home with me!

elfavicontip: add some spice by sprinkling in some cayenne!

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