A Holistic Nutritionists Top 5 Farmers Market Picks

Written by Tina Gravalos

Follow Tina's socials @tinagravalos


Farmer’s markets are my jam in the summer, for many reasons. I love connecting with the farmers, supporting my local economy and eating fruits + veggies in season is the absolute best.


When you eat in season, this means that the produce is fresh, ripe and not picked before it’s ready. In colder months, this happens and we get produce shipped from other countries. Eating in season maximizes the nutrients in the produce, too. Here are five of my favourite farmers market picks.



Peaches

Nothing better than biting into a sweet and juicy peach. Peaches are a “stone fruit” because of their pit in the middle and have some pretty awesome beneficial properties:


· Antioxidants to help the body fight disease and free radicals

· Help to reduce inflammation

· Support gut health

· Support eye health



Some ways I use them: Eat them as is; slice and dip into coconut whip; grill them and drizzle maple syrup and cinnamon on top; in a salad with nuts, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.


In season: July – September


Blueberries

Tiny, but oh so mighty! They pack a serious nutritious punch, especially wild blueberries. Here are some of their awesome properties:


· Antioxidants – said to be one of the best sources of antioxidants

· Help to reduce inflammation

· Supports heart health

· Supports digestive health

· Supports brain health


Some ways I use them: Eat them as is; add to coconut yogurt; coat in coconut yogurt and freeze; freeze them to use in smoothies; add to oatmeal; add to a spinach-based salad


In season: July - September

Photo credit: Unsplash

Cauliflower

Cauliflower has become very popular in the last few years with the whole keto craze. It is so versatile and can be made into many things. They belong to the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. Amongst the craze, they are very nutritious and hold a lot of powerful health benefits in their flower like self:


· Antioxidants (a common theme with this post!)

· Help to reduce inflammation

· Supports heart health

· Supports brain health

· Supports gut health

· Supports hormone health

· Supports eye health


Some ways I use them: Roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt + pepper and garlic powder; Buffalo wings; cauli rice; cauli gnocchi


In season: June – November



Cucumber

I know it’s not the most exciting vegetable but it is one of my favourites! It is very nostalgic for me as I used to eat them right from my family garden when I was a kid, dirt and all (perhaps why my microbiome loves me so much):


· Antioxidants

· Helps to promote detoxification

· Supports skin health

· Supports heart health

· Supports bone health (Vitamin K)


Some ways I use them: Cut into rounds or sticks and dip into hummus; salads; smoothies; green juice


In season: June – October


Tomatoes

I used to be a tomato hater. The thought of tomatoes made me cringe. Now, I’m obsessed with them, it only took me 30 years to appreciate them. We can get them year-round (thanks to greenhouses) but nothing compares to when they are in season and you pick them up from the market. Some of their benefits:


· Antioxidants – specifically lycopene

· Supports heart health

· Helps to reduce inflammation (if you are not someone who has any issues with nightshades)

· Supports eye health

· Supports skin health


Some ways I use them: Cut into quarters with olive oil, salt + pepper and oregano; roasted in the oven; in a salad


In season: July – October



There you have it! Some of my favourite farmers market finds. Hope you enjoy this bountiful season of deliciousness.



Cucumber, Tomato and Red Onion Salad


This is probably one of the most simple but delicious salads to make. This is a staple in the summer in my house. I feel like the dressing is what makes it top notch, but obviously the veggies, too.


Time: 5-10 minutes

Serves: 2


Ingredients:


· 2 tomatoes

· ½ large cucumber

· ½ large red onion

· 1 tbsp. dried oregano

· 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

· 1 ½ tsp white wine vinegar (you can also use apple cider vinegar)

· Salt + pepper to taste


Instructions:


  1. Grab a bowl.

  2. Cut tomatoes into quarters or smaller if you would like.

  3. Cut cucumber in half length wise and then slice into half-moons. For this recipe, I scooped out the seeds but you don’t have to do that!

  4. Cut onion in half and then slice however you would like.

  5. Toss all the veggies into your bowl.

  6. For the dressing, in a small bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar salt and pepper and half of the oregano and whisk with a fork until it gets a little “creamy”.

  7. Add to your bowl of veggies and give it a toss. I usually use my hands to really get in there.

  8. Top with the rest of the oregano.

  9. Serve with chicken skewers or veggie skewers.

Photo credit: Tina Gravalos

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