There are so many things to love about summer. Between the sunny days and warm nights, outdoor activities and holidays spent with family and friends, the sunshine season is equal parts relaxing and entertaining. Another reason to get excited for summer – for us plant-based eating folks especially – is the fact that it's prime time for the farmer's market! All of the local farmers are setting up shop down the street to share the delicious local produce you can use in juices, salads and other wholesome meals.
If you want to make the most of your visit to the market, here are a few tips and tricks about reserving your produce and understanding which fruits and vegetables are best to buy during the summertime:
Best Produce to Purchase
The summer market provides a variety of delicious plant-based goods for followers of the Hallelujah Diet. Plus, this is one of the freshest and safest places to purchase your produce, as long as you know how your farmer handles his crops. Understanding if the produce is organically grown and free of harsh chemicals and pesticides is key. Here are a few fruits and veggies we highly recommend grabbing:
- Peaches make a delicious snack and can be used in many dessert recipes! Remember to pick peaches that are firm if you want them to last a few days.
- Tomatoes can be used in salads or chopped and tossed with olive oil and enjoyed as an appetizer. At the market, avoid tomatoes with bruises and soft spots.
- Herbs like basil, dill, cilantro, sage and thyme can be found at the summer farmer's market. You can use fresh herbs in various plant-based dishes!
- Watermelon is one of the most popular fruits during the summertime! To ensure this refreshing treat is ripe, look for a yellow spot. This is a sign that the melon has rested on the ground for long enough!
Taking Care of Your Goods
Once you pick through the produce at the farmer's market, you need to know how to handle and preserve your goods. Here are a few tips:
- Don't plan on going anywhere else after the market. Leaving fresh produce to bake in the car can ruin it. Head right home and store your goods properly.
- Understand how to store your fruits and vegetables, and make sure you don't keep them in the same place. Certain fruits give off ethylene gas that helps them ripen, but it can spoil vegetables.
- Know when your goods are expected to spoil! There's nothing worse than buying an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables only to let them go to waste.
- Talk to your farmer about ideas for meals! Perhaps he or she can share a plant-based recipe or a new way to use the fruits and vegetables.
Many farmers continue showing and selling their goods well into fall, so you can enjoy a new abundance of fruits and vegetables as the temperatures drop. Get to know your local farmers and talk to them about the produce to expect through the year!