Waking up to a crisp fall morning, the temperature slightly chilly – jacket weather – always reminds me of trips to my local farmer’s market to search for the season’s best-kept secrets! While many may turn their nose up at some of these seasonal delicacies, it’s time for you to branch out and relish in the deliciousness of local, farm-grown produce.
Sure, it’s easy and convenient to pop in to the grocery store and easily get whatever you desire, but our bodies were built to eat seasonally, requiring the nutrients provided by these seasonal veggies to sustain us through the different seasons.
Take the farmer’s market challenge! Get moving to a local market or farm, and see what you can scrounge up to whip into a seasonal culinary masterpiece. Let’s take an inside look at the benefits of shopping at farmer’s markets, as well as the inconvenient truth about the produce at your grocery store.
WHY FARMER’S MARKET PRODUCE IS BEST
Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt with the reward being something you can EAT? Shopping at your favorite farmer’s market can be a social outing for your family or favorite people that yields immediate results. Not only will you find incredibly fresh food on location, but you can potentially leave with a basketful of seasonal produce ripe for your creations.
There is nothing like the taste of a fresh tomato straight from the garden – and if you haven’t experienced this amazement yet, I highly recommend you get yourself a big, honkin’ tomato and take a bite! Fresh fruits and veggies grown free of pesticides and chemicals and carefully tended to by local farmers just have a magical quality to them. Not only are they healthier for us, but we can support local farmers and artisans while simultaneously avoiding harmful chemicals used by the majority of commercial growers.
Toxic Herbicides and GM Crops
Although the answer to whether GMOs negatively affect our health is up for debate, one thing we know is true is that genetically-modified crops are known to need an abundance of weed-killer.The EWG (Environmental Working Group) explains that since genetically-modified crops have been created to endure weed-killing chemicals, more weeds are popping up and spreading all over the place, causing government agencies to try and pass new laws for using a combination of even more harmful weed-killing chemicals.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Glyphosate, the most popular herbicide for genetically-modified crops, has been labeled as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”gffWith the use of toxic herbicides on the rise for genetically-modified crops, it makes sense to stay away from GMOs as much as possible.
By shopping at your local farmer’s market, you can ensure that you’re buying organic, non-GMO fruits and veggies.You can even ask the farmers for yourself about which methods they use to control pests for their crops.
Although eating seasonally may take a bit more recipe planning and flexibility depending on what you can find, I can assure you that it will pay dividends to your overall health. You will be able to eat foods from all colors of the rainbow and, in doing so, build a wide range ghof vitamins and minerals into your diet.
But what about the cost? That’s the key to eating seasonally. When food is in season, it’s usually on sale because farmers have such an abundant supply and they don’t want their produce to spoil. If you’re worried about how you can afford shopping at a farmer’s market, I encourage you to talk to your local farmers and find out how you can get some great deals.I have even heard of people volunteering their time to work on farms in return for a box of the farmer’s freshly harvested fruits and veggies. Be creative, have fun and know that you can get fresh and healthy produce for you and your family.
THE BEST FARMER’S MARKET FINDS FOR FALL
Here are a handful of my favorite fall fruits and veggies, but keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list. There are a plethora of fall fruits and veggies that are now in season depending on where you live. What is in season for me, might be completely different for you!
Some of my favorite organic finds include:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
Do some poking around and see what’s available in your area!
MY TOP 3 FAVORITE AUTUMN RECIPES
#1 – SWEET & SPICY ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
Nutrient-dense and super-filling, sweet potatoes are chock full of vitamins and minerals! From Vitamin A to Vitamin C, from copper to manganese, you can’t go wrong with a wholesome sweet potato, especially if you’re trying to curb that sugar addiction. Try this recipe for an elegant evening with company or any time you need a healthy yet unique side dish!
4 Tbsp. organic cold-pressed coconut oil, melted
4 Tbsp. organic raw honey
1 organic lime (juiced)
1 tsp. ground all-spice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil
4 drops Clove essential oil
5 drops Ginger essential oil
2 lbs. organic sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425° F. Grease a large baking dish or pan with a small amount of melted coconut oil. Using a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, mix melted coconut oil, honey, lime juice, all-spice, cinnamon, and all essential oils to combine well. Add sweet potato pieces and mix until pieces are well-covered in spice/oil mixture. Spread sweet potato pieces on baking pan, being sure that pieces are not touching as much as possible. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and flip pieces to allow for an even cook. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately!
#2 – RUSTIC BAKED ACORN SQUASH
Nothing excites me more than a great squash-find at my local farmer’s market. Roast it, bake it, puree it – you can’t go wrong with this earthly delight. Add in some seasonal twang with mushrooms and garlic, and your taste buds won’t be able to control themselves!
1 organic acorn squash (be sure you pick one big enough to fill with stuffing)
1 Tbsp. organic cold-pressed coconut oil, melted or EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Filling:
2-4 Tbsp. organic cold-pressed coconut oil
½ cup diced organic onion
1 large clove organic garlic, chopped or minced
8 oz. fresh organic mushrooms
1 drop Rosemary or Marjoram essential oil
¼ cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 450° F. Rinse and slice off top and bottom of squash. Then, slice squash in half and spoon out all seeds. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay down both sides of squash. Drizzle melted coconut all over insides of squash; season with salt and pepper.Flip squash face down and bake for 25 minutes.To prepare the filling: In a skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil over medium heat. Next, sauté garlic, onions and mushrooms for about 6 minutes. Turn off heat and pour mixture into a glass or stainless-steel bowl. Mix in cranberries and essential oil with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into squash halves and put back into oven for about 10 minutes.Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes before you dig in!
#3 – SWISS CHARD SALAD WITH APPLE, PEAR, & WALNUT
Who doesn’t love a simple salad? Don’t be too quick to dismiss swiss chard, as it is chock-full of vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C, E, and K, along with iron, manganese, and potassium. Citrus EOs boost the flavor of this dish and give it a festive zing!
1 cluster of organic swiss chard
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) or organic cold-pressed coconut oil
1 clove organic garlic, minced
Juice from 1 organic lemon
1 drop Lemon essential oil
1 organic apple, diced
1 organic pear, diced
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and dry swiss chard, then tear leaves away from stems. Grab a few leaves, roll them up like a scroll, and slice leaves into thin strips. Using only ¼ cup of your olive oil, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add walnuts, garlic and then salt and pepper to taste. Stir walnuts around for 3-5 minutes until they are nice and toasty. Squeeze lemon juice into a little bowl then add 1 drop of lemon essential oil plus a bit of salt to taste. Next, carefully stir in remaining olive oil. Now you are ready to dice your apple and pear. Add in your toasted walnuts, pear and apple to bowl of swiss chard and toss with your dressing. Serve immediately!
I would love to hear which recipes you tried and if you have some favorites of your own! Please let me know which farmer’s market finds are your favorite in the comments below!
Need some essential oils for your fall recipes? I’m your girl! Let’s get you set up for culinary bliss! Find out how to purchase essential oils from me HERE. You will knock the taste buds off of everyone!