Submitted by Claudia Yannaco, registered dietitian for the farmers markets in Mamaroneck (winter) and Larchmont (spring and summer)
The Larchmont Farmer’s Market opens this weekend. You can meet and catch up with friends and neighbors while you shop, and also get to experience a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, olive oils and breads.
Produce sold at Farmer’s Markets is freshly picked and in season, giving you the benefits of enjoying higher nutrient-density in fruit and vegetables. Local produce is allowed to ripen to its best taste and nutritional value – no need for gasses to speed up artificial ripening and no sitting on a truck cross-country to get here. More vitamins and minerals are retained this way. Seasonal produce has more intense, nuanced flavors. Nothing beats the sweet taste of a perfectly red, sun-ripened strawberry!
Branch out and explore new produce you and your family never had before. Why only eat carrots, broccoli and apples when there is a whole rainbow of local produce available to you? Spring brings us Swiss Chard, Rhubarb, Spinach, Asparagus and Apricots. In the Summer, Eggplant, various Squashes, Tomatoes and Melons call your name. Don’t rule out Fall, gifting us with Parsnips, Yams and Brussel Sprouts.
There is also plethora of information and wisdom coming from the farmers and artisans. They will gladly share their favorite recipes with you, so don’t be intimidated to try new things. So stop by on Saturday, April 27th from 8:30 am to 1 pm for the first Farmer’s Market of the summer season, located on the Metro-North parking deck off Chatsworth Avenue.
Here are a few nutrition tips
Olive Oil: What makes olive oils healthy? They contain monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). This good kind of fat helps reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) in your blood and has heart protective properties. Other sources of MUFAs include: olives, avocados, pumpkin seeds and cashews.
Omega3s: Did you know that eating a diet rich in fish can lower your risk for stroke and heart disease? This is because fish is rich in Omega3, a good type of fat. Taking supplements does not have the same beneficial effect – so enjoy Mackerel, Salmon, Tuna or Halibut three times a week to reap the benefits!
How to store Greens: Do you ever buy some delicious salad or fresh spinach, only for it to go slimy a few days later? Prolong their life like this: Salads – spread out leaves on paper towels and gently roll up. Store them in a zip lock bag or a lidded food container with another paper towel placed inside. Wash before you. Stemmed greens (kale, spinach, collards) – Wrap a damp (not wet!) paper towel around the stems, then place in zip lock or other plastic bag in fridge.