I realize that I am often preaching to the choir when I write about the great foods available in the market as the seasons change — and I know that many of you shop at the market to demonstrate your support for local farmers but also your commitment to eating healthy. But every week at every market I see you move through the produce stalls and come out with only those familiar vegetables that you grew up eating — and leaving behind those you did not like as a kid or were never fed at home.
Today, I am issuing a challenge. I think it would on a very small scale change your life if you would pick up a bunch of collards or kohlrabi or fennel or that lovely sorrel — kale or broccoli or sugar snap peas — one item that you have never brought into your kitchen before. And if you take us up on that challenge, we will be here to help you use it in a way that will ensure it a place in your seasonal cooking repertoire for the rest of your life. And then maybe you will try another new item next week too!
The recipes we have at our tent follow the season, and each week we have new ones, but I am also available to answer questions at the market or by email if you need some guidance as you work a new vegetable into a menu or want help with how best to prepare it for your family. This year we will also provide more nutritional information about specific fruits and vegetables and periodic updates in the newsletter and on the website about what’s good for you and why.
Our demo diva, Annie Sidley, will also be with us more often at Fairfax Corner (first and third Tuesdays), Reston and Oakton (once a month), and we hope at our other markets if she can have access to a power source. When she comes to cook for us at the market, she cooks with only what is available that day at the market. If you really want to expand your horizons, spend some time with Annie and watch her work.
It is possible to eat your way, or to eat your way back, to good health. Most of the supplements and many of the prescription medications that are advertised like candy on TV treat conditions and illnesses caused by lifestyle choices including your diet. Not only is food cheaper than medicine, you do not have to worry about collateral damage from life-threatening side effects. Carrots don’t kill! And if you learn to enjoy the variety that nature offers us, you will feel full and satisfied — and you will be healthier.
So pick up something new this week — check the Market Update above for what’s new — and let me know about it too. We will share your experiences and your recipes through the Smart Markets grapevine.
See you at the market!