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Farmer's Market Finds

Headed for your local market in search of farm-fresh produce? Check out these tips and recipes

Tips for Farmer's Market Shopping

Here are 5 things you should know before you hit the farmer's market:

  • Be spontaneous. See what looks good and is priced well, and then plan lunch, dinner and/or dessert! It's your chance to be spontaneous.

     

  • Bring cash. Cash is the currency du jour at most farmer's markets, so bring a bundle of small bills and you are good to go. I usually bring about $40 and spend around $30.

     

  • Take one lap first. Tour the market, and comparison-shop and taste before you start buying. There could be three stands selling strawberries, and there could be a difference in price and taste between them. See which stand you like best before you commit to your flat of berries.

     

  • BYOB (bring your own bag - with handles). You'll find it easier to carry around your produce purchases (a basket here and a 1-pound bag of zucchini there) if you're carrying them around in a bag with handles.

     

  • Look beyond the produce. At your typical farmer's market, it isn't just about the produce. At my town's market, there are items like honey, bread, cookies, flavored olive oils and vinegars, jams and preserves, and nuts. And how can I forget the intoxicating smell of freshly popping kettle corn? (I'm usually good for a small bag of the cinnamon-flavored kettle corn.)

Farmer's Market Recipes

Here are some recipes in which you can use those fabulous farmer's market finds.

Strawberry Light Lemonade

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1/2 cup canned fruit in heavy syrup or 1 portion fresh fruit

Add more or less Splenda and sugar depending on your taste preference.

2 cups sliced or halved strawberries
5 tablespoons superfine sugar (regular sugar will work, too)
8 tablespoons Splenda
12 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Ice cubes as desired
2/3 cup club soda, mineral water or seltzer water per glass

  • Puree strawberries and 1 tablespoon sugar in blender or small food processor.
  • Spoon 3 tablespoons of strawberry puree into each glass, then add 2 tablespoons Splenda and 1 tablespoon sugar to each glass.
  • Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice to each glass; stir to blend well. Stir in 2/3 cup of club soda (or similar) into each glass, add some ice, and serve.

Yield: 4 glasses

Per serving: 97 calories, 1 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 0.3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g fiber, 1 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 3%.

Farmer's Market Pasta Salad

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 cup ''entrée salad with starchy foods, light salad dressing'' + 1/2 cup ''vegetables without added fat.'' OR 1 1/2 cups ''hearty stews, chili, bean soup.'' OR 1 portion ''frozen dinner light, pasta or rice dish with meat or fish or vegetarian with light sauce'' + 1/2 cup ''vegetables with 1 tsp fat maximum.''

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