The Rules of (Green) Thumb For Shopping at your Farmer’s Market

We get a lot of questions about what to eat during different times of the year and how to keep produce fresher for longer.

The answer to both of those things: Eat Seasonally.  

The easiest way to do that is to make a point of getting to your locals Farmer’s Market as often as possible so you can pick up the freshest produce and eat exactly as nature intended.

We know Farmer’s Markets can be overwhelming so we wanted to break it down and make the experience a little simpler.  Even if you aren’t getting to the farmers market these tips can apply to shopping at your local grocery store too.

Firstly, it’s important to go with some reusable shopping bags.  They make it easier to shlep your bounty and are good for the environment.

Next, put your brave face on because it’s really, really important to talk to your farmers.  Engage them, ask them questions, find out where your food came from!  

Quinn wrote and incredibly comprehensive guide HERE.  She gives you all the questions you can/should ask and tells you exactly how to engage your farmer in an easy, breezy convo.

Finally, here is what you should pick up…

  • 1 Leafy green: Because you should always, always have leafy greens in your diet.  The more the merrier/healthier.
  • 1 Veggie that seems to be abundant: You know, that thing that seems to be at every stand.  Get some!  Veggies that are in season always taste best and when something is abundant it is also very affordable.
  • 1 In-season fruit: Satisfy your sweet tooth with some seasonal fruits.  This time of year it’s all about apples pears or if you can find ’em, persimmons and pawpaws.
  • 1 Frivolous item that you’ve never cooked with before: This is how you learn!  Be brave, be bold.  And then get to googling…
  • Raw Honey: This is nectar of the gods!  Raw honey has tons of medicinal properties.  Its like a low grade antobiotic so it’s amazing for immunity and will help you build up a tolerence to seasonal allergies in your area.
  • Pasture Raised Eggs: You haven’t eaten eggs until you’ve eaten pasture raised eggs.  They just taste better, richer and have way more flavor.  Crack these babies open and prepare to be amazed at the vibrance of the orange yolk.

looks-like-fall

If you’re in the North East, here’s what’s in season right now

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Greens (Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens)
  • Onion
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Winter Squash (Butternut, Kabocha, Pumpkins…)

What are your favorite seasonal foods and recipes?  We want to know!  Tell us in the comments below!

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Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

We don’t like to pick favorites when it comes to food but we’re sorry: Fall food is where it’s at!

We finally feel compelled to turn on the oven again and start roasting our veggies which always bring out their natural sweetness (we love some sweetness)!

This is also the season that brings us squash (pumpkins are included in that family).

There are a million and one ways to prepare a squash, steam it, braise it, roast it, toast it, but one of our favorites it STUFFED.

Below is the perfect Fall Recipe, Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash.  This recipe is beautiful for dinner parties or your own special night with your honey (or friends!).  Enjoy!

What are your favorite fall recipes?  What are your favorite squash recipes?  Let us know in the comments below!
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Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Servings: 4
Time: 45 minutes

  • 2 small acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh colander
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped into a small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into a small dice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

Optional:

  • ½ cup chickpeas, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios (pine nuts would work well too)
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • Cheese – I recommend shredded raw goat cheese or crumbled feta

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on a baking sheet until fork soft. Depending on your oven this can range from 25-40 minutes.

Once squash is in the oven prep all vegetables as mentioned above.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 1 ½ cups water, 1 teaspoon sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil to a boil in a pot. Reduce heat and simmer covered until water is absorbed and quinoa is soft, about 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.

To make the vegetable sauté heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add zucchini, chickpeas, sage and thyme and any additional vegetables nd continue to cook until everything is softened and brown.

To assemble stuffing fold together vegetable sauté, cooked quinoa, pistachios, red pepper flakes and parsley.

Taste and add salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil if needed.

Fill squash with stuffing and top with cheese if using. Serve with an additional sprinkle of parsley.

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Technique: Apple Chips

Ok, let’s just get this out of the way. This is not a recipe. It’s a technique. We know it’s a little funny that we’re not giving you a recipe with this video from a chef, but sometimes having a new perspective on an old favorite can be even better than a brand new recipe.

For really awesome recipes on a regular basis you can check out Quinn’s website over here.

Quinn’s Apple Chips
Serving: 1
Time: 2 minutes

  • 1 apple

Directions
Slice off a portion of the apple, just avoiding the core. Put the flat surface down then thinly slice into chip-like pieces. Cut off another chunk of apple, avoiding the core and continue to slice. Keep going until you’ve chopped the whole apple into chips. For an extra treat dip chips in cinnamon and enjoy!

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