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Healthy You

Right Pickings: When to Get What at Farmers’ Markets

Monday, June 03, 2019 7:00 AM

By: Lauren McRae

Farmers’ market season has many benefits to it. During these few months, we can enjoy shopping while absorbing some Vitamin D from the sun, getting fresh produce while supporting local businesses and meeting new people. Lori Bumbaco, RD, Oncologist Dietitian at NorthShore, recommends:

  • Go early for the best picks in produce.
  • Do your research now to see when your local markets start.
  • Bring your bags for your loot – and a cooler to keep it fresh.
  • Carry small change to make transactions easier.
  • Get the best-tasting produce when it’s in season.
  • Talk it up with the vendors! Farmers love to share information about their products.

Farmer's Market

Lori suggests shopping for these produce items during their peak season:

Summer Fruits:

  • Avocados
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupes
  • Cherries
  • Limes
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomatillos

Summer Vegetables:

  • Basil
  • Bell and sweet peppers
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green onions
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Rhubarb
  • Sweet onions

End of summer into fall:

  • Chiles, or hot peppers
  • Corn
  • Figs
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Onion
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Zucchini

Tip: Rinse berries just before eating them to avoid them getting soggy or rotting.

Tip: Avoid herbs with flowers on them. When the flowers bud, the herbs get a slightly bitter aftertaste.

What are you most looking forward to this farmers’ market season?