Shop fresh with Michigan Farmers Markets!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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Raise your hand if you're a summer gal/guy! I am, 100%. Michigan is a fickle state with cold temperatures for several months, but when the warm weather returns, EVERYTHING springs back to life again, and in the most vibrant ways imaginable. What we miss in the winter months, we more than get back in the warm ones.

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the warmer months is by frequenting our local farmers market on Saturday mornings. Once you've been through a whole farmers market season, you come to know which months certain produce will be available and it makes meal planning much more predictable. I'll shop at the market on a Saturday and collect whatever I can find fresh and local and then pick up everything else I need at the grocery store a day or two later.

Shopping at a farmers market is a great way to support local growers and SO HEALTHY for our bodies as local produce is always the most beneficial.

Today I'm going to share a few of my favorite ways to use fresh, seasonal produce. I'll also highlight ways to wash & handle food safely. Here's what I purchased last Saturday at our market:

-Green onions
-Turnip greens
-Strawberries
-Asparagus

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One of my favorite ways to sneak extra greens and nutrients into my diet is via smoothies. This week I used the turnip greens (from market) and blended them [2 cups, torn] with one cup of plain yogurt, 6-7 strawberries (from market), 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, a whole banana, and a splash of almond milk to make it blend evenly. You might be skeptical but if you try it, I bet you'll love it. I gave my almost-two year old a full cup serving and he downed the whole smoothie! If only he knew he was eating turnip greens. ;) Hehe.

If you feel like you need some sort of sweetener then try adding a drizzle of honey. Also, make sure your bananas are ripe or 'over-ripe'.

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Before you use any produce for consumption, it's important that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds- before 'and' after handling. Also, make sure that you thoroughly rinse your produce under water and check to make sure that you sort through any items that are bruised or damaged. I like to use a colander [below]. I have three different size colanders and I use them ALL the time.

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Finished product! Here's what my smoothie looked like:

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Up next: asparagus!! Oh man, I love fresh Michigan asparagus. However, a lot of asparagus is grown in sand and it's important to give it a good salt water bath before you eat it. The process is simple- just fill a bowl with warm salt water and stir to dissolve, then top it off with a bit more salt and let it soak a while. Rinse again when you're done soaking to make sure you've gotten the sand out of the heads. Then prepare it however you like! On the grill, in the oven, steamed, or my favorite- in a soup! 

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Whenever I get my hands on fresh asparagus I always default to making this creamy springtime soup (click here for the recipe). I got this from my friend Sarah many years ago and I've been making it ever since. I like it best when served with crusty artisan bread! I made it last night with my asparagus from market (all 2 pounds of it!) and it was delicious.

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Are you a Michigander looking for a local market to attend? Click HERE to access the 'Find a Farmers Market' tool and connect with local growers in your community! You can also click HERE to sign up for the Michigan Farmers Market E-Newsletter to receive up to date information on seasonal recipes, shopping guides, and events at farmers markets in Michigan.

The Downtown Owosso Farmers Market runs from May-October with hours of 8 am - 1 pm, June through September and 9 am - 1 pm during May and October. They also offer special evening markets and events. Click HERE to learn more.

Now get out there and join in the farmers market fun! Make some new memories with your family and eat fresh.

*This post was kindly sponsored by the Michigan Farmers Market Association. All opinions are my own. :)
Love,-Melissa

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