Summer is coming, will you be ready for swimwear and shorts? Let’s face it, filling up on fresh vegetables goes a long way in cleaning up your diet and living a healthier lifestyle. But, many find it tough to get more vegetables into their daily diet. As the manager of the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market, I asked my friends, family, vendors and customers how they increase their vegetable intake. Here are some of their ideas:
-Have more vegetables on hand. If you have fresh vegetables in your house, you are more likely to eat more fresh vegetables.
-Make menus. Making daily menus makes it easier to prepare meals in advance, including shopping for and preparing more fresh produce to serve at the family table.
-Add onions and peppers to just about anything, especially scrambled eggs or omelets for breakfast.
-Put slices of onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce on your sandwiches.
-Wrap sandwiches in lettuce, kale or spinach instead of breads.
-Add as many vegetables as you can to your salads, or to your pizza.
-Mix it up. Some people get tired of eating the same foods over and over again.
-Try foods you’ve never eaten before. Kohlrabi, Romanesco, mizuna, and Asian turnips are all available from our vendors and are ones I had never tasted before managing a farmers market.
-Sneak vegetables into ordinary dishes. For example try making zucchini casserole, adding mashed roasted eggplant to your mashed potatoes, slip some peas into your guacamole, or even put pureed cooked beets into your favorite chocolate cake recipe.
With spring in hand and summer on its way, there are many vegetables coming to harvest and I’m sure you will find a new and unusual favorite such as baked sweet potato fries, kale or spinach chips, and oven roasted beets to help get you ready for summer.
The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market is open rain or shine, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., every Saturday of the year, except for April 30, 2016. The market will be closed for the 53rd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.
Located on North Seventh Street, in historic Fernandina Beach, Saturday, April 9th, the adjacent Fernandina Beach Arts Market will be open, too, with over 20 talented arts and craft vendors. Entertainment this week is by Jennifer Burns.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and our “Booth with a Cause” will be the Women’s Center of Jacksonville. They are the certified rape crisis center for Duval, Baker and Nassau counties.
For more information about the market, or to find a recipe for my Zucchini Cobbler, please visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com.