Nothing beats a farmers market for finding the best fruits and vegetables of the season. In late summer and early fall, farmers market stalls are brimming with ripe, colorful produce that’s perfect for healthy, whole-food dishes. Building a menu around locally grown, seasonal produce has lots of benefits:
Seasonal fruits and veggies are fresher. Our refrigerators are stocked with a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables all year round. But out-of-season produce tends to be harvested early, before the full flavor has developed. In-season fruits and veggies are picked at peak ripeness, so they taste better and contain more nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Seasonal produce is often more affordable. The average distance your food travels from farm to table is 1500 miles! And the added cost of fuel and storage is often passed on to you. Fruits and vegetables grown locally don’t have to be transported over long distances or warehoused for extended periods of time, lowering costs and saving you money.
Seasonal fruits and veggies are sustainable. Choosing locally grown, seasonal produce is good for the environment and your community. You can reduce your carbon footprint, support local farmers, and take home delicious food all in one visit.
Here are some healthy fruits and vegetables that are in season now and ready for you to enjoy.
Apples, Peaches, and Pears – Oh My!
Tangy and sweet, late summer peaches are at peak flavor. This fuzzy fruit contains loads of antioxidants like vitamin C, polyphenols, and carotenoids. Pick some up this weekend and make Peach and Lavender Frozen Yogurt with your Vitamix.
July through October is prime apple time. Look for firm apples with no bruises that have a crisp, apple-y aroma. Apples are a great source of fiber like pectin, which some studies suggest may help lower cholesterol. Grab a bushel and try the Vitamix Culinary Team’s Apple Crisp recipe. (Pro tip: use peaches or pears instead of apples for a fresh spin on this classic recipe.)
Pears are nutritional powerhouses. Like most fruit, they’re rich in fiber and antioxidants, but they’re also packed with folate (great for expecting moms), vitamin C, copper, and potassium. Pears don’t ripen on the tree; they’re harvested when mature. Once picked, they ripen from the inside out until they’re perfect for treats like our Pear and Hazelnut Cream Tart, made with the Vitamix Food Processor Attachment.
A Medley of Veggies
Kale is a hearty cruciferous veggie that’s in season in the spring and fall. Its reputation as a super food is well-earned; check out these nutritional bona fides: vitamins A, B6, C, K, folate, fiber, carotenoids and manganese. Let this versatile veggie give your smoothie a boost or make it the centerpiece of this Vegan Kale Caesar Salad, made with the Vitamix 48-ounce Container.
Farmers markets always seem to offer an abundance of squash. Late summer/early fall is when both winter and summer squash are ready for harvesting. Squash is low in fat and calories and loaded with fiber, vitamins C and B, and minerals like potassium and magnesium. Skip super-sized summer squash; squash longer than eight inches tends to have a bitter taste. Look for bright, shiny skins and firm stems to find the perfect squash for a delicious Summer Vegetable Salad or hearty Zucchini Bread, both made with the Vitamix Food Processor Attachment.
Getting your produce from a farmers market is a cost-effective way to eat healthier and add a variety of nutrients to your diet. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a reusable bag, pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market, and make something good for yourself with your Vitamix.