The season of weekend strolls through your local farmer’s market has finally arrived. While some of you may already be pros at getting your hands on the market faves and actually knowing what to do with your finds, we know that this is no easy feat for everyone. If you ever find yourself coming home with tons of fresh produce and no idea what to do with them, you’ll love these summer recipe ideas.
Before we get started, here are some tips that may be helpful if you’re still new to the farmer’s market scene:
- Be prepared. Make a shopping list. Wear sunscreen. Come with cash (farmers appreciate this). Bring a large tote bag or small, foldable cart. If you’re looking to get the freshest ingredients and want to avoid the crowds, arrive early. If you’re looking for a bargain, arrive about an hour before closing time - most farmers will knock down prices so they don’t have to take anything back with them.
- Do a lap. Before you start making purchases, walk through the entire market to get an idea of the quality and prices of the items you’re looking to buy. (You can also try samples, see which stalls take cash vs. credit cards, etc.)
- Don’t be shy. Ask your famers questions! Especially if you’ve arrived early - you will have plenty of face time with them. Feel free to ask about the quality and ripeness of produce, distance traveled, any pesticides used, etc. Having someone to answer questions is a huge benefit of shopping at your local farmer’s market, so take advantage!
- Stay in-season. You will definitely get the most bang for your buck by purchasing in-season produce at farmer’s markets. Not only will these items be incredibly fresh, but they will oftentimes be cheaper than anything out-of-season. Doing some research before heading out will make your trip much easier.
So what is in season this summer? And how to I get these items from the farm to the table? Keep reading to find out!
While avocados are delicious as toppings on toast, salads, flatbreads and pretty much anything, this recipe calls for full-on avocado so that you can enjoy the mouth-watering flavor of a fresh, ripe avocado straight from the farmer’s market.
Cherries are only truly in season for a short period, so make sure to grab some from your farmer’s market this summer! We love to eat cherries by themselves, but if you’re looking for a delightful cherry dessert, try this vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free twist on the berry fool.
Eggplants and chicken pair perfectly together, but it doesn’t always have to be a heavy pasta dish. Eggplant is the main star of this alternative healthy “pasta,” but this recipe can incorporate just about any of your fresh produce finds from the farmer’s market.
If you’ve made a haul with ripe, juicy peaches from the farmer’s market, check out this peachy recipe for a summery pizza. It pairs perfectly with warm weather, outdoor seating and a glass of white wine.
Banana Coconut Raspberry Crêpes
If you love berries as much as we do, there’s no doubt you’ll be finding yourselves coming home with sweet and tangy raspberries this summer. We love throwing raspberries in salads and smoothies, but this recipe is one of our faves. Because, well, who doesn’t love crêpes?
Recipe: Chickpea in the City
There are endless recipes when it comes to strawberries but when they’re in season, our favorite way to enjoy them is to just grab a handful. (Plus other snacks, of course!) During the summer, strawberries are fresh, ripe, sweet, and delicious. So make sure to grab some next time you’re at the farmer’s market!
Tomatoes & Zucchini
Tomatoes found in the supermarket can never compete with organic, locally grown tomatoes. They’re bursting with flavor and always worth the trip to the farmer’s market. Zucchinis are also just about everywhere at farmer’s markets during the summer season. Not to mention, these summer squashes are rich in vitamins, proteins and calcium. We often think of these two produce items as side dishes, but they actually make great star ingredients in dishes like this one.
Although you can always find asparagus at supermarkets, summer is the best time to buy them if you’re looking for treasures that are local and organic. Since asparagus season is short and fleeting, they’re definitely worth picking up at the farmer’s market. You can steam, grill, oven-roast, or saute them. They also go great on salads and flatbreads!