Trying to eat healthy on a budget? Wondering where your food comes from? Stop by your local farmers market! Summer is a great time to enjoy the fresh and inexpensive produce available at farmers markets. Markets offer a place to connect with neighbors, meet local farmers, support local small businesses, and provide nutritious food to neighborhoods in need (Farmer’s Market Coalition). Here are just a few of the many reasons to shop local this summer:
• Vary your veggies and try something new! Ever had kale or rhubarb? Farmers markets usually have unique fruits and vegetables that you won’t see at the average supermarket. Get creative and you may find a new favorite. Try tossing up an easy summer salad with fresh kale, pepper, strawberries, and red onion or grill sliced zucchini and eggplant for an easy side dish!
• Get to know your farmer! The market is a great place meet the farmers that grow your food. Farmers are informative and can tell you helpful tips on preparing and cooking your produce. Be involved with your community by meeting local farmers and supporting small businesses!
• Bring the kids along! Teach them the importance of supporting local farms. Let your kids pick out fruits and veggies to try and use at home in new recipes. Create your own veggie wrap! Stuff a whole wheat tortilla with chopped peppers, carrots, scallions, lettuce, black beans and sweet corn. Sprinkle a little cheese and top with your choice of ranch or salsa for a fun and healthy snack!
• Enjoy local produce while it’s in season! You’ll find produce that was picked that same day at your farmer’s market, you can’t get fresher than that! Create a fruit salad using August’s produce: blueberries, peaches, pears, and watermelon are all at their peak during this time!
• Stay with-in your budget! Farmer’s market produce usually costs less than produce in grocery stores. Many markets welcome SNAP, EBT and WIC benefits.
• Fill up with fiber! Fresh fruits and veggies are loaded with fiber which keeps your digestive tract and heart healthy. Color up your plate, every color has different antioxidant benefits to help you look and feel your best. Don’t forget to strive for 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits a day!
Find a market near you: (*Welcome SNAP, WIC benefits) athttp://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/.
Farmer’s Markets in Syracuse that accept EBT Benefits include :
*Syracuse Regional Market – 2100 Park Street – Thursday 7am-2pm through November & Saturday 7am-2pm year-round
*Syracuse Downtown Market – Tuesdays 7am-3pm through October 11th