Sunday, January 17, 2010

Farmers Market Findings

I am fortunate to live in a place where we have a farmers market all year long. Every Sunday I have the opportunity to buy locally-grown (as local as you can get to metropolitan Los Angeles) fruits, vegetables, fungi, and plants. I love to see the people strolling about through the stalls, trying samples of fruit, shoveling green beans into a bag, asking the owner to hook them up with a selection of mushrooms. For me, the best moment was at my favorite purveyor of potatoes, carrots, and assorted glamorous sundries. I was sorting through the loose beets (roasted beets = serious yum!), and the scent of beet and dirt wafted up, giving me that small connection to the earth.

This trip to the market came fortuitously after receiving the February issue of Vegetarian Times in the mail. I found two recipes I particularly want to try, and was able to get the ingredients accordingly. One involves green beans and assorted small potatoes, the other shittake mushrooms and kale. I also purchased cabbage, garlic, apples, and beets for general use. Actually, the apples are for saucing. I buy the "seconds", the ones with blemishes and odd shapes, because I can easily cut out the rotten spots, chop up the rest, and make delicious, all-natural and sweetener-free applesauce.

I've had oatmeal for breakfast three out of the past four mornings, using the basic recipe that Kath has on her real food blog. I've been throwing in a spoonful of almond butter, cinnamon, and a few chocolate chips. However, I do not buy bananas very often. It's not because I dislike them, but because they're not available locally, and banana monoculture farms are a big problem in the rain forest. Since my favorite apples come from a local, organic farm, and are particularly in season right now, and produce an exceptionally sweet sauce, I'm going to try that as an addition to my oatmeal. Certainly the texture will not be the same, and apples are low on the totem pole of nutritional value, but they provide sugar and fiber, and they make me happy, which is another important factor in one's food.

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