As I write this, it is January in Wisconsin. That usually means days with windchills of -20. Baby that’s cold! But I stay warm when I shop inside a winter farmers market.
Despite the frigid temps, I was looking forward all week to a trip to our local winter farmers market. While not as big or hugely attended as a summer market, I can get healthy goodies while staying warm.
I saw red, yellow and purple potatoes. Different varieties of radishes and turnips. Enough winter squash to satisfy every taste! Mushrooms galore. Carrots, beets and cabbages. And did you know there was such thing as purple Brussels sprouts?!
For our kitchen I brought home carrots – orange, white and purple – and parsnips. Have you every roasted parsnips? OMG! So good! I also grabbed a small head of red cabbage for coleslaw. A taste of summer salad with our comfort foods 🙂
And I a got a pound of fresh organic cranberries. Those I froze for future smoothies.
But that’s me and you know I’m happiest when I’m cooking with fresh ingredients. But why should you consider venturing outside, in the cold?
Why Shop a Winter Farmers Market?
It’s warm inside
Like I said earlier, no matter the weather outside it is warm inside a winter farmers market. You only need to brave the elements as you rush to and from your vehicle.
More time to talk to vendors
Since the winter markets are not as hugely attended as in the summer, you have more time to talk to the vendors. Ask them how their summer went and their plans for the coming Spring. It’s a great way to find out what new varieties they’ll be offering in the coming summer months.
Keep your New Years resolution
Did you make a resolution to eat healthier or lose weight? Shopping your local winter farmers market instead of roaming the grocery store aisles will help you stay focused on your goals. No brightly colored packages with ingredients you can’t pronounce to distract you at the market. Just natural goodness 🙂
Fresh healthy vegetables year round
Frozen veggies are better than canned. But fresh is best! Yes, I freeze and can my fruits and veggies, but if I can get them fresh then that’s what I’m going to grab. Remember, any amount of processing – even to preserve food – is going to take some nutrients out. The fresher the produce, the healthier you’ll be. (And in the cold winter months, we need to stay as healthy as possible to ward off sickness.)
Eat seasonally for better overall health
Too much of any one thing is not good for you. We need variety in our diets to get as many vitamins and minerals as we can. When you eat seasonally, you naturally get that variety. Winter squashes, cabbages and root vegetables have different nutrients than spring greens, summer fruits, and late summer vegetables like corn and tomatoes. Dietary variety truly is the spice of life!
Stay warm and healthy this winter! And if you need help cooking the tasty treats you find at your local winter market, remember you can sign up for my Cooking Basics weekly email. I cover things from how to prepare eggs to different ways to cook veggies to freezing foods so you can enjoy them later. You’ll get 1 how to tip every week for an entire year!
Don’t forget to leave your comments in the section below. I’d love to hear your reasons for shopping a local farmers market and what you do with the goodies you bring home.
Enjoy and Be Healthy 🙂