Keep your Farmer's Market Bounty Fresh

The Atlanta area has some fantastic farmer’s markets! I am lucky to live within walking distance to Morningside Farmers Market. This market has been selling organic produce, local meats and other foods for about 20 years and is open on Saturdays year-around.

I look forward to the Saturday mornings that Michael and I go to the farmers market together and purchase a variety of some of the freshest and most flavorful seasonal produce, bread, eggs and other foods. In the photo above, you’ll see what we bought today. Isn’t it colorful?

To keep track of our purchases, I write a list of the items on a dry erase board that hangs on my refrigerator. I check the board frequently and cross off items, after they’ve been eaten, to make sure that nothing becomes lost or rotten in the back of the fridge. I let the produce guide the food that I cook throughout the week by using it as an inspiration for meals. I also keep in mind the items that will spoil quickly (berries, delicate lettuce, arugula, tomatoes…) and eat those items first. I cook some produce in advance, like beets, and keep them ready in the fridge to add to a salad or sandwich. Some produce, like onions, peppers, celery, carrots, radishes and potatoes, will stay fresh until the end of the week or even longer, if stored properly.

When it comes to storing vegetables, I like to use the drawers in my refrigerator that are made for produce and storage containers like these, made by Tupperware, that are specifically designed for produce. (Thanks to my brother for giving me a set several years ago!) I generally wrap most vegetables and herbs in a small piece of paper towel and place them in the storage container or inside a plastic produce bag, which I save each time I bring one home from the grocery store. The paper towel helps to absorb moisture, but keeps moisture close-by, so that the vegetable doesn’t dry out. I don’t store potatoes, onions or garlic in the fridge – I find that they are best stored at room temperature in separate paper bags with the top folded down for protection from light.

Need more guidance for storing your veggies? Check out this awesome guide from Vegetarian Times, by clicking here.

NOW is a great time to visit your local farmers market! You will be supporting your local economy by buying local, and you’ll also be able to enjoy the fresh flavors and rich sources of antioxidants and disease fighting nutrients of the season’s bounty.