Farmers Market Update: Shanghai, China

by | Jul 31, 2011
Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower

Karen Merzenich is a former pastry chef from San Francisco. She writes (mostly) about recipes and travel at Off The (Meat)Hook. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@offthemeathook)

Farmers Market Update: Shanghai

by Karen Merzenich

I recently returned from a week’s vacation in Shanghai, and the highlight of the trip was a visit to Shanghai’s Wet Market on Lianhua Lu in the Minhang District. In a dizzying array of open-air lanes and buildings, the Wet Market serves both wholesale and retail customers.

In a fast-growing city of nearly 25 million people, it’s not surprising that the market remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wet Market

Wet Market

If you want to visit the Wet Market, I highly recommend going with a guide who can introduce you to the vendors and answer all of your questions. As far as I know, the only guide service that does this kind of in-depth tour is Shanghai Pathways. It’s an unforgettable trip to an amazing market! I peppered our guide Janny with questions about what was in season, where the produce came from, the lives of the vendors and farmers, and more.

Wet Market

Wet Market

July in China means: watermelons! They are everywhere, and they are delicious. The Chinese watermelons are a round variety about the size of a volleyball. They are juicy and succulent and they sure taste great when it’s 100 degrees out.

Watermelons

Watermelons

The summer humidity brings a wealth of fresh mushrooms, including these monkey mushrooms, which were described as having “a mushroom inside a mushroom.”

monkey mushrooms

Monkey Mushrooms

The first peaches and nectarines of summer are here too, as well as multiple varieties of corn. In China the yellow corn tends to be sweet, but the white corn has larger kernels and is referred to as glutinous corn.

Peaches and Glutinous Corn

Peaches and Glutinous Corn

An important lens to use when shopping for food in China is that of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teachings–as most Chinese people believe that certain foods are beneficial to eat during certain times of the year for health reasons. For example, a popular Chinese summer food is winter melon, which is thought to cool you down in a hot summer. These winter melons were gargantuan!

Winter Melon

Winter Melon

Another cooling summer vegetable is soft cucumber, a spiny, delicate cucumber. Wrinkly, knobby bitter melon fits the bill for refreshing the body in the summer heat as well.

Soft Cucumber and Bitter Melon

Soft Cucumber and Bitter Melon

While lotus root (also a cooling food) is available year-round, the twisty, knobby part of the lotus appears only around the time the lotus flowers bloom, which is now. (I couldn’t find great information on this, but it seems like the thing we call “lotus root” is really the lotus rhizome, and this thing might actually be part of the root, but I’m not sure at all so don’t hold me to that.)

Lotus Shoot

Lotus Shoot

All manner of rice and beans are also available at this market. Rows of bags and stacks of sacks offer whatever legume or grain your heart desires.

Rice, Grains, Beans

Rice, Grains, Beans

You can also find all sorts of noodles. A Shanghainese special is noodles made from rice and green beans, so some have a light green color.

Noodles

Noodles

How about some spice and seasonings? Fresh ginger is available year round, and vendors place fans directly on piles of ginger to dry them out and keep them from molding in the humidity. You can see huge bags of peeled garlic cloves for sale too.

Ginger

Ginger

Chili peppers are ground and sorted to varying consistency and size, per the customer’s request.

Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wet Market without some meat, fish, and other interesting delicacies. If you are squeamish about meat and butchery, now might be a good time to scroll to the end. I’ll start with something reasonably tame, sides of pork on big iron hooks. You can see the marbled belly pieces, ready for making bacon, on the left.

Sides of Pork

Sides of Pork

If you want a century egg, ask the vendor to rinse off the ash, clay, lime, and mud mixture so you can break into that pungent dark green yolk. (I was too wimpy to try one!)

Century Eggs

Century Eggs

Fresh frogs, snakes, and eels are on display; make a purchase and they’ll be butchered for you to order. (The frogs are in the mesh bag so they don’t jump away, and the snakes are tied up in the green bag, thank goodness.)

Frogs, Snakes and Eels

Frogs, Snakes and Eels

If you’re not quite up to eel or frog just yet, you can try beltfish, a popular Chinese seafood staple.

Belt Fish

Belt Fish

If you’re after hens or roosters, you can peruse the quality of the show bird on top of the cage before picking one out to be beheaded for your soup pot.

Rooster

Rooster

But good luck getting this teenager’s attention to skin you a fresh quail–he seems pretty engaged in his video game!

Quail Seller

Quail Seller

Getting the purchases back to your home or restaurant means loading up your bicycle cart, scooter, or rickshaw.

Bicycle Cart

Bicycle Cart

If you’ve left your scooter for too long, you might find one of the many alley cats that roams the market seeking scraps has taken over.

Cat on Scooter

Cat on Scooter

Market work can be exhausting. Sometimes you just need a break from selling jellyfish all day.

Napping Woman

Napping Woman

If you’re in Shanghai and you’d like to visit the market: contact Janny at Shanghai Pathways.

Would you like to share your farmers market with Summer Tomato readers? Find out more.

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For The Love Of Food

by | Jul 29, 2011

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

There were so many awesome stories this week narrowing them down to the top 10 was difficult. Several studies were published on environmental factors that influence healthy food choices, Monica Reinagel shares an interesting method on breaking weight loss plateaus and I found one of the most inspiring videos I’ve ever seen.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Digg. I also share links on Twitter (@summertomato) and the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Soy: Good or Evil? – Episode 10 – Summer Tomato Live

by | Jul 28, 2011

Last week we talked about the pros and cons of eating soy including it’s role in breast cancer and it’s affect on the, errr, manly arts.

As always, show notes are below.

July 19, 2011 | Tonight on Summer Tomato Live we’re discussing soy. Some say it prevents cancer, others think it promotes it, and some claim it’s evil for causing man boobs. We’ll get to the bottom of these issues and more today during the show.

Join us at 6:00pm PST to learn about how soy affects your health and what to do about it.

To watch live and join the discussion click the red “Join event” button, login with Twitter or your Vokle account, and enter the password when prompted.

I encourage you to call in with video questions, particularly if your question is nuanced and may involve a back and forth discussion. Please use headphones to call in however, or the feedback from the show is unbearable.

See you soon!

Show notes:

Relevant links:

Probiotics and Fermented Foods – Episode 6

Seaweed, salt and iodine – Office Hours (it’s in there I swear)

Cholesterol Explained

Chinese food safety issues

Healthy Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

Miso

Soy sauce

Someone asked during the show how this advice applies to soy sauce. Turns out there are 2 different methods of brewing soy sauce. The traditional way is fermented and has the same attributes as fermented soy products mentioned in the episode. The other method creates the sauces by hydrolyzing soy, which creates a number of unwanted byproducts including MSG and potentially some carcinogenic chemicals. The Wikipedia article on soy sauce is very informative.

Breast cancer

Meta-analysis of soy intake and breast cancer risk

Soy isoflavones consumption and risk of breast cancer incidence or recurrence: a meta-analysis of prospective studies

Epidemiology of soy exposures and breast cancer risk

Soyfood intake in the prevention of breast cancer risk in women: a meta-analysis of observational epidemiological studies

Prostate cancer

Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis

What about demasculizing men?

One of the biggest fears men have about eating soy is the possibility of phytoestrogens demasculizing men, creating sexual dysfunction, infertility and the dreaded man boobs.

Indeed, there have been several studies in rodents suggesting that soy can interfere with reproductive pathways and fertility. However, human and monkey studies show that most men have no need to fear soy.

Acute exposure of adult male rats to dietary phytoestrogens reduces fecundity and alters epididymal steroid hormone receptor expression.

Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis

Soybean isoflavone exposure does not have feminizing effects on men: a critical examination of the clinical evidence

Dietary soy protein containing isoflavonoids does not adversely affect the reproductive tract of male cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis)

Hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction associated with soy product consumption

Osteoporosis

Soy isoflavone intake inhibits bone resorption and stimulates bone formation in menopausal women: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Effect of long-term intervention of soy isoflavones on bone mineral density in women: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Heart disease

Soy protein effects on serum lipoproteins: a quality assessment and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled studies

Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Relation between soy-associated isoflavones and LDL and HDL cholesterol concentrations in humans: a meta-analysis

The effect of soy protein with or without isoflavones relative to milk protein on plasma lipids in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women.

Association of dietary intake of soy, beans, and isoflavones with risk of cerebral and myocardial infarctions in Japanese populations: the Japan Public Health Center-based (JPHC) study cohort I.

Notably, this was not convincing enough for the American Heart Association

A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the Nutrition Committee of the AHA

Thyroid issues

If you have moderate hypothyroid issues, it may be prudent to restrict your soy intake to low levels.

The effect of soy phytoestrogen supplementation on thyroid status and cardiovascular risk markers in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study

Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature.

Impact of flavonoids on thyroid function

Memory/cognitive effects of soy

High Tofu Intake Is Associated with Worse Memory in Elderly Indonesian Men and Women

Borobudur revisited: soy consumption may be associated with better recall in younger, but not in older, rural Indonesian elderly.

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Why I Don’t Post Calorie Counts On My Recipes

by | Jul 27, 2011
American Cheese Facts

American Cheese Facts

Over the years I’ve had a few people ask me why I don’t include calorie counts on the recipes I share. Isn’t this website supposed to help people eat healthier and lose weight?

You can imagine their surprise when I tell them that the reason I don’t post calories is because I want to help them eat healthier and lose weight. (Zing!) And calorie counts don’t contribute to that goal.

I’m not disputing the notion that eating less promotes weight loss. I’ve tried it and it works. The problem with posting calorie counts is it doesn’t give you any information about whether or not you’re making a good food decision, which is all most of us need to worry about.

You might think that calorie counts can help dieters monitor their food intake and lose weight, but when you stop and think about what this entails it’s easy to see how ridiculous it is.

It takes extreme skill and dedication to accurately tally your calorie intake every day, if it is even possible. As we saw yesterday, calorie counts at restaurants can be off by over a hundred calories, and packaged foods are legally allowed to be 20% higher than their labels claims. You may have better luck with home cooked meals, but it requires the detailed weighing, researching and recording of every ingredient you use.

And toward what goal?

Very few people have been tested and know their resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn while doing nothing). To balance your energy expenditure you’d also need to account for your physical activity each day (dream on if you think the machines at the gym, or even your heart rate monitor, are giving you accurate calorie expenditures).

Theoretically you could just set a very low calorie goal and hope for the best, but that is essentially a semi-starvation diet and if that’s all you want to achieve then why bother counting?

If you really want to know if a recipe (or packaged food, for that matter) is healthy, skip the calorie counts and look at the ingredients. Do they consist of natural foods that grow from the earth or have they been processed beyond recognition?

Make better food decisions based on quality, unprocessed ingredients and you will be healthier and likely lose weight. Your food will be more satisfying (you’ll naturally eat less), you’ll have more energy (exercise is easier) and you’ll look better (positive reinforcement). If you’re already making excellent food decisions and still need to lose more weight, eating less using mindful eating and other tricks is very effective. Counting calories isn’t necessary.

In other words, I don’t post calorie counts because they distract you from what actually matters: eating real food.

All ingredients are proudly displayed on Summer Tomato recipes.

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Office Hours: Restaurants, Calories and Hydroponics

by | Jul 26, 2011

I’m holding office hours today at 12pm PST. I’ll be answering questions and discussing the latest food and health news. Specifically I’ll be discussing the latest report that restaurants are underreporting calorie counts of food.

To watch live and join the discussion click the red “Join event” button, login with Twitter or your Vokle account, and enter the password when prompted.

I encourage you to call in with video questions, particularly if your question is nuanced and may involve a back and forth discussion. Please use headphones to call in however, or the feedback from the show is unbearable.

To keep up with live events, get access to exclusive content and have Darya personally answer your food and health questions, sign up for the Tomato Slice newsletter.

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Farmers Market Update: Omaha, Nebraska

by | Jul 24, 2011
Omaha Farmers Market

Omaha Farmers Market

Before we get started I wanted to let you know that we had another Farmers Market Boot Camp this weekend, and once again it was amazing. I scheduled two more classes on August 13, one at 8am and one at 10:15am. You can sign up here.

Kristin DeKay is co-owner of Image Made, an Omaha based web design company. She enjoys cooking, gardening, photography, and much more, which she writes about on her blog Everyday Potential.

Farmers Market: Omaha

by Kristin DeKay

Omaha’s largest farmer’s market is located in the Old Market. According to their website, the market traces its roots back to the turn of the century. Farmers, residents, and grocers would come together on the corner of 11th & Jackson to sell veggies, produce, jams, honey, and the like. The market continued in this fashion until 1964. Thirty years later, in 1994, the market was revived, and today continues to serve the Omaha community with access to beautiful farm-fresh goods.

Purple Broccoli

Purple Broccoli

I went to the market around 9:30am (It was already approaching 90 degrees!) with my mother-in-law, who was on the lookout for kohlrabi and some bean sprouts. I was just planning to browse and pick up whatever looked good at the moment.

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

The first thing we found was some beautiful kohlrabi. I’d never eaten this before, but my mother-in-law insisted it was great, so I bought one. If you’ve never tried it before, I highly suggest it! It looks a little intimidating to peel and slice, but I assure you, its easier than it looks! Its taste is very neutral, and the consistency is nice and crisp. It’s perfect raw, in a salad, or lightly sautéed for a stir fry.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

I spotted some bright-colored Swiss chard at the next booth, as well as a pile of yellow squash and zucchini. My dad lives in a small town, and always jokes, ”The only time anyone in town locks their car doors is when zucchini are in season. You might end up with a huge box of it in your back seat!” We had plans to grill some steaks the coming week, so I picked up some to skewer on the grill.

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

I’ve always admired beets. They are so pretty and uniquely shaped. I’ve never actually tried fresh beets—I’ve only had the canned variety and didn’t like them. I’m making it a goal of mine to try as many kinds of veggies I can find, even those I’ve told myself I don’t like. Maybe when I’m feeling brave…

Beets

Beets

The next booth was full of Asian veggies—baby bok choy, Chinese spinach, and Thai eggplant.

Baby bok choy

Baby bok choy

I’d never seen Thai eggplant before, it’s about the size of a golf ball and is green with white stripes. They remind me of miniature watermelons. Apparently, they are commonly used in curry dishes, though in the U.S., the large purple eggplant is generally substituted.

Thai eggplant

Thai eggplant

I passed by a vibrant assortment of white and red radishes, and rhubarb.

Radishes, Rhubarb

Radishes, Rhubarb

I always stop by the Razee’s Berry Farm Booth. In addition to berries, they grow over 92 different varieties of garlic. I always buy some, their garlic is a must-have. I bought three varieties: Nootka Rose, Ontario Giant, and my favorite, Transylvania.

Garlic

Garlic

On our quest for sprouts, I happened to notice these little guys. They are called patty pan squash, also known as scallop squash. They are so adorable! I did a little research and found that they are one of the first squashes domesticated by the Native Americans before the English settlers came to America. These particular squashes only measured about 2 inches in diameter.

Patty Pan Squash

Patty Pan Squash

I love seeing common vegetables in bright colors.

Colorful Carrots

Colorful Carrots

I purchased a savoy cabbage to split with my mother-in-law (they are so big!). I like to throw cabbage in with my salad. I prefer it raw instead of cooked.

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy Cabbage

There were beans, beans, and more beans at the market Saturday.

Burgandy Bush Beans, Wax Beans

Burgandy Bush Beans, Wax Beans

These beautiful purple onions are sold by Rhizoshpere Farms. They are just a tad sweeter than green onions.

Purple Onion

Purple Onion

I don’t usually purchase herbs (I grow my own), but I had to stop and admire this Thai basil.

Thai Basil

Thai Basil

As we were heading back to the car, we found them. Squeaky Green Organics, a family run farm located about 30 minutes from Omaha, had a booth with all kinds of sprouts. Bean sprouts, sunflower sprouts, pea tendrils, and a bunch of other varieties!

Pea Tendrils, Sunflower Sprouts

Pea Tendrils, Sunflower Sprouts

My purchases:

  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Purple Onion
  • Kohlrabi
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Sprouts
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ComicCon!

by | Jul 22, 2011
Comic Con in a nutshell.

Comic Con in a nutshell.

Sorry guys, I got roped into a last minute trip to ComicCon in San Diego and didn’t have time to put together the links for today. I promise they’ll be back next week at the same bat time, on the same bat channel.

Huge thanks to Ryan Vance for permission to share this amazing ComicCon pic. Follow his antics on Twitter @ryanvance and Instagram @ryanvance

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8 Reason Breakfast Makes Your Life Better

by | Jul 20, 2011

Yogurt, muesli and blueberries

I should admit right now that I’m a born again breakfast eater. In the past I always told myself that skipping breakfast meant one less meal adding calories to my day, and I was proud to have eliminated this annoyance from my life.

For the last several years, however, I have grown to love breakfast and am something of an evangelist. Breakfast may seem like an odd thing to try to covert people to, but once you see my reasons you may become a believer yourself.

8 Reasons Breakfast Makes Your Life Better

  • It’s easy. Breakfast doesn’t take much time or energy to prepare; I’m half asleep when I pour my cereal, rinse my fruit and boil my coffee every day. It also requires minimal planning. Just buy everything you need every week or two and you are good to go. What’s your excuse?
  • Health wins. We all must deal with the internal struggle between eating healthy and eating not-so-healthy. Throughout the day breakfast is by far the easiest battle in which health can triumph, since there is no outside social pressure and unhealthy options are harder to attain. I recommend taking winning odds whenever they are presented.
  • Hunger check. If you eat a satisfying breakfast before heading into work you are less likely to be tempted by the junk food that haunts most office environments. Likewise, you will have better self-control when it comes time to decide what to eat for lunch.
  • Whole grains. For my own healthstyle, intact whole grains are the most difficult to get in my diet. Unsweetened oats, plain brown rice and quinoa aren’t exactly staples on American restaurant menus. But without grains I feel constantly hungry and my workouts suffer. If I eat them at breakfast I am guaranteed at least that one serving during the day. (For tips to get more whole grains at dinner, check out my easy frozen brown rice balls).
  • Higher metabolism. Eating healthy food has a positive effect on your metabolism. Not only does what you eat for breakfast affect how your body reacts to different foods for the rest of the day, it also influences your metabolic rate in the long term. Be careful though, highly processed and easily digested foods have a negative effect.
  • Healthy habits. Healthy behavior begets more healthy behavior. According to some studies, this is especially true of breakfast eaters. Waking up and eating a healthy breakfast encourages you to pack a healthy lunch and plan your day around wholesome food. It feels really good to do healthy things, but we easily forget this when presented with free donuts on an empty stomach during a mid-morning meeting. Build your healthy habits when it is easy and help them stick around for the long haul.
  • Self-esteem. I think it is important to reiterate how good it feels to do healthy things for your body, and as a bonus it extends to how we feel about ourselves. Most of us feel proud and confident when we know we are doing the right thing. Why not start out each morning on the right foot?
  • Deliciousness. Of all the reasons I just listed, this one probably has the biggest sway with me personally. My breakfasts are absolutely delicious and I adore waking up and eating such yummy food. It is worth going out of your way to find healthy foods you enjoy eating, that way good food has as much pull on you as the less healthy junk. This will make your food decision making a whole lot easier.

Once you have convinced yourself that eating breakfast is important and worthwhile, it helps to know what constitutes a healthy one. I have written about breakfast before, focusing on the difference between fake “whole grains” as sold to us by processed food manufacturers and real intact whole grains.

Recently I have switched to a new favorite breakfast: plain yogurt, muesli and fruit.

I love this new combo for a few reasons

  1. I tried yogurt because I was having digestive issues for a few weeks and was hoping the probiotics in the yogurt (I eat even more probiotic foods now) might help. It totally did, and I’m sold on this method for improved digestion (despite my mild lactose intolerance).
  2. Coarse and chewy muesli is perfect on yogurt and I was able to completely cut out the fake whole grain flakes that bothered me about my old breakfast. Woohoo!
  3. The added protein and fat from the lowfat plain yogurt helps me feel satisfied longer in the day and adds a creamy luxury to my morning.

Be sure that when you are choosing your healthy breakfast you find foods with no added sugar. For example, fruit and vanilla yogurts are notorious for having obscene amounts of sugar (especially vanilla) putting it more on par with ice cream than health food. Likewise, most store bought granolas are loaded with sugar, molasses, honey, agave, concentrated fruit juice and other sweeteners. This is why I prefer muesli–completely unsweetened grains with bits of dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

When choosing plain yogurt I recommend lowfat instead of nonfat yogurt, because it is much more palatable and satisfying. Nonfat plain yogurt tends to be too tangy for me. Also, you need the fat to help with nutrient absorption and satiation.

My breakfast

  • 1 c. Plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1/4 c. Dorset muesli
  • 1/4 c. fresh fruit

What is your favorite healthy breakfast?

Originally published August 17, 2009

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Farmers Market Update: Perth, Australia

by | Jul 17, 2011
Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Carol Matasci is originally from Hawaii, but has been living in Perth, Western Australia for a year and a half. She’s an engineer who loves food and farmers markets.

Farmers Market Update: Perth, Australia

by Carol Matasci

The Subiaco Farmers Market is held on the local primary school grounds every Saturday morning and has become a bit of a ritual for us. All produce comes from Western Australia, with an emphasis on those who produce what they sell and on organic and ethical production. I get excited to see people getting closer to where their food comes from, especially young children.

Subiaco Farmers Market

Subiaco Farmers Market

The market is always bustling with families, people of all ages, and their furry companions. Farmers and vendors sell the freshest fruits and vegetables, ethically raised meats, seafood, honey, olive oil, cheese, eggs, and a variety of cooked foods and treats. I love to get breakfast at the market and listen to the live music.

Food Well Thought

Alice’s stall and her creations

This week I indulged in some stewed apples topped with muesli, yogurt, and honey from Alice Duzevich of Food Well Thought. Alice is passionate about fresh foods made with whole food ingredients that have been minimally processed. She let me taste biscotti she made with kaffir lime leaves from Myaravale Farm a few stalls down. Her foods are so creative and her flavor pairings are inspiring.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

It’s the middle of winter here in Australia, and although I envy those of you in the northern hemisphere with your peaches and tomatoes, I can’t be too upset with the variety that is still available in Perth. Rhubarb is in season almost all year here, and the ruby red stalks look (and taste) so happy despite the cooler weather.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are also in season all year here. Fresh Mushrooms is here every week with button and portobello mushrooms from Casuarina, Western Australia peeking out of their brown paper bags. Their flavor is hard to resist, and I’ve never found supermarket mushrooms that compare.

Apples

Apples

Apples, pears and citrus are at their peak this time of year. We picked up a bag of oranges, and I have an Alice Waters recipe for an orange and olive salad in mind. I also stopped by Alive Juice for some freshly squeezed orange juice slushy. This week, they had juice from Valencia oranges. Alive Juice uses only fresh oranges, not ones that have been stored. They will be squeezing more Navel oranges in the coming weeks as those come into season.

Lemonades

Lemonades

Passing by the Myaravale Farm stall, I tasted their lemonades. A cross between an orange and a lemon, the lemonades look like lemons but are sweeter and less acidic. The lemonade trees at Myaravale Farm in Keysbrook, Western Australia are still young, so the crop is small. I couldn’t resist taking a bag of them home with me.

Beets

Beets

I like to buy a new vegetable or fruit every time I go to the farmers market. Past experiments have included rhubarb, fennel, and broccoflower. This week I picked up a few beets, which I have very little experience with. Next week I think I’ll try kohlrabi. Does anyone have any inspired, wintry recipe suggestions for either?

Broccoli

Broccoli

This broccoli is always delicious simply sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon.

Lilies

Lilies

Photo:  Lilies

Caption:  Valley Flower Farm Lilies

My sweet boyfriend buys me lilies from Valley Flower Farm every other week because he knows how much I enjoy them. Valley Flower Farm could make more money if their flowers weren’t so fresh: one bunch lasts a full two weeks, which is a prime example of the quality you find at a farmers market.

There was also a new stall this week selling blueberries and blueberry plants – I briefly considered buying a plant, but I’m a little intimidated. It looks like the kind of plant I could kill, and I take it personally when my plants die. I think for now I will focus on seeing the plants I already have through the winter, but I might get up the courage to grow blueberries in a few weeks.

Today’s purchases:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Apples (Lady Williams, Pink Lady, Granny Smith)
  • Navel oranges
  • Lemonades (Myaravale)
  • Avocadoes
  • Garlic
  • Snow peas
  • Roasted carrot, cashew, and mint dip (Food Well Thought)
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For The Love Of Food

by | Jul 15, 2011

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Before we get started I want to announce that I’ll be speaking on a panel at BlogHer11. Woohoo! The panel is on Saturday, August 6, and is titled Your Blog Can Make You A Local Hero. Let me know if you’re going to be there, I’d love to say hi.

This week the media is still missing the point about sodium, Campbell’s soup doesn’t care one way or the other, and why you should be eating more sea vegetables.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Digg. I also share links on Twitter (@summertomato) and the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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