Last week was the beginning of my town’s farmers market! You have no idea how excited this makes me… but do you remember that feeling you got as a kid on Christmas morning? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.
I live in a small town with not much of anything, so for organic produce, I usually drive 45 to 50 minutes to the closest Whole Foods or Trader Joes. The farmers market saves me a ton of time.
When asked if I support organic or local, the answer is both. That’s ideal. However, not all the produce stands at my markets are organic. Did you know that in order for a farmer to be titled USDA organic, they have to follow very strict, thorough rules? Around me, it’s a lot of small farmers that don’t have the money or time for that. Still, many of them don’t use any sprays or pesticides on their produce.
Also, think about it this way. Your organic mangoes, for example, are probably from Mexico. Think about the time, people and energy it takes to pick them in Mexico and then transport them all over the United States. That’s a lot of gas, a lot of hands, a lot of time.
At the market, the farmers have usually picked their produce that morning. Talk about fresh! I really notice the difference. My market goods have so much more flavor. Plus, you’re saving a ton of energy and carbon emissions by saving long-distance produce travels.
Another bonus to market buying is that you’re only receiving the produce items that are local to your area. So without having to think about it, you’re eating seasonally, which will keep your body best aligned with nature and your surroundings.
With that said, you wouldn’t believe the joy that spread over my face when I found fresh rhubarb. This fruit is a great source of magnesium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, manganese and the list goes on. It’s also anti-inflammatory, has antioxidants and is anti-allergies.
My mom and I make this strawberry rhubarb compote every year. We used to sweeten it with white sugar, but now we only use local honey (also from the market!). You can add this to oatmeal or to smoothies, use it in place of jam on a PB&J, serve over yogurt or ice cream, or just eat from a bowl!
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
2 lbs. rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup water
1 pint strawberries, chopped
4 Tablespoons honey
Put all of the chopped rhubarb and the cup of water in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until rhubarb becomes tender.
In the last 3 minutes, add the strawberries and honey. Stir and recover.
When done, mash with a potato masher if you’d like the compote smoother and sauce-like. (This is totally optional.)
Pour into a bowl and allow to cool before putting it in the fridge. Enjoy!
Note: this makes a good amount. Feel free to cut the recipe in half!