Having a healthy and balanced diet is important in maintaining good overall health of the body. It involves taking more of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes and limiting the intake of processed foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients, minerals and antioxidants that are vital for the health of your body. Farmers markets are full of these fruits and vegetables depending on which season it is.
There are many benefits of cooking with fresh foods from the farmers market some of which include;
·;;;;;;;; They provide fresh produce which is at the peak in flavor and nutrition. These fruits and vegetables are gotten directly from the farm and highly nutritious as well as tasty.
·;;;;;;;; Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients. These are important in the diet as they help in; boosting the immune system of the body, preventing and fighting diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart attack among others and also strengthening body tissues.
·;;;;;;;; Fresh markets offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This provides you with an opportunity to try out new fruits and vegetables as well as gather information on their importance in your body from farmers. You are also able to get several recipes on preparing your vegetables and incorporating it in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables are seasonal which makes them unavailable at times especially during the winter. When they are plenty in the farmers market during summer and sometimes in spring and autumn; it is important to preserve them in order to have them in your diet during winter. The following methods are used for preserving vegetables and fruits;
Canning-This process involves packing your vegetables in cans and tightly sealing them to prevent any bacterial growth from occurring in the cans.
Freezing-This is storing your food in freezing temperatures by using a freezer. Cold temperatures slow down any bacterial growth.
Pickling vegetables by soaking in an acidic liquid- The liquids used include; vinegar, lemon juice, pomegranate juice just to name a few. Vegetables preserved using this method can be used as alternatives to fresh salads.
By using salt- High amounts of salt preserves vegetables to an almost fresh state. This method is ideal for preserving; cauliflower, spinach, kales among others. Low amount of salts makes the vegetables to ferment. It is through this that you can get sauerkraut from cabbage. This method is also ideal for; turnips, rutabagas, and kohlrabies. This provides you with delicious wintertime sandwich and burger toppings/ garnish for charcuterie.