Here is my best piece of farmers market advice.
There is a big difference in the crowds at 8 am, when Farmers Market of the Ozarks officially opens, and 10:30 am. On a particularly rainy Saturday, when I arrived much later than usual, we were elbow to elbow under the pavilion. It’s harder to browse, harder to get the farmers attention to make a purchase and certainly harder to get a parking spot. If early mornings aren’t your thing you can go to Farmer Market of the Ozarks on Thursday nights but you won’t have nearly the selection. Plus you have to dodge people and their cocktails who are there more for happy hour than to pick out zucchini.
Speaking of zucchini – it’s everywhere! I’ve been enjoying my zoodles both raw and cooked. I have a new raw salad combo that I can’t get enough of featuring zoodles and a Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing from Clean Eating magazine. I add shredded carrots to my zoodles along with fresh cilantro and basil. Then I top with a tablespoon of the dressing. I could eat it every day! I have also found zoodles to be a great way to bulk up regular pasta thanks to the Healthy Pasta cookbook. I recently made a linguine with zucchini noodles and peas from the book. I omitted the pancetta and learned a vegan cooking hack for replacing smoky meats – smoked sea salt! It helped give the base the flavor it needed and then I added a few vegetarian “bacon bits” on top.
Fruit lovers can also rejoice in June! Blueberries and peaches are here! I had my first peach of the season a couple of weeks ago. It had gorgeous orange and red flesh and was so juicy I had to hold the napkin under my mouth the entire time. Peaches will be around for a while as the different varieties hit their peak but blueberry season is very short. Get plenty and freeze them for use in smoothies or chia jam later in the year.
This month I also want to give a big shout out to Echigo Farm. I’ve raved about my favorite delicacy, the an-pan, in past. Now I have to let you in on my newest find – fermented chickpea hummus. Fermented foods provide a host of health benefits with their probiotic qualities but most people don’t eat them often enough. This hummus is a delicious solution to that problem. Plus the fermentation process helps the fresh made hummus last longer (if you can resist eating it all in a single weekend). Try it to liven up your veggie wrap or to dip your baby carrots and cucumber in. I also picked up another fermented food for Kimchi Fried Rice (another Clean Eating Magazine find). I love that Echigo Farms makes so many varieties of kimchi. There is bound to be something to please any palate. (Personally I go with the Vegetarian Kimchi because most traditional kimchi contains fish sauce.)
I find kimchi is either a love it or hate it kind of food. Which camp do you fall into? What’s your favorite way to eat your zoodles?