You may already know that the farmers market is one of the coolest places to hang out each week. And you probably know about the farm fresh vegetables and fruit you can find there.
But did you know that you can do most of your grocery shopping at your local farmers market? It's true! And if you don't believe us, then we're here to convince you that making the farmers market your first stop before the grocery store will not only change you health, it'll change your life!
Most cities have a farmers market and on any given day of the week, except Monday, you can find a market within a few miles of your home. So there's really no excuse to skip the market.
Just imagine how awesome your kitchen would be, stocked with farm fresh produce that was harvested just the day before, or even that morning. And then imagine your fridge stocked with fresh, small batch, healthy, homemade goods that you normally pickup at the store.
Why buy at the farmers market? Because you'll be supporting your local farmers, artisan bakers, craft food and beverage makers, and putting your money back into your community.
You'll also have the best time ever, listening to live music, mingling with your neighbors, sipping hot coffee while you shop and getting to know local vendors.
I can't speak highly enough of this idea. I want to share with you some [possibly] surprising items you can get at the farmers market that'll have you kissing that flourescent-lit grocery store good-bye.
Take a look at these 10 kitchen staples you'll enjoy shopping for at your local farmers market, as soon as this weekend:
This one's a given. Of course you're going to stop by your favorite jun kombucha vendor, JenEric Foods. But even if you can't make it all the way out to Orange, you're likely to find kombucha at any farmers market you visit, even on the road. Eric & I love checking out the local market in any city we happen to be in.
This summer we discovered the Truckee Community Farmers Market, and sure enough, they had kombucha for sale. Next time you're in the Tahoe area, be sure to sample Nash's Kombucha!
I adore buying almond and cashew butter at the farmers market. It's so good in my smoothies, on toast, dipped with sliced apple or spooned right out of the glass jar.
These days, more and more evidence points to almond butter being a healthier alternative to peanut butter, and there are two vendors that carry high quality almond butter.
Healthy Butter (right next to the JenEric booth) has a wide variety of nut butter blends, some sweet, some not, using only maple tree sap and never refined sugars. Hopkins AG offers fresh ground almond butter sweetened with a touch of honey. You'll never buy store-bought again!
Salsa & Guacamole
A staple for any party or just your own private happy hour after work. My personal favorite is Lucky Habanero's black label Private Reserve blend of tomatoes and tomatillos. The flavor is outstanding and the spice level is just right - spicy yet palatable.
Acapulco Pico (@acapicosalsa on Instagram) is another favorite salsa vendor and what I love about visiting their booth is that they also have refried beans, guacamole and soft white corn tortillas. We all know that tacos are the easiest meal to pull together and Acapulco Pico has everything you need.
Olive Oil & Vinaigrette
Say good-bye to Newman's Own or Annie's salad dressings. You can pickup an amazing vinaigrette right there at the farmers market while you buy your salad greens. We all know New Year's resolution time is coming up and you'll be keen to get your salad on.
Look for Terrace Hill olive oil to make your own dressing at home or to saute´ all those awesome veggies you just picked up. Then stop by the NuovoTerra booth for their Flor de la Patagonia vinaigrette, ready to go, out of the bottle. Just shake, pour & toss.
Vegan Cheese and Spreads
If you haven't discovered Blöde Kuh yet, you've definitely been missing out. And if you live in LA, you know exactly what I'm talking about. This all vegan all the time company brings us delectable spreads, dips and even vegan yogurt (more on that later).
Be sure to also check out newcomer, the Cultured Nutt. Owner and maker, Kaylie, makes spicy, cashew based vegan dips/spreads that are perfect for any party or snack attack. Who doesn't love a fridge full of dips?
Making jun or mead? Love honey on toast or in your tea? Then buy your honey at the farmers market! You'll find tons of variety, like all the cool honeys we use in our jun: orange blossom, sage, avocado, wildflower, buckwheat and more.
Wer-Mor Honey (@wermorhoney on Instagram) can be found at Mariner's Church in Newport on Saturdays; Honey Pacifica are at multiple farmers markets in Orange County, including Laguna Niguel on Sundays; and Backyard Bees honey is at the Orange Home Grown Market every Saturday. For allergies, local honey is the ticket. Buy nothing less.
Did I mention New Year's resolution season is coming soon? Well, here you go, green juice - the best solution for inflammation, the root of all ailments. Want to get healthier, slimmer and more energetic?
Pick up a week's supply of green juice at the farmers market and give your juicer a rest. Got Green Drinks? has a wide variety of flavors, including nut milks. Keeping cold pressed green juice in your fridge is a sure way to stay alkalized, clean and mean.
Probiotics anyone? My absolute, hands-down favorite vegan yogurt is from Blöde Kuh. They make both plain and vanilla and I adore the plain, tart variety. It's uber healthy, thick and fluffy like whipped cream, and completely, 100% healthy. No cholesterol, no sugar, probiotic-rich, satisfying and guilt free.
Dress it up any way you like at home with nuts, maple syrup, cinnamon, fruit, or enjoy it all by itself. It far outweighs any vegan yogurt I've tried at the store, and you're lucky because Blöde Kuh is available at eleven farmers markets across LA & OC.
The best bread can only be found at the farmers market. Crusty, stone-milled, high quality bread is always what you want for your toast, sandwiches and for dipping in all those amazing dips you just got. You'll meet the baker herself and learn more than you ever wanted to know about properly milled flour and baking with very few ingredients.
There's nothing "enriched" or "bleached" here. Just California grown grains that are whole milled into healthy, bio-available flours and then baked to perfection. You might even run across bread baked with our jun right in it!
Want even better gut health for you and your family? Step up to Fermentality's booth and sample all kinds of probiotic foods and beverages, such as sauerkraut, pickles (cucumbers), beet kvass, kimchi and more.
This husband & wife duo (you know we love a duo) cranks out beautiful jars and bottles of house-made probiotic goodies to enjoy all week long. They have an amazing hummus with kimchi IN IT. Another dip, yes! So good with veggie crudite or crackers.
Loose-leaf tea, tortilla chips, pasta, hot sauce, bbq sauce, pastries, seaweed salad and so much more. It's objectively worth your time and energy to drive down to your local market this weekend, or even on your lunch break during the week, and get your shopping done in the out-of-doors. The days are short, but gorgeous, and the fresh air is waiting for you.
For a list of vendors at the Orange Home Grown Farmers and Artisans Market, visit orangehomegrown.org.