August into September are by far my favorite months. The days are warm, the nights are cool and in Manitoba, Canada (where I live) the produce is in full harvest. I can’t help but swoooooon at the colors, textures and deliciousness at the farmer’s market. We buy as much local, organic produce as possible and visit a few different farmer’s markets throughout the week, mainly because we enjoy them so much! Some of my favorite finds this month are…
Living in Canada, our produce is shipped in from California during the winter months and although it does taste as good as it can taste (after being in transit for a few days) nothing compares to the sweet, juiciness of fresh tomatoes from the garden/field. Tomatoes are super, duper healthy for us, too! They’re an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, K, E, A (beta-carotene), vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorous, potassium and more. I love using them to make pastas and stews and I also like adding them to salads.
Corn on the cob is only in season here for the shortest time and we take advantage of every single week of it. I’m not kidding, today I bought eleven cobs of corn at the farmer’s market. Corn is also very high in fiber and does an excellent job of cleaning out the belly. It also contains folate, thiamin, vitamin C, phosphorus and magnesium. As often as possible, do your best to choose organic, non-GMO corn.
One of my favorite summer recipes is my Sweet Corn Salad –
*yield: 2 meal-serving sizes or 4 side serving sizes
corn kernels from 2 ears of corn (approximately 1½ cups of corn kernels)
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
1⁄4 cup quinoa, cooked
juice from 1 lime
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
There are many ways to char corn. I don’t have a grill or a BBQ, so I ‘charred’ my corn kernels on in a frying pan on the stove. To do this, heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and add the corn. Toss them around and cook on medium-high until the kernels are lightly browned.
Combine the charred corn, pepper, onion, tomato, cilantro and cooked quinoa in a bowl and stir well. In a small food processor or a sealed jar, combine the olive oil, Dijon mustard, cumin, oregano and lime juice. Blend or shake well until dressing is smooth. Pour over salad, toss well and enjoy!
My mom has the most incredible organic vegetable garden and every year grows zucchinis that are almost the size of my entire arm. Therefore I don’t buy zucchini at the farmer’s market that often, but when our favourite farmer’s bring out their beautiful yellow summer squash zucchinis, I can’t help but snag a few. Perfect for baking, ‘zoodles’ in pasta or sliced in a stir fry, zucchini contains vitamin A, B1, B6, B2, folate, potassium, copper and phosphorus. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
And last but not least, one of the most beautiful vegetables of all, eggplant. I have to admit, I only started to really enjoy eggplant this year, and now I purchase it every week. Similar to the other vegetables mentioned, eggplants are high in vitamin C, K, B6, fiber, folic acid, niacin and more!
Try my Roasted Eggplant Spread recipe:
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
2 small eggplants or 1 large eggplant
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1⁄2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 1⁄2 Tbsp lemon juice
sprinkle of salt & pepper
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. With a fork, puncture holes into the eggplant and then bake it for 1 hour, until it has fully roasted and is oozing out goodness!
Meanwhile, while it is baking, sauté onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until both are golden brown. Once the eggplant has finished baking, cut the top off, chop it into smaller pieces and transfer it to a food processor. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper, lemon juice, salt, pepper and additional tablespoon of olive oil. Chop with an S-blade until somewhat smooth — hearty chunks of eggplant and pepper give this spread some texture. Remove and serve.
This spread will stay fresh in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to one week.
What are your favorite farmer’s market finds this month and how do you like to use them?
ASHLEY WOOD is a recipe developer and writer from Winnipeg, Canada. With a passion for health, wellness and vegetables, Ashley creates simple and inexpensive vegan recipes made from whole ingredients that are often seasonal, sometimes gluten-free and occasionally raw. Ashley believe in celebrating the benefits of living a vegan lifestyle and at the very least, hopes to inspire others to eat more plants, smile and live with some Sunshine.