Amp Your Health with Greens This Spring

As leaves begin to unfurl, spring can be a great reminder to take a moment to get reconnected with the natural world and recommit to personal self-care. One of the best ways to assist your health, and especially your immune system, is by being more mindful of your diet. Here in the South Sound, the abundance of farmers markets makes finding local, fresh, and whole foods incredibly easy.

Spring brings an explosion of green to the produce offered by farmers. The array of greens will include familiar favorites such as chard, kale, lettuce, sorrel, and spinach, but also the more unusual fiddleheads and nettles. Expand your use of greens from the salad and try some cooked greens. After eating them a few times, you will quickly find out why cooked greens are part of such a variety of cuisines from China to France to India. With a short cooking time, versatility, unique flavors and important nutritional benefits, greens can become a regular part of healthy eating either on their own or nestled in other dishes. Here are some ways to try spring greens:

  • Saute greens until tender in a large pot with olive oil, salt and garlic or onion. Add additional flavor with a dot of butter or cream along with seasonal herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Add sliced kale to soups and stews during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
  • Toss some chopped fresh greens into a smoothie.
  • Increase the nutritional power in your breakfast by sautéing chopped greens and garlic before you add eggs for scrambling.

Farmers will also be offering leeks, potatoes, rhubarb, and sprouts among their spring bounty. Eating fresh whole foods can be cleansing and enlivening for your body after the limited choices of winter eating which often includes more processed foods. With an extensive history of family farming, the communities of the South Sound have been growing crops for decades. Today you can find markets throughout Tacoma, as well as in Puyallup, Lakewood, Gig Harbor, and Olympia. It can be a fun family outing to go visit a new farmers market to explore new vendors, neighborhoods, and parks. So don’t be deterred by the spring rains and plan a trip to a farmers market today.

For Additional Information
Lakewood Farmers Market | City of Lakewood
cityoflakewood.us/lakewood-farmersmarket

Olympia Farmers Market
olympiafarmersmarket.com

Tacoma Farmers Markets
tacomafarmersmarket.com

Gig Harbor Waterfront Farmers Market
gigharborwaterfront.org

Puyallup Farmers Market | Puyallup Main Street Association
puyallupmainstreet.com

BY HILLARY RYAN

Resolution Restart At Your Farmer’s Market

If you are like most of the population, you’ve long since forgotten your New Year’s resolution by the time summer arrives. But if your pledge was to eat healthier, now is the time to get things back on track. Attend a local farmers market for fresh, nutritious local and organic offerings.

Farmers are ready at their booths with ripe fruit, handpicked vegetables and other farm-fresh foods that will inspire you to select nourishing as well as local fare. From small farms that dot the Key Peninsula, to the cattle ranches of Eatonville, to the large row-crop farms of the fertile Puyallup Valley, farms are a vibrant part of life throughout our region.

The South Sound boasts numerous farm-to-table markets to choose from. Usually more than just shopping awaits you. Get to know the grower at the Puyallup Farmers Market. Listen to live music or watch chef demonstrations at the Lakewood Farmers Market located around the fountain near City Hall. Make a day of it and explore the delights of Gig Harbor at the Waterfront Farmers Market. Check out the Olympia Farmers Market, where you can enjoy a wide array of food vendors. And a new year-round farmers market, modeled after the Granville Island Public Market, is in the works at the Tacoma hotspot Point Ruston.

So whether you are looking for a crispy addition for a verdant salad, some fresh eggs for a delicious quiche or a gift for a special friend, get to know our local farmers markets and whip that resolution into shape.

HILARY RYAN

Puyallup Farmers Market – puyallupmainstreet.com
Lakewood Farmers Market – cityoflakewood.us
Gig Harbor Farmers Market – gigharborfarmersmarket.com
Olympia Farmers Market – olympiafarmersmarket.com