Mother Nature’s cool, wet weather pushed the growing season back two weeks or more this year, but your patience is paying off if you have been waiting for some of your favorite locally grown produce to appear at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.
Minnesota-grown strawberries, sugar snap peas, cilantro, cucumbers, dill, kohlrabi, zucchini, and both red and green kale are in and other greens should be coming soon. You will also find locally grown new baby red potatoes and cherry tomatoes, which are perfect for your summer salads.
Check out the “What’s Fresh” page periodically on the Minneapolis Farmers Market website for an updated list of what you should expect to find at the market.
Look for these favorites and more at local vendors’ stalls.
Strawberries are not only a delicious natural treat, they’re also low in calories and a good source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, folic acid and heart-healthy antioxidants. Second only to blueberries in antioxidant levels, a 1-cup serving even has more vitamin C than an orange. Strawberries are delicate and should be handled with care. Keep them dry and refrigerated. Do not wash them until just prior to use, as moisture can speed up spoilage.
Once more often seen as a garnish, this member of the family of vegetables that includes cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts, has been touted as a “superfood.” It’s low in calories, high in fiber and beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, B vitamins and folic acid. Kale has a mild cabbage-like flavor with a hint of pepper and it’s good as a steamed vegetable and added to soup. Toss pasta with chopped kale, pine nuts, feta cheese and a little olive oil. Whisk together some lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a pinch of hot red pepper flakes, toss with chopped kale, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. The smaller-sized leaves will be tenderer and have a milder flavor than larger leaves—try them mixed in with salads. Store kale in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for five days. The longer it’s stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes. Wash kale just before using.
Sugar Snap Peas
At about only 26 calories for 1 cup of whole pea pods, crisp and naturally sweet sugar snap peas are a healthy summer veggie. Plus, while most veggies provide at least some vitamin C, sugar snap peas are an especially great source of this vitamin. Enjoy them on their own or dip in hummus or creamy dips. Add them to stir fry dishes or quickly sauté with a little olive oil and garlic. A little lemon zest is also a good complement.
This popular summer squash can be eaten rind, seeds and all. Its flowers are even edible. This doesn’t need much more than quick sautéing with butter or olive oil, with or without fresh herbs and garlic. It can also be baked, grilled, steamed, fried and even shredded and baked in a cake or bread in the style of banana bread. Grate raw and sprinkle on salads, slice it into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler and dress with olive oil and lemon juice for a zucchini “pasta,” or make thicker slices to scoop up your favorite dips.
The Minneapolis Farmers Market carries the largest selection of products of any farmers market in the Upper Midwest. In addition to the fresh fruits and veggies, there are still lots of beautiful potted flowers and plants and hanging baskets for your gardens, patios, balconies and landscapes. Plus, there is always a wide range of fresh breads and baked goodies to cheese, hummus and soap—all for a great value.
MARKET LOCATIONS AND TIMES
Lyndale Market: Daily 6 a.m. – 1 p.m.
312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis
Nicollet Mall Market: Thursdays 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Government Center Market: Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
300 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis