The USDA recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables, but that can get boring if you stick to apple slices and broccoli. Farmer’s Markets are the perfect opportunity to give your plate a makeover. Not only is there a huge variety of the freshest, locally grown produce, but you’re likely to see fruits and vegetables you never knew existed. So, the next time you head to the market, expand your horizons with these fruits and veggies.
Hybrid Fruits: These agricultural concoctions blend two distinct fruits into one. If you discover a pluot, (plum/apricot), a tangelo (tangerine/pomelo or grapefruit), a tayberry (blackberry/raspberry), or any other irresistible combination, be sure to snag them up.
Purple Produce: Color trends aren’t just for the fashion world, and purple produce is in vogue. While these veggies don’t necessarily taste all that different from their yellow or green counterparts, their brilliant color can really jazz up dinner. Look for purple cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, beans and potatoes.
Miniature Vegetables: Shrink a vegetable and for some reason it just instantly becomes cute and kid-friendly. Think baby carrots. (Though, just to set the record straight, most baby carrots are regular-sized carrots trimmed down to size.) But some plants can actually have a better taste and texture in their mini form. So give baby bell peppers, zucchini and small potatoes a try.
Heirloom Anything: Most of us associate “heirloom” with tomatoes, but many other veggies qualify. Heirlooms are seeds typically 50 years or older that have been passed down through generations of growers. Many find the quality and taste of heirlooms to be better and truer to form. So, when you pay a little extra for an heirloom, keep in mind you’re investing in heritage and quality.
Final tip: Ask for bulk discounts. Most growers will be open to negotiation especially if it is near closing time and it means clearing out inventory. Plus, many fruits and vegetables freeze well. Vacuum sealers are a great way to preserve bulk produce. Right now you can save up to 43% off Foodsaver products.