Eating Seasonally, Fueling Locally

2-farmers-market-best-chicago-weight-loss-nutritionWhat if we told you there was something you could eat to fuel your body, improve your skin, aid in weight loss, and lower your risk for several chronic diseases? And that by buying it you’d be supporting your community? Well, it’s true! We’re talking about fruits and vegetables, and this time of year, your local Farmers Markets are chock-full of these nutrient-dense foods that not only offer several health benefits, but also taste fantastic. Buying local food also benefits the environment and the local economy, and promotes safer food supply practices.

What can you find in Chicago’s Farmers Markets in July? Fresh fruits available now include blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, melons, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries and strawberries. You can also find a wide variety of vegetables, including artichokes, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green onions, kale, lettuce, okra, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, sprouts, summer squash, swiss chard, tomatoes and turnips.

Click here to find a Farmers Market near you! Here’s a delicious, healthy recipe you can make with the ingredients you find on your next Farmers Market excursion!

Braised Green Beans & Summer Vegetables
Servings: 6
Serving size: 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
½ cup white wine, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 medium summer squash or zucchini, halved and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Add onion and oregano and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.
3. Add wine (or broth) and bring to a boil.
4. Add green beans, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
5. Add summer squash (or zucchini) and tomatoes and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.

Nutritional Fact Per Serving: 92 calories; 4 g fat (1 g saturated 2 g monounsaturated); 2 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 3 g protein; 158 mg sodium; 290 mg potassium

Article written by FFC’s Registered Dietician Carrie Linke, MS, RD, LDN. To contact Carrie email clinke@ffc.com.