Eat Local, Eat Seasonal, Eat the Rainbow

June 20, 2016

In a society that is bent on convenience and the ability to have whatever you want, whenever you want it, farmer’s markets are making inroads to return to a time when you ate fruits and vegetables, that thrived in the soil where you live, at the peak of their ripeness.

CSA’s, Community Supported Agriculture, are the epitome of this trend. In a CSA you basically buy a share of a small farm and get a share of what is harvested each week. But let’s be real, in North Carolina in March, that translates to sweet potatoes and greens and thankfully, the much awaited for asparagus. You must become a creative cook and a proficient canner to survive the winter and early spring in this fashion.

At Providence Produce, we do our best to accentuate the local farmers’ seasonal crops, while providing customers with a variety of other desired items like tropical fruits. Check our webpage for a list of what is in season. We strive to be your one stop by having eggs from local farms, bread from a local artisan baker, local raw honey as well as other local add-ons.

Eat the Rainbow!

Nutritionists and healthy eating enthusiasts recommend eating local and seasonal for its numerous benefits. The phrase “eat the rainbow” started as a way to encourage kids to eat healthier by incorporating foods of many different colors since each color has a correlation to certain vitamins and minerals. The color palate of foods can be broken down into 5 main groups:

Red- Beets, Cherries, Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Watermelon. Red foods contain lycopene which has been shown to reduce the risks of several types of cancer.

Yellow/Orange- Cantaloupe, Carrots, Peaches, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Yellow Squash. These are full of carotenoids which convert to Vitamin A, are good for eye health and the immune system.

Green- Asparagus, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Green Pepper, Zucchini. Leafy greens are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects, and Lutein which is important to eye health.

Blue/Purple- Blackberries, Blueberries, Eggplant, Plums. The anthocyanins that create the blue pigment are powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage and therefore linked to longevity.

White- Bananas, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Turnips. These contain the chemical allicin which helps reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.

There is a lot of science behind that rainbow!

Right now, at Providence Produce, we have local, seasonal produce from each color of the rainbow. Come out to shop with us. We would love to be part of your healthy lifestyle.

Here is one of my favorite recipes, that features the berries now available.

This recipe is adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Berry Ricotta Scones

2 cups white-wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, chilled
1 cup fresh berries; blackberries, blueberries or raspberries
¾ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives, until the biggest pieces are the size of peas. Cut in the berries till the break into ½ or ¼ size pieces. Add the ricotta and heavy cream with a spatula until the dough forms. On a floured surface pat the dough into a seven inch square. Cut into 9 even squares.

Bake the squares on a parchment lined baking sheet at 425 for 15 minutes. Let them cool about halfway before eating. Enjoy.

About the Author

Donna M., Providence Road

Donna M.
Stand Co-Lead, Providence Road

Donna has been a key part of the Providence Road team since 2010. She is an amazing mother, wife and person who loves Providence Produce and the values and principles of what we stand for. Donna and her family live in the Providence area of Charlotte and are originally from Massachusetts - alumni of Babson College in Babson Park, MA

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