Working with a food budget can be quite a challenge. Every cook knows that eating healthy is the most important thing we can do for our families, while being able to afford that diet can be a little bit harder to do. There are some ways to take advantage of any growing season(yes, even when there is snow on the ground), and find the healthiest foods available.
Right now, it is high time in the growing season, and there is so much to choose from at the farmer's market. Bring as many bags as you can and choose some of these foods that not only taste great on their own, they also can be easily used in more than one way. Check out this list!
Beets and greens- Sweet beets are ready right now. If you garden, it's also time to replant the newly harvested row for a fall harvest. If you can, buy the beets from the farmer's market with the greens still attached. You can eat the beets roasted, boiled, grilled, pickled and more; Then eat the greens separately by sauteeing them. I like to make a mixture of rice/cheese/herbs, and placing a layer of beet greens on my cutting board with edges overlapping to make a large enough space. Then place a heaping scoop of the rice mixture in the middle of the greens and wrapping them up and placing seam side down in a baking dish. Bake in a hot oven for a few minutes to wilt the greens and serve hot.
Kale - Yes, we are going to talk about this popular green. Kale is one of my favorite foods, and was before it was hip so I have many ways to serve it. Small, tender kale makes great salad greens, while still young but a bit larger kale leaves are great for wraps and stir fry. Even the larger kale leaves get used up. I dehydrate them until they are crisp, grind them into a nutritional powder and sprinkle on anything I can get a way with all winter long.
Green Beans - Who can remember crunching on a fresh green bean from the garden as a child? I love entertaining my kids in the garden by seeing if they can find all the hidden beans in a row. To make it a little more fun, I grow purple beans. They turn green when cooked, but it 's not often that I have enough left over to actually make it to the stove. I do like to use my beans for pickling as well as eating fresh. This makes them a great addition to this double duty list of fresh foods. Pickled green beans are easy to make and taste great.
Heading to the farmer's market is a great way to see just what foods are available throughout the growing season, and if you shop wisely you can get more mileage out of whatever foods you buy.