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Bring Spring’s Vitality into your kitchen!

Farmer's Market Fresh food
Farmer's Market Fresh food
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Trees are blooming, bulbs are exploding, Mother Nature’s life force is bursting everywhere. One way to capture some of the health benefits of this new energy is to incorporate seasonal eating with locally grown food. We all take for granted the availability of any fruit or vegetables all year around in supermarkets but we often forget what we are trading for this convenience. When food has to travel across continents or oceans, it must be harvested green so that by the time it makes it to the grocery stores, it looks presentable! But when we eat seasonal food, we always get it at the peak of its freshness which guarantees a higher nutritional content and better taste. It is the way Mother Nature intended it. And it turns out, Her wisdom extends well beyond flavors and nutrition. Consuming what is readily available around us, uses the least amount of energy and is perfectly in tune with what our body needs at that time.

In the spring, tasty leafy greens abound (arugula, spinach, chives, dandelions, spring onions, leeks etc.) and all help gently cleanse our liver and blood. Spring cleaning our house takes on a whole new meaning now. It is the exact thing we need at this time.

When we combine seasonal eating, with organic produce, we not only get the health benefit, but we also support local farmers who do not poison the earth with toxic chemicals and instead improve soil fertility with crop rotation, work with nature, protect our air, water and give us better tasting food. It is a win, win, win.

So what’s for dinner?
Take any leafy green, asparagus or arugula; combine it with some hot vegetable broth and a cooked potato, to make the quickest cream soup, in less than 10 minutes! No fat no guilt and all the flavor.
In the mood for roasted vegetables? Wash and slice leeks, potatoes, asparagus, fennel bulbs, spray some olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, spices and garlic powder, bake at 400F for 10 minutes, turn vegetables over, bake for another 5 minutes. Serve over rice or quinoa. You are in for a treat!

Don’t know where to shop? What better place than one of the many Portland Farmer’s Markets.
There is one open every day except for Tuesday. Here is a list to get you started:

Pioneer Courthouse Square: SW Broadway & SW Morrison St. (Mondays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm)
Shemanski Park: SW Park Ave. & SW Main St. (Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm)
Buckman: SE Salmon St. & SE 20th Ave. (Thursdays, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
Northwest: NW 19th Ave. & NW Everett St. (Thursdays, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
Kenton Market: N Denver Ave & N McClellan St (Fridays, 3:00pm – 7:00 p.m.)
Portland State University: SW Park Ave & SW Montgomery St. (Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
King: NE Wygant St. & NE 7th Ave. (Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

So why not take advantage of the abundance and variety or fruit and vegetables in spring and summer and discover one of these lovely neighborhood farmer’s markets? Celebrate the seasons, support your local farmers, organic produce and share the blessing of such abundance with your family and friends.

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