August 27, 2022

Awesome August at Your Farmers Market

If you’ve followed me on Instagram at all, you know I’m a farmer’s market junkie. It’s one of the immovable dates on my calendar each week. I love to go in the morning on the weekend, visit my go-to-booths for the things I use each week and then spend some time browsing for special treats or new in-season offerings. But rarely is it a better time to go to the farmer’s market than Awesome August!

Why do I call it Awesome August? Because some of the staples we buy every week—like tomatoes, cucumbers and melons—are at their peak harvest season, while fruits especially are exploding with taste. Here are a few recommendations to buy now and enjoy.

Top five picks for awesome august at your farmer’s market

  1. Eggplants: Yes, these hardy vegetables grow for many months and can be a staple at the farmers market, but in August they hit the peak of their optimal growing season. Eggplants are an excellent replacement for meat (grilled eggplants with a touch of olive oil are amazing!) and pasta. Here’s a great garden recipe that is low fat and delicious. Eggplants are a wonderful, low-calorie source of fiber.
  2. Melons: People tend to overlook melons. They are big and heavy and can seem like a bit of a pain to cut and clean, so if you haven’t eaten many yet, now is the perfect time to do so. Cantaloupe, Honey Dew, and Watermelon are their juiciest right now. Pick some up and remind yourself of these simple, wonderful, refreshing flavors. Yes, they’re great for breakfast. Eating melon is like getting intravenous nutrient therapy. On every level, including biochemically, melon is exactly what our bodies need. Melons are essentially balls of purified water.
  3. Peppers: Add some zest to your menu this week by sampling the full bounty of peppers that are now being harvested. Bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, poblano peppers, you name it. Yellow and orange peppers add sweetness while jalapeños add some heat. Peppers are at their peak and there are more now at the farmer’s markets than any time of the year. Hot peppers can help to boost overall circulation and increase overall cardiovascular ability while at the same time regulating blood pressure. Peppers contain almost six times as much Vitamin C as oranges. Bell peppers are a strong source of vitamin A and beta carotene, which can help boost the immune system and improve vision.
  4. Basil: Those beautiful green leaves are never more brilliant than right now and its healthy benefits are far reaching. Basil’s antiviral abilities boost thyroid health and help prevent thyroid cancer, among other benefits. Basil is pretty finicky to grow, so make sure you snatch these up now with the flavors at their best. Basil leaves can brighten any dish and can be easily made into pesto, which is wonderful in many ways (and so much more inexpensive—and easy—to make yourself).
  5. Pluots: Peaches, plums and other fruits are in peak form in Awesome August, but let’s go just a touch outside the norm for my final recommendation: Pluots are a hybrid plum and apricot that is one of the most delightful flavors of August you can find. They can be a little hard to find, but they do grow in most places (even my home of New York) and well, well worth tracking down. Though they’re delicious eaten out of hand, their firm texture and natural sweetness make them ideal for cooking and baking, too.

I can’t think of a better way to get outside for a walk, take in the beauty of food produced in the healthiest ways and plan for healthy eating the whole week long. Plus, they make for great pics! Share your favorite farmer’s market pictures with me on Instagram and tag me (@drsherrigreene).