I'm a sucker for fresh produce, new foodie finds and supporting the ma and pa shops, so naturally I DIG the Farmer's Market. I hadn't been in a minute, and have no good reason or excuse for that. So you can imagine my excitement when I made my way to probably my fav farmer's market in Studio City this past weekend. I like this one because it's the perfect size, not too big where you don't get to hit every booth, but not too small where you aren't getting the variety. Plus the booths that are there ROCK and I think Sunday's are the PERFECT day to hit the market.
Before I get to my foodie finds, let me just share why I think you should start hitting your local Farmer's Market. First, it's a great place to get FRESH produce at a GREAT price. This is local food that hasn't had to travel miles upon miles to make its way to you, which means it's damn fresh and you are also helping to reduce that carbon footprint us humans have been leaving on our precious Mother Earth. Another reason, while it may not have the official organic seal, because that seal is EXPENSIVE, many ma and pa farmers still grow their food ethically, and by far more ethically than you will find at any conventional grocery store...Start up a conversation with the seller/grower and find out their growing practices to determine the quality of the food you are considering buying- This is an opportunity you don't have at your typical grocery store, many wouldn't have an answer for you! More reasons include you will have the produce that is in season available at your fingers, you'll discover new produce...I saw beautiful, purple bell peppers on Sun and yes- I'm still kicking myself for not getting some, guess I'll have to go back prontos, you'll get inspired to cook up some new dishes for the week, and you will be supporting the little guy aka the HARD worker over the big, greedy guys. I think those are all legit reasons, don't you?!
So now back to Sunday's stroll...When I went I very much intended to get my fav Farmer's find ever to this day...Dave's Gourmet Korean Vegan food. This stuff is the BEST. I ALWAYS get the tempeh (or Tempha) ,which is made from fermented black beans and brown rice and has the BEST flavor, not to mention it is packed with protein. This week I got that, with some spicy cucumbers and daikon, that both pack their own array of health benefits and compliment the tempeh like no other. Dave is at every LA Farmer's Market that I have ever been to and also has fermented veggies, sea veggies, an amazing broth and a few more goodies. And they let you sample practically everything. I also scored a few cucumbers and a huge amount of shisito peppers, which I have been wanting to try for quite a while now and all for $5. YES, only 5 bucks for all of that. Can you say D E A L?! I've already added the peppers to my usual breakfast scramble and have lots more intentions for them. Sunday, I also got to try a varitey of peaches, some I didn't even know existed. AND that is what is so great about the Farmer's, they offer tons of samples, so you get to try new variations of produce, among other delights, on top of knowing what you are getting before you buy it.
I also stumbled across this guy selling fresh pickles in jars "Jerry's Almost Pickles" and they were soaked in apple cider vinegar and were the BEST. While I LOVE cucumbers, I'm usually not a fan of pickles, but I've learned that's just because conventional pickles aren't made right, at least to my standards. These ones were out-of-this World. I also love that the guy working their booth shared a little secret, once you finish the jar you can cut up a new cucumber and reuse the juice, so you are almost getting a two for one deal and I'm DOWN with that. This market has a lady that sells a wide range of dates, not just your typical Medjool ones- I'm talking Honey and Caramel named dates, and you know you can't go wrong with any date that comes with a name like that! Oh, and she also offers samples, such a standard at the Farmer's that I LOVE! The last stop I want to highlight was this incredible healthy nut/seed butter stand- called none other than, Healthybutter. They offered atleast 10 different variations of superfood mixed nut butters. They are so good that they had sold out of most of their flavs by the time I got to them, but I did get to try their amazing "Berry Freak" made with a mix of organic, raw nuts- pecans, cashews, almonds and walnuts, coconut, organic acai, goji and blueberries, raw seeds- chia, hemp, sunflower, and flax, plus protein powder, maca, cacao nibs, maple tree sap, and sea salt. DROOLING yet!? Then I tried their Cashew Kong which tasted like heaven, if you could put heaven on a spoon. This bad (but really good for you) boy was made of organic cashews, sunflower oil, flax seed oil, coconut oil, maple tree sap, chia seeds, quinoa bran and sea salt. Needless to say, I wanted to try more, okay maybe ALL, of their flavs before making the investment in this creatively amazing goodness.
So guess what I'm doing this weekend?!...Yes, I think I'll start up making the Market a regular weekend activity again. What are your fav farmer's finds?!
For any locals, the Studio City Farmer's Market is on Sundays from 8am-2pm (summer hours). Located at: Ventura Pl, Studio City, Ca 91604