I always try to get to the farmers’ market on the weekend and stock up on fresh produce to last me for the week (or at least a few days..!). It’s the best way to invest in some organic produce without having to shell out a fortune. Ideally, I would love to buy exclusively organic as I am really trying to reduce the load of ingested toxins on my body, but my budget at this point in time just doesn’t allow for it! For the time being, I’m sticking to buying the ‘dirty dozen’ (fruits and veg that have been shown to have, on average, higher traces of pesticides) from organic sources, and not worrying too much about the ‘clean fifteen’ (those fruits and veg in which lower rates of pesticides are usually found). However, I’ve learnt recently from chatting to the stall holders that often times the farm-fresh produce you find at your local growers’ markets may not be labeled as ‘certified organic’, but often hasn’t been treated with pesticides and ripened artificially the way convention supermarket fruit and veg may have been. Apparently, it costs the farmers money to register for their wares to be ‘certified organic’, so some of the owners of smaller farms that tend to just sell their produce directly to the public at the markets just don’t bother with the label. The way I see it, it ends up being cheaper for them and cheaper for me – win-win!
I usually roll out of bed bleary-eyed and head straight to the markets bright and early, with no real shopping list or plan. That way, I tend to wander around and select produce based on what looks the brightest and freshest on that particular morning. I’m not a huge fan of planning out my meals, and I love just throwing together fresh ingredients in the moment and being inspired by what’s in season and what I can get my hands on.
That was the philosophy behind this little diddy that I whipped up for lunch after lugging home my fruit and veg…
Spring feta and fresh pea salad
2 cups fresh greens, shredded (I used a mix of silverbeet and romaine)
50g organic goat’s milk feta
½ cup freshly shelled green peas
Handful fresh mint, shredded
Handful fresh basil, shredded
½ cup whole sugar snap peas
Good quality caramelized balsamic vinegar
Lemon wedges, to serve
Mix together all vegetables and herbs, top with feta and drizzle with a little caramelized balsamic vinegar. A squeeze of lemon over the top, then tuck in!
I served my salad with a side of deliciously sweet, juicy raw corn, enjoyed straight off the cob. Bliss!