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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

red and gold beets

If you’ve been hunkered down all week wondering if or when our country would erupt into violence, heading out to a farmers tailgate market might be the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. First of all, markets are outdoor environments and all that fresh air and sunlight can help clear your head. Second, even in the age of coronavirus and a divisive election, markets offer community and fellowship. Finally, and most obviously, shopping at market literally nourishes yourself and your family. 

A multitude of studies tout the mood-boosting properties of this or that food, but choosing the ones that make you happiest or best calm your anxiety is really a pretty subjective thing. This is the week to fill your market bag with whatever that means for you. Not sure what that even is anymore? Here are few things we turn to in stressful times.

Try color therapy. Many of the vegetables in season right now come in a striking array of hues, including beets in garnet and gold; cauliflower in chartreuse, tangerine, and purple; carrots from soft yellow to variegated magenta and orange; and watermelon radishes with bright pink centers. Roast up an assortment with olive oil and salt or make a raw crudite platter to keep you snacking healthfully in the coming days. Find colorful cauliflower from Olivette Farm (ASAP Farmers Market), rainbow carrots and beets from Gaining Ground Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market and River Arts District Farmers Market), and watermelon radishes from Highgate Farm (Black Mountain Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market). 

Embrace carbs. The ultimate comfort food for many, carbs have a way of taking the edge off a stressful situation. Freshly harvested rice, creamy potatoes, and whole grain breads are all great ways to carb up without falling into the cookie trap. Get sweet sticky and red rice varieties from Lee’s One Fortune Farm (ASAP Farmers Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market). Potatoes are widely available—try Full Sun Farm’s unique pinto gold with dappled red and yellow skin and a buttery interior (North Asheville Tailgate Market and River Arts District Farmers Market). Find local bread bakers at every market. 

Ferment it. Besides being packed with probiotics, fermented foods make a super tasty and addictive snack, especially spread on top of the carbs or colorful veggies mentioned above. You can get fermented products like kimchi, hot sauce, kraut, and pickles from the aptly named Serotonin Ferments (ASAP Farmers Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market) as well as Fermenti (Weaverville Tailgate Market) and Sweet Brine’d (ASAP Farmers Market). Or make your own! Fall is the traditional time for making kimchi. Ingredients like Napa cabbage, daikon radish, fresh ginger, garlic, and scallions are all available at markets now. 

At markets now you’ll also find a myriad of greens, apples, pears, persimmons, winter squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and much more. In addition to produce, markets offer an abundance of meats, cheese, bread, eggs, baked goods, and beverages. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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