May and June are delightful and my favorite months. The flowers are blooming, temperatures are usually comfortable and gardens are producing all sorts of ingredients for delectable foods. Thanks to my wonderful husband, my awesome-gardening brother and a Robeson County Farmers Market vendor, yesterday’s dinner included grilled chicken and pork along with fresh squash, zucchini, onions and green beans. It was yummy! I also blanched a few pounds of broccoli that I will freeze and eat next week. Just this morning, I made some awesome caramelized onions that I’ll freeze and use throughout the month in a variety of dishes.
Breakfast this morning included homemade yogurt with delicious local blueberries, topped off with whole grain cereal. That beautiful blue color in blueberries comes from anthocyanins, which provide huge health benefits. Research has proven over and over again that fruits and vegetables in sufficient quantity, especially those of deep color, decrease risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases. I keep telling folks to eat a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables to get the most health benefits. The different colors represent different nutrients, micronutrients and antioxidants. It’s like taking a daily vitamin; only so much better for you and it tastes good. Ahhhhhh … delicious, healthy food — especially fruits and vegetables — is definitely the way to my heart.
There’s also the Farmers Market Extravaganza — their annual grand opening — which is happening this Saturday, June 16, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The market, located on the corner of Eighth and Elm streets, is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees at the Extravaganza will have an opportunity to meet North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center staff as they share free samples of recipes prepared with produce donated by the farmers. Follow your nose to the stir-fry demonstration by the Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program assistants. Then make your way to the Cooperative Extension table for other tasty samples (I have heard rumors of veggie pizza and green beans with lemon zest). Recipes will be provided for all the samples. The Extension Master Gardeners will also be on hand teaching how to create beautiful container gardens. Hopefully, you will leave the market with a taste of deliciousness on your lips, new recipes and bags of fresh produce.We hope you will join us this Saturday. How could you not think that this is a delightful time of the year?
Janice Fields is the Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center. She can be reached via phone at 671-3276, or by E-mail at [email protected]