local businesses. Buying local also help by making sure local food traditions and specialties donít fade away. Of course you benefit by having fresh produce which is excellent for the body, mind & spirit!
Where to Buy Local Food Products
To find locally-produced food, try the local farmerís market (a search for ďfarmerís marketĒ and your areaís name should produce a list of markets). Farmerís markets arenít just for fruits and vegetables; locally-raised meats, jams, and honey are often sold there, too. If not, check your local business listing or phone book for a meat market with local meat, or a fresh seafood market. For some inspiration on how to prepare a knockout recipe, our Free Cookbook has ideas for year-round, and our All American 4th of July Picnic Recipes have the coolest new recipes for your outdoor festivities!
A word of advice: when youíre at a farmerís market, ask the sellers if the food was raised locally. Sometimes vendors sell food from other areas or purchased from a distributor, so check to see if youíre getting what you pay for.
Here are some fresh ideas for using the seasonal produce youíre likely to find around the Fourth of July in most of the United States, such as tomatoes, peaches, and corn. Add them to your outdoor grill favorites, like burgers, steak, or ribsóor grilled portabellas. For more the latest great ideas check out our blog.
- Watermelon punch. Put the watermelon in your blender and blend, and then run through a fine-mesh strainer. Add a little sugar, if you like.
- Green beans with ranch. Serve trimmed, raw green beans with ranch or poppyseed dressing.
- Grilled corn. Soak the unpeeled ears of corn in water for ten minutes and grill them over low heat until done, about 6-8 minutes. The corn silk will stick to the outer husk like magic.
- Tomato salad. Cut ripe, unrefrigerated tomatoes into slices and layer with red onion slices and basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
- Summer squash salad. Cut summer squash and zucchini into 1/4-inch thick slices with wedges of tomato and red onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dress with lemon juice and a little oil. Sprinkle crumbled farmerís cheese (crumbly white cheese, like feta) over top.
- Angel food cake with mojito-peach salsa. Peel 5-6 peaches by dropping them into boiling water for a few seconds, removing them, then slipping the skins off. Dice the peaches. Simmer 2 tablespoons of white rum with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water until the sugar has dissolved. Add the peaches and heat again until just simmering. Remove from heat and add a handful of mint sliced into thin ribbons. Refrigerate and serve cool, over angel food cake. Any seasonal stone fruit, like cherries or apricots, can be substituted for the peaches.
- Homemade pie. Donít let your lack of pastry skills stop you from making a pie. Take eight cups of sliced fruit, add two tablespoons of flour, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup of sugar (or to taste), and dump everything in a pre-made pie shell. If youíre feeling particularly sophisticated, add a little cinnamon, ginger, and/or lemon before you cover the pie with another pie shell, squish the edges shut with a fork, and bake at 375įF for an hour, or until the fruit is perfectly tender.
- For a great pasta salad, add small, cooked pasta shapes to either the tomato salad or the summer squash salad. You may need to add more dressing and salt (the pasta tends to absorb them more than the veggies).
Youíll be amazed at the variety of local produce you can find at a farmerís market. Remember if you see something delicious at a farmerís market, get it right away! Chances are you wonít be able to find it the following week. Unlike produce shipped in from distant, subtropical markets, you canít always be sure of a constant supplyóbut you can always be sure of getting it at the peak of aromatic freshness, when the nutrients are most prevalent to feed your body, mind and spirit! Enjoy the 4th of July weekend, and remember to check out our All American 4th of July Picnic Recipes for some new and delicious recipes!
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