Market Mutt~ Charlie

Our Market Mutt this weekend is Charlie.  He is about a 4 year old poodle mix.  His owners adopted him 2.5 years ago from Roman Grove Animal Shelter.  We met up with him at the Kitchen’s Pride booth.  Charlie’s favorite things to do are sleep, go on walks, and snack on liver treats.  In the warm Texas summer’s you won’t find Charlie cooling off in the lake, he hates water!  Look for Charlie again at the Market and say hello!

Food Fermentation and Why It’s So Good For You

Are you in a pickle about the best foods to eat for good health? At the Texas Farmer’s Markets, we’re all about supplying foods that are healthy for everyone.

Food fermentation has been around for thousands of years as evidenced by research. It is the process of promoting good bacteria in foods by adding specific ingredients and controlling temperatures to breed these organisms.

As an example, wine is typically made with fruits that are crushed with added yeast. Over time, the fruit ferments and is then strained into wine. The older the wine, the better the taste and quality, which also speaks to fermentation’s ability to change the taste and texture of foods.

Top Reasons Fermented Foods Are Excellent for Health:

  • Digestion – Rich in enzymes, fermented foods aid in constipation and keeping the digestive tract in balance
  • Supplies Good Bacteria – Women who have recurring yeast infections for example need good bacteria in order to balance out bad bacteria and prevent  its overgrowth
  • Increases Vitamin Content – Research shows that fermented foods have a rich supply of vitamins incorporated
  • Preservation – Fermented foods last much longer than non-fermented counterparts
  • Boosts Immunity – Serving like a vaccine, the microorganisms in fermented foods help ward off bad bacteria and illnesses

Apart from wine, other popular types of fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchee, ketchup, mayonnaise, kefir, pickles, cheese and more.

In the modern Western world, many of the foods consumed are purported as “safe foods”, meaning they’re pasteurized or treated. While nothing’s entirely wrong with these foods, the missing piece of the puzzle for optimal health is balance.

Fermented foods provide healthy tummies for babies, adults and seniors alike.

As with organic foods, fermented foods are widely debated for their pros and cons. One thing remains constant however, and that is the fact that they are excellent foods for digestive health.

Visit Full Quiver for their cheese, sauerkraut and kimchee as well as Milk-king Creamery, Flat Creek Estates, Dos Luna’s Cheese, Eagle Mountain Cheese, Buddha’s Brew, for all their fermented foods at Cedar Park Farmers Market.


Whey, and Why It’s Good For You

In learning about the foods you eat and their benefits, an excellent source of nutrition that you may be ignoring is whey. This super-food is made when milk curdles and the liquid remains are drained. This liquid is additionally characterized by a thin and watery texture.

The most predominant benefit of whey is its protein compounds.  It’s often solidified and used as an isolated powder or in different food product varieties. In addition to the protein source, it’s also beneficial for several reasons – which are explored below.

The Benefits of Whey:

  • Whey is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals
  • The protein in whey helps in muscle reparation
  • Whey helps to boost the immune system
  • It maintains healthy glutathione levels
  • The protein source helps to curb the appetite
  • Appetite control aids in maintaining a healthy weight

More Interesting Facts about Whey:

  • Even though whey is a by-product of cheese, it’s also used in making other types of cheese such as cottage and ricotta cheeses around the world.
  • Whey can be made from any type of milk including cow’s, goat’s, camel’s, soy and organic milk. The options are varied across the world.
  • Whey can also be made from yogurt, where the liquid residue is often seen settled at the top.
  • To cater to individual’s specific needs, whey is also formed in gluten-free and lacto-vegetarian varieties. This is ideal for those who are lactose intolerant and would like to get the same benefits provided, but without the allergies and side effects.
  • Whey’s also popular among body building groups due to its components and muscle building benefits.

In reality, whey is a way of life for those interested in muscle building, post-workout nutrition recovery and for active lifestyles in general. Look for Mil-King Creamery at the Cedar Park Farmer’s Market to buy liquid whey. It can be sampled at the Sample the Market Booth regularly.


How to Curb Your Sugar Craving with Veggies

By Heather Jernigan, CHHC AADP

Almost everyone craves sweets. Sugar makes us feel good. And, we want to feel good when we are stressed or overworked or exhausted.  While our ancestors got their sweet cravings from naturally sweet foods such as fruit, we have taken our sweet craving to a whole new level with refined sugar (which is in just about everything).

Refined sugar is a highly addictive substance.  Sugar enters our bloodstream at a strikingly fast pace – pushing our blood sugar sky high and giving us that deliciously-good feeling.  Not long after the sugar high, though, you come crashing down and may feel even more depressed, weary, or tired than before.

Refined sugar also lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber. Because of this, the body must pull from its reserves of minerals and enzymes to absorb the sugar.  So, not only is it harder to digest, it actually creates a deficiency in the body!

So, how can we get around this vicious sugar rollercoaster and give our body what it needs?  I mean, we cannot LIVE without our sugar, right?  I know this sounds crazy, but an amazingly easy but effective way to do this is to eat naturally sweet vegetables.

 

Here’s how:  Head to the Farmer’s Market and pick up some of these naturally sweet vegetables

 

Corn

Carrots

Onions

Beets

Winter squashes

Sweet potatoes

Yams

Turnips

Parsnips

Rutabagas

Red radishes

Daikon

Green Cabbage

Burdock

 

Take an “adding-in approach” where you put more of these into your daily diet.  Fill up on these veggies first without worrying about eliminating your sugar.

Be consistent – eat some of these everyday, and before long you will notice a shift.  You won’t be reaching for as many cookies! Your internal “sweet-0-meter” will be getting what it needs from these delicious veggies and won’t be screaming for a donut.  How cool is that?

 

And, here’s some benefits of eating such deliciously sweet veggies:

  • They soothe the internal organs of the body and energize the mind.  No more sugar-induced exhaustion!
  • Eating root vegetables, such as carrots, onions, beets, and sweet potatoes, makes you more grounded.  These foods eliminate the spacy feeling you may have after eating sugary foods.

Yumm – eating sweet veggies while feeling grounded and being able to pass up the chocolate cake.  That sounds like a recipe for success to me.

 

Market Update: Sunday, May 13th

Do you know where your food comes from?

The Cedar Park and Round Rock Farmers’ Markets know where ours comes from and we know the people who grow it. One of the goals of our market association is to provide information to our customers and help strengthen the bonds between the farmer and the consumer and to make transparent the route from the farm to your table. In order to this, we visit all the farms and ranches selling at our markets, to understand their food production processes and to feel certain that the food is grown or prepared with agricultural, nutritional and environmental integrity. (Note that “local” varies depending on the product. Most of our foods come from a 150 mile radius, but our seafood and some citrus come from greater distances. This is because they are not able to be grown nearby, but are produced in Texas.)

 

At Cedar Park and Round Rock Farmers’ Markets, we strive to:

  • Keep local family farms productive and profitable: by providing venues for farmers and ranchers to sell what they grow or produce. Making a profit can be the difference between keeping the land and selling it off for residential homes and/or commercial developments.
  • Give the public convenient access to healthy, locally grown, fresh food: Produce, meats, dairy and herbs come from Central Texas farms except in the case when it is not available (Texas Gulf seafood and some citrus only grown outside our 150 mile limit). Much of grocery store produce has traveled an average of 1,500 miles before it gets on the store shelves. It’s common for it to be harvested before it ripens on the vine in order to keep it from bruising and rotting on its cross country trip. By the time it’s been picked, packed and warehoused then trucked in to a grocery.  The problems: it’s less than fresh, the nutritional value has decreased and chance for contamination is greater. Local, fresh food means more vitamins and minerals for you and your family and food from local farms is just about as fresh as you can get.
  • Education: We share information about the positive impact that farming has on the local economy, health and the aesthetic values of communities and the environment.

The Cedar Park and Round Rock Farmers’ Markets work to establish a connection between the farmer and the public and create a partnership that ensures a more sustainable future for everyone.

Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Good.