When shoppers come to the Southeast Area Farmer’s Market, they love stocking up on in-season fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes, squash, collards, kale are still in season while Michigan apples and peaches are making a popular appearance. But that’s not all! At least two of the markets’ regular vendors sell herbs every week.
While many people think of herbs as simply an added dash of flavor, fresh, chemical free herbs, like those sold at the market, actually offer health benefits as well.
Cut salt without cutting flavor
Folks with high blood pressure, heart trouble or edema often have trouble saying no to salty foods. Most of the salt we eat comes from fast food, packaged foods and canned foods, like soup. The first step to controlling salt in the diet is to eat more foods that you prepare for yourself from scratch. The next step is to use tasty herbs to add flavor to your dishes. Add a little fresh basil, rosemary, chives or dill!
Add vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet
Basil gives you Vitamins A and K, calcium and iron. Peppermint leaves not only aid digestion, but, as shown in new studies, help protect against cancer and fight off bacteria. Dill is a another source of calcium that also helps protect you from cancer-causing benzopyrene found in cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke and the smoke produced by trash incinerators. The list goes on! Chances are scientists haven’t even discovered all the benefits that fresh herbs bring your way.
While fresh herbs may be out of season soon, you can stock up on these and the other herbs our vendors sell two ways.
- Dry the herbs by hanging then upside down in a place away from fresh sunlight. Package in an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Chop fresh herbs and mix them with olive oil. Freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray. Remove the cubes to a freezer bag for individual use as needed.
Both Southeast Area Farmers’ Market locations are open through Nov. 6.
- Fridays 5 to 7 p.m. At Gerald R. Ford Middle School.
- Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Garfield Park.
You can use your Project Fresh, Senior Project Fresh, WIC or Kent County Health Department coupons for produce at either Southeast Area Farmers’ Market location. We also accept EBT/Bridge Cards and participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program.