Summer Love and Local Beef

Summer is slowing ending, you can feel it in the air. It may only be mid-August but there is a noticeable chill in the air somedays. It stinks! Chris and I are forever summer gals – it’s our favorite season and always will be. We will just buy a million fresh peaches and tomoatoes to make up for the sadness we will feel in our hearts when the trees are bare and the rain starts falling.

Okay that got dark fast so let’s stay present and talk about the bountiful produce that lines markets these days. I mentioned peaches above – they’re perfect right now! You can probably find some strawberries and blueberries right now too! Great for pies or crumbles or making your own jam. It’s getting a bit late but flowers were big at the markets here about a month ago. So much more beautiful than what you see in store. They have more character to them too me thinks.

We’re also allll about tomatoes right now. We’re thinking of canning a bunch of sauce in September – we will let you know how that goes and post the recipe!

Our last summer market recommendation is to try some local meat like ground beef or bacon. It’s definitely more pricey than the grocery store but the quality and taste isn’t even comparable. The animals that are slaughtered for grocery stores have endured terrible conditions and diets and we’re convinced that has a huge negative effect on the meat and our well being when ingested. Just say no and try local meat. Try something small like the beef or bacon and we promise you won’t be disappointed. We like Greendale Meats from Chilliwack – if you’re local check out their website for more information or google local meat in your own city!

Hydrating for Optimal Health

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful spring! It’s been fantastic here in Vancouver and we are walking and biking every where we can with no regrets. YOLO.

So we promised to share some of the weapons we have in our health arsenal for feeling our best. Fresh local food is #1 on this list, hence farmer’s markets. But health goes byond food and it’s so important to also stay hydrated. Going a day without litres of water is literally impossible for us and it should be for you too. One way to help you monitor how much water you’e drinking is to have some sort of huge vessel you drink out of and can measure how much water you’ve had. Enter our beautiful copper pitcher by local company Shantiva. We got the 2.1 litre version and we live together, so together we aim to drink two of these pitchers a day. 2 L of water each. Sometimes Mel drinks 3 L but she finds she feels best after 2. Definitely play around and see what works for you. The cool thing about this pitcher is that in addition to being a great visual reminder to drink more water, it has tons of health benefits.

From their website:

“Copper is anti-bacterial, acts as an effective anti-oxidant, improves immunity, supports good health, prevents aging, eliminates toxins and free radicals, and stimulates the brain. Because copper is naturally anti-bacterial, our copper vessels are also naturally self-sterilizing.”

How cool is that?! It also make alkaline water and we’re all about balancing the body’s pH. As recommended by Shantiva (we met the owner Jess at a farmer’s market over the chard, lol), we fill the pitcher before bed and let it overnight. In the morning, viola, you have alkaline water. We then fill it a second time around 2pm (we both work from home). You could bring yours to work or just drink from it when you’re home and bring a bottle of it to the office. There are lots of way to make it work!

Definitely test out this pitcher if you’re interested in something beautiful with health benefits! We’re really happy with ours and it can’t imagine life before it.

Spring Recipe Idea

Spring is here and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Spring means new varieties of product is on its way! We can’t wait for leafy green salads topped with fresh herbs. Mouths watering. In Vancouver most of the markets are on a brief hiatus while the farmers wait for their crops to mature, so we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some recipe inspo. We told you we’re all about nutrient dense foods so we have a delicious recipe to share that everyone has to try once. Don’t let judgement get in your way because believe us when we say this shit is good.

We bought our beef liver in the winter and had some frozen in the freezer. Most herbs are easy enough to grow yourself indoors or find at markets year round. You can make this recipe any time, but I find myself longing for it after a cold winter.

Beef Liver Pate

Ingredients

1 pound of grass-fed beef liver (cut into thin slices)
1 medium onion
1 cup coconut oil (divided, can use olive oil, bacon fat, lard or duck fat)
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (balsamic or red wine vinegar would also taste great with this)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Fry liver and onions in 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil, or desired fat), until onions are caramelized and the liver is cooked through.
  2. Add the garlic, cider vinegar, rosemary, and thyme.
  3. Cook for a few more minutes until the liquid from the vinegar is reduced.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a food processor with 1/4-1/2 cup of the oil.
  6. Process until smooth, adding the remaining oil as you go, until moist and creamy.
  7. Portion into containers for storing*

March Finds at the Market

We’re back with more ideas for winter markets! We told you about a few of our favorite items back in January and now we’re back to expand that list!

So maybe you’ve been eating squash and chard for months on end (guilty) and you want to switch it up. Now is a great time to crack open those preserved foods you’ll find at markets. They might include some produce from summer you’ve been missing like cucumber, tomato and asparagus. Treat yo self and get one of those! Or maybe you can find some yummy canned jam to top your fresh loaf of bread with. Try that too! If it sells at your market, our moto is we will try anything once. And some markets have samples so that’s a great way to test product without committing to buying a whole can or what have you.

Bread is another great one you can find year round and is always in season. We’re big fans of sourdough – there’s nothing quite like it. Definitely pop by the baked goods vendors and see if they have something that interests you!

Winter Market Musts

Welcome to the winter edition of Vancouver farmer’s markets! We are so lucky here in Vancouver that there are markets to visit every week almost year round. There are a few week hiatus’ during the shoulder seasons but otherwise these farmers are committed!

If you’ve never been to your local market, the first thing you want to do is google it to see when and where it happens. Search {you city name} farmer’s market. In Vancouver you can find the information here.

Not all cities will have them in the winter like we do, but in my experience most have something in the winter but it may be smaller in scale and less fresh food and more preserved food.

When we hit one of our markets this time of year, we usually stock up on a few favorite items:

We love squash all year round but we do try to buy our produce in season and this is squash’s prime. They are great baked in the oven with a little oil. We make soups, have some with breakfast and even use them in decoration. There is literally so much you can do with squash!

Brussel sprouts are another favorite and should be really easy to find in northern markets like ours in Canada. Brussel sprouts are soooo good baked or pan fried. Try pan frying them with bacon fat, you will not be disappointed!

We also find winter a good time to stock up on greens like kale and swiss chard. Swiss chard is also so delicious. Again we like to keep it simple and just pan fry the chard in a little avocado oil and finish with salt and lemon juice. Yum! Or try kale chips if you’ve never had them before. Google it and you’ll find so many recipes. Very simple!

Those are a few of our winter favorites! What do you buy at your winter market?

Farmer Gals Welcome You!

Hello and thank you so much for visiting our blog! We are Mel and Chris and we are two best friends who love exploring farmer’s markets around the world! For now, we visit farmer’s markets in Vancouver, BC every week and whenever we travel, we’re sure to visit those farmer’s markets too! We want to show that buying local produce can be affordable and a sustainable way to support the local economy. Local farmer’s are so important to every economy in this day and age. North Americans are overweight and riddled with health problems like never before in history. We think fresh, healthy food is the first step towards health and wellness and we want to show readers how to do it. We also promise to post nutrient dense recipes and share our favorite wellness products to help you get started. Let the games begin!