By Julia Howard
Many start a new year with fresh resolutions for a healthier, happier self. If you can’t get your healthy food resolutions to stick, perhaps change how you approach them. Instead of cutting out foods you love and feeling guilty if you fail, alter your diet with fresh, healthy ingredients to nourish your body and mind. Here are a few tips on what to look for at the farmers’ market.
Listen to your gut
A healthy balance of gut bacteria aids in the digestion of the foods we eat, helps our body to absorb nutrients, and uses those nutrients to fuel and maintain our body. Probiotic-packed fermented foods like kimchi and kraut from Puckers Pickles are packed with fiber and are delicious snacks or side dishes. Yogurt is another food known to add beneficial bacteria to the body. Argyle Cheese Farmer brings Greek and traditional yogurt in various flavors. Kombucha is a refreshing fermented tea drink full of good bacteria and is available in several flavors from Junbucha.
Incorporating produce into your diet doesn’t have to mean eating salads vs. the comfort foods we love, but it does require cooking creatively. For example, when making mac and cheese, mix half the roux in the recipe with roasted and pureed butternut squash. Kale pesto packs powerful nutrients to fuel your body, and it’s delicious on pasta, toast, or in an omelet. Incorporating root vegetables like potatoes, turnips, and carrots into meals like pot pie, stir fry, soups, stews, and even meatloaf can boost the flavor and lessen the need for rich ingredients like cream and butter.
Lean meats and meat substitute
Regarding meat, certain types and cuts tend to be leaner. Veal is lean meat on par with chicken and turkey, and Hebron Valley Meat brings ground veal and various cuts and roasts. Longlesson Farm’s Christophe Robert suggests trying beef shanks. It is a less fatty cut of beef that benefits from being cooked low and slow in a crockpot or dutch oven.
If you are trying a no- or low-meat lifestyle, mushrooms can provide a fantastic, bold alternative. From lion’s main “crab cakes” to mushroom burgers, The Mushroom Shop has a wide variety of mushrooms for versatile and satisfying meals.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Wilton Mall Food Court. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @SaratogaFarmersMarket