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  • Writer's pictureCamille Pincock, MPAS, PA-C

Eugene's Bounty: Farm-Fresh Feasts and Healthy Foods from Market to Table

Updated: May 16

Eugene and Springfield are havens for fresh, local food.  Our vibrant farmers market scene, particularly the iconic Lane County Farmers Market, bursts with the colors and flavors of the season.  But how do you navigate this abundance and turn those beautiful fruits and vegetables into delicious, healthy meals?



healthy foods, carrots and onions form the farmers market


A Feast for the Senses (and Your Health)


The Lane County Farmers Market is a sensory overload in the best way possible.  Rows upon rows of vibrant healthy fruits and vegetables tempt your eyes, while the sweet aroma of berries and fresh herbs fills the air.  Meeting the friendly farmers who grow your food adds another layer to the experience, allowing you to connect with the source of your nourishment.

But the real benefit is on your plate.  Farm-fresh produce boasts superior taste and nutrition.  Locally grown fruits and vegetables haven't traveled long distances, so they retain more vitamins, minerals, and that peak-of-season flavor.


Selecting Seasonal Stars


Not sure where to start? Embrace what's in season!  Spring brings asparagus, tender lettuces, and vibrant berries.  Summer bursts with juicy tomatoes, sweet corn, and stone fruits like peaches and plums.  Fall offers a bounty of apples, pears, winter squash, and leafy greens like kale and chard. Winter brings hearty root vegetables like carrots, beets, and potatoes, along with citrus fruits for a burst of vitamin C.


Simple Tips for Market Success


  1. Shop early for the best selection. Popular items can disappear quickly, especially at the peak of the season.

  2. Bring reusable bags.  Reduce waste and support a sustainable market experience.

  3. Ask questions!  Farmers are passionate about their produce and can offer tips for storage and preparation.

  4. Don't be afraid to try something new.  Ask for a taste of unfamiliar vegetables or explore unique heirloom varieties.


From Market Basket to Dinner Plate


Now that your basket is overflowing with seasonal produce, how do you incorporate it into delicious meals? Here are some ideas:

  • Simple is best. Let the natural flavors of fresh produce shine through with quick roasting, grilling, or steaming.

  • Salads come alive with market finds.  Toss together a medley of leafy greens, colorful vegetables, and a simple vinaigrette.

  • Get creative with seasonal fruits.  Turn berries into a healthy crumble or use stone fruits for a vibrant summer salsa.

  • Embrace the bounty for weeknight meals.  Whip up a stir-fry with fresh vegetables, or roast a sheet pan dinner featuring seasonal favorites.


Farm-to-Table for Everyone


Eating farm-to-table doesn't require a gourmet kitchen. It's about appreciating the freshest ingredients and preparing them in simple, healthy ways.  By supporting local farmers, you're not just nourishing yourself, you're contributing to a healthy and sustainable food system within your community. So grab your reusable bags and head to the market this weekend!  Eugene's bounty awaits, ready to transform your meals and nourish your body.

Try this recipe with fresh spring ingredients.


Springtime Asparagus Frittata with Goat Cheese and Mint


Healthy foods, asparagus frittata

This frittata is a vibrant and healthy celebration of spring produce readily available at any local farmer’s market. It's packed with protein and nutrients, making it a perfect brunch, lunch, or light dinner option.


Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (for garnish, optional)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 10-inch oven-safe skillet.

  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Set aside.

  3. In the same skillet, add shallot and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, goat cheese, mint, and Parmesan cheese (if using). Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Add cooked asparagus and shallot mixture to the egg mixture. Stir to combine.

  6. Pour the egg mixture into the preheated skillet. Tilt the pan occasionally to allow the eggs to set evenly.

  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the frittata is set in the center and golden brown on top.

  8. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

  9. Garnish with chopped fresh chives (optional) and enjoy!


Enjoy this taste of spring from the heart of Eugene!

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