Farmer’s Markets…. And Baked Acorn Squash

Fresh vegetables grown from home are tastier, more nutritious, and even safer than store-bought produce. When I began eating with health in mind, I knew my body needed all the fresh vegetables it could get--and that commercial produce just wasn't providing the nutrients I needed. I needed vine-ripened, organic, nutrient-dense food.

I found out that there is a special place one can get such produce. It's called… a farmer's market.

At a farmer's market, local farmers or garden-owners sell their fresh produce. It is the perfect place to purchase healthy, ripe, and seasonal produce.

And it terrified me.

I know, I know. How could buying vegetables from an elderly man under a tent frighten anyone?

Ahem. Let me explain.. First, I had never ever bought anything from a farmer's market before and I honestly had no idea how to do it. (where I'm from…you kind of learn to avoid street vendors). You have to pay in cash and choose which vegetables you want and figure out what certain vegetables are--all while the people who grow the produce are standing there, watching you. Scary, right?

And maybe more than that I had just never really thought about where my food was coming from--it always somehow just magically appeared in the grocery store! But at the farmer's market, I knew exactly where my food was coming from--real people who grew from the ground. That was weird to me. It was just a new concept okay?!?! Don't judge.

But determined to heal my body, I decided to just try it! And, oh my word, I was so awkward… My first few attempts, I would wander around and watch other people out of the corner of my eye to see what they did. How do you know how much something is? What do you do if you don't know what the name of it is? What if you don't have the exact change??? I was so awkward. But I did it!! I embraced those awkward moments and I am proud of myself for doing it.

Now I am a "pro" farmer's market shopper! I've come to learn how wonderful both the markets and the growers really are. Small farm owners really don't make a lot of profit from selling their produce. However, small farms make important contributions in increasing sustainability and improving economies. Their produce is ripened on the plant, picked fresh, and sold to you with an abundant of nutrients and without ripening chemicals. If any pesticides are used while growing, they are usually minimal amounts and less toxic as those used in mass production.

So try them out! It's a great way to give back to the community as well as improve the quality of the fruits and vegetables you consume every day.

This dish is one you can try with any variety of squash you find at the farmer's market. As you explore the markets in your area, you might find a new favorite vegetable! I know I did! Acorn squash. Mmmmm-mm. It has a rich, buttery flavor and with a little butter and honey makes a perfect treat, snack, or side.

 

acorn squash

acorn squash-3

Baked Acorn Squash

Prep time: 2 min Cook time: 35 min Servings: 1-2

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash

1 Tbsp melted butter

Honey

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F

Slice the squash in half from top to bottom

Scoop out the seeds with a spoon

Place halves with the insides facing up in a baking dish and fill the bottom with a little bit of water (so the outsides don't burn and you get more even cooking)

With your fingers or a basting brush, coat the insides of the squash with butter

Bake for about 35 minutes or until soft

Drizzle with honey and serve!!

 

**if you are in stage 1 of the GAPS diet, use ghee instead of butter

 

Resources

http://www.utahsown.org/Farms-Ranches finding locally produced food in utah

http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/ info and sources for family farms and raw milk

http://www.localharvest.org/ sources for finding farms, csa, co-ops, etc.

http://www.utahcoop.org/ utah co-ops site

http://www.pickyourown.org/UT.htm sources for finding pick-your-own farms

http://www.eatwild.com/products/utah.html sources for finding locally grown meat and produce

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