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May’s Fresh Picks: Low Carb Farmers Market Finds

Colette-Heimowitz

Written by Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc. on May 2, 2024.

Scientifically reviewed by

Jonathan Clinthorne, PhD  Human Nutrition

 

May 2, 2024

The best seasonal produce for low carb recipes.

Typically, April showers bring May flowers. The month of May also kicks off the beginning of farmer’s market season, starting with colorful vegetables, the perfect complement to your low carb lifestyle. Here’s your curated guide to navigating your farmers market and enriching your plate with May’s harvest.

Mastering the Farmers Market

Shopping at your local farmers market benefits your state’s farms and farmers, the environment, the community and economy. You’ll find many locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables as you mingle among the stalls. Here some tips for smart shopping:

  1. Know your seasons. Produce in season provides the freshest options, which are often more flavorful and nutritious. These items also usually cost less.
  2. Plan ahead. Go to the market with a list of the low carb items you need for the week’s meal prep. This will help you stay focused and resist the temptations of high carb treats.
  3. Ask the experts. Get to know the vendors. Typically, they are the farmers who grow and sell their food, and they know their produce. Don’t hesitate to ask them how to store each item or for recipe suggestions highlighting their natural flavors.
  4. Focus on leafy greens. Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are low in carbs and versatile for meals. Buy them fresh and use them in salads, smoothers or sauteed as side dishes.
  5. Look for fresh herbs. Basil, cilantro and thyme add a burst of flavor without the carbs. They’re a great way to enhance a dish.
  6. Buy in bulk. Some items, like nuts and seeds, can be found in larger quantities at a better price. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark corner of your pantry to extend their shelf life. For longer term storage, you can keep them in the fridge or freezer.
  7. Proper storage. Invest in quality containers and learn the best ways to store different types of produce to keep them fresh longer.
  8. Prep immediately. When you get home, wash and cut your veggies so they’re ready to use throughout the week. This saves time on busy days and makes it easier to stick your weekly menu.
  9. Get creative. Challenge yourself to try one new low carb vegetable each week. This can diversify your diet and possibly introduce you to a new favorite ingredient.
  10. Utilize freezing. For produce that won’t be used immediately, consider freezing. Many vegetables can be blanched and frozen, which preserves the nutrients and their flavor.
  11. Go beyond produce. The farmers market is not just about vegetables and fruit. You can often find eggs, cheese, meats, fresh salsa, coffee and more.

Your farmers market is a great way to get your steps in, mingle with your community and enjoy seasonal and local foods that will give your low carb lifestyle a fresh spin.

From Market to Meal: Make the Most of May Produce

Think leafy greens like arugula, kale, and spinach, as well as the versatility of cruciferous veggies like cauliflower and broccoli, the bright crunch of bell peppers, and asparagus and artichoke. For fruits, you can enjoy strawberries. Nectarines, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries also begin to make their appearance.

Herbs

Low Carb Recipes for May

Here are some low carb recipes showcasing the farmers market flavors of May.

Garden Frittata

Arugula and Strawberry Salad

Low Carb Berry and Burrata Salad

Spring Asparagus Soup

Steamed Artichoke

Harissa Cauliflower Steaks

Instant Pot Creamy Italian Chicken and Kale

Colette-Heimowitz

Author

Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc.

Vice President of Nutrition & Education

Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc. is a former Director of Nutrition at The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City. With 20+ years of experience as a nutrition expert, the NY Times best-selling author is the current Vice President of Nutrition & Education at Simply Good Foods Company.

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