The Flavors of SummerBy: Mary Perry, Zone Labs’ Director of Clinical Trials

For those of us who enjoy fresh foods, you can’t beat the flavors of summer. The wide availability of great-tasting produce and fresh herbs makes it easy to incorporate them into almost every dish. Couple this with our increased awareness of locally grown and organic versus conventional, wild versus farmed, and grass-fed versus corn-fed, and it’s no wonder that Farmers’ Markets have nearly doubled in the past 10 years. What used to be a local sampling of fresh fruits and vegetables has now expanded to specialty foods like meats, fish, cheese, wine, breads, and pastries.

While this may not be the venue for bargains, I encourage you to see what’s available in your area even just for added inspiration to your weekly meals. Spice up your salads with fresh fruits, herbs and goat cheese, make a fruit salsa to add to your fish, or pick up a new ingredient you’ve never tried and incorporate it into your meal. Many town websites offer a vendor list of who is at the market, the products they offer and even include various recipes to try. The best part is most of them are open until October so you’ll really get a sampling on what all summer and early fall have to offer.

Just remember your Zone tools: Stick primarily with the produce and protein and keep the breads, pastries, pasta and wine to a minimum.

Here is a recipe from my local farmers’ market I thought I’d share. Enjoy!

Fruit Salsa (Source: http://www.farmersmarketarlington.org/recipesearch.aspx)

Yield: 8 servings (approximately 1/3 cup)

Ingredients:
2 cups peaches – chopped
1 cup Roma tomatoes – seeded, diced
1/2 cup red onion chopped – chopped
1 jalapeno – minced
1 clove garlic – minced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro – chopped fine
1 tbsp lime juice

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for a short time. Serve on top of chicken, fish or protein of your choice to add some summer flavor to your meal.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 25cal; Protein 1g (1%); Total Fat 0g (0%); Carb. 6g (2%); Fiber 1g (4%)

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