Podcast Episode 40 – The Freshest Vegetables for the Most Nutrients

strawberries and tomatoes

Today we discuss ways to get the most nutrient-rich vegetables (and actually fruits, too). Our suggestions include tips for farmers’ markets, co-ops, and frozen foods too. We hope this helps you get the most nutrients out of your fresh produce while providing much encouragement to do so. Thanks for joining us today.

We want to come alongside you, as well, as we all continue moving toward a positive direction to support our healthy lifestyles. If there are any specific ways that we can be of assistance, please contact us through our contact form or send a verbal message through Speakpipe.

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[00:00:00] Well, Hi Patryce. Hi Shonda. It's been a while. Yeah. I'm glad we're back together to bring a new message today or an encouraging message that you know, how can we get the freshest vegetables. Right. Is that what we're talking about today? We are. Yeah. How can we, you want to get us started with that Shonda?
[00:00:26] Well, we came up with some ideas first, you know, we were talking about the farmers' markets and we'll get into that. And then there, there are a couple of other things that we can do if the farmer, if the farmers' markets aren't available, but you know, let's get started talking about farmers' markets because they are a great resource for the freshest vegetables, right?.
[00:00:51] They are, they are. We have one near us and you can Google to find out where there might be one near you. And like you said, not only can you get the freshest vegetables often with the dirt still on the vegetables and the roots there sometimes, but you also can build community. You learn about different... other farmers' are just different resources and getting to know where your food sources are actually coming from. So I have found it doesn't even have to be a huge farmers' market as, as long as there's at least a, a couple of vendors providing some vegetables and some fruits. And lately our farmers' market has one vendor where they do nothing but mushrooms.
[00:01:38] Yeah. They do fresh mushrooms, but they also do medicinal mushrooms. But what I was excited about is I had never eaten or prepared lion's mane mushrooms. And because of that farmers' market experience, I not only purchased them, but now they're one of my favorite mushrooms. They are so meaty and they're similar to almost like scallops.
[00:02:01] When you prepare them. So yeah, I think farmers' market a great way to go. Yeah. You do find some really interesting foods to try, you know, fresh foods to give it a try and, and, you know, I think that's a good thing. Cause you can always throw anything into a stir fry. Right? And any green that perhaps
[00:02:23] you don't like in your salad, you know, it's for whatever reason, you can just throw it in a morning smoothie. So, you know, be encouraged to try something and, and not worry about it going to waste because I think you could hide anything in a smoothie or even a sauce. You know? Good idea. Good idea. And like you said, one other thing about the farmers' market for me, I tend to buy vegetables sometimes and before you know it, they can go bad.
[00:02:54] But I don't like wasting money. And then after you've talked to these foods and you get to know them, you're like, I don't want to waste this great produce that they grew and took time to nurture. So I have made it a habit. Now I'll go on Saturday. That's when ours is. And then either no later than Monday, I have prepared
[00:03:12] almost everything. So if I've gotten some potatoes, some Bok choy, and these are things I don't often, you know, sometimes you see what you see in the grocery store, but when you're getting at the farmers' market, it has to be in season, right? So you're also getting in season fruits and vegetables, but you don't want them to go bad.
[00:03:32] So it's been a... I guess it's been a good habit to go because then I get in the habit of preparing all those vegetables and eating the fruit and vegetables before they go bad. That's good. That's like being on having a purpose or intention, you know, be in purposeful, right again. Yes. Purposeful and intentionally.
[00:03:54] Yep. Yep. So, yeah, that's a good thing. I know that a there we can just Google. You know, farmers' markets near me. And there are a couple, I know local harvest used to be around for a long time, but I know that some of the things I looked recently kind of have expired, but there are many new ones popping up and I think check with your local
[00:04:17] chamber of commerce and to see if there's some nearby just, or, or your, or your city, you know, like farmers' markets in whatever city you live in. And then that would be a good way to find farmers. Yeah. That's a great idea, Shonda. I'd never thought about it. And if you're really an eager beaver, you can call.
[00:04:42] And if they say, well, we don't have one. Maybe you could be that person with one or two other people who encourage that a farmer mark, or farmers' market comes to your city. So they can see, you can express the value of that. And maybe where there wasn't one, they might start having one. And also if you have friends or neighbors, I know I have a friend who's not far away, so maybe she'll go to the farmers' market and I don't make it, but we'll buy for one another.
[00:05:08] So that's another thing. So you can also think about I don't know if it's not a formal co-op, but in an informal way of, of just going to farmers' markets and maybe one of you, but covering for two families. Yeah. You know, now that you mentioned it, I had not thought about the co-ops. And so many places.
[00:05:28] I know a lot of what nutrition stores may have co-ops available. Yeah. farmers' themselves may run their own co-op and so what, what, what's the definition of a co-op maybe someone doesn't know. I don't know the formal definition, but it's more like a collective effort. So you and other people agree that we, we, we want these products, these products.
[00:06:00] So say like you said, a nutrition store might work with certain farmers' and they know that they're going to get certain bags of grocery or box of groceries. And then as a co-op part of co-op, there's a set price usually to get those. So it's cooperative. I think, yeah, it's kind of like the farmers' can depend on the customers that there'll be a customer because you sign up to, to sort of support the farmers', right?
[00:06:29] Through a monthly fee, and then they send you produce. Now, you don't always have the option to choose what produce that is, but hey, that's part of the journey, right. You know, get something new, but it will be fresh and it will be, you know, full of vitamins and nutrients. It certainly will. And I, I think I'm glad you brought the whole co-op thing.
[00:06:49] It's not a co-op, but there was another resource we learned of, I think, called imperfect foods. And I believe, I don't know all the details. So you just interject where you, you can. But I have a cousin who does participate with this and I believe it's a membership fee and you pay membership fee and then you get a box shipped to you of imperfect vegetables.
[00:07:13] And I think that that's, that only means that maybe the potatoes have a bruise on it, a little bruising, but certainly you can just cut that bruising off and they're perfectly edible vegetables. My cousin has said that she's enjoyed her imperfect box of goodies. And I don't know if you always know what you're going to get, but again, produce is produce.
[00:07:36] You're still going to get alive, nutritious, delicious vegetables and maybe fruits too, but it's something people can Google imperfect foods. It's not a bad thing. Let's put it that way that you have an imperfect vegetable, but apparently by joining this imperfect foods, you... it's a membership fee and you get on a regular basis, a box of vegetables.
[00:07:57] And I think it's a pretty reasonable price. Yeah, I haven't looked into it. I did Google it quickly last night and I did not read much, but I think you do have the option to choose they'll suggest things. And I think you have the option to switch things out. They do have additional things that are not just vegetables.
[00:08:18] And I think sometime at the imperfect food would be like, it just looks like a different shape than you would normally find. You know, it's not that perfectly round apple or that perfectly, you know, it may be two carrots growing together instead of one, you know, and you're like, that's weird, but you know, it happens in nature.
[00:08:39] So, you know, yeah. I'm, I'm going to look more into that and see, so. So we've, we were talking about trying these new things and we don't want them to go to waste. And so one thing that I do, I know when I started having things go to waste, you know, if I've just, if I can't just get enough into my smoothies, I will
[00:09:01] wash the produce, chop it up a little bit and put it in the freezer right next to my bananas. And you know, you can cook with frozen vegetables, just like we buy them in the grocery store. Right. We buy frozen things. So we could freeze our own, just make sure we do use a freezer bag, you know? But that is an option, you know, to preserve things and also to go ahead and make a salad with it.
[00:09:31] And, you know, if you do a vinaigrette, you know, it will preserve it for a few more days, whether than just sitting in the refrigerator. So freezer foods, freezer produce. From the grocery store is another good way to get fresh vegetables. Very much. So I'm glad you brought that up because I don't know where we get that idea that they're not as good, but so often I'm reminded now that they are, I don't know if it's called flash
[00:10:04] “freezed” or whatever, but it's at the source pretty much. Once they're harvested, then they, they freeze them like peas and, and there's just so many different frozen vegetables and fruits which are awesome for your smoothies coming straight from the freezer. But I've seen more and more of the YouTubers who are vegan YouTubers are plant based YouTubers where they're encouraging us
[00:10:29] get that get those frozen peas. And you can always add some frozen peas to, to a stir-fry just to add your vegetables. So I love that you brought up about the frozen vegetables and fruits and that they're just as nutritious, supposedly flash frozen at the peak of ripeness. Oh, that's supposed to be they're ready.
[00:10:52] They're ready to go. So they freeze them. Whereas when a lot of. Things in the grocery store, they pick them before they're ripe. And then, you know, they have to maybe ripe in along the way, on the long trip to the grocery store or, you know, we know that they do use gases to, to help with that. So it's just not natural.
[00:11:15] So I think frozen is good for that reason because it's ripe and ready, you know? So, and I've noticed that at some grocery stores, they have... like they advertise local produce or local farmer. Yeah. I've seen it a couple of times at grocery stores. Like even like Walmart or HEB. I mean, it's not often, but we can keep our eyes open for that because you know, those vegetables, those produce.
[00:11:47] It's coming from a long distance and, you know, we won't even get into how long they can keep apples stored. I think it's like up to a year. We, we know that it loses some nutrients, you know, along the way. Yeah, that's a good point. But now that you're bringing it down for me again, that just reiterates. The reason why you want to go to farmers' markets, where it's a locally grown in season and why you want to consider getting more of the frozen when you can.
[00:12:14] And not only that, it's very practical and convenient, the frozen using the frozen fruits and vegetables so that we don't have that whole excuse like, oh, I can't, I can't seem to cook everything before it goes bad. Well, if you freeze it, you don't have to worry. That's so true. So we just want to invite everyone to try and get the freshest vegetables possible because you're going to get the best nutrients out of those vegetables and fruits and things that we find.
[00:12:41] So that's just really all our messages today. Just be on the lookout. Do your best. Be encouraged. Be encouraged. Be encouraged, like you said, and if anyone, if anyone listening to this has any ideas or things that you have found helpful, please write us, let us know, because we want to share those ideas too and be encouraged ourselves.
[00:13:04] So I think it's, again, we're all about building community and when we either go to these farmers' markets, we're building communities, but also when we're learning about things like using the frozen and other ideas that work for us, then we share with other people. And again, it's just build... Building community, encouraging people along our own journeys.
[00:13:25] So yeah, let's just keep it real right. Keep it real. I love it. Okay. And eat more plants. I like that plaque behind. Oh yes. This weekend at a festival. Eat more plants. We'll see y'all next time.

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