Time to dig into some farm-fresh recipes that make eating local a whole lot easier. Whether you choose to shop in Chicago or the surrounding area, you can find local ingredients at a farmer’s market near you.
Chicagoland families should try the Green City farmers market, which is the first and year-round market of Chicago. There is also the Logan Square and Horner Park Market that Chicago locals love — and plenty of markets in the suburbs, too (be sure to check out our full list of farmers markets for details).
At all of these places you can experience the gift-that-gives when it comes to giving back to your community — and accepting a tasty product in return! Then, after your visit, when the clock almost strikes dinner time, dish out one of these health-friendly recipes with your newly-purchased produce and let the kids take the lead with some of these lean-cuisine dishes that’ll teach them culinary skills.
Caution: keep the knives away but the mixing bowl out to play! Play around with the crafty combos of these food formulas and see what you can make together by using some of the farm staple foods.
- Farm fresh ingredients: Asparagus, walnuts
Aspara-guess what’s for dinner tonight kids? Asparagus Walnut Salad! The green, lanky vegetables are back and better than ever, and this time, they are paired with their healthy, Omega-3 friend: The Walnut.
- Farm fresh ingredients: Mushrooms, ginger
There’s always mush-ROOM for growth when it comes to your kid being a five-star cook! First, have them start small with their own mushroom growing kit. You can buy these individual plants and watch them grow into yummy, yet useful ingredients. This next recipe requires a little patience (for the growth of the mushroom) and a whole lot of fun when it comes to a truly DIY recipe.
- Farm fresh ingredients: Sourdough bread and heirloom tomatoes
Sandwiches are doooough last year. Bruschetta, however? The perfect open-face snack for a couple pick-me-ups before, or during a meal. Gather the kids and have them learn more about carbs — in both bread and vegetables — that can be used and tasted from their local market. A fresh batch of heirloom tomatoes and loaf of sourdough bread can do the trick for this simple bruschetta recipe.
- Farm fresh ingredients: Kale
If you picture kale just as a salad base, think again! These crispy and crunchy Kale chips are the perfect healthy substitute for a movie or pack-away snack. Light, tasty and ever-so-slightly popcorn-like, kale chips come in handy when the kids’ hands are reaching in the pantry.
While chopping away at the greens, feel free to mention how kale is a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to vegetables. Each little leaf is full of antioxidants, digestive enzymes and sneaky protein that’ll kickstart great health for the day. Leave the rest behind and chop up this guilt-free kale snack.
- Farm fresh ingredients: Apples, oats
The Doctor called, he’s really happy with this recipe. Get in your apple a day, along with a hearty serving of oats to seal the deal for lasting energy. Whether it’s a morning delight or late-night snack, you can’t go wrong with these tasty pancakes.
Farm fresh apples make the cakes not only fresh but feel-good as the proceeds support local. Decide on the oats and save the moats of tears as kids jump into this nourishing recipe.
- Farm fresh ingredients: Strawberry, peaches, mint
The popular summer treat just got a whole lot cooler, and colder. Snatch up a batch of strawberries from your local farmer’s market, and grab the peaches, too. Kids will love the process of making these ice pops and eating them on a hot day.
Make sure you buy a popsicle mold from your nearest convenient or grocery store as they are the key to this unique recipe. To take your fruit up a notch you can throw in some fresh mint, coconut, or (sneaky) protein powder to kickstart a smoothie-in-one.
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