Summer is here! The sun is shining (mostly), so there's more skip in our steps here in the Pacific Northwest. We emerge from our homes blinking, reaching for our sunglasses, and we are ready to downright frolic! I did a lot of frolicking this week, actually, and thought I'd share a few of my adventures with you here, since of course they revolved around food.
Can you guess what one of my very favorite things to do in the summer is? Yep - visit farmers markets! There is nothing like farmers market produce - so fresh, therefore nutrient-packed, tender, crisp, and truly beautiful. Because it's been freshly picked, most of it is willing to last a good while and keep us fed well over a week. I love to discover and try new varieties at the markets, and get advice from the growers themselves.
Bainbridge Island Farmers Market
Just a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle, Bainbridge Island is an easy and beautiful place to visit. There's something for everyone within walking distance from the ferry - including the farmers market. It's open on Saturdays in the square near City Hall from 9am - 1pm all the way into December! Below are some treasures that I found there last weekend. All of the farms I purchased from are non-GMO and don't use harmful pesticides. Prices are reasonable for food that's as good as it gets.
Sun & Bee Farm/Bainbridge Island Farms
The jar below on the right holds Korean Mint and Moldavian Balm from Sun & Bee Farm. I used the mint in a salad this past week, as well as a minty pesto. The leaves are large and hardy, with a wonderfully subtle flavor. I had never experienced the balm before - it's lemony like lemon balm, and the helpful person at the stand suggested using it to make tea. I simply took a handful of sprigs and had them steep in hot water a few minutes, then poured the tea and a few sprigs into a large pitcher full of ice, and we enjoyed a delicious iced tea like nothing I've ever had. So fresh and lemony, yet not too overpowering. I want some more! Beautiful onions, hot peppers, and garlic were at that stand, too, from Bainbridge Island Farms.
Lovely cauliflower, spring onions, scallions, fennel, and mixed greens with edible flowers were found at the Farmhouse Organics stand.
Butler Green Organics
Have you ever seen sweet peas this amazing purple color? I hadn't before finding these at Butler Green Farms. I was thankful that I didn't have to wait until late summer to enjoy some of their tomatoes, grown in their greenhouse. We enjoyed them with our minty pesto pasta.
U-Pick Raspberries: Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms
If you visit Bainbridge Island by car, be sure to stop at Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms, where they have a stand on Day Road. Last I heard, the stand is open daily until 2:00 pm, but to be sure, I'd call the number on their website before making the trip. The stand has fruits and veggies from farms around the area.
Right now, they have the best u-pick raspberries! Pesticide- and GMO-free, these raspberries are gorgeous and easy to pick.
Two of us had this whole tray of Meeker Raspberries picked within a half hour.
After eating fresh berries by the handfuls, I decided to make jam. The recipe below is inspired by the Raspberry-Strawberry Chia Seed Jam recipe in Angela Liddon's Oh She Glows app.
Raspberry Chia Jam
Yield: About 3 cups
Prep time: About 5 minutes
Cook time: About 20 minutes
The Vegan Roadie
This week I also went to Populuxe Brewing in Ballard, where I met The Vegan Roadie at his season 2 wrap party. Not familiar with The Vegan Roadie? He's Dustin Harder, who has a web series traveling the country in search of delicious vegan eats. Field Roast, Cafe Flora, and No Bones Beach Club provided awesome plant-based food, including delicious buffalo cauliflower "wings" & ranch, tasty salads of kale & chipotle potato, hardy Field Roast vegan hot dogs and burgers, and flavor-packed corn-on-the-cob. It's been too long since I visited Cafe Flora - I've got to go back soon (a week is too long). And l need to immediately get myself to No Bones Beach Club, a new plant-based tiki bar that serves brunch and donates a portion of profits to animal charities. This sounds like it's going to be my new favorite place.
I was introduced to a new vegan travel magazine there called Driftwood Magazine. Gorgeous photography, interesting articles - intriguing and a nice light read to bring along to the beach.
It's been a fun start to summer. I hope you have a wonderful one.