Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market + Salad dressing 101

In Houston, there are a variety of activities that promote a healthier lifestyle and can also be a family fun event! One of my favorite things to do is to explore different farmer’s markets in the area. Every Saturday, Urban Harvest holds their weekly market, and a few weeks ago, my husband and I spent our morning there exploring and of course, taste testing!

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Urban Harvest not only organizes farmer’s markets but also promotes nutrition through educational classes and community gardens. Throughout the year, you can visit the Eastside Farmer’s Market (located near Greenway Plaza) on Saturday’s from 8am-noon, and on Wednesdays at lunch time in the Fall and Spring, a City Hall Farmer’s Market is also held. We went to the Eastside Market with the intent of purchasing some fruits and vegetables for the upcoming week, but were surprised to find a variety of vendors there. In fact, we visited quite a few vendors who were selling local meat, eggs, jams and jellies, salsas, nuts, among other items. My husband even enjoyed the variety of prepared food items available for purchase while walking around, including those from food trucks and local restaurants such as Underbelly.  One of my favorite aspects of going to the farmer’s market (besides purchasing fresh and locally grown produce) is being able to speak to the farmers. Unlike being at a grocery store, you are able to speak with the people who grow the produce you eat.

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After going to the farmer’s market, I wanted to make a salad with all of the delicious and fresh produce I had purchased.  There are so many salad dressings available in the grocery store making it difficult to know what is a healthier option.  In general, it is important to avoid high calorie, high fat and creamy based options and instead, choose vinegar based dressings. Or even better, use fresh ingredients, such as salsa, lemon, lime, or vinegar and olive oil to add additional flavor and moisture to your salad.  If a cream based dressing is desired, there are a few new options on the market that could be substituted. Yogurt based dressings, which are found near the refrigerated salad lettuce, provide the same flavor as other cream based dressings but with less calories and total fat. For instance, in 2 Tbsps of Kraft Classic Caesar salad dressing, there are 80 calories and 8 gm fat, but in 2 Tbsps of Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Caesar salad dressing, there are 45 calories and 2.5 gm total fat! And, yogurt based dressings have my husband’s approval. I gave him a portion without telling him it was yogurt based, and he could not tell a difference at all!

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Ideally, I recommend making salad dressings from scratch. By making your own, you can control the ingredients and the nutritional content without sacrificing taste. Homemade dressings can be intimidating, but in fact, they are easy to make, usually healthier, and just as flavorful as store bought! I love this shaker to mix and serve my dressings in.

Do you regularly go to your local farmer’s market? What is your favorite part about it? What do you like to make with your produce after purchasing it at the farmer’s market? We would love to hear!

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  1. […] bill. Produce that is in season is often in abundant supply, thus the prices are lower! Shopping farmers markets or co-ops is a great way to get good prices on local, organic and seasonal produce. Have you ever […]

  2. […] Fix: Make your own dressings as we discussed here! Combining simple ingredients such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, cracked pepper is […]

  3. […] being too tart, and one that is smooth and rich without the calories! As we have talked about before, making your own dressing is an easy way to eat healthier! In comparison, a store bought brand […]

  4. […] being too tart, and one that is smooth and rich without the calories! As we have talked about before, making your own dressing is an easy way to eat healthier! In comparison, a store bought brand […]

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