Are you ready to be healthy and just don’t know where to start? With growing season right around the corner, you have picked a perfect time! Becoming healthy does not need to be intimidating or expensive. The Doctor Yum Project has worked hard on building our website full of delicious recipes and tools to help make your transition easy! Listed below are some great options for how to obtain healthy ingredients.
- Eating Local – Many of us are fortunate to have several options for obtaining local foods. In the greater Fredericksburg area, we can be at a farmers market in no time. Farmers markets allow us the chance to buy fruits and vegetables at a lower cost since we are buying our produce directly instead of from a chain store. We also get to speak to those who grew or raised our food. Regular shoppers at the farmers market will tell you how important these relationships become when you have the opportunity to get to know your local farmers and food producers. Another benefit to eating locally is that you are investing your money back into the local economy. Instead of your purchase going to a large corporation, you are supporting the work of hard working local farmers. This link will provide you with information about how to find your local farmers market .
- Eating Fresh– When we purchase our food locally we get the benefits of having fresher foods, that stay ripe in our home longer. The produce you buy at the farmers market is often just picked from the fields that week. Food shipped from somewhere else takes time so they may be picked before optimal ripeness. Also fruits and vegetables may degrade or get frozen during travel. When this happens, it causes produce to lose nutrients and takes away their “freshness” so they go bad much sooner after bringing them home from the grocery store. When you eat fresh and local, you are giving your body the most benefits from your produce, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help your immune system. Our new and exclusive Meal Maker Machine helps you create your own recipes using the ingredients that you have on hand. Your customizable recipe is the most economical way to use whatever produce is on sale or in season at the farmers market.
- Growing your own- The most budget-friendly and convenient way to eat fresh and local is to plant your own garden. This allows you to choose which vegetables to grow that your family enjoys and makes them easily accessible for your use. Having your own garden requires space and time to care for your plants. Here in Virginia we have a climate that allows container gardening to be successful, which can be an option for those with limited space or for those who do not want to spend their days picking weeds! We suggest starting small and plant a few vegetables that your family will use. Some good ones to begin with are cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, snap peas, and kale. Fresh herbs are also a great way to jump into gardening! There is nothing more rewarding than eating something you grew right in your backyard and children are much more excited about tasting foods that they have had a hand in producing. We know this from The Doctor Yum Project Garden where our students love to prepare recipes with vegetables they have just picked! Growing your own garden is a great adventure and an amazing learning experience. It provides a wonderful environment for you and your family members to bond. If you have little ones, the excitement on their faces each time something new pops up is priceless. Check out our gardening with kids series.
The Doctor Yum Project sources our produce locally as often as we can. If not grown in our own garden, we shop at the farmers market or we buy from the locally grown produce in the grocery store. Please check out the link to our classes for all ages. We are excited to share the art and enjoyment of cooking and gardening with your family! Check out all of new classes for SPRING BREAK and SUMMER. Also if you are interested in setting up a custom class with your group email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-by Morgan Davis, the newest member of the Doctor Yum Project Cooking Instructor Team