Blueberries
The Superstar of Berries!

Blueberries are indigenous to North America and have deep roots in our country's history. According to legend, Native American Indians gave dried blueberries to the pilgrims to help them survive their first winter. Bursting with flavor and nutrition, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and make an easy snack or delicious addition to any meal of the day.

Cherry Season
Life is a Bowl of California Cherries

Cherries are one of the most anticipated early summer fruits. Cherry season — all six weeks of it — arrived much earlier this year by almost three weeks! Generally it starts in mid-May and is over by the end of June. California cherries are prized for their superior size, crisp juicy texture, and deep flavor. Despite continuing drought conditions, cherry production for the 2015 season is expected to be much better.

Microgreens
A Nutritional Powerhouse

Microgreens are seedlings of various herbs and vegetables that are harvested without roots just 7 to 14 days after germination. Recent research studies showed that microgreens are four to 40-fold more concentrated with nutrients than their mature counterparts. Vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E levels were highest among red cabbage, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish microgreens.

Artisan Yogurt
Sheep milk yogurt by Garden Variety Cheese

Garden Variety Cheese is a small farmstead cheese business based out of Monterey County on 40 acre Monkeyflower Ranch. Made in small batches with fresh milk from their flock of pasture-raised sheep, their sheep milk yogurt is extra thick and luscious with a pleasant tang. It’s delicious for breakfast mixed with fruit and granola, or added to a smoothie.

Edible Paradise :: Seasonal Cooking

MBCFM Recipes

From Our Markets to Your Table

Edible Paradise celebrates the year-round abundance of the highest quality, freshest food grown on the Central Coast by our family farmers at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets. If you enjoy preparing and eating locally grown food, this blog is for you!

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Cherries —Six Short Weeks of Sweet Cherry Bliss

Sweet California cherries

Sweet California cherries

Cherries are one of the most anticipated summer fruits. The short California cherry season generally begins in mid May, hits its peak by the end of May, and tapers off considerably by mid June. However, the 2015 season arrived three weeks earlier than usual due to the strange weather pattern we’ve been experiencing. Little rain and mild winters have resulted in fruit being ripe and ready to harvest much earlier.

In an article by Mike Hornick,  The Packer explained the 2014 cherry crop disaster. “Last year was a near crop failure,” Rich Sambado, sales manager for Stockton-based Primavera Marketing Inc. “This year looks a lot better but is not a huge crop.”

“Last year’s bloom was bizarre, especially in Stockton,” Sambado said.

“The pollination timing was off, the top of the tree bloomed after the bottom. It was completely out of whack, but this year’s bloom is much more compact and uniform. We’re fairly optimistic there will be a nice crop of Bing cherries.”

The San Joaquin and Santa Clara Valleys are ideal for growing cherries with the perfect combination of nutrient-rich soil and sunny yet mild temperatures needed to produce superior quality fruit. There are approximately 600 cherry growers farming over 26,000 acres, with most being small family farms ranging 10-30 acres in size. Consumer demand has steadily increased, both domestically and as a key market export to Japan. Continue Reading →

The Mediterranean Diet — Eat Like A Greek!

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EAT LIKE A GREEK!

A recent study published  in The New England Journal of Medicine confirmed what Greeks seemed to know all along — eating a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, olive oil, vegetables, fresh fruit, legumes, fish, poultry and red wine has proven health benefits, especially for those at risk for heart disease. Contrary to the popular belief that a low-fat diet was best for cardiovascular health, the results of the new Mediterranean diet study were so clearly evident that the researchers ended the trial early.

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Brunch — An Easy Way to Entertain Friends

Easy Weekend Brunch

Easy Weekend Brunch

Whether you’re planning a holiday brunch for the family or having a few friends over for a leisurely Sunday get together, hosting a brunch is very easy. Most of the prep can be done ahead of time, which means you can enjoy the party too!

A brunch menu generally includes a selection of both savory and sweet foods which can be served buffet style. Main dishes such as overnight French toast, quiche, stratas or frittatas are easy to assemble and bake before guests arrive. Add fresh fruit, a variety of breakfast sausages or ham, and some freshly baked muffins and you have a welcoming spread. Continue Reading →

Avocados — The Perfect Food

California Grown Avocados

As Californians, we have so many things to be thankful for when it comes to fresh food. Avocados are certainly one of those things, and at our farmers market, we have three vendors supplying us with these sublime fruits. Given that California produces 95% of the avocados in the USA, this is not surprising.

The Haas avocado is the most widely grown, as it is worldwide. Overall, the Haas accounts for 80% of avocados grown. At one time, there were about 100 varieties grown in California, with the majority of them in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area and further south. Things like ease of growing and shipping account for the diminishing numbers, but also some of the older varieties have been eclipsed because their flavor is simply not as tasty as the Haas, Bacon, Fuerte, Gwen, and Reed varieties seen most commonly. Continue Reading →

Meyer Lemons — The Darling of Farmers Markets

California Meyer Lemons

California Meyer Lemons

Meyer lemons and I have an odd history that began at a party in San Jose in the early 80s. I was offered a choice between lemon or lime with my sparkling water — and I chose lemon. However, one sip later, I was confused — that was not a lemon in my drink! I returned the drink to the bartender and asked for a lemon. The bartender explained to me that the yellow skinned citrus quarters sitting in the condiment bowl were MEYER lemons, like that would explain everything. I was expecting a real lemon, not some impostor posing as a lemon. I settled for a lime instead, hoping it would be a genuine lime with a flavor I would recognize. Continue Reading →