Summertime is a great season to try different fruits and veggies in new recipes. It is also a smart way to improve the nutrition of your daily diet.

With the Ottawa County Farmers Market in full swing, farmers have been bringing some great produce that are officially “in season.” Today, we will be discussing some of this produce and the nutritional value that it holds. Summertime is a great season to try different fruits and veggies in new recipes. It is also a smart way to improve the nutrition of your daily diet. Many people that come to the market get to ask, firsthand, how produce that they’ve never seen is cooked by people that have been perfecting it for generations. Some examples of these are fingerling potatoes vs. common variety potatoes, purple cauliflower vs. white cauliflower, yellow tomatoes vs. red tomatoes.

Fingerling potatoes are small, finger-like shaped potatoes that are not to be confused with new or common variety of potatoes. Fingerlings grow naturally small but are packed with the same, and in some cases, more nutrition than the common russet, Yukon, or red potato. Fingerling potatoes get harvested when the upper green portion of the plant has died back. They have a more buttery flavor which is great for cooking without butter! They come in yellow, red, and purple varieties. These potatoes can be thrown on the grill, used in a potato salad, or used more traditionally like mashed potatoes. Many of our farmer’s bring these fingerlings and they are delicious!

Next is white cauliflower vs. purple cauliflower. Yes, you’re reading that right! Purple cauliflower is just a different variety of cauliflower that is grown in the United States. White and purple cauliflower is very similar as far as nutrition. However, purple cauliflower has the presence of a subtype of flavonoid compound called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help the human body regulate blood lipid and sugar levels. It also helps lower your risk of cancer. This variety can be cooked the same as white cauliflower and tastes just as good!

Last but not least, red vs. yellow tomatoes. There is nothing like a fresh, red tomato on a hot summer day. What about a fresh, yellow tomato? Many people think that yellow tomatoes are unripe red tomatoes. Yellow tomatoes are actually their own variety grown for many different reasons. One reason is for their higher nutrient value. Yellow tomatoes have twice the iron, zinc, and folate. Zinc will help your immune system, and folate improves energy and helps prevent anemia.

This week at the Ottawa County Farmers Market we plan to see many produce farmers with berries, tomatoes, cauliflower, fingerling potatoes, and much more. The Ramer’s will be set up with their homemade baked goods and Oklahoma Native Pecan Co. should be back with local pecans. Our musician will be Steve Potter from Vinita. Kids will be making decorated flower pots with the help of Northeastern Tribal Health System staff. Come out and enjoy some great, local produce, listen to good music, and bask in summertime every Thursday from 4-7pm under the outdoor pavilion at 225 B St NW (All Saints Episcopal Church) near downtown Miami.