Few favorites: Fall, food, farmers’ market

Shoestring Sweet Potatoes create a sweet, crispy treat atop a delicious Farmers’ Market Cobb Salad.

Fall officially is here. I think it’s safe to say it’s a favorite season marked with great weather, beautiful color and a hint of holiday spirit.

My favorite mark of the season are the flavors. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving pumpkin spice as much as everyone else, but I deeply enjoy the in-season fresh produce.

For instance, I knew fall was getting close a few weeks ago when making a stop at the Hardin County Farmers’ Market. I picked up rainbow chard from Modern Heritage Farm, dinosaur kale from Solway Farms and scored big with a spaghetti squash from Fallen Maple Farms.

These finds also led to a trip to Bennett’s Orchard for apples and Hinton’s for pumpkins.

A few weeks ago, it felt like summer but the vegetables and fruits available created anticipation for the fall. And here we are, just in time for me to create a new recipe for you.

This recipe is inspired by all my favorite things from the farmers’ market. Last year I wrote how I love kale and if there are leftovers, I hide them in the back of refrigerator. Nothing has changed with me and kale, however, I must admit I’m also in love with sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are considered one the world’s healthiest vegetables and they can boast about these amazing real nutrient “super powers.”

• Rich in vitamin A, which keeps our immune system strong and ready to fight off infectious invaders

• Plentiful in choline, which reduces cellular inflammation and keeps our nervous systems in tip top shape

• Abundant in magnesium, which can reduce feelings of sadness and can keep us ‘regular’ in the bathroom

I’ve only listed three “super powers” but trust me, sweet potatoes have a long list of “kung-pows” for a healthy body. In addition to the benefits of sweet potatoes, choosing to eat local or from the farmers’ market also can add a powerful punch to benefit your health.

I am giving you two recipes prepared with foods straight from the farmers’ market. The only exception is the bacon. I have eaten up all my bacon purchased from S&B Bell Farms, so I purchased humanely raised bacon from the grocery.

These recipes made are with some of my favorite in-season foods, grown from some of my favorite people and picked up from one of my favorite places.

Elizabeth Ray, MS RDN LD, works as a registered dietitian nutritionist helping people improve their relationship with food and with themselves. Her Instagram handle is @wholefoodbelieve, and she can be found at facebook.com/e3trition. Her food blog is available at wholefoodbeliever.net.

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