8 reasons to shop the farmer’s market

Blanc_Farmers Market

Blanc_Farmers Market

BLANC_FarmersMarket

I’ll admit, I’ve always been a bit of a hippie. I use canvas shopping bags on my trips to the grocery store, I will never waste a veggie or fruit (I freeze them before they go bad for smoothies!) and I not-so-subtley used to post notes above my sorority house’s trash cans saying “Please Recycle”. I’m most likely not saving the world, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction, right? Reduce, reuse, recycle, everyone! 

It’s probably no surprise that I’m an avid farmer’s market shopper. When I first moved to Charleston, the Mount Pleasant farmer’s market was about 50 yards outside my front door. I remember the first Tuesday that it was open: I jumped for joy and told the girls at work that I had to leave right at 5:00 to make it to the market.

I can be such a dork about my veggies.

You’ve heard the saying and seen the hashtag, “Shop Local,” but do you do it? Sure, I personally may not have the budget to shop in the local Charleston boutiques (TJ Maxx is more my haven), but I can shop local for my produce, and it has it’s benefits.

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8 reasons to shop the farmer’s market:

1. It’s budget friendly

Pop Quiz: How much would large carrots, strawberries, and red tomatoes cost at the grocery store? Organic produce would cost you about $15 and if you’re anything like me, you will have to find 30 different ways to cook potatoes so they don’t go bad before you eat them all. Last Tuesday, I bought a bundle of large carrots, local James Island strawberries, and 6 red tomatoes for $7.25. Good enough for me!

2. Farm-to-table freshness

Produce can take weeks to get from the field to the store. Farmer’s market produce comes straight from the field to the selling table allowing it to be bought at it’s peak for flavor and nutrition.

3. Clean eating

How many people have jumped on the clean eating bandwagon? Though most grocery stores now offer an organic section, organic produce comes at a cost. Skip the processing and preservatives.

4. Put those Pinterest recipes to good use

If I’m experimenting with a new recipe, I will ask the farmer’s market stand attendant (sometimes the farmers themselves) what is the best way to store/cook/reheat the specific item. Most of the time they will tell me their favorite food pairings as well!

5. Never over-buy

Living on my own does not always mean I’m able to shop for one. For example, it is a painful task to try to figure out how to make use of an entire bag of red potatoes. I just don’t eat them that often and yet I seem to need them for a recipe every other week. The farmer’s market allows me to buy the 3 potatoes that I need, instead of the entire bag.

6. Think outside of the produce section

A lot of markets will have food that won’t be in the grocery store – like 10 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes!

7. Find local vendors

Most farmer’s markets have more than just produce. It’s a great place to shop local for honey, bread, pasta, seafood, and even cheese. Supporting your local economy has never tasted so good!

8. The inexpensive date night

Clear skies and the smell of zucchini in the air! Okay, it may not be the most romantic place on Earth, but a lot of farmer’s markets can certainly be creative. My local market has live bands, hot pretzels, and snow cones that I just can’t get enough of! Grab a quick bite and some sunshine while you enjoy the live music.


Find a farmer’s market near you!


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BLANC_Market

 

St. Patty’s Satisfaction

Blanc Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie

St. Patty’s day is usually filled with fried Irish goodness and washed down with green beer – and I’m not complaining. Yum. This year, gain your Irish bar crawl strength with a stomach full of some healthy grub. Introducing the Vanilla-Mint Green Smoothie by 3 Boys Unprocessed.

This double layer smoothie is packed with nutrients and greens. Add chia seeds for extra protein and antioxidants. Here’s what you’ll need:

Blanc Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie

Vanilla Layer

  • 1 frozen banana (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of light coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Green Mint Layer

  • 1/2 frozen banana (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh spinach
  • 10-15 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Blanc Vanilla Mint Green SmoothieDirections

  • Blend vanilla layer in food processor. Pour into serving glass.
  • Blend green mint layer in food processor (no need to clean it first). Pour into serving glass on top of vanilla layer.
  • Garnish with a mint leaf and serve immediately.

The health benefits of this smoothie are out the window and sure as hell beat that dyed beer you’ll be drinking. Mint not only helps with digestion, it can also promote weight loss and better skin. Spinach (as we’ve learned from Popeye The Sailor) strengthens muscles and eyesight, as well as helps maintain blood pressure. It’s a win, win.

Blanc Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
xoxo

 

 

Peaches to Pearls & #eatpretty

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Hi Blanc Blog readers! Let me begin by introducing myself before you think I’m a crazy blog hacker – my name is Luisa from Peaches To Pearls. It is such an honor to be able to be a guest blogger here today. Isn’t Miss Tarah just ridiculously talented? And adorable. And witty. Okay Okay you get it – I’m a big fan!

To tell you a little bit about myself – I am currently obtaining my Masters in Clinical Nutrition at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. I am passionate about food (ALL food- I don’t discriminate! Except pickles. I hate pickles.) and affordable fashion. Everything you find on my blog is purchased on a student budget!

Today I want to share with you a little bit about my #eatpretty15 challenge. Before I scare you away, please understand that I am not your typical healthy-nutrition enthusiast. My favorite meal is a juicy burger and I hate kale salads. BUT I do believe in moderation. I believe that you don’t have to starve yourself to be pretty and you don’t have to give up everything delicious to get skinny. I do believe that you should have more good (healthy green stuff) in your daily diet, than bad (greasy French fries). So hopefully I have gained your trust and you are dying to know what exactly this #eatpretty15 challenge is all about.


 

I believe that you don’t have to starve yourself to be pretty and you don’t have to give up everything delicious to get skinny.


For the next 5 weeks (January 12 – February 15), I will give you a challenge. The name of the challenge came from an amazing book I read last month called Eat Pretty, by Jolene Hart, where she gives detailed information on how food affects our beauty. Each week’s challenge has been inspired by her book and by the physician/dietitian recommended Mediterranean Diet.

The challenge is not meant to be impossible or extremely difficult. We are already in week 2, so if you want to jump on in please do! Here is the breakdown of the weeks:

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Depending on how much of a challenge you want, you can do this two different ways:

  • Method 1: Do one week at a time. Do as much as you can handle and one weekly challenge at a time.
  • Method 2: Do each weeks challenge, then carry it into the following week. For example, you would go all 5 weeks with only drinking water if you did this method. This is very difficult but if you are up for the challenge – YOU GO GIRL!

This challenge does not have the sole purpose of “cleansing” your bodies, like for example- a week long juice cleanse. This challenge is to get your body healthy by incorporating exercise and clean eating. Cleansing will naturally happen with your new clean eating methods.

Every Friday for the next 5 weeks I will present you with the weeks challenge. Along with nutritional information, I will also give you a few recipe ideas to get you going for the week. Remember to incorporate Pinterest and maybe even make a special board just for the challenge! Join in on the community of women who are doing this challenge by using hashtag #eatpretty15 on your pictures via social media.

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If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me. My email address is peachestopearls@gmail.com. Although I cannot give you an individual meal plan, I can help answer any questions of what you can and cannot eat.

I’m going to end my post today with my favorite healthy dessert. This recipe is allowed this week because it’s naturally sweetened by coconut and does not have any processed sugar. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Thanks for stopping by and reading along today!

Xoxo,
Luisa

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Coconut Banana Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (can also use coconut milk)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup roasted coconut chips (Trader Joes)
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1/4 cup granola (leave this out to make this gluten free)

Directions:

  • In a small blender, add almond milk, 1 banana, shredded coconut, vanilla extract and sugar. Blend together until smooth.
  • In a small container add liquid mixture in with chia seeds.
  • Soak overnight or for at least 4 hours in refrigerator
  • Top chia seed pudding with sliced banana, granola, and toasted coconut chips.

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