The Best Farmer's Markets

My first choice for fresh produce is Farmers' Markets.  Most Farmer’s Markets have a huge variety of things to buy.   My favorite is the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays.  A good tip is to follow a restaurant chef.  They know the vendors with the best of the best.  Unfortunately, most shop before the market is open to public.   It took me a while to develop a list of my favorite Farms.  When I can't make Wednesday’s Market, Sunday’s Brentwood Farmer's Market is my other choice.

The Brentwood Farmer Market is a lot of fun.  You can bring little kids to ride a pony or pet farm animals. You can buy a Persian rug, or unique piece of jewelry, and other fun homemade-non-food items.  It is a fun place to meet your friends for breakfast or lunch and try different local homemade foods.  The vendors are friendly and happy to talk to you.

I am always in search of new Farmers who provides superior products, get excited when talking about their farm, and knows a lot about sustainable farming.  

One recent new find is an extremely energetic tattooed dude who sells the best organic, fresh, and delicious eggs (ANGELO'S FARMS).  He is so excited about his eggs that he calls the chickens "my girls."  He is very proud of the quality and flavor of his eggs. Sometimes he also sells seasonal fruits and vegetables that grow on his farm.   That is exactly what I look for: seasonal and grown in small amounts.  

Eggs are a great source of complete proteins and other beneficial nutrients, but if they are not organic or corn/soy/wheat free do not buy them.

Standard commercial chicken feed is made of corn, soy, wheat, and some other synthetic or natural additives.  Most of the FM eggs are from chickens that were fed with commercial feed, unless the farmer can prove that the eggs are certified organic. If the seller says that the chickens eat is what the farm grows, do not believe it.  

Chickens require some protein, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals.  Greens alone can't provide these nutrients unless the soil, in which the chicken pastures, has a lot of bugs, worms, and other minerals.  Natural feed does not mean free of GMO and other unhealthy components.

In the image you can see the difference between Angelo's Farms eggs and those you purchase at the store.  Angelo's egg yolk stands up tall and the color is a dark orange. The egg white is clear and almost transparent. This means the egg has higher nutritional value, fresher, great taste, and the chickens were not fed with soy and/corn. 

See you Sunday in Brentwood.  I will be there with my red wagon and my teenage daughter.

Cheers!
Do Good Kitchen

That First Morning Cup!

We are in love with coffee! Most of us can’t function without that first cup of coffee.  Coffee has many health benefits.  One of them is protection against Alzheimers.  Many studies have shown that drinking coffee decreases cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders. 
 

Coffee has many flavors and tastes.  Starbucks, Pete's Coffee, and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf are the major specialty coffee retailers.  However, small new coffee shops are opening everywhere.  These small coffee shops serve coffee that has more flavor and tastes better, and it's healthier than the big chain coffee shops. 

To maximize the benefits of home-made coffee choose:

Coffee in the following order: direct trade, organic, fair trade, and conventional.  Conventionally grown coffee in general has traces of pesticides, fumigants and is grown in depleted soil (less nutrition).
Small-scale coffee roasters vs large commercial scale.   If the coffee containers on display have oily residues, the coffee was roasted on a large scale, with gas or oil.  Small-scale roasters use higher quality coffee and are fresher.
Arabica vs Robusta.  Robusta coffee contains higher amounts of acrylamide (neurotoxic byproduct of the coffee roasting processes).
Freshly roasted coffee from small coffee shops or health food stores (no longer than two weeks) vs stores or coffee chains.  Freshly roasted coffee has more flavor/taste, less oxidized (like everything else, coffee gets spoiled) and is healthier for you.  Many people cannot discriminate between rancid coffee and dark roasted coffee.
Invest in a coffee grinder.  Freshly ground whole beans have more flavor. Grind beans as you need them to prolong the life of the whole beens.
Drink your coffee with some fats.  Organic whole milk is the way to go.  Fats help keep caffeine in your body longer and eliminate caffeine highs.
Decaf coffee has very little health benefit, but if you like decaf coffee then choose one that uses water vs a solvent process to remove caffeine.
Do not let your drip coffee stay on the hot plate for more then 20 min.  After 20 min health-beneficial compounds break down and unhealthy compounds are formed.
Light or medium roasted coffee has more caffeine than dark roast.

Cheers!

Karina, Do Good Kitchen