Seasonal Produce in Illinois: What You Need to Know for May

Spring is finally here! Have you ever wondered what fruits and vegetables are in season in May here in Illinois? Whether you are new to eating with the seasons or just starting out, here is a detailed guide to help you.

A key part of eating locally grown foods is understanding what is in season in your area and when. Seasonal produce in Illinois starts off slowly in May. As the month progresses more become available. It just gets better as we get closer to summer!

Each month between May and October I will post a new guide to help you understand what is currently in season. These guides will be available on the first day of each month.

They will include tips about selecting fresh produce and how to store it.

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How to Identify Farmers Market Fraud

Fruits and vegetables at the farmers market are not cheap, especially early in the season. How do you know you are getting what you paid for and not just repurposed supermarket produce? Here are a few tips to help you identify and support honest local farmers.

There are numerous benefits to shopping at a farmers market. They provide you with the ability to buy affordable, locally grown products. The fruits and vegetables are fresh, sustainably produced, and bursting with flavor. Unfortunately a real and growing concern that we need to be aware of is farmers market fraud.

Continue reading to learn what farmers market fraud is. By taking just a few simple steps you can help ensure you do not become a victim yourself.

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How to Roast Red Peppers

When you end up with too many red peppers at home, roast them! It is a great way to bring out the flavor of your peppers, whether you grew them yourself or bought them at the farmers market.

Every fall I end up with a surplus of red peppers in my fridge due to a combination of good deals at the farmers market (usually $1 per pepper) and a good harvest from my garden. Important note here; if you’re buying farmers market peppers early in the season (July or August in the mid west) they likely be $2 or more per pepper. Wait! At some point in September there be a weekend where there will be a great deal on peppers; be ready to stock up!

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Get the Full Health Benefits of Garlic Cloves

Everyone says to wait 10 minutes after you chop raw garlic cloves to cook them, but is that enough time? New research suggests waiting longer to ensure you get the maximum health benefits when you include fresh garlic in your diet.

Minced fresh garlic cloves make a potent seasoning that add a unique flavor to meals and side dishes. To fully understand and get the most from fresh garlic there are a couple of important things you need to know.

Garlic’s popularity has been growing in recent years. Research has shown that garlic intake may be beneficial for the heart, brain, and immune system and may lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

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Welcome

Welcome to my blog! I am a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Naperville, IL. This is my first post, thank you for reading.

My goal for this blog is to educate myself as well as my friends, clients, patients and others interested in learning more about the broad field of nutrition. Questions I am asked at work in my job as a clinical dietitian will serve as topic ideas. I will also write about topics that always seem to come up when I tell someone I’ve just met that I work as a dietitian.

Others articles will simply be topics I would like to learn more about. I’ll review books and write articles about interesting new trends and topics. My aim is to provide a general idea of how I use my knowledge of food and nutrition to keep myself and my family happy and healthy.

My philosophy is simple: we could all benefit from more time spent thinking about and actively working on our health. In the process of doing this we should be working toward eating more nutritious, real and locally grown food.

We need to spend the time to get to know where our food came from. How was it grown or raised and by whom?

Consider starting a garden at home if you have not already done so. Combine the food choices you make each day with a healthy active lifestyle and most importantly keep it all simple.

Living a healthy life doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. However, it does take an active commitment to make better choices each and every day.

And there you have the theme of my blog:

Focus on Health. Eat Real, Local Food. Keep it Simple