At The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles, we think nothing in the world tastes better than fresh-picked fruits and veggies, especially those that have matured right here under the California sun.
If, like us, you prefer to buy your fruits and veggies when they are the freshest off the farm, here’s an insider’s guide to the best fruits and veggies available in April.
Farmers Market Favorites California Avocados
Nothing says “Grown in California” quite like the California Avocado. The Hass, the most popular brand, was born on a backyard tree right here in Southern California. We love these treats because they are loaded with nutritious benefits, including fiber, lutein (good for your eyes) and potassium (believed to help control blood pressure). In fact, avocados have more potassium than bananas do. While avocados do contain a significant amount of fat, research has shown that when eaten in moderation, they can actually help lower cholesterol.
The California Avocado Commission recommends that everyone grow an avocado tree in their backyard, but we say why wait for the 15 years it takes for the trees to produce fruit? Come on over and pick up some fresh avocados today.
As April unfolds throughout Southern California, we’re starting to see gentle reminders that spring is here. Wildflowers are in bloom and Farmers Market merchants are rolling out their spring offerings. And tangerines are starting to make their appearance at our produce merchants. Small, sweet and portable, these tiny treats are the perfect to ready-to-carry snack for whenever you need a zesty boost.
People looking for an ultra-local treat can pick up Ojai Pixie Tangerines, which are grown just up the road from Los Angeles. Ojai is home to more than 50 family farms, which produce more than 3 million pounds of this tasty citrus fruit every year. The Pixies have become so popular, that the city of Ojai has designated the entire month of April as Pixie Tangerine Month.
Special Treat: Although we’re pretty partial to tangerines just as they are, you can ask one the folks at Farm Fresh Produce or Greenhouse to create some fresh-squeezed tangerine juice for an extra splash of vitamin C. Or stop by the T-Shop, and pick up some White Tangerine tea.
Once the most-hated vegetables in the United States—according to 2008 study by Heinz—Brussels sprouts are now making a major comeback. These days it seems like every new menu in America has some kind of Brussels sprouts dish.
And why not? These fiber-rich veggies are known for their healing properties. They are believed to prevent a variety of cancers—including bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate and ovarian—and when steamed they also help lower cholesterol. Interestingly, these mini cabbages also contain more vitamin C than oranges and they are rich in folic acid, which is said to aid with fertility.
Love to eat local? More than 90% of the nation’s Brussels sprouts are grown right here in California, most of them in the cool, salty climate found in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, just south of San Francisco.
Special Treat: At Fritzi Coop, Brussels sprouts make the perfect alternative to French fries and tater tots. Here, they are halved and served with pickled mustard seeds, manchego and whole-grain mustard. Or you can pick up a bunch at Farm Boy Produce, Farm Fresh Produce or Greenhouse and throw them on the grill or in the roasting pan with a hint of olive oil. You'll be glad you did!
Seasonal Veggies Harvested in April
Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Spinach
Seasonal Fruits Harvested in April
Avocado, Grapefruit, Guava, Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Pineapple, Strawberries, Tangerines
Read about what’s in season in May at our Market Buzz blog now!