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 August.
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Apples are the true wonder fruit. They feed you, they quench your thirst and they've helped keep dentists and doctors at bay for centuries.
Plenty of apple farms are located up and down the state of California, which ranks fifth in apple production in the United States and produces more than 120 million lbs of this teacher-pleasing fruit. Freshest during the fall season, apples are actually a member of the rose family. California produces four varietals: Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Cripps Pink, so it’s easy to find one that’s been “grown in California.”
Every apple is made up of about 25% air, which is why they float and make such great fruit for bobbing. Apples are a terrific source of fiber, but keep in mind that two-thirds of their fiber is found in the peel, so it is much more beneficial to eat your apples unpeeled.
Special treat: You’re never too old to enjoy a chocolate - or caramel- covered apple, especially the ones sold at Magic Nut and Candy Co.
Abundant and inexpensive, cabbage is one of the oldest vegetables in existence. While its Cruciferae brethren, such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts tend to dominate more of the culinary spotlight, cabbage is one of the most widely-eaten vegetables in the world. This comfort food staple, which happens to be the star of many a fad diet program, does happen to be high in antioxidants, fiber, Vitamins C and K, and a long list of other beneficial nutrients. All that and it still only has 28 calories in a cup.
California is the top-producing state for cabbage, which is mostly grown along the central coast and in Southern California’s desert region. When we queried our farmer partners, none of them could confirm that babies actually come from cabbage patches. Biography.com, on the other hand, does confirm the celebrated baseball player Babe Ruth would chill leaves of cabbage and wear them under his cap to keep cool during ball games.
Special treat: For more than 8 decades fans have been flocking to Magee’s Kitchen to enjoy the famed corned beef and cabbage that Blanche Magee introduced in the 1930s.
Or to enjoy a special treat that’s wowing customers and the media alike, head over to Moruno to enjoy some of their amazing half rotisserie cabbage served with pickled mushroom yogurt. You’ll never want to eat cabbage any other way after you’ve tried this.
Although some consider the nectarine to be a nearly identical twin of the peach, the differences are more than skin-deep. Nectarines tend to be smaller than their fuzzy brethren and have a more pronounced flavor. With peaches, on the other hand, their fuzzy skin offers more protection, so they tend to have a longer shelf life.
With apologies to the Peach State, California is actually the top producer of both peaches and nectarines. The best months for buying California-grown nectarines are August and September.
Peaches are occasionally under-rated for their healing properties, but they are high in Vitamin A and K, selenium, and phytochemicals that act as antioxidants, and are said to be good for reducing hair loss, fighting cancer, and even serving as an aphrodisiac. Their vitamins are even believed to help revitalize skin tissue which is why peaches are often used in cosmetics. They are also believed to help reduce stress and have earned the nickname the “fruit of calmness” in Hungary.
Special treat: A famed snack beloved by regulars at Farmers Market is the peach ice cream at Bennett’s Ice Cream, which is hand crafted on site only during the summer months. The fresh peach lemonade at Coffee Corner is so tasty, you'll wish it was summer all year long.
Seasonal Veggies Harvested in August
Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chile Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes, Snap Beans, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Zucchini
Seasonal Fruits Harvested in August
Apples, Avocados, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Fig, Grapes, Honeydew, Lemons, Nectarines, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelons
Read about what’s in season in September at our Market Buzz blog now.