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 November.
Farmers Market Favorites
Winter Squash Varieties
As we enter November, and holiday decorations start to pop up around Los Angeles, our thoughts inevitably turn to what we’ll be eating on Thanksgiving. Serving a variety of winter squash, which can be baked, roasted, steamed and boiled, is a colorful way to round out your holiday offerings and is an excellent and healthy substitute to any potato dish.
It is low in salt, fat and calories, and it is a great source of complex carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants. Squash is also packed with Vitamin A, which is said to help with vision and prevent against lung cancer.
Special Treat: Magee’s Kitchen, which longtime fans know was the first restaurant at Farmers Market, circa 1934, serves a variety of sandwiches and roasted meats, any of which can be accompanied by a tasty side of roasted banana squash.
Another excellent addition to any holiday meal is broccoli and with nearly 90 percent of all broccoli grown right here in California, you can rest assured that the veggie you’re buying is local.
Although broccoli has waned in popularity in recent years, due to the meteoric rise in fame of such alternatives as kale, spinach and Brussels sprouts, the veggie remains an excellent source of nutrients. It is high in Vitamin A and C, and one cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange. Broccoli is also high in soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which are required by your body. It is also said to help prevent the onset of adult diabetes.
Among the earliest recorded appearances of broccoli in North America is a notation in the journals of Thomas Jefferson, who imported the seeds from Italy to plant in his garden. While Thomas Jefferson was a fan of broccoli, another president, George W. Bush was not. Bush senior was once notably quoted as saying, “I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.”
Special Treat: President Bush might not agree, but this healthy veggie is delicious cooked or raw and the star of the stuffed Broccoli & Cheese Borekas (flatbreads), which are prepared with cheese, red peppers, red onions and fresh broccoli and served at The Village in the East Patio.
As the weather finally begins to cool down, it can be harder to find fresh, in season, local fruit. But California’s lime trees, especially those located in Riverside County, are just starting to produce their fruit. The main variety of lime grown in California is the Mexican lime, which is also called the key lime in other parts of the country. (If you’re planning on baking a key lime pie, however, only the key limes grown in the Florida Keys will do.)
The lime has a long history as a healing fruit. In 1857, the United Kingdom passed the Merchant Shipping Act, which required all vessels carry lime juice in order to help prevent scurvy (a lack of vitamin C) in sailors. This carrying of lime is the tradition that would eventually lead to the British receiving the nickname “limeys.”
In addition to being an excellent source of Vitamin C, lime juice is also said to kill germs, prevent nausea and help treat dysentery. Of course no Muppet fan can think of the lime’s healing qualities, without envisioning Kermit the Frog in his hospital bed while his Muppet friends sing “You Put the Lime in the Coconut.”
Special treat: Kick your main course into high gear with the flavorful, house-branded Chipotle Lime Grilling Sauce from Huntington Meats. When used with grilled or oven roasted meats, the sauce brings a zesty complement to any meal. Or quench your thirst with a refreshing limeaide from Singapore’s Banana Leaf. For an extra kick, try the Watermelon Habañero Limeaide from Greenhouse.
Seasonal Veggies Harvested in November
Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chile Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Snap Beans, Spinach, Tomatoes
Seasonal Fruits Harvested in November
Cantaloupe, Dates, Grapes, Honeydew, Oranges, Tangerines
Read about what’s in season in December at our Market Buzz blog now.