What's In Season in April April 6, 2015 BACK TO MARKET BUZZ


What’s in Season in April

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.

Not sure what you want? Our produce providers, Farm Fresh Produce and Farm Boy Produce have specialists that can help you pick out the tastiest, freshest, locally grown products.

Farmers Market Favorites

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. Certainly avocados do contain a significant amount of fat, but research has shown that when eaten in moderation, they can help lower cholesterol.

While the California Avocado Commission recommends that everyone grow an avocado tree in their backyard, 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.

Special Treat: Tasty guacamole abounds at The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles. Try some at Magee’s Kitchen, Marmalade Café, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Planet Dailies or Loteria Grill!

Tangerines

As April unfold in Southern California, Los Angeles begins to see gentle reminders that spring is here. Wildflowers are in bloom and Farmers Market merchants are rolling out their spring offerings. And tangerines begin to make their appearance at our produce merchants. Small, sweet and portable, these tiny treats are perfect to carry along, no matter where you go, and revive you whenever you need a boost.

For an ultra-local treat, Ojai Pixie Tangerines 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. Interestingly, Pixies are never sold as a branded item—like Cuties or Delights.  They have become so popular, 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 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.

Brussels Sprouts

Once the most-hated vegetables in the United States—according to 2008 study by Heinz—Brussels sprouts are making a major comeback. These days it seems like every new menu in America is featuring a special Brussels sprouts dish.

And why not? This fiber-rich veggie is known for its healing properties. They are believed to prevent a variety of cancers—including bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostrate 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 percent 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 Dog, Brussels sprouts make the perfect alternative to French fries and tater tots. The Brussels tots are halved, flash fried to add a hint of crunchiness and then tossed with a spicy gremolata—a chopped herb typically made from lemon zest, garlic and parsley.

Seasonal Veggies Harvested in April

Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocado, Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Horseradish root, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Turnips 

Seasonal Fruits Harvested in April

Blood Oranges, Grapefruit, Guava, Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Pineapple, Strawberries, Tangerines