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New veggie sides, new name, new shop – still scrumptious!

Try 3 new veggie sides from Leek & Thistle, formerly known as Truly Scrumptious

Fans of Truly Scrumptious, rejoice! This local foodie favorite is now Leek & Thistle. The new name brings more new veggie sides and a new retail shop in Richmond!

The new offerings in our online farmers market start with yummy Herbed Chickpea Salad that you can actually make a meal of. Plus there’s addictive Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip as well as the luscious Quinoa Salad with Summer Veggies pictured above.

local soup salads sides leek & thistle

They’re just the latest in a banquet of yummy soups, sides, salads, and more from the talented local artisan who makes them.

leek & thistle sides

For Mela, the British chef who makes it all so scrumptious, the new name of Leek & Thistle harkens back to her roots. She grew up on the west coast of Scotland.

(Read our interview with Mela when she first joined the Seasonal Roots online farmers market.)

In addition to a new name, Mela has opened a new retail store in the old Nota Bene spot on Main Street in Richmond’s east end.

mela outside leek & thistle shop

leek & thistle interior

If you’ve got a hankering to stop by in person, the Leek & Thistle Facebook page has all the details. And you can always find Mela’s convenient local food in the Extras section of our home-delivered farmers market.

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms and dads who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pasture-raised dairy, eggs, and meat, plus wholesome artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

fresh local food - sustainable agriculture - lettuce

This is why fresh local food is better for you

The most delicious way to take your vitamins

By the Veggie Fairy Team:

Of course good health and immunity has taken on a new meaning in 2020. We’re all thinking about the steps we can take to keep our immune systems strong.

What’s the most delicious way to take your vitamins? Eating fresh local food direct from local farmers! It’s not just more delicious — it’s also better for you than trying to get your vitamins from supplements or even grocery store produce. Here’s why.

Fresh local produce is whole food

According to the Mayo Clinic, whole foods like the farm-fresh produce you get from Seasonal Roots give you three things that dietary supplements can’t:

1. More nutrition. Whole foods are complex. That means they have a variety of the micronutrients your body needs — not just one. Take leafy greens, for example, like the lettuce pictured here, grown by Gerardo Flores and his son Omar on Virginia’s Northern Neck. It’s got vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, plus thiamine, riboflavins, beta carotene, folates, zeaxanthin, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Whew! Scientists think all these compounds probably work together to help your body process those nutrients and get the most out of them. A lot of the vitamin content in a pill is wasted without the supportive team of natural compounds your body needs to absorb it.

2. Essential fiber. Whole foods, which include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, give you dietary fiber. Fiber does more than keep you regular. Most high-fiber foods are also packed with other essential nutrients. Studies show that when your healthy eating includes fiber, it helps prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

3. Nature’s body armor. Fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring substances called phytochemicals. These little guys may help protect you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Many of them also protect you with antioxidants, which slow down oxidation — a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage. That kind of damage is associated with aging and cancer.

But oxidation isn’t just your enemy. Vitamins have enemies, too. Which brings us to grocery stores.

Local + fresh = more vitamins

A fresh-picked peach is a sweet, delicious way to get 11% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins C and A, and 5% of the RDA for vitamin E… that is, IF you eat it while it’s still fresh.

Vitamins are more vulnerable to oxidation than almost any other nutrient. Air, light, and heat are part of the oxidation process. As soon as a fruit or vegetable is picked, those three things start doing their best to kill the vitamins in the produce. It’s a race against time.

So the fresher your produce is, the more vitamins it still has. That’s why the produce you get direct from local farmers is better for you than produce from the grocery store. Store-bought produce travels at least a week to get there, on average… and often longer. By then those fragile vitamins are fading away, along with the flavor.

The local produce at Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market comes to you straight from the fields of our family farmers. No middlemen, no storage, no long distance travel. So when you take your first bite, it’s still fresh and vitamin-rich – not to mention full of delicious flavor, too.

WHEN it’s picked makes a difference

Our farmers wait until their produce is fully ripe before they pick it. This allows the sun and rain to maximize the flavor and vitamins inside every fruit and vegetable.

That stuff in the grocery store from California, Mexico, or beyond — conventional and organic alike — it was all picked early ahead of its long journey. By the time it gets to you, it may look ripe. But it’s an empty shell compared to the amount of flavor and vitamins in field-ripened produce.

Fresh local food is Grandma’s healthy eating

Modern varieties of produce have been developed to meet the storage and rough handling needs of industrial agriculture — at a price. Modern produce looks good but it’s short on nutrients.

Since our farmers’ produce doesn’t have to endure long, rough trips, they can grow old-fashioned heirloom varieties that have still got all the flavor and nutrition of yesteryear. The old-school broccoli your grandmother ate was much better for her than the broccoli you’ll find in grocery stores today. With fresh local food, you can go back in time and eat that healthful broccoli too.

Sustainability gives you a vitamin boost, too!

All our local family farmers are committed to using sustainable farming practices. Not only does that lower our carbon footprint. It also adds to the benefits of healthy eating that you get from fresh local food. That’s because sustainability includes:

  • Low- or no-spray. Our farmers work with nature instead of against it to manage pests.
  • Healthy soil. Our farmers use crop rotation, cover crops, reduced tillage, careful water management, and more to enrich the soil naturally instead of relying on chemicals. You can see some of those methods demonstrated in Gerardo’s lettuce crop, pictured above.Bottom line: Healthy eating starts with fresh local food!

    ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

    Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our market managers –  who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

empanadas easy meal how to

Easy meal: Greek salad & empanadas

Easy meals don’t have to be “fast food” — watch this video to see how good for you easy can be

By the Veggie Fairy Team

Easy meals… because, hey, who doesn’t love easy? Whether your days are spent working from home, essential working away from home, homeschooling, caring for a loved one, watching way too much daytime television, or all of the above (whew!) — an easy meal that’s also good for you is just what the doctor ordered.

EASY MEAL STEP 1

This easy meal starts with empanadas from My Empanada. Claudia and Juan make their empanadas with a variety of meat or vegetable fillings, so there’s something for everyone. You’ll find My Empanada under the Prepared Foods tab in the Seasonal Roots online farmers market most weekends.

(Read our profile of Claudia, Juan, and My Empanada.)

These fun, tasty, and good-for-you mainstays come frozen. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and take enough empanadas out of the freezer for everyone. Depending on the filling, light eaters will enjoy one or two and big eaters two or three, but certain teens in the middle of a growth spurt might eat at least half a dozen. Hey, we’ve seen it happen.

Brush each empanada with an egg wash. Then pop them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they’re golden outside and piping hot inside.

EASY MEAL STEP 2

While they’re baking, throw together a Greek salad to go with. That’s easy, too.

Claudia shows you just how easy in this step-by-step how-to video:easy meal greek salad how to

Don’t have all the exact ingredients? No worries. Sheltering in place is all about shopping the pantry. Substitute whatever greens, tomatoes, olives, cheese, or nuts you do have. If you’re out of cucumber, you can even slice up zucchini in place of a cuke. We promise it’ll still be delicious.

When time’s up, you’ll pull those golden empanadas out of the oven, pass around the salad, and enjoy… without ever breaking a sweat!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

home delivery during coronavirus pandemic

Home delivery for healthcare heroes and you — this is why we do it

You tell us home delivery is making a difference. That’s all we Veggie Fairies need to know to keep going strong !

By the Veggie Fairy Team

Home delivery is really helpful even in the best of times. Right now, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, home delivery may literally be a lifesaver. For us Veggie Fairies, just knowing that is enough to make all our hard work worthwhile.

But as we make our rounds wearing our personal protective equipment and maintaining social distancing, you — our wonderful members old and new — have been going out of your way to cheer us on. You’ve been sending us emails, texts, social media shout outs, and even handwritten notes.

home delivery of fresh local food

Well, right back at’cha! We really appreciate you, too! For starters, you’ve donated thousands of dollars to help us deliver free fresh local food to our healthcare heroes.

Thank you for continuing to deliver during these trying times. Also TY for adding the give-back to healthcare professionals fund. I was so happy to be able to donate to that when I placed my order. ❤️
— Janelle

HOME DELIVERY HELPS HEALTHCARE HEROES

These are the healthcare professionals Seasonal Roots wonderful members have nominated for their selfless work. They’re on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronoavirus. At the end of a long shift, it can be hard for them to find the time and energy to get to a grocery store.

Those heroes are telling us things like this:

I really appreciate it. I’m currently taking care of covid19 patients and having food delivered really means the world to me. Takes off some stress, much needed.
— Katie

I got my first box through the healthcare program and I can’t say thank you enough!! These are some great looking veggies and they taste so good! I will definitely stick around and become a customer after my healthcare trial is done! Thank you!!!!!!!!
— Megan

home delivery during coronavirus pandemic

So to all of you who’ve donated and nominated — thank you for helping us do this good work!

HELPING VEGGIE FAIRIES?

Yep, our members have been helping US, too! Sometimes y’all just make us go, “Aaawww….”

home delivery during coronavirus pandemic

Hope you guys are all safe and healthy! Thanks for still providing your service to us!
— Paige

Thank you for still delivering! I just love ya’ll even more for doing that for the community. I hope that you stay healthy and safe!
-Jess

THANK YOU 🙏🏼 for today’s delivery!! This is such an amazing service — even more so now 😘
— Bev

Thank you for still keeping everything running. Very much appreciated.
— An Appreciative Member

I’m so proud of Seasonal Roots adapting to this unique environment. Great job to all of you!
— Debbie

HOME DELIVERY IS HELPING MORE LOCAL FAMILIES STAY HOME

We’ve also heard from new members of our local food community…

home delivery of fresh local food

We can’t wait for our first order this week!! Thank you for providing this amazing service!
— A New Member

Just signed up this week and referred a friend who also signed up! We are so excited to support local and get yummy food delivered Wednesday!
— Kar

Received our first delivery today. I am impressed and for someone trying to stay home, fresh veggies and fruits are wonderful. Thank you.”
— Teresa

We just joined last week. I just want to thank you so much for continuing to deliver the fresh food each week! We have always wanted to support this type of service, but it took this to make us take the jump. We couldn’t be happier. We love meal planning around the delivery and look forward to continuing for years to come. Thank you!
— Kimberly

And then there was this, from a military family going through a doubly tough time:

I can’t tell you how much we are enjoying our time as members of Seasonal Roots already, my children are enjoying their vegetables. YES I SAID ENJOYING… they are eating them and happy about it. The surprise and variety the boxes brought them was amazing and they dived into helping me prepare food this week and devoured their meals.
Thank you for not just keeping us fed during this trying time, but also bringing some joy and calm to my children and me. We were already not enjoying this year as it contains a very long deployment for my husband, and with everything on top of it, it’s just been a very heavy time.
I am so glad I just jumped at the chance to join Seasonal Roots when I had the chance. Thanks again.
— Mary

To Mary and everyone who has joined recently, we’re so glad we can help lighten the load!

HOME DELIVERY HELPS LOCAL FARMERS & FOOD ARTISANS, TOO

Home delivery of local food is a real win-win these days:

My neighbors and I are so appreciative of Seasonal Roots, especially during these times. Helps us stay home and rely on your service while supporting regional and local farmers!
— Jina

home delivery during coronavirus pandemic

Thanks ya’ll for sourcing from our network of remarkable producers – 100% pasture-raised outdoors on small family farms.
— Firsthand Foods

In addition to helping farmers and artisans get through this, their local food is helping families stay healthy… and even rediscovering the joys of fresh food!

The collards last week were the most beautiful and delicious I’ve ever had. We look forward to our box every week. Thank you!!! 💜
— Michelle

My @seasonal_roots box came with the largest carrots I’ve ever seen! I roasted some up with bell peppers and paired them with baked tofu for tonight’s dinner.
— A Big Carrot, Pepper & Tofu Fan

Thank you for the beautiful produce! Strawberries have already been devoured by everyone. 😊
— Evelyn

We appreciate you! Such a beautiful delivery this week!
— Pamela

If you need a little more joy in the kitchen, check out this joyful story from a Seasonal Roots member and small business owner.

home delivery during coronavirus pandemic

Thanks, everybody! We’ll get through this… TOGETHER!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

join our team - williamsburg

Join our team: Help deliver healthy eating to your neighbors!

Work with good people and do good work for the planet when you join our team

By Lindsey C, Veggie Fairy & neighborhood Market Manager

Join our team become a Seasonal Roots Veggie Fairy

Join our team!

No two Veggie Fairies are alike, but they all have wings as far as the Seasonal Roots family is concerned. And we are hiring smiling faces and sunny attitudes to join our team. Seasonal Roots neighborhood Market Managers hand-deliver locally sourced goodness on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Have kids? Bring them along! Can’t commit to a weekly Market Manager gig? Sign on as a substitute!⁠ Looking for a little more responsibility? From time to time we have openings for Area Managers, too.⁠

⁠⁠Contact Jamila for Wednesday openings in NOVA and Montgomery County, MD.⁠ ⁠⁠Contact Sherri for Thursday openings in RVA, Tidewater, Williamsburg, and Virginia Beach areas.

Join our team help deliver healthy eating

That first delivery day…

I will never forget my first morning of deliveries for Seasonal Roots. I loaded my van up with three sleepy kids and drove to my first party stop. The early morning air felt good on my face as I walked towards the truck full of local produce.

I watched two ladies pull boxes from the truck and move around each other in perfect sync. They stacked and went through boxes, making sure to help each other out where they could. Where one lacked, the other would come in and pick up the slack.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was being introduced to a special kind of work environment that makes delivery days run smooth. After working with these girls for a few weeks I quickly realized that the three of us could not be more different. Where one is super organized, the other goes with the flow. Where one thinks about doing things a certain way, the other will think the complete opposite every time. It is strange, but it works for us as a team.

My fellow Veggie Fairies

join our team - williamsburg

The Williamsburg Veggie Fairy Team: Emily, Lindsey & Corina

First, there is Corina, our fearless leader. If I had to come up with one word to describe Corina her word would be loyal. She has a special way of making you feel like she has your back no matter what happens. Plus, she never asks anything of her team that she herself is not willing to do. This woman works hard at keeping us in between the lines. She’s a mom to 4 kiddos, a pharmacy technician during the week, and our Williamsburg Area Manager.

Next, we have Emily. She is incredibly creative and brings a sense of calm to our group. For example, over the summer she designed a bag that helps keep the glass milk bottles from exploding during the hot summer months. A day without unexploded milk bottles is a day worth celebrating! She owns her own business, HarsaGirl, making beautiful things for babies and kids in celebration of motherhood. She, too, is a mom, an entrepreneur, and delivers produce to your door every Thursday morning.

Then there’s me. I’m a military wife and a stay-at-home mom to three small children. I enjoy writing and run a Facebook Page, Love, Faith, and Tons of Grace. So, aside from being completely lost the first few months on the job, I have done my best to bring a little extra humor to the group.

All for one and one for all!

Our Williamsburg team is small but hardworking. We work together to get the job done. And no one leaves the party stop until we are all finished. I am thankful for these girls who welcomed me to the team and I look forward to our year ahead!

Meet another Veggie Fairy, who dishes about helping her kids eat veggies.

Take a tour of THE HUB where we pack up all our local goodies for delivery.

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Seasonal Roots is much more than an online market — we’re a community of farmers, artisans, and members. We’re all dedicated to eating healthy, buying local, protecting the environment, raising animals sustainably and humanely, and spreading joy to our friends, family, and neighbors.

Since 2011, we’ve been empowering our members to live better by eating better. That means more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. Every week, we provide you with hand-picked local produce, sustainable meat and dairy, and hand-crafted artisan goods — all hand-delivered direct from Dirt to Doorstep®.

healthy breakfast foods local berries

Healthy breakfast foods: 7 local foods to start your day off right

Healthy breakfast foods for every taste

By the Veggie Fairy Team

Stock up on healthy breakfast foods, because a good day starts with a good, healthy breakfast. That means different things to different people, depending on what each individual’s body needs to comfortably break the night’s fast.

For some of us, a good breakfast consists of a hearty combination of eggs, toast, and fruit. But for others, it may be a simple cup of coffee.

Whatever your personal power breakfast may be, you’ll get more out of it when you get your ingredients from a local source you trust — you can be sure it’ll be fresher and richer in both flavor and nutrients.

So let’s take a closer look at seven of the best things you can eat when you roll out of bed.

pasture-raised eggs

#1 PASTURE-RAISED EGGS

We Veggie Fairies get our pasture-raised eggs from Authenticity Farms in Amelia, Va., where the hens spend their days in the sunshine foraging for grass, seeds, and bugs — all the things chickens naturally eat. Thanks to their own healthy diet, they produce eggs that are healthier for us too – and sooo delicious!

(Read more about Authenticity Farms humane farming practices and their pasture-raised eggs.)

A pasture-raised egg looks different from an industrial farmed egg (even if it’s labeled “cage-free” or “free-range”). The yolk of a pasture-raised egg is deep orange and is surrounded by a thick, milky white. On top of having more flavor, pasture-raised eggs contain higher amounts of vitamin A, D, E, K2, B-12, folate, riboflavin, zinc, calcium, beta carotene, and choline, as well as omega 3 fatty acids, including DHA, EPA, ALA, and AA.

Pasture-raised eggs offer the highest quality protein, too, second only to the lactalbumin protein that’s found in a human mother’s milk. Eating eggs for breakfast increases your feeling of fullness, so you’ll eat fewer calories for lunch and even out your blood sugar and insulin levels.

Many studies have shown that a pasture-raised egg isn’t just a healthy breakfast food — it’s a true superfood. This study found that compared to industrial farmed eggs, pasture-raised eggs may contain:

  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene
  • 3-6 times more vitamin D (thanks to hanging out in all that sunshine!)
  • More K2, B12, folate, riboflavin, zinc, and calcium
  • More antioxidants that help prevent eye trouble like cataracts, according to this study and this study
  • More choline your brain and liver depend on to stay healthy
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 1/3 less cholesterol – that said, eggs don’t actually raise cholesterol levels in most of us. On the contrary, eggs may reduce your risk of heart disease risk by modifying the shape of “bad” LDL cholesterol, increasing “good” HDL cholesterol, and improving insulin sensitivity.
  • healthy breakfast foods whole grains

    #2 WHOLE GRAIN BREAD

    Enjoy your eggs with whole grain toast – your online farmers market has a variety of healthful breads to suit your taste buds. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a number of studies have shown that incorporating whole grain foods in an overall healthy diet may help lower your risk for many diseases, including stroke, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and colorectal cancer.

    Whole grains are also rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins and many other nutrients that help to lower blood pressure, reduce gum disease, strengthen the immune system, and control weight. (If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, be sure to go for gluten-free options.)

    So in the morning, sit down to toast and eggs cooked any way you like them, or grab a couple of hard-boiled eggs for a portable breakfast on the go.

    local granola

    3. OATS
    4. NUTS
    5. YOGURT

    Combine the first two of these healthy breakfast foods and they add up to… granola! Our granola is made in small batches by Hudson Henry Baking Co. in Palmyra, Va.

    Oats contain a unique fiber called oat beta-glucan which, among other things, reduces cholesterol. Thanks to this fiber, oats make you feel full, like eggs. Oats are also rich in antioxidants that may boost your heart health and lower your blood pressure. (While oats don’t have gluten, they’re often contaminated with it from being processed with other grains. So if gluten’s an issue, look for oats that are certified gluten-free.)

    The nuts in granola are filling and help prevent weight gain. Nuts are high in magnesium, potassium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They’ve been shown to improve heart disease risk factors, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and decrease inflammation. Yeah, they’re high in calories, but scientists have tested almonds and found that you don’t absorb all the fat – in the case of a one-ounce serving, your body only absorbs about 129 calories.

    To boost the protein content of a nice nutty granola breakfast, toss a few handfuls on top of yogurt. We get our yogurt from sustainable artisans like Mountain View Farm in Fairfield, Va. In addition to leaving you feeling satisfied, full-fat yogurt contains conjugated linoleic acid, which may increase fat loss and decrease breast cancer risk.

    All together, oats, nuts, and yogurt add up to a breakfast of healthy champions!

    local berries

    6. FRUIT, FRESH OR FROZEN

    Fresh fruits are arguably the healthiest of all the healthy breakfast foods. All fruits contain vitamins, potassium, and fiber, and they’re relatively low in calories.

    To get your daily dose of vitamin C, savor one large Florida-grown orange while they’re in our winter-time market. It’ll give you more than 100% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C.

    A cup of strawberries also contains the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. In fact, all berries are mini superfoods. They’re packed with antioxidants, including anthocyanins that protect your heart and may help you age better. They reduce inflammation, too.

    To keep you supplied with fresh-picked berries during berry season, we rely on local farmers like the Geyer family of Agriberry Farm in Hanover, Va.

    local coffee

    7. COFFEE

    Believe it or not, that cup of Joe is a healthy breakfast food — not to mention an excellent way to jumpstart your day. And it’s not just the caffeine – a 2005 study found that, believe it or not, coffee is the number-one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet. That’s because we drink so much of it. Doctors say it’s actually best if you get most of your antioxidants from things like berries.

    But the antioxidants in coffee are icing on the cake. And combined with caffeine, coffee is surprisingly good for you. Coffee drinking has been linked to a lower risk of diseases such as diabetes and prostate cancer, and it may even help you live longer. It reduces inflammation, protects the cells lining your blood vessels, and decreases liver disease risk.

    Sipping on some caffeine has been shown to improve mood, alertness, and mental performance. In addition to waking you up, caffeine also increases your metabolic rate and fat burning. Just 100 mg of caffeine can help you burn an extra 79–150 calories in a day.

    Even the little bit you get in decaf can offer health benefits. An analysis of 41 studies reported that you can maximize the benefits while limiting the side effects if you get 38–400 mg per day (18). Depending on the strength of the coffee, that’s about one-third of a cup to four cups of caffeinated coffee per day.

    We Veggie Fairies like our coffee with a conscience. So we get our caffeine fix from local roasters like Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters in Gloucester, Va. Celeste and Jo source their beans from small plantations that they’ve personally vetted, and they continuously give back to their community, with a focus on keeping the Chesapeake Bay clean and healthy. Read their story here.
    *
    So to get your day off to a great start, make one or all of these seven great local healthy breakfast foods part of your morning routine!

    ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

    Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

    find joy with local food

    Find joy with local food

    After work, this local business owner actually finds joy in the kitchen

    By Sherri B, Veggie Fairy & Area Manager

    It’s a joyful story that starts with vintage aprons…

    So, I heard that one of our Seasonal Roots members collects vintage aprons. I couldn’t wait to see for myself on the next delivery day. Little did I know it would lead me to a new discovery about how to find joy with local food.

    When delivery day rolled around this week, Richmond business owner Melissa Barlow of Your Joyful Space was sporting one of her aprons. She was busy cooking up some joy when I delivered her Family Basket at the wellness co-working site, Balance RVA.

    While I was there, I got to ask Melissa about her unique collection.

    find joy with local food

    Why aprons?

    Melissa explains, “Everyday at my business, Your Joyful Space, I am committed to helping my clients find the joy in their homes and businesses. We do it by sorting and creating a space that works for them.

    “After work, I focus on my own home. And cooking in my kitchen is a big part of expressing joy for me. When I get in my kitchen with fresh ingredients to cook a meal for my daughter, I put on one of my vintage aprons.

    “It makes me feel strengthened by all the women that wore it before me. It also helps me enjoy my time in my kitchen and adds comfort to the end of my day.”

    Why find joy with local food?

    According to Melissa, “I cook with Seasonal Roots produce because it’s fresh and food tastes better when it’s fresh.

    “As a local business owner myself, weekly deliveries make sure my fridge is stocked. That way I’m ready to throw on an apron and put a quick, healthy meal together.

    “This week, I kept dinner simple by roasting leeks, white sweet potatoes, and beets together and added chicken.”

    find joy with local food

    A happy ending

    If you’re cooking for kids, too, like Melissa, check out 7 ways to help kids eat veggies & fruits here on the Veggie Fairy Blog.

    The way Melissa uses local food and vintage aprons to find joy really brightened my day. How do you use local food to find joy?

    ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

    Seasonal Roots is much more than an online market — we’re a community of farmers, artisans, and members. We’re all dedicated to eating healthy, buying local, protecting the environment, raising animals sustainably and humanely, and spreading joy to our friends, family, and neighbors.

    Since 2011, we’ve been empowering our members to live better by eating better. That means more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. Every week, we provide you with hand-picked local produce, sustainable meat and dairy, and hand-crafted artisan goods — all hand-delivered direct from Dirt to Doorstep®.

    heart-healthy local food for American Heart Month

    American Heart Month & heart-healthy local food

    This American Heart Month, show your heart some love!

    By the Veggie Fairy Team

    While Valentines are nice, a healthy ticker is even better! February is American Heart Month, the perfect time to get in the habit of keeping heart-healthy foods on hand.

    We’ve rounded up our top 10 heart-healthy, local foods. They’re all recommended by the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, and the Cleveland Clinic. Some of these items are available year-round, and some are seasonal. So keep an eye out when you’re browsing our online farmers market. If you put a few of the foods on this list in your Seasonal Roots basket each week (not just during American Heart Month!) your heart will love you for it!!!

    heart healthy leafy greens

    #1 Dark leafy greens

    Leafy greens are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to heart health. Examples include kale, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, and watercress. These tasty greens are grown locally all year round and can be used in a wide variety of recipes. Try using these greens in sandwiches instead of lettuce, or mix them up for a heart-healthy salad. We’ve got more ideas on how to cook greens, plus kale recipes for kids of all ages!

    heart healthy whole grains

    #2 Whole grain items

    Opt for whole grains when you can. This applies to items such as pasta, breads, cereals, and crackers. In their original, unprocessed state, whole grains still have the outer layers that contain healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber, plus carbohydrates, protein, and healthy, unsaturated fats. So grains like whole wheat, oats, and kasha provide more heart-healthy fiber than white flour. Bonus: They’re more filling too!

    heart healthy tomatoes

    #3 Tomatoes

    This versatile fruit masquerading as a vegetable can be added to most savory dishes — think salads, pastas, eggs, and sandwiches. In addition to antioxidants, tomatoes are high in potassium, which can help control high blood pressure.

    heart healthy acorn squash

    #4 Red, yellow, and orange veggies

    Many studies show that carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids, fiber, and vitamins. These are all beneficial for your heart. So cook with color and eat the rainbow!

    heart healthy legumes hummus

    #5 Hummus

    Legumes in general are great for your circulation, and hummus is chock-full of chickpeas. Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans, and they’re a type of legume. The olive oil in hummus is good for your heart, too! A study compared eating legumes once a week to eating legumes four times a week. The result: eating legumes four times a week was associated with a 22% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

    heart healthy berries

    #6 Berries

    Everybody loves berries, and local berry season is coming soon! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in fiber and antioxidants. This is especially true when you eat them in season — at their flavorful and nutritional peak. There’s evidence that getting your antioxidant vitamins from food is much more effective and beneficial than getting them from supplements. So go ahead and grab another helping of berries!

    heart healthy tofu

    #7 Tofu

    If you’ve never cooked with tofu, don’t be intimidated! Try tofu in a flavorful stir-fry with fresh veggies for a heart-healthy lunch or dinner. Research indicates that including more soy foods like tofu in your diet may have cardiovascular benefits, like lowering blood pressure. The prepared vegan meals in your online farmers market are a super-easy and tasty way to get your tofu. So go for it, whether your a tofu newbie or a tofu super fan.

    heart healthy asparagus

    #8 Asparagus

    According to the NIH, asparagus is filled with mighty nutrients such as beta-carotene, folate, and fiber. This tender, sweet vegetable is delicious when roasted and drizzled with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Plus, asparagus only has 25 calories per cup (or about 5 calories per large spear) – win-win!

    heart healthy broccoli

    #9 Broccoli

    Crisp, fresh broccoli florets dipped in hummus are an extra powerful snack with a whopping list of heart-healthy nutrients. The list includes vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower total and LDL cholesterol levels by binding to bile in the gut (which is made up of cholesterol). Then it gets removed from the body along with the body’s waste.

    heart healthy chocolate red wine

    #10 Dark chocolate & red wine

    Since this is Cupid’s month, we veggie fairies are happy to report that dark chocolate and red wine are both good for your heart! (Based on personal experience, there are definitely some days when wine and chocolate are really good for mental health, too. Just sayin’…!) The Cleveland Clinic put dark chocolate up against red wine to see if one is better for you than the other. Find out which one was the winner here!

    SO IN CONCLUSION…
    Make American Heart Month last all year long. By eating these foods locally when they’re freshly made or in season, you’re maximizing the nutritional benefits for your heart. Other heart-healthy staples to keep on hand include nuts like almonds and walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, canned or dried legumes, and quinoa (a grain that’s a great source of protein and rich in fiber). So with a clink of our glasses of red wine we say: Here’s to your heart!

    ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

    Seasonal Roots is much more than an online market — we’re a community of farmers, artisans, and members. We’re all dedicated to eating healthy, buying local, protecting the environment, raising animals sustainably and humanely, and spreading joy to our friends, family, and neighbors.

    Since 2011, we’ve been empowering our members to live better by eating better. That means more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. Every week, we provide you with hand-picked local produce, sustainable meat and dairy, and hand-crafted artisan goods — all hand-delivered direct from Dirt to Doorstep®.

    A Toast to the Women in our Lives

    EAT BETTER LIVE BETTER NEWSLETTER / May 8, 2019

    Tips, hacks, recipes, stories, and the weekly special all help you eat better live better with fresh local food!

    Read the newsletter below, or view this issue as a printable PDF with clickable links.

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    Spice up your celebration Seasonal Roots style

    EAT BETTER LIVE BETTER NEWSLETTER / May 1, 2019

    Tips, hacks, recipes, stories, and the weekly special all help you eat better live better with fresh local food!

    Read the newsletter below, or view this issue as a printable PDF with clickable links.

    19-05-01 Newsletter