How To Eat Healthy At Home - Nutritious Noshes - Part Two

Jennifer Waldera

A few weeks ago we brought to you a guide of restaurants serving up some of the healthiest food in Baltimore. From green smoothies to fresh salads and sandwiches to incredible vegan and vegetarian options, Charm City has no shortage of quality cuisine created by talented chefs.

Now, we bring to you a guide of some of the best resources to help you to become an even more amazing home cook using fresh, local products to create healthy meals for yourself, your family, or your guests!

 

Farmer’s Markets
For a large portion of the year, Marylanders have the distinct advantage of being able to shop at farmer’s markets throughout the state. With juicy fresh produce and creamy locally made cheese being sold in stands next to tangy and tart pickles and local wine, and everything in between, there is little that is needed on your grocery list that you won’t find at a local farmer’s market.

In Baltimore City in particular, the Baltimore Farmer’s Market under the JFX on Sundays is a mainstay in terms of markets and has a tremendous following. A newcomer to the scene in recent years that gained almost instant popularity is the Fell’s Point Farmer’s Market which runs on Saturday mornings in the heart of the cozy waterfront community.

Farmer’s markets in Maryland aren’t just for the weekends, though. For other farmer’s markets any day of the week, within the city and throughout the state, check out this comprehensive listing: http://visitmaryland.org/events/pages/marylandfarmersmarkets.aspx

 

CSAs and Farm Direct Buying
While farmer’s markets are popular in the warm months, the cooler months call for other methods of shopping for fresh produce and locally raised meats. Rather than resorting to buying products shipped across the country (or from further), it is possible to still obtain high quality produce in the fall and winter by buying directly from local farms.

One of the most convenient ways to get local produce is to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture. For a set cost, individuals buy a share of a CSA which entitles the buyer to a set quantity of food for a set period of time, often on a weekly basis. The products are then either picked up by purchasers on a set basis from the farm, or at a chosen drop off location. Many CSAs have been dedicated solely to produce sales, but in more recent years, meat, eggs, plants and other products have been included by some farmers.

In addition, a multitude of local farms welcome direct buying. Richardson’s Farms, which operates at the largest market in the city, the Northeast Market, also has a location on Ebenezer Road, north of the city. Fresh produce, meats, flowers, cheeses, ice creams, and other locally sourced treats can be found in their shop.

Also in Baltimore, the Real Food Farm Alliance is helping to grow the amount of urban farms in the city. Additionally, their mission includes making healthy food accessible in parts of the city where it may not currently be by operating at food stands as well as via a mobile market and through a CSA. Feeling particularly passionate? In addition to supporting their effort through buying from them, you can learn how to possibly start and operate your own urban farm in Baltimore by visiting them at: http://www.farmalliancebaltimore.org/.

To link up with a farm to join a CSA or buy directly, use this website which links to what you are seeking in terms of location and product: http://marylandsbest.net/.

 

Shops
There are shops throughout Baltimore that are committed to selling only the freshest and healthiest local and seasonal produce, meats, seafood, dairy and other products. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites:

Milk and Honey, www.milkandhoneybaltimore.com

 

This Mt. Vernon gem is not only a fantastic market which features fresh bread, pasta, produce, and even homegoods, it is also a deli… and a cafe! Grab a sandwich or a salad, or even just a cup of coffee or fresh brewed iced tea while you are stocking up on your goods to take home. While the name may only mention milk and honey, we guarantee that they have so much more that will keep you coming back. Tip: If you’re looking to put together some cheese and charcuterie plates, this is the place to do it.

Fleet Street Natural Market, http://www.fleetstreetmarket.com/

 

Need we say more than the fact that their motto is: “Local. Fresh. Delicious.”? This cozy market on, naturally, Fleet Street in Fell’s Point carries an array of fresh produce, bread and other items to take home in addition to having a nice selection of frozen goodies as well. This is the place to find products like locally made Wild Pea Hummus or sausages, burgers and other meats from area farmers like Pennsylvania’s Hillside Meadow Farm. While there, grab one of their delectable sandwiches or try some hand dipped ice cream, too.

Life Choice Market, www.lifechoicemarket.com

 

This healthy Hampden market specializes in foods that are free of chemicals, additives and processing, as well as gluten-free and cruelty-free. Find anything from cereals and juices to snacks and produce at this shop on 36th Street.

OK Natural Food Store, http://www.oknaturalfoods.com/

 

Located in mid-town, this well established shop has been a purveyor of natural goods in Baltimore for over 30 years. With an emphasis on organics and vegetarian products, this is the shop to go to for bulk and shelf stable foods, vitamins, herbs and spices. Additionally, OK Natural Food Store has tons of products like coffees, teas, chocolates and snacks.

While these are our favorites in Baltimore, if you are a county dweller, fear not! In addition to the well known Whole Foods Market, we have a few other recommendations including David’s Natural Market (www.davidsnaturalmarket.com), The Health Concern (http://www.healthconcern.com/), Roots Market (http://rootsmkt.com/), and MOM’s (http://www.momsorganicmarket.com/).

So, regardless of whether you are out and about dining around Charm City, or cooking at home, there are tons of options to eat well and support those growing and producing produce, meats, and other food in the area. Try some of these shops and drop us a comment with your feedback or personal recommendations!


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