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The Food Buzz

By: Eleanor Frederick, Alamance County Lifestyle Coach and NC Cooperative Extension Agent


Farmers’ Markets are BACK!

Asparagus, broccoli, greens, mushrooms, radishes, turnips…All are currently in season and available from your local farmer’s market! Many of the farmers markets in the area opened for the season in April. Pick a time to go explore one close to you! You can check out a list of local markets here.

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Sweet like honey

We hear a lot about sugar these days; mostly it’s about how much we should (or shouldn’t) have, but there is also a lot of discussion around the types of sugar we put in our bodies. Walk down the baking aisle in a grocery store and you will be met with an array of options for sweetening food.Organic, natural, raw, pure… The "health food" words are all present,but does that mean those products are better for you than regular sugar? Not necessarily. It is still important to read the nutrition facts and follow the serving size indicated. White sugar alternatives like honey can be helpful if you are able to use less and still achieve satisfactory sweetness.

Veggie Spotlight

Asparagus is back in season and is an excellent source of Vitamin K, folate, and iron. To prepare asparagus for cooking, rinse well with water and cut off 1-2 inches from the base of the stalks (the “woody” part).Try this roasted asparagus recipe for a vegetable side dish worthy of a spot on a restaurant table!

Asparagus with Lemon-Parmesan Breadcrumbs (Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)


1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed

Cooking spray

1/3 cup panko (bread crumbs)

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Dash of salt and pepper


1. Preheat broiler to HIGH, place oven rack about 6 inches from heating element.

2. Arrange asparagus on a foil lined baking sheet.Coat asparagus with cooking spray.

3. Broil asparagus 6-8 minutes or until almost tender, stirring asparagus once.

4. Combine panko, Parmesan cheese, grated lemon rind, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle mixture over asparagus. Broil     2 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.