If you’re even remotely a fan of fresh mussels, these are one of the most incredible local finds at our Saturday Downtown Santa Barbara farmers’ market.
Situated about 3/4-mile off Hope Ranch, the ocean’s depth at the farm is approximately 80 feet, and the shellfish are grown utilizing submersible long-lines originally developed by the Japanese. These mussels are grown using a New Zealand-style of rope culture.
Mussels are excellent when steamed. This week I prepared mine infused with spring garlic and lemon. It’s the Fix of the Week on A5.
Fresh mussels are quite a nutritious food source that is packed with protein, delivering 20 grams per single serving. They are also a great source of iron and contain hearty amounts of vitamins A and C and calcium. The price is $6 per pound.
Fresh barley juice
By now, most of us are pretty familiar with the overwhelming health benefits of drinking freshly pressed wheat grass juice. But if you want to take another step up the health ladder, you may want to give barley juice a try.
Unlike the sweet pea flavor of wheatgrass, barley grass possesses a more bitter flavor with a nice kick. When the barley grass is about 12 to 14 inches high, it contains all the vitamins, minerals and proteins necessary for the human diet. Its juice is seven times richer in Vitamin C than an equivalent weight of oranges, five times richer in iron than spinach and 10 times richer in calcium than milk.
It is a significant source of Vitamin B-12, and contains 15 times as much protein as an equivalent amount of milk.
Barley juice can be purchased freshly pressed and chilled at the Tuesday and Saturday markets each week; it’s grown locally by Rick Lemke. The price is $3 per ounce.
Organic snow peas
The local fresh pea season is continuing to ramp up with a wide array of sugar snap, English shelling, and these crispy fresh snow peas all taking center stage.
Snow peas are consumed as they come, pod and all, yielding a very snappy texture and mildly sweet flavor. They are ideal for stir-fry’s, but are also a nice addition when sliced and added to salads. Fresh snow peas provide an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber.
You can currently find this seasonal favorite at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets from several local growers. The price averages $5 per pound.