Location: Mariners Church | Hours: Saturday 8am-12pm, year round
This is the BIGGEST farmers’ market in Irvine (and the OC, I’m pretty sure). Besides the regular produce, baked goods, and food stands you would find, there are a ton of miscellaneous vendors! You can buy/find a colorful basket to put your goodies, goat milk soaps for your home, unique clothing brands, or delicate jewelry to accessorize with. The fruit vendors have so many seasonal varieties to choose from.
I love coming to this farmers’ market around this time of the year (aka stone fruit season) to taste all the hybrid plums and apricots available. You can definitely count on seeing some unique fruits that you wouldn’t normally find in your grocery store. I was also surprised there were live sea urchins for sale in the seafood department. Homemade uni shots anyone?
Baba Small Batch Hummus located in Chula Vista, CA
“Come and try, no need to buy!” These hummus guys crack me up. They are so welcoming and invite you to sample all their hummus and spreads. There are so many hummus varieties to choose from, but the ones I always find myself grabbing are Baba Ganoush and Avocado & Cilantro. My favorite spread is the three layer dip, which contains feta, pesto & sun-dried tomato. It’s savory and pairs well stuffed inside chicken or alone with pita chips.
Reed Avocados from Neff Ranch located in Yorba Linda, CA
Avocados that don’t oxidize?!? That’s right. Reed avocados are the size of a softball and do not turn brown after you cut them open. These varieties are the creamiest (higher oil content), largest, most delicious avocados I have eaten. Avocados are rich in potassium and healthy (high density lipoprotein “HDL”) fats. Unfortunately, they are only available in the late summer-early fall months, so go get your fix before they’re all gone.
*Pro tip: To check if your avocado is ready, press the top firm and gently. That’s where the oil is first released. If you press the sides, you’ll end up bruising it.
Recipe Roundup- Chocolate Almond French Toast with Strawberries: serves 1
From the market: Schokolaad bread (Vegan chocolate chip bread with toasted almonds) from Bread Gallery in San Clemente, Organic Strawberries from Pedro Ranch
2 slices of Schokolaad bread
handful of strawberries, sliced in half
dash of cinnamon
Date Lady syrup, to drizzle
Whisk 1 egg with dash of cinnamon. Cut two slices of Schokolaad bread and dip into egg mixture. Let sit for 1 minute to soak.
Heat up pan with cooking oil and lay bread down. Cook each side for 1 minute, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and plate with chopped strawberries on top. Drizzle date syrup for extra kick of sweetness!
Visit the market: https://www.ocfarmbureau.org/