While there are a lot of things I love about summer, one of the main things is the fresh produce. Peaches, berries, beans, corn, greens, zucchini – I love them all!

Even if I don’t intend on purchasing anything, I love wandering through farmer’s markets perusing the variety of colours and smells. The abundance of samples doesn’t hurt either 😉

Because my weekends have been so busy all summer, my farmer’s market trips were severely lacking. Until last weekend! After teaching my regular Saturday morning boot camp class, I headed straight to the West End farmer’s market for some goodies.

Why Shop At Farmer’s Markets?

Beautiful atmosphere aside, why would you want to shop at a farmer’s market? There’s a few main reasons, the first being to support local farmers! Most local farms are family-owned and operated with just a few employees. They work hard to produce quality fruits and veggies, and whenever I can support them over the big box grocery stores I’m all for it.

I also enjoy knowing where my food is coming from. The West End farmer’s market can get a little crazy, but when I used to visit the market in White Rock I loved talking to the farmers about their growing practices and just to learn more about them and their farms. I find it makes me respect the food and the process so much more.

And finally, the food just tastes better! I don’t always buy organic, and I find even the conventionally-grown cucumbers from a farmer’s market taste substantially better than those from the grocery store.

However, there was a beautiful bunch of organic multi-coloured carrots that were just calling my name, so I knew I had to buy them!

balsamic maple-glazed carrotsAren’t they perfect?

These carrots were calling for a maple glaze, so the following day Balsamic Maple-Glazed Carrots were born! I served them with some beans and corn on the cob, also from the market, as well as a piece of salmon for me and a steak for the boy.

I even saved the greens in a big ziploc bag in the freezer. Apparently, contrary to popular belief, the greens are actually NOT bad for you. They’ll be a great addition for soups and stocks!

balsamic maple-glazed carrotsmaple-glazed balsamic carrotsbalsamic maple-glazed carrotsYou could use any kind of carrots from any kind of store for this recipe. However, if you have the option or purchasing them from a farmer’s market, it’ll make the recipe that much better.

Balsamic Maple-Glazed Carrots

balsamic maple-glazed carrotsYou Will Need:

  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Wash carrots and place them in a bowl, along with all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix everything well until carrots are evenly coated.
  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.
  5. Serve as a side dish to your favourite summer main and enjoy!

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balsamic maple-glazed carrots

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Do you ever shop at your local farmer’s market? 

What’s your favourite summer side dish?

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