MALVERN, Iowa — When it comes to her Farmer’s Market dishes, Jody Smith says it’s all about the ingredients.
“I’m very picky about what I use,” she says. “There are ingredients that are not good for us, so I use less fats, oils, sweeteners and less refined salts. My goal is to make healthier baking that also tastes great.
Smith and her husband Victor live near here in Mills County, Iowa. She runs a business called Jody’s Natural Kitchen and has been a regular at farmers’ markets in the area for 10 years.
Although she may bring in seasonal produce, such as asparagus, Jody is known for her baked goods. All beans are freshly ground by her.
“Lately, with supply chain issues, it has become more difficult to source ingredients,” she says. “I only grind the flour a day or two before baking. I want the baked goods to be very fresh.
These products typically include breads, cookies, granola, and pizza crusts. It also offers gluten-free and vegan options.
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Most of the markets she frequents are near her home in southwestern Iowa.
“I started in Silver City and Glenwood, and now I’m in Council Bluffs and Bellevue, Neb., and I’m a seasonal vendor at Ak-Sar-Ben Market in Omaha,” says Jody. “We are quite busy from May to October. »
She says the popularity of farmers’ markets has steadily grown, adding that they have seen an increase since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.
“There’s definitely been an increase in attendance,” says Jody. “In the beginning, we were doing a lot of education on different things, but more of our customers understand what’s going on in this type of business. It’s great to see more and more people there.”