The Veggie Machine

Photo Credit: Farmer's Fridge

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We all have preconceived notions about what kind of food is in a vending machine. And whether you think these snacks are disgusting or delicious (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), I think we can all agree that vending machine fare is typically not healthy food – until now. Farmer’s Fridge is asking us some questions – why shouldn’t healthy food be easy to obtain? Why is unhealthy, fast food so accessible but healthy food isn’t? And that’s why they are revolutionizing the vending machine and turning it into the veggie machine.

Farmer’s Fridge offers a variety of salads and healthy snacks – all available via veggie kiosk – that are fresh, nutritious and really connect us with our local farmer. And *SPOILER ALERT* they’re actually delicious, no wilted lettuce in sight. Each jar has a very informative label on the back that shows calorie intake, with and without the dressing, any allergens to be aware of, a few healthy highlights and all of the other nutritional information you would expect. Farmer’s Fridge wants you to know exactly what you’re putting inside of your body.

Photo Credit: LA Times
Photo Credit: LA Times

So just how do they ensure your salad is fresh? They get the fresh produce, make each item from scratch every morning and have it delivered to the vending machines. Later in the day, they come back, remove the unsold food and donate it to a food pantry. A health-conscious company that cares about nutrition, recycling and feeding people who are less fortunate? It does exist!

The High Protein Salad is a bountiful portion of well-balanced ingredients. The crunchy spinach tastes like it came straight from the farm and is complemented by the freshness of the locally grown corn and peas. The chickpeas and pumpkin seeds add a flavorful textural contrast, while the dried figs add a slight sweetness to this vegan and gluten free salad. The lemon-tahini dressing, served on the side, adds a satisfying acidity to the dish.

southwest-salad

Another salad that has been making a regular rotation in my lunchtime routine is the Southwest Salad. I’m struggling to find the proper words to describe how harmoniously the ingredients in this aromatic dish work together. Each bite is somehow better than the next. The Romaine lettuce is sweet and crunchy, and the black beans work as an earthier alternative to meat. The fire-roasted corn and pickled onions bring in bold flavors that pair well with the softness of the avocado and queso fresco. To finish, the pepitas add an extra little crunch at the end of every bite. The ingredients are so fresh and mouth-watering, it’s challenging to eat this salad slowly.

Farmer’s Fridge also has a jar du jour aka jar of the month, and each is more delectable than the next. The yogurt parfait and chocolate trail mix snacks are just sweet enough to satisfy any kind of sugar craving, without going overboard. With lush, farm-fresh ingredients these eco-friendly, good-for-you salads and snacks are just what the doctor ordered. And with locations sprinkled throughout the city, it won’t be long before everyone is taking their lunch break via veggie machine.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Farmer’s Fridge

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