News

  • Compost at the Co-op
  • January 23rd, 2015
  • The Co-op deli has been composting in the back for well over a year, diverting 27 tons of waste from the landfill.  Just this week, we drilled new holes in the garbage area, so we could compost in the seating area, too. Take note of the change and we’ll report back on how much waste we’re turning into soil, instead of into the landfill. Where’s it going? Full Circle Organics has a composting facility in Good Thunder.

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  • Healthy Snacks
  • January 23rd, 2015
  • The Superbowl is drawing near, so Emily brought some great appetizer recipes. Whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or the Seahawks, or you just watch for the commercials and camaraderie,  good food is a must!

    Bean Salsa

    A delightful twist on your traditional salsa, serve it with chips, crackers, a baguette, or just go ahead and eat it all by itself (yes, it is that good).

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    Chinese Chicken Wonton Crunchies

    Baked, not fried. With the right amount of crunch and easy to prepare.

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    No Bake Energy Bites

    Follow the recipe, or change to suite your taste…

    • Chocolate: This recipe calls for dark chocolate chips but fee free to substitute in any other kinds of chips (butterscotch, milk chocolate, white chocolate, etc.).  For vegans, try cacao nibs.
    • Nut butter: With so many peanut allergies floating around, sometimes it’s best to try a different nut butter. Cashew, almond, or sunflower butters would make great alternatives.
    • Sweetener:  Honey works really well in this recipe, but agave or maple syrup would do the trick, too.

    Cinnamon Honey Fried Bananas

    These are great on their own or with ice cream or chocolate.

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  • Class Recipes
  • January 16th, 2015
  • Erica Idso-Wesiz taught a fabulous class at the Co-op that was all about warm comfort food for winter time. To accommodate some class participant requests, Erica made each of her recipes both gluten and dairy free. If you’re interested in taking a class with us, here is the full list. Please remember to register with Community Education by calling 934-3048. If you would like to teach a class, contact Becca at [email protected] or 934-4880.

    Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

    (originally from http://www.onegreenplanet.org)

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    Mac N’ Squash

    (adapted from http://www.onegreenplanet.org)

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    VaVa Voom Carrot Cake

    (Recipe from “Gimme Some Oven” http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/); Cake recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

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  • Citrus!
  • January 9th, 2015
  •  It’s that time of year again…citrus time. The depths of winter have us craving vitamin C and sunshine, thank goodness citrus it’s season!

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    Erik Larson, our Produce Manager, wrote this for our Member-Owner newsletter in March 2013.

    I’ve been the produce manager here at the St. Peter Food Co-op for just over seven years now. I feel like we’ve accomplished quite a lot in that amount of time. We’ve moved the store. We’ve cultivated sustainable relationships with several local farmers. We’ve also built a very strong “Direct From the Grower” program for delicious peaches and blueberries in the summer months.

    But, since the first days I was the produce manager, our general manager, Margo and I have dreamed of having some sort of “Direct From the Grower” citrus program for the winter. We all know people who have retired parents and grandparents in Florida and Texas who send wonderful citrus fruits to brighten our cold, dark days in Minnesota. Naturally, my first idea was to have Margo and the co-op buy me a refrigerated truck. I could take 3 or 4 paid weeks every winter, drive to the border in Texas, source some good fruit, and drive back with it. It’s probably not too surprising that every time I brought this brilliant plan up it never went too far with Margo. I also checked with some Twin Cities wholesalers that we do business with. They just wanted to cut me deals on California fruit. California citrus can be very good, but I was looking for “Grandma Fruit.” The good stuff you can only get if your grandma lives in Texas.

    Last year in March, a fellow Saint Peter High School graduate, Colin Gilbertson called me. He said he’d moved to Austin, Texas a couple years ago and that he and his fiancé had fallen in love with the food scene in Austin, and had been volunteering at a large organic CSA farm in the area, Johnson’s Backyard Garden (http://www.jbgorganic.com/). Colin owns a commercial roofing company, and said that he’d recently brought some Texas produce with him to sell to a natural foods store in Cheyenne, Wyoming while doing roof work there. He asked if we’d be interested in doing something similar at the St. Peter Food Co-op. I saw immediate potential for the citrus program I’d been dreaming of for years (although I was admittedly disappointed to have to permanently give up my dream of the co-op buying me a refrigerated truck and the month long vacation work trip to Texas every winter). Eventually Colin loaded the bed of his pickup with some organic vegetables from Johnson’s Backyard Garden and some organic oranges and grapefruit from JBG’s partner G&S groves, threw on his cowboy hat and Converse All Stars (Austin dress code), and high tailed it pedal-to-the-metal to the St. Peter Food Co-op. It was all wonderful.

    We spent the next few months discussing how to make a citrus deal a reality for this winter. In September I went to visit Colin in Austin. We had a meeting with David from G&S Groves to discuss the details and logistics of getting his citrus to our store. It went great. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful seasonal fruit. We will sell organic oranges and organic grapefruit by the pound and in 18 lb. bags. You can reserve 18 lb. bags of oranges or grapefruit by signing up at our customer service counter, or by emailing your name, phone number, and the number of bags you’d like to [email protected] We expect them to arrive soon!

  • Just How Did Smoothies Take Over the World?
  • January 2nd, 2015
  • Authored by Robin Asbell for Stronger Together. Reprinted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at www.strongertogether.coop.

    When I was growing up, the blender was for making milkshakes. My mom might have had some other uses for it, but to me, it was the magical machine that made creamy, frosty milkshakes. Maybe that’s why Mom didn’t use it much. Just putting it on the counter created a hopeful crowd of kids, milling around like cats who hear a can opener.

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    That pleasurable association may be why I fell so completely for smoothies. I wasn’t an early adopter. Unlike my mom, I got a blender and used it for pureed soups, salad dressings and tofu cheesecake recipes. There were some memorable experiments with piña coladas and margaritas in there, too.

    Then, suddenly, smoothies were everywhere. This hippie drink, a new version of the kinds of fruity drinks made in tropical countries for years, was christened “smoothie” in the 1960′s. The smoothie grew to include healthy add-ins, boosting it from a snack, to a meal, and began to inch into the healthy mainstream. Your co-op might well have helped bring the smoothie to your town. Sometime in the early 2000′s, entire books were dedicated to the smoothie. Coffee shops and healthy restaurants started offering them. Beautiful people made them on TV.

    It was a green smoothie that convinced me. Spinach, mixed with antioxidant-rich berries and a frozen banana, tasted just like a delicious milkshake! Overnight, a smoothie for breakfast became a part of my routine.

    Invent Your Own SmoothieIf  you are new to making smoothies, there are a few practical things to know. One is about building your smoothie in the blender. I have a high-powered blender, so I can buzz through most anything. But even in a standard blender, you can easily make smoothies with frozen fruit and whatever your heart desires, as long as you load them properly.

    So, always put the hard chunks, like frozen fruit, in first, and any leafy greens in with them. Add any powdery ingredients next, and then pour the wet ingredients in last, making sure that they make it down the sides, too. The order is important, just to keep you from having to scrape down and re-blend more than necessary. If you put in powder first, it clumps under the blade. If you put spinach on top, it floats around the top and doesn’t get pureed until you push it down with a spatula.

    Tip: freeze very ripe bananas for your smoothies. Peel them, break them into chunks and store them in a freezer bag or container.

    2011.09_smoothieWith blender loading mastered, it’s time for the fun to begin. Want a pure fruit drink to make you feel like you are on the beach? Puree mangos and papayas, and add some coconut milk or coconut water. Looking for a post-workout muscle builder? Pick a smoothie with protein in it, like the tofu (Mixed Berry and Oat Smoothie with Granola) or nut butter (Creamy Cocoa Banana Smoothie) enhanced recipes.

    View these smoothie recipes (Sensational Smoothies) as starting points. Each one is completely delicious and simple. Depending on your goals and the time of day, you might want to play with some add-ins (see the list of suggestion, below). Just remember, start small. The Dark Cherry Smoothie is a creamy and delicious treat, and has enough flavor to carry a couple of tablespoons of chia or hemp, or a couple of cups of spinach. If you start throwing in too many add-ins, you can end up with something that might be amazingly healthy, but with a flavor that leaves something to be desired.

    As you add dry ingredients, you will need more liquids. So, if you put in a scoop of protein powder or a few tablespoons of oats, add a splash of your milk of choice, juice, or even a few ice cubes.

    So get that blender out on the counter, and start enjoying the meal that eats like a shake.

    Explore Add-Ins

    Chia
    - Chia is an ancient “superfood” eaten by Aztec warriors. Adding Chia adds healthy Omega 3 fats, protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
    - 1 ounce: 137 calories, 11 g fiber, 4 g protein, 18% calcium

    Whole flax seeds
    - Flax seeds are packed with Omega 3 fats, cholesterol lowering fiber as well as plant estrogens.
    - 1 tablespoon: 55 calories, 4 g fat, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein, 3% calcium, 3% iron, 2338 mg Omega 3, 606 mg Omega 6

    Hemp
    - Hemp seeds are very concentrated sources of protein, with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats, fiber and antioxidants.
    - 3 tablespoons: 170 calories, 14 g fat, 1 g fiber, 11 g protein, 15% iron, 50% magnesium, 50% phosphorus, 25% Zinc 7.5 g Omega 6 LA, 3 g Omega 3 ALA

    Sprirulina
    - Spirulina is a microscopic algae, very concentrated with protein, chlorophyll, iron, B vitamins and antioxidants.
    - 1 tablespoon: 20 calories, 4 g protein, 1% vitamin A, 1% calcium, 1% vitamin C, 11% iron

    Nutritional yeast
    - Nutritional yeast is a vegan form of B12, and very high in protein. It also adds a “dairy-like” flavor to foods.
    - 2 tablespoons: 45 calories, 5 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 8 g protein, 4 % iron, 130% B12, 480% B6, 280% niacin, 570% riboflavin, , 640% thiamin

    Protein powders
    - About 20-30 g protein per serving, depending on the type.

    Matcha powder
    - Matcha is a potent form of green tea, which contains caffeine and antioxidants in abundance.

    Peanut butter
    - Nut butters add protein, healthy fats and fiber, and have been found to promote satiety, keeping you full longer after meals. Try other nut butters, too.
    - 2 tablespoons: 188 calories, 16 g fat, 7 g fiber, 8 g protein, 1% calcium, 3% iron

    Oats
    - Oats are a whole grain fiber containing iron, fiber, magnesium and B vitamins.
    - 1/4 cup: 77 calories, 1 g fat, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein, 1% calcium, 5% iron

    Spinach
    - Spinach ranks high in nutritional value in the vegetable world and is high antioxidants.
    - 2 cups: 14 calories, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, 112% vitamin A, 28% vitamin C, 6% calcium, 10% iron