What’s Dipping? (In the Ice Cream Well)

icecreammenuFew things in life are as wonderful as the Co-op’s handmade organic ice cream. Especially the Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl flavor. We’ve been offering so many other fantastic flavors of ice cream this year that our ice cream maker Matt hasn’t yet made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl, until this week. Fortunately for all of us, he just made up a fresh batch and it’s ready to be served up!

Our Deli features some of the tastiest ice cream ever, made fresh onsite using local and organic ingredients. Our base of organic milk, cream and eggs are sourced from the Organic Valley Dairy Cooperative, a regional network of organic dairy farmers. Each batch of Co-op ice cream is carefully crafted to offer excellent and natural options. In addition to our classic Vanilla and Chocolate flavors, look for Lemon Curd Swirl, Coffee Salted Caramel, Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies n’ Cream, Chai Scream and Raspberry Sorbet. Many of our flavors are made without gluten.

Don’t forget the Co-op’s Own Handmade Organic Ice Cream is available by the scoop and by the pint, we now offer an expanded selection in our freezer aisle or a friendly Deli staffer can scoop you a custom pint. Or try a sundae or milk shake made with your favorite flavor. Enjoy some now and take home some for later!

The Cheese Whisperer: Swiss it Up!

jarlsbergFans of Swiss cheese, unite! This month at the Co-op’s Cheese Island, we’ve got some great deals on these delicious holey cheeses from Switzerland and Norway.

What makes a cheese characteristically “Swiss”? Sweet, slightly bitter flavor and a smooth textured paste with holes. The large holes in Swiss cheese are known as “eyes” and are produced in the late stage of fermentation when the cheese culture P. freudenreichii consumes lactic acid and releases carbon dioxide bubbles.

Visit our Cheese section and you’ll discover value pricing on authentic Jarlsberg cheese, a Norwegian version of the semi soft classic, made with pasteurized cow’s milk. Also look for Emmentaler, a classic imported raw milk Swiss cheese with a distinctively tangy, but not sharp, flavor and smooth texture. These high quality cheeses are sure to lend a hand in the kitchen or cheese board.

Both types of cheese are ideal to melt over vegetables or slice for sandwiches. They are also incredibly tasty when enjoyed outdoors during springtime: take a wedge along on a picnic with some fresh fruit, roasted nuts and your favorite wine or ale!


Skagit Brew Corner: Snapshot Spring Sessions

snapshotThe signs of Springtime are here! Bright green leaves and a certain rich, earthy scent permeates the air. As our days lengthen and weather warms, it’s a wondrous time of year to enjoy lighter spring session ales with satisfying and surprising flavors.

What makes a “session” beer, you may ask? Its origins may date back to the World War I, when the British government imposed two allowable drinking periods (11am-3pm and 7pm-11pm) on shell production workers. A session beer typically has 5% or less alcohol by volume, and may be consumed socially without the drinker experiencing impairment.

As the afternoons grow longer, you may find yourself tempted to indulge in a session with New Belgium’s spring seasonal Snapshot ale.

Snapshot Wheat Ale from New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO. 5% ABV / 13 IBU — a beer with an Instamatic camera on the package — how can you refuse? This unfiltered wheat beer is full of refreshing flavors and a dash of crispy spice at its finish. Aromas of citrus hops stimulate the senses, and are accompanied by the sweet and spicy flavors of coriander and grains of paradise.

You may ask (I did): what exactly are grains of paradise? A member of the ginger family, Aframomum melegueta – a.k.a. grains of paradise or alligator pepper – are the amber colored seeds of an herbaceous perennial plant native to the swampy habitats along the West African coast. These seeds impart bright essential oils, similar to those found in cardamom; they are used to treat digestive problems in West African folk medicine.

Snapshot pours a hazy, lemon-yellow with bright white lacing. New Belgium also adds lactobacillus (a strain of probiotic bacteria) to the brewing process for a pleasant, pucker-up tartness. This session style wheat beer is a perfect match with the bright flavors of spring, including seasonal fresh egg pasta with blanched nettles and your favorite cheese.

Posted by Claire

New in the Deli: Country Ham Relish

Our super staff never fail to impress with new offerings in the Co-op’s Deli. Now available: Country Ham Relish, a delightfully creamy, smoky, and sweet creation that channels the spirit of what many Southern folks may know as a Chipped Ham Salad. It’s tasty and convenient, available in the Deli’s to go case.

This flavorful combination makes a great sandwich spread or dip for tortilla chips, sliced vegetables or crackers. Ingredients include: natural, hormone, and antibiotic-free Beeler’s smoked ham; Bubbie’s Kosher dill relish; golden raisins; and a smidge of sour cream and cream cheese.

The (Organic) Produce Report

Skagit Valley Food Co-op_Rhubarb_Asparagus_4.7.14 Skagit Valley Food Co-op_Raab_4.7.14 Skagit Valley Food Co-op_Mangoes Skagit Valley Food Co-op_Broccolette
Outrageous Deals!
Cucumbers 69¢ lb
Broccolette $1.69 each bunch

Wild Weekly Specials:
Tommy Atkins mangoes $1.99 lb
Ataulfo mangoes $1.49 each
New crop Argentina D’anjou pears $2.49 lb
Minneola tangelos $1.79 lb
Honeydew melon $1.49 lb
English cucumber $2.19 each
Red and green leaf lettuce $1.99 each
Romaine lettuce $1.99 each
Bunched beets $2.29 each
Cauliflower $2.19 lb

What’s New & Interesting:
Mexican peaches $4.69 lb (arriving on Tuesday!)
And… Cases of juice oranges and grapefruits! 38lb cases — we will keep a few cases on hand at a time, $19.99 each! Juice lemons are also available, but we won’t have them in the store. If you would like to order one, just let us know–38lb case for $25.99.

Local! It’s rhubarb time! And it’s all local from Living Rain Farm in west Mount Vernon. Kale raab is coming in from Ralph’s Greenhouse. Well Fed Farms is supplying us with 1/2lb bags of nettles (see below for more information). Cauliflower from Hedlin Farms will be arriving soon. (And that’s just the beginning…)

‘Tis the Season for Fresh Juices!
Are you a juicing fanatic, new to liquid cleanses, or just love a tall glass of fresh juice? We have what you need! With the fantastic deals on cucumbers, celery, and cases of juicing oranges, grapefruit, and lemons, now is is great time to stock up for a proper juice cleanse!

Skagit Valley Food Co-op_Nettles_WellFed_4.7.14Nettles!
We’ve been getting nettles from Well Fed Farm in Bow for the last couple of weeks. There are so many delicious and exciting things to do with nettles, I don’t have room enough in this post to sing their praises. Here’s what they do (really) well: a natural stimulant, nettles are best consumed in the morning and early afternoon — unless, of course, you’re looking for a late-night pick-me-up. They are great for the adrenal glands (those endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys that release “happy” hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, in response to stress). Healthy adrenals = more efficient responses to stress! Worried about stinging yourself while preparing a nettle treat? Never fear! Nettles actually produce their own antidote. So, if you find yourself with a bit of a nettle sting, either mash up (perhaps with gloves, if you wish) a nettle leaf, or just pop a leaf or two in your mouth, chew well, and tah-dah!,  its antidote has entered your system and the itch will go away and you can get back to business. Make nettle vinegar (careful there, it’s fiery!), nettle pesto (made the same way as “normal” pesto, just replace basil with nettles), or experiment with other uses. Enjoy this stimulating, fiery nettle season!