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The Latest News from Wheatsville

NEW! FRESH SEAL Packaging

BIG NEWS! Our Meat Department is now using Fresh Seal packaging (also known as vacuum-pack) at both stores. This new packaging improves the shelf life of our fresh-cut meat and prevents food waste by slowing down the rate of oxidation.
 
Why we like it:

  • keeps meat fresher longer
  • inhibits the growth of pathogens
  • BPA-free
  • leak-proof packaging
  • prevents food waste
  • marinates ready-to-cook better
  • perfectly packaged for freezing

It also allows us to:

  • offer the same great products
  • keep the same great brands
  • cut our meat fresh in-house
  • offer more variety

 
As part of our Guadalupe store refresh, we will be moving our meat production to the S.Lamar store and removing our full-service meat and seafood cases (Guadalupe ONLY). While we know that this move disappoints some shoppers, we hope that the increase in variety and superior packaging provides the fresh items you need to make great meals.


If you have a special order or request, we are more than happy to accommodate with 24-48 hours notice. Please make requests at the Guadalupe Deli Counter or call our S.Lamar meat department and request delivery to Guadalupe: 512-814-2888.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Better Bites Bakery

Leah Lopez, Founder and CEO Better Bites Bakery, answered a few questions about her very special baked treats.

1. What led you to start your business?


I founded Better Bites Bakery with a simple mission in mind - I wanted my son to be able to enjoy delicious treats and not feel left out due to his severe food allergies. I believe that food is a BLESSING, but there was nothing on the market that was safe for my son - and delicious enough to be enjoyed by the entire family. Given this discovery, we embraced our new journey and the creative cooking began! It wasn't long until I realized that people were loving what was coming out of my kitchen and I was thrilled to share the passion that I had for baking with others.

2. What kind of ingredients do you use?


We strive to be very intentional with our ingredients. Our bakery sources only the finest gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, Kosher Pareve certified, real food ingredients. We never use artificial colours or preservatives. We believe this is not only better for our bodies, but our taste buds, as well.

3. What allergens do your products NOT contain?


Our products are free of the top 7 allergens. Those allergens are dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, and peanuts. We also do not have tree nuts in our facility or products, with the exception of coconut in our Mostess Cupcakes. We are confident that our stringent sanitation procedures will avoid cross contamination for those who avoid coconut.

4. What are some of your favorite things about Wheatsville?


The fact that the Popcorn Tofu is now gluten-free is AWESOME! Also, my employees are definitely hooked on the vegan donuts. I love that we can be inclusive with our breakroom snack choices and not leave anyone out.

5. Do you have a favorite cool tip?

I love Cookie DO Bites au naturel, but I have a weakness for milkshakes. I love to throw in vanilla ice cream, milk, ice, and a few DO Bites into a blender for a chocolate chip cookie dough milkshake. Try it – you’ll love it!

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Sustainable Seafood

Sustainability can be a tricky word. It has ideals and emotions attached to it and it can be challenging to define. We know that what ever we deem sustainable, it should have a conscientious impact on the environment, the life cycle and quality of life of the organism in question. Seafood has been a staple protein in cultures the world over for thousands of years. Technology and mastery of fishing technique have brought us into dangerous territory and it's necessary to make sure that our fishing practices are maintaining themselves for generations to come.

Eco systems and environments have different needs. Fresh water fish are very different than salt water fish and require different standards and practices to maintain their sustainability. Almost all fresh water fish must be farmed to be sustainable. There are plenty of farms, whether they be recirculating tanks or pens in a river that have standards that pass the peer reviewed science of the Monterey bay Aquariums Seafood Watch program.

The Seafood Watch program is Wheatsville's main standard for choosing our seafood selection. We also use the Marine Stewardship Council and EU standards such as the RSPCA. 

What does this mean to our seafood shoppers? It means we do the best we can to make sure that the seafood you buy from Wheatsville is clean, safe and socially responsible. Enjoy our seafood selection and feel confident that you are eating responsibly.

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King Cake

King Cake is associated with the Epiphany season and more specifically with the pre- Lenten activities of Mardi Gras. Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season and honors the Three Kings who brought gifts to the Christ child 12 days after Christmas. French colonists are credited with bringing the Mardi Gras tradition to Louisiana in the 1600s and the Gateau de Rois (or King Cake) in the mid 1800s.


January 6 marks the beginning of the King Cake season which ends on Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, this year on February 28. While there are many different versions of the King Cake in many countries, the American version is, at its simplest, sweet yeast bread sometimes twisted or rolled, and traditionally topped with white icing sprinkled with three colored sugars. Concealed in the cake is a small plastic or porcelain baby (representing the baby Jesus). The colors purple, green and gold symbolize the Three Kings and represent justice, faith and power. The dessert’s ability to engage friends and family in the “search for the baby,” the small figurine located inside the cake, is a fun and delicious way for folks to celebrate.


Wheatsville Bakehouse King Cake is a large ring of cinnamon- scented yeast dough, rich with butter and egg, glazed with white icing and sprinkled with purple, green and gold sugar. For safety reasons, our baby will be in plain sight (not hidden inside the cake) and we will decorate the cake with colored beads for a final festive note. You may hide the baby in the cake before serving, if you like, but be sure to warn your guests to be on the lookout for the prize! Tradition says that whoever gets the baby is King or Queen for the day and provides next year’s King Cake or hosts the party.

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Hey Moms & Dads! Fun for your Kids—Co+op Explorers!

Co+op Explorer Kids get a FREE PIECE of ORGANIC FRUIT every time they visit!  To become a card-carrying Co+op Explorer, kids 12 and under simply need to bring you (their grown-up person) to the Hospitality Desk and ask to join the club. That’s it!

When you sign up - each kiddo will be issued their very own super-official Co+op Explorers membership card, sticker, temporary tattoo, and HIGH FIVE! Pretty cool!

They’ll also be eligible to WIN a PRIZE each month through our in-store coloring challenge AND we’ll send a birthday e-mail (actually it goes to you, their grown up, but if you could pass it along we’d appreciate it) letting them know they’ve got a BIRTHDAY SURPRISE from all of us here at the co-op!

Since we launched our Co+op Explorer’s program last year, we’ve had over 300 kids SIGN UP! WOOHOO!

Glad to see so many kids putting those tiny shopping carts to good use! 

Once kids are signed up, here's how it works:

        1. Kids and parents stop by our fruit basket near the tiny carts.

        2. Choose a piece of organic fruit from the basket.

        3. Take a sticker & wear it to show off their Co+op Explorer pride!

        4. Peels can be thrown away in any of our compost bins.


That's all there is to it! If you have any questions, please ask at the Hospitality Desk.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: The Natural Citizen

The Natural Citizen founders, Angela and Nadia, share the scoop on their nutritious smoothie add-ins.

1. What led you to start your business?


ANGELA: We believe in honest-to-goodness wellness, and that's why we set out to create a transparent, real-food nutrition company that is a force for good. I have been a plant protein smoothie drinker for several years, so when I got pregnant, I started to question the quality of the ingredients that I was adding to my smoothie. I called up Nadia, who is a regulatory lawyer and quality expert, and together we went through everything on the shelf. Nothing was exactly what we were looking for, which were just super clean, incredibly simple and high-quality smoothie add-ins that deliver a functional benefit.

NADIA: That's when we went to work formulating our own blends. From our experience in the natural food industry, we knew that the fewer ingredients we used, the more attention we could give to the quality and sourcing of our ingredients. Angela and I spent tons of time doing research, working with different ingredients and formulating blends in our kitchens. We wanted a product line that we could use personally, but also feel confident recommending to our friends and family. After hundreds of hours developing these products to meet our extremely high quality standards, I am proud to say that I use them daily and my friends and family have become huge fans of the line as well.


2. What kind of ingredients do you use?


NADIA: We use only real food ingredients, and each ingredient that we selected serves a unique purpose in its formulation. For example, our Organic Digest, which supports digestion and regularity, offers 5 grams of fiber, which is a balanced blend of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Plus, you get omega fatty acids from the chia seeds, prebiotics from the Jerusalem Artichoke to help nourish your naturally-occurring probiotics, and the soothing effects of Aloe vera. You get all of this in only four ingredients that work together to nourish the digestive tract.

Additionally, we selected very nutrient-rich plants that you won't find in the produce section, some might call these "superfoods." Our Organic Greens is the perfect example. This blend combines the best of the land and sea with moringa leaf, spirulina, alfalfa and barley. All four of these super green ingredients brings a unique nutritional profile to the formulation, and when combined, you get a nutrient-rich boost. Our Organic Greens has 30% of your daily value of iron plus 120% of your daily value of Vitamin B12 - and it's all from plants!

ANGELA: I think it's also important to point out that we know where our ingredients comes from. This is extremely important to us, and that's why as often as possible we source directly from the farm. We pay incredibly close attention to our supply chain and conduct rigorous quality testing before and after production, making sure that all of our ingredients surpass our quality standards.


3. What is different about your product as opposed to other smoothie ad-ins on the market?


ANGELA: First, we offer something very unique. The other add-ins on the market are either single "superfood" ingredients, or they are blends with a laundry list of ingredients. Unfortunately the ingredients on that laundry list tend to be there for flavor or marketing purposes and do very little for your health. We formulated our add-ins by selecting only four ingredients per blend, and each ingredient serves a very specific purpose. All four ingredients work together to deliver the functional benefit. We really believe that less is more, and with our blends you get fewer, but better ingredients and none of the unneccessary "extras."

NADIA: Additionally, our quality is the best of the best. By limiting the number of ingredients to only four, we are able to test the ingredients multiple times throughout the supply chain. Plus, all of our blends are certified organic, certified gluten free, certified vegan, and manufactured in an allergen-free facility in the USA. Very few of the other add-ins on the market can make all of those claims about quality.


4. What are some of your favorite things about Wheatsville?


NADIA: As a member of the co-op, I love the sense of community and how it supports local businesses. I also love the smoothie bar where you can find our blends as add-ins! Wheatsville has some of the best smoothies in town.

ANGELA: I love that I can find my favorite local brands all in one place! Additionally, working with Wheatsville has been amazing. The company is incredibly supportive of our business and we truly feel like it's a partnership.


5. Do you have a favorite/cool tips or recipes?


ANGELA: A lot of our fans use our blends for smoothies, but since they are unflavored and unsweetened they are so versatile. You can use them in oatmeal, overnight oats, stir them into yogurt, add to pancake batter - the possibilities are endless.


Now, as the temperature has dropped in Austin, a lot of people might not find a cold smoothie appealing, so I suggest making a warm smoothie!
You simply heat your almond milk on the stove or in the microwave and add to your blender. Warm liquids will create steam, so start your blender on low and vent often. Here's an easy recipe that is absolutely delicious:

Apple Pie Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 raw apple, cored
1 serving The Natural Citizen Organic Digest
1 serving The Natural Citizen Organic Protein
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Sweeten to taste with honey (optional)

Combine the milk and the oats in the blender and let them soak for a couple minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend.

NADIA: When we do events, we make a simple PBJ&Greens smoothie that people love, they often ask us for the recipe. This is such an easy way to start making green smoothies if you don't already make them at home, and you can mix and match and use any of our blends in it!

PBJ&Greens

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen berries
1 heaping tbsp. peanut butter or nut butter
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 serving The Natural Citizen Organic Protein
1 serving The Natural Citizen Organic Greens (or 2 handfuls of spinach)

Add all ingredients to blender, and blend to desired consistency. Enjoy!

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Black-Eyed Beans & Greens: A New Year’s Tradition

It is a long-standing Southern custom to eat black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day to bring fortune in the coming year. The Wheatsville deli will have all kinds of delicious dishes to help you get your good luck on for 2017.

Though the origin stories vary somewhat, it is generally agreed that the ritual of eating black-eyed peas and greens started during the Civil War, when Union soldiers pillaged the food supplies of their Confederate opponents, leaving behind only the peas and greens as food for livestock.

However, Southerners were able to survive the lean years of the war by eating these nutrient-dense foods themselves. Some claim that the black-eyed peas symbolize coins and the greens folding money, so eating them on the first day of the year means that the coming year will be a financially good one. Many Southern recipes call for cooking these items with pork, another symbol of prosperity.

We’ll have an array of dishes featuring these traditional ingredients, though most of ours are vegan. Consider offering a ham or pork roast as an entrée for your omnivorous friends and family—our meat department has a wonderful selection!

My personal favorite New Year’s dish is our Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Soup—tender peas and a whole array of fresh vegetables and herbs simmered in a tasty tomato-based broth. A big steaming bowl of this soup goes wonderfully with our own Bakehouse-made cornbread (in spicy Southwestern or vegan varieties), yet another traditional New Year’s dish in the South, and is a virtuous meal to kick off the year right.

We’ll also have our Braised Greens and Black-Eyed Peas, organic lacinato kale combined with garlic-infused black-eyed peas, caramelized onions, and vegan Bac’un Bits to add that classic smoky flavor. Our super-popular Texas Caviar is a cold black-eyed pea salad with crisp colorful peppers and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Both of these are outstanding side dishes for whatever entrée you are planning for your New Year’s gathering.
If you have your own traditional black-eyed pea recipe to make, cut down on your kitchen time with our Plain Jane Black-Eyed Peas. These are simply cooked and recipe-ready, so you can cut down your prep time by hours and enjoy ringing in the New Year with friends and family instead!

Whatever your choice, the Wheatsville Deli wishes you a happy and healthy 2017!

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Pear Guide

Green D’Anjou

Flavor: Sweetly mellow
Texture: smooth and juicy
Uses: eating out of hand, baking, poaching, and roasting




Red D’anjou

Flavor: Sweeter than a green D’anjou, mellow flavor
Texture: Smooth and juicy
Uses: Eating out of hand, baking, poaching, and roasting




Bartlett

Flavor: Sweet and mild with subtle citrus notes
Texture: When ripe (bright yellow color), smooth and extremely juicy
Uses: Ripe – Eating out of hand
Slightly green: pureeing, baking, or canning




Red Bartlett

Flavor: Really flavorful and sweet when ripe
Texture: Smooth and juicy
Uses: Ripe: Eating out of hand,
Slightly green: pureeing, baking, or canning




Bosc

Flavor: Bold, with an earthy sweetness
Texture: Frm and crisp
Uses: Best for poaching and baking; also good eating out of hand








Concorde

Flavor: Sweet with a hint of vanilla
Texture: Firm but not crisp texture
Uses: Baking, poaching, salads (doesn’t brown as quickly), Eating out of hand





Comice

Flavor: Mild and earthy
Texture: Smooth and luscious
Uses: Eating out of hand, poaching, pairing with cheese





Starkrimson

Flavor: Mild and sweet, with a subtle floral aroma
Texture: Smooth and juicy
Uses: Eating out of hand, baked




Tosca

Flavor: Sweet and juicy
Texture: Smooth and crisp
Uses: Eating out of hand, salads, poaching, baked

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