As a shopper entering the produce aisle, you are hit with a staggering variety of colors, shapes, and sizes; it really is a beautiful thing. We are very fortunate, as variety is such a wonderful privilege to have. The majority of folks have a good idea of what they like and what they are looking for when they shop. In the spirit of fun and adventure, we have developed an apple guide to help usher you through some of the more common and popular varieties we carry at Wheatsville. You can match your preferences and needs with a different variety than your regular “go to” apple. Here they are in deliberately unbiased alphabetical order:
Color varies from orange to red over a yellow background. Tart/sweet flavor, with a hard/crisp texture. Great for snacking and baking.
This variety was introduced to the U.S. from Japan in the 1980s; currently, the U.S. produces more of this extremely popular apple. Fuji’s have a very sweet flavor with a hard/crisp texture. Excellent for snacking, baking, and salads.
Pinkish-orange stripes over a yellow background. Gala’s are sweet, with a delicate crisp texture. These have been one of the most popular apples at Wheatsville, and are primarily used for snacking and salads.
Golden color with a pinky blush. The flavor is sweet with subtle spicy notes and the texture is soft. They are great for baking or in salads.
Considered an all-purpose apple. Mellow sweet flavor with a delicate crispness. Great for snacking and baking. Really good for salads, as their flesh stays white longer than other apples.
Green skin, with a really tart flavor. They have a hard/crisp texture. Great for salads and snacking. The apple for most pie bakers.
A relatively new and wildly popular apple; people frequently ask for these by name at the beginning of apple season. Excellent crisp texture with a juicy and sweet flavor. These are not as commonly cultivated as other apples (supply is lower but the demand is really high), which translates into a higher price.
These classic apples are deep red with a burst of golden/green around the stem and dappled gold "sparks". They are sweet/tart, crisp and juicy. Great for juicing and for snacking.
Vibrantly colored pink skin. Firm and crisp flesh, with a fantastic tangy/tart flavor. These are my favorite apple for snacking. They also hold up really well when baked.
Of course, throughout the season we have other apple varieties (ambrosia, Jonagold, etc.) available, but this should be a good start at broadening your apple horizons. As always, please ask your friendly produce clerk for recommendations and samples.
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes; 20 minutes active. Servings: 12
This nutty apple cake is perfect topped with a maple syrup glaze, too.
Pecan Filling Ingredients
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp cinnamon
Cake Batter Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and diced tart apples
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- 1. To make the pecan filling, mix together the pecans, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- For the cake batter, whisk together the flours, sugars, salt, baking soda and spices in large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Fold in the diced apples.
- 2. Grease the Bundt pan, spoon half the batter into the bottom of the pan, sprinkle evenly with the pecan filling and top with the remaining batter. Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check for doneness and continue baking if needed. Let the cake cool in the pan before turning it out
- Serving Suggestion
Perfect for a casual gathering, this cake is extra-special when glazed. Just mix together 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon each of maple syrup and apple juice (or milk) and drizzle it over the cooled cake. Top with chopped pecans if desired.
Total Time: 30 minutes. Servings: 6
A great recipe for beet fans and beet hesitaters alike.
1 pound beets, peeled
1 apple (about 1/2 pound)
1/4 pound carrots, peeled
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 Tbs apple cider
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Using the shredding blade of a food processor or a grater, shred the beets, apple, and carrots. Mix well with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate to let the flavors blend.
2. Try using other varieties of beets, like golden or chiogga beets,for an even more colorful salad.
Pair this sweet vegetable slaw with salty or spicy dishes flavored with miso or tamari, or serve as a side to hot-and-sour soup or pork.
We’ve been carrying Bola Pizza here at Wheatsville since July 2012. Jamie Bowers, co-owner of Bola Pizza with her partner Christian Bowers, talked to us about their business.
1. What inspired you to make pizza and how long did it take for your business to take off?
We started having pizza parties at our house when our friends started getting married and having kids. It was a good way to get people together. It was even more fun when Christian started inviting some food bloggers he knew. We were invited to do the Green Corn Project Fall Festival that year (2010) and that was our real start. We were invited to the Susutainable Food Center’s Downtown farmers market and started catering. Frozen pizzas were launched by persistent customer demand—thank you for the persistence!!! We weren’t sure about doing a frozen pizza at first because they’re not known to be very good. The frozen pizzas are still in the process of taking off. We are a super small company, but growing every year. This is probably the first year frozen pizzas are self sustaining.
2. What are some of your favorite things at Wheatsville?
We love the range of local products, especially eggs, cheese, fresh produce. I love to look through the personal and household sections. Wheatsville always has so many unique and beautiful things. I’m also addicted to the southern fried tofu!
3. Do you have anything new in the works that you would like to share with our patrons?
We are working on developing two new pizza flavors. We have also had requests for a frozen or refrigerated bread product that we are testing.
4. What is behind the name Bola and is there a story?
I got my first dog, Bola, from the Williamson county shelter when I was 19. I like to say we grew up together. I started making pizzas around the same time. Later, when I was in school at UT, I hosted pizza parties. My friends spoiled him feeding him the crusts (aka pizza bones). Years passed, then Christian and I decided to relaunch the pizza parties at our house. We used his special dough recipe and Bola was just as spoiled by our guests. Bola loved his pizza crusts and all the attention he would get at parties. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to the founding of our pizza business, so we named it after him.
5. Is there is anything else you’’d like to share with our owners?
Christian came up with our three day cold fermented dough recipe because it tastes so good. I learned later from a nutritionist that it’s also very good for you. As the structure of the dough is developing, it is are also breaking down the gluten in the flour. So it’s much lower in gluten than a standard bread or pizza crust. The process also starts to break down the flour itself which allows your body to process the protein in it. Not being able to digest the wheat protein is what causes gluten intolerance. Flour quality is a big issue as well. We use King Arthur which has no bleach, no bromate and is non-GMO. King Arthur farmers are not allowed to spray Round Up on their crops as is standard practice with most of the wheat industry. We are committed to using the highest quality ingredients. Our other suppliers are: Andrew & Everett, Bel Gioso, Applegate, Niman Ranch, Kitchen Pride and organic crushed tomatoes from California.
As of this week , Familias Unidas por La Justica has officially agreed to an election and negotiation process for a collective bargaining agreement with Sakuma Bros Berry Farm and have called for an end of the boycott, and all boycott activities.
As of today we have officially agreed to an election and negotiation process for a collective bargaining agreement with Sakuma Bros Berry Farm. Thanks to your tireless efforts we are entering into this next phase of our union’s development with hope and determination. At this time we are calling for an end of the boycott, and all boycott activities. Out of respect for the process and our memorandum of understanding with the company please do not contact past, present or potential customers, purchasers, sellers or users of products coming from Sakuma Bros Berry Farm to convey criticism of any and all aspects of Sakuma’s business and operations.
Please stay tuned at the Familias Unidas por La Justica Facebook page for updates.
1. How long have you been producing pickled fare and what made you decide to do so?
Hat Creek Provisions began in 2013 with three friends (Tim, Adam and Drew) dreaming of a better way to pickle. Drew, the principal of Hat Creek Burger Company, and Tim & Adam from Strange Land Brewery (a craft brewery in Austin) merged a commitment to quality ingredients, the artisanal approach of craft beer brewing, and age-old pickling techniques to produce a wide array of local, organic, and seasonal fermented veggies. We've recently added Martha Pincoffs of Hot Dang grain burgers to the team in order to help keep us all in line!
2. How long have you been a vendor for Wheatsville food co-op?
Wheatsville was actually our first major retail account! We made our first deliveries to both the SoLa and Guad stores in Spring 2014.
3. What are some of your favorite departments at the co-op and why?
Beer and refrigerated pantry, naturally, and we love to check out bulk spices for new product inspiration. The coffee department keeps us fueled and we're suckers for the rice & beans (with spicy kraut on top) from the deli counter and the Ruben is out of this world!
4. Does Hat Creek Provisions have anything new in the works?
We are in the process of perfecting our vegan kimchi and giardiniera. We're also working through the R&D on a host of new offerings.
5. Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with our patrons?
Mix 3 parts tomato juice with 1 part Spicy Cucumber brine add a splash of Yellowbird and your favorite beer or some vodka. Garnish with HCP fermented cukes, okra, and carrots!
1. Why did you decide to make and sell vegan ice cream?
Amelia already had a crowd-pleasing recipe that she developed while working at Toy Joy in their vegan cafe. Combined with Valerie's ice cream store management experience from her years at Amy's, we figured we were in a prime position to fill a need for dairy-free ice cream. We're so excited to provide more people the magical ice cream shop experience that their dietary needs might otherwise prevent them from enjoying.
2. How long have you been a vendor at Wheatsville and what are some of your interconnections with the co-op?
Wheatsville has been carrying Sweet Ritual since January 2014. We also love seeing all of our friends in the deli like Robert, who first hired Valerie to work at Amy's Ice Creams, and our friend and former employee Nandy. Their warm smiles always brighten our day!
3. What flavor of Sweet Ritual, out of all the pints Wheatsville carries, is your favorite?
We love the new Yellowbird Hot Chocolate! Not only is it our delicious almond-based chocolate, but we got to team up with our friends at Yellowbird Hot Sauce to give it a spicy kick. An amazing collaboration all the way around.
4. What are some of the things you love at Wheatsville?
Oh, so many good things! The produce section is always full of fresh and delicious fruits and veggies. We guzzle Kosmic Kombucha's Pear of the Dog by the gallon (goes great with vegan Frito Pie!). The soaps and personal care section is great— I've fallen in love with the Wheatsville Birthday soap. We love the deli and hot food bar! The food bar is our favorite place to get a quick and comforting dinner, and we can't get enough of the buffalo popcorn tofu sandwiches.
5. Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share?
Here is our delicious Peanut Butter Magic Shell:
14 oz peanut butter
15 oz coconut oil
1 1/3 c powdered sugar
1/2 Tb vanilla
1 tsp salt
Melt peanut butter and coconut oil together over double boiler until melted. Or if you prefer to use a microwave, heat for 30 sec at a time alternating with stirring until melted.
Sift in the powdered sugar and salt. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Store at room temperature to keep liquid. It will make a hard shell when it touches the ice cream!
6. Do y’all have anything new in the works?
We're expanding our line of gluten-free ice cream sandwiches with the help of Better Bites Bakery, and we've begun experimenting with ice cream cakes!
We’ve also just moved into our new shop at 4631 Airport Blvd. Suite 125. We are excited to have our very own space and the room to provide more great vegan ice cream to Austin! Keep checking our website and facebook for updates on our hours. And both Wheatsville locations are now fully stocked to meet your Sweet Ritual needs!
Wheatsville has been offering Bastrop Cattle Company Beef for many years now. We are privileged to be able to offer beef that is raised entirely on grass and in pasture their whole lives right here in Texas. Pati Jacobs helps the ranching community here in Texas by utilizing cattle from other local ranchers. This helps keep families on the land and by sharing the same standards, protocols and values we get beef that is raised right and is consistently top notch. Pati was kind to take time to answer a few questions for us:
How did you get started in ranching?
My family went into ranching when I was a child. I learned how to work cattle from my Mom and Dad. After my Dad died and my Mom became sick, my brother and I returned to the ranch (from living and working overseas) to take care of Mom and raise cattle. At the time, I thought there had to be a better way to make a living than just raising the calves and selling them across the auction ring. That's when my brother, Cleve, and I started doing all grass fed (2008) and looking to sell direct to customers.
What is your philosophy about raising cattle?
My folks always raised cattle on grass, but during my Dad's life the USDA started pushing the hormone implants and all kinds of stuff like heavily fertilizing the grass and using herbicides and pesticides. My Mom started getting away from that when she took over the ranch after his death. My brother and I had been looking at the grass fed movement and so we just decided to stop using all the artificial chemicals and went straight natural and organic. Even though we're not certified organic, there hasn't been any chemicals on the ranch in over eight years. We also started working with other family ranchers because we knew we would need more cattle than we could raise by ourselves.
Everyone who works with us commits to NOT using any antibiotics or hormones and no fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides on their ranches.
We also think that the better you handle the animals, the better the beef. We use low impact handling methods on the cattle. This means having them gentle enough where you can call them into corrals and enclosures to work with them. We don't use prod sticks or any rough ways of moving them. We use squeeze shuts to immobilize them when we need to check them.
Also, the processing plant where we take the calves has a humane approved butcher.
How do your ranching practices differ from large scale ranching?
The difference between our ranches and our cattle and the big Agro-industry operations is:
- Our animals are on grass all their life. They are pastured and are free to roam within the rotation programs that we have. This means that they are not standing in their own manure being force fed on grains and other additives.
- They never receive hormones or antibiotics (if an animal becomes sick and we have to treat them with antibiotics then they are not sold for human consumption. They are on natural grasses, fresh water and are not exposed to any chemicals.
- Our cattle are processed at a small, family owned processing facility in Schulenburg where each and every one is inspected by a State Inspector who also makes sure that they are killed properly and that the meat is healthy. This is not an assembly line processing plant. They take great pride in handling the animals properly and they cut up the meat with skill and pride.
What is your favorite thing about Wheatsville?
Wheatsville Co-op has carried our product from the very beginning of the start of the company. You helped me get started by offering a place for me to sell my beef.
Wheatsville is a great place that really cares about what you offer and you are very honest about where those products come from, how they have been raised, grown, handled and made. I come in once or twice a week to do deliveries to you and I always buy my vitamins, cheeses, breads and veggies from you. I know I'm getting what you say it is!!
Q&A with Celeste Caswell, Owner and President
1. How long have you been making your cookie dough and why did you decide to make a vegan cookie dough?
I started baking vegan cookies for local coffee shops in 2001, and pretty soon after that I had the idea to sell the dough unbaked so people could make freshly-baked vegan cookies at home whenever they wanted! It took a while to perfect the recipe, but our Ready-to-Bake Cookie Dough was on the shelves at Wheatsville in 2011.
2. What have been the hardest challenges that you have come across being a small business?
The biggest challenge has been production. Demand increased and when we had to scale the recipe for larger orders, it took a lot of trial and error to maintain the quality we wanted. We don’t have a research and development department as some bigger companies might so we had to put in long hours and lots of elbow grease to make it work. Running a small business has made me understand the expression “building the airplane while you’re in the air.”
3. What are your favorite things to buy at Wheatsville?
My favorite things to buy at Wheatsville are the cashew tamari dressing, Sweet Ritual ice cream, and the vegan donuts with an iced coffee on the side. I always buy as much of the local produce as I can. I was also excited to see Miyoko’s vegan cheese appear in the refrigerated case recently.
4. Do you have anything new in the works, possibly a different dough other than chocolate chip?
We have so many things we’re working on, starting with two new flavors of dough that we’re hoping to roll out within the next year. We did a taste-test voter poll at Texas Veg Fest, and the winners were peanut butter and oatmeal cranberry, so that’s what’s coming next. The people have spoken.
5. Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share with us?
Since Celeste’s Best dough is vegan and doesn’t have any eggs, there are some tasty ways to eat it raw. Here’s a recipe for Celeste’s Best Cookie Dough Pops:
What you need:
- 1 Tub Celeste’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- 14-16 Popsicle sticks
- 1 Cup non-dairy chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp. soy, almond, or coconut milk
- ½ Tbsp. shortening
- Colored sprinkles (for variations you can also use crushed Oreos or Chik-o-Stiks—they’re both vegan).
- Take Celeste's Best cookie dough out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature. This will make for easier scooping.
- In a microwave-safe bowl microwave the chocolate chips, soy, almond or coconut milk, and shortening for 1 minute. Remove and stir briskly until smooth.
- Roll the dough into little balls. The size is up to you. We made ours around 1½ tablespoon each.
- Dip a Popsicle stick into the melted chocolate and then stick it firmly into the ball of dough. The chocolate will help your pops to stay on the stick better.
- Dip the dough into melted chocolate and then coat with sprinkles, Oreos, or Chik-o-Stiks. We did one side, then let the chocolate harden in the fridge before doing the other side.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour until it’s time to eat. The cookie dough pops should also be store in the fridge.
- You can make peanut butter cookie dough Balls by replacing the shortening in the chocolate mixture with 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. Replace the candy coating with crushed peanuts.
- Make coconut cookie dough balls by replacing the shortening in the chocolate mixture with coconut oil, and replacing the candy coating with toasted coconut.
- For S'Mores Cookie Dough Balls, form your cookie dough ball around a vegan marshmallow (we like the Dandies brand). Replace the sprinkles with crushed graham crackers.
We have some big plans coming down the pike, so if anyone would like to be a part of it, please follow Celeste’s Best for the latest info: