Skip to main content

The Latest News from Wheatsville

Turkey & More For Your Festive Holiday Meal

BREAKING NEWS! We will have a limited supply of LOCAL Spring Hill Farms Turkeys.

  • Hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and fed on locally produced non-GMO, soy-free, vegetarian-feed.
  • They will be ready to roast - not frozen!
  • These Broad Breasted White turkeys are raised on Eric & Charlotte Schramm’s family farm, just 100 miles away in Anderson Texas

The holidays are a time of year when you come together with family and friends to enjoy great food, company and share priceless memories. Wheatsville is committed to providing the very best options for you that focus on humanely raised animals, high quality products and that personal touch that helps take the stress of figuring out your memorable holiday dinner.

Turkey has traditionally been the go to protein for holiday meals. Turkeys are low fat, big enough to feed a crowd of hungry holiday eaters and can be prepared multiple ways including traditional roasting, smoking with your favorite woods, and frying for a juicy unconventional eating experience.

This year Wheatsville will also have some other options for your special holiday meal. Rib Roasts and Beef Tenderloins from Meyer Natural Beef— who pride themselves on humanely raised beef. Also, In-House Seasoned Pork Rib Roasts, with a Hickory Smoked Sea Salt and Pepper could make your holiday dinner take on a new tradition. Choosing any of these options will make your special meal a hit!

Best Value Mary’s Turkeys

Mary’ Natural and Organic Turkeys – Both are fed a Non-GMO
vegetarian diet. No pre-order necessary.

Mary’s Heritage Turkeys – Limited Supply, Pre-order suggested.
A uniquely American turkey, the authentic Heritage Turkey is the turkey that our forefathers knew and cherished. The Narragansett, the oldest United States turkey breed, and the Bourbon Red are the two varieties that are considered Heritage turkeys. These turkeys can fly and still roost in trees. They have naturally darker meat, larger thighs and smaller breasts. This can cause changes to the cooking times so we recommend a thermometer to cook that turkey to perfection.

Mary’s Organic and Natural Turkey Breasts
These are smaller which make them great for extra guests or instead of a whole bird for a smaller dinner group.

Ferndale Smoked Turkeys
This family farm from Cannon Falls, Minnesota prides themselves on a three generation family tradition of providing the very best free-range turkeys. Perfect for a heat and eat dinner!

Beef and More!

Meyer Natural Angus Beef
Rib Roast

These roasts are great for a larger dinner party. You buy these buy the rib and each rib weighs about 2lbs and feeds 1-2 persons. Our experienced Butchers can help you pick the right size!

Meyer Natural Angus Beef Tenderloin
This elegant cut of beef is also known by Chateaubriand which is the center cut of the Tenderloin. You need 8oz per person and a whole Tenderloin weighs 3-5lbs.

Seasoned In-House Coleman Natural Pork
Hickory Smoked Salt & Pepper Crusted Bone In Pork Roast

Spice up your holiday meal with this cut that is seasoned in house and tied by our experienced butchers. This cut is typically 8 ribs and feeds about 8 people. Each rib is basically a bone in pork chop.

Seasonings

This year we will offer Bill Baron’s Turkey Brine Kits, Holiday Poultry Mix, Hickory Smoked Sea Salt & Pepper Blend and Honey Orange Ham Glaze to help you season your protein to perfection. All these seasonings are MSG-free and made in small batches to ensure optimum taste. Ask your friendly Wheatsville Butchers for more information!

Holiday Hams

Niman Ranch
Niman Ranch and its network of U.S. family farmers and ranchers raise livestock, humanely and sustainably to deliver the finest tasting meat in the world. Their network has over 750 family owned farms!

Niman Ranch smoked hams are brined in a salt and maple sugar solution, then slow smoked over apple-wood. These hams are fully cooked, but for larger hams we recommend an hour or more in the oven to heat it through. Remember to add a glaze before it goes in the oven.

Niman Ranch Spiral Cut Bone-In Half Ham
A traditional holiday ham. It’s about 8-10 lbs, and can feed 10 to 14 people. It comes with a packet of glazing seasoning, but you can use your own or none.

Niman Ranch Jambon Royal Ham
Prepared in a European style, this 4-5 lb ham is cut in a different shape and packed with smokier and saltier flavor.

  Share

Co-op Partner Spotlight: La Riojana

How did La Riojana get started?

Four generations ago, in the 1940s, our ancestors, many of whom were wine growers from Italy, first came to the area of La Rioja in north west Argentina and decided to come together to make wine.
What started out as a small bodega, buying grapes to turn to wine, slowly grew as different families made La Rioja province their home and started planting their own vines.
Hundreds of families have followed in their footsteps, all working together to share their grapes and build what has become the La Riojana co-operative.

How big is the co-op now?

We have over 500 producer partners, many from families that have been part of the co-op since its beginning. Our members help to produce over four million cases of wine a year from over 4,000 hectares of vineyards. Over 80% of them are small-scale producers, with the majority owning no more than three hectares each.

La Riojana is one of the largest co-ops in Argentina and is currently ranked the country’s third largest wine exporter by volume. But for our growers, their families and communities, La Riojana means so much more than just the company to whom they sell their grapes.

  • They are the foundation to the winery’s success. Everything La Riojana does is based on providing help, support and services that allow our members and families to grow and prosper.
  • Co-operative principles are the fundamental philosophy of the business. Every member gets one vote in helping decide what the overall co-operative does regardless of size.
  • We guarantee to provide a higher than average market price for each member’s grapes.
  • We ensure they benefit from lower prices through collective purchasing of services and products, like diesel, fertiliser and frost insurance. We offer financial and credit support to help members through difficult times. We also offer our members technical and agricultural advice.
  • By working closely with our members, we are able to ensure that all our products, from wines, sparkling wines, grape juice, to olive oil, meet the highest quality standards.

Why is Fair Trade so important?

The Fair Trade Minimum Price guarantees growers and producers a fair price for their grapes, which aims to cover their average cost of sustainable production, or the market price, whichever is higher. They also receive the Fair Trade Premium, where wine producers and their commercial partners will pay additional money to help invest in social and economic initiatives in their communities.


How does La Riojana contribute to it’s community?

Argentina is still a developing country and large parts of its wine production relies on growers and their workers living and working in small, remote, rural, poor communities, with often basic local services. They are often in need of a constant water supply and clean drinking water in what can be hot, hostile and difficult conditions.

By following Fair Trade principles, we have been able to raise funds to invest in vital services, for not just our immediate La Riojana growers and workers, but for their families, friends and the wider communities in which they live.

To date, La Riojana has invested in over 30 different projects to benefit our members, workers and their families as well as our local communities. These projects include:
Education

  • Local Community Improvements 
  • Production Improvements
  • Healthcare
  • Socio-economic improvements
  • Administration & training

“Fair Trade allows us to expand our role in terms of social responsibility, it allows our workers who live in rural areas access to good standards of health and education, and also allows them to improve their general standard of living.” Rodolfo Griguol, chief winemaker

There are three projects that particularly stand out:

  • The Tilimuqui water project which has brought a reliable supply of fresh drinking water for the first time to the local community where many of Riojana’s workers and their families live. This project involved the building of a deep well, a reservoir and a water storage tank to provide enough pressure to serve the wider community.

“Before the water project we only had water every so often. We now have a water tank installed in our house giving us a reliable running water supply. Our community now has drinking water 24 hours a day, every day of the year.” — Rene Alejandro Garcia, vineyard worker

  • The Tilimuqui school project which funded the construction of the area’s first secondary school, therefore enabling teenage children in the area to stay in the community and has a current intake of over 400 children.

“The school has given me the opportunity to learn many new skills and a good education. When I leave school I want to study agricultural engineering and eventually work as an agricultural engineer.” — Angel Leonel Morales, Tilimuqui School student

  • Construction of a new health clinic started in 2016 to bring healthcare to 10,000 people living in the villages of Tilimuqui, Malliagasta and Riojana’s wider communities.


A few words from Wine Buyer Shane Shelton:

By bringing these wines to the US and selling them exclusively to co-ops, La Riojana hopes to continue to make a positive impact. This includes creating sustainable villages with solar power and organic certification for its farms. This is great and I haven’t even got to my favorite part, the wines!

They’re fantastic! The Malbec is medium bodied and exceptionally smooth. The Chardonnay is vibrant and delicate. The Cabernet Sauvignon is smooth and fruity. The Bonarda/Malbec blend is a smooth and medium-bodied wine.

All of the wines from La Riojana are fairly priced wines of exceptional quality. When you buy La Riojana you are getting more than just a great value, you’re also helping to make positive change. From co-op to co-op!

  Share

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Lime Crema and Roasted Seeds

This is an adaptation of a soup I made at Thanksgiving a few years back that was the star of the meal! It can easily be made vegan by substituting olive oil for the butter and coconut or almond milk for the milk—omit the crema or use non-dairy sour cream and milk. Best of all, all components of the soup can be made at least a day in advance! Enjoy!

Ingredients

Lime Crema:
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup sour cream
1 Tbs fresh lime juice

Soup and Seeds:
2 med. to large butternut squash
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp salt
6 Tbs butter or olive oil
6 cup finely chopped onions
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp crushed red pepper
8 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Additional salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment and set aside.
  2. To make the lime crema, whisk together heavy cream, sour cream, and lime juice. Cover and chill for at least two hours. The crema can be made up to a week ahead of time.
  3. To prepare the squash and seeds, cut each squash in half lengthwise (it is easiest and safest to cut from about the middle of the squash to one end, then turn the squash and repeat on the other side). Scoop out seeds and fibers from the inside of each half and set aside. Place the squash halves cut side down on a prepared baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes (it may take a bit longer if your squash are very large). Meanwhile, remove fibers and pulp from seeds (they do not need to be completely clean!). Discard fibers. Rinse seeds and pat dry, then toss with olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Spread in single layer on second baking sheet. Once squash is tender, remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 325°F. Put seeds in oven and roast, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until seeds are golden and starting to pop. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin and place in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Melt butter or heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes. Mix in butternut squash puree, milk, and crushed red pepper. Working in batches, puree mixture, then return to pot. Add broth and simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with crema, and sprinkle with
  6. pumpkin seeds. Serves 12 as a starter.

Adapted from Epicurious

  Share

Winter Squash Guide

It’s that time of the year, once the weather starts getting a little cooler, or at least out of the 100s here in Texas, that our winter squash season begins. They come in many shapes, sizes and varieties, too many to mention here. They also have many uses, from being used as decorations, to being  made into soups, pies, used as a pasta substitute or just roasted as a side dish.

  •  Acorn  Mild, slightly nutty flavor.
  •  Butternut  Very sweet flavor, a crowd favorite. 
  •  Spaghetti  No it doesn’t taste like pasta, but it’s very mild flavor and stringy texture makes it an excellent substitute for spaghetti.
  •  Delicata  Sweet nutty flavor that has a hint of corn.
  •  Kabocha Much like Acorn, sweet slightly nutty taste.
  •  Pie Pumpkins  Sweet flavorful, best squash to use to make pumpkin pies.

When picking your squash, try to find one that feels heavy for its size, and still has a nice stem attached. Stay away from squash that have any soft or moldy areas on the outer flesh.
If you are not going to use your squash right away store them in a cool dry area away from direct sunlight; the bottom of your pantry would be best in most homes.

Easy Winter Squash Cooking Techniques

Squash is super easy to cook, delicious, and good for you, too! Pair with nuts, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, bacon, cheese, pretty much everything!

Roast It!

Squash is easy and delicious when roasted in the oven.

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
  • Peel and cut squash into evenly-sized pieces
  • Put squash in a pan or oven-safe skillet
  • Toss with a little olive oil.  You could add some herbs, spices, salt, pepper, etc
  • Throw it in the oven! Check for doneness by poking with a fork.  Use your nose and ears, too!  The kitchen should smell like nicely cooked veggies

Steam It!

  • Fill the bottom of a large pot with about 1” water. Insert your steaming basket. The water level should be below the steamer basket.
  • Heat water to boiling, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Peel and cut squash into evenly-sized pieces. Put them into the steamer basket and cover the pot.
  • Test for doneness by poking with a fork. It should take about 30 minutes.

Squash Guide

Acorn Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Tender-firm, holds up when cooked. Versatile, mild flavor

USES: Baking, stuffing, mashing.

Butternut Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Sweet and slightly nutty.  Smooth texture, falls apart when cooked.
USES: Soups, purees, pies.



Butterkin Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE:
Sweet, buttery, and creamy.

USES:
Baking, roasting, and steaming.

Carnival Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE:
Sweet, nutty, and buttery with a texture similar to sweet potatoes.

USES:
Best roasted, but can be steamed or pureed.

Delicata Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Rich, sweet; tastes like chestnuts, corn, and sweet potatoes. Edible skin.
USES: Sauté, bake, broil.

Hubbard Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Yellow flesh is moist.
USES: Generally peeled and boiled, cut up and roasted, or cut up small and steamed or sautéed: longer time baking in the oven is needed. Perfect for pies.








Kabocha Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Similar in sweetness and texture to a sweet  potato.
USES: Soups, curries, stir fry, salads.








Pie Pumpkin

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Mildly sweet. Creamy, rich texture
USES: Pies, custards, baked goods, curries, stews.




Red Kuri Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Chestnut-like flavor, mildly sweet. Dense texture holds up shape when cooked.
USES: soups, pilafs and gratins, baked goods, curries.




Spaghetti Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Stringy, spaghetti-like strands.  Not very sweet with a mild, versatile flavor.
USES: Baked and the strands separated, then mixed with tomato sauce, pesto, or your favorite pasta topping.

Sweet Dumpling Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Rich, honey sweet flavor. Dry, starchy flesh similar to a potato.
USES: Baking with cinnamon and butter

  Share

2nd Annual Big Co-op Fair & Owner Meeting

What a show! Our second annual BIG CO-OP FAIR was kicked off by our neighbors, The Ann Richards School Marching Band, Drum Line and Color Guard! Over 100 young women assembled in our S. Lamar parking lot and kept sunshine turned up to an ELEVEN for our BIG EVENT! DJs from KOOP took over for the rest of the afternoon, with a magical range of music that gave everyone a smile while getting their face painted or riding the Ferris wheel!

Inside the store, aisles were stuffed with 25+ of our favorite local vendors. We had longtime partners such as Celeste’s Best Cookie Dough (for real, the BEST), mmmpanadas dishing up savory pastries, La Riojana showing off their fair-trade, cooperative, and (soon to be official) organic wine, and Equal Exchange giving bites of some of their finest chocolates. We also welcomed some co-op newcomers that already have quite a following such as Mammoth Creamery low-carb ice cream, Bee Tree Farms local goat cheese, Treasured Earth gluten-free desserts and so many more!

OWNERS got to hear from our Board of Directors about the direction and health of our co-op at the Annual Owner Meeting, meet this year’s Board Candidates, and participate in a Q&A. Our monthly non-profit round-up campaign partners were there too – each one showing the impact we make when work together to support our community.

Kids loved taking a peek behind the scenes on our Bakehouse, Produce, Chill, and Packaged Department tours. From juice to dough – everyone loved seeing how the food we all love gets on the shelf. For others, learning more about our history from co-op docents gave a deeper appreciation for how far we’ve come!


THANK YOU for JOINING US! If you were inspired by something YOU saw at the fair be sure to pass it on. TOGETHER we make great things happen!

  Share

COOPERATION Starts with PARTICIPATION

The next time you are enjoying your food on the porch at Guadalupe or in the community room at South Lamar, be sure to look up and notice the flags that display our seven Cooperative Principles. To support and highlight these principles, we’ve created unique ways for owners to get to know their co-op and engage with the Board of Directors. “Yay!” for Co-op Principle #5 Education, Training and Information!

From eating with a Board Member on Thursday’s $5 Dinner, to owners visiting 4th Tap Co-op for a brewery tour (Woo-hoo! Principle #6 Co-operation Among Co-operatives), to visiting with owners during Wheatsville’s Ice Cream Social compliments of Nada-Moo, we have had fun opportunities to learn and enjoy what the co-op has to offer!

Afraid you missed all of the fun? Not a chance! Let’s not forget principal #2, Democratic Member Control. Coming up October 6th is our BIG CO-OP FAIR and ANNUAL OWNER MEETING. This is where your Board of Directors demonstrates accountability to the membership. You will hear the Wheatsville financial report, listen to board candidates speak, and enjoy some stories about how Wheatsville positively impacts our community (Principal #7 Concern for Community...sweet!). It will also be a great opportunity for you to cast your vote in our annual election, hint, hint…

Plus, Wheatsville will have some fun surprises to make the gathering a great way to spend your day and celebrate all things Cooperative.  The board’s Owner Engagement Committee is working hard to plan for the next year so be sure to stay informed by signing up for the weekly email (upper right corner of our website http://www.wheatsville.coop) or  follow us on Facebook, Twitter,  or Instagram – either way, stay connected!

The next time you participate in an event, come up and introduce yourself. Board members are first and foremost Wheatsville owners, just like you! We look forward to having a conversation and learning more about our owners and co-cooperators! —MeriJayd O'Conner, Board Member

  Share

Celebrating Co-op Month

October means it’s time to celebrate co-ops and help more people know what we’re all about. So…what are co-ops all about? CO-OPS are independent businesses that are owned by a community of people. All CO-OPS operate with SEVEN PRINCIPLES that help us maintain an ethics-based business that is both socially responsible while being economically beneficial to the people that use it and the community it supports.

Through every decision we make, Wheatsville Food Co-op is working towards making progress on our BIG Direction Goals of

  1. More Local, Organic, and Sustainable Food,
  2. More Co-op Economy and
  3. More Happy People.

That’s why we have 2,000 local products in store and a produce department stuffed full of organic, energy saving LED lights, doors on refrigerators, and buy Green Choice energy that invests in wind power!

Co-ops are also independent, democratic, and autonomous businesses. We are members of business co-ops, use co-op banks, and learn from and promote each other as much as we can – in fact hundreds of hours are invested into strengthening co-ops both locally and nationally.

But cooperation doesn’t stop there – we also sell goods that are made by other co-ops such as 4th Tap Beer, Frontier, Organic Valley, Organic Prairie, Blue Diamond, Equal Exchange, Once Again Nut Butter and Aura Cacia – just to name a few! In addition, your membership at Wheatsville Food Co-op means that you are eligible to become a member of University Federal Credit Union too! The more we can help each other, the better we all are.

Co-ops aren’t owned by any person, family, or corporate entity. We’re here because YOU’RE here. Together co-ops make a difference in the way business gets done and there’s only one thing you have to do – PARTICIPATE in a way that works for you. Shop at the co-op, tell your friends about the co-op, VOTE in the co-op election (maybe even consider becoming a Board Member), bank co-op, buy co-op. TOGETHER we do AMAZING THINGS! Thank you for participating!

  Share