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The Latest News from Wheatsville

Grocery News

Our grocery shelves are packed with food you love. We know you love them because you are ones who have helped choose what goes on our shelves. Yes, we carry a wide selection of raw, gluten free, vegan, paleo friendly, and alternative items but we go to great effort to stock traditional favorites and pantry staples. We want this to be your one-stop grocery.

We work hard to offer great prices on high-quality products – look for Co+op Deal signs for items on sale and Owner Deal signs for special prices just for Owners. On a budget? Look for the purple Co+op Basics signs on products at rock bottom prices. Didn’t find what you needed? Make a request on our wishlist or ask us to place a special order for you. Your interaction determines what we buy - so speak up! We love to hear from you.

Local Vendor Focus: SRSLY Chocolate

SRSLY Chocolate (pronounced seriously) is our Vendor Focus for February, just the right company to see more of during the Month of Love. Bob and Robin Williamson are the owners of SRSLY Chocolate, a bean to bar chocolate company located right here in Austin, TX! Bob and Robin were nice enough to answer some questions about their lovely chocolates!

How did you get started making chocolate?
Bob used to bake baguettes and pastries for the farmers markets in Tallahassee, FL. One day, he decided to make chocolate from scratch for a croissant recipe. After pulsing cacao nibs in a food processor and watching the transformation to chocolate, he was hooked. From that moment onward, we’ve focused on making really great handcrafted bean to bar chocolate.
With a commitment to produce the finest chocolate in a sustainable manner, we use organic & fair trade cacao and cane sugar to handcraft each bar. Our cacao comes from a cooperative in the Dominican Republic that reinvests back into the community, building roads, clinics and schools. Our cacao beans are sorted, roasted, cracked, winnowed and stone ground in granite mills to produce an elegant and assertive chocolate. Gentle, low and slow roasting develops great flavor while preserving delicate aromas. Stone ground chocolate has a rustic texture that reminds us of its origin. Each bar is hand wrapped with love We’re serious about what we do!

What is your favorite flavor?
Bob: Oaxacan Espresso. Cacao and chilies have been used together for millennia. This ancient combination is exciting and intriguing in our bar. Add a little locally roasted coffee from our friends at Third Coast Coffee and you’ve got a really fantastic chocolate bar that incorporates and highlights its rich Mesoamerican history with local ingredients.

Robin: 70%. Honestly each flavor has gone through a phase of being my favorite at one point or another. I’ll get stuck on one for about five months and then rediscover a new one and then get hooked on that! Right now I’m finding myself reaching for the 70% plain dark a lot more. It’s a perfect match to whatever mood I find myself in. It’s rich, dark slightly malty fruity flavor really hits the spot!
 
Is there an unusual way to use your chocolate bars?
I think there’s someone in Austin that does chocolate massage… whatever that is. So yeah, I’d think that qualifies as unusual. But really, chocolate is an amazingly versatile thing. You can eat it in so many forms from a simple, elegant chocolate bar to rich luscious hot chocolate to chocolate brownies. Chocolate is great with anything!
 
Are there any new flavors on the horizon?
Yes... too many really. In a perfect world, I’d release a new flavor every week, ad infinitum. But really, a new flavor every few months is the way to go. We’ve been working with local Texas olive oil for a bar. Local is a big focus for us. It’s really hard to take cacao that’s grown two thousand miles away, preserve its sense of terroir and try to synthesize it with its production here in Texas. What else? Halvah. Cardamom and Pistachio. Texas Lavender. Keep your eyes peeled for some really interesting stuff.
 
Why did you move from Florida to Texas?
Because everything is better in Texas! But really, Robin used to live here in Austin about six years ago. She loved it and when I came to visit, I fell in love instantly. No offense to our Floridian brethren. Austin’s got a great food scene and really great citizens who help foster a supportive environment. It called out to us like it has to so many new residents. We’re pumped to be a part of it!
 
Where do you see SRSLY in five years?
We see ourselves as a regional chocolate maker with deep Texas roots providing one of a kind handcrafted chocolate made with organic and ethically sourced cacao. Our vision has us doing a couple of really great things in 2019: working directly with cacao farmers, building our own facility, employing fellow Austinites. It’s a long road but we’re up to task!

CLASS:  Chocolate Making
Instructor:  Bob Williamson
DATE:  Saturday, February 7
TIME:  1pm-3pm
COST:  $35
WHERE:  4001 South Lamar Community Room
RSVP:  http://wheatsvillechocolatemaking.eventbrite.com

Ever wondered how chocolate was made? Learn how cacao is transformed into chocolate with SRSLY chocolate’s own Bob Williamson. Watch as cacao beans are cracked, winnowed and refined into chocolate. Taste some fantastic chocolates from SRSLY chocolate while we learn about cacao’s history and impact, past and present. Learn the basics, ask some questions and go home with a bar of fine flavor craft chocolate!

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Cooking Wings for Your Football Party

Click for Game Day Party Planner and Snack Ideas!

Wings Know How

Few things in life say football and party like chicken wings. Hot wings are a staple menu item in sports bars all over the US and deep frying or roasting are the most popular methods of cooking wings. Some BBQ joints offer smoked wings.

I think wings have been relegated to sports bars and wing shops for far too long—wings are amenable to many flavor profiles and cooking methods. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t braise them and let them crisp up in the pan! I don’t follow a recipe but boldly mix flavors and techniques to achieve wings that are specialized beyond the humble sports bar wings. Here are some ideas to fix wings your own way.

Rubbing and Marinating

The great thing about chicken wings is they can take more intense flavors. You can easily use rubs and marinades that are designed more for red meat and pork rather than poultry.

Rubs

Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning  is what I use the most for a wing rub. It has great flavor, no MSG, and it is always in my kitchen. Also carried here at Wheatsville, The Paleo Powder is a no-gluten no-MSG product made here in Texas, and the Salt Lick makes a couple of rub options. Lemon Pepper is another great flavor.

Marinades

Like rubs, you can use just about anything for marinating wings. Try one of the Wheatsville Marinades like Teriyaki or Mojo. Howard Miller, S. Lamar Meat Dept. Supervisor, likes to mix ranch dressing or buttermilk with Yellowbird Sauce.

Sauce

I like to make a kitchen sink sort of sauce, but Sriracha is pretty much always an ingredient. Vinegar is always a good addition, along with some sort of fat. I usually use a mild oil like canola, but butter is the traditional way to go. I then add a little mustard and honey and start adding hot sauces like Yellowbird.

If you don’t want to make your own sauce, there are plenty of excellent premade sauces. I really like the Stubb’s Wing Sauce. The Texas Texas Dang Good Sauce is an all around good sauce for anything and goes well with wings.

Bringing It All Together

If you are deep frying wings, use a rub, fry them, and then toss them in sauce,
but I usually roast them. I rub them and put them in the oven without sauce until they start to dry out, about 10 minutes, then I start basting them. I remove them from the oven and toss them in sauce several times during cooking. 
You can also dredge them in a flour and rub mixture and just let them be in the oven. The flour gives them a nice crust that is like fried chicken. The rub added to the flour kicks up the flavor.

I cook them for no less than 45 minutes at 375°– 400° F, but I open the oven four times to baste and my family likes a little carbon on their wings. If you leave the oven closed, use the lower temperature for a few less minutes.

Sometimes having loose suggestions rather than a set recipe is intimidating but wings can be a great way to stretch out and share some adventure with your family and friends—especially with beer and sports!

Howard’s Yellowbird Buffalo Wings

1 lb chicken wings, separated at joints, discard the tips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup ranch dressing
several squirts of Yellowbird Habanero Sauce
¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder

Mix the butter, ranch dressing, and Yellowbird sauce. Coat the wings and let the wings marinade in the mixture for a couple hours in the fridge in a large storage bag.

Preheat Oven to 425°F.

Coat wings with with seasoned flour (flour, salt,  black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder) and arrange a single layer of wings on a lightly greased baking sheet. Adorn each wing with a little melted butter.

Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and crispy on the outside, about 35-45 minutes. Turn the wings over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly.

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Local Connection: Yellowbird Sauce

Having been born in August in Texas, I am well aware of how high the temperatures get around here. I have always spent my birthday in pursuit of cooling down in a chilly pool or movie theater. However some people prefer to chase the heat all the way to the world’s largest gathering of heat-seekers: The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. Established in 1990, the event draws as many as 15,000 spectators and more than 350 entries every year. This year The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival will take place on Sunday, August 24 at Fiesta Gardens on what is sure to be a scorching hot summer day. George Milton, the hot sauce mad scientist behind Yellowbird Sauce, will be there representing what has become the most popular hot sauce at Wheatsville.

Since we started carrying it in spring of 2013, the fanaticism for the sauce has been a force to be reckoned with. People love the well balanced flavors of carrots, garlic, onions, limes and tangerines with a nice kick from spicy habanero peppers. Multiple sriracha shortages and an increased interest in foods made without preservatives, meant that the arrival of Yellowbird in Austin couldn’t be better timed.  With his tireless girlfriend, Erin Link, by his side creating the brand design and managing all the behind the scenes work, Yellowbird George has built the business from the ground up thanks to support from the enthusiastic community of pepper fanatics. After media nods from Thrillist.com and Bon Appétit magazine, the Bird enjoyed a new audience eager for a spicy bottle of Texas goodness to be shipped directly around the country.

At Wheatsville, we appreciate the thought and care that George puts into his company and product, despite his extremely full schedule. Several months ago he had to make a tough decision on whether to keep the sauce in plastic bottles but add preservatives for health code reasons or to move to glass bottles and maintain the integrity of the ingredients. Fans were relieved that the formula stayed the same and I have to say, the glass bottles are snazzy! Based on feedback from customers and retailers like us, George recently rolled out a “baby bird” sized 5 oz bottle of sauce to compliment the larger 12 oz size. There are other plans in the works, so keep an eye out for new developments. In the meantime, enjoy the heat if you can and we’ll see you at the Hot Sauce Festival! (I will be at the ice skating rink).

Salty Bird

Recipe by Addie Broyles

1/2 cup kosher salt
5 tsp Yellowbird Sauce

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together salt and hot sauce. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the salt/hot sauce mixture in a thin layer.
Turn off the heat and place the baking sheet in the oven. Every so often, stir the salt to help break up the clumps. Leave for several hours or overnight. Once the salt is dry, store in an airtight, glass container. Turns a Salty Dog into a Salty Bird— plus the jars of spicy salt make great gifts.

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Hemp History Week Recipe from local author Mariann Garner-Wizard

In support of Hemp History week, consider ordering a copy of Austin author Mariann Garner-Wizard’s book Hempseed Food: the REAL Secret Ingredient for Health & Happiness. More than a cookbook, Hempseed Food provides historical and nutritional information on the versatile hempseed along with delicious recipes. To order Hempseed Food visit Lulu.com

Mariann is a longtime Wheatsville owner who was delighted to share one of her favorite recipes from her book with us.

Freedom Fighter Zucchini Hemp Casserole (great for garden vegetables and herbs)

  • 3-5 zukes, sliced in 1/8 in rounds:
  • 2 T. safflower or sunflower oil
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T. ground toasted Hempseed
  • basil, oregano, thyme and/or marjoram to taste
  • 1/3 C. Italian-flavored bread crumbs
  • 1 large tomato, or one can cooked, peeled, no-salt-added tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 Bell pepper, diced
  • 1 T. dairy butter

Put oil in ovenproof casserole dish. Cover bottom with a layer of sliced zucchini. Season lightly. Sprinkle chopped onion over zucchini. Add another layer of zukes and more seasoning. Cover with tomato pieces. Sprinkle ground toasted Hempseed and more herbs over tomato. Add a third layer of zucchini, season sparingly. Layer with Bell pepper pieces and more salt, pepper, and/or herbs. Repeat until all ingredients are used. Cover and bake at 350°  for 35-40 minutes (until zukes are tender). Remove cover, top with bread crumbs, dot with butter, increase heat to 375°, and bake 5 minutes more to brown.

Alternatives

  1. For a main dish, add 1 C. cooked, chopped chicken to first layer, 1 C. fresh, frozen or drained canned corn to second layer, and 2 chopped Serrano peppers to third layer. Spicy!
  2. Substitute yellow or white squash for zucchini or use them mixed together.
  3. Omit tomato. Add 1/2 C. shredded cheese to each layer (cheddar mozzarella, and/or Colby are good).

recipe reprinted with permission by the author

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Local Vendor Focus: Thunderbird Energetica/EPIC

I recently interviewed Taylor Collins and Kate Forrest, founders of Thunderbird Energetica and EPIC.As well as producing healthy, nutritious foods, they are two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet!—Adrienne

Tell us about how Thunderbird Energetica got started.

The first Thunderbird Energetica bar was created to help Katie heal from a serious inflammatory injury of her knee. She was training for the Kona Ironman World Championship race and unable to run or bike due to pain. We took a step back and considered what types of food we were consuming and how this might contribute to inflammation. We ended up eliminating inflammatory foods from our diets and created the Cherry Walnut Crunch bar. We loaded it with natures most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients (Turmeric, Cherries, buckwheat) just for Katie. Within a few weeks her knee was significantly better and she was 100% back to training. We were so excited about this amazing creation that we decided to start selling the bar locally.

What is your favorite flavor?

Katie’s favorite flavor is Bison Bacon Cranberry. Taylor’s  favorite flavor is Almond Cookie Pow

How did Epic Bars get started?

The EPIC bar idea came to us during an extended camping trip in West Texas. After days of eating only sugar based, high carb camp food, we were craving something savory and high in protein and fat. We were frustrated that all the “protein” bars we carried were made of heavily processed isolates and syrups. We wanted to make a high quality, portable protein snack that was made of whole foods. We decided that the best way to do this was through grass fed animal protein (just like our ancestors ate). We started experimenting with making bacon jerky for 100 mile bike rides and we really liked the way our body felt. It was clear that we needed to invent this bar that could only be described as EPIC.

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The Ultimate Burger

Burgers are one of those backyard/park staples that makes it feel like summer. A grilled burger offers a different experience than a pan cooked burger. Flame licked charring adds that hint of crispy carbon. Wheatsville creates several ground meat options to help you build your Ultimate Burger!


Ground Round

Taken from the leanest cuts and is by far our leanest ground beef.

Ground Chuck and Sirloin

This burger grind runs less lean, but has all the great flavor of chuck and sirloin steaks. We grind briskets for our ground beef for the fullest flavor!

Premium Burger Blend

We use Niman Ranch Ribeye, Hanger, and Beef Shortloin (NY Strip and Tenderloin) for an unbeatable flavor, mixed with the leaness of Round for structure, to offer a fantastic ground beef. The best part is that we’ve LOWERED THE PRICE to $8.99lb! Yep, you save TWO BUCKS! We offer it in patties in our Full Service Quick-to-Fix case as well as in the Self-Service case. This is a special grind that is only available here at Wheatsville!

Housemade  Turkey Burgers

One of our top sellers and for good reason. It is reasonably priced and is packed with flavor. A classic pairing of poultry and sage gives it a familiar punch of flavor. Our turkey is from Norbest cooperative of turkey growers and is about 90% lean.

Housemade  Chicken Burgers

These burgers offer classic southwestern profile of chilies, lime and cilantro and the black pepper really “ties the room together.” We use Serrano chilies in this recipe, so expect some kick.  We use the Tecumseh Farms Smart Chicken in our chicken patties.


Favorite Veggie Burgers

  • The Hot Dang Grain Veggie Burgers, Locally Made!
  • Good Seed Vegan Veggie Burger, Locally Made
  • Sunshine Burger Garden Herb or Southwest

Grill on this!

All-Natural Lump Hardwood Charcoal

No coal, no fillers, no chemicals ... means you`ll enjoy the true flavors of your barbeque favorites. You’ll be cookin` in no time with quick-starting, all-natural lump hardwood charcoal. Made from round oak wood, acquired from tree pruning and forest thinning, and packaged in biodegradable bags, it’s good for you and the environment.

Our Favorite Burger Toppings

Bill Bickford
Fresh jalapeños (never the pickled kind), bacon, avocado OR bacon, a fried egg, sharp cheddar, onion!

Gabriel Gallegos
Daiya Havarti! This stuff melts like you wouldn’t believe. It’s one of those products that confuse my brain…it tastes so much like real cheese. Perfect with a handful of Butler Soy Curls!

Beth Beutel
Caramelized onions & blue cheese!

Nicole Purvis
Onion rings & avocado!

Niki Nash
Fresh, meaty, juicy local tomatoes straight off the farm or EIEIO Pesto! Tasty, fresh, vegan and local!

Dana Tomlin
Pederson Applewood Smoked Bacon!

Carol Campbell
Caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar cheese, and a sweet bbq sauce. A fried egg is also DELICIOUS!! There’s also the whole Canadian bacon and pineapple thing which is pretty yummy!

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Vendor Focus: Harvest Bay Coconut Water


In the past few years, coconut water has become one of the most popular beverages at Wheatsville. In this town where summer can start in March and last until

November, it’s the perfect refreshment for all of those hot and humid days. Naturally high in potassium and antioxidants, many sweaty Austinites appreciated the fast rehydration provided by the coconut water; nature’s sports drink. While coconut water is delicious through a straw in a fresh young coconut, they aren’t always available or convenient. Harvest Bay, along with many other beloved brands, offer two convenient sizes of tasty coconut water that’s 100% not from concentrate with no added sugar or flavorings.

Each brand seems to have a slightly different flavor profile based on the coconuts they source and Harvest Bay’s is naturally slightly sweet tasting with a hint of toasted coconut flavor.  Recently, Harvest Bay Coconut water was verified by the NonGMO Project to be GMO free! Drink it as is or try some of their recommended drink recipes like Harvest Bay Coconut Watermelon Juice! And if you ever wondered what happens to all of those coconut husks and shells, the Harvest Bay facility actually makes pellets from them to burn for energy to operate the machinery. Very cool!.  

     

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Local Vendor Focus: Beanitos Inc.

One of the brightest rising stars in the natural foods world is based right here in Austin: Beanitos Bean Chips.  In 2009 brothers Doug and Dave Foreman set out to create a crunchy snack chip that was full of nutrition and great flavor. The Beanitos Original Bean Chip was born, gaining fast popularity in Austin and finding its way into co-ops and other stores across the country.

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