Click to discover everything that is happening during our Teas The Season event January 20 - 26, 2014 at Valley Natural Foods! Those that like to drink hot tea often speak a language unbeknownst to most non tea-drinking folk.  Ian, who works in Valley Natural Foods’ deli, rattled off the words Gunpowder green, oolong, China pu-erh, Darjeeling and Earl Gray as his favorites, making the diversity and plethora of the teas available immediately apparent. Perhaps one needs a tea connoisseur degree to keep up! Ian has a leg up on most as his knowledge of tea goes back to his childhood. His Mom loved to have "tea time" every day, at what she referred to as “11zies.”  In fact, Ian drank so much tea as a child and teen that he thought it was a normal thing that every kid did. As an

By: Loris Sofia Gregory, Healthy Kitchen Coach, Apple Valley, MN Most of us look forward to traditional comfort foods this special time of year, usually anticipating the pleasurable sights, smells and tastes of our family holidays. What dishes are on your “must serve” holiday list? Does everyone in your family agree or do you stress yourself out trying to satisfy everyone’s favorite food memories? What about potential rising numbers on the bathroom scale during the next few months?  Just thinking about holiday cooking and eating does not have to raise your blood pressure. Holiday feasts and treats can include superfoods, offering more nutrition per calorie without straining your waistline or wallet. Click to read more about the fresh, local and global rainbow of holiday superfoods and spices to consider. These fresh foods offer power-packed energy and strong immunity for happier healthier

Imagine the earthy jewel tones and delectable tastes of autumn harvest on your dinner plate. Even after our first frosts, nutrient-dense, calorie-sparse root vegetables deliver a bounty of body-warming energy for the months ahead. Many of the super-healthy hearty fall “greens”  such as chard, the kales and cabbages, Brussels sprouts and beet, collard and mustard greens  taste even better when they are kissed by frost. Cooler temperatures stimulate plant sugar production leading to a touch of sweetness. In addition, October is the month to stock up on sweet or tart FRESH & LOCAL apples. Consider building optimal health while supporting local farmers and growers with October’s plentiful produce. For cooking demos and ample samples of “Black Bean Smothered Sweet Potatoes” and “Tangy Cranberry Salsa with Pumpkin Seeds” plus more seasonal recipes and healthy coaching for easy whole-foods meals, sign up for

By: Loris Sofia Gregory, Healthy Kitchen Coach, Apple Valley, MN July gifts us with a healthy abundance of flavorful FRESH & LOCAL produce: the crisp nutrient-packed greens of cilantro, collard greens, cucumbers, kales, lettuces, Napa cabbage, parsley and zucchini; the succulent reds and oranges of beets, berries, carrots, radishes, romaine and melons; and the captivating earthy palette of heirloom tomatoes. Satisfying summer meals and optimum health are not the only benefits of eating a rainbow of FRESH & LOCAL produce. When we buy local, we help our local farm families earn a living, which in turn preserves farmland around us. Buying fresh local food also supports our local economy and saves money through minimizing and eliminating processing, packaging, marketing and transportation costs. Take your taste buds on a lip-smacking tour of these July flavors, recipes and meal ideas. I look forward

By: Loris Sofia Gregory, Healthy Kitchen Coach, Apple Valley, MN The planting season is complete at Featherstone Farm, located in southeastern Minnesota bluff country near Rushford.  Featherstone farmer/owner Jack Hedin recently blogged that this is the earliest spring in his living memory that has produced such high quality and quantity of his first crops. With Featherstone delivering FRESH & LOCAL produce to Valley Natural Foods, expect red and green lettuces the first part of June, including butter, romaine and red oak leaf lettuces.  Discover more of what's local at the co-op

Who doesn't want the opportunity to win a $50 or $25 co-op  gift card?  If you know a lot about  co-ops, food and the environment, you have a good chance!  Throughout June 2012, test your knowledge at a series of Co-op Pub Trivia events  hosted at 8 different local watering holes across the metro.  The trivia events are held in honor of the 2012 International Year of the Cooperatives. Prizes will be given out at each event. Be sure to attend Valley Natural Foods' Co-op Pub Trivia event on June 21st at Morgan's on Nicollet starting at 8pm.  Morgan's is located at 14201 Nicollet Ave S., Burnsville.  Go  early to grab some grub (they have a great dinner menu) to gear up for an evening of testing your wits! 1st place wins a $50  co-op gift card, 2nd place a $25

By: Loris Sofia Gregory, Healthy Kitchen Coach, Apple Valley, MN Can you believe that April has arrived? Earth is warming up and preparing to collaborate with us in growing delicious edibles here in Minnesota. New shades of green are emerging day by day. We ponder when everything will be fully green and our first garden sprouts will pop up from moist soil. Regardless of when spring will be here in its full glory, be sure to notice our sprouts and other shades of healthy green at Valley Natural Foods, thanks to FRESH & LOCAL growers in Wisconsin. In World War II, Dr. Clive McKay, Nutrition Professor at Cornell University, sparked considerable interest in sprouts by announcing, "Wanted! A vegetable that will grow in any climate, will rival meat in nutritive value, will mature in three to five days, may be planted any

By Loris Sofia Gregory, Healthy Kitchen Coach, Apple Valley, MN Challenged in getting your engine revved up in the morning and sustained throughout busy days? Sluggish and cranky from your roller coaster of energy highs and lows? Dreaming of steady sources of energy for a perpetual perky mind and body? If you are more than ready to jump start your engine each morning and stay productive, happy and energized all day long, consider these power-punched tips, breakfasts and snacks that you can find on our Bulk Trail. Eat a satisfying breakfast. To break your overnight fast, your body needs fuel first thing in the morning. An adequate breakfast with enough protein will give you essential fuel plus a “full and satisfied” feeling for a productive morning. Here’s a few great fatigue-beating breakfasts you will find on our Bulk Trail. Supplement these cereals

By: Loris Sofia Gregory, Healthy Kitchen Coach, Apple Valley, MN If “eat healthier,” “try new foods” and “save more money” are on your list of resolutions for 2012, consider the dazzling diversity of our bulk foods trail from nourishing soups to energizing nuts. Our new helpful booklet, available in mid January, entitled “Discovering Bulk Foods: A Cooperative Guidebook” and my FRESH & LOCAL classes from January through March will show you how to easily buy and prepare package-free and earth-friendly bulk foods, while saving an average of 30 to 50% on our 300+ choices.  You can now register for these classes online.  Most of us are not looking to “get bulkier” in this New Year. So what’s the real story behind “buying bulk”? Read more to realize the benefits of shopping on our bulk trail. First of all, don’t confuse “bulk foods”

The hectic holiday season is almost over so it's time to refuel and replenish with Emergen-C. This vitamin powder mix, available in our wellness department,  is the ultimate immune-boosting formula during the cold and flu season.  Each packet contains 1000 mg in Vitamin C - 20 times more than the average size orange (45 mg). Its 7 B vitamins and electrolytes provide a natural energy boost without caffeine's  crash and burn effect. If you get bored of drinking Emergen-C, it's time to get jiggling by making gluten-free Emergen-C Gelatin! This simple, fun recipe, created by Valley Natural Foods' wellness manager, Naomi Lundberg,  is a sure-fire way to get your children to want their daily dose of vitamin C. Emergen-C is available in many awesome flavors including Super Orange, Raspberry, Cranberry-Pomegranate, Acai Berry, Tropical, Lemon-Lime and Tangerine.