Stroll through our produce department and you will find some new fresh faves – some returning for the season, some brand new to Valley Natural Foods – and all might not be quite what you expect!  Amaranth Greens Those into the ancient grains may recognize Amaranth seeds, but the leaves of the plant are also edible and are enjoyed around the world in countries like India, Indonesia and Malaysia. While Amaranth leaves have a slight bitterness to them when eaten raw in salads, they are most often used in cooked dishes such as stir fry and stews.  The red-colored greens are high in protein, iron and dietary fiber, among other amino acids such as Lysine.  Mini Red and Yellow watermelons Back in living color – red and yellow mini watermelons make their return to Valley! A perfect one-person size, the standard red and slightly-sweeter

You may have noticed it during a lovely spring day on our patio. You might have glimpsed it after getting a hot cup of coffee from our drive-thru window. And though it may simply look like nothing more than a serene green space, our Teaching Garden offers much more than just a calm place to enjoy your lunch. Garden Coordinator Erika Richards envisions the garden on the south side of our building as a way for our customers and our community to learn about various plants that can provide more benefits than just aesthetic beauty. “There are several varieties of plants that are either edible or have leaves that can be used as tea or are sold inside as an oil or supplement,” Erika says. “I want more people to learn how plants can heal you or just make you happier in

Grapes have always been the perfect summertime treat. Sweet and juicy with a pleasant pop, no party fruit tray would be complete without them, and their size makes for convenient eating on-the-go or straight out of the fridge. But let’s face it – while tasty, the basic options of Red vs. Green (and sometimes Black) haven’t made for much excitement over the years. Growers such as Divine Flavors have begun to change the grape landscape with new and exciting varieties that are unexpected in shape, color and flavor. And the best part is - they are certified organic!  Cotton Candy Grapes Cotton candy: an image that spins up memories of county fairs, parades, circuses and baseball games – not to mention sticky fingers. Let’s face it, as fondly as we remember the sweet taste of cotton candy, the confection consists of sugar and

If you’ve spent an afternoon on our outdoor patio recently, sipping on a freshly-squeezed juice or enjoying the selections from our salad bar, you may have noticed a small construction project going up in our teaching garden on the south side of our building. Long-time owner Tom Kackman has donated the labor and materials to build an arbor that will be the centerpiece of our teaching gardens for years to come. When completed, it will include a screen for growing vine plants, a bench for seating and a birdhouse. Kackman, who has owned Rebuild and Restore in Lakeville for 34 years, finds joy in his passion for teaching people about organic foods, and his hobby for building arbors. He manages the Woodhill Community Garden in Burnsville and has built two arbors for their space. The idea of adding an arbor to our

Join Our Award-Winning Team! At Valley Natural Foods, we pride ourselves on creating a workplace where our employees can feel appreciated and are happy to serve the needs of the local community.  We exist to make a difference in the lives of those we serve, so we partner with our staff to create the best employee and customer experience possible.  Staff have ample opportunity to learn, participate in training programs, and grow with the co-op.  33% of our open positions are filled each year by internal promotions!  These, and other metrics, demonstrate the level of commitment that Valley Natural Foods has to its staff. Want to be a part of our award-winning team?  Visit the employment page on our website to see our current openings.

"The Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest is more then just a gluten-free expo.  It's a celebration of living gluten-free." - GFFAFest [caption id="attachment_27817" align="alignright" width="400"] Gluten-Free Raspberry Rhapsody Muffins[/caption] The upcoming Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest is just around the corner, and our own Down in the Valley Bakehouse is honored to be joining several other gluten-free exhibitors at this exciting event! For the second year, GFFAFest will be held downtown at the beautiful Minneapolis Convention Center on June 4-5, 2016. Come visit us at booth #305 where we'll be serving up delicious samples of our amazing gluten-free Raspberry Rhapsody muffins. These special muffins were originally intended to be a seasonal item, but because of their overwhelming popularity, these mouthwatering Raspberry Rhapsody muffins are now one of our year-round gluten-free offerings. [caption id="attachment_27819" align="alignleft" width="300"] NEW! Gluten-Free Sunflower Cookies[/caption] Have a taste or two of our new products too, including tasty white loaf bread, sandwich buns, hot dog buns, sunflower cookies and many of our old

With spring arriving, we all are thinking about spring-cleaning, but it’s also the time to have a field day stocking up on Field Day products! Field Day products make up Valley Natural Foods’ Co+op Basics program, which offers everyday low prices on many popular organic grocery and household items. Be sure to take a field trip to the co-op from March 30-April 12, 2016 as you will find, for this limited time only, that many select Field Day products are available at even lower prices. Shopping organic on a budget just got easier as this is the bargain sale if there ever was one. Hint, hint, there are many meal ideas you can utilize these items for, including spaghetti, tacos, bean soups, peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, salads and more! Below is a listing of many of the Field Day products you will find

Easter baskets full of treats and Easter eggs are tradition. However, growing up as a kid in the 90s, I remember all of those corn syrupy sweet candies and eggs with artificial colors filling my Easter basket. My parents nor did many other people at the time know or even think about natural or organic options as much as they do today. Flash forward 25 years and now natural and organic Easter options are becoming mainstream. You can find many organic and natural Easter options at Valley Natural Foods. The co-op even has many adult-friendly Easter–type gift items too, if candy or sweet treats are not quite your speed. Here’s the lowdown of 10 ways you can fill your Easter basket with new traditions this year:     1. Honey Easter Bears – 2 oz.  $2.99/each This is by far the cutest Easter basket stuffer I’ve

We all know what it is like to feel hungry. When you are waiting for that next meal, sometimes your gurgling stomach is hard to ignore and you have to satiate it with a snack or two. If you are like many people, you try to have a snack that won’t fill you up so you still have room for lunch or dinner. Choosing a healthy snack option is probably also on your radar. Yet what if you didn’t have the luxury of so many food choices, much less healthy options? What if your gurgling stomach turned into an endless ache and you are powerless to cease its angry grip? That is the difference between feeling hungry and GOING HUNGRY.  I’ve never directly experienced going without food, but I do know I would never wish this situation upon anybody. Yet food shelves such as The Open Door Pantry in

These days quiet yet very inquisitive co-op owner Iraj Aryan of Apple Valley, MN, is always reading online and learning about the latest health information to ensure he continues to eat right. Eating right has become a lifestyle choice for him, especially since years ago he often became sick before he shopped at the co-op. He relays that it was an easy choice to become an owner almost 4 years ago, as he had been shopping the store for a while and it just made sense. After all, it is only $100 for a lifetime ownership! What is most important to Aryan is eating organic, as he wants to avoid pesticides, processed foods and GMOs. He believes that many people are getting sick and the only way to correct that is to eat right and your body will respond. Aryan is also an