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

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

We’ve just introduced our new tagline at Valley Natural Foods, which is Know, Believe and Belong ™. However, while taglines are supposed to sound cool, be memorable and epitomize the brand experience, some struggle to evoke an authentic vibe. Most sound fun but only exude marketing jibberish. That is not what we wanted for Valley Natural Foods’ tagline. I can tell you wholeheartedly that when we were designing our tagline, we wanted it to evoke a genuine feeling of what it is really like to shop and be a part of our co-op as a customer. When I spoke to Valley Natural Foods co-op owner John Penrose of Bloomington, MN, our tagline seemed to come to life through his own words without any prodding. In fact, I had no preconceived notion or agenda for our conversation – I just wanted to

The whole idea behind smoothies, hence the name, is that they are healthy, smooth drinks full of chunks of blended fruits or vegetables. You can also add liquid (fruit juice, milk, or yogurt), ice and nutritional add-ons such as protein powders for a consistent texture to meet your individual taste desires. Click here for tips on making your own smoothies from National Co-op Grocers. However, dependent upon the amount of liquid, and the fruits and vegetables used, some smoothies are not as smoothly blended as others. And have you ever been on a quest to find the smoothest smoothie of them all? My quest ended when I tried our Emerald Pineapple Smoothie, available in our deli’s Coffee and Juice Bar. Our employees love this smoothie so much they chose it as their “Love List” item of the week! It’s a great treat

When glancing at this picture, one would think this strange, yellow apparatus is part of a Halloween display, perhaps representing some ghoulishly freakish goblin fingers. Yet I bet the last thing you would guess is that this large yellow spindly thing is edible and that it is actually a fruit. Called Buddha fingers or Buddha's hand, this fruit is a member of the citrus family although it looks nothing like an orange, lemon or lime. It also features bright yellow, segmented finger-like sections with a thick peel, which can infiltrate any room with a strong, fragrant, citrus aroma. In fact, in Asian countries, a primary use for this fruit is as an air freshener along with it being the base of perfumes and fragrances. Yet similar to traditional citrus, one can eat Buddha's hand, but not necessarily directly as people commonly

**As the temperatures dipped and all the social gatherings of the holidays subsided, an unwelcome guest traveled with me into 2016. I’m sure this unwelcome guest is familiar to most people this time of year as it brings congestion, sinus pressure, leading to headaches, along with a minor sore throat. Yes, I am talking about the common cold. Although I stocked up on various homeopathic products from the co-op’s wellness department, which helped to varying degrees over a couple days, it wasn’t until I discovered Garden of Life’s raw organic extra virgin coconut oil on the third day of my cold that I truly felt relief. I thought that now is the time to try it as it is almost half price through January 31, 2016 at $9.99 for 16 ounces. I simply swirled around a teaspoon of coconut oil

Add Susan's  fruitcake, sold in our deli, to your LOVE LIST this December. It makes the perfect gift to give this holiday season! Each loaf is $12.99. “There has always been a stigma around fruitcake; either you like or you don’t,” said Susan McGaughey, Valley Natural Foods’ General Manager. One of the most severe cases of disliking fruitcake that McGaughey can remember is when one of her pastors lambasted it from the pulpit several years ago! So in defense of fruitcake, she decided to present him with her homemade version as a gift, and guess what -- he liked it! People have enjoyed McGaughey’s fruitcake so much over the years that they have prodded her to go into business but she shies away from that by saying “it takes some of the joy out of it.” For McGaughey, it is all about having a giving,

A grin lightens her face and her eyes open wide with excitement when I ask her about her meal planning skills. The one thing you will soon learn when you are around Brittany, who has worked in the co-op’s grocery department for two years, is that she is always bubbly and enthusiastic.  What’s great is that her effervescent personality is infectious and you will find yourself smiling and laughing more when talking to her. Brittany’s wonderful sense of humor bleeds into how she talks about meal planning, proclaiming that she has almost no ability to cook. This inability has made her gravitate toward easy-to-make meal products at Valley Natural Foods. One of her absolute favorites is Near East rice pilaf, of which select varieties are on sale December 2-15 and select varieties of Near East couscous are 3 for $5 during that

Over the last six years she has been working as a deli shift lead, Sandy is amazed at the amount of food the co-op’s little kitchen produces and the large amount of customers it is able to serve daily. Now she feels the deli’s breakfast options, which include breakfast sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, and hot oatmeal, fill a nice niche that was missing before. It pleases Sandy how the co-op seeks to meet more and more needs over time, which relates to the store’s mission of helping to create a healthy community. And when you are driving to work in the morning, hopefully the deli’s breakfast options can meet your need for food fast! The deli’s drive thru opens at 6:30 a.m. Monday thru Saturday and at 8:00 a.m. on Sundays. Besides the breakfast options already mentioned, you can also stop by to get your coffee, juice,