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Maca Smoothies for More Vibrant Days

On hot summer days, I tend to have more smoothies for breakfast. Though there are many ingredients I love, the maca I am adding seems to contribute to my sense of well being. This is probably because maca is an adaptogen and a hormone balancer.

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By adaptogen, I am referring to maca’s ability to reduce the negative impact stress has on our bodies. We might still experience the stress, but it is not as harmful on our overall health. A recent study showed that women who experienced more stress burned fewer calories after eating a high fat meal compared to the women with fewer stressors. The study showed that the higher stress levels correlated with higher insulin levels, which can contribute to belly fat. The study didn’t address adaptogens like maca, but in theory, these types of herbs might improve insulin levels and therefore help our metabolism.

The other popular benefit of maca is as a hormone balancer for both women and men. It is maybe most widely known as a libido enhancer. It isn’t going to necessarily help everyone since not all libido issues are related to hormones, but for those cases, it can be a great choice. Consuming maca might also help conditions like prostate issues, PMS, hot flashes, acne, and even some types of depression.

Because maca is traditionally used in fairly large quantities, it is a perfect item to add to a smoothie or other food. I usually put 1-2 teaspoon in each smoothie. When I added 3 teaspoons, I noticed a bit of a spicy radish-like taste that I didn’t like.

Here is my current smoothie recipe:

  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior Chocolate Warrior Blend or other protein powder
  • 1-2 tsp barley grass or other greens powder
  • 1-2 maca powder
  • 2 Tbs almond butter or other nut butter or nuts
  • 1 tsp cacoa powder
  • 1-2 Tbs ground flaxseeds and or chia seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric with a pinch of black pepper
  • 1 Tbs barlean’s Coconut oil
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups water

Blend in a blender until smooth with any of these other ingredients I might want that day:

You can also empty the contents of supplement capsules into the smoothie such as probiotics, amino acids, and herbal supplements. Basically any that doesn’t make the smoothie taste strange.

And I haven’t even gotten around to trying all of the new items in our Bulk Herb aisle. Here you will find bulk products to make your smoothies more nutritious and delicious like: bee pollen, beet powder, raw cacoa powder, cranberry powder, goji powder, lucuma, matcha green tea powder, and wheat grass powder.

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July in the Farm & Garden Department

Plant Support: This is the time of year when seed starts planted in the spring are
producing large amount of fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes, for instance, often need a little help growing vertically because the fruit becomes too heavy for the stalks or the outward growth takes up too much space. We currently have a big display of bamboo trellises and jute twine that will encourage vertical growth of your plants. The trellises are very sturdy and will be as susceptible to weathering as opposed to wooden alternatives.

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Bat Guano: This product is a great source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium for your soil but we regret to inform our customers that we have temporarily stopped carrying it due to distributor issues. This is a popular product and we are in the process of looking for another source but in the mean time you can find a non-local bag of guano from our friends over at Nitron.

Mosquito Barrier: Mosquitoes are running rampant and after this week’s forecast of rain and ample amounts of humidity we are only going to see more of those pests. The best way to get rid of these pests in your back yard is to kill the existing mosquitoes and kill their eggs that are often around stagnant water. This product is a garlic based pesticide and is safe for humans and pets plus the 32oz bottle it comes in will cover large areas.

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Feed Orders: Our Feed store downstairs is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. And recently we have been getting inquiries on larger orders of feed. The 10% case discount price on feed starts at 2000 pound orders and this is a great way to stock up for the fall. If you special order a ton of feed we can work with you by altering the grains and nutritional value that works best for your animals. We can also have the bulk feed from Thayer put in 50 pound bags which will reduce the amount of spoilage and will store much better.

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Always feel free to call or email us with any questions or concerns about our products. Call 479-521-7558 and ask for Mike Brillhart or email me at farm@onf.coop.

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Local Fare Fair

Every year, the Co-op celebrates local farmers and producers during Local Month in July. We love local farmers and producers because of what they mean to our community – these are families who are rooted in our community and are working to make it better. We support over 80 local producers here at the Co-op because we believe that it’s important to support local businesses whenever possible, as we are a local business as well! We’ve been in Fayetteville since 1971, and with the support of Fayetteville and the surrounding communities, we’ve been able to thrive. We want to help our local producers do the same! We define local as anything within a 100 mile radius of the Co-op.

This Local Month, we’re throwing a little celebration in honor of our local producers – the Local Fare Fair! This will be a tasting event in which you can come to the store and meet 8 of our local producers throughout the day and sample their products. Some of the vendors that will be set up at the Co-op are:

We’ll also have Handmade Moments, a local band, playing music at the store from 12-2pm. This music duo will make your day bright – we promise!

We hope to see you at the store for the Local Fare Fair, and while you’re here, check out the local products we carry throughout the store (noted with a local tag). Every time you buy a product that’s made or grown locally, you’re growing the local economy and supporting a local family.

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It’s fair to say that the Local Fare Fair is going to be fairly fun! We’ll see you there!

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The Co-op Goes to War Eagle Mill

Last week, the Co-op was invited to tour the War Eagle Mill, one of our longstanding local producers. Their high-quality flours, cereals and mixes are a favorite of our customers and staff (especially the Buckwheat Pancake Mix!), so we jumped at the chance to see firsthand how this historic mill operated.

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Nestled in the War Eagle Valley just south of Hobbs State Park, the War Eagle Mill can be reached via a short, scenic drive from Fayetteville. We arrived early Thursday morning and were met by Liz, who works sales and marketing at the mill. As we walked along the outside of the building, she told us some of War Eagle Mill’s long, and what some might call turbulent, history. Constructed by Sylvanus and Catherine Blackburn in 1834, the War Eagle Mill was built to accommodate the need of the Blackburns, and other local growers in the area, for a place to grind their grains into flour. It was destroyed in a flood in 1848, rebuilt the next year, burned down by the Confederate Army during the Civil War, rebuilt again in 1873 and then burned down for a second time in 1924. The building you see today, including the waterwheel system still in use, was constructed in 1974 using the same blueprints as the old mill. Surprisingly, the original Blackburn homestead survived the catastrophes brought upon the mill and still stands today.

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 Next, we ventured inside to tour through the three floors of the mill including the gift shop and third floor restaurant, the Bean Palace, famous for their beans and cornbread. The main draw of the building, though, is the actual mill itself. As explained by Wes, one of War Eagle’s talented millers (pictured below), the mill is run exclusively by the water power of the War Eagle Creek. As the large waterwheel rotates, it moves a large belt and pulley system that connects to the mills machinery. Grains are poured into a hopper at the top of the machine which feeds them between two vertically set millstones. One millstone remains stationary, while the other rotates via power from the waterwheel outside. It is this action that breaks down the grain to the desired consistency, from coarse grits to fine flours.

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 It is a beautifully simple system that has changed very little over the last two centuries. This simplicity in production might explain why War Eagle’s products are consistently of such high quality and flavor. They’ve had a lot of practice getting it right! We highly recommend their flours, cereals and mixes available at Ozark Natural Foods including:

Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
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Organic Unbleached Bread Flour
Organic Buckwheat Flour
Organic Soy Flour
Organic Yellow Cornmeal
Organic Blue Cornmeal
Organic Yellow Corn Grits
Multi-Grain Pancake Mix
Buckwheat Pancake Mix
Biscuit Mix
Yellow Cornbread Mix
Creamy Wheat-O-Cereal
Organic 7-Grain Cereal
Organic Oat Bran
Organic Steel Cut Oats
Organic Thick Cut Oats
Super Natural Granola

The War Eagle Mill, including the gift shop and restaurant, is open to the public seven days a week, March 1st – December 31st (the mill is closed in January and open only limited hours in February). And make sure this fall to check out the War Eagle Mill Fall Craft Fair this year, from October 16th to October 19th. This annual event showcases hundreds of local craftspeople, artists and vendors from around the region, as well as being the perfect time to enjoy the fall season in the Ozarks.

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 Thank you to Liz and Wes for showing us around and to the War Eagle Mill for its continued excellence in providing high-quality, locally produced food to our community!

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Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

Last week, you may have read Dr. Laurell Matthew’s recipe for Bulletproof Turmeric (if not, check it out here and here). Her recipe was a take on Bulletproof Coffee, which has become very popular these days. I have been drinking Bulletproof Coffee for 4 months and I love it!

My favorite recipe for Bulletproof Coffee is 24 ounces of French-Pressed, Onyx Coffee Labs Ethiopian Misty Valley Coffee, 2 Tablespoons of Kerrygold Salted Butter, and 2 Tablespoons of Barlean’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil blended together in a blender to emulsify.

This tasty coffee is perfect on those mornings when I am on the go and need sustained energy. The fat in the coffee keeps me full until lunch and also prevents that mid-morning crash!

And whether you try out Dr. Laurell’s Bulletproof Turmeric or my Bulletproof Coffee recipe, I recommend you use Barlean’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil! It is even on sale for Co-op owners – $10.99 for a 16oz bottle (you save $5.oo)!

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A Trail Mix for Ginger Lovers!

Inspired by picnics, summer hikes, road trips and the wild ginger in me, I want to share with you a few thoughts about one of our new trail mixes: Wild Ginger Harvest! Wild Ginger Harvest, made by Sunridge Farms, is a sweet and savory trail mix with a nice zing of ginger. Full of chocolate chips, ginger, tamari almonds, cranberries, papaya, roasted cashews, raisins, pineapple, and apricots, Wild Ginger Harvest is a good mix of sweet and salty. Not only is it a great snack – it is packed with health benefits! Have cramps? Ginger can help! Can’t stop the tootin’? Ginger can help! Have a sore throat? Ginger can help! Have a question in bulk? That sweet ginger (me!) can help! So come on down to your local Co-op and try some of that new Ginger Harvest trail mix today.

-Chris, Bulk Foods

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Introducing Locally Made Kyya Chocolate Bars

It has come to my attention that, though I’ve already taken the mantle of “grocery blogger” for Ozark Natural Foods, I’ve yet to properly introduce myself. Allow me to make up for such a foolish mistake. Hello! I’m Blake Wilkins, your new friend-to-the-end for finding all sorts of fine foods. Let me let you in on a little about myself.

I’m a life-long resident of Fayetteville, AR and am a graduate of Fayetteville High School. I’ll spare you the eye sore of reading about my interests, hobbies, etcetera, etcetera, and instead inform you of the two things you really need to know about me to make this “relationship” work.

First of all, I dig writing. Wither or not one would consider myself any good at it is all up to you, but that’s besides the point. I dig it and I’m gonna keep diggin’ it until the day I die. With that being said, if you find that my blogs are either uninformative, too personal or simply badly written, please don’t hesitate to email me at blake.m.wilkins@gmail.com and I’ll do my darn-dist to find a solution for ya. Also, I’m relatively new with social media, so any complaints or comments you give to me will simply be seen as an opportunity to better my inter-web interactive skills.

The second thing you should know is that I love food. Sort of a match made in heaven considering I work at the best food establishment in town. I couldn’t have asked for a better job as a grocer, and being able to actually write for my employer is just icing on the cake. Speaking of cake…

I’ve got something of a sweet tooth. Sure, I’m all for the healthy stuff, but nothing gets my goat more than a good ol’ fashioned chocolate bar. Seriously. Even in middle school I was given the “Wonka Award,” for “having the most scrumdiddlyumtious attitude in class.” The name ‘Wonka’ and the word ‘scrumdiddlyumtious’ are derived from the novel “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl. In it, young Charlie Bucket receives a golden ticket that allows him to visit the infamous Wonka Factory, a chocolate factory owned and operated by an eccentric Willy Wonka and his team of dwarf slaves. It is there that Charlie discovers the definition of the word scrumdiddlyumtious, which is simply a fun way of saying that something either tastes delicious or is really marvelous. And man o’ man have I encountered something scrumdiddlyumtious!

Introducing the Kyya Chocolate bar. Really needs no introduction though. If there is any product that sells itself it’s chocolate. Need I really inform you that the Kyya Chocolate bar not only tastes scrumdiddlyumtious but that’s local too? Not really. Just mentioning that the item I’m selling is chocolate would be enough. But that wouldn’t make for the most informative or entertaining read now, would it?

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I’ve taken the liberty of researching various facts about chocolate and have some up with some really fascinating results. Like, I never knew that if you ate dark chocolate at least once a day that it would reduce the chances of heard disease by one-third. Guess I’ve got a strong heart! I also hadn’t any idea that chocolate actually has an antibacterial effect on the mouth and protect again tooth decay. Of all things that’d help with your teeth, I never would have guessed candy.

Not only does chocolate help with the heart and mouth, but also with one’s mood. The smell of it increases theta brain waves, which in turn triggers relaxation censors and ignites a feeling of ease and comfort. No wonder I’m at my most relaxed when behind a chocolate bar.

So let’s review, shall we? Kyya Chocolate not only tastes scrumdiddlyumtious, but it is beneficial for your health. And local! Need not us forget local. How about a taste test too? Purchase a Kyya Chocolate bar here at ONF, then head on down to your run-of-the-mill grocery store and pick up a conventional chocolate bar. Now nibble at both bars and experience the results. You’ll notice that the Kyya Chocolate is much richer and even sweeter. The conventional bar tastes almost rubbery by comparison. Defiantly not scrumdiddlyumtious.

Well there we have it. A super-sweet recommendation and a hopefully not-so overwhelming introduction. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Until next time, keep on eatin’ on!

-Blake, Grocery

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July Gardening

Could we have asked for a nicer summer? I can’t believe it’s the middle of July and I’ve only had to water my garden one time. It is certainly a nice change from those recent drought summers we’ve had. I don’t know if the summer will dry out, but I’m prepared if it does. Of course, I’d much prefer mother nature provide the water.

Water: So typically, in a July gardening post I’d remind you to water your garden. You may have to do that in future weeks. If things get dry, remember to water well when the soil is dry 1 inch below the surface.

Harvest: In any year, the theme for July is maintenance. For the summer garden, we are harvesting regularly. Green beans, okra and squash generally need to be harvested daily.

Weed: Keep those weeds out of the garden. You don’t want them using up all the valuable nutrients in your soil. If you’re using a thick layer of mulch as you should be, weeds won’t be much of an issue.

Deadhead: Take clippers on your daily garden walks and remove spent blooms. Remove them just below the head. Doing so will keep your summer blooms going all season long.

Plant: Normally I’d say starting seeds is a challenge in July, but not thus far this year. Consider doing succession planting for some of those quick producing crops: lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, summer squash.

This is also time to start thinking about starting fall crops indoors under grow lights. Here are a few crops that can be started now:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts (early July)

I love July in the garden. This is when I finally get the payoff of all the planning from last winter and the hard work from last spring. Big harvests will continue from now through October and I now face the challenge of what to do with all this food! I will be freezing, canning, fermenting and dehydrated for the next several months to prepare for winter. And, of course, sharing with my neighbors.

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Canning Season Has Begun!

Tis’ the greatest season of the year! Canning season! Canning can seem kind of scary to people who have never done it before. I canned with my grandma and mom when I was younger but as much as I don’t want to admit it, that was years and years ago. Last year I decided I was going to teach myself to can. I read lots of blogs and books on canning and pickling. I started out doing refrigerator pickling, which isn’t as intimidating as hot water pickling. But I figured if I can successfully start a SCOBY for Kombucha from scratch and brew my own Kombucha I could probably tackle this hot water canning thing.

The wonderful thing about canning is it is catered to each individual person. Some people prefer spicy while others prefer more sweet. It takes a couple of tries with different brines to see which one you like the best!

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Our Produce department is FULL of local organic canning produce at the moment. Tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, squash, and onions come to mind first. You can also pickle other things besides just cucumbers. Pickled squash, okra, Brussel sprouts, and onions are delicious pickled.  Also, canning things like pasta sauce and salsa are wonderful! It is very inexpensive to make and that way you can truly enjoy garden sauce in the middle of winter. And by making your own you also get to decide exactly what goes in it! Another wonderful thing to can are soups, veggie mixes, fruit pie fillings, applesauce, apple butter, and the list goes on and on.

If you are interested in canning but don’t know where to begin you will be pleased to know that Ozark Natural Foods offers canning classes! Our next one will be Tuesday August 12th at 6pm.

We also have some other classes coming up between now and then. All classes are free but RSVP to reserve a spot, they will go quickly! You can call the store at (479) 521-7558 or email me directly at Heather@onf.coop.

Tuesday July 15th at 6pm: All About Tomatoes Class

Tuesday July 22nd at 6pm: All About Toxins (This class will be taught by Suzanne Clark.)

Thursday July 24th at 6pm: Vegan Picnic Favorites (This class will be taught by Kat Mendenhall)

Thursday July 31st at 6pm: Fall Gardening

Tuesday August 5th at 6pm: Raising Vegan Kids (This class will be taught by Kat Mendenhall)

Tuesday August 12th at 6pm: Canning

Thursday August 14th at 6pm: Back to School Favorites

Tuesday August 19th at 6pm: Healthy Fats (This class will be  taught by Rachel McDonald)

Thursday August 21st at 6pm: Pickling and Fermentation

Thursday August 28th at 6pm: Healthy Treats (This class will be taught by Kat Mendenhall)

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Owner Appreciation Weekend Ideas!

Owner Appreciation Weekend (OAW) is this weekend, and that means you get to save money! Owners save 10% on their purchases this Saturday and Sunday (excluding Co+op Deals and alcohol). One of the most awesome parts of this weekend is that anything that’s on Owner Bonus Buy sale in the store is still eligible for the extra 10% discount. So something that’s already deeply discounted will be even more so this weekend only! In light of this, I decided to make a list of some of the best deals in the store that you can save on this weekend:

La Croix Sparkling Water is on sale for owners for $4.39/12 pack (you save $1.00). If you want to buy two 12 packs, that will get you an extra 10% case discount!

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Napa Valley Olive Oil is on sale for $9.99 for owners (you save $3.00).

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Horace and Dolores Local Honey 22oz bottle is on sale for owners for $6.99 (you save $2.50), and the 46oz bottle is on sale for owners for $12.99 (you save $3.00).

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Barleans Coconut Oil is also on sale for owners. You can get a 16oz jar for $10.99 (you save $5.00) or a 32oz jar for $21.99 (you save $9.50).

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Barleans Fish Oil bottles are $7.99 for 100 ct (you save $2.90) and $17.99 for 250 ct (you save $5.89), all on sale for owners.

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Barleans Chia Seeds are on sale for owners for $11.99 (you save $2.20).

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Barleans Chocolate Greens are on sale for $28.69 for owners (you save $9.50).

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Garden of Life Raw Fit 16oz canisters are on sale for owners for $25.69 (you save $13.70).

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Garden of Life Raw Fit Packet boxes (that come with 10 packets) are $28.39 for owners (you save $15.00).

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Garden of Life Chia Seeds are on sale for $9.99 for owners (you save $5.00).

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Remember, with all of these products, you get an extra 10% off on your purchase, on top of these already great sales! If you need any help at all shopping this weekend, feel free to ask one of our staff members and we’d be more than happy to help. Happy shopping and thanks for being an owner at Ozark Natural Foods!

 

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