Local flavor is in full bloom! (and a GF product list is now available!)

Michael M showing off the new GF product guide. Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

First off, I want to let everyone know that we have a fully updated list of all the gluten-free products that the Co-op carries at both stores!  You can find it here, on the recipes/resources page on the blog and on our Resources page on our website.  It has been a long time coming, but we’ve got it worked out so it is good for both locations.  It lists all grocery products that state on their labels that they are gluten-free, so it doesn’t include bulk items, produce, spices, juice, etc. – things that are either naturally gluten-free, or things that we can’t guarantee are gluten-free.  I’ll note that both stores have items that are not on the list because they are only carried at one location, and I did notice that the Cordata store has a few more gluten-free items than the Downtown store while I was compiling the list.  Anywho…

Local herbs, carrots, green onions and more! Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Have you been in our Produce departments lately?  Look around, and you’ll notice that the majority of the produce we have right now is either locally grown in Whatcom County or from Washington state!  We are so lucky to live in a community that experiences such variety from so many local farmers who are dedicated to growing high-quality (and oftentimes) organic produce.

Local tomatoes, garlic and shallots. Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Look at the bounty available to our shoppers:

Whatcom County Produce

  • OG Carrots
  • OG Green onions
  • OG Basil
  • OG Arugula
  • OG Radishes
  • OG Fennel
  • OG Napa cabbage
  • OG Green, red and black kale
  • OG Beets
  • OG Red chard
  • OG Tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes (we also have conventional tomatoes grown in Lynden)
  • OG Garlic
  • OG French gray shallots (delicious!)
  • Blueberries
  • Mushrooms – variety
  • OG Broccoli
  • OG Cauliflower
  • OG Yellow and green zucchini
  • OG Summer squash
  • OG Sunflower sprouts
  • OG Cucumbers  – Mediterranean (yum!), English and regular
  • OG Fresh red and Walla Walla sweet onions
  • OG Hot peppers
  • OG Corn
  • Salad mix (OG and conventional), baby spinach and OG arugula in bulk
  • Local flower bunches
  • Assorted OG herb bunches

What? Local Walla Wallas are where it's at...all this for $1.98?!? Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

From Washington

  • Peaches – a variety (OG and conventional)
  • OG Melons – including watermelon
  • OG Apricots
  • OG Nectarines – white and yellow
  • OG Leeks
  • OG Lettuce
  • OG Cabbage
  • OG Sansa and Zestar apples (new crop)
  • OG Plums
  • OG Starkrimson pears
  • Potatoes

100% local flower bunches, hand tied at the Cordata Co-op. Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

And the best part is, there is still more to come!

Easy Peaches and Cream Cake

Donut Peaches Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Mmmmm….local peaches.  Need I say more?   It is always exciting to see the first boxes arrive direct from the Okanogan Producers Marketing Association (a co-op of six small central WA farms), and they keep getting tastier until that day in September that they are no more, which always comes too soon.

Local organic peaches Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

We still have an abundance of peaches at the Co-op, and even have a couple of varieties of white and yellow ones from Brownfield Farm in Chelan.  If you haven’t come in and gotten any – you are really missing out!

As you might have surmised, my inspiration for this weeks recipe… PEACHES!

I rarely do anything with peaches besides slice them up and eat them, so I wanted to step outside my “comfort zone” for this week’s recipe.  I started by peeling about 8 or 9 donut peaches and then cut them into 1/2″ chunks.  I threw them in a skillet over medium-high heat with melted butter, a little bit of sugar and a dash of vanilla.  Over the next few minutes I had a divine smelling peach saute, and it tasted like creamy heaven.  So what to do with the concoction?  Though there were a myriad of possibilities, I thought a peaches and cream cake would be an easy winner.

I prepared a package of the Swan Bakery’s gluten-free pound cake mix – I cooked it in a 9×13 cake pan, and let it cool for about 15 minutes after taking it out of the oven.  I poked a bunch of holes in it with a toothpick, and poured my peach mixture over the whole cake.  I let it sit for about another 15 minutes, and cut out a slice as a “tester”.  YUM!  The sauce from the peaches had soaked into the cake just enough to give it peachy flavor without making it goopy.  I added a dollop of whipped cream (with vanilla) to the top, and thus created my first peaches and cream cake!

Peaches and Cream Cake Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Easy Peaches and Cream Cake

INGREDIENTS

8—10 donut peaches OR 4 –5 large peaches

Pound cake mix (and ingredients needed to prepare cake—most likely eggs, milk and butter)

~ 1/4 sugar or other sweetener

3 T butter

1/2 t + 1 t vanilla

Pint of whipping cream

Instructions

1. Prepare pound cake in 9 x 13 pan according to directions on the package.

2. While cake is baking, halve and peel peaches.  Cut into slices or 1/2” chunks.

3. Melt 3 T butter in skillet over medium heat.  Taste your peaches for sweetness.  Turn heat down to medium-low and add up to 1/4 c sugar.  Cook until dissolved, about one minute.

4. Add peaches to butter/sugar.  Increase heat to medium high and  cook peaches until they are soft and have reduced down slightly into a sauce (about 3-5 minutes).  Remove from heat.

5. Let cake cool for about 20 minutes.

6. Poke a bunch of holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick.  Spread peach mixture over cake.

7. Prepare whipped cream, and for the most tasty results, serve immediately!

To make whipped cream:

1. Put bowl and whisk in refrigerator to cool (you get better whipped cream this way).

2. Take bowl/whisk out of the fridge, and add the pint of heavy whipping cream, along with 1 t of vanilla.

3. Beat until soft peaks form.

4. Spread over cake in desired fashion – You can frost the cake and refrigerate it, or serve each slice with a dollop of cream on top.

Peaches and Cream Cake PDF

Berry-licious Popsicles

Whew, some weather we’ve had, huh?  When it gets warm like this, I know that all I want to cook and/or eat are fresh, raw foods – it’s like my body craves the extra moisture!  When faced with choosing a recipe this week, cooking was the farthest thing from my mind.  Terry, the Cordata Store Manager was like “why don’t you make popsicles”?  “Genius” I replied!

Popsicles are great because you don’t really need a recipe to make them (although I did create one!).  You can make a popsicle out of any beverage that will freeze, and you can add every fruit I can think of.  Local berries are starting to come into full swing, so my decision was made (that, and local company Remlinger Farms gave us some free frozen local berries to use for demos!).

I wanted to make two varieties, so I chose lemonade (for a more sour popsicle) and concord grape juice (for a sweeter version) as my two bases – and they are both on sale right now!.  I simply threw a bunch of handfuls of berries in the blender, and added juice as I pureed them until I thought it tasted right.  I poured them into 3 oz. sample cups, and put them in our zero degree freezer – before you could say heat-wave, I had dozens of delicious thirst and heat quenchers.

These are healthy treats for adults and kids alike!  You are only limited by your imagination…

Berry-licious Popsicles

Berry-licious Popsicles

INGREDIENTS

1—4 c Assorted berries

32 oz Fruit Juice (lemonade or other)

Optional Ingredients:

1 c Yogurt

Sweetener (sugar, agave, honey, etc.)

Over-ripe bananas

Watermelon

Use your imagination!

Instructions

1. Wash berries thoroughly.

2. Combine berries with juice in blender or food processor, and blend until combined.  Add yogurt if using.  (You may need to do this in a couple batches, depending on the size of your blender.)

3. Taste the mixture and decide if you need to add any sweetener (you probably won’t)

4. Pour mixture into small Dixie cups or popsicle molds.

5. If you are using cups, add toothpicks or popsicle sticks after they have partially frozen.

6. Freeze.

7. Once frozen, remove from cups/molds and enjoy!  (It is helpful to run them under warm water for a second to help loosen them from the mold.)

Popsicles are pretty basic—you can make them out of almost any beverage without adding anything else to the mix!  You can get really creative and don’t really need to rely on a recipe—your taste buds are the best gauge.

If adults are your audience, try sangria popsicles, or your favorite blended drink (margarita popsicles anyone?).

If kids are your audience, you can add overripe bananas, or plop some whole berries in the bottom of the popsicle mold and then pour juice on top—and get the kids involved!  This is a fun recipe to give them the reins on—they might surprise you with all the healthy things they want to add!

Tip—I prefer using a blender because it is easier to pour into your molds

Berry-licious Popsicles PDF