Easy, breezy springtime eating!May 13, 2013
With all the beautiful, ripe fruit and vegetables beginning to come into Green Acres, it starts some of us thinking of easy, breezy springtime entertaining.
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, caveman, gluten free or grain-convinced, you’ll love these recipes that are spotlighted in the recent Garden of Life magazine called, Extraordinary Health. Just looking at the colorful photographs gets the mouth watering for RAW and uncomplicated food.
How does Simple Mango Cazpacho sound? Or Avocado Salad Wraps? Or Raspberry Vanilla Cream Popsicles for dessert? Yum! Not a bad ladies luncheon, picnic family supper or a regular meal “just because”—just because we all deserve it!
Last Saturday, Matt, one of our owners, gave some Wichita GreenAcres customers a lesson in cutting up a ripe mango. Not as easy as you think without a very sharp knife! But if you’ve ever tried to tear into that juicy fruit without really knowing how, by the time you pry your way through, you’ve got a puddle of juice all over the kitchen counter and a bunch of stringy pulp. So, before you try the recipe that follows, check out this Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcDPB7wTReg
Simple Mango Gaz courtesy of RAW Chef Penni Shelton
2 c. diced fresh mangoes
2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 c. chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro (or basil or mint—you choose)
2 T. organic cold-pressed EVOO
1 t. onion powder
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red onion, chopped for garnish
Avocado, sliced for garnish
Reserve a bit of the mango, cucumber, red pepper and cilantro to use as the final garnish, if desired. Process the remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour into bowls and garnish for soup or this can easily be poured into a glass enjoyed as a savory, sweet smoothie.
Avocado Salad Wraps courtesy Dr. Josh Axe
2 avocados, cubed
1 red pepper, cubed
2 T. diced red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 t. fresh lemon juice
6 to 8 romaine lettuce leaves, roughly chopped
6 gluten free wraps
Mix all ingredients, except the wraps, in a bowl. Scoop out approximately ½ cup mixture into each gluten free wrap and roll. Serve.
Raspberry Vanilla Cream Popsicles courtesy Pure Fresh Daily
1 13.5 oz can organic coconut milk or 2 cups whole fat coconut yogurt
2 6oz. packages fresh respberries
4 T. raw honey
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. Garden of Life Coconut Oil
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth, frothy and creamy. Pour into popsicle mold and insert handle tops or wooden sticks (depending on the molds you have.)
Freeze for a minimum of three hours. Once thoroughly frozen, turn popsicle mold maker on its side under running hot water, but do not allow water to touch popsicles! If there are any left over, store in plastic individual plastic bags in the fridge.
As always, you can buy all of the above ingredients at GreenAcres Market. If you decide to try any of these recipes, please let us hear how you life them!
As always, you can buy all of the above ingredients at GreenAcres Market. If you decide to try any of these recipes, please let us hear how you life them!
Gifts from the heart that spell M.O.T.H.E.R.May 02, 2013
Mother’s Day is a week from this coming Sunday and customers already are wondering what to get their moms, girlfriends, even their sisters on this lovely day as tokens of their appreciation for what the women in their lives have meant to them.
To our wonderment, there are so many great things at GreenAcres to choose from, we just decided to ask our Health and Beauty and Supplement market team to pick one item they might like for themselves or to give to their mothers on Mother’s Day. Here’s what they chose:
· Irwin Naturals “Sunny Mood” supplements—uplifting to the spirits (we guess because in Wichita today, it’s still winter out.)
· Newton Homeopathic’s Sciatica Nerve Care—some of the mom’s we imagine are a bit down in the hip.
· Dr. Houschka’s Eye Concealer—for obvious reasons. Whether women need this or not, they think they do.
· Earth Therapeutic’s Relaxing Microwavable Comfort Wrap with Lavender and Chamomile—almost sounds good enough to eat!
· Pacifica’s Vanilla-flavor Soy Candle—both beautiful to look at (fuschia in color) and to scent the entire house.
· Now Solutions’ Tranquil Rose Massage Oil—for those who need a loving touch.
· Zum’s mini Zumbag full of mini soaps, body washes and lip balms—to “feel mothered on Mother’s Day.”
· Valerie Ann Worwood’s The Complete Guide Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy—just to sit in a comfy chair and read all about so many delicious and fragrant “healers.”
· Flowers: a big bouquet of white hydrangeas and orange lilies—what could be more lovely?
This gives you some ideas as you contemplate your gift giving. A gift basket is always nice—and GreenAcres can fill it with all kinds of lovely products. How about just giving a gift certificate and letting your loved one pick out what she’d like? Whatever you decide, we’re here to help.
Without our moms and dads, we wouldn’t be here today. A little extra attention on Mom’s special day will just mean so much to both of you. After all, mothers are a gift to us, and we are our mother’s most precious gift of all!
The closer to home, the more we like it!March 11, 2013
GreenAcres Market is located in three Midwestern cities and now we can take advantage of local products in those and surrounding towns. We tend to like it that way. We get to know the farmers and growers, the manufacturers and the producers. We can barrel down the highways in between Kansas City and Wichita and Wichita and Jenks, picking up products, stocking our shelves, introducing customers to things made in and near their own home town. How good is that?!
GreenAcres has been introduced to some of these home-grown products through our summer Farmers Markets. The companies naturally start small and can grow tremendously, seemingly overnight. Once customers like what they taste and see, a miracle can happen, and a company can really take off.
Take Little Bits, a great little low-cal cookie made with all natural ingredients and spices that set tongues a’tingling. Greg Cole is the sole proprietor who bakes his cookies on a daily basis in his own home kitchen. So popular has Little Bits become, Greg has his cookies in all three GreenAcres Markets and in about 15 other stores besides. Greg is going big time, and he started right in our flagship store’s front parking lot, under a tent, just like the other farmers and their produce and products.
Not all home-grown businesses get their start in the parking lot. Take Delano Bakery for example, nestled in the heart of what is called Wichita’s Delano District near South Seneca. For nearly a quarter of a century, the Dumford family has followed Wichita’s traditions of baking the freshest and highest quality breads such as Ciabatta, Focaccia, Stone Hearth-baked Rustic breads, and a variety of rolls. Our customers appreciate homemade bread, and especially buy up the raisin bread which is “not too sweet,” as one fan says.
Another great product that doesn’t sit long on our shelves is El Zarape salsa which comes in mild, medium and hot. If you go to its website, you can read the story: Phyllis and Manuel Garcia, Sr., started the company in the late 60s, not knowing anything about financing or business…just having a dream, a dream of becoming entrepreneurs.
As other start-ups, El Zarape started in the Garcia kitchen. The Mexican community had not yet migrated to Garden City, but Phyllis and Manuel knew the Kansas palate was ready for hearty, Mexican cooking. El Zarape was the first Mexican restaurant to open in the area. And while the senior Garcias are now gone, their great grandchildren proudly carry on the family business, distributing the tangy salsa throughout Kansas.
Have you tasted our demoed products from the Mediterranean Market and Café? If not, you’re in for a treat. Mediterranean Market comes to us from Lawrence, KS and has what we consider some of the best hummus, falafel and tzatziki around.
We know you’ve tried our MarCon pies—we can’t order them fast enough: Blueberry, Cherry, Carmel Apple, Raisin, Pecan…too many to list. The Strawberry Rhubarb has quite a following.We love these pies, and they come fresh out of the oven, homemade to our doors from Washington, KS.
Okie Chai, anyone? Absolutely the tastiest chai this side of Tulsa, Oklahoma—that is where it comes from after all--all the way from Jenks, where our newest GreenAcres Market just opened last year. Okie Chai is made with almond milk, cinnamon, Indian assam tea, cardamon, licorice (!), ginger, honey and black pepper. It’s made by the Okie Alchemy Co. whose website says, “…its juices and teas are hand-made, crafted by the batch in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Okie Alchemy’s products are mindfully created with intent to affect positive overall health within our community.” And we couldn’t agree more.
So, now that we’ve introduced you to some of our home-grown products, we’d like to know what you think. Drop into any of our GreenAcres Markets and ask our market team to point out what’s grown in your neck of the woods. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, just as we were when we first discovered them!
A true “Sountern Fan:” COLLARDS!February 21, 2013
If you’re not from the South and you first take a whiff of collards simmering on the stove, you might never eat them. But if you’re from the deep South, that smell is as familiar as perfume is to a French lady. There’s nothing quite like it; and collards wafting from the kitchen can send some into ecstacy.
Collard greens come from the cabbage family and have a similar nutrition palate to kale. They are the most nutritious from January to spring, so if you’re thinking of trying out the recipe below, now is the time to gather your “fan.”
There's nothing "new" about collards. The ancient Greeks knew a good thing when they saw it and were only too happy to throw (as the Southerners came to call it) "a mess o' greens" (collards) in a pot of boiling water and serve them to the wealthiest guest. The Romans cultivated collards before the Christian era and, it is said, even introduced the vegetable to Britain and France before the 4th century B.C.
But it wasn’t until African slaves came to the Southern colonies that these rather chewy and indelicate-smelling greens became a household staple. Southern cooks boiled their collards with ham hocks, pig’s feet, and sometimes added an array of onions and herbs. In recent times, with people more health conscious, Southerners would use turkey meat in place of ham; but to many, that salty brine just made the collards “sweeter.” Today, beside blackeyed peas, grits and cornbread, the simmered collards take their rightful place in human history. People around the world embrace the collard.
We at GreenAcres love our greens. The greener the better. Our green smoothie and lemony green drink both have kale, spinach and often green apples or avocados. Collards, on the other hand, we prefer to cook.
Midwesterners and Southerners alike associate blackeyed peas and collard greens with good luck and great fortune. So it’s not unusual to see people preparing both these vegetables for their families on New Year’s Day. Some have even taken up the tradition of hanging a collard leaf over their front doors to ward off evil spirits; and turn-of -the-century “believers” would put a fresh leaf on their forehead to cure a headache.
We have no idea if that truly is a viable migraine remedy, as we prefer to simply eat our collards, but if you know any other fun facts or interesting traditions associated with these “fan-filled greens,” let us know.
In the meantime, we proffer this recipe from Food Network cook, Guy Fieri for Spicy Collard Greens:
2 pounds collard greens, rinsed
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup 1/4-inch diced salt pork
1 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, plus more for serving (recommended: Crystal)
Cut off and discard the tough stems and discolored leaves from the greens. Cut across the leaves into 2-inch ribbons.
In a large stock pot, over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and the diced salt pork, and cook until light golden brown and just crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and let cool.
Add the onion to the pot and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the red chili flakes, black pepper, and the collard greens.
Stir every few minutes, or until greens have wilted down. Add the chicken stock and the water and cover. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes, then remove the lid, increase the heat to high, and add the vinegar and a teaspoon of hot sauce. Adjust the seasoning, if needed, then put it into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the salt pork and serve with additional hot pepper sauce on the side.
A 2009 piece in the New York Times gives several ways to cook collards and still retain their nutritional value: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/30/cooking-with-collard-greens/
GreenAcres customers, be our Valentines!February 07, 2013
It’s time for our annual Customer Appreciation Day in all three GreenAcres Markets. In Kansas City and Jenks, we’re celebrating from 5 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, February 12. In Wichita, we’re starting the party early—from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, February 9.The first 200 ladies who walk through the door in Wichita will receive a long-stemmed red carnation. It’s all about red roses for the women in Kansas City and Jenks. And, please notice, there will be 10% off everything in the store that isn’t already discounted. Can you say, “Bargain?!”
One thing all three stores share in common: there will be food demoes galore and lots and lots of chocolate to sample and buy! After all, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we wouldn’t be true to our store if we didn’t offer some over-the-top sweets for all our sweetest customers. We can all eat healthily, diet and exercise the other 364 days of the year, but during Customer Appreciation Day, we throw caution to the wind!
Since Kansas City, MO has different liquor laws, customers coming to celebrate in the evening might find themselves with a little vino in hand. All three stores will have products and vendors sampling out everything from free range, organic chicken and beef, BBQ sauces, hummus in all kinds of flavors, cookies, cakes, muffins, chocolate (did we mention chocolate?!), coffees, honey and breads. Lots of our regular and new vendors will be in store--a great chance to meet the people who supply the nutrition up close and personal.
Some of the products will be dairy free; some gluten free; some sugar free; some soy free. But all of the sampling will be delicious. In Wichita, our boss just got back from the San Francisco Fancy Food Show. You should see what she brought back with her (!) How do figs dipped in dark chocolate sound? Yum-O! How about Florentine Lace cookies that melt in your mouth? You’ve got to try crusty croutons made with garlic and seeds, and little breadsticks sweetened with cran-raisins and honey.
The new products will be sprinkled throughout our stores, so we encourage our customers to come hungry and avail themselves of all the new (and tried and true) tastings.
Our store philosophy is, “When we meet, we eat!” We want you to try new things, new foods from our arsenal of all natural, healthy choices that will put a smile on your face and better nutrition into your body. It used to be, not that long ago, that organic and health food meant bland and tasteless—think cardboard tasteless. We’ll, things have changed dramatically since GreenAcres first opened its doors 19 years ago. Thanks to pioneers like Nell Newman of Newman’s Own Organics, Hilary of Hilary’s Eat Well (the veggie burger queen), Pamela of Pamela’s Baked Goods (gluten free flours, cookies and more) and of course, countless others who struck out on their own, determined to create toxic-free, allergy-free, nitrate and nitrite-free products that tasted great, were all natural, and in many cases, gluten free, ORGANIC at last is becoming the norm.
Our customers are better educated today. They want to be and stay healthy. They know their Omega 3 and 6 numbers. They believe in integrated and alternative medicine, combining traditional and naturopathic and chiropractic medicine, and taking what works for them and applying to their daily lives.
We, at GreenAcres, like to think we’ve had a hand in all this. We’ve certainly introduced our customers to the latest science and supplements, pure foods and “health talks.” We’ve spread knowledge in every way we can: through seminars, in-store demoes, a weekly radio show where we bring the experts in natural living right to your living rooms…we want to be healthy and we want you to come right along with us.
So, we take time out on Customer Appreciation Day to say, “Thank You” to all who have been with us since the beginning, and all those soon to follow. Come join us as we celebrate YOU. We want you to be our Valentines!
Salt your chakras…from head to toe!January 10, 2013
We’re thinking Valentines Day gifts with these new products from Indigo Wild. Most women who shop GreenAcres know the Zum products intimately. You can’t miss the wonderful aromas coming from the Health and Beauty aisles, with names like Patchouli, Frankincense & Myrrh, and Dragon’s Blood. Indigo Wild, a great little company out of Kansas City, MO, is the perfect example of why we at GreenAcres like to buy locally.
Indigo Wild has been producing all-natural products “infused with good karma for the body and home” since 1996, including the wildly-popular Zum line. GreenAcres carries Zum soaps, body washes, lotions, body salves and aromatherapy sprays. We especially like that the all natural products are never tested on animals and consistently deliver on performance and price.
Zum’s soaps are made of pure goat’s milk, pure essential oils, herbs, natural glycerin and mineral pigments. When you read the labels, there’s happily an absence of things like “tallow” (beef fat), PEG-6 methyl ether (a thickener) or lard. Yuck, you get our drift.
There are no “bad, un-natural ingredients” in any Zum product. The company prefers goat’s milk as its base in soaps because there is a natural pH balance in goat’s milk that just makes the skin soft, pliable and moisture retaining.
Take as an example Zum Kiss, a lip-softening roll on. It’s made of things you can actually eat, such as organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, organic grapeseed oil, organic shea butter, organic honey, rosemary and Vitamin E. If those who don’t know the difference between all natural makeup and products as opposed to conventionally-produced lip balms, moisture creams, foundations and more, ever looked closely at what they’re actually putting on their skin, lips and eyes, they’d never buy conventional again.
You can scent your house while you scent yourself. The company sells soy-based candles, laundry soap, baby products, doggie products, household cleaners and more. There’s even a men’s product line called Zar. It’s just the quintessential company that keeps on giving. Try putting just one cake of Dragon’s Blood soap in your powder room. Infusion immediately!
But, back to Valentines Day and two new products that GreenAcres has brought in just for the occasion: GET ZUM roll-on perfume—just roll on your pressure points at wrist and temple and you’ve got that faint scent of “something” that’s never too strong or that has misted onto your clothes. Easy to carry in a purse, and no bigger than a lipstick.
The other product we’re keen on is called ZUM CHAKRA, shea butter bath salts that come in a convenient pouch containing seven tubes of different colored and scented salts you can use one at a time or mix all together.
There’s a kitch-y little explanation beside each tube relating to a chakra. How’s this for va-va-va boom: “Sandalwood Sacral Chakra—Channel you inner sexual siren with sandalwood. Responsible for emotions, sensuality, intimacy and sexuality. (AKA if you want to be a minx in the sack.)” Whew! Sign us up for some of that!
The next time you visit GreenAcres Market, take a walk around the ZUM aisle and check out the new products coming in for Valentines Day. We think you’ll like what you see (and smell). There’s nothing quite like those heavenly scents; and we have testers for you to try on so you get just the perfect scent for you!
Tired of talking turkey…let’s talk Brats!November 23, 2012
Lucky Star Farms has possibly the best tasting brats in Kansas or anywhere. Think a little bit spicy with a touch of Oasis beer (yes, beer!) in the mixture. Pure heaven grilled, sautéed, boiled or just roasted in the oven. Our man, Claude, who demos a lot of our food at GreenAcres was getting rave reviews recently with his crockpot full of Lucky Star beer brats, zucchini wedges and tomato halves. Quite a nice combination, kind of like eating meat and a salad all in one dish.
Claude paired his brats with Robert Rothchild’s Cranberry Pomegranate Mustard since it’s still November, and the Thanksgiving spirit is alive and well in our customers who relish taste-testing our food and replicating our menus. The result of this particular pairing was a treat for the taste buds—both tangy and sweet. The Rothchild mustard would be delish as a turkey or roast pork sandwich spread, and could even hold up as a Russian-style salad dressing. A uniquely nice flavor!
We’ve blogged about Lucky Star Beef before. It’s the only authentic grass-fed Angus beef in Kansas where the cattle graze on uncompromised, virgin Flint Hills grasses, and the delivery system to all three of our GreenAcres Markets is immediate. Flash frozen at processing, Lucy Star Beef consistently delivers a stellar product, unmatched, in our opinion, anywhere in the Midwest.
But let’s look at the history of the bratwurst. It’s definitely German in origin. Wisconsin is the go-to state in the USA for anything German, since many of its population settled there from Germany years ago and brought their traditions with them (you may recall all those Milwaukee ales and beers.) People in nearby Detroit, MI, and not-so-close Chicago, IL, would take to the road at a moment’s notice just to bring back “authentic” bratwurst, and often cheaper beer if they could confiscate it undetected in the trunks of their cars.
Whoever came up with the idea of using a pig’s intestine to encase sausage was a genius. In the very olden days, nothing was wasted, not even the blood which was steeped into stews and chilis, or put back into the sausage mixture—thus blood sausage. There used to be a fight between homelands over who made the best sausage. The Germans were only too happy to claim the title as the best cured sausages seemed to come from colder, mountainous regions where the dryer northern winds helped in the curing process.
There was forever a distain for British sausages which those nationalistically inclined would say came with an unhealthy dose of Botulism. The addition of nitrates and nitrites was supposed to quell the bacteria, but better production practices and the advent of organically-raised pig farms have happily left those harmful chemicals behind in the all natural food industry.
A blog on the Internet tells that the first recorded cookbook, Apicus Cookery (approximately 228 A.D.) had sausage recipes in it (even though Apicus was Roman. Go figure.) It appears that as far back as the Middle Ages, there were even equivalents to our FDA enforcers who protected the sausage as a national dish and made sure it was manufactured with only the finest beef and pork. From there, it was up to Germany’s city-states to come up with their own authentic recipes for bratwurst.
· Thurninga, Germany takes bratwurst more seriously than most. These sausages are only bar-b-qued over coals and served on a roll with mustard.
· In Coburg, the brat is grilled over pine cones.
· In the northern part of Bavaria, the brats are made 6-8 inches long and cooked in a broth of wine, vinegar and onions. The broth combination often turns the whiteish brats a slightly bluish color, thus the name Blaue Zipfel.
· In Nurnberg, the brats are short and thin, no more than 3 inches long and a finger thick and often served three to a role.
· In Munich, brats are steamed, never boiled so as to preserve the skin, served in a bowl of hot water. The purists roll back the casing and suck out the insides. The less venturesome, eat them with a knife and fork.
Probably the longest sausage in the world made in North Bavaria is called Mainfränkische Meterbratwurst. It is one meter long (40 inches) and comes to the table coiled on a bed of cooked sauerkraut.
So there you have a snippet of history regarding the tasty brat. However you choose to cook it, try Lucky Star Farms bratwurst with beer and let us know how you like it. We think you’ll gobble it up!
Got Milk? MOOve over. Local dairies have the market covered!November 08, 2012
GreenAcres Market exists in three Midwest states: Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. In all three locations there’s one family-owned dairy that just seems to stand out, enticing all manner of customers to try down-home goodness in a glass bottle. Hildebrand Farms in Junction City, KS fills the bill for GreenAcres Wichita. In K.C., MO, it’s Shatto Milk Company. And in Jenks, OK, it’s LOMAH Dairy out of Wyandotte County. Without a doubt, these three dairies present to rave reviews from customers who enjoy the rich, creamy goodness of a cold glass of milk.
While GreenAcres Jenks offers LOMAH’s whole milk only, the other two stores carry a variety of Hildebrand and Shatto dairy products with chocolate and strawberry milk standing tall against their paler companions. Ever hear of Root Beer Milk? Well, Hildebrand and Shatto both make it, and both offer other eggnog and milk flavors as well as unsalted butter and ice cream to many of their dairy customers.
What all three dairies have in common is “history:” start-up families who worked the farm, started small, raised grazing cows, and taught their children and grandchildren the rudiments of hard work and just reward. In the case of Hildebrand Farms, the family patriarch immigrated from Switzerland. At first, Arnold Hildebrand worked as a machinist for the railroad, but eventually moved his family to Junction City through a work transfer, and eventually onto the farm. It was there in the rich Kansas grazing land that the family hobby started to take root. Arnold and his wife, Rose, bought four Holstein cows and started delivering fresh milk in glass bottles door to door.
Soon their seven children (one boy, six girls) were making their way to ever-wider neighborhoods with milk in hand. Arnold and Rose eventually moved to Idaho with their young daughters so that Arnold could complete his work on the railroad and collect retirement. Carl stayed behind to run the family dairy. Today, his sons, David and Alan, and their wives continue the family legacy which includes 150 cows, a bottling plant, lab technicians and contracts with more than 40 stores that sell their dairy products throughout Kansas and the heartland.
Shatto Milk Company has been working the farm for a century, with the dairy coming into play 60 years ago. The family prides itself on raising cows free of recombinant bovine somatotropin (bovine growth hormone) and delivering its milk from cow to store in as little as 12 hours. Freshness at its freshest! is the company motto. To prove it, the family invites one and all to tour the dairy and see first hand how the cows are treated and the milk is processed.
As with Hildebrand, Shatto has always preferred using glass bottles to waxed paper containers. “The milk just tastes better, and glass can be washed and reused. Besides, it cuts down on recycling and lowers the amount of material dumped into area landfills.” Well, we all like that!
Today, Shatto’s milk products consist of whole, 2%, 1% and skim, plus a yummy variety in flavors of chocolate, root beer, strawberry, orange cream, banana, eggnog and a blue-hued mixture called “cotton candy.” Add orange drink, iced tea and fruit punch; ice cream in two flavors; and cheese curds in three flavors, and you’ve got yourself enough variety to please just about anyone, but especially the youngest milk drinkers in your family. Remember the “Dreamsicle” of yesteryear? That orange cream might come pretty darn close!
LOMAH Dairy is located in Wyandotte, OK, about 50 minutes from Downtown Bentonville. Every Saturday, Stan and Donna Johnson and one of their three children make the commute to provide cheese to the Bentonville Farmers Market. GreenAcres Market Jenks carries only LOMAH's whole milk—but there’s hardly anything better. Fresh as the prairie breeze; and the Jersey cows (pictured above) are just as content to graze all day except for two hours out of 24 when they mosey over to the restored barn to look for food and get milked.
The dairy brochure tells us: “The barn is a classic red and white restored dairy barn. The Johnson's have a store at the front of the barn that is based on the honor system. There are coolers in the front with product, a log of names and items bought, and a hole in the wall to drop your money.” Only in the heartland could a company run on the honor system!
LOMAH which stands for “the land of milk and honey,” offers artisanal cheeses (Havarti and Monterey Jack) to area restaurants along with its pasteurized milk. Stan Johnson is a graduate of veterinary medicine from OSU, and his wife, a vet grad from MU. Donna has always had a special love of making cheese, and Stan prefers working with the animals. They are a great partnership.
The couple makes “VAT pasteurized milk (low heat) as well as their cheeses from a small herd of cows which graze on 200 acres of chemical free pastures and drink spring water. All products are made from happy cows’ milk utilizing a wood fired boiler and spring water for chilling.”
All this talk of milk has made us hungry. Please pass the Oreos (or a healthy equivalent) and we’ll get on with the work at hand. Moo!
Aristotle said it first: “The end of labor is to gain leisure!”August 22, 2012
Americans have taken that quote to heart. For more than 100 years, we’ve put down our tools of the trade and celebrated Labor Day. It is still argued today who was the first to suggest a day of leisure at the beginning of September each year—whether it was an assembly-line machinist, or a Central Labor Union officer--but rest assured, hardly anyone cares, as having a day off from the daily grind is a welcome retreat no matter who gets the credit.
It was President Glover Cleveland who made Labor Day a national holiday, and it has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the end of summer. In another era, women put away their white shoes and men parked their straw bowlers, but today it heralds the beginning of the Fall sports season, particularly the NFL and high school and college football season, as millions of Americans clean out their trunks and get ready for the traditional tailgate party.
And speaking of tailgating, we’ve got some suggestions to make those parties-in-a-collapsed- seat special:
· Niman Ranch Kentucky Bourban Uncured Sausage (no nitrates, nitrites, added hormones or antibiotics)
· Applegate Sweet Italian Chicken and Turkey Sausage
· Heartland all natural, Angus Beef Sirloin and Ribeyes
· Lucky Star grass-fed, all natural Beef Patties
· Good Shepherd Beer Brats
· Heritage Farm Ground Chicken for burgers or chili
Can’t do meat, chicken or turkey without grilling marinades or sauces!
Check these out to make those dogs and chops even more appealing:
· Dulcet dipping sauces—particularly the Lemon Mustard Dill sauce makes a great accompaniment to steak fondue. It’s great on grilled shrimp and perfect on fish tacos.
· Salvy Sousa Mushroom Marinade. One of our customers slathers his flank steak with this marinade before he puts it in the slow cooker (!) He says it tenderizes the flank and the crock pot makes it easy to take to tailgate functions.
· Earth & Vine Mango, Tequila, Jalapeno sauce—great with just about anything and it’s low in sugar, with absolutely no sodium!
· Henry Humdingers “Gumpy Grandpa”—yeah, the name is too silly to resist! It’s a spicy red pepper and raw honey marinade that’s a big hit with the 20/30-something set.
· Grill Side Suburban Sweet BBQ Sauce. Yummy, low sodium and enough grams of sugar to bring a smile to those ribs.
So, even though much of our work isn’t really a labor of love, but rather a labor of necessity, we can all agree on one thing, when Labor Day rolls around, we’re ready for leisure!
*We've paired our labor day meat suggestions with two Somerset Ridge wines you might enjoy: Flyboy Red and Traminette.
Everything is new to somebody (!)August 15, 2012
We love it at GreenAcres when the harvest comes in from market—we’re talking the big food market in Chicago. You never know what Matt, Joe and Rick will find for their particular GreenAcres stores, but you can bet our customers in all three states will give the new kids on the block a try, a taste-test and a look-see before they ever commit long term. After all, it’s one of the endearing things about the GreenAcres family: We want you to sample our products before you buy. That way you’ll know if your dollar is well spent…and you’ll come back to us again and again.
For example, Wichita and Kansas City now carry private label GreenAcres cheese in Mild Cheddar, Colby Jack and Pepper Jack. All natural and made from milk from happy California cows, that are raised without added hormones on grasses that contain no pesticides or toxins, the new GreenAcres label is value-priced at $4.99 a pound-wedge, and all three cheeses taste great!
A big deal with athletes and people who want to lower their cholesterol naturally is a new superfood made by Sunwarrior called Barley. Carried in both the Wichita and KC stores, the product takes its history and science from the Gladiators of ancient Rome who fueled their bodies during training and before battles. Modern research shows barley plays a significant role in lowering cholesterol and in controlling insulin levels. Good news on both counts! But it’s the inflammation-fighting antioxidants that really sell the product. Sunwarrior activates the barley by using a low-temp steam method adopted from the Swedes. This way, the barley is taken to the brink of germination just before packaging, thus preserving the best mix of protein, fiber, enzymes and slow-burning carbs. An ideal food for marathoners (and cardiac patients)!
Since all our stores are always looking for interesting local products, Kansas City carries a decadent ice cream created by a local chef called Glace…to die for! The names of the flavors tell you everything you need to know about the product
- Farmer Bob's Sweet Corn
- Fleur de Sel Caramel
- French Lavender
- Goat Cheese & Cherry
- Lemon Curd
- Peanut Butter Chocolate
- Pineapple Cilantro Sorbet
- Salted Pretzel
The company’s website bears the slogan “When Joy Freezes Over,” and guarantees there are“no fake flavorings, no disappointing textures or kitchen-sink combinations. Just intensely pure, all-natural ingredients and deliciously surprising flavor pairings that bear the unmistakable signature of its creator, Christopher Elbow.”
GreenAcres Jenks is finding its own home-grown products in the Tulsa and Fairview areas of Oklahoma. Farrell Family Farms has revived the art of artesian bread baking with the use of organic whole wheat flour that is gently milled and stored immediately in freezers to preserve the nutrients. “Slow, cool fermentation allows the dough to develop flavor naturally, without added sugars or flavoring agents. Hearth ovens produce a crispy, caramelized crust by injecting live steam during baking.” Getting hungry yet?!
It looks like Oklahomans love their coffee…especially if it comes from a company in Tulsa called Topeca. Slow roasted from Columbian coffee beans transplanted over decades to El Salvador… just to smell this coffee wafting through GreenAcres Jenks is a pleasure indeed. Check out the interesting history of the family that brought this lovely coffee to Tulsa becoming one of only a handful of companies that controls its product from “seed to cup”: http://www.topecacoffee.com/about/history/
Hope that gives you a small overview of what you can expect from all three stores after our own GreenAcres warriors travel to market and bring back the harvest!
The “Cliff Notes” on Why our All Natural Local Grass Fed Beef is…The BEST!May 10, 2012
Have you noticed GreenAcres meat just tastes better? Ground buffalo, ordered fresh from Yoder meats, is all-natural, grass-fed and promises to be moist and delicious even on the grill. In fact, we serve our famous buffalo burgers every Tuesday and Saturday afternoon right up to the Fall, and anytime we gear up for a celebration—like our Gluten Free Festival or our yearly Anniversary Party. This year, we’ve added two more burgers to our menu: Greek lamb burgers, and for the vegetarian in all of us: Portobello mushroom burgers. You haven’t lived till you’ve tried our burgers!
You don’t have to wait until we fire up the grill to enjoy good, natural, hormone and antibiotic-free meat. Stop by and take home some of our Lucky Star Beef and see if you can taste the difference. It’s kind of like the old adage, “good in, good out.” That’s how we feel about all natural, free-range, grass fed cattle. It’s the purest beef you can get.
But just for a little education, 100% all natural beef means there is nothing in that package of beef--but beef. No additives or other substances. Organic, grass fed means the cattle have never grazed on grasses treated with pesticides from birth to processing. Nor have the cattle been fattened unnaturally through the use of hormones or been treated with harmful antibiotics. No grains ever have been fed to all natural, organic, grass-fed cattle. All natural beef where the cows roam free and feed on grasses grown without dangerous pesticides has less bad fat, more good fat (omega 3s,) and that’s a good thing. The beef’s natural marbling comes from cattle which feed on pure, natural grasses and have not been fed grain during the last few months before processing. It’s the grain that becomes harmful to humans, breaking down the livers in cattle and thus becoming toxic to us.
Certified, Angus beef only has to have 55% Angus genetic material to qualify as certified. Lucky Star has 85% Angus material which defines what is known in the industry as “heritage breed,” kind of like what heirloom tomatoes are to produce. It means the genetic line of beef is purer, bred for domestic purposes and is the best of the best.
So that gives you a capsulated version of what to look for when you’re buying beef or buffalo. Later on, we’ll discuss poultry and what to look for in all natural, free-range chickens who are allowed to feed in their natural environment. Besides being much better for you, free range, organic poultry just tastes better.
One Bad EggOctober 12, 2010
One bad egg can definitely spoil the bunch. A half a billion bad eggs can cause widespread panic and uncertainty.
Recently, 550 million eggs produced at two Iowa farms were recalled after more than 1600 people became sick after eating eggs contaminated with salmonella. Both farms voluntarily recalled their eggs, creating the largest egg recall effort in United States history and leaving consumers looking twice at the egg cartons in their local grocery and wondering if certain types of eggs are safer than others.
Purchasing eggs from local smaller farms, many of which sell free-range and organically fed products, may feel like a safer choice to some shoppers. These smaller, local farms often have smaller flocks, where salmonella, a potentially lethal food-borne bacterium, has a lesser chance of spreading. That could mean a healthier chicken, a healthier farm, and ultimately a healthier consumer.
Locally, the Maddick family operates Campo Lindo Farms, just north of Kansas City in Lathrop, Missouri. Theirs is a real family farm of 280 acres where 3600 hens supply Kansas City with Grade A large brown eggs. Though Jay and Carol Maddick also raise all-natural beef and lamb, chickens and eggs make up the majority of the farm’s business. Campo Lindo hens are all-natural, free-range birds with outdoor space to run and grow. In addition to the natural pasture, their hens also get natural feed of corn and soybeans, with no added growth hormones or antibiotics. “We feed no antibiotics or hormones, though I like to stress that poultry feed never contains hormones,” says Carol Maddick.
The extra attention small farmers give to their herds, like that provided by the Maddick family, creates not only a better tasting egg, but ultimately a more secure shopper. “I think it’s important for people to know where their food comes from” Carol Maddick adds. And although the claims that eggs with labels such as organic, free range and cage free have lower levels of salmonella are unsubstantiated at this time, knowing your local farmer and where your food comes from can ease your mind that you are purchasing and eating safe, disease-free products for you and your family.