Stuff for the Stockings: Great Finds at the Co-op!

For me, nothing beats the stocking. The little holiday cornucopia is always the perfect mix of fun, unique, delicious, and utilitarian gifts. For years now, I've been topping off the sock with treasure from the Co-op. I've compiled a list of my favorite finds. Take a look, and find something for your friends, pets, and family!

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Holiday Hours 2017

Boise Co-op North End & Village

December 24th, Christmas Eve: 7am to 6pm

December 25th, Christmas: Closed

December 31st, New Year's Eve: 7am to 8pm

January 1, New Year's Day: 9am to 10pm

Boise Co-op Wine Shop

December 24th, Christmas Eve: 8am to 6pm (open early!)

December 25th, Christmas: Closed

December 31st, New Year's Eve: 10am to 8pm (open late)

January 1, New Year's Day: 10am to 8pm (normal hours)

Boise Co-op Pet Shop

December 24th, Christmas Eve: 9am to 6pm (normal hours)

December 25th, Christmas: Closed

December 31st, New Year's Eve: 9am to 6pm (normal hours)

January 1, New Year's Day: 9am to 8pm (normal hours)

December Cheese of the Month: Melkbus 125

A.K.A. Winter Gouda

Melkbus raw milk cheeses are a return to Dutch cheese making traditions. Dutch for Milk Can, each of our Melkbus Cheeses are made on individual family farms outside the village of Gouda. Historically, these farms were identified by a number which was imprinted on each milk can to be transported to the creamery for cheese making. Today, we celebrate this process by reviving the stamped milk can tradition and honoring the farms with their numbers in the name of our cheeses.

Melkbus 125 Winter celebrates the flavors and smells of Winter, this seasonal Boerenkaas contains a mixture of spices reminiscent of the season. Flavors of sweet cream with an essence of cardamom and nutmeg develop after 4 months.

Top 5 Serving Suggestions

This unique raw milk cheese is full of comforting flavors reminiscent of the Winter season. Hints of cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon blanket your palette once you get past the creamy smooth texture of this gouda cheese. These sweet and woody spices from the cheese make it extremely versatile when deciding what to pair with it.

After many taste tests… see our Top 5 serving suggestions below.

5 – Fresh Bartlett Pear or Gala Apple
The crisp sweet flavor profile from these fruits settle well with the woody spices (cardamom & clove) in the cheese. Meanwhile enhancing the sweet cinnamon flavor making you think you are eating a delicious fruit pie!

4 – Toasted Pecans (lightly salted)
Toasted pecans enhance the natural nutty taste that comes from gouda cheese. Getting the lightly salted option only compliments its creamy goodness. Not to mention the crunch is an added bonus!

3 – Spiced Orange Hot Tea
We recommend finding a cinnamon spiced orange tea. The cinnamon will only enhance the cheeses’ winter flavors while adding a hint of tanginess from the citrus.

2 – Apple Butter
Top a French baguette slice (toasted) with apple butter, a thin slice of Melkbus Winter and you will surely be left wanting more. This sweet and savory combination is one you may have never thought to try… but definitely can’t live without once you do!

1 – Apple Pie Crust Topping
You heard us right! Take your next apple pie crust and either incorporate the cheese into the dough or sprinkle shredded Melkbus Winter over the top 10 minutes before cooking time is up. You will not be disappointed!

Content thanks to Melkbus

Can we feed the world? An Evening with Joel Salatin

Join us for an evening with Joel Salatin! We are so excited to welcome Joel Salatin back to Boise. He is a world-renowned farmer and speaker, and we couldn't be more pleased to have him speak at BSU. 

The self-described "lunatic farmer" is coming back to Boise! Joel's talk will focus on dispelling the myth that organic and sustainable agriculture cannot feed the world. 

NOTE: Due to the anticipated popularity of the event, tickets are required for entry.

Thank to our sponsors: Boise Co-op, Boise Farmers Market, Control Sentries, Equilibrium at Boise State, Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture, McIntyre Pastures, Peaceful Belly Farms, The BSU Sustainability Club.

*Free event parking is available at the Lincoln Garage.

Photo credit: By nick v from Washington dDC(Joel Salatin) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Bottle Boom: Beer Bottle Collection a Success!

Last month a group of enterprising young students from Boise State took the first step in creating a business that can provide Boise with a glass recycling alternative. Using the Co-op as a testing ground, the students began collecting, sanitizing, and redistributing glass beer bottles back to local microbreweries.

Their pilot was a success, and the students tied for first place at the Idaho Innovation Challenge. They took home a $1,000 cash prize which they plan to use to invest in cleaning supplies and better collection methods.

Leave it to college students to figure out how to drink beer and make a difference!

November Cheese of the Month: Mifroma Gruyère


Produced since 1115 in the area surrounding the little village of Gruyère in Western Switzerland, this much-loved cheese is still made in local dairies according to the original traditional recipe. With its distinctive, buttery, caramel flavor, this is one of Switzerland’s greatest cheeses and can be enjoyed “mild” or “mature”.

The character of this superior cheese is due to its specific production methods, which, in accordance with AOP requirements, remain true to the original recipe and follow time-honored techniques. Gruyère AOP is prepared from the finest fresh milk from cows fed on grass during the summer and hay during the winter. The use of any additives is prohibited. 

After two or three months’ maturation, the Gruyère AOP wheels arrive at the Mifroma caverns from local village dairies. The cheese is then ripened over several months in sandstone caves that benefit from 96% humidity and a constant temperature of 55.4° F. 

It is in this exceptional environment that Gruyère AOP acquires its succulent character. During the five-month maturation period, the cheese rounds are regularly turned and brushed with salt water. These proven methods, an extended aging process and the great care given to this majestic product confer Gruyère AOP its incomparable flavor. 

Gruyère AOP takes pride of place on any cheese board. A savory end to any meal, this fine cheese lends itself to the preparation of tasty hot dishes and is a key ingredient in authentic Swiss fondue. 

The fruity taste of the Gruyère AOP wheels varies according to their maturity. Gruyère AOP Mild has buttery notes, hints of almond and caramel and a slightly elastic texture.

Gruyère Fondue

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated shallots
  • 1 cup dry white wine (more if desired)
  • 1 Lb. grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and White Pepper to Taste
  • 1 local baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (or try with our Housemade Crostini)

1.    Dredge the cheese in the flour. Place the wine and the shallots in a heavy pot over medium heat and bring to a light simmer.

2.    Stir in the cheese a little at a time until the mixture is smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Add the remaining ingredients and transfer to a fondue pot or individual stoneware ramekins.

3.    Serve with crusty bread.


Content thanks to Mifroma.

October is National Co-op Month!

October is a special time for Co-ops of all kinds to celebrate and reflect on the core values that unite us. Community focus and member driven governance practices are what make Co-ops unique, and so this month is as much about celebrating our Co-Owners as anything else.

We think more is merrier, so what better time to hold one of our month-long member drives? Throughout October, we’re waving the administrative fee for membership. If you’ve been waiting to join in or know someone who would benefit from membership, now is the time!

Reap the Benefits of Membership:

  • A monthly 10% discount that can be used any day you choose, all day, at any of our locations.

  • Access to special Co-Owner sales each month.

  • Discounts on our classes.

  • Local discounts on goods and services from businesses that are part of our Local Co-Operators program.

  • You get to vote in our Annual Elections, including electing Board Members to represent you.

  • For only $50, you own a share in a local business!

Principled Organizations

Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.

  1. Voluntary & Open Membership: Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
  2. Democratic Member Control: Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
  3. Members' Economic Participation: Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
  4. Autonomy & Independence: Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative's autonomy.
  5. Education, Training, and Information: Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives: Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
  7. Concern For Community: While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

Ownership = Community Support:

  • Creating a healthier community that supports individuals in need through our Community Involvement.

  • Supporting the local food system by prioritizing locally sourced products.

  • Growing the local economy by ensuring more dollars stay in Idaho.

  • Creating local jobs, and providing a living wage and benefits to more than 200 employees.

Bulk Jar Jewels: Super Easy Gifts!

The Bulk aisle plus versatile and reusable glass jars equals quick and easy gifts for any occasion! We've put together some Dry Mix in a Jar gift ideas for you to make it even easier. Check it out:


Steak Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Fennel seeds
  • ½ tbsp. Black Peppercorns
  • ¼ cup coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp Chile Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano

Grind the cumin, fennel, peppercorns, and salt in a mortar and pestle. Stir in the chile flakes and oregano. Store in an airtight container.

Make it a gift! Don’t grind the spices before adding to the jar. Instead, gift the spice blend in a jar along with a mortar and pestle and a cutting board!


Heart Health Tea

  • 1 part Hibiscus
  • 1/2 part Passionflower
  • ½ part Lemon Balm
  • ¼ Rose Hips

Mix all herbs together. Keep tea blend stored in a glass jar out of direct light. Use 1½ teaspoons per cup of tea.

Make it a gift! Pair the tea blend with a fancy mug, a new tea infuser, and some local honey!


Mulling Spice Blend (for Mulled Wine)

  • ¾ cup brown sugar or honey
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • ½ tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3 pieces star anise
  • 1 tsp orange rind
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • Cheesecloth

Gently heat the wine on the stovetop. Stir to dissolve brown sugar and add the spices, steeping for at least 10 minutes. Strain and serve warm.

Make it a gift! Place all ingredients in a reusable glass jar, and give as a gift with a bottle of wine, cheesecloth, and instructions.


Paleo Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 oz 80% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine egg, coconut oil, coconut sugar and vanilla extract. Next add in almond flour, coconut flour, and baking soda, mixing well to combine. Fold in dark chocolate chunks. You may need to use your hands to moisten the dough so that it sticks together well.

Use a cookie scoop or large tablespoon to drop dough onto ungreased baking sheet. Gently flatten the dough with your hand. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden brown. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finishing cooling. Makes 12 cookies. 

This recipe is from Ambitious Kitchen,

Make it a gift! Pack the first 5 ingredients into a quart jar. Attach the recipe, along with a jar of coconut oil and some nice coarse salt.



Pumpkin is Perfect for Pets!

Pumpkin is an amazing superfood that is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium.  Did you know that plain, unsweetened pumpkin puree also makes a great pet food supplement for dogs and cats? 

Pumpkin’s high moisture content (90%) and high soluble fiber content (7% per one cup serving of puree) helps support healthy digestion and can be a great natural remedy for pets suffering from either constipation or diarrhea. 

Puree can be added as a topper to your pet’s food or feed as a treat on its own.  Pumpkin also can be mixed with kibble and stuffed inside your dog’s Kong toy or included in home-made treats! For smaller dogs and cats start with 1-2 teaspoons; for larger dogs begin with 1-2 tablespoons.

Bake and mash a local pumpkin to create your own puree or stop by the Pet Shop and pick up a can of organic pumpkin today!  Leftovers can be divided up in an ice cube tray and frozen into handy individual single serving cubes.

October Cheese of the Month

This Month's Selection is Pumpkin Seed Ginger Gouda from Artikaas and Dutch Cheese Makers Corp.


20% Off All Month Long!

20% Off All Month Long!

The flavors of Autumn are  bountiful in this one-of-a-kind cheese from Dutch Cheese Makers Corp. Imported from Holland, our Pumpkin Gouda is a young Cheese made with real pumpkin seeds, ground ginger and a hint of garlic. The texture is smooth and creamy and the flavor is delightfully mild and savory.

The canvas from which all Artikaas cheeses are crafted is as green as the meadows that blanket the Dutch countryside. The milk used in every Artikaas variety is the freshest and purest Holland has to offer. And our strict adherence to time-tested aging techniques help to draw out flavors and textures ideally suited for today’s tastes, cuisines and lifestyles. One taste and we’re sure you’ll agree, Artikaas is the modern art of Dutch cheese making.

Content thanks to Dutch Cheese Makers Corp,.

Boise Co-op Wine Shop 9th Anniversary Sale

One year older, wiser, and winey-er? Whatever the adjective, we're celebrating! All our our wines are 15% off from September 30th to October 2nd. Visit the Co-op location nearest you and check out our stock. Also, the sale is a great time to grab some bottles for the holidays (we always keep one bottle in reserve for those happy little holiday oversights).

Not sure which wine is for you? Starting to feel nonplussed by your old standby? Every day during our anniversary sale we’ll have dozens of wines open for you to taste all three days. It’s a different selection each day, so you might want to stop in more than once. It’s your chance to try before you buy. Tastings run from 12 to 5 PM each day.


Treasure Valley Farmland, Treasure Valley Future

What crosses your mind when a pasture, just recently home to grazing cows, is suddenly bare dirt and bulldozers?  Do you feel excitement?  Dismay?  Resignation?

Many parts of the United States have been trying to balance growth and farmland preservation for decades.  Areas with high quality farmland that have come under severe development pressure have led the way, as Oregon’s history attests. But Idaho, despite various pockets of concern, has avoided taking steps to either influence or mandate development patterns. Both relatively slow growth rates and determined commitment to private property rights have allowed development in the Treasure Valley to proceed as the market dictates.

More recently, Treasure Valley farmland is being converted into commercial and residential developments at a brisk pace.  Voices from such disparate organizations as the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Ada County Soil and Water Conservation District are saying we should preserve farmland, but what does that mean? What is farmland?  What do we lose when farmland is no longer farmland? Can we preserve both farmland and private property rights? 

The Treasure Valley Food Coalition, a 501c3 organization with the mission to enhance the resilience, integrity and economic vitality of our local food system, is gathering a group of collaborators to explore the topic of Farmland Preservation in the Treasure Valley with the aim of exploring areas of synergy in values and goals. 

We begin in October, 2016 with a general discussion of preservation – what is gained and lost. Our guest speaker will be Mike McGrath.  For 28 years, Mr. McGrath managed the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation and headed the Planning Section in the Delaware Department of Agriculture.  We believe he will bring an excellent introduction to the issues.  We will then follow up in Spring 2017 with three focused events on preservation topics more particular to our locale, e.g. the effects of water scarcity, existing farm infrastructure.

This is a conversation about food security, values, heritage, prosperity, quality of life – in other words, this conversation can engage every single resident of this valley.  Come learn and participate in creating the future we will all share.  Join the Treasure Valley Food Coalition and the Boise Coop on either October 10th in Boise or October 11th in Caldwell for a presentation on “Why Save Farmland?”