7 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

Halloween is just a few days away and, if you're a parent, you know how difficult it can be to keep your kids eating healthy when there are so many sugary products freely available. We've put together a few tips to help you out.

  1. Make a big, healthy dinner for your kids before taking them to trick or treat. This will reduce their appetite when they're out and about with a bunch of sweets in their hand.
  2. Offer them a reward in exchange for a certain amount of candy. This could be a toy, a fun outing, or something else they've been wanting.
  3. Talk with your kids about the dangers of eating too much sugar and come up with a plan together about how to limit that intake.
  4. Get a smaller bag or bucket for their trick or treating candy. That way, if they want to visit a lot of houses they'll have to be careful about how much they take at each one.
  5. Be a good role model yourself – don't have Halloween candy sitting around prior to the day and get rid of any leftovers you have from handing candy out (or, better yet, hand out healthy alternatives to candy!)
  6. Tell your kids to save their candy for a few weeks so that they can use it to decorate gingerbread houses.
  7. Have your kids separate their candy into two piles – the ones they want to keep and the ones they don't. You can donate or get rid of the later.

Finally, make your Halloween full of fun and movement! Kids are full of energy, especially when wearing fun costumes, and it's the perfect opportunity to engage them in physical activity like (safely and with supervision) racing between houses.

From the Pet Shop: Nature's Design

Nature’s Design leather products are handmade right here in Boise. 

 


Made to order, these bespoke collars and leashes come in a variety of colors, sizes and leather types.  Depending on the style, the leashes also can function as slip collars, halters and waist leashes with just a few quick adjustments.  

Nature’s Design also creates custom service harnesses for disabled veterans. Proceeds from the sale of leashes and collars allow the company to offer these harnesses on a sliding scale.

Back to School: Lunches Made Easy

Packing lunches can be a trying part of your morning routine, especially when you're trying to get your kids ready for school at the same time. Here are a few tips on how to make school lunches a piece of cake for you and a fun activity for your kids:

  1. Pack the night before. Packing lunches at night will make your mornings much less hectic. If you can get your kids in the routine of grabbing their lunch boxes from the fridge before they head out the door, you can make this activity as hassle-free as possible.
  2. Plan a week at a time. Make sure you have a pantry fully stocked for packing lunches a week out (two weeks is even better). There's nothing worse than realizing you don't have any sandwich bread left at 10 pm on a Thursday night.
  3. Get your kids involved. Your kids might not be old enough to make a sandwich by themselves, but that doesn't mean they can't help out. Try making a game out of packing lunches. You can supply the main entree, and your kids can fill in the rest by choosing their favorite snacks, drinks, and desserts. Not only does this save you time, it eliminates any complaints about lunch – they're the ones choosing what goes inside! It's a good idea to set some parameters for them to meet, so we've made this handy guide for your kids to use. Just write in their options and let them have fun! You can even laminate them and write with wet erase markers to reuse them day to day.

 

Gougères – Traditional Cheese Puffs from France

France is famous for fine wine and great cheese, and with this easy recipe you can be enjoying both in less than an hour. Gougères are traditional cheese puffs dating back to 17th century France, and are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of Riesling, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc (all of which you can find in our Wine Shop). Today we're making them with our delicious Compte Gruyère cheese (straight from France!); on sale right now for 20% off!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 7 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 1/4 cups organic flour
  • 2 cups grated Compte Gruyère (set aside extra)
  • 4 organic eggs
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1 egg yolk; set aside for glazing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine water and butter and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in flour until batter takes the form of a rough doughy ball.
  4. Add eggs one by one slowly, stirring constantly.
  5. Once eggs are incorporated and batter is smooth, add the cheese, salt, and pepper.
  6. Spoon dough onto baking sheet in walnut-sized balls. You may have to shape them into balls with your hands or two spoons. Make sure to give them room.
  7. Glaze each ball with egg yolk and lightly sprinkle with extra Gruyère.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until puffy and golden. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and reheat in a hot oven.

Perfect Organic Peach Cobbler

There are few summertime treats we enjoy more than fresh peach cobbler. Now is the perfect time to make one, since we have fresh organic peaches on sale for $2.49/lb (usually $3.49)! This simple recipe makes about eight servings and will be done in about an hour.

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk until dry ingredients are just wet (don't overstir!) Set aside batter.
  3. Melt butter in a 13"x9" baking dish. Pour batter on top, but don't stir.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine remaining sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice and bring to a boil on high, stirring constantly. Pour over batter, don't stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon (can be omitted if desired).
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Top should be golden brown.
  6. Can be served warm or cold. We like to serve ours hot with Three Twins' Madagascar Vanilla Ice cream on top (on sale for $3.69, reg. $4.49)

Grilling Tips: Housemade Bugers

In the mood for firing up some juicy burgers? Our delicious housemade patties are on sale this week for $1 off per pound! That includes our Blue Cheese, Bacon Cheddar, and Hemingway burgers. These burgers are made from Painted Hills Natural Beef, which is pasture-raised and fed a 100% vegetarian diet free of hormones or antibiotics. We grind it here fresh daily and then season and form each patty by hand.

If your mouth is watering, you aren't alone. Co-op Meat Department manager Kevin has a few tips for grilling the perfect burger:

Get your fire hot set your gas grill on the high side of medium. Grill  until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the burger reads 165 deg–approximately 5 minutes per side.  Let rest a minute or 2 after removing from the grill.  Never, NEVER smash your burgers with a spatula while cooking, you will end up with a dry flavorless mess!

Do you have any tips for grilling the perfect burger? Share them with us below!

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate fathers and father-figures in our lives. That doesn't mean, however, that finding the right gift for dad gets any easier. Luckily for you, we're taking a bit of the guesswork out of your Father's Day shopping trip with our 2016 Father's Day Gift Guide! Below, you'll find gift ideas for all sorts of dads – from the guy who likes trekking through the outdoors to the one who would rather kick back with a cold one.

The Beardsmith 

Got a dad who isn't the shaving type? He'd probably like the Beardsmith's Mustache Putty. Made right here in Boise, this putty is a pliable mustache wax that applies easily. It can be used to shape and hold the mustache while maintaining a natural look or, if your dad's always wanted to sport a handlebar look, can be applied more generously. The Beardsmith has tons of other great products too, so check them out! You can find them in our Wellness section.

Aerobie Espresso Maker

One of the best espresso makers out there, the AeroPress is also a perfect gift for dads who like the outdoors. Just add coffee and hot water, and you have the perfect cup of coffee in 20 seconds. No plugs or batteries, just great coffee on the go. It's also perfect for home-body coffee aficionados. Pair it with some Doma coffee from Post Falls, ID!

Le Creuset Cookware

If your dad likes to cook, some beautiful cast iron cookware from Le Creuset is sure to take his culinary skills to the next level. These beautiful cast iron pieces are handmade by artisans at their Fresnoy le Grand foundry in France. Specially crafted for an excellent cooking experience, they are made to retain heat evenly and stand up exceptionally well to wear and tear.

Incredisocks Trek

Socks may not seem like the most exciting gift, but the Trek line from Incrediswear truly is incredible. These socks generate negative ions when worn, increasing recovery rate, reducing fatigue, regulating heat, and providing more energy. They are also antimicrobial, odor absorbing and moisture wicking for supreme long wearing dry comfort which makes them perfect for any dad who likes to spend his time exploring the outdoors.

Local Woodland Empire IPA

What to get for the man who has everything... but could always use an extra cold one? Local Woodland Empire Ale Craft's City of Trees IPA is on sale just in time for Father's Day! Northwest Bravo and Zeus hops impart a smooth bitterness balanced by a light malt sweetness and the warm tones of peach, melon, tropical fruit and citrus from Centennial, Chinook and Cascade hops.

Boise Co-op Ownership

If your dad is truly the man who has everything, why not get him a Co-Ownership?  With monthly discounts and patronage dividends, it's the gift that keeps on giving!

Whatever you end up deciding to get for Father's Day, we'd love to hear about it. Tag us @BoiseCoop and we may even share it!

 
 
 
 

Cool Down with Some Fresh Lemonade

Is that summer heat getting you down? We feel you, and that's why we're sharing these two recipes that bring a twist to the traditional lemonade we're all familiar with. Plus, the main ingredients for both of these recipes are on sale this week! You can get organic grapefruit for $0.50 off per pound and our delicious yellow nectarines for $1 off per pound!

Basil Nectarine Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup organic sugar (or to taste)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup organic basil leaves (set some extra aside for garnish)
  • 2 organic nectarines (1 sliced thinly and set aside)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice (6 lemons)

Directions

  1. Prepare an ice bath large enough to hold a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Pour sugar, 2 cups water, basil, and 1 nectarine (chopped) into a medium saucepan. Stir until combined, then set heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally until all of the sugar has dissolved, leaving a syrup. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the syrup into your medium bowl, and place in ice bath to cool.
  5. Once cool, strain syrup through a fine sieve over a pitcher, pressing hard on any solids that remain.
  6. Once strained, stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups water, the nectarine slices, and the lemon juice. Pour into glasses filled with ice cubes and garnish with basil.

Pink Grapefruit Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed organic lemon juice (14 lemons)
  • 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds (garnish)
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed organic grapefruit juice (3 grapefruit)

Directions

  1. Prepare an ice bath large enough to hold a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Pour sugar and water into a medium saucepan. Stir until combined, then set heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally until all of the sugar has dissolved, leaving a syrup.
  4. Pour the syrup into your medium bowl, and place in ice bath to cool.
  5. Once cool, stir together the lemon juice, grapefruit juice, and syrup into a pitcher. Add the lemon rounds and ice cubes to desired level.

 

 

 

 

When you're done, snap a picture of your drink and share it with us! @BoiseCoop #bocoluv

Sustainable Shopping: Co-op jute bags for sale!

Americans consume an estimated 380 billion plastic and paper bags per year (that’s more than 1,000 bags per person!)  Luckily for us (and the environment), Royal Jute, a minority and woman-owned business, is working to lessen our environmental impact by selling reusable shopping bags at low prices.

The owner, Lakshmi, started Royal Jute as a reaction to the realization of just how much disposable bag waste affects the environment.  The company is eco-friendly and strives to eliminate waste in any way possible. As they say on their website:

"We might not be able to change the world and how it functions, but if we can stop a few hundred thousand plastic bags from ending up in landfills or in the digestive tracts of innocent animals and can reduce pollution as well as global warming, we will consider our mission accomplished."

Here at the Co-op, we are so excited to bring in some Co-op branded bags in from Royal Jute! These beautiful bags are hand-made in India, are lead-free, and are fair trade compliant. Lakshmi runs her business like a non-profit – donating all profits to charities that help women around the world by offering micro-loans so that they can empower themselves. Since 2013, she has also provided educational opportunities to 30 orphaned girls in India.

Our Co-op bags are made of jute – a natural fiber plant that grows in tropical lowlands. It is a very sustainable plant, being 100% bio-degradable, recyclable, and nourishing to the soil it is grown in. Unlike plastic, it doesn’t take oil to produce. Jute takes less acreage to cultivate than cotton or other common alternatives and has higher production efficiency.

If you want to make your shopping trips more sustainable, pick up one (or two) of our branded jute bags today! We’re selling them for the amazing price of $5.99!

Freshly In: Copper River Salmon!

It's salmon season, and that means our meat department is stocked up with freshly-caught wild sockeye salmon, straight from the Copper River in Alaska. We like to pair it with this delicious rosemary butter sauce, which has delicious citrus notes and a faint garlic flavor, thanks to the fresh lemon juice and diced shallot. Pair it with a light red like our wine shop's local Cottat Pinot Noir; on sale this weekend for our Summer Sipper Sale!

Seared Salmon Fillets + Rosemary Butter

For the Salmon

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets
  • Enough salt and pepper to cover each side of the fillets
  • Enough oil to cover the bottom of your pan (your choice, we like using peanut oil)

For the Rosemary Butter

  • 6 Tbs dry white wine
  • 1 small finely diced shallot
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter (cubed)
  • 1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Searing the Salmon

Preheat your oven to 425°F while you pat the fillets dry with some paper towels. Generously sprinkle each side with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for about a minute. Add oil to completely cover the pan, and place this fish in the pan. Let sit for 2 minutes without touching. Lift a corner of the salmon to check that it is well-browned and not sticking to the pan before flipping (if it is sticking, try cooking for another few minutes). Cook for another 2 minutes on the other side before placing the whole skillet in your preheated oven. Let bake until the center of the salmon reaches 135°F (about 4-8 minutes). Remove pan from the oven and transfer salmon to a dish that can be covered. Cover with foil and let it rest on the counter while you make the sauce (don't clean the skillet!)

To make the Butter

Pour any excess fat out of the skillet, and use some paper towels to catch any remaining oil (careful, don't burn yourself!) Return the pan to your burner with the heat on high, and add in wine, the shallot, and rosemary. Cook, stirring briskly, until the wine is almost finished evaporating (about 3 minutes). Remove from the burner and slowly whisk in the butter until the sauce thickens and has a creamy texture. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, spooning over the salmon.

Local Garlic Scapes + Delicious Pesto

Did you know that garlic scapes only grow on hardneck garlic? This makes them a niche crop – most conventional garlic farmers don't grow hardneck garlic because removing the scapes takes too much extra work. Luckily, our friends over at Fiddler's Green Farm grow organic hardneck garlic, and that means they have some scapes to share with us!

They'll be here at the Co-Op for tomorrow's First Friday event, and will be sampling some delicious garlic scape pesto. It's a delicious treat that makes a perfect snack this time of year! We're sharing the recipe if you want to try making it yourself.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

Special Equipment: A food processor and rubber spatula
10-12 garlic scapes, knobby seed-pods removed and discarded
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted for extra flavor)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 t0 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice of ½ lemon

Directions

  1. Rinse scapes in cold water, then roughly chop into half-inch pieces.
  2. Pour scapes and slivered almonds into the bowl of your food processor. Blend for 30 seconds, or until a fairly smooth texture is achieved. Scrape down sides of bowl with your rubber spatula.
  3. With the machine running, slowly add olive oil, and process until thoroughly incorporated, about 15 seconds.
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and blend for another 5 seconds. Taste carefully — you might like to add more salt and pepper.
  5. Although this pesto is good freshly made, it is even better when refrigerated for several hours or overnight. Before chilling, place the pesto in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  6. Garlic scapes are available only from June through mid-July. Consequently, you might want to buy lots of them, as I do, and make several batches of pesto. These you can freeze in air-tight containers for up to three months.
  7. When you're finally done, snap a picture and share it! #bocoluv

Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance

The Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance is an all-volunteer non-profit organization started a decade ago with the goal of celebrating and promoting cycling in the Treasure Valley. The organization encourages more citizens to bike regularly by removing barriers to cycling, both real and imagined. We work at the local and regional level to improve cycling infrastructure, advocate for policy change to benefit cyclists, and educate the community on cycling topics and issues.

TVCA is actively involved with the cities, the Ada County Highway District, and the regional planning agency COMPASS to represent the needs and concerns of cyclists regarding: 1) expenditures on roadway and neighborhood improvement projects, 2) policies that protect the interests and safety of cyclists, 3) enforcement of vehicle laws related to motorists and cyclists, and 4) the widespread establishment of better bicycle facilities and amenities. 

Throughout the year TVCA promotes and organizes community events that celebrate and encourage cycling in all its forms for people of all ages and abilities such as;

  • Educational classes and events  with League Certified Instructors (LCIs) from the League of American Bicyclists.  
  • Distributing free bike lights 
  • Installing Air & Repair stations along the greenbelt
  • Bike corral parking at large events like Greenfest and the Hyde Park Street Fair
  • Organizing volunteers for everyone's favorite bike/beer parade and carnival, Tour de Fat
  • Coordinating Volunteer Bike Counts every May and September
  • Bring you Boise Bike Week

This year will be the thirteenth annual Boise Bike Week, with a little something for everyone. Check out the week's schedule here: www.boisebikeweek.org/schedule.html 

There is a a little something for everyone. Now get on you bike and ride!

BBW

Tambalka

Boise Co-op is happy to announce TAMBALKA will be performing on First Friday, May 1st, 2015 from 4:30-7:30PM. This is a free all ages show, so everyone can go!

The band plays a unique blend of music from all around the Mediterranean area. There will be a number of Spanish flavored tunes in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo. Click on the link below to listen to a sneak peak!

Treating a Headache with Aromatherapy

Cathy Smith from our wellness department was recently interviewed on how to treat headaches by Stacy Ennis, the author of Real Health Mom.  

It’s estimated that 47 percent of the population has a headache disorder. That means that almost half of the world’s population has had at least one headache in the past year.
— Stacy Ennis

Learn Cathy's six tips for treating a headache with aromatherapy.

Furry Friend Tips -- Food Allergies

Furry Friend Tips -- Food Allergies

These days it seems like food allergies are everywhere.  While it’s certainly true that some pets have specific food allergies, we believe this diagnosis is not as common as some would have you believe.  Candida yeast infection has many of the same symptoms as a food allergy (scratching and chewing of the feet, red blotches on the stomach, stinky ears with a dark discharge) but is caused by undigested food build up in the colon.  We suggest instead of changing your pets food to try adding a pro-biotic and digestive enzyme into their daily diet.

Furry Friend Tips -- Calories and Body Weight

Furry Friend Tips -- Calories and Body Weight

Buying quality food allows you to feed less and save money!  Pet food these days is nothing like what your grandmother was feeding.  Grain Free and/or premium pet foods are often very high in kcal/cup so keep an eye on this figure to adjust your pets eating habit to complement your spending.  Dogs, on average, need about 30 calories per pound of body weight per day to maintain their current weight. Small active dogs, weighing less than 20 lbs. can use up to 40 calories per pound per day. Large dogs, over 50 lbs., can use as little as 20 calories per pound per day.  Use this link to calculate your pets calorie requirement.