Every month we get a whole array of new products that land on the shelves of the Monadnock Food Co-op. Here’s just few that we think you should check out the next time you’re in the store:
Brookford Farm—Smoked Shades of Blue Cheese
The cheeses from Brookford Farm in Canterbury, NH are co-op favorites—made with milk from their beautiful herd of 100% grass-fed cows. Luke and Catarina have taken their already popular blue cheese to an exciting new place and we now have Smoked Shades of Blue in our cheese case. They’ve teamed with Fox Country Smokehouse, also in Canterbury, and we just love the outcome. It’s a creamy, tangy delicacy; if you’re a blue fan this is a must try. It also makes an amazing addition to a grilled burger. Beyond delicious!
Primal Kitchen—Ranch Dressing
Having a go-to bottled dressing always on hand really does make preparing a salad for dinner easier to pull together after a busy day. The “made with avocado oil” is what attracted us to this bottle at first. But we really love that the ingredient list doesn’t include any hidden sugar. There’s no dairy, no buttermilk, gluten, soy, or canola either. Primal Kitchen was started by a Maine-born former elite endurance athlete, Mark Sisson, who has made eating healthy his life’s work. This dressing not only tastes healthy—it’s rich and full-flavored and one of the best bottled dressings we’ve tried! For more about Mark and his inspiring mission click here!
Vermont Salsa Company—Tomatillo Salsa Verde
From deep in the Vermont Green Mountains comes a salsa verde made with Vermont grown tomatillos! It tastes super bright and fresh with three levels of heat to choose from—mild, medium and hot.
What is a tomatillo exactly? Tomatillos originated in Mexico. A relative of the tomato and member of the nightshade family, the tomatillo [toh-MAH-tee-YO] looks like a small green tomato covered with a green husk. Rich in vitamin C, they’re eaten raw or cooked providing that tart flavor in so many Mexican and Central-American green sauces.
Use this as a traditional dip for tortilla chips, but try serving it alongside eggs, beef, pork, chicken or burgers—any dish that needs a little extra zip!
Cawston Press Sparkling Drinks — Rhubarb!
We try not to indulge in too much soda but when we saw rhubarb in a can, well, there was no way we we’re going to miss out on that! A sparkling drink made with one of our favorite spring flavors! It’s perfectly balanced with pressed apple juice, not too sweet and very gently fizzed and only 125 calories per can. Just a lovely drink for a warm summer day.
And definitely try the other (equally refreshing!) flavors—Elderberry, Ginger Beer and Cloudy Apple. Sold as a 4-pk in the drinks aisle and as single cans in the cold case at the back of the store.
Hermit Woods Winery, Hermit Hard Apple Cider
Named by Food & Wine Magazine as one of America’s 500 Best Wineries, Hermit Woods, in Meredith, NH, makes award-winning handcrafted wines from unique blends of locally sourced fruit. So, it was kind of a natural line extension to make hard cider. This old-world dry cider is crafted from French and English heirloom apples, quince, and crabapples and very, very tasty. The fun, creative packaging is what drew our attention to this cider in the first place and we were intrigued enough to read all about the actual hermit who inspired their brand: http://hermitwoods.com/about/hermit/
As the copy on the back of the bottle says, “Hermit Hard Apple Cider makes a fine companion when you want to sit on a stump in the woods alone. It’s lively blend of heirloom sharps goes just right with fresh air and lots of thinking to do. Of course, you more sociable types are free to raise a glass with whatever wildlife you choose.”:)
Monadnock Food Co-op Jute Tote Bags
Introducing our new MFC tote bags! Not only do these sturdy, big bags have plenty of room for groceries or gear for the beach, they’re helping the women that make the bags. The manufacturer—Freeset Global—is a fair trade business offering employment to women who are victims of trafficking in India. These women are given the opportunity to learn new sewing skills and regain control of their lives in a caring community. Making these bags is part of the journey to her freedom. To her friends and neighbors among the thousands still trapped in the sex trade, she’s a symbol of hope. To learn more about how these bags are making lives better go to: freesetglobal.com/who-we-are/our-story
Superfood + Maple Maca Cashews by Navitas Organics
We like these nuts because they’re not super sweet, just a little hint of maple and butterscotch from the maca. Maca, is a super-root from Peru that has been traditionally used as a stress-fighting adaptogen*. Cashews, we know, contain beneficial fats and they’re a great source of plant-based protein and minerals. We’ve been eating them right out of the bag—for a snack we feel good about but they’d also be great sprinkled on salads or yogurt or ice cream!
*(in herbal medicine) a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes
Abigail’s Bakery Millet & Sweet Brown Rice Bread
We recently started carrying a gluten-free bread from Abigail’s Bakery in East Weare, NH. Their Millet & Sweet Brown Rice loaves are made with care for people with special dietary needs. These loaves are sweetened with agave nectar and do not contain refined sugar. The ingredient list is simply: whole millet flour, sweet brown rice flour, fresh well water, soybean oil, agave nectar, sea salt, and yeast. Our favorite new morning toast is their Cinnamon Raisin Swirl.
Please note: Abigail’s Bakery does bake other wholesome breads that are made from wheat and wheat products. They are very particular against cross contamination and thorough cleaning of their equipment, but they are not a gluten-free certified facility. They are a nut-free facility but do use egg and soy products.
My Magic Mud Whitening Toothpaste
We had to try this BLACK—yes, VERY black—toothpaste the minute we heard about it. My Magic Mud was developed by a mother of four to help with her child’s sensitive teeth. And the very first thing we thought of as we started brushing was that kids would absolutely LOVE this product. Not for all the great benefits of course, just the fact that it turns your entire mouth black while you brush—way more fun that your run-of-the-mill white toothpaste:)
Made with coconut oil, Bentonite clay and activated coconut shell charcoal, it cleans, polishes, whitens, and detoxes your teeth. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, flouride-free and non-GMO. All you “kids” out there need to try it!
C’est Gourmet Tomato & Olive Pastries
C’est Gourmet in Framingham, MA prepares the flakiest, most flavorful little hand pies and pastries. And then we finish baking them right here at our co-op. If you’ve come to love the sweet apple or pumpkin hand pies, you’ll definitely want to try this savory version. The Tomato & Olive Pastry is perfect for any time of the day. Breakfast. A great side to a cup of soup. A light lunch on the go. Bon Appetite!
Mavuno Dried Organic Pineapple
Ethically sourced. Naturally delicious. And making a difference with every bite.
While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in a tiny village in Kenya, Phil Hughes came up with the idea for Mavuno Harvest in order to provide jobs and economic opportunity for rural farmers in Africa, while at the same time solving the issue of wasted harvests. He works with small farming cooperatives to bring this delicious, organic dried fruit from rural sub-Saharan Africa to the shelves of our co-op. And we couldn’t be happier. This sweet and delicious snack has zero fat, cholesterol or sodium. And just knowing the story behind it makes it sweeter still. Look for the bright orange (pineapple) or green (banana) packaging in the bulk aisle.
And you can read more about this interesting company at: https://www.mavunoharvest.com/
Vanilla Chai Almonds
Oh, my—you absolutely can NOT eat just one of these. Chai dry roasted almonds with a vanilla yogurt coating. You’ll find these REALLY good sweet treats in the bulk aisle already pre-packaged and ready to go!
One tiny XYLA mint packs a big punch of cool freshness in a matter of seconds!
These mints are sweetened with you guessed it…Xylitol. But what is that exactly? Xylitol is extracted from North-American grown hardwood trees and turned into a white crystalline granule that looks and tastes like sugar. We’re not scientists so we can’t explain exactly how this miracle happens but we do know that Xylitol doesn’t have the usual negative side effects associated with sugar— it’s low calorie, low carb, diabetic safe and basically guilt free. Lots of dentists and dental associations give the thumbs up to Xylitol too so this is truly a case where you can have your cake, I mean candy, and eat it too!
Cassava Crunch Beet with Goat Cheese Root Chips
The color of these chips alone made us want to try them but the flavor is what keeps us coming back for more! Made with just cassava root, beets, and goat cheese with a touch of sunflower oil and salt these plant-based snacks are gluten free, grain & corn free and have no added sugar. Cassava is high in vitamin c, folate and magnesium and is a good source of fiber. A snack with benefits! If you can’t have dairy, check out the Sea Salt version.
Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers
These herbalicious crackers are great to eat on their own and can also be paired with cheese and dips. Made from 10 simple ingredients: Nut & Seed Flour Blend (Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Flax), Tapioca, Cassava, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Rosemary, Organic Onion, Organic Garlic, Sea Salt, Organic Pepper, and Rosemary Extract so they’re free of gluten, grains, soy, corn, dairy & emulsifiers. Whether you have dietary restrictions or not, they’re worth trying!
Soap Nuts from Four Nuts by Nature
This USDA certified organic and sustainable laundry detergent grows on the Sapindus mukorossi (Soap Berry) tree in the Himalayas. You literally take 4 of the berry shells aka “Soap Nuts”, put them in the small muslin bag (inside the big bag), toss it in the washer with your clothes and press start. These 4 little nuts will wash 4-6 loads of laundry (or even more if you have a high efficiency washer)!! How is this possible? Well, once the nuts come in contact with water, the active ingredient Saponin, is immediately released. As we discovered on the website, Saponin is an all-natural surfactant* which lowers the surface tension between your clothing & your wash water bonding itself to the fibers of your clothing literally lifting and removing your stains, dirt, grease and grime while simultaneously eliminating any odors and naturally softening your clothes. Good for whites, colors or delicates, these Soap Nuts are anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, biodegradable, compostable, non-toxic, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic! This is a laundry day game changer for us!
Also look for their Wool Dryer Balls in the same aisle which take the place of dryer sheets. We can’t wait to try those next!
*Yes, we had to look this word up: surface-active agent
Banza Mac & Cheese
First, let us say that we love the Banza company mission: to make the foods you love, love you back. Well, we are loving their pasta “powered by chickpeas” and now they’ve taken the classic pasta staple you grew up with and made it even better! These gluten-free, chickpea noodles cook in about 5 minutes. Add the package of cheesy goodness and you have yourself a mac & cheese with 2x the protein, 8x the fiber and a way better solution to making a kid-friendly dinner in a snap. We know quite a few hard-working adults who keep this on hand in their pantry as well:)
Good Mix Blend 11
For a great way to start the day, try GOOD MIX BLEND 11—a nutritious blend of 11 superfoods: organic chia seeds, goji berries, raw cacao nibs, amaranth, millet, pepitas, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, buckwheat, coconut, almonds—each chosen for their mineral and nutritional properties (high protein, omega-3 and antioxidants). Mix it in with your favorite yogurt, add some to your morning smoothie, or use it as a topping for just about anything at any time of the day. Good mix is GOOD!
Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co.
These organic and fair trade coffee beans are roasted in small batches every day in Waterbury, VT. The Artisan Dark roast is rich and velvety, perfect for a nice big morning latte. Of course their coffee isn’t grown here, but Vermont Artisan Coffee lives the sustainable “Local First” life —purchasing all their other needs as close to home as possible, gifting all compostable materials to local farmers and supporting the local community however they can. In addition to Artisan Dark, we also have Sumatra Dark, Catamount Blend, and Ethiopian in the coffee aisle right now.
lēf Farms was started to put al ittle fresh thinking behind how New England gets its produce. Imagine lettuce on your plate within 24 hours of harvest in the middle of winter! This local, Loudon, NH farm is 100% hydroponic and the lettuce is simply delicious. Try all three:
SMOOTH: The name says it all. A buttery blend of crisp, sweet, and tender baby greens for salad connoisseurs who prefer to let the toppings or dressing bring the zest.
SPICE: A zesty blend of Arugula, Mustard, Cressida, Mizuna and Leaf Lettuce. Perfect for adding a little complexity to your salads and wraps.
BALANCE: A blend of red and green kale. Packed with tons of antioxidants and iron, this mix of red and green Kale offers a great blend of slightly sweet and delicate. We’ve been using them in everything from salads to smoothies.
King Soba Buckwheat Noodles
Despite its name, buckwheat is not wheat but a seed. It’s free from gluten and as King Soba says, “it offers you more goodness per bite than other noodles”. The real upshot is that you don’t need to eat a mountain of these noodles to feel satisfied. We’ve got two kinds of these organic, wheat-free, gluten-free, non-GMO noodles: 100% Buckwheat and Sweet Potato & Buckwheat. Follow them at: instagram.com/kingsobanoodleculture if you have some time to drool over amazing noodle dishes:)
Noosa Blackberry Serrano
We’ve been enjoying this Australian-style Colorado-made yoghurt for a while with their rich, creamy flavors like Strawberry Rhubarb or Key Lime. Well, now this yoghurt just got a little kick in the berries: New Noosa Blackberry Serrano. Made with Marionberry Blackberries and Serrano Chili this yoghurt is sweet, then spicy, then creamy, then gone! There are more “Sweet Heat” flavors coming soon and we cannot wait!
PUR Chocolate Mint Aspartame-Free Gum
This new flavor combination has become our number one favorite from Pur.
This Swiss-made gum is naturally sweetened with 100% xylitol—one of the lowest sweeteners on the glycemic index. All the flavors are vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut and peanut-free and non-GMO—just high quality ingredients sourced from Europe. And a nice way to get a chocolate fix without eating a candy bar:)
Mama Maple Craft Spritzers
Made in Wendell, MA, these spritzers are a refreshing blend of ingredients sweetened from Northeastern forest maple syrup. They tap and craft it into two organic flavors—Cold Brew Coffee and Fair Trade Vanilla. It’s filled with over 54 antioxidants and is naturally low-glycemic with only 70 calories a bottle.
Archway Farm: Local Keene-Raised Pork
When Mark Florenz is not shopping at our co-op or giving back to our community as Board Chair of Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition, he is pasture-raising an average of 60 pigs on his 80-acre farm. Mark feeds his pigs a healthy and varied diet of pasture-based forage, locally grown non-GMO corn and soy, vegetable scraps and bread from local businesses—and does not use hormones or unnecessary antibiotics. He raises the pigs in small groups outside so they are free to be pigs—romping, rooting, and rolling in the mud. He believes that happy, healthy pigs produce better quality pork and we couldn’t agree more!
Rebecca’s Sinfully Delicious Gluten Free Bread
Rebecca’s is a locally owned and operated homestead kitchen bakery in Peterborough, NH. It’s completely gluten & nut-free though you would never know it by its hearty taste and texture. We’re carrying—White Sandwich and Chia & Hemp which you’ll find it in the bread aisle.
Jackson’s Honest Heirloom Red Rippled Potato Chips
From the folks who brought us Purple Potato Chips, their new flavor is Red Rippled! Their burgundy color comes from the same antioxidants found in raspberries, and the wavy ‘ripple’ cut brings out the buttery notes of this heritage potato. Nothing but Red Heirloom potatoes, organic coconut oil, and sea salt can be found in these tasty chips.