Monday, November 30, 2009

Real Food at the Grocery Store: hand-rolled butter, sheep's milk yogurt, real kraut and kimchi

Do you ever feel that by eating real, whole foods, you have to make everything from scratch? While nothing beats homemade whipped cream, or a simple vinaigrette, there are some foods I gladly buy pre-made. Homemade sourdough bread is a thing of beauty, but the truth is I don't have the patience or time for making it. Same goes for yogurt, which I know isn't difficult to make, yet I can find creamy, grass-fed, non-homogenized yogurt at the grocery store.

Today I went to my > local co-op and found some really beautiful food I want to share with you. Minneapolis is a great place for food enthusiasts, despite the long winters, because we have a plethora of real food resources, including wonderful farmer's markets and a natural foods store or co-op in almost every neighborhood. We're also in the heart of dairy country, and finding good-quality grass-fed milk products isn't too hard. Take > Rochdale Farms hand-rolled butter for instance. It's lightly salted and so delicious, and the milk comes from small farms and happy, pastured cows. Isn't it pretty?

I also bought two jars of gorgeous, > lacto-fermented veggies, which are locally produced. The > Powerkraut kimchi, is spicy hot and intense, while the sauerkraut, by > Spirit Creek Farm, is sharp and fresh tasting, and goes great with grass-fed beef hot dogs!

See the small bag of brown rice there next to the veggies? It's not just regular old brown rice, it's germinated brown rice from > truRoots. This rice cooks faster then regular brown rice and boasts being highly nutritious as > phytates are reduced in the sprouting process.

I've been reading a lovely food history cookbook by Anne Mendelson called Milk: The Surprising History of Milk Through the Ages. In it the author shares recipes for homemade, cultured dairy foods such as yogurt but also gives recommendations for foods you can find at the store. The yogurt she likes the most is a sheep's milk yogurt by Old Chatam Shepherding Company. I like it too, though it's much more expensive than any other yogurt I've seen (6$ for 16oz). For an 8oz serving sheep's milk yogurt has almost twice the amount of protein as cow's milk yogurt, and about half the sugars. I really liked that it has a cream top (non-homogenized) and a clean-tasting finish, unlike some goat milk products.

Finally, there are some things I like making at home just for the fun of it. For the holidays this year I am making rosemary and thyme infused extra virgin olive oil and vanilla bean infused organic cane sugar. Certainly they sell similar products somewhere but sometimes nothing says "I care about you" like something lovingly made in your own kitchen.

This post is shared with > Gnowfglin's Tuesday Twister blog carnival, with > Cheeseslave's Real Food Wednesday, and > Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays!


  1. wow! i'm quite envious of all these items! the butter especially. i wish i could buy something like that locally, it would be awesome.
    i love your homemade gifts, what a great idea. and last but not least, i wanted to say how much i enjoy reading your blog. every post is always informative, interesting and fun :)

  2. Wow! Great finds!! I've never had germinated rice before.. I should look in the asian store and see if they have it. Your jars look beautiful!

  3. I am envious of items you can find in your area. We have one health food store in my town and they have very little in it other than soy and supplements.
    The yogurt sounds yummy.

  4. Millie- it is seriously worth visiting Minneapolis sometime,if only for the co-ops!

    Anne- thank you so much! I love your blog too!

    Marilyn- I haven't cooked the rice yet and am exited to try it. The co-op I bought it at also carries sprouted lentils...

  5. I was having trouble posting this comment, but I think it is going to go through now. :)

    Wow, you are blessed to live in such an area. Good grass-fed dairy foods come up again and again as being hard to find. I have had hand-rolled Amish butter before - it is amazing! My mom stocked up on it once and shared a pound with me. I've also never had germinated rice before, but it sounds great. I'd like to do your infused oils sometime. I'm glad you shared your finds this week - it is good to remember that we can give ourselves a break and choose to support good people who are providing excellent foods and trying to make a good living.

  6. Wow - wonderful things can be found in your area! I live near the Amish and have bought handrolled butter - I loved it.

  7. You have an awesome co-op! I agree about making some stuff, and buying others. My husband actually loves making yogurt (go figure)!

  8. That butter looks amazing! AND I'm curious about the taste of the sheep's milk yogurt! Next time we plan a trip to the States, we'll just have to look for some of these amazing items! Thanks!

  9. great selection of goodies there...and your infused oil looks beautiful!

  10. This is Jennifer from Spirit Creek Farm, thanks for including our kraut in your post and information. We are so glad you enjoy it and thanks for sharing it with more people through here...Take care and if you are ever in our neck of the woods be in touch.