A Visit to Natural Grocers

Submitted by OKWB Community Manager Mari Farthing

Earlier this month, a group of Oklahoma Women Bloggers OKC-area members joined a group at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, at their store located at 67th & May, one of five locations in Oklahoma and the newest location in the state.

Bloggers love a reason to get together, and this was a great reason—to learn about healthy eating in the new year. We learned about Natural Grocers, their company and their incredible commitment to health, their employees and the community as a whole. We met their Regional Wellness Coach Patty and local Nutritional Coach Jessica and learned that their store offers free services to the community, including classes and education about learning to eat healthfully and the positive impact it may have on your life.

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During the event, we were treated to a number of healthy foods: a Yogurt-Berry Parfait (made with full-fat yogurt with no fillers and stevia for sweetness), Kalamata Olive and Tomato-Topped Mini Frittata Muffins (I never would have thought to add olives, but they were wonderful!), Vegetable Latkes (delicious even without potatoes—who would have thought?), turkey bacon that tasted like real bacon because it was sauteed in coconut oil and Green Tea/Coconut Water Lemonade (also sweetened with stevia).

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From left: Katie, Dee, Marie, Rose, Mari, Jennifer, Mae, Stephanie and Ashley. Photo courtesy of Katie Johnstonbaugh.

We were went home with a goody bag which included product samples and literature about the stores and the classes. The store pre-packs their bulk food selections and some of the items in our bags included unsweetened coconut flakes, sea salt, almonds, sunflower kernels, pistachios and more—all organic, of course. My own bag contained the coconut, almonds and sunflower kernels. I planned to make granola bars based on a recipe I Googled.

I prepared to roast the raw ingredients:

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Aren’t they pretty? 2 cups coconut flakes, 1.75 cups almonds, half a cup of sunflower kernels.
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All mixed up and ready to roast.
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The same ingredients, after spending about 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven, stirring once.

After letting it all cool, it was time to make the granola bars. But then i took a little taste. And then another… and I realized that it tasted pretty good just like this. And then I mixed in a package of organic dried blueberries (about 2 cups) and called it good. Since then, I’ve been eating this mixed into my Greek yogurt at breakfast and all by itself when I need a little afternoon snack.

(Basic nutritional info, per third-cup serving: 190 calories, 11 grams fat, 10 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein)

Maybe someday I’ll get around to whipping up some granola bars, but until then, I’ll enjoy it just like this.

Thanks to Natural Grocers for inviting the Oklahoma Women Bloggers to their store to learn more about them!

IMG_7704Along with being the Community Manager of the Oklahoma Women Bloggers, Mari is a menopausal mom of two tweens (pray for her) who enjoys cooking, knitting and running. She blogs about her life’s misadventures at MariFarthing.com.

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