Tallgrass Grocery Co-op


Tall Grass Grocery Co-op opened its doors in Valley Junction last week!


This is a great opportunity for you to support locally grown and organic produce and goods.  Iowan’s take pride in growing, raising, harvesting…and eating what the good Lord provides us.
Mission Statement
Tallgrass Grocery Co-op will contribute to the Des Moines area local food system by:
• striving to provide access to healthy, locally grown, organic food and products at prices that respect the livelihoods of local producers and the budgets of consumers
• offering a centralized location where members of the community can come
together to learn more about healthier, more environmentally friendly lifestyles
• fostering a greater sense of community and building relationships between
farmers and consumers
• reinvesting in our local economy and neighboring rural economies
• employing ethical and environmentally conscious business practices
• empowering members of the cooperative and the larger community through
democratic control based on the seven cooperative principles

Tall Grass Grocery Coop

Trey and I made a quick stop down there the other afternoon.  We enjoyed perusing through the quaint shop and picking up a few items (Lemon olive oil from All Spice, organic bell peppers, and Great Harvest Bread.  Below are some pics for you enjoyment….it hardly captures the beauty of all the colorful and nutritious produce.

Trey waiting patiently as I snap some pictures

Isn’t it all so beautiful!?
Let me know when you stop by, what you purchase, and your thoughts!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B

Homemade Baby Food

With Trey turning 6 months yesterday (and my 27th bday, wahoo), he has graduated to solid foods in addition to his mommy’s milk diet. That’s right, my little boy gets to eat veggies! This couldn’t be more exciting for me 🙂 As you might have guessed, I make my own food as it is the simplest process.

I received a baby cook book, The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet, which has been a nice guide for how to store, freeze, and schedule. It also has some great recipe/combo ideas for when he gets more advanced however, the “starting off” recipes make me laugh:

Zoom Zoom Zucchini

1 small zucchini

1/4 C breastmilk, water, or formula

Creamy Butternut Squash Puree

1/2 small butternut squash

2 T breastmilk

Steam veggies or roast in oven till soft. Allow to cool. Puree in food processor, baby food grinder, or blender. Add breastmilk to reach desired consistency. Serve!

Can you handle that?! The recipes do get a bit more complex, but nothing you can’t handle. I make a big batch by doubling, tripling, or quadrupling) during a free moment (naptime) and freeze in ice cube or baby food freezer containers. Now I have food whenever I need it!

Check out HealthChildren.org to learn about when and how to start solids

Check out Momtastic for a quick guide on how to get prepare

Check out Homemade Baby Food for recipe ideas

Although he hasn’t tried all of these, so far I’ve made sweet potato, zucchini, carrots, beets, broccoli, mango, plum, and nectarines.

Look at all that color aka nutrients for his growing body and mind!

Homemade Baby Food: Advantages of Making It Yourself

from webmd.com

Parents who prefer homemade baby food have many reasons for their choice.

They know exactly what they’re feeding their baby.

It’s more economical than buying pre-packaged foods (although some parents note that this is not always the case).

They can choose their own fruits, vegetables, and other foods for purees, instead of relying on the flavors chosen by manufacturers. You’re not going to find melons or avocados in the baby food section of the supermarket.

It gets the baby used to eating the same food as the rest of the family — just in puree form.

On a side note, for Trey’s health and my peace of mind, I personally choose to purchase organic for at least the dirty dozen items.

Seriously Mom, I’m trying to eat, enough with the pictures!

Until next time…

look good, do good, feel good

Tall Grass Grocery Coop

Have you heard about the Coop grocery store opening in Valley Junction: Tall Grass Grocery!?

I am soooo excited as I fell in love with my coop in Iowa City: New Pioneer.

Why join or shop at a coop you ask? Check out the site to learn more!

I love the discount from being a member and a convenient, one-stop shop for local and organic produce.

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

New Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 List

Apples top the list of the dirty dozen…did you know 98% of conventional apples tested had pesticides….I prefer apples and peanut butter, not apples and pesticides.
Celery comes in second testing positive for 57 different pesticides….yum, pesticides are my favorite seasoning….NOT!
Strawberries wouldn’t look to beautiful and delicious if we could see the 13 different pesticides lingering on them….imagine each seed being a speak of chemicals…nasty.

See list here
Challenge: Do your best at feeding your body and your kids organic to limit the exposure to pesticides, growth hormones, antioxidants, and fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients. Start with one food item on the dirty dozen….say apples. Always choose to purchase organic, then move to spinach. Find the dirty dozen items that are on sale at your grocery store and purchase those. Yes, they may be slightly more costly but it’s worth your health. Pay now or pay later as I always say.

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

Turtle Farm CSA Pickup #2

Another week means another pickup from Turtle Farms CSA! If you missed pickup #1, check it out here.
So what wonderful produce did my box hold for me this week….
Garlic Scapes

The garlic scape is the stem from which the seed head of the garlic bulb is formed. As the bulb begins to grow and mature, the garlic stalks lengthen. As it grows, the garlic scape begins to curve. The scape has a great deal of flavor, although the stalk never reaches the same level of pungency as the bulb. Young garlic scapes are very tender. As the plant continues to mature, the garlic scape gradually begins to straighten, creating more support for the bulb. At this juncture, the garlic scape is much tougher and less appealing.

Pac Choy aka Bok Choy

It has dark green leaves and white celery-like stalks that have a mild, slightly peppery flavor. Both the greens and the stalks are popular in salads and the stalks are often used in stir-fry recipes. When selecting, look for a firm compact head with fresh leaves.
A good source of vitamin C and anti-oxidants, pak choy also provides some iron, folate and dietary fiber

Buying & storing
Choose pak choy with bright leaves and crisp, pale stems. Store in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for three days.
All parts of baby pak choy are edible. Wash, then slice as desired.
Cooking tips
Stir-fry with broccoli, chestnuts and soy sauce. Serve with steamed fish.
Stir through Asian noodle soups at the end of cooking.

A tasty vegetable that you can eat either raw or cooked.


It’s loaded with antioxidants, it’s a good source of fiber, and its high vitamin C content helps protect cells from free radicals that can damage the body and cause disease. Kohlrabi is also rich in essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
A half-cup of kohlrabi offers 245 grams of potassium, 25 I.U. of vitamin A, 43.4 milligrams of vitamin C, 11.3 micrograms of folic acid, 16.8 mg of calcium and about 10 mg of choline. It’s a low-fat vegetable with only 19 calories in a half-cup serving that provides a healthy 23 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 1.5 grams of protein.
Kohlrabi tastes mildly like broccoli with just a hint of cabbage.
How to Prepare Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi stores well and can be refrigerated for up to a month. If using it raw in a salad, you can chop both the orb and the leaves and add to lettuce or other greens for a nutritious cold dish.
You can steam kohlrabi in a small amount of water, then lightly salt it to bring out its delicate flavor. Even the leaves can be steamed like spinach.
Diced or chopped kohlrabi makes a flavorful addition to any stir-fry. Lightly cooked, it will retain its crisp texture. Read more: Kohlrabi Nutrition Information eHow.com
Strawberries: Northeaster and Jewel

Radish: Cherry Belle and Pink Beauty

Edible Pansies
Lettuce: New Red Fire and Deer Tongue

So what did I do with my garlic scapes and bok choy….made stir fry!

Be sure to check out Tallgrass Grocery and help start the Coop here in West Des Moines! A great way to purchase organic and local foods!
Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

So what did I make with all of my leafy greens…?

A big ol‘ salad of course! With all the goodness of being local and organic from Turtle Farms CSA.

J and I both loved the diversity of flavors from the different kinds of greens…some were peppery while others were sweet. It was nice to change it up from the basic spinach or romaine salad.

In fact, the sloppy Joe meat was local as well from Wallace Farms (yummy grass fed products).
How does Wallace Farms work? View this fun video:

(their jerky rocks!)


Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good