Saturday, February 28, 2009

What's So Great About Whole Foods?

Recently I invited a friend to go to Whole Foods with me and she asked "What's so great about Whole Foods?" Those might not have been her exact words but I had never been to Whole Foods myself so I didn't rightly know. What IS so great about Whole Foods? I had heard a lot about it and was in the market for some quinoa (say keen-wah) pasta and Greek yogurt (not together). I was going to be much nearer to a Whole Foods than I am normally so I wanted to stop in and check in out.

As of this week I am no longer a Whole Foods virgin. What I would LOVE to be able to tell you is so great about Whole Foods is their desserts because I tell you what...I have never seen such beautiful cupcakes or cakes in my entire life. And I've eaten seen a lot. But alas, I did not give in to the temptation. Here is what I do know is great about Whole Foods...their bulk items and their Nut Butter Bar.

I have never tried a dried (or otherwise unless it ended in Newton) fig or a date. I wanted to, but I didn't want to fork over the $3-$4 for a bag of them that I would taste and then find out I didn't like. So I paid $0.38 and $0.64 for a couple of dried figs and dates in the bulk food area. You can also buy a scoop of grits, whole oats, or various different kinds of rices.

Recently, at the suggestion of my good friend H (Rachel's sister, who coincidentally when I think about H going by simply "H" on Blogger I want to call them "H and Rach"...but I digress), I tried Smucker's brand all natural peanut butter. I heart peanut butter so much that you just wouldn't even believe me if I told you. I have tried and tried and tried to like natural peanut butter and never before have I been able to. Until, that is, I tried Smuckers. I not only can "handle it" but I actually adore it. And Mr. Steady figured out that if you refrigerate natural peanut butter the oil doesn't separate.

So now that I've taken down my "Natural Peanut Butter Need Not Apply" sign I thought I would really step out on a limb and try other natural nut butters. Problem is, a small jar of almond butter costs about $8. And that's one small jar. But, at Whole Foods, you can grind your own nut butters. And by "grind your own" I mean you stick a container under a shoot and flip a switch. It just sounds better to say grind your own. So I paid about $2 for a small amount of almond butter and about $1.50 for an even smaller amount of cashew butter. Just enough for the family to taste and see if we like it. By the way, LOVE the cashew butter...not as much on the almond. The almond is doable but the cashew is excellent.

I was also able to find 3 different shapes of quinoa pasta, which is 3 times the amount of varieties at Trader Joe's. I wasn't as impressed with their selection of Greek yogurt, Trader Joe's has almost the same varieties...the only thing Whole Foods has on Trader Joe's is the varieties of flavors of single serve Greek yogurt.

Oh yes and if you are looking for Green & Blacks Chocolate, Whole Foods is your hook up destination (I'm not even sure what that means but you get the idea). They had a terrific selection of chocolate. And I didn't even buy a single piece. Unbelievable. But don't think for one minute that I didn't lovingly touch and smell each bar. That was weird, wasn't it? Especially after I just said "hook up destination".

So all in all, Whole Foods is a pretty cool place. I wouldn't drive an hour to get there every week, obviously. But if you ever have the opportunity to check one out I would try it. And have a cupcake for me!

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