It’s easy to beeline toward your favorite, familiar bulk items when you shop at the co-op, but we have so many unique options you may have never noticed before! It’s simple, fun and affordable to be adventurous in the bulk section — often for under a dollar, you can buy a small amount of something new to test out. Here are some hidden gems you may just fall in love with!
ORGANIC BUCKWHEAT GROATS | LOCAL | GLUTEN-FREE
Buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant and can be eaten raw (crunchy and slightly nutty), cooked (mild flavor with a rice-like texture) or roasted (toasty and earthy). They are high in fiber and antioxidants and are a source of prebiotics.
ORGANIC MILLET | LOCAL | GLUTEN-FREE
Popular throughout Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, millet has a slightly sweet, slightly nutty, corn-like flavor. It’s nice and fluffy when cooked and is a great budget-friendly alternative to quinoa. This delightfully starchy ancient grain is high in protein, fiber and vitamins.
ORGANIC SPELT BERRIES | LOCAL
This ancient variety of wheat has a satisfying chewiness similar to barley, is full of protein and fiber, and makes a versatile kitchen staple. Eat it as a hot cereal or in pilafs, risottos, breads, soups or salads. You can also use it to bulk up meatballs, burgers and meatloaf!
ORGANIC JADE PEARL RICE
This light green rice gets its beautiful color from wildcrafted bamboo extract, which is high in manganese and other minerals. It produces a delightful bamboo scent, a light vanilla taste, and a perfectly sticky yet fluffy texture when cooked. Unlike other rice, don’t rinse this one before cooking — you’ll wash off the bamboo extract!
ORGANIC WHITE CHEDDAR CHEESE POWDER
Add a cheesy pop of flavor to just about anything; sprinkle over popcorn, eggs, mac and cheese, potatoes and more!
APPLEWOOD-SMOKED SEA SALT
Smoked over aged applewood at low temperatures, this flaky, richly flavored salt is excellent for barbecued meats, marinades, brines and chutneys.
MITMITA, SHIRO & BERBERE SPICE BLENDS | LOCAL
Mix things up with these flavorful blends commonly used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking. Highly spicy mitmita is ideal for beef and chicken dishes, sauces, beans, soups and vegetables. Berbere ties dishes together and can be used as a dry rub for meats, a seasoning for stews, lentils and grains, or even a tableside condiment to sprinkle over your meal.
When simmered with water, shiro (a blend of powdered chickpeas and spices) turns into a flavorful sauce you can add garlic, onions, veggies or meats to. Be sure to grab some injera for dipping!
Other Fun Finds
RAW BEE POLLEN | LOCAL
Bees create these small pellets out of flower pollen and nectar and carry them back to the hive to ferment into “bee bread” to feed the colony. Beekeepers collect a small amount for humans to enjoy as well. With a lightly sweet, floral flavor and powdery texture, bee pollen is often added to smoothies or sprinkled over yogurt, oatmeal or salads.
ORGANIC RED BUSH CHAI
This caffeine-free twist on chai is made with rooibos tea for a smooth, full-bodied, sweet and spicy cup.
CHUNKS OF ENERGY
Available in Chocolate Almond Chip, Carob Spirulina, Organic Cacao Goji, Organic Cha Cha Chia Orange and Organic Carob Super Greens, these filling little cubes are great for camping, hiking or even as a workday snack. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to make them last up to six months. You can also refrigerate or freeze them!