The Unusual Grocery Store

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Mine was filled with lots of work commitments…eh, you win some, you lose some. Tonight’s going to have to be cooking night since that didn’t happen yesterday.

Anyway, I was just thinking about my recent grocery store runs (is that weird?) and the fact that there are a lot of “specialty” food stores popping up as of late (or at least popping up lately on my radar). I’m not talking about the European food stores my Ukranian father oh-so-loves or even the Indian grocer I’ve come to appreciate, but more of the healthy and alternative variety. I visited two Pittsburgh establishments in the past week that I think fit into that category nicely.

1. Eden’s Market (South Hills)
Their sign describes them as “a natural convenience store” which is perfect based on their niche market and physical size. They are a small grocer, with limited refrigerated and frozen sections, but rather specializing in natural supplements and unique dry goods. They also have a large supply of gluten free products and donate part of their proceeds to Celiac research. I  enjoyed spotting my first box of So Delicious Coconut Milk and a jar full of white chia seeds.

Have you heard of Chia Seeds? They’re all the rage in the blogosphere, probably because they’re so nutritious! One tablespoon of these white chia seeds offers 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and a healthy dose of Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, for only 46 calories! They’re super easy to incorporate into meals- I’m loving them in my oatmeal right now. They look like poppy or sesame seeds and add a nice texture without much flavor. Yay for superfoods!

2) Right By Nature (Strip District)
This grocery store is more like Whole Foods (but better because it’s local!) with its offering of more “typical” grocery fare, such as fresh produce, refrigerated and frozen sections and plenty of dry goods. What’s more unique is their wall full-o bulk bins (grains, beans, dried fruit, and more!) and many of the brands they carry, especially their vast organic offerings. They often have the harder to find, specialty items for the health-conscious. Here, I found my tofu shirataki noodles and vital wheat gluten (also known as “wheat meat” for its high protein count and meat-like texture).

I reeeeally liked Right By Nature and filled my shopping cart with some organic produce and lots of bulk bin finds (such as dark chia seeds- I’m obsessed). I also just found out that the Happy Herbivore will be making a guest appearance there on Sunday, February 13 for a book signing and demonstration. This makes me very happy! I think this will be the first book signing event I’ve ever attended. Yay for new things!

Before I end this post, I have to give a shout out to Groupon, my means for finding both of these unique grocery establishments. I hope there are more to come!

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