Goshen’s Maple City Market natural foods co-op is now offering a community course in stretching dollars and eating healthy.
The public is invited to participate in the co-op’s new program, Value 101, which focuses on the benefits of budgeting, effective meal plans and nutritionally minded food purchases. The market initiated the program Wednesday, Feb. 18.
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“These are things that other stores don’t do as much,” said Greg Imbur, director of education and outreach at Maple City Market. “That would be developing recipes that help stretch food dollars and also having cooking classes that help people learn how to stretch those dollars.”
As part of the new program, the market offers discounted prices on 101 select items throughout the store, including bulk beans and rice, international spices, produce, dairy and personal care products.
Green tags indicate Value 101 reduced prices, which are accessible to anyone — not just members of the co-op. Value 101 signage throughout the store is printed in both Spanish and English, which Imbur said is part of an ongoing effort to make the store bilingual.
In the past, Maple City Market has offered a class on how to make homemade kombucha and hosted a workshop highlighting the benefits of fermented and probiotic foods. Attendees were able to walk away with personally prepared sauerkraut and the know-how to do it on their own.
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Imbur said upcoming Value 101 classes will teach proper soup and stock preparation, in addition to a seed and sprouting series for home growers. The cost of future classes will range from free up to $10 and will likely take place in the evening.
“We’re taking some basic recipes that people are already familiar with and then adding a twist to it to make it more interesting again or more helpful,” said Imbur.
For mundane macaroni and cheese, Imbur suggests mixing in a bit of butternut squash to increase the nutritional value. Ginger root can provide a simple way to spice up a tame tuna salad.
Many of the Maple City Market’s recipes will be geared toward families on budgets and include instructions for homemade breads, pastas and casseroles.
“If you know how to be a value shopper, then there are lots of savings to be had here.”