This week’s blog post is a double delight!  Upon request by many of you, I did a video {below} breaking down the ingredients you should stock up on in your pantry to add health benefits to your recipes!  It also turned out earlier this week that I got a special invite to get a behind the scenes look at the New Whole Foods in West Palm Beach and now I can share the juicy details with you!

Whole Foods in Gardens happens to be where I shop regularly for ingredients that I shared in the video below.  I do shop other stores but Whole Foods is my main squeeze, my home away from home and the place where they know my name and I know theirs.

Let me just say every inch of the NEW 42,000 square foot market fancied all of my senses! This Florida store has style with its Lilly {Pulitzer} inspired flare and Vintage adornments.  It is so meticulously dressed in every department that I actually felt underdressed in the midst of it’s gorgeous Palm Beach fan fair!

My olfactory senses were jubilant with the smells of the raw cedar wood shelves and array of cuisine! My eyes confirmed this Market’s unique passion with signs adorning the store, reflecting their mission statements bold and clear to serve you locally & globally with its Whole Planet Foundation to its full GMO transparency!

Many may not know how committed corporate and the staff are because it is easy to get caught in the midst of our grocery lists.  With several admirable projects that they are pioneers in, such as animal welfare and fair trade, it makes me want to shop at this market even more! I encourage you to chat with any team member and you will see their passion and hear their knowledge!

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The tour starts here for the New West Palm Beach Whole Foods……

As one among an excited group of press and other food blogging friends, my taste buds were jumping for joy and yes they do that a lot in the company of worthy foods! Oh la la are you in for a treat! As you make your way to the Juice Bar and order a Red Dragon with collagen powder you must be sure to order an espresso too for a friend from the acclaimed PINK Vintage appliance made specially for Whole Foods!

It might be hard to forage forward because let’s “face” it I am hanging out where I can get some extra collagen these days {45 is so lovely}!  After you get your beauty on, a few feet away the                 La Creperie is where you can enjoy daily fresh, made to order crepes!  If you are lucky they might be made by a gal who has been making them since she was 7 but either way you will feel fortunate eating such deliciousness!  You should thank her with all your heart because she pushed for this feature in the store!

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As the smells waft by, putting you in an hypnotic trance of euphoria, make sure not to miss the full service venue Palm Rotisserie featuring rotisserie meats du jour, charcuterie boards sliced to order and signature sandwiches too.  Don’t go too far or you might miss the authentic, Italian style pizza!  My Italian family would approve….even the gluten free ones!

Next, the Bake Shop has Artisan breads, pastries, gluten free options and many delectable goodies of course but it has me wondering if they hired an ancestor from the famous baker, Lionel Poilane from Paris!  Oven baking bread and sweet vanilla smells have me at HELLO! I could barely continue the tour as my eyes feasted on natural wood bins full of goods…. oh dear and I had only begun!

One would think my rapture of smells was over as we entered the Seafood department; however, quite the opposite appeared as my taste buds dove into the pleasure of Whole Food’s ever so popular Key Lime Shrimp! Crisp, cold large prawns that were lightly coated with there special Miami made Key lime oil had me up for seconds…I am a food blogger after all!

You will be happy to know, in September 2010 Wholefoods and Safina Center developed a color-coded sustainability rating system for all NON-MSC-certified wild-caught seafood the market sells. I was happy to learn although some of Whole Foods seafood is farm-raised we can be assured there is no use of growth hormones or antibiotics and they use responsible farming.  For those who want to know more details that are very impressive and a glimpse of a short video at the Norway farms, I highly suggest you take a few minutes to do so; you will not be disappointed.

I had contacted the store after my tour because I wondered if the farm-raised fish were fed any GMO ingredients and I am happy to report looking back it was a silly question.  I should have expected nothing but the best from Whole Foods!

The Meat & Poultry department was beautiful and expansive compared to my Palm Beach Garden’s market.  No surprise at the level of responsibility here too with its true partnerships with farmers and ranchers they can with confidence offer us the highest quality and unique custom cuts like rabbit, which apparently is popular in Florida {not sure I can go there} and my favorite, ground bison.

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Heading into the center of the store there are many clever features in the Bulk department by utilizing bulk bins full of nuts, seeds etc. for economical prices and less waste in packaging hence why prices are friendly.  I can attest I have seen with my own eyes daily {yes because I am there that much} the bins are filled so foods stay fresh.  This store is featuring discounted bulk honey that is made by our local bees! What amazing creatures they are to provide such medicinal substances to us humans.  A little inside scoop, we were told the Buzz Bee farmer was chosen to partake in the Whole Foods Local Loan Producer Program to grow his bees to 50 TRILLION honey bees!  Chances are if you see a bee in these parts it is part of the Buzz Bee family!

The Grocery department offers pasture raised eggs and quail eggs which are very nutritious. I tasted the organic watermelon cold pressed bottled juice and had to take conservative efforts to not gulp it all down so I could bring some home to my daughter, who loves watermelon juice.  All the particulars you might need are in this department including frozen organic and gluten free items.

I thought it was very interesting in the Grocery department alone they introduce 30-100 new items a month!  They are tagged “new items” for a month.  If you ever wondered how long some of the sales go until, I got the scoop here too. “Deep discounts” run every 2 weeks and are red & yellow tags.  Other “great buys” run longer from 1 month or 1 year.  Local products are tagged accordingly and certified gluten free foods are third party certified with a purple tag. So my gluten free friends don’t have to risk their health anymore!

The Whole Body department is just that- whole body care. We take care as to what we eat and we need to also be conscience as to what we put on our hair, nails and skin as it is the largest organ of the body.  This department has created a certification for those who follow vegan principles by tagging body products 100% vegan but you should also know, Whole Foods sells beauty products that do not use ANY animal testing! The supplements on the shelves also are free from synthetic ingredients.

The Lifestyle department highlights clothing, scarves, hats, jewelry and basically all things wearable!  Most of these products are made with organic fabrics and support fair trade! I have found several beautiful gifts that support individual woman globally in their business ventures supported through the Whole Planet Programs where 1 million microloans serve 5 million people globally on the road to prosperity!

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The Produce department  is not only known for all it’s glorious varieties of fruits and vegetables but for it’s flowers of peony, bells of Ireland, anemone, alstroemeria, daffodils, sunflowers, gerber daisies, hydrangea, narcissus {smells intoxicating} and roses to just name a few!  It is my guilty pleasure to fill vases at home with such blossoms!   I think the sign in produce at the Whole Foods in West Palm Beach market says it perfect, “Flowers Feed the Soul.”  My soul must be really hungry…good time to tell you they sell edible flowers here too {wink wink}!!

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Fromagerie is a snazzy name for CHEESE! It was the next department we visited that had me lingering even after we moved on.  There was more cheese to be eaten people! I love it sharp, melted, soft, firm, orange, white, not to old, not green or blue, but yes to goat, cow, and sheep cheese PLEASE!  Side note, as I wrote that I thought it sounded off but you know its all about the FOOD!

I saved the best for LAST!!  I was over the moon and sun with the Palm Beach Brews Bar!  The name is deceiving as it is so much more, I promise!  I am not a beer connoisseur but this feature offers an intimate seating among local seasonal craft beers on tap, bottled specialty drafts and kombucha beers like infused ginger! However, this is the part I get giddy about, the Artisan cheese boards decorated with olives, salami, figs, nuts and honey or even more fabulous are the gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches!  So are you in?  I can’t wait to meet you there!  We can toast with our Kombucha and drool over which grill cheese sandwich we should order!  Oh, and if there aren’t any seats left at the bar we can always have a seat at the outdoor café!

So now that we got where you should shop out of the way, take a look at my Video on the “must have ingredients” in your Pantry that have many health benefits! You can make my delicious Raspberry Pancakes, Anytime Bars, Coconut Cream Cake with Chocolate Ganache, Ginger Spice Muffins, Coffee Maple Muffins, Almond Joy Cookies and Chocolate Chipper Cookies that are all grain and flour free but use nutrient packed ingredients!

 

With a Spoonful of Health,

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