If you missed my first Grocery Store Staples Series on Whole Foods, definitely check that one out! And this time around for the series, it’s all about Natural Grocers! I know that Natural Grocers isn’t EVERYWHERE, especially on the East Coast, but it continues to grow here in Midwest, Rocky Mountains and West Coast so I wanted to add it to my list. Especially because Natural Grocers has incredibly high standards with the products they choose to carry and I love shopping there myself!
On Natural Grocers website, you can see exactly how strict they are when it comes to their product standards. They list their product standards ranging from produce, dairy, egg, meat and supplements. You can see all of those here. And they also work hard to make sure that they keep every day prices affordable for the average family with their in-store specials, produce deals, managers specials and clearance items! They even have a list of what items they won’t sell, including products that include ingredients with artificial colors and flavors, GMO, MSG, non-organic produce, hydrogenated oils, along with many other ingredients they refuse to sell.
One of the main reasons I go to Natural Grocers is I know that they will pretty much always have the ingredients that are hard to find anywhere else. Just the other day I was at Whole Foods and needed local bee pollen and they didn’t have it, but Natural Grocers did! And they always have tons of gluten free products, snacks and treats! I don’t go there for many fresh meats but I do get some frozen meat products and I always head there when I’m heading out of town and needed healthy snacks on hand.
Whenever I walk into Natural Grocers, I start at the produce section because they have all organic produce. They don’t have as large of a supply of produce as other grocery stores, but I’m guessing that’s because of their high standard guarantee. So if I’m looking for unique items like fresno peppers or plantains, I have to go somewhere else. But what I love is they always have fresh dates available in their produce section and a ton of different kind and colors of potatoes and sweet potatoes!
After produce, I move on to their small refrigerated meat section. If I need some chicken breasts or pork chops or just an individual steak, they usually have that on hand. But I usually go there for some sort of breakfast sausage like Teton Water jalapeño bratwurst. They also have Pederson’s Farms no sugar added bacon, which I love to have on hand whenever I’m craving bacon.
After the refrigerated meat section, I move to the frozen section. They always have frozen vegetables that I stock up on like frozen cauliflower, green beans and sweet potatoes. And then they have a large section frozen meat and seafood. If you look at all the items they have to offer, you’ll find some great products, especially ones without added sugar. I love brands like Mulay’s sausage (that has no added sugar in their breakfast sausage or Italian sausage), Shelton’s meatballs and Italian sausage which is great for a GF pasta night, and then they have wild caught salmon, some different types of fish and lots of frozen seafood like shrimp to choose from.
They also have a huge selection of frozen gluten free breads and wraps. You can find Canyon Bakehouse, Siete Foods and Against The Grain. But they also have a ton of other gluten free brands that I’ve never tried and definitely want to. If the holidays come up and I want some gluten free muffins or cinnamon rolls – they’ll have it. They really stock their freezer section with awesome items! They even have gluten free pizzas like Against The Grain pizzas and Cappello’s pizzas and pastas! And they have awesome frozen bone broth to choose from, like Bonafide Provisions bone broth which is super delicious!
Next up, more refrigerated items. I just recently found MALK which is the only almond milk I drink anymore. And they had all the flavors available! They also have my favorite and only egg brand that I use myself, Vital Farms. Plus they have a ton of yogurts and dairy-free yogurts to choose from. I recently started eating Kite Hill yogurts and their greek style yogurts and have loved them!
They also have lots of organic cheeses to choose from and some cheese alternatives, like The Honest Stand, which I’ve used in my Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf recipe! You’ll also find delicious sauerkraut brand like Farmhouse Culture and MM Colorado. Get those fermented foods in your diet!
Last but not least, they also have tons of flours, nuts and seeds, trail mix, energy squares, and unique products kept fresh in the fridge section. You can find a ton of organic gluten free flours such as almond flour, which is best when kept in the fridge. And recently I’ve started to grab some of their energy squares that they make with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. And something I mentioned earlier is they have local fresh bee pollen that I’ve been blending into my iced coffees in the morning to help with allergies!
Next up, canned and jarred items in the middle isles. They have some great paleo products available like Primal Kitchen mayos and oils. And then I love getting ingredients for gluten free pasta night like Cecina Antica pasta sauce, which has no added sugar or sh*tty oils. And with that sauce, you can always find my favorite gluten free rice pasta Jovial! I just found the manicotti available and totally want to try that! And you can also find great salsas like 505 Southwestern. Just be careful because some of their products use canola oil.
They also have tons of gluten free crackers and cookies to choose from. Many brands that I’ve never even heard of. But my favorite includes Simple Mills and their crunchy cookies! And you can find their mixes as well, to just make your own instead!
And if you turn to their baking/bulk section, you’ll find TONS of spices, nuts, seeds, and all sorts of items that you may find in paleo or gluten free recipes online. I can always go there to buy bulk items like himalayan sea salt, pink peppercorns, lavender, and whatever random ingredients pops up.
Their baking sections has TONS of gluten free flours and mixes to make baking easy and delicious, especially during the holiday. And they put a GF label to make shopping gluten free easier than ever! I can always find any of the flours I need or pick up gluten free cake or muffin mixes!
And if you’re looking for healthier snacks than your normal grocery store, Natural Grocers has you covered. They have tons of gluten free beef jerky, coconut chips and dried/freeze dried fruit, then they have tons of chips like my favorite Siete Foods and Terra plantain chips!
And I LOVE some of their gluten free snacks/treats like Milton’s crackers (this crackers are amazing), WOW moist and chew cookies, Purely Elizabeth gluten free granola, and the newly found Foodie Fuel Snacks that I’m super obsessed with lately!
Last but not least, they always have a huge section of green juices, kombucha, and coffee drinks to choose from. So I always check that out before I leave to see if brands have come out with any new products that I need to taste. And they also have a large section of treats to choose from. Whether you want gluten free muffins or bread, cookies or bake, or just some Hail Merry cups, they have a ton to choose from to satisfy that sweet tooth.
If you’re reading this and wondering why everything isn’t strictly paleo, it’s because I don’t eat strict paleo on a daily basis. I eat gluten free and try to stay away from too much sugar and processed foods, but it’s nice having options available. And Natural Grocers makes that incredibly easy. I always head there for travel snacks and treats, but I can constantly trust them for ingredients I can’t find anywhere else. If you have a Natural Grocers near you, you should definitely check it out! And if you have any products you love from Natural Grocers, share those finds in the comments below! And PS – don’t forget to bring your own bags because they’ve eliminated paper and plastic bags in their stores!