Fermented Garlic Honey

In honor of honey month (and the impending flu season), we thought we’d share an easy immune booster: fermented garlic honey. Raw honey and raw garlic are both renowned for their health benefits, so they make a perfect pair, while fermentation naturally creates probiotics that benefit digestion and immune system health.

With only two ingredients and little preparation, this is a great way for beginners to get into fermentation. Let’s get started.

  1. You’ll need some raw (local) honey and garlic. Raw honey is unpasteurized, which means the beneficial bacteria and yeast responsible for fermentation haven’t been killed from processing. Local honey is ideal because it may help your system build immunity to local pollens (check Aisle 4 for plenty of options). For the garlic, 2-4 large heads should be plenty for a small batch. Here we used several smaller heads with a 16oz honey. Buy organic garlic, since pesticides can interfere with the fermentation process.
  1. Prepare the garlic by lightly bruising each clove by pressing down on top of it with the flat side of a knife. Try to keep each clove intact, so don’t push too hard — you just want to bruise it enough to easily remove the skin. Bruising garlic also kicks off a natural defense process that converts the enzyme alliinase into allicin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
  1. Fill a clean mason jar ½ to ¾ full with the garlic and pour in enough honey to cover it completely. The size of the jar doesn’t matter much; just make sure you leave an inch or two of free space at the top. The cloves will float at first. Seal the jar, label it with the date, and store at room temperature in a dark place.
  1. Once a day, flip the jar upside down and swirl it to make sure none of the cloves are above the honey for too long. This will prevent unwanted mold growth on the surface of the honey. Once the garlic stays submerged on its own, you can skip this step. Loosen the lid of the jar to release the pressure that builds during fermentation (this is called “burping”), then re-tighten. Do this once or twice a day.
  2. Fermentation time varies by preference, but one month is a good starting point. By that point, the honey should be very thin and liquidy, and the garlic flavor will be strong. Have a taste and see what you think. Some folks let theirs go for a year or more. The garlicky flavor of the honey will intensify over time, while the cloves will lose some intensity and taste sweeter. You can continue to store it at room temperature to let fermentation continue.


Eat a spoonful when you start feeling funky or in preparation for flu season. You can also eat the cloves whole. Try using the honey as a glaze for meat or pizza crust. Mix it into sauces and marinades for a sweet, garlicky kick, or with other natural remedies to create a natural health tonic. Make all your friends try it. Have a good time. Be well. (And check back soon for more recipes.)





Note that the Center for Disease Control advises against feeding raw honey to children under 12 months old to limit the risk of infant botulism (older children and adults can eat raw honey as they please).

Chickpea Salad

Need a new fresh side dish that the whole family would like? Look no further, this simple chickpea salad recipe is sure to be your new go to! All you need is a few ingredients and a bowl to make this quick and light dish.



15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
⅓ cup (packed) freshly grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt to taste


  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
  2. Combine rinsed/drained chickpeas, chopped basil, chopped parsley, fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and parmesan in a medium bowl.
  3. Slowly and gently toss to blend all ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Season the chickpea salad to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics
Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Andrea George, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton


It’s New! Craft & Cork

We are pleased to share our newest seasonal publication with you– the Craft & Cork. You’ll find information about the enjoyment of beer, wine and cheese. It is produced VERY locally, right here in the store!

All the products you read about can be purchased here at the co-op. There will be a recipe that will use fresh, seasonal, and often local items. We’ll highlight a local producer in our MEET YOUR MAKER section. And, a cheeseboard will be featured in each issue that you can put together using the keyed photograph and descriptions.

The Autumn issue is just out and you can pick up a copy in the store, or read it HERE.

Why run for the FCFC board?

Guest Blogger: Jason E. Ybarra, Ph.D.

Maybe, like me, when you first joined the co-op you didn’t think much about what happens behind the scenes; but perhaps you were aware that as an owner you help select those who govern the co-op on your behalf. One of the cooperative principles that FCFC follows is democratic member control; that is, member-owners actively participate through electing a board of directors, but also this can include running for a board seat.


Why did I run?

I am currently finishing my first year on the board. I ran because I wanted to deepen my investment in the co-op. For me the co-op is not just a grocery store, it is an organization that reflects my values of sustainability, investment in the community, buying local, and environmental stewardship. I was motivated by the desire to serve in a capacity that leverages my expertise and experiences. As a scientist and educator, I continuously evaluate information, assess procedures, think forward, and make informed decisions. It is these skills that I wanted to bring to the board.

So far, the experience has been very rewarding. My fellow directors are a group of wonderful, kind,  conscientious, and talented people that love their co-op as much I do. We work closely and cooperatively to ensure the co-op is meeting its ends policies – and have fun at the same time! I have enjoyed the satisfaction of contributing to the overall success of the co-op.


Why should you run?

Maybe you never considered running for the board, or maybe just gave it a passing thought. Let me ask you the following questions: Do you have a unique perspective, talent, or set of experiences? Do your values align with those of the co-op? Are you interested in helping the co-op thrive? Do you have experience working closely with like minded individuals toward a set of common goals? If you answered yes to these questions, you should consider running!


How to run

Perhaps the first and most important thing to do when considering running for a board seat is to find out how the board operates. The best way to do this is by attending the August board candidate information session, or attend the public session of any regular board meeting if you’d like to learn more and possibly run for the board next year. Hope to see you there!

Have more questions about running for the board? Feel free to email us at board@friendlycity.coop


Jason E. Ybarra
FCFC Owner and Board Director
Assistant Professor of Physics, Bridgewater College

Good To Know – How To Know If It’s Good

How do you know which is the very best tasting cantaloupe and which tomato will be the most tomato-ey? Here’s a guide to helping you decide which piece of produce to select when shopping – whether at the food co-op, a farmers market, or in your own garden!


Don’t peel the husk- instead, feel it to see that the kernels are plump and there are no gaps in the rows. Green and tight leaves are best.


Look for one that is very fragrant around the stem when you smell it. It should feel hefty for its size.


Choose those with shiny and taught skins. Avoid big blemishes and brown spots.


It should feel heavy for its size, and a thump should produce a hollow sound, not a dull thud.


Look for a deep color black and the berries should be firm and plump which equals ready to eat!


Pick one up- it should be aromatic and feel heavier than it looks.


Look for fragrant berries that are evenly sized and have very little white at the top. Steer clear of the super big ones.


A ripe peach should smell peachy good!

Avocado Pasta

This simple pasta recipe can be made in less than 15 minutes! Aside from being easy, it’s a healthy alternative to pasta made from wheat. It’s made with chickpea noodles and a delicious avocado tahini sauce.


1 box of Banza pasta
1 large avocado
⅓ cup tahini
1 ½ tsp honey
Splash of almond milk
Dash of pepper


  1. Cook Banza pasta following the directions on the box.
  2. While the pasta is cooking add avocado, tahini, honey, almond milk and pepper to blender. Blend ingredients together, this will form your sauce.
  3. Once the pasta is done cooking drain the water and pour the pasta back into the pot. Add the sauce to the pasta pot and stir thoroughly.


*Feel free to also sauté veggies such as spinach, tomatoes, pepper, etc to add into the pasta! I chose to add a little spinach to mine.


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics

Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Andrea George, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton

Spring Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Sauce

A light lunch or the perfect addition to any dinner, these spring rolls are oh so light and fun to make!

Spring Roll Ingredients:

1 pack of brown rice paper
1 cup of shredded cabbage
½ cup of shredded carrots
¼ cup of chopped red onion
1 medium avocado, thinly sliced


Sauce Ingredients:

2 T. soy sauce
1 T. maple syrup
½ to 1 tsp. sriracha
1 T. peanut butter



  1. Mix sauce ingredients together.
  2. Dip the rice paper in warm water to soften, then lay flat on your work surface.
  3. Lay toppings in the middle of the wrap and roll it up like a burrito– folding in the sides and rolling up from the bottom.
  4. Serve alongside sauce


Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics

Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Andrea George, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton

Roasted Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes such as curry and stir-fry. Roasting cauliflower is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it because roasting brings out the cauliflower’s natural sweetness. Now that spring vegetables are in season, I like to roast cauliflower and pair it with a fresh and flavorful romesco sauce made with red bell pepper, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, and olive oil.


Cauliflower Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste


Romesco Ingredients:

1 large red bell pepper, diced
2/3 cup grape tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup blanched almonds
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine. Roast for 10-15 minutes until tender.
  2. Add cauliflower florets to a separate baking sheet and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Roast cauliflower for 25 minutes until tender.
  3. Once the bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic are finished roasting, transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add remaining two tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, almonds, salt, and pepper. Pulse for 20-30 seconds until a fairly smooth sauce forms. Serve romesco sauce with cauliflower and enjoy!



By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.


Homemade Granola Bars (Vegan)

Five ingredients. Easy as that! These granola bars are a great snack for on the go or packed lunches. No baking required!

1 cup of dates, pitted
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
¼ cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds
1 ½ cup rolled oats



1. Process dates in food processor until small bits remain.
2. Place oats, almonds, and dates in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Warm maple syrup (or honey) and peanut butter on stove and pour over oat mixture.
4. Mix thoroughly, and place in a baking dish (8×8) lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
5. Press firmly down.
6. Cover with plastic or parchment paper and firm in freezer and fridge 15-20 min.
7. Cut bars to preference and enjoy! Store in refrigerator.
Substitutes* if allergic to peanut butter, use sunflower butter and if allergic to nuts, recipe can be made without almonds and using sunflower seeds or rice cereal instead!

Guest Bloggers: James Madison Dietetics

Alexandra Balbontin, Taylor Coleman, Julia Danisewicz, Andrea George, Emily Salvaggio, and Taylor Singleton


Orange Tofu (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Orange chicken was one of my favorite dishes to enjoy growing up in my family’s Chinese restaurant. Since transitioning to a plant-based diet, I wanted to recreate this popular dish and utilize tofu as the protein source. I recommend using Twin Oaks extra firm tofu because its hearty texture produces crispy cubes of golden brown tofu when pan-fried. To make the sweet and savory orange sauce, mix together orange juice, rice vinegar, tamari, and spices. Serve this simple and flavorful orange tofu over a bed of fluffy jasmine rice.


16 ounces extra firm tofu
2 tbsp. tamari
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup orange juice
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with two tsp. water


  1. Cut tofu into small cubes and marinate in one tablespoon of tamari for 15 minutes
  2. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add tofu and pan fry for 10-12 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Flip tofu every 2-3 minutes so all sides can get crispy. Once tofu is done cooking, transfer to a bowl.
  3. To make the orange sauce, combine remaining one tablespoon of tamari, orange juice, rice vinegar, garlic powder, ground ginger, and cayenne pepper. Mix well so all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Add sauce to the same pan and heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and simmer for 3 minutes. Add tofu back to the pan and mix well to coat tofu evenly with sauce. Serve with rice and enjoy!


By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.