Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

My Account

Blog

Search:
Eating almonds is good for your health and can help you lose weight.- Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack with plenty of health benefits. Loaded with minerals, they are also among the healthiest of tree nuts. Just a handful of nutrient-rich almonds a day helps promote heart health and prevent weight gain, and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's.

Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, and a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin. A one-ounce serving has 13 grams of “good” unsaturated fats, just 1 gram of saturated fat and is always cholesterol-free. When compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein, fiber, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin. Every crunch carries lots of important vitamins and minerals, including one that most people don’t even think of in nuts: calcium. Usually associated with dairy and dark leafy greens, calcium works with vitamin D to build your bones and keep your body’s systems running at peak performance.

Almonds can help stave off hunger and satisfy your cravings. Almonds are considered a good fit with many popular weight-loss plans because they provide stellar satiety, plentiful nutrients per calorie, and great, go-with-every-food flavor and crunch.

What about calories in almonds? A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a one-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) has just 129 calories as opposed to the previous count of 160. That's a 20% decrease. Even better, almonds are also super simple to integrate into your diet. Just grab them as a great weight loss snack or make them part of a meal, and you could see the scales tip in your favor.

 

Some Exciting New Items Coming to Prisco’s- Tuesday, September 19, 2017

As we head into fall this week, it’s time to start thinking about the heartier foods of autumn... And in light of the changing season, we have got some exciting new items being added to our grocery department that I feel are well worth sharing with you.

The first is a new line of pasta called Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Noodles. This family owned and operated noodle maker is located in the heart of Amish country in Fredericksburg, Ohio. Started by Esther (Mrs.) Miller and her husband Leon some 54 years ago, their business today is run by their children. Their noodles, Our Noodles, are made from the best ingredients:

  • Extra Fancy Durum Wheat Flour that has a high protein content and gives the noodles a nice, firm texture.

  • They continue to use farm fresh whole eggs rather than powdered eggs because they care about the quality and color of their noodles.

Mrs. Miller’s Noodles are carefully made:

  • Using the old-fashioned methods of kneading, rolling, cutting and drying - just like Grandma used to.

  • Cut thickly for a hearty taste.

  • Carefully dried to hold up well during cooking and to ensure food safety.

Finally, Mrs. Miller’s Noodles are healthy & all natural

  • Low Fat

  • A good source of good carbs

  • Low Glycemic Index

  • High Energy Food

  • Low Sodium

  • NON-GMO

  • NO Salt

  • NO Artificial colors

  • NO Preservatives

Another category that I’d like all of our customers to learn about is bone broth. If you are like me, this is something you have likely never heard of but now is a good time to learn. Let me begin by explaining the difference between broth, stock and bone broth.

All three are built on the same basic foundation: water, meat or bones, vegetables and seasonings.

Broth is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones (think of the bones in a fresh whole chicken). Broth is typically simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours). It is very light in flavor, thin in texture and rich in protein.

Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat (think of the meat that adheres to a beef neck bone). Often the bones are roasted before simmering them as this simple technique greatly improves the flavor. Beef stocks, for example, can present a faint acrid flavor if the bones aren’t first roasted. Stock is typically simmered for a moderate amount of time (3 to 4 hours). Stock is a good source of gelatin.

Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first to improve the flavor of the bone broth. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often for 8 hours, and sometimes in excess of 24 hours), with the purpose being not only to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joints but also to release a small amount of trace minerals from bones. At the end of cooking, the bones should crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.

I’ve heard that bone broth can have great health advantages, but I’m no nutritionist so I did a bit of Googling on the subject. Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in protein, and can be a source of minerals as well. Glycine supports the body's detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids. Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health.

Homemade broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals. The minerals in broth are easily absorbed by the body. Bone broth even contains glucosamine and chondroiton – which are thought to help mitigate the deletorious effects of arthritis and joint pain. Rather than shelling out big bucks for glucosamine-chondroitin and mineral supplements, just make bone broth and other nutritive foods a part of your regular diet.

Further, homemade bone broths are often rich in gelatin. Gelatin is an inexpensive source of supplementary protein. Gelatin also shows promise in the fight against degenerative joint disease. It helps to support the connective tissue in your body and also helps the fingernails and hair to grow well and strong.

To start, we now carry Pacific brand Organic Bone Broth – Chicken. If that is as popular as we believe, more varieties will be added. Please give these new items a try and tell us what you think.

 

Thanks, and I'll see you in the soup aisle.

Dave

A closer look at yogurt- Saturday, September 9, 2017

Yogurt has always been a popular snack here in the United States, but the past decade or so has seen a rapid expansion in the varieties (or styles) of yogurt being sold. We now have Icelandic and Greek style yogurts available alongside traditional yogurt, in addition to yogurt drinks like kefir, which offer people the many benefits of yogurt without the need of a spoon.

While variations on yogurt exist (and we will discuss those differences later), all yogurt varieties are made in roughly the same way. The only initial difference is in the type of bacteria used in the fermentation process. There are two varieties, thermophilic (warm loving) bacteria and mesophilic (cool loving). The thermophilic bacteria cultures at 110 degrees F, while the mesophilic variety cultures at about 70-77 degrees F. Both work in the same way: The bacteria consume the lactose in milk and converts that lactose to lactic acid, which is what gives yogurt its tangy flavor. The lactic acid also lowers the pH of the milk -- allowing it to be stored for longer periods -- and changes the protein structure, resulting in its yogurt's thickened texture.

Greek Yogurt VS. Regular Yogurt

The only significant difference between standard yogurt and Greek lies in the straining process. To make Greek yogurt, regular yogurt is strained extensively to remove more of the liquid whey and lactose to create a thicker texture. Aside from the mouth-feel, Greek yogurt boasts substantial nutritional differences from regular yogurt as well: It contains twice the protein and half the sodium and carbohydrates, which is great, but it also has three times the saturated fat...not so good.

Icelandic Yogurt

Also known as skyr, this style of yogurt is essentially a step up from Greek as far as processing. The straining process is a bit more thorough, with even more whey being extracted. The result is a much more less tart and more dense yogurt – one that will practically stick to your spoon like batter. Tradtionally, skyr is made with nonfat yogurt, while Greek yogurt is typically derived from full-fat varieties (although in the American market, non- or low-fat varieties are also popular).

So, what about kefir?

Kefir has a tart and refreshing flavor similar to yogurt and the culturing process is similar, but it contains beneficialyeast as well as the probiotics (friendly bacteria) found in yogurt. Kefir can be made from any type of milk, but cow and goat's milk varieties are the most common.

Kefir is made from gelatinous white or yellow particles called "grains." This makes kefir unique, as no other milk culture forms grains. These grains contain the bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk proteins) and complex sugars. They look like pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower and range from the size of a grain of wheat to that of a hazelnut. The grains ferment the milk, incorporating their friendly organisms to create the cultured product. The grains are then removed with a strainer before consumption of the kefir. -- kefir.net

Health benefits of yogurt and yogurt products

Yogurt can aid in digestion - Yogurt is made by bacterial fermentation of milk, a process that may boost digestive health because it produces the same good bacteria found in the gut. These useful bacteria are referred to as probiotics and, in additional to assisting with regular digestion, are known to help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel and relieve abdominal pain and gas.

Yogurt can help boost your immunity - According to some studies, the probiotics in yogurt can help enhance immunity, possibly by producing more infection-fighting white blood cells.

Yogurt can help with blood pressure - Yogurt is rich in potassium, which is known to help lower blood pressure. It is also critical for enabling the heart to beat properly.

Yogurt contains lots of vitamins and minerals – One serving of yogurt contains fair to high amounts of potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B5, zinc and riboflavin. It is also rich in B12, which is necessary for maintaining red blood cells, and aids in nervous system function.

Local family is here to help all their neighbors really cleanup!- Saturday, September 9, 2017

If you know us at all, you know that Prisco’s is hard core local and we believe in fiercely supporting community artisans and manufactures by providing shelf space and other support for their goods in our store. One such company that we haven’t mentioned for a while is Aroma Roots. Maria Skokan and her family have a super product line of all-natural bath and skin care products as well as a number of environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Aroma Roots is an all-natural handmade soap company that works with an ancient artisan recipe using a cold-process method and only the finest organic herbs and essential oils. Their soap is hand-cut and every bar is individually wrapped, making each one special. In essence, Aroma Roots was created by the Skokan family for your family.

Each soap is hand crafted and does not contain animal fats such as lard or tallow, synthetic dyes, formaldehyde or paraben preservatives, lathering agents, or hardeners. Their hypo-allergenic cleansing bars are 100% vegetable-based, containing the purest Olive, Coconut, Shea butter, Sunflower and Palm oils, to name a few, enriched with plant botanicals, milks, clays, spices, and essential oils.

To ensure freshness, they are hand-crafted in small batches, hand cut and allowed to cure to produce a hard, long-lasting bar. Finally, each cleansing bar is individually wrapped to prevent the loss of precious aroma and moisturizing properties.

We strongly encourage you to try Aroma Roots bath bars and other bath and skin care products. This week, purchase $10 or more worth of any Aroma Roots locally made items and we will take $3 off the total purchase automatically at the register. Enjoy these great products, and enjoy the knowledge that you are helping support a great Aurora Family as well.

 

Meet you in the Soap Aisle.

Andy

Chicago Bears tied for top spot in the Central Division of the NFL!- Tuesday, September 5, 2017

For all you Bears fans, I wanted to get that one out there while I still could. As with any new season, hope springs eternal and while few if any of us are making plans for a Super Bowl trip this season, we certainly look forward to better things in 2017.

With the Labor Day holiday behind us, things are definitely beginning to change here at the store, as it does each year this time as the kids are now back in school and our eating habits are shifting to reflect the changes in weather. Burgers and brats are being phased out and replaced by chili, meatloaf and pot roasts in the meat department.

While the air temperatures are still quite pleasant, a Friday evening high school football game is a great way to enjoy the time with friends and neighbors. Another favorite pastime is a visit to your college Alma Mater for a football game on a sunny Saturday afternoon...

Of course, more than half the fun of any event with friends is the sharing of food and spirits. To that end, we put together a number of items in our ad this week that you will want to check out to help in your tailgate party planning. Leading off, we are featuring our foot-long sub sandwiches at 20% off -- just $7.99 each. To go with the sandwiches, Mom, Bridget and Jacquie have created several new party bowls, all of which are ideal for tailgating: We've got boneless chicken wings, mini arancini, Southwest egg rolls, jalapeno poppers, & mini bagel dogs. Also in the deli, we have our new Fried Chicken Dinners including 8 pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes and corn. Top off your lunch with our fresh apple cider or pumpkin donuts and some Affy Taffy caramel apples.

Tailgate party or not, you craft beer lovers won’t want to miss our special Craft Beer Sale. Buy any 2 craft beer 12 packs and you will save $5 at the register automatically. Sorry, the sale does not include and macro breweries, but all of the micro-brewery brands like Goose Island, Revolution, Lagunitas and Two Brothers qualify. While you are in, be certain to check out our Oktoberfest collection as most of this year’s items are now in full supply.

In closing, let me show my true colors…

Go Aurora West Blackhawks!

Go NIU Huskies!

Go Chicago Bears!

 

See you in the store,

Andy

Have You Tried Tamari?- Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Perhaps the real question should be, have you heard of tamari? It’s an Asian cooking sauce very similar in taste and appearance to the widely known and used soy sauce. Actually, both sauces have a great deal in common, but it’s the differences that make tamari of interest to people who may enjoy Asian cooking but have an issue with some of the properties of soy sauce.

Tamari is traditionally tied to the Japanese (vs. the more common Chinese soy sauce). It is a thicker, less salty, fermented soy sauce that contains less wheat. Actually, many tamari sauces are produced with no wheat at all, making them gluten-free. It can be used in Asian and non-Asian cooking to add a full, savory, umami flavor to your dishes.

So, what makes it different from Chinese soy sauce?

While regular soy sauce and tamari are both derived from fermented soybeans, the process in which it is made and the byproduct is much different. Regular soy sauce is essentially made by cooking soybeans with roasted wheat and other grains and adding it to a salty brine to brew. It is then allowed to sit for a period of time to ferment. This mixture is then pressed to extract the dark, brown liquid.

Tamari on the other hand, is made a bit differently. It is known to be the liquid byproduct that forms when making miso paste – like the liquid sweat that forms on cheese (unlike the pressed version in regular soy sauce). Tamari contains much less salt than traditional soy sauce because it’s not created in a salty brine. When the soybeans are cooked down to ferment, little or no wheat is added to the mixture, which makes it a great alternative for those that have a gluten intolerance.

Tamari’s rich flavor comes from an abundance of amino acids derived from soy protein. Aside from being low in salt content and containing little or no gluten, tamari also aids in the digestion of fruits and vegetables, is rich in several minerals, and is a good source of vitamin B3, protein, manganese, and tryptophan. Tamari’s excellent cooking qualities make it a seasoning appreciated by both ethnic and natural foods consumers. Here are a few tips to bring a little bit of flavor to your entrees using tamari:

  • Salt substitute: Use tamari in place of salt whenever the recipe calls for it. Tamari’s low sodium count makes it possible to reduce your intake by around 30% without having to compromise flavor.
  • Dressing & Dip: Tamari’s thickness makes it a great dipping sauce for croutons and spring rolls, and as a dressing for salads and soba noodles.
  • Cooking Oil: Even when cooked or microwaved, tamari maintains its blissful aroma. Bland foods like shittake mushrooms and tofu are enhanced when simmered in a seasoned liquid, and tamari is the preferred seasoning for the long-simmering process.
  • Use tamari to deepen flavors in sauces and soups, including those that are curry- and tomato-based.
  • Mix it with cream cheese and toasted sesame seeds for a spread.

 

Flaxseed and Quinoa, Two Healthy Additions to Any Diet- Tuesday, August 29, 2017

As people become more and more conscious of their food choices, we are finding that many obscure and previously difficult to find food items are becoming more and more commonplace. For example, up until a handful of years ago, not many people had even heard of quinoa, let alone known of its many health benefits. The same is true for flaxseed meal, which is also experiencing a surge in popularity due to its nutritional properties -- especially its usefulness as a low-carb fiber source in many weight-loss diets.

Some nutritional information

What's so special about quinoa? Quinoa's reputation as the epitome of natural health foods is well deserved. It's gluten-free, packed with protein, and contains all nine of the essential amino acids required by the human body for proper function. It's also high in fiber, B-vitamins, potassium and calcium, and vitamin E. A cup of quinoa contains 220 calories, 39 grams of carbs and only 4 grams of fat.

How is quinoa used? Quinoa is a versatile grain and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be consumed on its own (cooked, of course), or as part of a recipe. Most folks use it in a similar manner to rice or bulgar wheat; you can try mixing your favorite seasonings with cooked quinoa and using it as a stuffing. It also makes for a fantastic and filling salad, such as this Quinoa Tabbouleh or Tuscan Quinoa Salad.

Flaxseed (sometimes referred to as "linseed"), is a real powerhouse of a food. It's been shown to improve digestion, lower cholesteroal, help maintain hormone balance, and promote weight loss. Flaxseeds are also the richest plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids available, making it perfect for vegans and strict vegetarians who may have difficulty finding a source elsewhere. Flax is also high in fiber but low in carbohydrates, making it a filling option for folks on a diet. And, like quinoa, flaxseeds contain complete proteins, which means they have notable amounts of all nine essential amino acids. Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal contains 60 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 5 grams of healthy fats.

How is flaxseed used? Flaxseeds are most commonly used ground, as they are not easily digestable whole. Flaxseed meal can be integrated without issue into most recipes that use batters or doughs. You can expect to see flaxseed meal as an ingredient in many baking recipes (cookies and muffins especially), but you can also stir a tablespoon or two into yogurt, oatmeal, or your next smoothie for a little added fiber and protein. Interested? Try this recipe for Apple and Carrot Muffins or this one for Blueberry Pancakes. We also have a recipe for the kale lovers out there.

 

It’s Hard To Celebrate When So Many Are Suffering- Tuesday, August 29, 2017

This weekend marks what most of us consider the end of Summer and it is traditionally celebrated with a three-day holiday weekend. This year it will be a bit hard to celebrate when so many of our neighbors to the south are suffering so much loss and discomfort brought on by the fury of hurricane Harvey.

As the storm starts to finally wind down the rescue efforts should also begin to abate, but as we all know that is when the real work begins. Tens of thousands of families have been displaced by the disaster and it looks like it may be a very long clean up and recovery process.

In most cases, those of us here in the Midwest can do little more than empathize with the folks suffering. We can, however, send along our prayers and emotional support, and, of course, we can send down donations of food, clothing and money to help feed and sustain those who are presently homeless.

If you are wondering how to best do this, we suggest that you be certain that nothing you donate goes to waste or falls into the hands of unscrupulous scam artists who always climb out of the ruins at a time like this. You can start by contacting your own church as most local churches are already in the process of mobilizing donations to get them where they are needed the most. If you're looking for a local charity to support in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, you might consider Houston Food Bank, Food Bank of Corpus Christi, Houston Humane Society, Houston SPCA, or San Antonio Humane Society. These highly-rated organizations are located in the most-affected areas and are providing support to individuals and animals.

To reach any of these organizations, simply visit Charity Navigator where you can make a donation online 24/07. Using Charity Navigator is also an excellent way to avoid scams or less than stand-up charities who siphon too much of your donations into administrative fees and high salaries. You can get further advice on avoiding fraudsters by checking out tips from the Federal Trade Commission.

Thank for thinking about our neighbors on the Gulf Coast and please do enjoy your Labor Day Weekend.

 

Andy

Why settle for ham when you can enjoy prosciutto?- Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sadly, not everyone has experienced all of the special foods that Italian cuisine has to offer. While most folks could tell you what lasagna is and are no doubt familiar with olive oil when it comes to meal preparation, not everyone is familiar with one of Italy's other top exports, prosciutto. Found in delis like Prisco’s, prosciutto is a variety of uncooked, dry-cured meat – specifically ham.

While there are many regional varieties, in general prosciutto has a mild flavor with a fair amount of saltiness due to the curing process. It is typically sliced extremely thin and served either alone or as part of a larger appetizer, side dish or entree... It's not uncommon for prosciutto to be paired with softer cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, and it goes exceptionally well with sweeter foods like dates or even melon, which helps accentuate its savoriness. One of the most popular uses for prosciutto is as a wrapping for vegetables like asparagus, and it makes for an excellent pizza or sandwich topping as well. It should also be noted that the rind or butt ends of prosciutto can be diced and incorporated into soups and stews for added flavor.

Prosciutto Recipes

Appetizers

Prosciutto Flowers

Melon and Prosciutto

Roast Shrimp with Prosciutto

Kiwi Fruit and Prosciutto Crostini

Main Course

Fettuccine a la Prosciutto

Peppered Capellini with Prosciutto

Pizza with White Beans, Prosciutto, and Rosemary

Cream of Potato Soup with Prosciutto and Sour Cream

 

A Few Words About Our Special Cheeses- Tuesday, August 22, 2017

About two years ago we made a commitment to re-launch efforts to carry and promote a wide selection of specialty cheeses. This was not a task to be taken lightly because it’s not something many of our customers were familiar with at the time. That being the case, these cheese items were at the forefront of our minds when it came to purchasing groceries, and the fact that most of these cheeses were made in very small batches and were often imported meant much higher prices per pound versus their basic American-made counterparts. At the time the decision was made to move forward with the project, I was pleased that my mom and uncle Rob put the project in my hands and let me become Prisco’s Cheese Monger.

Since our launch I‘ve enjoyed learning about, tasting and buying hundreds of different cheese varieties that I’d never before experienced. Cheese, like many other perishable products, has its own seasonal changes and this means that nothing in the cheese case remains static for very long. Soon we will see introduce sales of two of our most popular varieties, Brie andCamembert. Brie is something you can expect to find on any holiday cheese tray for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years, but for real Brie enthusiasts the cooler days of fall really kick off the brie season. Camembert is another soft cow’s milk, French cheese. When ripe it has a pungent, strongly flavored inside and, like Brie, becomes increasingly runny as it ages.

Meanwhile, for those of you who enjoy an excellent shredded cheese with your pasta, this week we are featuring one of the world’s most reknown Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, Export Malandrone 1477.

Let me close by giving you a fun idea for this upcoming weekend... Why not plan a day trip to Illinois Amish country and visit Arthur, IL, located in East Central Illinois, about 2 1/2 hours south of Aurora. No, you will not find an extensive collection of exotic varieties of rare cheese form around the world in Arthur, but if you like cheese and good clean country living it’s certain to be a hit with you and your kids. The town will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Arthur Cheese Festival. There will be plenty of family fun for the whole weekend. Enjoy the festival atmosphere throughout Arthur. Eat a corn dog, sample the free cheese, take in a tractor pull, watch a parade, listen to some music, visit an Amish farm shop, shop the sales in town... just enjoy yourself! 

Enjoy this Labor Day holiday weekend.

 

Bridget