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    For Passover, Retailers Expand Selection, Offer Healthier Items and Recipes

    With the start of Passover just a week away, Whole Foods Market has expanded its line of kosher food products in all of the Austin, Texas-based natural foods grocer’s U.S. locations.

    With the start of Passover just a week away, Whole Foods Market has expanded its line of kosher food products in all of the Austin, Texas-based natural foods grocer’s U.S. locations. Over at Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop, meanwhile, consumer advisor Andrea Astrachan is offering observant customers a healthy spin on time-honored dishes.

    “With the addition of so many kosher-for-Passover foods, Whole Foods is a one-stop shop for complete Passover and seder menus,” said Whole Foods global grocery director Errol Schweizer. “We have more kosher food products than ever, many of which are also organic and whole grain.”

    Since September 2009, Whole Foods has offered kosher antibiotic-free chicken and turkey products, provided by Kosher Valley, which are certified by Rabbi Yechiel Babad and the Orthodox Union. “There has been huge demand for our antibiotic-free, kosher poultry products since we began offering them six months ago,” said Theo Weening, Whole Foods’ global meat coordinator. “Besides being kosher and antibiotic-free, the Kosher Valley poultry also has terrific flavor that our shoppers keep coming back for.”

    Exclusive to Whole Foods this year are two new kosher-for-Passover matzo products: Aviv organic matzo and Yehuda organic and whole wheat matzo. For these products, the grocer continues its partnership with Streit’s, a New York-based family-owned and -operated matzo producer that has removed artificial ingredients and preservatives from many of its products. In addition to Streit’s matzo, Whole Foods offers Streit’s vegetarian and gluten-free macaroons; all-natural, vegetarian cake mixes; and stuffing mixes that are free of hydrogenated oils, preservatives and MSG.

    Avvio grape juice, an essential part of the Passover Seder, is also exclusively available at Whole Foods.

    “We know healthy eating is important to our shoppers, but during the holidays, it’s easy to overindulge,” noted Stop & Shop’s Astrachan. “It’s simple to serve your loved ones healthy options … without sacrificing familiar flavors they’ve come to love, by making small adjustments to the way [the food is prepared].”

    Astrachan’s tips to lighten up Passover meals include the following

    —Incorporate healthy whole grains into the Seder meal, including whole-wheat matzo
    —Serve plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. An easy-to-prepare vegetable side dish is sauteed asparagus.
    —Limit the use of egg yolks in menu items where possible.
    —Instead of relying on oil, butter and fat, serve skinless poultry flavored with fresh herbs and spices for a low-fat main dish.

    Additionally, better-for-you version of such holiday favorites as Fluffiest Matzo Balls and Simple Charoset are available at www.stopandshop.com.

    A division of Ahold USA, the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. employs over 59,000 associates and operates stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey.

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