Matt and I eat natural peanut butter just about every day, but did you know there's a whole world of unique nut butters out there made with something other than the good ole peanut? I recently tried a sampling of Artisana's raw organic products, and they were a real treat. Artisana products are certified kosher and organic, and they are processed in a factory with no peanuts, soy, dairy, or gluten.
If you want to learn more, check out their website to find facts about their products, as well as some other fun information about the nuts used in their butters.
Now, let's bust into this stuff and see what we find!
Organic Raw Pecan Butter with Cashews - Just from the name alone, my first reaction to seeing this jar was, "Get in my mouth. Now." But like all natural nut butters, I had to work for my reward, as this did require a little stirring to combine the totally normal oil separation.
Oh oh, did you know that if you store your nut butters upside down in your pantry, they are way easier to stir when it comes time to open them up? That little tip changed my life. Try it, and you'll never find yourself uttering four-letter words while trying to stir this stuff again.
Ohmygosh. Out of everything I tried from Premier Organics, this was my favorite. So, so, so good. Seriously. It has the perfect crunchy texture, but the pieces aren't too crunchy, know what I mean? It's a nice combination. Both flavors, the pecans and the cashews, are equally present. It doesn't need any extra sweetening, and I'm glad that things are kept simple here. Raw organic pecans, and raw organic walnuts. That's it. Perfection. I'm going to be a sad panda when this jar is empty, and believe me, it will be empty.
Organic Raw Coconut Butter - Check out that ingredient list - organic raw coconut. That's it. Boom. So, full confession, I have never used coconut butter before. To be totally honest, I had no idea what to do with this when I opened it. Was I supposed to eat it? Bake with it? Rub it on my skin and go outside and get a tan? After a little googling, I found out that there's actually quite a few uses for coconut butter. Yes, you can absolutely eat it right off the spoon, so I gave it a little try. It tastes like smooth, unsweetened coconut. It's definitely not sweet on its own, so for most people it's going to need a little help in that department.
Coconut butter is made from the actual meat of the coconut, and I found quite a few ways to use it. Some of these sound absolutely amazing:
- melt it over a sweet potato (ohmaigosh, yum!)
- add it to protein shakes, smoothies, or pina coladas (seriously, is there anything you can't add to a protein shake or a smoothie? I got my favorite super greens amazon that I add to my smoothies everyday.)
- warm it up and drizzle over mixed berries for a healthy dessert
- add it to Thai dishes or stir fry for an extra kick (yes, please)
- mix with some hot sauce and cook up some chicken or shimp (YUM!)
When I first opened the jar, I was met with a rock hard, crumbly white layer. I tapped on it with a spoon, and nothing happened. Hm. Then I got smart and actually read the label, which told me that all I needed to do was warm it up a bit and then mix it up until smooth. So I stuck the entire jar into the microwave (lid removed) and zapped it for about 20 seconds. That did the trick! It quickly mixed up into a smooth butter.
So now that I have a jar of this stuff sitting around, I am excited to try some of those delicious ideas above!
Artisana also has an arsenal of other delicious nut butters, and I was excited to try these little squeeze packs of the other varieties.
Organic Raw Cacao Bliss - This one is described as raw chocolate coconut butter. I found that it started out pretty solid at room temperature, much like the plain coconut butter, so warming this one up a bit gives you a rich, yet almost bittersweet paste. I think it would be absolutely fantastic served warm and drizzled over ice cream. The sweetness of the ice cream would be the perfect complement to the bitterness of this butter.
Organic Raw Coconut Oil - This one is intended for internal or external use! Coconut oil is an insanely versatile substance. I found this great list of 101 ways to use coconut oil, most of which I never would have thought of myself. Seriously check out that list and let me know if you were as surprised as I was about some of the uses for this stuff!
Organic Raw Almond Butter - Tasted exactly as it should... like ground up raw almonds. Fantastic flavor, especially if you love almonds (I do!) My only minor complaint of this one is that the little pieces of the almond skin made the texture slightly off-putting for my tastes, but that would be easily hidden when this stuff is spread on or dipped with somethin' crunchy.
Organic Raw Cashew Butter - This was another one of my favorites, second only to the pecan butter with cashews. It reminded me of a fancy schmancy peanut butter and had a deliciously smooth texture and cashew flavor.
Organic Raw Walnut Butter - This one had a similar creamy texture to the cashew better, totally smooth. I'm a big walnut fan and I am a big fan of this walnut butter.
I also got to try this new product called Ek Chok, a chocolate paste made from Venezuelan Criollo cacao. It's gluten, peanut, dairy, cane sugar, and soy free and it's certified organic and kosher! That should make all you crunchy folks out there do a happy dance!
I swear I'm not knockin' the crunchy lifestyle. I seriously just wanted an excuse to use that word in a sentence, Scout's honor. Love y'all.
It comes in several fun flavors in cute little squeeze packs. Super convenient to keep in your purse when those chocolate cravings hit, or to spread on crackers, cookies, or rice cakes!
Of course, I'll spread just about anything on a plain rice cake... such an easy vehicle for lots of spreadable schtuff. I like spreadable schtuff. Spreadable schtuff that has been spreadeded on a rice cake. Yep.
Ek Chok Chocolate Paste with Cardamom - Easily my favorite! I have a love affair with cardamom, and the flavor comes through really strong in this paste. This would be delicious spread on just about anything. I want to try it on a shortbread cookie! Mmm...
Ek Chok Chocolate Paste with Licorice - To be totally honest, I was expecting to not like this one at all. I am not a fan of licorice. It kinda works here though, the licorice is more of an afterthought than the main player. I still probably wouldn't use this one regularly, but for my fellow licorice haters out there, you don't have to be afraid of this one. 🙂
Ek Chok Chocolate Paste with Rose - Really enjoyed this one! The rose is subtle and works really well with how bitter the cacao nibs in these pastes are. It made my taste buds happy!
Ek Chok Chocolate Paste with Strawberry - You know how a really good dehydrated strawberry tastes? I can't really describe it in words, but that's what this one reminded me of - the strawberry was stronger than I expected and tasted exactly like the dried ones. Twas pretty nifty!
Ek Chok Chocolate Paste with Vanilla - This one is a good basic flavor, super delicious. Start with this one if you're not so sure about some of the other varieties. Again, I was diggin' how strong and bitter the chocolate flavor was. SO yummy yum.
Overall, Premier Organics has got some rockin' products here. There's something for everyone from chocolate to nut lovers alike, and what a great way to add some natural and healthy spreads into your diet that are just a little bit more interesting than peanut butter. I'll be keeping my eye on these puppies.
Artisana Raw Organic Nut Butters:
4.5 out of 5
Buy it here!
Ek Chok Squeezable Chocolate Paste:
4.5 out of 5
Buy it here!
I've tempted your taste buds with all of these fun products, so here's a chance to try them for yourself! Premier Organics is giving away a sampler pack of everything you see here to one of our lucky readers! The giveaway will run until 11:59pm on Friday, January 17th.
CONTEST ENDED: Winner, Sarah L.!