One of the many perks that goes along with working at a natural foods co-op is the never ending supply of sample products that show up on the break table or in my mail box. I have a really handy agreement with our purchasing manager that I'll help her with computer problems if she gives me samples of chocolates. It's the perfect symbiotic relationship. I also get a lot of seaweed and raw foods that lots of folks don't want to sample!
I remember one of my first days working at the co-op (in 2001?). I was getting the tour of our backroom and had just met my future partner Mike (he was busy "singing" along to some crazy death metal- how memorable). Mike said, "Hey, if you want some, there's some free carob Rice Dream back here". And I was like, "Hell, yeah, I want some free rice milk!" He looked a little confused later when he found out I wasn't vegan because he'd, "Never seen someone who wasn't vegan get so excited about rice milk". What can I say...I love free food.
But carob Rice Dream doesn't even compare to my latest sample.
Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of trying two types of nut butters from Naturally Nutty in Traverse City, Michigan. Their nut butters are made with organic flax and hemp seeds so they pack healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids- always a good thing.
The peanut butter has a super strong roasted peanut taste. Like just roasted peanuts from the farmer's market in Texas. Yum! And 2 Tbsp. of this stuff has 670 mg of omega-3's.
My real favorite is the Vanilla Almond Butter, though. Yeah, it's just as amazing as it sounds. It reminds me of clouds and pillows and sleepy-time things. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. It's really comforting and ideal for a bed time snack or dessert. Or breakfast. Or lunch.
I happened to have a couple of Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies laying around (from Vegan with a Vengeance, but made gluten free) and couldn't resist turning them into sandwich cookies with that almond butter. I know. It's totally sinfully indulgent to smear almond butter between two cookies already packed with peanut butter. But it is so worth it.
Note that not all of their nut butters are vegan. Most importantly, though, the Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter is. Someday it will be mine.