Granted, I’ve been out of the game for a good long while, but I can’t remember the last time somebody said something as sexy to me as when Matt Gilson asked, “Can I bring you some snacks?”
Lord, just thinking of it gives me the vapors!
Amy and Matt Gilson own Healthy Cravings Superfood Snacks and while I’m generally only interested in two of those four words, I already knew I was in. See, Healthy Cravings Superfood Snacks are the Okies who make Crave Nuts, which some of you might recognize from area grocery stores and bars.
With a plethora of cleverly named products, the only question was: Does the carpet match the drapes?
Nope. Sorry. That was from my interior design dating site, Trading My Place Or Yours?
No, the question is: Are the snacks as good as the names?
I mean, I want you to keep reading this, but yeah. They’re good. Really good.
First things first, you need to mix up these nuts. Each bag has a mix of nuts, seeds and seasonings, but contents are prone to settle over time. Shake it up and make sure you get a good mix.
This tip became apparent as I dug into a bag of Scorpion Sweat, which Matt said wasn’t too hot...so long as you eat them slowly. So I went moderately slowly. Then I went faster. And the heat just wasn’t there.
Here’s the thing: I knew Matt was getting fresh, local peppers and processing them himself. You can’t mix cayenne, yellow ghost, moruga scorpion, kung pao, 7-pot, Carolina reaper, habanero and jalapeno peppers together and get nothing.
Turns out the spice had fallen to the bottom. So while the top of the bag was mild, the rest of it was like EATING THE PIT OF HELL, but it tasted good and had a lot of protein.
Less-spicy, but still with a respectable kick, Green Marley was a delight. As the name suggests, the smoked jalapeno gives the mix of almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds a nice green heat that fades pretty quickly.
For pure flavor (and for the coolest name), I would probably choose Vampire Slayer. It has the usual mix of nuts and seeds, but with the addition of smoked garlic cloves and smoked paprika. The heat was mild at best, but the taste was perfect and my breath could probably kill the undead.
Okie is a mesquite smoked version of the Crave Nuts house blend and their best seller. I liked it, but not as much as some of the spicier option.
Now we’re venturing into sweeter territory, but the one that straddles the line perfectly is Spicy Lime. Rather than a mix, this is straight up pistachios with a cayenne and crushed red pepper spice glued to the nuts with lime juice. The lime shows up first, then you get the pistachio flavor followed by a long, slow burn.
Bees Knees veers into full-on sweetness but the cinnamon and maca powder still have a natural, herbal flavor that balances the honey and raw cocoa. It’s not quite dessert, but if you’re craving something sugary after a couple of beers, this is perfect.
If you want something different, they can make that. They do bulk orders on their website and you can get specialty blends.
When you really want dessert, but you don’t want to house an entire bag of Chips Ahoy, let me suggest Crave Nuts’ line of cookies which are made with a shockingly low number of ingredients.
They’re not as sweet as the name suggests, but Snickerdoodle Chia Cookies are all kinds of wonderful. More of a granola bar texture than a cookie, but oh my, how tasty. It’s a mix of almond meal, coconut oil, honey, chia seeds and coconut sugar. It’s paleo, which is a thing some people do, I guess? I mean, I eat everything, but you live your life your way, cavemen.
Also paleo, but with a bit more body, the Vanilla Bean Macaroons are just unsweetened shredded coconut, raw honey, coconut oil and vanilla bean. No eggs. The only problem I have with these is that once you eat all of them they’re gone, which seems a little unfair. When will we finally get self-regenerative cookies?
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Pork belly bowl
Pork belly bun
Fried chicken bun
French fries and veggie fries