Stevia is gross--what do you have against sugar?
Refined sugar (even raw sugar, honey, and starchy food) draws you in with promises of increased energy. And it delivers—for a short time. The problem is the cycle: the craving, the caving into it, and the crash—both emotional and physical—that follow. And what better to soothe your guilt and lethargy than another starchy or sugary snack? It works like an addiction, and just like an addiction, people can become slaves to it. I substitute sugar with stevia, which is a more natural alternative to chemical sweeteners and highly-processed agave, because stevia doesn't have that effect on your body. I sweeten the butters just a little bit, so you won't get that funny, slightly bitter taste that can accompany stevia when it's overused. I want to help you break the crave, cave and crash cycle so that you find it easier to eat well and feel fantastic. You deserve to be well and feel good about yourself.
What do you put this stuff on, anyway?
My personal favorite uses are to slather some on apple, pear, or Asian pear slices, mixed into smoothies to make them more filling and nutritious, baked into cookies, and, every once in a while, as a topping for some gluten-free French toast or something else decadent. If gluten and dairy are part of your life, you can put it on whole wheat English muffins, multigrain toast, melted into oatmeal, as a sweet cream sauce (just add a little water), as an ice cream topping...really, they're good on just about anything. I'm also particularly fond of scooping up a spoonful when I'm craving something sweet, and just leaving it at that. (Don't act like you've never eaten peanut butter straight from the jar--this is just like that, only yummier and better for you.)
Wait, what's wrong with peanut butter? Isn't it good for you?
The answer is...sort of. Peanuts are a healthy fat, just like avocados, olive oil, and nuts. True nuts (peanuts are a legume) have a better nutritional profile--so if you're going to have a handful of nuts, tree nuts are a better choice. Also, I have a difficult time digesting legumes (as do many others), so I don't do peanut butter anymore. If I can't taste it, I can't make it!
Why don't you make raw nut butters?
For a few reasons. One of them is that raw nuts are an absolute pain in the tushy to turn into butter. They take forever to break down, and the texture of the finished butter is much less pleasant. Also, I strongly prefer the taste of roasted nuts and nut butters over raw. I make healthy diet choices, but there are some things for which I'm not willing to sacrifice flavor for nutrition. Roasting nuts can also help destroy bacteria, such as salmonella, that may be present in raw nuts. Tastes better, easier to butter, and decreases my risk of getting salmonella? Yes, please.
Why aren't your nut butters organic?
In large part because organic nuts are difficult to find. And when you can find them, they are much more expensive, which means I would have to increase my prices. A lot. I do use some organic ingredients in the butters. Also, the most important things to eat organic are animal products (because pesticides and other toxins build up in animal fat--yuck!), and anything off the "Dirty Dozen" list. (If you don't know the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, check this out.) If it isn't one of those things, I try not to fret, because it isn't terribly practical to buy absolutely everything organic. As a working parent, I like practical.
Who you gonna call?
Sorry, I'm a child of the 80's. I had to do it.