For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Buttered Up

If I were to say, “I love peanut butter”, it would be a bit of an understatement. It is more like “I cannot survive without peanut butter”. Growing up I played a lot of sports, but since I was also a picky eater, I only had a few options when it came to fueling up before games and practices. Peanut butter was always my go-to. And even though I don’t eat nearly as much as I used to, I still eat it fairly regularly. And I don’t know what I would do without it.

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When used correctly nut butters can serve as a really healthy snack. They’re packed with protein and healthy fats, but sometimes nut butters can also be packed with tons of sugar and weird ingredients. But not Justin’s.

One day at the grocery story I came across Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and was initially intrigued because of the simple ingredient lists. But as I began doing more research about Justin and his company, I realized the company does so much more than produce delicious nut butters.

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This is a great alternative to Nutella. There is half the sugar and (in my humble opinion) all the flavor.

Hazelnut

The founder, Justin Gold, started concocting nut butters in 2004 in order to support his active and vegetarian lifestyle. When he perfected his concoctions, he started a company that values passion, innovation and corporate consciousness. He utilizes sustainable practices by “sourcing the highest-quality, local ingredients, simplifying the supply chain, and initiating environmentally friendly office practices”. In addition to that Justin’s pays-it-forward by supporting the Conscious Alliance, a hunger relief organization, and the Whole Planet Foundation, a poverty relief organization.

This one is my favorite. Simple PB. Doesn't get old. There is also a plain peanut butter spread available, but I like the subtle sweetness that the honey adds.

This one is my favorite. Simple PB. Doesn’t get old. There is also a plain peanut butter spread available, but I like the subtle sweetness that the honey adds.

Honey PB

All that being said, it probably isn’t a surprise that Justin’s products are a bit more expensive than your average nut butter. They cost about $10. But in my mind, I like knowing that I’m eating something that is better for me and better for the environment. I like supporting a company that is conscious in its practices.

“Our products are made with common sense. A sense that cooking in small batches ensures higher quality. And that selectively choosing fine, all-natural ingredients will make it taste better.”

Of all the almond butters I've tried, this one is the best. And you know I'd never lie to you.

Of all the almond butters I’ve tried, this one is the best. And you know I’d never lie to you.

Almond

If you still need a little inspiration, check out all the recipes on Justin’s website. There are tons! I was looking some of the recipes after I ate a huge plate of lasagna last night and wasn’t even a little bit hungry, but I would have willingly stuffed my face with some of those. They look amazing! Justin also makes nut butter cups that I think I need to try soon. Like maybe right now…

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Fruit To Go

I first read about Matt’s Munchies in a Women’s Health Magazine article online. The article was discussing healthy snacks for when you’re on-the-go. Banana, carrot sticks, kale chips, blah blah blah, the usual. Towards the end I finally came across something new. The life changing recommendation was to eat some Matt’s Munchies with a handful of nuts. In my head I thought, “what in the world are Matt’s Munchies?”.

So I did my research and by golly I was sold immediately. Basically, Matt’s Muchies are really healthy fruit snacks. They’re made out of 100% USDA certified organic fruit puree (with no sugar added) and formed into little, thin, square strips.  They’re very similar to fruit leathers. There are a variety of flavors such as: mango, apricot, banana, apple, and raspberry. I have tried the mango as well as the apricot. I liked the apricot a little better, but both were tasty. Next on my to try list is apple and choco nana, which is a chocolate banana combination. It would be a great dessert alternative! You can check out all the flavors and buy them online here or they are also available at several Whole Foods locations. You can find a store that sells Matt’s Munchies near you by checking out their store locator.

Nana and Apples
Each pack contains 16 fruit squares. I usually just eat half a pack with my snack, but you can eat the whole pack if you like. If you don’t plan to eat a whole pack at once, I recommend storing the extras in a plastic bag. I made the mistake of leaving them out and opened my drawer to some very dry, crispy munchies.

Recently, I showed a co-worker my new discovery and he asked me why I couldn’t just eat fresh fruit. I replied, “This is just so much easier because I don’t worry about it rotting and can eat it whenever”. Pleasant, right? He quickly dropped the subject. But in my head I was thinking, “It’s because I can’t fit a full size USDA certified organic mango in my cute new Kate Spade cross body!”.

Anyway, fresh organic fruit should be a go-to if you can, but realistically it isn’t always an option for us on-the-go kind of people. Also realistically, I’m not on-the-go nearly as much as I think it am. It’s more that I’m lazy and just like snacks that are easy. The less prep, the faster it can get in mah belly. And the best part, this snack keeps the hungry monster in my stomach at bay until my next meal (or again more realistically, my next snack)!

Mango and Apricot

 


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Chocolately Responsible

Welcome to my first blog post!

First of all I will let you know that I probably love candy more than the next person. I have an abnormally massive sweet tooth. I could eat candy all day errrryyyday and I’m sure there have been days where I have. But of all the candies in the world, chocolate is usually my sweet treat of choice.

Sadly, there are some major problems with the chocolate industry, which include forced labor, human trafficking, and child slavery. If you would like to learn a little more you can watch a documentary called The Dark Side of Chocolate that came out in 2010. More recently there has been a social movement towards fair trade certified chocolate, which ensure that the chocolate is produced in an ethical manner. And that is precisely what Madécasse (pronounced MAH-DAY-KAS) does.

Madécasse is Fair for Life certified, but what makes it different from other fair trade companies is the fact that Madécasse grows AND manufactures their chocolate in Madagascar. Over 50% of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, yet roughly 1% of the world’s chocolate is made there.  Madécasse aims to change that and strengthen the economy in Madagascar by:

  • Creating well-paying jobs and market stability
  • Cutting the supply chain to decrease costs and increase farmers income
  • Training farmers and production technicians skills to increase quality and value of products

The founders claim that by keeping all of the production within Madagascar, their products create 4 times the economic impact than other fair trade chocolate producers.

Great stuff, right?!? Now let’s get to the fun part, how does the chocolate taste? I tried the Toasted Coconut on a whim. I’m normally not a huge fan of coconut (unless it is on my Caramel Delight Girl Scout cookies) and I must say I was pleasantly surprised! The bitter dark chocolate and the sweet coconut really create a great combination.

I’ve seen this chocolate at my local Hannaford and Shaws, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were sold at other grocery stores. The chocolate is a little pricey at around $6 per bar, but definitely worth it for the occasional treat or possibly a gift. If you can’t seem to find them in store or find a flavor you like, you can order the chocolate from their website. There are a bunch of cool flavors! To me the Citrus and Winter Spice both sound amazing and I hope to try them soon! What chocolates sound good to you?

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