They May Be Nuts, but They're Not Weird

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Four Nuts and a Fruit.
No question. These are my favorite raw snacks on the planet. I first discovered them at a Whole Foods in San Francisco last October, and was thrilled to find them being sold at Madison Market. The name says it all--Gone Nuts! These vegan, gluten-free, raw snacks from Living Intentions are so good, you'll go crazy without them in your pantry. You'll find yourself watching television or typing on your laptop or driving in your car, wishing you had them to snack on. I'm serious! They're that good. They're also expensive--more than $6 for a 3.5-ounce pouch.

There are several flavors of Gone Nuts!, but the ones pictured above are my all-time favorites: raw cacao with Brazil nuts and mulberries (the almond/raisin combo is equally delicious); rosemary garlic with pistachios and almonds, and mesquite-pod maple walnuts. The nuts are soaked, sprouted, and gently air-dried. Organic raw agave, cacao, and palm sugars are used for sweeteners, and cold-pressed olive oil is used to coat the nuts with spices.

Like the package says, "Pure food ingredients. No weird stuff added."

A quick taste recap: The raw cacao is decadent. The nuts and fruit, covered in raw cacao, provide a wonderful texture, like nut clusters. The mulberries are very fresh and chewy--not stick-in-your-teeth chewy, but plump and bursting with flavor. There's also a buttery flavor, courtesy of the fatty nuts and olive oil. This is the kind of treat you want to take to the movies. It's way better than any of that overpriced candy at the concession stand (but probably just as expensive). Mesquite-pod maple walnuts are exactly like the cinnamon pecans you can buy just about anywhere these days, except, well, they're walnuts. The nuts taste freshly roasted, but they're totally uncooked, and are generously dusted with a pleasant mix of organic cinnamon, organic pure maple, and organic mesquite-pod powder. I love them because I have a huge sweet tooth, and they totally satisfy. My favorite Gone Nuts! flavor of them all, however, is the rosemary garlic. The winning combination of garlic, green onion, and rosemary creates one of the strongest flavor profiles I've ever tasted in a simple nut mixture. We're talking wasabi strong, but without the sinus-clearing powers. But the best part is when you dip into the bag and pull out a cluster of pistachios, almonds, and powdered spices, all stuck together by the olive oil. Heaven.

Besides the great taste, freshness factor, and raw ingredients, all these nuts have one thing in common: You won't be able to eat just one. Allegedly, there are 3.5 servings in a bag, but don't pay any attention to that nonsense. Consider each bag a single-serving snack.

 
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