Today I have the pleasure of reviewing a new brand in the paleo & gluten-free food scene: You Fresh Naturals! I am especially excited about this new brand because it is a local small business right here in Miami, Florida. Jay, the owner, is currently just producing Coco-Nut Butters, but will be expanding soon to include cookies and protein bars and will also be adding new flavors to his lineup of butters.
Before we start, I need to give an important disclosure:
I received the jar of Maple-Vanilla Coco-Nut Butter that I am reviewing for free so that I could write a review about the product. You can be assured that my opinions are honest and not in any way influenced by the fact that I received the product as a gift.
Now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at this awesome stuff!
First, let's look at the ingredients:
Just almond butter, coconut butter, dates, maple syrup, vanilla powder, sea salt. Nothing questionable or unsavory there! Yay!
Now let's peek inside. It looks like an almond butter, but right away you can smell the coconut, vanilla, and light sweetness from the maple syrup and dates. It has a very lovely aroma -- like fresh-baked cookies!
The consistency and texture are what you would expect from a mixture of almond and coconut butter. It's thick and dense and kinda creamy. The taste is excellent. The ingredients complement each other very well, and the vanilla shines through! I really do love vanilla but for some strange reason rarely use it (except sometimes in my coffee with cinnamon and a touch of coconut oil), so I'm excited to have a new product in my life that features it as a prominent flavor.
I've been enjoying it by just eating it right off of the spoon. It's a great paleo-friendly snack. One tablespoon has 101 calories, 8g of fat, 6g of carbohydrates, and 3g of protein. Unlike straight-up almond butter, I don't want to just down half the jar in one sitting. That's not to say it isn't delicious, but I think the coconut butter really makes a huge difference in making it much more satiating and satisfying.
This stuff would make an excellent filling for healthy homemade nut butter cups (like Reese's -- but without all the junk ingredients). If I don't eat the whole jar too soon, I have plans to try that out and will definitely share the recipe :-) Or, you could also pair this with your favorite fruit or include it in a smoothie, if that's your thing (I don't even own a blender right now, so I can't even remember the last time I made a smoothie at home). I'm sure that it would work well in just about any baked good recipe that calls for plain almond butter, too.
Final verdict: I LOVE it! It's tasty, has great ingredients, and is a great snack if you are following a paleo, primal, gluten-free, real food, or even vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.
As much as I LOVE this stuff just the way it is, I do have just a few thoughts for minor improvements:
- Soaked & dehydrated nuts - Some folks have a tough time digesting nuts that have not been first soaked and dehydrated. Chris Kresser has an excellent article on this topic, and the Weston A. Price Foundation also recommends to soak nuts before consumption to maximize nutrition.
- Organic ingredients - This is a really big deal to some folks.
- While I think the texture and consistency are great, I do wonder if a touch of added oil, perhaps coconut or palm, would improve it.
- MORE FLAVOR OPTIONS!! :-)
I'm really interested in trying the Cookie Dough flavor Coco-Nut Butter, and look forward to trying the other new products that will be available soon.
You can order the Coco-Nut butters from the You Fresh Naturals website. If you just buy one, they're $9.99 for a 12 oz jar, or you can buy one of each flavor for $17.99. Shipping starts at $5.70 and currently is available worldwide. Also, if you order a jar you will know that you are getting the freshest product possible, because Jay currently makes all orders fresh the same day he ships them out, which is every Wednesday.