This is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten in my life. Not “delicious for a raw vegan product.” Not “delicious for a super-healthy product.” Not “delicious if I squint and don’t think too hard.” Just flat-out mindblowingly wonderfully delicious — so wonderful, in fact, that it’s hard to conjure up the right words, because it tastes like nothing else you’ve ever had before. But imagine this: you’re eating the warm rich sweet deep creamy oozy center of a molten chocolate cake. But it’s not a chocolate cake — it’s gingerbread-flavored.
You dip your spoon into the thick liquid center, and take a lingering mouthful of creamy smooth voluptuous goodness, and it tastes gently of cinnamon and molasses and cloves and ginger and warm toasty cake batter, and you are brought back to the gingerbread of your childhood and the molten chocolate cakes of your pre-primal adulthood, and you keep eating spoonful after spoonful because you are being nourished by this stuff on every level, and you simply cannot believe that such magic can happen with five simple raw organic ingredients that are actually good for you.
Yes, it’s true. Every word of it. The alchemists at Jem Raw in Bend, Oregon have created some powerful powerful stuff. Jem's Cinnamon and Red Maca Almond Butter is a decadently potent blend of activated sprouted almonds, raw maca, robust cinnamon and low-glycemic coconut palm sugar. Accessing the easily assimilated energy and nutrition of sprouted almonds, combined with the highly mineralized, adaptagenic, amino-acid concentrated superfood properties of maca and the warming nature of cinnamon, this nourishing formula will tap your inner fire and fuel your palate's satisfaction.
Using extremely heavy grinding stones and a lot of patience, Jem is able to achieve incredibly smooth nut butters and artisanal chocolate products by grinding ingredients to a size under 20 microns, at which point your tongue cannot distinguish individual particles. Unbelievably smooth and rich, with just the right touch of sweetness, this almond maca nut butter has a honey-like consistency unlike any nut butter you’ve ever had before.
It's amazing that such incredible flavors can be coaxed out of only a few simple ingredients. But when you use only the highest-quality ingredients, it's possible to work magic. Here's what's going on inside.
Jem uses Fair-Trade, non-GMO sprouted almonds, soaked, dehydrated and stone ground at low temperatures to preserve nutritional quality. This process also improves digestibility and nutrient-absorption, as soaking reduces mineral-blocking phytic acid. Almonds are naturally delicious and extremely nourishing. Healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese, tryptophan and vitamin E are just a handful of the key nutrients that make almonds so nutritious. Almonds are so nutritious — their list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle. They’re full of health-giving fats, like oleic acid and linoleic acid, powerful antioxidants that can protect against many forms of cancer (oleic acid can protect women against breast cancer specifically), and can also significantly lower the amount of LDL in your blood, and reduce your risk for heart disease. Almonds can effectively improve your complexion, slow down your aging process, help improve your blood profile by reducing your LDL, build a strong immune system, prevent the onset of high blood pressure and protect you from other diseases like ADHD, asthma and osteoporosis. They can also help speed up your metabolism, and work well in weight control. A wonderful natural sweetness and impressive variety of nutrients makes almonds one of nature’s most perfect foods.
Maca not only adds a complex malty flavor, but this herbal adaptogen is said to help increase stamina, combat fatigue and stress, and even boost libido.
Coconut palm sugar is a low-glycemic sweetener that is rich in minerals and provides consistent energy via delayed glucose absorption and the nutritional boost of minerals. Coconut palm sugar comes directly from the blossoms of Indonesian coconut trees. It is made by evaporating coconut nectar from tropical palm flowers. The process of making coconut sap sugar is similar to how maple sugar crystals are made. Farmers gently hand-harvest the buds and collect the sweet nectar using traditional methods. It’s one of the healthiest and most sustainable sweeteners available. Tropical coconut palms require little water to thrive and can actually restore damaged soils and regenerate ecosystems which help support wildlife.
Cinnamon has a wonderfully warming taste, and many nutritional benefits. It is often associated with longevity. In Ayurveda, cinnamon has helped with diabetes, and it has also been shown to have antifungal, antibacterial and antiinflammatory properties.
Most of the time we just dip our fingers into the jar, or a spoon if we’re feeling fancy. But you could put it on top of anything you wanted to taste even better, like primal ice cream (check out this amazing recipe) or pudding (it’s awesome atop coconut chia pudding), or as a dip for slices of apple or pear.
You can also make it into a magnificent milk by whirring it with water in a blender (it’s ground so fine that it will turn into a pure silky milk as if by magic.) You could add it to a “white” smoothie — the taste is so amazing on its own that you don’t want it to get lost inside strong-tasting ingredients like cacao or raspberries.
It’s also a killer secret ingredient in braised short ribs or lamb shanks — add it to some stock, some salt or fish sauce, a bit of garlic and ginger and some fresh herbs — you’ve got a sweet-salty umami braising liquid that you’ll be licking off the sides of the pan in a most unseemly manner.
The word “artisanal” (and its grammatically-lax cousin “artisan”) is thrown around so often these days that it’s almost lost all meaning. Nonetheless, the good folks at Jem Raw are truly deserving of the word. Quite simply: they make magic with the ancient art of stone-grinding, and a brilliant knack for combining the most delicious and consciously-sourced ingredients so they go way beyond the sum of their parts. In their own words:
We are Jem Raw Chocolates: independent artisans producing healthy chocolates. Our chocolates are made with simple, pure ingredients. We blend superior raw, organic ingredients and never contain gluten, dairy, soy or processed sugar. Our chocolates are all handcrafted in small batches in Bend, Oregon.
Check out this charmingly "raw" and authentic video they put together for a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for new stone grinders (they're pricey!).
Jem Chocolates rose from an ideal and dream shared among three individuals: Tim Moore, Jen Moore and Nik Rueth. They envision a world where well-being and abundance radiates from every person in every facet of reality, where growth is seemingly inevitable and the joy of service flows through the ether of connection like gentle wind passing through fallen leaves. This emerging world experiences health in the balanced harmony of nature and medicine as the beloved gifts from the natural world. They foresee a time when the most powerful and effective medicines are delivered in the sacred vessel known as Cacao.
We source fair trade ingredients of the highest quality, including Spanish Almonds, which we hand-select for their exceptional flavor profile and raw integrity. Our ingredients are all 100% OTC-USDA Certified Organic, truly raw, and free from pesticides, gluten, dairy, soy and processed sugar, so you can indulge in Jem guilt-free.
For maximum flavor and nutrient absorption, we sprout our nuts for 24 hours. During this sprouting process, phytic acid and enzyme-inhibitors are removed making the seed easier to digest and assimilate. After the nuts have sprouted, we dehydrate them, which takes another 24 hours in preparation for grinding and blending. Can you say small-batch? Absolutely.
Stone-grinding is the secret behind Jem’s smooth texture. We grind at slow speeds to keep the ingredients raw, for optimal nutrient absorption and flavor. The process can take up to 48 hours per batch, but the results are special. We grind every ingredient so that no particle exceeds 20 microns, which is the point where the human tongue can no longer detect texture. Neat stuff.