As a kid, some of us went "coocoo for cocoa puffs!" Since then most of us have matured quite a bit in eating habits, swapping in whole foods to replace the refined "cocoa" stuff. Kitchun is here to save the day with the best of both worlds, a toothsome and crunchy "granola" comprised of nuts, coconut, cacao and a little bit of sweetness. It even comes with a nostalgia-worthy name: Holy Coco-Cacao! Get your chocolate fix off to an early start with this amazing amalgamation of whole cashews, almonds, sesame seeds, and chocolate chips pasted together with coconut milk, almond butter, and maple syrup. Yow.
Breakfast cereals and their jingles were staples in the 80s and 90s as many of us were growing up. Everything from colorful marshmallows to letters all sold under the guise of a proper start to the day. If you ate that strange whole wheat cereal or porridge you might have been seen as eccentric by other kids, wise beyond your years by adults. Now you're an adult and those days of random cereal and the "healthy" but not-really-healthy granolas are over. Taste the cocoa love from a little Austin company called Kitchun: "no-grain-ola" with whole nuts, spices, and a little bit of non-refined sweeteners to make everything scrumptious.
What's this granola like? Start by opening the bag and peering down within to spot the mocha hue of the chunks of sweetness, all toasty and aromatic. There's chocolate in there, no doubt about it. Pluck out a few pieces and crunch down: this is definitely not a soft-baked granola. Your jaw loves to work out - this is the granola to make it happy. Find your favorite liquid to pour over the morsels, from raw milk to homemade yogurt to kefir or even nut milks. Heck, I think heavy cream would be a little bit great. And since it's breakfast time (we think), I'd be tempted to chill down a glass of coffee made tan by heavy cream and pour THAT over the lot. Now that's a mocha you can sink your teeth into.
First, this is a darn delicious way to start your day, or end it, or anything in between. Get your chocolate fix off to an early start with Holy Coco-Cacao, an amalgamation of whole cashews, almonds, sesame seeds, and chocolate chips pasted together with coconut milk, almond butter, and maple syrup. Yow. Yes, there are additional things going on, like cinnamon and vanilla and some coconut, but the chocolate backbeat steals the show.
I'll let the ladies of Kitchun describe their creative process and inspiration that goes into their recipes, "We have taken the idea of healthy snacking to a whole new level with our No-Grain-ola. First in our line of grain free, gluten free, soy free and dairy free products, Holy Coco-Cacao is a delicious and healthy treat for every kind of eater."
The names that the ladies of Kitchun have assigned are both adorable and evocative. You have to wonder if they were former brand strategists for Ben & Jerry's or have cats named things like Walter Cronkitty or Katy Purry. I can hear my kefir calling me now from the fridge, "hellllp me, I need crunchy things put in me in a bowl....please....lonely..."
Raw Almond Butter
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.
Cashews have a rich supply of oleic acid, a classically beautifying oil, great for skin and hair. It also reduces your blood triglyceride and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and elevates your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentration. Cashews are also rich in linolenic acid, which can effectively lower your blood pressure, and also has antioxidant properties which defend your blood vessels from free radicals.
Cashews are an excellent source of vitamin K, which is indispensable to maintaining healthy bones, and has tumor suppression abilities. Studies have shown that increased intake of vitamin K lowers the occurrence of prostate cancer in men, and is effective in both prevention and treatment of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Cashew nuts are very rich source of essential minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
First, just to clarify, “raw” chocolate has actually been fermented, which is a very good thing nutritionally. Fermentation makes foods a lot more digestible, activating compounds that you want to be eating, and neutralizing those you don’t. So all so-called raw chocolate is actually fermented. No, it doesn’t have a funky taste like kimchi or sauerkraut, but you can definitely taste a tangy tannic quality in good dark chocolate, not dissimilar from wine.
The benefits of raw chocolate (compared to cooked) include: much higher levels of antioxidants (oligomeric procynanidins, resveratrol and the polyphenols catechin and epicatechin) as well as the preservation of vitamin C, phenethylamine (PEA, the feel-good neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love), omega 6 fatty acids (which when heated become rancid and cause inflammation), tryptophan (a commonly deficient amino acid in those who consume a diet of mostly cooked food) and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that makes us feel goooood.)
There are lots of ways to enjoy No-Grain-Ola, from savory to sweet. You be the creator of your own yummy consumption.
"Gloriana and Keesha met in 2007 while attending the Texas Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu specializing in Patisserie. After graduation in 2008, they opened a specialty cake business named Cake, Please! They worked the business while trying to juggle growing families. Their children, including newborns were regulars in the kitchen. Keesha now has 3 children and Gloriana has 2. They were just two friends who loved baking together and getting to bring their children to work and have fun! As the business grew, so did the time commitment. They left the cake business to spend more time with their families.
Later, they started making granola bars for fun in the kitchen for themselves and their children. Their friends and families loved them! At the same time, they were both looking into gluten free eating for their families so they used gluten free oats. They had many suggestions that their granola was good enough to sell somewhere, so they started selling at the Farmers Markets as Granola Mama (a play on the fact that they were mamas in the kitchen baking granola). They thought this was a great plan just to work a couple of days a week together.
By the summer of 2014 they had both taken grains out of their diets and saw a need for more grain free snack options so they took the grains out of the granola. At this point they knew they wanted to get more serious about the business again and began actively promoting the product and making changes. They played with new flavor combinations and tweaked the previous recipes. In 2015 they changed the name and brand to better suit the growth as a company as they have so much more planned for the future of the business. All of that and they are still friends who have fun baking together!"
Don't freak out! It’s Granola — only better! NO grain. NO gluten. NO soy. NO dairy. JUST tasty, good-for-you ingredients put together by the fearless chefs at Kitchun. Why are they fearless? Because they aren’t afraid to flip the kitchen table and test new ways to snack.