Jem Raw has cracked the Nutella code. They’ve somehow managed to take four perfect raw organic ingredients and alchemize them into a silky creamy rich chocolaty elixir that will make you weep with Proustian memories of confections past as you dip your fingers into the jar for more and more. Unbelievably smooth and rich, with just the right touch of sweetness, this chocolate hazelnut butter has a honey-like consistency unlike any nut butter you’ve ever had before. ~
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
Confession time: I used to eat a lot of Nutella. I first discovered it on a high school exchange program to France, where I witnessed a breakfast revelation: people would spread chocolate hazelnut paste on a baguette, and eat the whole thing, and it was ok.It was healthy, even. This blew my mind, but it gave me license to eat Nutella lavishly whenever I could find it. I didn’t really look too hard at the ingredients list — I figured that by some sort of French dietary loophole, Nutella was an honorary health food, up there with triple crème cheeses and red wine.
Flash forward more than a few years, and I now know all about the dangers of white sugar and hydrogenated palm oil and unnatural flavors. Nutella is no longer a part of my life, having been relegated to the annals of foods-loved-and-lost along with gummy candies, Lindt truffles, and every flavor of Jelly Belly (I even toured the factory once, emerging triumphant with a bag of ill-shaped but delicious “belly flops.”) Yeah, my palate has matured, I no longer crave sugar all day, bla bla bla. But I still have a weakness for the ineffable combination of chocolate and hazelnuts.
And that’s where Jem Raw comes in. They’ve cracked the Nutella code. They’ve somehow managed to take four perfect raw organic ingredients and alchemize them into a silky creamy rich chocolaty elixir that will make you weep with Proustian memories of confections past as you dip your fingers into the jar for more and more.
Jem's Chocolate Hazelnut Spread is made from freshly sprouted organic hazelnuts soaked in salt water, and then dehydrated at low temperatures to preserve enzymatic integrity. The dehydrated hazelnuts are then stone-ground, with raw cacao nibs and coconut palm sugar, into an ultra smooth specialty nut butter. The dehydrating process brings out wonderful notes in the hazelnuts, similar to roasting but with none of the negative impact.
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 chocolate hazelnut butter has a honey-like consistency unlike any nut butter you’ve ever had before.
Jem uses raw, organic Ecuadorian Nacional (Arriba) cacao nibs that have more floral qualities than other cacaos that tend to be more earthy or musky.
Why Chocolate Hazelnut Spread is so good for you
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 hazelnuts, 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.Hazelnuts have a high concentration of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that can effectively reduce your blood pressure, prevent strokes and heart attacks, prevent cancer and improve mental acuity. Hazelnuts are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which your body converts into EPA and DHA. Both of these are omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to many functional systems, such as your circulatory, nervous and immune systems.
Cacao nibs are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals — they are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium as well as a good source of calcium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium. A rich source of theobromine and tryptophan, they elevate your mood while boosting your health. They also contain neurotransmitter anandamide (the "bliss" chemical), neurotransmitter phenethylamine (also known as PEA, the "love molecule"), neurotransmitter serotonin (a brain chemical that acts to shield against stress, increasing ones sense of wellbeing) neurotransmitter dopamine (increases ones sense of pleasure and elevates the mood), phytochemical coumarin (suppresses appetite, and also has anti-tumor properties and helps with blood circulation) enzyme asparaginase (a special enzyme with anti-cancer properties) ergosterol (a necessary chemical for Vitamin D assimilation) and sitosterol (helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels).
Coconut palm sugar
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.
How to eat this
We probably don’t need to tell you how to eat this. Nonetheless, we like this stuff so much that we’ll jump at the chance to talk about it more.
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, or as a dip for slices of apple or pear, or grapes, or oranges, or raspberries, or anything you want to anoint with its goodness.
You probably don’t eat gluten-based bread these days, but you could put it on top of some coconut or almond bread shaped like a baguette if you were feeling particularly nostalgic.
The awesome company behind this magical product
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.