Healthy food goes hand in hand with healthy skin, so we are beyond excited to be launching the RAW ECSTASY Activated Nut Butters instore and online at CONTENT. High in Vitamin E and antioxidants, Almonds are great for skin and hair as well as your heart. Not only are these spreads healthy and raw, but absolutely delicious too! The RAW ECSTASY nut butters are available in two variants: the Stone Ground Activated Almond Butter and the Stone Ground Raw Chocolate Almond Spread.
We spoke to the founders Charlot Conway & Prem Hobden about their inspiration behind the range and what makes their spreads stand out from the rest.
The pair established RAW ECSTASY in 2004, out of a passion for alternative health and delicious food. Their philosophy is to combine ancient knowledge with exquisite flavours and recreating traditional recipes in a raw, sprouted angle. As a result, all their products are handmade in London using truly raw technique.
What inspired you to launch your range of products?
Always a vegetarian, as a child I actually refused to eat nuts – much to my parents’ worry, for the protein and fat benefits are extraordinary. Instinctually there was something I could not enjoy. Upon trying my business partner Prem’s Activated Nuts for the first time, suddenly I could enjoy the full flavour of nuts. From then on, together we were so inspired to create Activated Nut products to the best quality and educate as many people as possible about the Activation process. Prem initially started Raw Ecstasy after taking a keen interest in the raw food diet; he could not find truly satisfying desserts that still captured the essence of traditional sweets. So he created the recipes we still use today for our ‘patisserie style’ treat range.
We always love a healthy and delicious alternative to mainstream products. So what is it exactly that makes your almond butters so different from your average peanut butter?
What makes our almond butter stand out is that not only do we use the best quality organic Spanish almonds, but we activate them first and then use cold-processing. The activation process is very similar to fermentation or sprouting. By soaking the nuts any impurities such as phytic acid (which prevents digestion) and tannins (that cause a bitter taste) are removed. By using mineral-rich Himalayan Pink Salt we create the perfect conditions for beneficial enzymes to increase instead and allowing for vitamin E (a great skin tonic) to be digestible, as it is no longer masked by anti-nutrients. After that, the dehydrated nuts are stone-ground: a process that ensures the almonds stay raw. Unlike conventional metal grinders that conduct heat and get extremely hot during processing; the granite stones stay cool, ensuring that the delicate oils and fats remain and the slightly fermented taste is not cooked away.
We have a soft spot for the chocolate almond spread! How do you maintain such an intense taste for the chocolate?
Our Raw Chocolate spread is uniquely different from other raw chocolate spreads because we use pure cacao paste and not just powder. As proud chocolatiers, we wanted to make sure the spread really satisfied that chocolate urge and we are also really happy with the results. Adding coconut sugar (a low GI sweetener which contains trace minerals) counteracts the natural bitterness and enhances the flavour of the raw cacao. Plus, raw cacao has so many wondrous health benefits including helping to neutralize free radicals; which is great for skin-conscious city dwellers- as pollution is one of the main causes of free radicals.
What are your favourite ways of eating the spreads? Do you have any particular food pairings to recommend?
We are advocates of the Chrono-biotic diet, a time-controlled protocol that groups foods based on how they grow (and when they photosynthesize). Foods that grow on trees are eaten at breakfast time. We love the combination of seasonal fruit slathered with either of the spreads: the contrast of fresh juicy fruit and dense rich nut is so nutritious and satisfying! Since making this discovery we have had this for breakfast every day, tasting the combinations with a variety of fruits: pears and apples have a crisp freshness, as they both slice well the butters spread on appetizingly. Mangoes are juicy so their flavour exudes in to each mouthful, while bananas are creamy in texture and that matches the thick smoothness of either spread. During fig season, I couldn’t get enough of dunking them and forming perfectly coated figs. It’s all about how the textures blend and the fats in the almonds help to absorb the minerals and vitamins in the fruit; you can almost taste the chemical reaction! However, the almond butter also works perfectly in place of peanut butter, spread on toast/crackers (even in peanut-butter jello sandwiches) or as a salad dressing. Vegetable crudités are also a nice option.
Can you share a recipe for one of your favourite ways to use Raw Ecstasy nut butter?
This is a marvelous raw gourmet dessert recipe, it only takes two minutes and visually it has real wow-factor.
- 1 small 110ml Booja-Booja chocolate ice cream pot (or any ice-cream same-size)
- 1/3 of a pot of Raw Ecstasy Activated Chocolate Almond Spread
- (optional sprinkles) 15g Activated Walnuts Raw Chocolate Coated- chopped up or cacao nibs
- Empty the ice-cream on to a plate, by pushing it out at the base of its container
- Make sure the chocolate spread is runny (if it has set, then pour boiled water in to a small dish, place the jar in and stir with a knife until runny consistency)
- Gently pour the chocolate spread over the ice-cream, allowing it to waterfall down the sides. If the chocolate spread is sitting on top-use a butter knife to help spread it round the sides of the ice cream.
- The chocolate spread will start to set as a solid coating because it contains coconut oil and raw cacao liquor which are both solid at room temperature. However this coating is still soft enough to put your spoon through without cracking (like normal chocolate would) which allows for the impressive visual difference between layers)
- Now is time to wipe any excess chocolate residue with a piece of paper towel if you care for the plate to be clean around edges!
- Whilst the chocolate spread is setting, sprinkle on the your sprinkles (if using) otherwise they won’t stick!
- Once the chocolate spread has fully set its ready to serve, do enjoy!