Category Archives: New Products

Indulge in Sweets — Three Ways

Take a taste of the three new flavors of Sante Nuts. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Take a taste of the three new flavors of Sante Nuts. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Santé Nuts New Candied Flavors

The South Bay’s maker of gourmet nuts, Santé Nuts, has debuted three new flavors: Chocolate Almonds, Pumpkin Spice Pecans, and Bourbon Pecans.

The family-owned company was started by single mom Sara Tidhar, who parlayed her home-made recipes for candied and spiced nuts into a booming business. Her son and daughter now both work in the company, too.

I had a chance to try samples recently. What I especially love about all these nuts is that they maintain a pronounced crunchiness even with their coatings.

The Chocolate Almonds are a nice change of pace from the usual hard-shelled, candy-coated chocolate almonds. Rather than a shell of chocolate, these almonds get a coating of sugared crackling cocoa powder. That means the flavor of the almonds still sings through loud and clear without getting overtaken by the cocoa that adds a nice deep dark chocolate accent. There’s also a touch of salt that adds perfect balance.

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The Big Unveil

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Voila! Finally, the big reveal: Presenting the cover of my forthcoming cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1 Publishing).

I couldn’t be more excited to show off details of my newest cookbook, due out on Sept. 10, which will feature 41 of the best restaurants and bakeries in the East Bay.

To whet your appetite, that’s the paella from La Marcha Tapas Bar in Berkeley, and the lamb larb from Belcampo in Oakland’s Jack London Square prominent on the cover. The photos are all by the incredibly talented photographer Eva Kolenko.

What else will you find inside?

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Pucker Up to Tart Cherries — Especially In Cake

Tart cherries make this streusel-topped yogurt cake extra delightful.

Tart cherries make this streusel-topped yogurt cake extra delightful.

 

It is not easy to find sour cherries — unless you have a friend with a backyard tree who takes pity on you. In fact, just the other day on Facebook, I saw someone blasting out a plea for a source that sells them, where you don’t have to buy a ton at a time.

Oregon Specialty Fruit to the rescue.

The Willamette Valley fruit company sells canned and jarred locally grown fruits. As luck would have it, I was recently sent samples of its jarred Red Tart Cherries. They feature hand-picked, pitted, non-GMO Montmorency cherries, a tart cherry variety that some studies have found may help lower blood pressure and muscle soreness, and improve sleep.

What’s especially great about these cherries is that they are packed whole in their own unsweetened cherry juice. That’s right, there’s no added sugar. What’s more, you can use that juice. Drink it straight from the jar or add it to cocktails, a glass of sparkling wine or smoothies. Or freeze it for a granita or popsicle.

Tart cherries packed in their own juice -- with no added sugar -- from Oregon.

Tart cherries packed in their own juice — with no added sugar — from Oregon.

The cherries and their juice have a measured sharpness, nothing too wincing and definitely less sour than cranberries. The flavor makes for a nice sweet-tart balance. Plump and juicy with a softer texture than frozen ones, these cherries make a great topping for yogurt, oatmeal or ice cream. They would also be fantastic spooned over roast pork or duck.

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Bonkers For These Beans

A Dozen Cousins Mexican Cowboy Beans.

A Dozen Cousins Mexican Cowboy Beans.

 

For some endeavors, it might take a village.

But to create some deliriously delectable beans? It simply takes A Dozen Cousins.

This new Berkeley company has launched a line of gourmet, ready-to-eat beans with global flavors that will win you over from the first taste.

Ibraheem Basir, a former marketing manager at General Mills who worked on natural foods brands such as Annie’s Homegrown, named the company after his daughter and her 11 cousins.

Made with avocado oil, the beans are non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free. They come in 10-ounce BPA-free, microwaveable pouches that serve two (about 1/2 cup each). They boast 6 to 8 grams of protein per serving and 7 grams of fiber.

They come in handy microwavable packages.

They come in handy microwavable packages.

They are available in three flavors: Mexican Cowboy Beans, Cuban Black Beans, and Trini Chickpea Curry.

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RightRice — That’s Not Really Rice

It looks like rice, but...

It looks like rice, but…

 

When is rice not really rice? When it’s RightRice, a just-launched, rice-like product that’s actually made from lentil flour, chickpea flour and pea fiber.

While it does contain a little rice flour (less than 10 percent), it’s designed to be a viable alternative to folks who love rice, but want to cut down on carbs and starches.

It was created by San Francisco’s Keith Belling, the founder of Popchips, that wildly successful, addictive potato snack that is neither baked nor fried but ends up crisp as can be from a combination of heat and pressure. It also boasts half the fat of regular potato chips.

It's actually RightRice.

It’s actually RightRice.

With RightRice, he’s created a product that has more than double the protein, five times the fiber, and almost 40 percent fewer net carbs than a bowl of white rice. It’s also non-GMO and vegan.

So just how does it taste?

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