So many possibilities in just two jars.
Am I the only one who finds trips to the supermarket therapeutic? 😊 I like looking at products and seeing what’s new.
I also like that every trip reveals a lot of surprises… and amazing things to try.
In Nelson Chong’s case, however, one particular visit – and buying one particular product – turned out to be life-changing.
“The first time I heard of almond butter was when I was in the US for college,” he recalls. “I was just browsing around the spreads section at the local grocery store, and there was this entire shelf dedicated to almond butters.
“In those days, there was only peanut butter available in Singapore, and probably just two or three mainstream brands,” he continues. “What is this almond butter thingy? I got curious and picked one up to try, and have loved it since. My first time trying it was probably on an almond butter and jelly sandwich.”
We say almond butter was “life-changing” for Nelson because the experience was so good that it left him wanting more.
“After returning home to Singapore, we found almond butters hard to find, and incredibly pricey for a tiny jar,” he recounts. “It was almost double of what we were used to. We felt we could bring in almond butters at a better value and better taste than the existing ones in the market. We wanted everyone to give it a try.”
And so he co-founded Eatnuf – a Singapore health-food brand that makes all-natural, one-ingredient roasted nut butters. Free from added salt, sugar and preservatives, their range currently includes cashew and almond butters, but they are planning to produce more variants soon.
“Eatnuf sounds like ‘enough’,” he explains. “When we were thinking of a company name, we settled on Eatnuf because we wanted to build a brand around products with enough natural ingredients to taste good, and do away with salt, sugar and other additives. Pretty much, clean eating.
“Behind the scenes, it’s just the two of us – my co-founder Chee and I, getting our products into supermarkets and stores closer to you.
“Our 100% almond and cashew nut butters are the best value in the market, starting at S$10.90 for 300g.”
Oh, and since Nelson mentioned cashew butter, we have to ask: We know what happened with his first taste of almond butter – but what about cashew butter?
“I don’t remember when I first tried cashew butters, but it was likely a year ago when I was researching on alternative nut butters. We ate conspicuous amounts of all types of nut butters during that period.”
As they should
Because the hunt for excellent nut butters never ends, especially if you love them so much and are excited to create more.
“While sourcing and doing research for our nut butters, we had the opportunity to speak to manufacturers of various sizes and try out different nut butter samples,” Nelson says.
“What we noticed is that small-batch production samples are oftentimes less consistent, much more expensive and lower tech, hence requiring more additives to maintain freshness. We decided against producing in small batches or central kitchens for this very reason.
“I would be looking at mass produced food products from a different angle from now on,” he realises. “Many new technologies employed in state-of-the-art factories reduce the need for preservatives in food products, giving you a much healthier end product.”
And here’s the entertaining bit: Throughout checking, trying, testing and experimenting with nut butters, Nelson has also heard and witnessed the many different ways in which they’ve been eaten and used. Are you ready? 🙂
“Nut butter and jelly sandwich. Or straight up! Just grab a spoon.”
“Haven’t seen these myself, but I’ve heard it could go well in a curry or ramen.”
#3 Most unique
“Almond butter in baking. Our almond butter can act as a replacement for both oil and butter in cookies, breads and cake recipes.”
“Add a little soy sauce, water and lime to almond butter to create a simple dipping sauce. You can have it with Vietnamese spring rolls, pan-fried tofu, satay, hotpot, etc.”
It gets even better
Think that’s enough? Nelson proceeds to share his five favourite recipes or dishes where we wouldn’t necessarily think nut butters are included in them as an ingredient, but are. As he stated earlier, nut butters are versatile, after all. 😉
#1 Overnight oats
“… with berries, plant-based milk, chia seeds and a dollop of nut butter. Nut butter adds extra creaminess and a slight sweetness to overnight oats.”
#2 Dipping sauces
“Personally, I’d mix a little hoisin, some chilli sauce, hot water and almond butter to create a wonderful sweet, nutty and savoury dipping sauce.”
“Nothing compares to the nuttiness a spoonful of almond butter adds to a smoothie. You could use skim milk or any plant-based milk of your choice for your smoothies, then add bananas, berries, some granola and a dollop of almond butter to the blender before blending to enjoy something legendary.”
#4 Vegan banana bread
“No need for eggs or oil.”
#5 Dan Dan Noodles
“To make the noodle sauce, stir chopped garlic, grated ginger, chilli oil, spring onions and vinegar to your favourite nut butter.”
Yup, it ain’t over. 😁
When we want to cook with nut butters, what things should we keep in mind?
“Nut butters add richness and nuttiness to any dish. A little goes a long way in spicing up your recipes.”
What mistakes have you seen people make in cooking with nut butters?
“For consumers who are new to natural nut butters, they may mistake the oil layer to be a ‘protection’ layer, something to be discarded prior to use,” Nelson observes. “Once the oil is poured away, the remaining nut residue is dry and gritty, giving them an overall poor experience with natural nut butters.”
How do we correct them?
“Please give the nut butter a good stir with a butter knife or fork, and you will get a jar of creamy nut butter that stays that way for weeks.”
What should we look out for in choosing and buying nut butters?
“Definitely look for oil separation when buying nut butters. This indicates that no stabilisers such as palm oil have been added to the nut butter.”
No wonder nut butters have become such an essential item for Nelson (and now for you too?). 😊 It wouldn’t be a shock to see a jar in his pantry, kitchen, workspace... and gym bag?
“I eat nut butters daily for breakfast on bread, yogurts or oatmeal. Sometimes after a gym session I would grab a spoonful of nut butter as a quick snack. It gives me protein and keeps me full until my next meal,” he answers.
So what’s the farthest Nelson thinks he can go or travel to, just to source nuts for their range – and try new or different nut butters, or nut butter-inspired recipes?
“If COVID-19 wasn’t a factor, I think we’d be on the road every few months to visit other SEA countries to source potential suppliers and to see what types of natural food products we could bring to the Singapore market,” he admits.
Lucky for us, we don’t have to. Because we can leave all the searching to them, and just order from Eatnuf now or until that happens – or simply go to the supermarket instead. 😊