July 24, 2013

Product review: I.M. Healthy Chocolate SoyNut Butter

This jar sat in our cold, dark pantry, unopened, for months and months after I had snapped it up on clearance at a natural foods market.  I had seen varieties of soynut butter but this was my first and only sighting of chocolate soynut butter.  I was intrigued at the time but tucked it onto a crowded shelf that eventually became even more crowded with our pantry staples.

I came upon this forgotten jar in the spring -- conveniently right before the "best if used by" date -- so I knew it was time to pull off the seal, and have a try.  Oh my.  What had I been waiting for??

I think I.M. Healthy's chocolate soynut butter is pretty darn tasty.   It's not as decadent and rich as the dairy-filled, hazelnut spread Nutella -- I.M.'s texture is fluffier and not gooey.  Even so I.M. Healthy's chocolate soynut butter has a pleasant cocoa taste, slightly nutty, even though it's nut-free.  (Must be those roasted soy "nuts"!)  I liked it.  But would my picky, picky kids like it?

The kids liked it more in the beginning when I made chocolate soynut butter and banana sandwiches but they grew quickly tired of the combo.  They will eat it sometimes on untoasted whole bread, no bananas, but they are not clamoring for chocolate sandwiches all the time.  This will be a good lunch option to mix things up a bit every couple of weeks.  I should be grateful that they are not particularly fond of sweet sandwiches, right?

In addition to sandwiches, I.M Healthy's chocolate soynut butter is great as a quick frosting.  We keep a stash of unfrosted cupcakes in the freezer so that we always have a safe treat to bring to friends' parties.  the chocolate soynut butter requires no refrigeration and is especially convenient when you just need to frost one or two cupcakes.

Sprinkles and I.M Healthy's chocolate soynut butter on top of a GF cupcake.  Yum!

The company, I.M. Healthy, also makes other soy nut butters.  Their products, as clearly labeled, are made in a peanut-free, tree nut-free facility.  I called the company's toll-free line, was momentarily rendered speechless when a live person answered the phone (so nice!), and found out that their facilities are also DAIRY-FREE, EGG-FREE, and WHEAT-FREE.  Woo hoo!

I.M. Healthy's chocolate soy nut butter has a little more fat, protein, and fiber than Nutella.  One thing that I.M. Healthy has a lot less of is sugar, one third of the sugar per serving than Nutella.  I was lucky to find a 6-pack of the spread on Amazon during a random sale in April (6 jars for $15!).  This stuff is definitely hard to find.  I have seen prices range from $5 to $6 per jar through Amazon, Walmart, and non-chocolate I.M. Healthy soynut butters for about the same at Vitacost.

Ryken has a classmate, we'll call him "Q" for privacy sake, who loved to bring Nutella sandwiches to school.  Q is a sweet and close friend who, upon finding out that Ryken was allergic to Nutella, gave up his favorite lunch option so that he could continue sitting with Ryken at the allergy-free table.  After finally trying the chocolate soynut butter and getting my hands on more jars, I gave one to Q's family to try out.  I hope to see this in Q's lunchbox this fall!

I.M. Chocolate Soy Nut Butter Nutritional Information*:

Product: I.M Healthy Chocolate SoyNut Butter
Product size: 15 oz
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons
Total fat per serving: 14 grams (compared to 12 grams in Nutella, 16 grams in Skippy No-Stir peanut butter, and 16 grams in Trader Joe's sunflower seed butter)
Dietary fiber: 3 grams (compared to 1 gram in Nutella, 2 grams in the peanut butter, 7 grams in the sun butter)
Sugar: 7 grams (compared to 21 grams in Nutella and 3 grams in both the peanut butter and sun butter)
Protein: 5 grams (compared to 2 grams in Nutella, 7 grams in both the peanut butter and sun butter)

*The nutritional information was taken from the company's website.  This information differs slightly from the nutritional info found on the label of chocolate soynut butter jars that I had purchased in May.  I am guessing that the company's website features the most current facts.


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