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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Artisana Nut Butter > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

ARTISANA ORGANIC NUT BUTTERS
Test Series By Theresa Lawrence
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - April 05, 2013
LONG TERM REPORT - August 15, 2013

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Theresa Lawrence
EMAIL: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 35
LOCATION: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

I have more than 15 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 1Manufacturer: Premier Organics LLC, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://artisanafoods.com
MSRP: Not Available
Listed Weight: 0.5 oz (14.2 g)
Measured Packet Size: 2 x 4.8 in (5.1 x 12.2 cm)
Flavors Available: Berry AntiOxidant, Acai Berry, Blue Algae, Goji & Milk Thistle, Phytoplankton

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT OF EACH SINGLE USE PACKET:

BERRY ANTIOXIDANT:
- Ingredients: raw organic cashew butter, almond oil, goji berry powder, elderberry powder, agave and stevia
- Calories: 69
- Total Fat: 5 g (1 g saturated, 0 g trans)
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 5 g (1 g fiber, 2 g sugars)
- Protein: 2 g
- Percent of Recommended Daily Vitamins/ Minerals: 0% A, 1% C, 1% calcium, 4% iron

ACAI BERRY:
- Ingredients: raw organic cashew butter, almond oil, acai powder, elderberry powder, agave, vanilla powder, stevia and sea salt
- Calories: 106
- Total Fat: 5 g (1 g saturated, 0 g trans)
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 19 mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 14 g (2 g fiber, 3 g sugars)
- Protein: 2 g
- Percent of Recommended Daily Vitamins/ Minerals: 0% A, 1% C, 1% calcium, 3% iron

BLUE ALGAE:
- Ingredients: raw organic cashew butter, almond oil, blue algae, agave and lemon oil
- Calories: 70
- Total Fat: 5 g (1 g saturated, 0 g trans)
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 4 mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 4 g (1 g fiber, 1 g sugars)
- Protein: 3 g
- Percent of Recommended Daily Vitamins/ Minerals: 10% A, 3% C, 1% calcium, 5% iron

GOJI & MILK THISTLE
- Ingredients: raw organic cashew butter, almond oil, goji berry powder, agave, milk thistle and vanilla powder
- Calories: 58
- Total Fat: 4 g (1g saturated, 0g trans)
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 5 g (1 g fiber, 2 g sugars)
- Protein: 2 g
- Percent of Recommended Daily Vitamins/ Minerals: 0% A, 2% C, 0% calcium, 3% iron

PHYTOPLANKTON
- Ingredients: raw organic cashew butter, almond oil, phytoplankton, lemon oil, stevia and sea salt
- Calories: 75
- Total Fat: 6 g (1 g saturated, 0 g trans)
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 35 mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 4 g (1 g fiber, 1 g sugars)
- Protein: 3 g
- Percent of Recommended Daily Vitamins/ Minerals: 0% A, 2% C, 0% calcium, 5% iron

PRODUCT DESCRITPION

Artisana Raw Organic Superfood Nut Butters are all made with raw certified organic ingredients and are intended to be used as a spread that comes in a convenient single use squeeze packet. All are guaranteed free from peanuts, gluten, dairy and soy. Ingredients are sourced as close to the organic farmer, if not the farmer themselves. All nut butter flavors are made with raw organic cashew butter and almond oil. The other ingredients, listed above, vary to make the different flavors.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Each packet comes with picture instructions on the back advising to knead it first then squeeze it out of the package. I thought pictures were a little obvious, but then again, if they weren't there, I might not have thought to knead it first. It did draw my attention. There is a tear notch on the packet to help with opening as would be expected.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Sadly, I only received two of each of the 5 flavors, so the taste test will have to wait until I'm on the trails. However, the funky coloured packaging and different flavors of nut butters has excited my taste buds in anticipation of something different to bring along on the trails. I have become bored with the same mix of trail foods I bring over and over. As the nut butters are intended to be used as a spread I plan to bring different options throughout the test to spread on to, such as, crackers, bread, bagels, pita, etc. to see what works best.

Looking closely at the ingredients and website information, I was impressed with what seems to be high quality, non-processed, nutritious ingredients. While I try to avoid processed food most of the time, arranging backpacking food always seems to include more processed foods than I would prefer. This appears to be a convenient source of non-processed food, I just hope it tastes good too. Stay tuned for the taste tests to come on the trail.

Back to the ingredients, while all the flavors have the same basic ingredients (cashew butter and almond oil), the different powders used to make the different flavors, to my surprise, resulted in significant differences in calories, carbohydrates and sodium. Interestingly, Blue Algae has no sweetener such as stevia or vanilla like the others, I'm very curious how it will taste. Most have no vitamin A, but Blue Algae has 10% of the recommended daily intake and 5% iron - this particular ingredient has some unique nutritional benefits.

Thanks to Premier Organics, LCC, Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to take part in this test series. I look forward to tasting these interesting flavors over the next few months.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

IMAGE 2I've taken the Artisana Nut Butter on the following trips:

- 6 nights car camping in Moab, Utah (cycling and hiking trip)
- 2 nights backcountry camping in Banff National Park, Alberta (35 km [22 mi] hiking trip)
- 4 nights backcountry camping in Skoki Valley, Banff National Park, Alberta (65 km [40 mi] hiking trip)

Weather and temperatures encountered ranged from about 6 C (43 F) to 38 C (100 F) and everything from dry happy sun to cloudy miserable raging storm.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

This was an interesting test with a lot of new flavors I have never experienced. I'll try to breakdown the experience into the following:

TASTE: While I love cashews, I did not find the Artisana Nut Butters, which are made from cashew nuts, to be nearly as satisfying on the trail. The sweetness did not taste like a natural sweet, but a contrived sweetness to make strange flavors like goji milk thistle, phytoplankton and blue algae taste good. For me they all had a sort of odd artificial sweetness that I have found with a lot of foods sweetened with stevia, despite that stevia is a natural root and not an artificial sweetener. My palate might just not be refined enough to appreciate such things. So, while they were sweet, they were not the sweet I would enjoy nor looked forward to. And unfortunately when I was utterly exhausted from hiking, I missed that feeling of anticipating a break with a tasty snack. I found myself longing for everyone else's snack, while pretending to enjoy my new healthy nut butter on bread or crackers. Having said that, my favorite flavors were the phytoplankton and blue algae because they reminded me of lemon poppy muffins, probably because of the lemon oil, which overpowered everything. My least favorite was goji milk thistle as it had an unusual bitterness to it that I just didn't like. The acai berry and berry antioxidant were similar to each other and had a sort of cross-flavor mix of fig newton filling and pre-mixed peanut butter and jam (-ish?). Overall the tastes were unusual for my palate and I just couldn't get used to them. And because the flavors were so odd, it was hard to pair them with anything. I chose crackers, bagels and bread, but none of these choices really went well with the flavors.
IMAGE 3IMAGE 4IMAGE 5
COLOR AND TEXTURE: At colder temperatures the butter was like peanut butter (a thick spread), but at warmer temperatures they were quite runny. If I turned my cracker sideways, the butter would just run off. I had more warm days and the runny consistency did not add to the palatability. The colors were also not appealing, the blue green algae was just that in color and same with the green phytoplankton. The others were a dark berry brown colored (acai and berry) and the goji milk thistle was orange.

ENERGY PROVIDED: Unfortunately, despite that cashew nuts are full of caloric energy, these were not. The caloric content of the single use packs were 58, 69, 70, 75 and 106 (as listed in the intro), which for trail use was just not enough to give me a much needed energy boost.

PACKABILITY AND PRACTICAL USE ON THE TRAIL: The single use packets were easy to pack and very light. But, they were quite messy when used. Care had to be used on trail so that the leaky used packets weren't just shoved into a pocket. Nothing that a Zip Loc bag/box couldn't fix, though not as convenient as throwing a used energy bar wrapper in my pocket on the trail. Also, the amount in one packet only gives enough for one cracker or half a bagel, so I found I would need to use 2 packets for one snack sitting, which meant that they didn't last very long.
IMAGE 6

SUMMARY

Overall the taste, texture, colors and consistency unfortunately didn't agree with my palate. The flavors were odd and unsatisfying on the trail after a hard days hike and I didn't find they paired well with crackers, bread or bagels as a spread and alone the taste was overbearing. Furthermore, the energy content was not enough to keep me going on the trail. I do commend the manufacture for using all certified organic high quality ingredients, but unfortunately, I can't say that I will be buying my own supply to backpack with in the future.

LIKES
- Easy to pack, very light
- Certified organic ingredients

DISLIKES
- Unusual flavors, textures and colors for my palate
- Didn't pair well to crackers, bagels or bread
- Low energy content
- Small quantity in one packet
- Messy leftover packets

This ends the test series for Artisana Nut Butters. Thank you to Premier Organics LCC and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to take part in this interesting test series.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Premier Organics LLC gear
Read more gear reviews by Theresa Lawrence

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Artisana Nut Butter > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence



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