Just Plain Nuts

By Warren Rojas

At one point in “Best in Show”—Christopher Guest’s droll send-up of competitive dog shows—one of the stars recounts how he used to drive his mother insane by rattling off every type of nut he could think of.

Health food mogul Jared Mizrahi, on the other hand, drives his competitors crazy by making every nut he can think of even better.

The brains behind Blue Mountain Organics, Mizrahi has been focused on bringing raw foods to the masses ever since he sampled some soaked almonds at a gathering hosted by his future wife. He has since branched out with dozens of specialty nuts, seeds, blended butters and other natural foods.

According to Mizrahi, roasted nuts often break down as part of the cooking process and subsequently spoil much faster—hence the reason most processed nuts are covered in artificial preservatives. “People are spicing them to hide rancidity,” he charges.

He claims his “Better Than Roasted” line is prepared according to a four-day, multi-step purification process that involves soaking, rinsing, spreading and culling each batch until only whole nuts remain. The treated nuts are then slow roasted (just below 108° F) to help preserve the natural oils and nutrients within. Once processed, each BTR product is also restricted to a three-month shelf life to ensure freshness.

“I guess I just have really high standards,” he says of his stringent business practices.

When pressed about his passion for organic foods, Mizrahi confides, “I definitely feel like it’s a medicine. And that’s part of what we do here—food as medicine.”

Moving forward, he says he’d like to dabble with some sweeter snacks, including “sticky nuts” (assorted nuts coated in agave syrup) and “cocoa nuts” (nuts + chocolate—pretty sure this one will take).

BMO favorites include:
»Totally Nutz Organic Almonds: robust flavor, prominent crunch
»Totally Nutz Organic Cashews: crunchy start, buttery finish
»Totally Nutz Organic Apricot Kernels: fragrant kernels hide a fruity center
»Just 4 Nuts Butter: extra chunky and full of flavor
»Cashew-Pistachio-Brazil Nut Butter: creamy texture, exotic undertones
»Berry Powerful Trail Mix: packs a jaw-pleasing crunch with a delightful fruit chaser
»Love Bites Pecan: chewy fruit cluster with powerful golden raisins.

(May 2007)

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