Thursday, April 23, 2015

Product Review: Windy City Organics brings a Rawesome Gust to the Palate

Raw. Vegan. Organic. Superfood. Living food. 

How does that sound?

This is what you get from Windy City Organics, the parent company of some of the most amazing raw (er... Rawesome) food brands that I have come across: Dastony, SunBiotics, RawGuru, and Rawmio. They also work very closely with Sprout Living, one of the leading manufacturers of raw, sprouted, vegan, and organic brown rice and superfood protein powders of the purest nature.

Based out of (you guessed it), Chicago, IL, Wind City Organics, is family owned and operated and is a dedicated raw organic food manufacturer, here's a bit more about them and their brands:

"We specialize in the innovation and production of some of the most delicious, healthful and functional raw vegan snacks, superfoods and organic nutritional supplements available in the world today...Our beginnings were humble. With an absolute adoration for raw chocolate as the passionate driving force, we decided to develop a product that would take the world by storm: an organic and raw chocolate hazelnut butter sweetened with pure coconut sugar. The result was absolute love at first taste and a cult-like following. Demand quickly became overwhelming, which led us to establish our very own manufacturing facility. To this day our entire facility is strictly free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy and GMO’s and we are committed to keeping it this way." Read more... 

Rawmio: "Rawmio is the brand that blossomed from our original chocolate nut butter formula. It has now expanded to include a full range 6 different chocolate almond and hazelnut butters, nutrient-rich chocolate barks, and heavenly chocolate truffle cakes." Read more...
Dastony: "The tremendous success of our unique chocolate nut butters and a deeper understanding of the stone grinding process inspired us to create Dastony, a range of gourmet nut and seed butters." Read more... 

Sunbiotics: "The basis for Sunbiotics is a belief that all aspects of our health can be benefitted by the inclusion of a daily dose of probiotics. After-all, probiotics make up around 70% of our immune system and they play an integral role in every aspect of our health. We make this feat easy with delicious and truly healthful probiotic enhanced snacks as well as whole-food organic probiotic supplements enhanced with prebiotics." Read more... 

Sprout Living: "Sprout Living is one of the leading manufacturers of raw, sprouted, vegan, and organic brown rice and superfood protein powders of the purest nature. They are also first to market exceptionally high quality freeze dried sprout mix powders. All of Sprout Living’s products are naturally gluten free, nut free, soy free and GMO free, and are the perfect accompaniment to an active, vibrant lifestyle." Read more... 

Of course, as health conscious individuals, we want to eat fresh foods - never before packaged - straight out of a garden, as often as possible. But the simple fact is that we live in a modern world and not all of us have access to what we need to thrive in our own backyards. We live in a world where we are traveling by cars, planes, trains, buses, trams, subways - and countless other means of transportation. And when we aren't in a vehicle of sorts we are walking, biking, rolling or strolling into our next meeting - bluetooth in ear, coffee in hand, bags and/or babies in the other fighting crowds and desperately trying to keep our energy up. And we have what tucked away for a snack in between meals? What about those times that we are not in the hustle and bustle but we are on play time enjoying nature with a long hike or backpacking trip or taking it easy with a road trip? What's in our pack? An apple? A banana? (Hopefully) Protein bars? And what else do we bring to sustain us between or in addition to meals that is nutrient dense?

The average protein bar consists of a long list of hard to decipher 'ingredients' like soy and/or whey protein isolate, dextrin, natural and artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, gluten (wheat/barley/rye) and genetically modified corn syrup - and even the ingredients that are otherwise healthy like nuts, seeds and coconut are typically highly processed/heated destroying the enzymes and any nutritional properties - leaving them nutrient void and you unsatisfied. These bars will likely lead to a host of residual effects such as gas, bloating, lethargy and will leave you with hunger pangs shortly after. You can read my more about my thoughts on food additives, preservatives and other dangerous ingredients here.

I strive to consume fresh foods, that do not come in a package, 95% of the time. This is generally very doable for me given my lifestyle. I go to the market and fill my cart with produce - and that is the majority of my diet. I also incorporate healthy fats and proteins with raw superfood like seeds, nuts, cacao, coconut and concentrated dried or dehydrated fruits like goji berries, cherries and dates.

Enter Windy City Organics, a one-stop-shop for just what I need to fuel my body holistically. Their products are not only packed with nutrient dense ingredients, but the list of ingredients is short and sweet (or even just one ingredient like Dastony's Stoneground Raw Almond Butter...OMG divine) and 100% organic raw unprocessed goodness.

I recently had the opportunity to try some of their products within the Sunbiotics, Dastony and Rawmio brands. All I can say, is that it was hands down the best raw chocolate and almonds that I have ever had. For real.

I started with the Sunbiotics Probiotic Chocolate bar and Chocolate Almonds (soaked & sprouted) whilst sitting outside in the sun reading Stacy Stowers', "Eat Raw, Not Cooked."

Wow. There is simply nothing about these that I would change. The raw ingredients of cacao, coconut sugar, yacon root and vanilla bean made for such a supple and sweet combination that just melted in my mouth. And the crunch of the sprouted almonds coated with raw cacao was absolutely delectable. Shockingly, I was able to stop myself at half each and enjoy the rest the next day.

My next endeavor was the Rawmio - Organic Gourmet Sour Cherry and Almond Raw Chocolate Bark (naturally I chose the other chocolate bar next lol).

I enjoyed this bar after a hike on a beautiful warm and sunny day. I cannot even begin to describe to you how tasty this treat was after my hike. That day I was totally fueled by whole fresh fruit and after the hike needed some fat and protein for an added boost. I had this bar, my vegan (SunWarrior) shake and some coconut water. This was at a pizza pitstop located just down the way from the trail head - I was thoroughly satisfied and nourished with my post-hike snack. Rawmio for life!

And then.. allow me to introduce to you the finest quality almond butter that has ever crossed these lips. Would I lie to ya'll? Of course not. Dude... this almond butter has a decadent flavor so rich and smooth that one would think there is a list 10+ long of ingredients listed on the back. Nope. Simply100% Raw and Stone Ground Almonds.

I topped mine with some raw cacao nibs...whoa.
"Dastony uses an ancient method known as stone-grinding in the production of its products. Originally used for turning olives into luscious and delicious olive oil, stone-grinding applies pressure with powerful, perfectly smooth granite wheels. Although "old world" in its approach, it is revolutionary in terms of preserving nutrients and flavor. This natural preservation is accomplished by maintaing a consistently low temperature throughout the entire process. Another unmatched result of stone-grinding is a silky smooth texture and mouth feel that is truly beyond words.
Only the finest selection of raw and organic ingredients are used in our Dastony Stone-Ground Nut and Seed Butters. Every batch is handcrafted and meticulously cared for during a process which takes 24-48 hours. The time and attention seems excessive but is well worth the results. A gourmet and silky smooth nut/seed butter that still maintains all of its nutritional integrity is something we at Dastony take great pride in." 
And lastly, I tried out Sunbiots' Cheesy Almonds over a salad. All raw. All nutrient dense. All life-giving ingredients.

These almonds added such a pleasurable zest to my salad that I did a little happy dance! Yes, this is what fantastic raw foods does to me ;)

Suffice it to say, that I couldn't have been more pleased with the products from Windy City Organics and I will be leaning on them for much of my rawesome fuel from now on.

Bodhi Life RawPower Salad: Bed of romaine, shredded carrot, chopped broccoli and cumber with tomato and raw caraway seed sauerkraut, Sunbiotics Cheesy Almonds and a side of strawberries
Raw food gives me the energy to hike with ease and do Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) over Natural Bridge.

Raw food is essential to my inner peace and vitality.

What does Raw do for you?

All of these products can be found online at the specific brand's website listed above, wholesale at Windy City Organics, or at RawGuru, on online retailer for all things raw. "RawGuru is an ever-expanding line of hand-chosen, raw and organic bulk ingredients and products such as culinary herbs and spices, raw and sprouted nuts and seeds, superfoods, butters, oils, snacks and more." From raw organic foods, raw food books, kitchen equipment & tools to beauty care, RawGuru provides a vast array of products that help to make living a raw food lifestyle in the modern world easier.

Connect with Windy City Organics

Twitter: @WCOrganics
Instagram: @windycityorganics



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