A couple of weeks ago, I went to Home Goods. I’ll be honest with you–it was a Wednesday, and I was procrastinating from getting to some work I had to do for my main job. I work from home on Wednesdays. It’s a glorious thing. Unless I go out in the world, I get to live the messy-hair-don’t-care life, complete with old yoga pants and a floppy, over-sized hoodie. Let’s move on. The point here is that I was at Home Goods on a week day when it’s easy to find parking. And I wore actual pants and put a brush in my hair. It was wonderful, and I do not have photographic evidence.
When’s the last time you went inside Home Goods? I can’t say I was surprised–it hasn’t been more than a hot minute since I decided to look at all the things that are available–but I sort of was surprised. You see, Home Goods seems to have tossed themselves into the list of places you can go to for “healthy options” when it comes to the shelf-stable groceries they sell. There’s coconut oil, avocado oil, chickpea pasta, flax seeds, alternative flours, and more. As someone who lives within a couple of miles of a Trader Joe’s, an Aldi, a Sprouts, a Fresh Market, a Whole Foods, and chain grocery store mainstays like Publix and Kroger, I am well-versed in many of the brands that make foods for sale, and I certainly have my favorites. The brands I see at Home Goods are not the tried-and-true favorites that tend to fill my pantry, but the prices are so good that I often feel really open to trying new things.
So, on my trip to Home Goods, I picked up this little goodie:
It was $3.99. I am sort of a nut-butter-holic and tend to have at least 2-3 different kinds of nut butters open at any given point in time. Cashew butter is one of my favorites. From a packaging standpoint, I was somehow intrigued by a design–one that requires me to knead the package before opening the cap and then squeeze out my desired amount of cashew butter. It seemed like a no-brainer to give it a shot.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have grown skeptical of cool packaging with nice-sounding promises. I have a hard time when I hear that something is said to have “superfoods” or is somehow touted to be the next best thing to make your life healthy, amazing, and wellness-i-fied. I sometimes think that it’s a super trendy thing to advertise these capacities and to include some combination of acai, goji, chia, and flax in pretty much everything. I can see every single person with perfect hair and perfect teeth and rosy cheeks and perfect smiles and looking like they need to be the next spokesmodel for yoga mats or oat milk or immunotherapy supplements telling the whole world that everyone’s life will be better if we all have some goji in all of our food already. But, I digress. My point is this: I think that regular foods just as they are–made honestly, not manipulated or modified by harmful chemicals or sketchy processing–can somehow fuel people’s bodies and nourish their spirits quite well. I have a belief that a lot of foods that are packaged to claim super extra health benefits or a little bit of extra protein or whatever only contribute to the ways that we can divide people into “have” and “have not,” and for many companies it seems like the products themselves almost guilt you into buying them. Because you’re somehow wrong, or insufficient, or not healthy if you don’t choose the energy bar with extra collagen protein or the food item that includes chia seeds in its alternative-flour, multigrain blend, right?
But here’s the thing: this cashew butter is pretty tasty. I’ve used it in my morning oatmeal or in the occasional substitution–a morning protein smoothie–and it’s tasted like any other cashew butter that I would tend to purchase (and for the record, I am a huge fan of the cashew butter that Trader Joe’s sells and the in-store Simple Truth brand at my local Kroger). I’m not a huge fan of using extra sweeteners (I think cashews can be sweet enough as it is…), but if you do need to use a sweetener, I am ok with coconut sugar instead of refined sugar. I don’t know if goji berry powder–the amount that is actually used in a container of nut butter–actually has any health benefit or if it sounds nice. But the whole “knead, unscrew the lid, and squeeze” approach to getting butter in my mouth is really easy to use. And the price at my local Home Goods was low enough to make the experiment worthwhile.
I like to do research on things I don’t really know, so here’s a little bit of research. The brand, YumButter, seems to be a brand that I can jive with. The owners of the company are said to run on nut butter”–and as someone who would love to stick a spoon into a jar of cashew, pecan, or almond butter fifteen times a day, I can get behind this point of origin. YumButter seems to be pretty committed to creating products that are certified organic and non-GMO, and having found this package of cashew butter at Home Goods–a place where many items seem more affordable than on the shelves of other stores–I as able to let my pocket book and my own food ethics collide. That’s a nice thing. And here’s the part about YumButter that gets my little heart going in a good way: the company also has a social mission that seems to me similar to that of Tom’s and Bombas–a buy one/feed one business model that donates food to malnourished children.
All in all, I think that my YumButter experiment has been a good one. The cashew butter–even if I am not entirely sold that what I purchased has the most amazing extra super powers that all the trendy, happy thoughts of “this is healthy for you” like chia, goji, and that all-encompassing word of “superpowers” seem to trigger–is tasty. My morning oatmeal (which I will tell you about another time…) is so much better when I get to include nut butter into the mix. And it let me walk out of Home Goods feeling really productive by buying something to try in the middle of my desire to procrastinate during my work-from-home day.
Do you have any favorite “healthy” foods?
When you want to procrastinate, what’s your “go to” diversion?
What’s your go-to smoothie recipe?