Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Introducing Shazzy Treats!


My sis-in-law brought me a special treat for Hanukkah - Shazzy Treats!  Isn't the name great?  She gifted me with the company's Cookie Dough Bar.  Sharon Druckmann, owner, currently bakes all of her products from her home kitchen, but is looking to expand her business.  I loved my cookie dough bar so much that I wanted to help spread the word about her delicious products and the healthy ingredients they use.

VM: Tell us about Shazzy Treats.  What are they and who are they for?  
ST: Shazzy Treats are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, preservative free, refined sugar free, soy free treats that are not, however, free of deliciousness. I make bars that are raw and vegan and I also make baked goods that do contain egg. They are for anyone who is health conscience, people who have certain restrictions in their diets, or anyone who loves yummy treats!

VM: How did you come up with the idea for your treats?  What led you to develop such healthy recipes with natural, organic ingredients?
ST: It all started with my husband. He had a few health issues a couple years back such as high cholesterol which his doctor wanted to treat him for with medication. He was reluctant to go the medical route. He did some research on diet and exercise which led him to a paleo diet and lifestyle, which promotes clean, natural eating, nothing processed. Made sense to me, so the whole family was on board. Who couldn't benefit from eating that way! He was doing it for a while and doing very well, but the one thing he was missing was some treats and snacks. Every time he would try something he found that met the criteria at the supermarket, he would tell me that I could do it better...so I did! It was a fun challenge, turning his old favorite treats into clean, delicious ones. The more people tried it, the more requests I received to make them some too. I realize there are so many people out there with digestive issues and limitations, such as celiacs or children on the autism spectrum on strict diets that I do cater to, as well as people who are interested in eating well but they don't want to compromise taste. And that is how it turned into a business.

VM: When it comes to vegan baking and cooking, I always tell people "Good food is good food."  I love that you exclude refined sugars, preservatives, dairy, gluten, grain, and soy from your products.  Why is that important to you?
ST: Like you say, good food is good food. I completely believe in that. What you put in your body should nourish you, enhance your well being, not the opposite. There is a lot of vegan or gluten free foods that are not necessarily made with the healthiest ingredients. So that was my mission. To make good for you treats that are yummy. All the ingredients I use are whole and are actually beneficial to your health.

VM: For those who are new to your products, what do you recommend they try first? 
ST: That's a tough one, everyone seems to have a favorite but I'd say the Cookie Dough Bar- made from almond flour, coconut flour, dairy free, soy free, gluten free chocolate chips, and maple syrup.

The Sweet and Savory Bar is also a big hit - It's made of nuts, seeds & dates. It always surprises people how delicious they are, but once they try them, they are hooked!

VM: What is your top selling item(s)? 
ST: As far as the strictly Vegan ones, it's the Cookie Dough and Sweet & Savory Bar. For those of you who do eat eggs, The Pumpkin Brownies and Apple Honey Cake.

VM: Where can people buy your products?
ST: We are a very new, small operation running out of my home kitchen. So until we expand, we are catering to local Orange County markets. I may be contacted at info@shazzytreats.com to place orders. You may also check out our (under construction) website www.shazzytreats.com and of course, like us on http://facebook.com/ShazzyTreats

I have a few local drop off locations including Anaerobic CrossFit in Laguna Niguel. But we will start shipping soon and hopefully be at a supermarket near you in the near future.

VM: What trends do you see in baking right now?  
ST: I think it is a very exciting time in baking. I think there is a whole movement towards a more natural, clean and whole way of eating. Baking is catering to meet those demands. 

VM: Can you share a favorite recipe (baking or cooking)?
ST: I go through phases. Right now I am on a Butternut Squash Soup kick. So easy to make & perfect for the season.  This recipe is from The Food Lover's Kitchen website: http://www.primalpalate.com/recipe/butternut-squash-soup/

I always modify any recipe I come across to my taste. This is the original, but feel free to modify as well...
Ingredients
1 whole Butternut Squashpeeled and chopped
1 whole Onionchopped
1 quart Chicken Stock, free range, organic
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, Organic 
Process
Sauté chopped onion in coconut oil in a large pot.
Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Add chopped butternut squash to pot, and pour in broth.
Boil the butternut squash in the broth until tender.
Puree soup in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth.
Garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
VM: What ingredients are your favorite to combine when baking - your perfect marriage of flavors?
ST: Chocolate & Hazelnut, Chocolate & Pumpkin, Nuts & Dates

VM: I am on a quest to live the "good" life in all aspects of the word.  What does the "good" life represent/mean to you?
ST: I think the good life is anything you do that feeds your soul. Of course, that means different things to different people. It can be the small things like reading a great book, watching a beautiful film, music is a big one with me. Good music definitely moves me. Enjoying a great meal.  To the grand things like surrounding yourself with people who enrich you. Seeing the world

Right now this new venture is definitely feeding my soul. I love baking, being creative with ingredients & recipes and knowing that my clients who are enjoying them are eating well. I recently had a request from a mother of a child on the autism spectrum who had never had cake before. She wanted me to make him a birthday cake for his third birthday so that he could enjoy it without any horrible side affects. The family loved the cake and it was such a source of pride to be able to make it for them.

VM: Can you share your favorite quote?
ST: "You are what you eat. So don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake." - Unknown

Thank you, Sharon!  To read more about Shazzy Treats, click here or on Facebook, here.