If you made it to the W.E.L.L. Summit a couple of weeks ago, you might have been lucky enough to meet Olivia Weiner from Spruts Nuts handing out individually wrapped almonds wherever she went. After chatting with Olivia about the Spruts process of sprouting nuts, we knew we wanted to dig deeper and find out how this family-run business got its start and where we could get our hands on these delicious crunchy nuts.
We’ve tried sprouting nuts on our own—and it’s hard to get that coveted crunch! That, along with the science and health behind sprouting, is what kept us reaching for more Spruts. Here’s how this Chicago + Detroit company got started and where you can find their addictive snacks.
Who is behind Spruts?
Spruts was founded in 2014 by mountain woman and mother-extraordinaire Gwen Weiner and her two daughters Liz and me, Olivia. During an Ashram retreat in Calabasas, Gwen and some of her like-minded friends were introduced to sprouted nuts and were positively delighted by their dynamic flavor, buttery texture and clean energy. These edible treasures kept the women energized for their many mountain adventures throughout the week.
Gwen returned home with a new favorite snack for her and her family. Word spread. The Weiner girls had a great nut recipe. Friends and neighbors alike lined up for a little taste of sprouted greatness.
Liz and I jumped on board and Spruts (Sprouted+Nuts = Spruts), a family, female owned and operated business, came to be.
What is a sprouted nut and why eat them over any other kind?
Nuts, grains and seeds are coated with enzyme inhibitors that protect them from germinating prematurely. These enzymes are great for mother nature but challenging on the digestive system. Put simply, human beings are not equipped to break down this tough coating. Instead of absorbing the nutrients (protein, fat and others), your digestive system is working to break down that enzyme. In the process, a lot of the fundamental nutrients in the nut are lost.
Sprouting mimics germination, which breaks down that enzyme inhibitor, unleashing the nuts hidden nutrients and making them more accessible to your body.
Where do you source your almonds and what is your sprouting method?
We source our raw and unshelled almonds from California. The goal of sprouting is to mimic the germination process. We do this over a period of 24 hours using highly purified water. After some time drying, we apply heat at a very low temperature to add that crunchy texture.
At the W.E.L.L. Summit, we asked business owners about their practices and values. How does food play into self-care for you and your family? And how do you stay connected to your values?
Food is an essential part of life, our daily routines, celebrations, relationships, etc. If anyone says food is not a part of self-care, they truly are kidding themselves. Food is medicine. What we put into our bodies affects our day, our week, our year, our lives. We are proud to offer food that you can enjoy, that will make you feel good and will give you the clean energy you need.
Of course, no one is perfect. For instance, we’re not ready to give up licorice, black olive pizza, chardonnay, crispy French fries and the like. That said we always come back to Spruts for the perfect snack that is completely delicious, guilt-free and satisfying.
What is your favorite way to use Spruts nuts?
Honestly, we like them straight up, but our trail mixes are pretty great. There are plenty of ways to cook with Spruts! We love to make pesto with our sprouted walnuts—just add basil/arugula, olive oil, garlic, parmesan, salt, pepper in the food processor and BAM. Drizzle it over heirloom tomatoes, toss it with zucchini noodles or dip your delicious baguette right in there. For those gluten-free people, grind your Spruts up for a walnut/almond flour alternative!
What’s next for Spruts?
At the moment we have almonds and walnuts plus two varieties of trail mixes! We mix our sprouted almonds with dark chocolate and dried apricots and our sprouted walnuts with dried figs. Yes, they are as good as they sound! We chose dried figs and apricots because they both have more nutritional value when dried rather than fresh. We have some other nuts in the works, so stay tuned!