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Published May 13th 2019
Health nut and proud of it
Nuts are amazing. They hold so many nutrients within their unassuming oddball shapes. The tiniest of these little things hold spectacular benefits for the human body and mind. Yeah, so that's not really news to anyone but where to locate these goodies might just be. And so I found the Nut Empire on one of my recent outings.
I was pretty impressed with a few things. One, there were selling in bulk, which means no plastic packaging. I'm on this plastic-free kick these days and each time I come across some vendor on a similar journey, I get all excited and see hope for the planet. Second, it was a nice, clean place and you could see each individual seed, nut, and dried fruit looking quite fresh and cheerful. And third, they had my favourite snack; chocolate-coated raisins, Yum! And finally, the price was right. So, I got my paper bag full of goodies and had a good look around.
They had a fresh stock of nuts of all kindsóroasted, raw, salted, candied, spiced, whatnot. Almonds, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts, chickpea, and more that looked like legumes, beans, or some such. Then there was the healthy seed collection from salted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and soy crisps of various flavours such as honey-mustard and sweet chilli. If you haven't yet tried flavoured popcorn, here's where you can get your bagful.
There was a colourful array of dried fruits, raisins of all hues, dates, pineapple, apricots, figs, paw-paw, cranberries, and a whole lot more that I wasn't able to identify. Snakes, jellies, and jujubes of all shapes and sizes and in mind-blowing colours added a zesty energy to the display. A large display of vanilla almond nougat had pride of place atop the counter.
There is a health-consciousness that comes through all the colour and glitz. For instance, the apricot & coconut dried fruit is said to be high in zinc, while the crystallised ginger is apparently high in iron and calcium. The dried cranberries are said to be high in calcium. They advertise the health benefits prominently in case you didn't get it.
Then there were the chocolate-coated goodies. Raspberries coated in dark chocolate and white chocolate supposed to be rich in antioxidants and high in fibre. Yoghurt sultanas are also high in fibre besides being a good source of calcium. And of course, there were the raisins coated in milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
In addition to the nuts, dried fruits, and candy, they had a surprisingly good selection of coffee beans. I'm no coffee connoisseur, I just drink the stuff and like it or hate it, but I was suitably impressed at the range. Dark roast, Italian espresso, Golden blend, Dark Brazil, and Dark Colombian were all stocked in large metal containers. I got a massive caffeine kick from just staring at all that luxuriant coffee. If you're ever at Greensborough Plaza, go down to level 1 or the basement and that's where you'll find the Nut Empire.