Why is there oil at the top of my jar?
We don’t use any palm oil, hydrogenated oil, or other stabilizers to prevent natural oil separation. Simply stir well to the bottom of the jar and enjoy! Check out our blog post on palm oil.
I can’t taste the Chai/Salt/Maple/Ginger, etc. in my jar of nut butter. Help?!?!
Our nut butters are natural, flowing products. We don’t use “flavoring” that permeates the entire jar, but rather use whole ingredients and spices. Over time, some of these solids can sink to the bottom. Just give your nut butter a really good stir all the way from the bottom of the jar to re-incorporate all these tasty bits.
Is my jar full? There is a “hole” or air pocket in it.
Each of our jars is filled and weighed, by hand, to contain the desired amount of nut butter per jar. For example, our 13oz jars contain 13.1 to 13.2 oz; our 10oz jars contain 10.1 to 10.2 oz; and our 3oz jars contain 3.1 to 3.2 oz. We intentionally leave some space at the top of each jar above the “fill line,” which is just at the bottom of the glass jar’s lid. The jars are flipped, spun, and turned upside down countless times as they travel from our roastery to your doorstep. Since our nut butter is a fresh, “flowing” product, the pocket of air at the top of the jar may shift during transit. Some vigorous shaking and/or light tapping on a soft surface, e.g. a cutting board, should return it to a “table-ready” presentation. Please rest assured that no jar leaves our facility that does not meet our strict quality control standards.
How should I store my nut butters and/or bars?
We recommend storing our nut butters and bars in a cool, dry place and out of direct sunlight. Refrigeration is not necessary.
We don’t use palm oil, hydrogenated oils, or other fillers, so if you eat our nut butter infrequently, you’ll notice natural oil separation over time. We recommend storing the jar upside down to reverse the typical direction of oil separation and ease stirring when you’re ready to dive back in. We also suggest flipping the jar(s) every few weeks to let gravity do the “stirring.” Please note that these tips will not prevent natural oil separation, but they should make stirring a little easier. Delicious nut butter is always #worththestir.
Best By Dates – What do they mean?
A “best by date” is on the bottom of every jar of nut butter and on the back of every bar. Nut butters have a best by date of 12 months past their production dates, and bars have a best by date of six months past their production dates. These dates are not expiration dates, but they are meant to communicate when our products are at their best. From a food safety perspective, our foods are safe to eat well beyond their best by dates.
Keeping the lids closed and storing our nut butters in a cool, dark place are the best ways to make sure they are safe to eat almost indefinitely. Think of oxygen (which has a staling effect) and heat (which accelerates oil separation) as the enemies. Refrigeration makes our nut butters last even longer, but there is no need to refrigerate for food safety reasons. Your nut butters will not be harmful to eat past their best by dates, but please keep in mind that they are past their prime in terms of flavor and freshness.
In our bars, the small amount of whole grains will slowly absorb the natural oils released by the nuts, causing the bars to become drier and less soft over time. We think our bars are best in the first six months, hence the six-month best by date.
Please remember that if you see natural oil separation, that’s a good thing! It means we don’t use non-nutritious fillers like palm oil and hydrogenated vegetable oil to create “no stir” nut butters. Just stir any separated oil all the way down to the bottom of the jar until you achieve a homogenous texture.
Why do you charge $9 for shipping on orders less than $50?
We strive to offer our customers the best value, and that includes shipping costs. Doing everything by hand and using only responsibly produced and recyclable shipping materials has real costs, and we absorb most of them. We opt for a $9 flat shipping rate rather than a variable rate based on location and weight because we find this saves most customers money. Shipping is free for orders $50 or more.
Why do your nut butters cost more than other “natural” brands?
We’re so glad you asked! There are a number of reasons our nut butters cost more than some other “natural” brands.
- Ingredient integrity – Each ingredient we use is carefully sourced based on our strict standards for taste, sustainability, and the fair and ethical treatment of those involved with producing it (farming and processing). Most of our ingredients are organic and all are GMO-free. We never use fillers or shelf stabilizers like hydrogenated oils or palm oil. For details about individual ingredients, please see below.
- Small batch, handcrafted quality – Most “natural” nut butter brands use a co-packer to make their nut butters, meaning the people in charge are nowhere near where the product is being made. We make everything on-site at our headquarters in Durham, NC. Each batch is carefully made by our small team and taste tested to ensure it meets our exacting standards.
- Employee benefits – We pay our team members above living wage standards and offer additional benefits including wellness funds for gym, yoga, and sport league memberships, health insurance stipends, full dental and vision care, and CSA membership support.
- Sustainability – We source only from ecologically sustainable farmers, have a nearly waste-free process, use only recycled and non-toxic paper labels, and use only cruelty-free cleaning products. We also package in recyclable and reusable glass jars. More on that here.
Are your products GMO-free?
Yes, all of our ingredients are non-GMO.
Are your products certified Organic?
No, but many of our ingredients are certified organic, including cashews, coconut oil, coconut nectar, quinoa, and cane sugar. For more details on individual ingredients, please see below.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a shipping quote.
What is the white stuff at the top of my Chocolate Sea Salt jar!?
Don’t worry! The organic stone ground chocolate blend we use includes cocoa butter. In the colder months, when the natural oils start to separate, the cocoa butter can solidify and turn white. If you give it a really good stir the oil will re-incorporate into the nut butter. If ever in doubt, please send us the jar number (on the safety tab) and a photo to email@example.com.
Can I take a tour of Big Spoon Roasters?
Thank you for interest in visiting our headquarters. We do a lot with a little space, and for food safety reasons, we do not offer tours to the public at this time.
Can I pick up my order?
Our space is not conducive to a large number of pick-up orders. However, for orders of a case or more of product we can make an exception. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is chicory root fiber?
Chicory root fiber is an ingredient in our Handcrafted Nut Butter Bars. Chicory is a blue-flowered herb that grows throughout North America and Europe. The leaves of the chicory are known as endive. The root is often brewed as a caffeine-free coffee alternative or used to create an extract known as chicory root fiber or inulin. This extract is a source of soluble fiber and prebiotic which helps promote gut health. Our chicory root fiber achieved official ‘natural’ designation by the strict ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards. The fiber is extracted using hot water, and the resulting product is the exact fiber you’d ingest if you ate the chicory root itself.
Do you soak your nuts?
If you’re going to eat nuts, it’s best to either soak, sprout, or cook them beforehand to increase the bioavailability of their nutrients, i.e. to make them easier to digest and absorb the nutrition they offer. We choose to roast (hence our name) for several reasons: 1) it makes nuts more delicious thanks to the Maillard reaction (a process akin to caramelization in which proteins and sugars turn brown and delicious), 2) it makes nuts easier to digest, and 3) it increases the food safety of nuts by killing potentially dangerous microbes such as salmonella and listeria. If you are consuming nuts that have been soaked, especially if they are then stone-ground, be sure that the nuts have been completely dried and tested for food-borne pathogens. Moisture, which can be held in grinding stones, significantly increases the chances of food-borne pathogens. That’s why we use custom steel milling plates in our nut mill.
Can I return my used nut butter jars to Big Spoon Roasters for reuse?
Thank you so much for your commitment to sustainability. Unfortunately, we are not equipped at this time to receive, sterilize, and reuse our jars. We encourage you to reuse them at home, though. They make excellent portable vessels for overnight oats, homemade salad dressing, spice blends, breakfast parfaits, smoothies, etc. They also make a great glass for water, wine, or your favorite cocktail. Our jars are also recyclable.
Where do you source your ingredients? Are they organic?
Almonds – We use heirloom Mission variety almonds sourced directly from Treehouse Farms in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Treehouse’s exceptional sustainability efforts include super-efficient, water-saving micro-irrigation systems which are powered by on-site solar panels. Treehouse Farms is also Bee Friendly Certified. Learn more about their sustainability and land conservation efforts here. These almonds are pasteurized with steam, not chemicals.
Peanuts – Our delicious organic Cordoban Runner peanuts are sourced from a group of growers in Argentina. Peanuts are indigenous to South America, and Argentina has an abundance of land ideal for peanut cultivation, with a naturally high soil fertility that requires little to no fertilizers to produce large yields and healthy crops.
Pecans – Our pecans are grown and harvested by Shirley and Charles Sherrod at their New Communities farm in Southwest Georgia.
Organic Cashews – Our organic cashews are Anacardium Occidentale variety, and are grown in Vietnam.
Hazelnuts – Our hazelnuts are Barcelona and Clark variety, sourced from Oregon. Although they aren’t certified organic, Oregon growers use natural pest controls whenever possible, and limit spraying significantly.
Sea Salt – Our sea salt comes from Jacobsen Salt Co. It is hand-harvested from the pristine waters of the Netarts Bay on the Oregon coast. To learn more about Jacobsen and how their incredible salt is made, click here.
Honey – Our organic raw wildflower honey comes from the Sunderbans National Park in Bengal, India.
Sorghum – Our small-batch sorghum syrup comes from Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill in Muddy Pond, TN. To learn more about this family farm click here.
Coconut Nectar – We use organic Coconut Secret coconut nectar in crystal form for extra texture.
Organic Maple Syrup – Our organic maple syrup comes from Coombs Family Farms. We use a crystalized version to provide added texture.
Cane Sugar – Our cane sugar is 100% raw, organic, Fair Trade Certified demerara sugar.
Chocolate – Our chocolate comes from TCHO in Berkeley, CA. TCHO takes extra care to source cocoa that exceeds the Fair Trade standards. Read more here. Note: Our TCHO chocolate comes to us in solid form. We melt it down to add it to our nut butters. Because we use such a large amount of chocolate, in the cold winter months the chocolate can re-solidify giving our Almond Cocoa and Peanut Cocoa nut butters a harder texture. We recommend heating the jar in a warm water bath or for 15-20 seconds in the microwave for a more spreadable texture.
Cocoa Nibs – Our cocoa nibs come from Escazu Chocolates in Raleigh, NC. This woman-owned business sources their cocoa directly from small farms in Costa Rica and Venezuela.
Ginger – Our Fiji Ginger is from The Ginger People. They work with local farmers on the island of Fiji and invested in a local processing facility to ensure opportunities for the people of Viti Levu. To learn more about our ginger, click here.
Gluten Free Oats – We use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats.
Pea Protein Powder – The peas in our protein powder are grown organically by farmers in the northern U.S. and Canada. These yellow peas are a “dry crop” and require little to no irrigation. The harvested peas are dried and shipped to our vendor’s manufacturing facility, where they are milled into a fine powder. The powder is immersed in water (which is reused), and then a centrifuge mechanically separates the proteins from the starches and fibers. Then, to improve flavor, texture, and functionality, the protein is treated only with organic food-grade enzymes and citric acid. Our protein is not treated with harmful chemicals or submerged in petroleum-based hexane. Read more about why we chose this protein powder here.
Chicory Root Fiber – Our chicory root fiber is sourced from Sensus and is verified ‘natural’ by ISO. Learn more about it here.
Organic Quinoa Crisps – We use organic gluten-free quinoa crisps.
Organic Quinoa Flakes – We use organic quinoa flakes from Peru.