Raw and organic food is hardly a novel trend anymore. With so many companies and restaurants offering a myriad of healthy alternatives, from cold-pressed juice, plant-based protein, to probiotic chips and popcorn, it is increasingly difficult to stand out. But amongst the multitude of health companies, Wholistic Nut catches the eye with its signature product, “Blair’s Balls” – delicious snack balls made from three core ingredients: dates, coconut butter, and almonds. They come in four flavors: Original, Maca & Cacao, Coconut Cacao, and Coffee Cinnamon – all raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and contain no added sugar.
Just four months into business, Wholisitc Nut is already serving companies such as Tinder, Equinox, Yahoo!, Mount Saint Mary's University, and Beautycounter, and is available at Renew Juicery in YAS Fitness. I recently had the chance to talk to the founder Blair Eatroff about why she started Wholistic Nut and what makes it so special.
With so many health companies entering the market in recent years, what motivated you to start your own?
Blair Eatroff: From a product perspective, I noticed a gap in the food market. On the one hand, many clean ingredient bars don't have enough protein for me to stay satiated without wanting more than one! On the other, most protein-heavy bars include a long list of unheard-of ingredients that a majority of us cannot even pronounce, not to mention are often times really hard to digest.
I have also heard from consumers that the ball is really appealing, especially when you're not hungry enough for a whole bar. This inspired me to create a healthy snack that would strike the balance; one that is made using clean, basic ingredients but that is also nutritious – which is why I make Blair’s Balls with whole nuts and whole ingredients. They are the perfect on-the-go, guilt-free snack that is satiating, delicious, and healthy.
What sets Wholistic Nut apart from other companies?
BE: I think what makes Wholistic Nut special is the way I make my balls and raw almond milk. I use only whole ingredients and whole nuts to make my products, by using the leftover pulp from nut milk, as well as local juiceries such as Juice Served Here and Renew Juicery, to avoid food waste of any kind. By creating a sustainable synergy in my products, I hope to spread the zero food waste movement across Los Angeles.
I also source locally as much as possible, to support local small businesses. The two core ingredients in Blair’s Balls - dates and almonds – are both sourced from small family-owned farms in Southern California, Yemetz Family Farms and Orchards, and Bautista Family Organic Date Ranch.
How did you decide on the 3 core ingredients – almond, dates, and coconut butter – for Blair’s Balls?
BE: I have always loved peanuts, but as I got older and my tolerance for digesting peanuts worsened, I switched to almonds as my nut of choice. I love its taste, and have been making almond milk myself for a long time. The fact that California is the almond capital is an added advantage.
I chose to use dates because they provide great consistency to the balls. They are also the only source of sugar in the almond milk and balls – six dates are enough to provide sweetness to a whole box of balls!
Originally, I actually used coconut oil to make my balls because I love its taste. But as I found it to be too oily over time, I opted for coconut butter, which provides the taste without being too oily.
Why have you decided to include collagen peptides in your balls?
BE: I absolutely love collagen peptides – I put it in my coffee and drinks, as it is a great source of protein and is essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Besides having zero flavor and dissolving easily in water, it provides great elastic consistency to my balls. Each ball has between 3-3.5g of protein, as a result of the collagen peptides and protein from the nuts.
What’s the next step for you and Wholistic Nut?
BE: I am looking to increase Wholistic Nut’s distribution and exposure by partnering up with local health food stores and juiceries, as well as reaching out to corporate offices. I worked in Corporate America for a long time, and saw first hand how unhealthy snacks there are - especially the traditional croissant or muffin served at meetings. I see Blair's Balls as a great-tasting, healthy snack that will fill employees up without given them the dreaded 3 p.m. sugar slump. And as a company that thinks wholistically about the impact we have on the world, I’d like to use our influence to empower women and change lives through hiring an all-female staff in the future.
Want to get a taste of Blair's Balls and homemade almond milk? They are now taking orders in LA! Please visit www.wholisticnut.com.