Meet The #NothingSmallAboutUs Small Business Founders

This year, for Small Business Saturday, we’re actually celebrating all week long with seven other amazing food brands changing the game:

And now, I want you to MEET THE BOSSES BEHIND THE BIZ! It’s always cool when you get to work with people you admire, and I’m so stoked to collab with all these bada$$ founders for this whole week to celebrate #SmallBusinessSaturday! We truly are stronger when we hold each other up and I am grateful to have met and learned from all these women.

P.S. If you haven’t yet, sign up here to get a one-time email with a single discount code that you can use on ALL EIGHT BRAND WEBSITES!! 15% off through Saturday, November 30th, 2019!

1. Snow Monkey Ice Cream

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Rachel Geicke has been no stranger to the world of business. She started her first business in the entertainment industry at 16, turning a profit and leveraging that experience in her future endeavors. She ultimately ended up at Boston University where the first batches of Snow Monkey were created in her college apartment. Being an athlete Rachel truly understand the power of food as functional fuel and is now set out on a mission to change the way we indulge and think when it comes to food as fuel.

SHOP SNOW MONKEY

2. Kween & Co.

Ali Bonar is CEO and Co-Founder of Kween, a San Diego-based food company that makes Granola Butter: the world’s first spreadable granola. While studying nutrition at UC Berkeley, Ali developed an eating disorder — and started her Instagram account @avokween to document her recovery and journey to self-love. Ali resides in San Diego with her boyfriend and ball of fluff, Squishy.

SHOP GRANOLA BUTTA

3. Tiger Butter Co.

Tiger Butter Co. was born in 2018, after the founder, Kristen, was struggling with numerous health issues and allergies. There were many foods that she was unable to digest so Kristen felt extremely restricted, and food was no longer enjoyable. For a period of time she stayed away from certain foods like nuts and seeds to heal her health issues, but was missing out on her usual snacks including nut butter. Kristen began playing around in the kitchen with tiger nuts, and she created what would soon be Tiger Butter. After three months of making this treat for herself, she realized how many other people were feeling restricted while following protocols for health issues, and started selling Tiger Nut Butter!

SHOP TIGER BUTTER

4. Amazi Foods

In April of 2016, Renee boarded a plane back to Uganda. Having studied abroad and conducting her thesis research there in college, Renee was struck by the rich agricultural sector and bounty of organic fruits bursting with tropical flavors, but even more so, by the degree to which these were left untapped. Seeing the piles of fruit lying in stands on the street, she realized a disconnect in our supply chains – even in the shift toward ethical sourcing, we were still reenforcing a disconnect in the supply chain. Those at the farm level were disconnected from the final product, and often, these communities experienced high unemployment, lack of industry or innovation, not to mention food waste. Inspired in part by her own search for clean-label but not-boring snacks, she embarked on a mission to build sustainable, inclusive supply chains through her Made-in-Uganda Snacks.

SHOP AMAZI FOODS

5. Swapples

Rebecca started Swapples in 2015 because she wanted to combine her childhood love for mini waffles and, ironically, real food. In dealing with autoimmune disorders and allergies, she was having a hard time finding allergen-friendly, vegetable-based breakfast options – so she created her own yuca waffles to make life easier…. and she’s literally eaten one every day since.

SHOP SWAPPLES

6. Nosh Bars

Michele Lockhart is CEO and Founder of nosh bar, a Philly-based snack bar company. A life-long athlete, Michele realized how important food was to performance – on and off the field. After spending a year eating mostly only what she grew on her 20’x25’ garden plot, she realized whole foods made her feel best. Nosh bar was born out of a desire to keep on the go snacking and pre-workout fuel made with just the good stuff.

SHOP NOSH BARS

7. Revival Food Co.

Revival Food Co had its start 5 years ago out of Rachel’s home kitchen after experiencing her own health revival, following decades of being a contemporary dancer and disordered eating. Peanut and almond butter had always been a staple for her, but she was now realizing how unimpressive the nut butter selection really was — there were added sugars, preservatives, palm oil, etc… AND they didn’t even taste good. No thanks! So she started making her own! Rachel used this almond butter as wedding favors at her wedding, which then became a business after the requests of many. Revival Food Co is now known for its addictive, indulgent, almond butters that have real flavor, real texture, and nothing added to them that don’t do something incredible for the body! Rachel now lives in Indianapolis with her husband, dog (Champ), two little boys (Jonny & Ben), and a little girl on the way!

SHOP REVIVAL FOOD CO.

8. LIL BUCKS!!!

Well, you’re in the right place for that. Read about our story here, and if you’re reading this before Nov. 30, 2019, sign up below to get that 15% discount for #SmallBusinessSaturday. Thank you for supporting us and all the other small businesses, shops and cafes out there. 🤗

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5 Best Vegan Yogurts on Mylk Guys! (That go great with Lil Bucks)

We are thrilled to announce that we recently launched Lil Bucks and Clusterbucks on the most fabulous ONLINE + VEGAN grocery store (and yes, they ship fresh and frozen products, too!). MYLK Guys sells an impressive variety of brands disrupting the game, and we are honored to be a part of their store. 

If there’s anything you take away from this, it’s this: You can now buy your fave vegan yogurts alongside Lil Bucks and have them delivered straight to your home. I mean, what more do you need?! (maybe lunch and dinner? Nah. Time to live off the best vegan yogurts and lil bucks foreva). 

To help you decide what yogurts to try (sooo many yum options), we ranked our top 5 vegan yogurts from the store so you can purchase the yogurt AND Lil Bucks and get to crunchin’. 

1. LAVVA

For you tart-lovin pre- AND pro-biotic fans out there, Lavva is a fabulous choice, with flavors ranging from Raspberry to Blueberry to Pineapple and more. Lavva is women-owned and NONE of their yogurts contain added sugar (#bless. It’s what the people want!). There’s also no gums, whitening agents, and carrageenan commonly found in some vegan yogurts. The the cute lil yogurt cups scream #vibez and let me tell you, Lil Bucks is feelin’ those vibez.

I’ve tried all their flavors and honestly enjoy Matcha Lil Bucks the most with Lavva — just because they both exude unique, next-level nutrient-packed flavors. The Matcha isn’t too sweet and balances delightfully with the not-too-sweetness of the Lavva. Get after it, kids.

2. Culina

Speaking of #vibez, let’s talk about Culina – floral-forward flavors served in a damn planter. It’s the cutest. And the best. I am personally not as much of a fan of extreme tart-ness (very controversial opinion but not the biggest Coconut Cult Fan THERE I SAID IT. But 110% support eating Lil Bucks with Coconut Cult if that’s your thing). Culina, to me, tastes the most like a regular yogurt… I’ve even given it to non-vegan eaters to try and they actually prefer the taste over regular yogurt! That’s when you know you got a winner that can make a real difference in our landscape as the USA tries to eat more sustainably.

Culina is another women-led company, which we LOVE. I highly recommend the sampler pack so you can try all the magic, but my personal favorite combo is the classic Bourbon Vanilla with Cacao Lil Bucks. Hashtag YUM.

3. Forager Cashewgurt

Okay I may have spoke too soon when I said Culina has a vegan yogurt that tastes most-similar to regular yogurt. Can this be a tie?! Forager also brings us cashew yogurts made rich and creamy for a healthy indulgence. It has slightly more sugar than Culina (12g vs. 9g) but if you’re looking for your new fave vegan yogurt (or even dessert), you gotta give Forager a try. Make it the most super-treat of all by throwing some Clusterbucks on this yogurt (which is best straight out of the fridge… superrrr cold cashewgurt, YES PLS.)

4. Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt

When you’re feelin’ like something a little more thick, Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt has your back. While all the flavors from this O.G. vegan yogurt brand are lovely, I am personally most excited about their Greek Yogurt line (which you can get on Mylk Guys). When it comes to food, I’m a texture person (hence why I started an entire food brand based on my obsession with crunch). The Kite Hill Greek Yogurt is a must for your vegan fans that still want something a little thicker. So happy they came out with this!

5. Le Grand

Last but not least, women-led brand Le Grand is crankin’ out vegan yogurts made from 100% REAL ingredients (no gums etc.), including RICE. I have no idea how this is even made but I am not mad about it. I think it’s the cacao butter in their yogurts that gets me. Sooooo delightful. Naturally, all their flavors in my opinion go excellent with Cacao Lil Bucks. I’m a chocolate person, though, so that might be why this yogurt reallyyyyy gets me…

We also have to give an honorary shout-out to our (Chicago-based!) friends, Mush Overnight Oats, which are all made with almond #mylk. Even though they aren’t a yogurt, Lil Bucks still goes great with them for a filling, protein-packed and vegan breakfast. It’s a fave and the founders are bada$$. 

Okay, thanks for reading an extremely detailed and unrefined review of some of the best vegan yogurts out there. We all know these all go fabulously with Lil Bucks. Get them all on Mylk Guys. Run, don’t walk. 🛍️🛍️🛍️🛍

SHOP LIL BUCKS ON MYLK GUYS

GT's x Lil Bucks SOUL BOWL

Few things can beat this setup: a smoothie bowl, plants, palo santo, a singing bowl and art. Here’s a recipe and a story for ya:

GT’s Kombucha x Lil Bucks ✨ SOUL BOWL ✨

Ingredients

Directions

1. Smoothie Part 1: blend 1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen mango pieces, .5 tsp ashwaganda, and 1/2 cup GT’s Mystic Mango Kombucha. Start with half cup of mangos and blend, add a few more to get it nice n thiq

2. Smoothie Part 2: blend 1/2 cup frozen raspberries and 3-4 frozen strawberries with half cup GT’s Unity Vibration kombucha (or can use Trilogy, a classic).

3. Where the magic happens: Pour the mango mix in one half of the bowl and the raspberry mix in the other half, then swirl 🙂

4. This smoothie has so much love and fruit-forwardness, I think it tastes best with the Original Lil Bucks for a slightly nutty flavor but mostly just complements this fruit-and-booch-forward smoothie bowl.

5. Top with Original Lil Bucks! I think this tastes best with this fruit-forward bowl, but Matcha would also be YUM.

To blend this, you may need to have some patience with your blender. I have a Vitamix which comes with a Tamper and is thus perfect for making thick smoothies, but you can do it with the weakest of blenders. You just have to blend a bit, pause, mix up with a spoon a bit, and repeat. You can try gradually add in the Kombucha just to soften it a bit when things REALLY won’t blend.

ALSO have to give a shout-out to my friend Riddhi (@artsyriddle) for these custom wood-burned coasters. 50% of the sales of her Indian-inspired art go to Shakti, an organization empowering under-privileged girls by giving them scholarships to complete their education. And the artist herself is a lovely human so if you love those beautiful Indian vibes Riddhi is your girl! Check out her Etsy shop here.

And thank you to GT’s Kombucha for the lovely singing bowl 🤗

Great vibes all around. Have a lovely week! 


Dreamy Recipes with @FeastingOnFruit

Have you ever seen a photo so stunning your jaw literally dropped and you immediately crushed the follow button? That’s what happened when we found @feastingonfruit! Natalie is a food guru and is also ahhhhmazing with a camera. She has featured Lil Bucks in some of her yummy recipes multiple times, so of course we had to feature all of her greatness on the blog! We always love finding new and unique ways to use Lil Bucks, and she kills the game every time! 

Natalie has a lot of recipes that we are IN LOVE with, and we wanted to share two that include Lil Bucks! Here they are below (with photos to show how beautiful they are):

 

Banana Free Blueberry Smoothie Bowl: 

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt 
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 4-5 coconut milk ice cubes
  • More coconut milk to blend

 

How to make it: 

1) Blend everything in a high speed blender. Adjust the amount of milk to desired consistency.

2) Scoop into a bowl. Top with @sunbutter, Cacao @lovelilbucks , and cacao nibs (or whatever you like).

3) Dig in!

 

Berry Pitaya Coyo Smoothie Jar:

  • 1 cup thick coconut yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp freeze dried pitaya powder

Blend it all up (this is a tart one fyi!). Top with Original @lovelilbucks

 

We want to give a HUGE thanks to Natalie for loving Lil Bucks and using our products in her incredible recipes. We love seeing all of the different ways our Lil Bucks are being used in different places on different plates. If you have any beloved Lil Bucks recipes that you want to share with us, slide into our DM’s! Oh, and don’t forget to follow @feastingonfruit for some tasty content, and check out her website for these bomb recipes. 

@feastingonfruit

Banana Free Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

Berry Pitaya Coya Smoothie Jar


Cacao Benefits (besides the amazing taste)

Hi friends! It’s me, Taylor, back to talk about another amazing ingredient we use in Lil Bucks. To start this off I have to ask a serious question… Have any of you seen Portlandia? Ya know, the show with Fred Armisan and Carrie Brownstein? Well, if you haven’t, it’s the first thing that came to my mind when Emily was telling me about Cacao Lil Bucks. I still to this day have a scene from the show stuck in my head every time I hear or see the word Cacao. If you have no idea what on earth I’m talking about, please do yourself a favor and look up the Portlandia Cacao scene. I made Emily watch it one day when we were shipping out orders. 

 

All jokes aside, it’s not a bad thing to have the word ‘cacao’ stuck in your head all the time. It is my personal favorite ingredient that we use and my favorite flavor of Lil Bucks to put in all of my smoothie bowls! For starters, we use a raw, organic cacao powder that is certified organic, kosher, non-GMO, and naturally gluten free

 

Cacao Bucks are slightly sweet (with only 3g of sugar per serving) because we strive to keep the sugar content down so the cacao flavor can shine! I’m also a huge fan of the Cacao Bucks because they contain a little bit of cinnamon and maca root powder, making the flavor that much more bold. 

 

Our favorite benefits of Cacao (besides taste) are: 

 

  1. Cacao is high in magnesium, just like buckwheat, so you’re getting an extra dose when you eat Cacao Bucks. Magnesium is a great component to keep in your diet because it has sleep-promoting, stress-reducing, and disease-protecting power. 
  2. Cacao is made from unroasted, cold-pressed beans with NO added sugar, making it super nutrient and antioxidant dense (unlike cocoa, which we explain below). Raw organic cacao has 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Crazy right! 
  3. Raw cacao contains Anandamide. Anandamide has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties, and it’s a great thing to have when you need to calm down. Many people eat Cacao before bed. 

 

We often get asked, “Is cacao the same as cocoa?” Common mistake, I thought the same thing, too! Cacao is actually not the same as cocoa, though it does come from the same bean. Raw organic cacao contains healthy fats that help us to stay energized, making it a perfect post-workout snack. Normal cocoa powder and chocolates are chemically processed and roasted, meaning a large amount of the antioxidants and flavonoids are destroyed in the process. We like to keep chemicals and things we can’t pronounce out of our diets anyways. 🙂 

 

We could go on and on about the benefits and flavor, but you should taste and see for yourself! 🍫😋

Buy Cacao Lil Bucks

Lil Bucks Featured in Raaka Chocolate Bar

A dream collaboration has come to fruition with Raaka Chocolate. 🙏 I met someone from their team at EXPO West (the first trade show I ever went to) and was blown away by the packaging, the traceability of ingredients (most importantly, cacao) and unique flavors. And all the bars happen to be vegan! They also don’t roast their cacao so you are getting the most potent form of antioxidants from cacao in their chocolate. Raaka aims to capture “the brighter, bolder, and fruitier side of cacao.” My favorite flavors were the Coconut Milk, Oat Milk and Bananas Foster–so unique.

In true Emily-fashion (becoming obsessed with superfoods I come across cough sprouted buckwheat), I became extremely obsessed with Raaka Chocolate. Might’ve even ordered 5lbs of Raaka chocolate chips to experiment with recipes for a Lil Bucks chocolate (which confirmed, even more so, why Raaka is so amazing. High end chocolate is hard to work with, y’all). So I left the collaboration work in the hand of the chocolate masters themselves, Raaka. I mean, really. We just supplied the sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat and they magically transformed it into a GRANOLA BOWL BAR. 🍫🍫🍫

62% @raakachocolate + Lil Bucks Original + banana + hemp hearts + oat flour = “a chocolate reminiscent of morning granola.” Hi. This bar is part of their monthly chocolate subscription (you can subscribe to as little or many bars as you’d like), called First Nibs (great name). 

Those who I’ve met from the Raaka team are also the loveliest people, on a mission to create unique bars using traceable, high quality, single origin cacao. This is truly one of the best parts about being a food entrepreneur is meeting other passionate foodies behind the brands changing the game. If you are a chocolate fiend this is a must-try, and if you’re in Brooklyn visit the factory! 💙 Linked to their website below — take a look!! 

SHOP RAAKA CHOCOLATE

Matcha Benefits (and why we love it so matcha!)

Matcha. You know it, you love it (we can only hope), but how much do you actually know about this fantastic green tea powder? 

 

Lil Bucks’ love affair with matcha started while Emily (the founder) was living her best life in Australia, eating all the activated buckwheat (that’s what the Aussies call sprouted buckwheat) and sippin’ on the most perfect matcha lattes by the beach. 

 

Matcha can be an acquired taste to some, but when paired with the right flavors (or a really, really well-executed latte), you can grow to LOVE it and crave the complex, earthy taste. Beyond that, the health benefits are AMAZING, so we were thrilled to introduce Matcha as one of our first Lil Bucks flavors back when we launched.  

 

So what is matcha, anyways? 

 

Matcha was popularized over 900 years ago by Chinese Zen Buddhist Monks and is created by the grinding of young green tea leaves, which then turns into a bright green powder that you can do just about anything with… drink it, bake with it, season with it. We love the old, traditional and timeless uses of Matcha, but we wanted to push its uses even more with Lil Bucks! 

 

Not only do we love Matcha for its unique, earthy, vegetal yet sweet flavor, but we are obsessed with of all the amazing benefits! There are so many. Let’s review, yeah? 

 

TOP 5 MATCHA BENEFITS

 

1. Matcha helps you focus (I could use some right now.)

In a study, one group of individuals consumed matcha tea or a bar containing matcha, while another group consumed placebo tea or a bar. The group that consumed matcha showed higher improvements in attention, reaction time and memory opposed to the other group who consumed placebo. Matcha is also packed with L-theanine, which is known to alter the effects of caffeine, while avoiding the crash in energy levels after regular caffeine consumption. For all you coffee addicts out there (I’m guilty, too) this is a much healthier alternative that doesn’t leave you with the anxious caffeine jitters and the horrible crash you get afterwards! 

 

2. Matcha is known to burn calories and can help you lose weight! 

Matcha green tea utilizes fat as an energy source. The EGCg and caffeine in  matcha work together to naturally boost metabolism, which helps you burn more calories on a daily basis. So, if your workouts aren’t giving you everything you want, add a little Matcha to your regimen! 

 

3. Matcha is great for an immunity boost! 

Know what’s sick? Not being sick! Matcha is known for boosting the immune system and halts the growth of various viruses and harmful bacteria in our bodies. Matcha is loaded with antioxidants that fight off the nasties that cause us to get sick. Specifically, the antioxidant called EGCg binds to cells and stops the growth of disease-causing microorganisms like influenza A virus, viruses that cause Strep Throat, Herpes Virus, and Hepatitis Virus. 

 

4. Matcha = Cancer-Fighting Power!!  

Like stated earlier, Matcha is insanely loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants have tons of health-promoting compounds including some that have been directly linked to cancer prevention in different test-tube studies. HOW COOL! The studies have found that the EGCg in Matcha helps kill off prostate, liver, skin and lung cancer cells. And if you love the sun as much as we do at Lil Bucks, we definitely need to take an extra dose of Matcha for our sweet skin (and sunscreen. V important). 

 

5. We <3 Matcha because it’s also good for our hearts! 

With heart disease being one of the leading causes of death in people over the age of 35, we are so grateful that this powerful powder protects against heart diseases and lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Drinking green tea and matcha is linked to reducing risk of strokes and heart disease. So drink up, ladies and gents and protect your precious heart! 

 

Buckwheat is also incredibly great for heart health, so we’re hoping to offer Matcha Lil Bucks as an antioxidant-rich, heart-healthy cereal/granola for you. 

 

For the taste, we add a good amount of pure vanilla to our recipe as well to balance out the earthiness of the Matcha to let it shine. The maple syrup is the binding ingredient, making the Matcha Lil Bucks slightly sweet, but these still go great on sweet or savory dishes. Perfect to add to any summer salad, toast, açaí bowl, smoothies and more! Not to mention they add a scrumptious crunchiness to everything! 🙂

Buy Matcha Lil Bucks

@PageAndPlate's Gluten-Free Sprouted Buckwheat Snickerdoodles

This wonderful recipe is a healthier, gluten-free twist on Snickerdoodles. The creative genius behind this is Laura of Page And Plate. Make sure to sign up for her newsletter for quarterly updates and more. She does book and meal pairings IS ANYTHING BETTER THAN THAT?! 📖🍝

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 cups of sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 TBSP of vanilla
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1 cup of Cacao Lil Bucks, ground finely
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tsp of cardamom

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400, and line a cookie sheet. In a mixer, beat together the butter, coconut oil, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.

2. Sift the almond flour and Lil Bucks into a bowl, then add all at once to the mixer with 1 tsp of cinnamon and the cardamom.

3. Beat together until a dough forms. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

4.Meanwhile, make the coating: mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together. Form the dough into balls, then roll in cinnamon sugar. Flatten onto baking sheet.

5. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 and bake for 10 more minutes.


Benefits of Reishi Mushroom: The Queen of the 'Shrooms

Hi everyone! My name is Taylor. The Lil Bucks founder Emily so graciously invited me to join the Lil Bucks team as the Marketing and Production Assistant, and let me tell you, I’ve been LOVING it! Emily is not only an amazing boss, cook and leader, but she has such a passion for her brand which I really look up to. Today I’m writing about Reishi Mushroom benefits and why we include this amazing adaptogen in our Clusterbucks! After you read this I can only hope you get as hyped as I did while learning about this cute lil fungi. It is truly the Tyra Banks of mushrooms (aka a powerhouse).

Like I mentioned, Reishi is an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress and exerts a normalizing effect on bodily processes. It’s practically a doctor’s office in a mushroom, which is why we include a full dosage in EACH SERVING of our Chocolate Reishi Clusterbucks (1000mg per serving to be precise).

A little backstory on the Reishi Mushroom… They have long been relied upon, mostly in Asia (where reishi mushrooms grow). The Chinese regarded the Reishi Mushroom as the “herb of spiritual potency” symbolizing success, well-being, divine power, and longevity. Sounds like a well-rounded shroom to me!

The mushrooms are known to be potent because of the unique collection of organic compounds and components they contain. If I  named all of them my fingers might fall off from typing. The fungi also wears the nickname “The Mushroom of Immortality” because of its history of medicinal use in ancient Chinese medicine. People used it thousands of years ago to stay alive forever. Which might seem a little crazy, but recent studies have actually proved that it does help you live longer – just not forever. Which honestly, thank goodness. The impressive amount of polysaccharides (a carbohydrate whose molecules consist of a number of sugar molecules bonded together) can be credited for these insane immune-boosting benefits.

Different antioxidant properties of other organic compounds in Reishi Mushrooms also neutralize free radicals – and you don’t want too many of those nasties in your body as they can cause chronic diseases and premature aging (and no one wants that).

Emily decided to create a product using Reishi Mushrooms after feeling amazing from taking reishi in her daily smoothie for three months. Lil Bucks needed to share the benefits of reishi mushroom with the world (in a form that’s not a mushroom coffee… not that we don’t love those 🍄☕). If you have a serving of Clusterbucks a day, you’re not only getting that plant-based protein, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants from the buckwheat, but you’re also getting:

  1. Neutralization of free radicals
  2. Anti-aging properties
  3. Longer lifespan (if taken over time)
  4. A slew of healthy organic compounds, and perhaps the best part
  5. Combat stress, and help boost your mood if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or irritation.
  6. Protection by fighting off various cancer cells and reducing the size of tumors.

I mean seriously, y’all (I’m from Texas, by the way) it is a miracle mushroom. On top of all those goodie facts, it helps with liver function. And if you enjoy a glass of wine after a long day like myself, then that’s a great bonus. It can literally death drop (you know, the dance move drag queens do…) on some toxins. The Reishi Mushroom supports healthy neurological functions and is known to have a therapeutic effect on different neurodegenerative (I took biology once) disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Now that you know ALL the important benefits of the queen of the fungi’s, you’re probably wondering how it tastes. To be frank, a little bitter! Which is why most people don’t consume it by itself, and why we at Lil Bucks mix it into a healthy amount of cacao and cinnamon with our Clusters. We (Emily, really) set out to make a granola that not only tasted amazing on its own, in smoothie bowls or as cereal, but one that truly makes you feel better than you did before you ate it!

I don’t know about you, but I am elated to now know so much about this superfood that we include in our recipes. I hope you are too! Get excited, because once you eat a bag of Clusterbucks (which is in fact possible to do in one sitting) you will have the power to take over the world! Well, maybe not, but at least conquer your day.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog post for Lil Bucks!

                        Xoxo, Tay

Reishi mushroom powder from Terrasoul


5 Reasons Sprouted Buckwheat = The Best Gluten Free Granola

Have you ever had a eating experience that just changed you? The whole reason I started Lil Bucks was because I had an incredible experience eating an acai bowl while living in Sydney, Australia, where they used sprouted buckwheat to replace granola in the acai bowl.

After eating this life-changing bowl, I felt amazing. No sluggish-ness—alternatively I had an amazing satisfaction and sustained energy, like I’d actually eaten some protein. Not to mention, the bowl had an amazing crunch, of course. The hero ingredient here making everything so tasty and making me feel so amazing was obviously sprouted buckwheat. You can find sprouted buckwheat used as a granola base everywhere in Australia (check out my pic of an Aussie grocery store to the right—over half those products have sprouted buckwheat as the base).

Sprouted buckwheat has tons of amazing uses (see: recipes), and you do want to make sure you consume sprouted buckwheat and not toasted or uncooked buckwheat groats, but the O.G. reason for why I started this brand was to be the perfect gluten-free granola replacement. Here’s the top 5 reasons why Lil Bucks Sprouted Buckwheat makes for your perfect gluten-free granola:

1. BUCKWHEAT IS GLUTEN-FREE!

Yes, a key factor in the perfect gluten-free granola is all ingredients actually being gluten-free. People, especially in the U.S., are so misled by the name “buckwheat” so they write it off as something they shouldn’t eat. I’m here to change that. Did you know, buckwheat is most closely related to the rhubarb plant, and buckwheat groats are actually fruit seeds?

According to Whole 30 ideology, buckwheat is still considered a pseudo-cereal and thus banned more for the mental benefit of not tricking yourself into consuming healthy cereal (in the same way paleo/coconut flour pancakes are banned). But if you’re not doing that, this is seriously the best gluten-free crunchy alternative, something you can eat for that grain-like taste and texture without the horrible sluggish feel afterwards (and one could argue you could still eat buckwheat groats on the Whole30, they’re just not popular enough for Whole30 to have a hard rule on it yet hehe).

2. BUCKWHEAT IS HIGH IN PROTEIN

Unlike most standard granolas, Lil Bucks naturally contain 6g of plant-based protein from the buckwheat. Buckwheat has as much protein as quinoa, but in a crunchy more versatile form. I’ll even dare share this research I’ve done on similar popular ‘healthy’ granolas in the granola aisle…

3. BUCKWHEAT IS LOW-GLYCEMIC

What does low-glycemic even mean? From GISymbol.com: 

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. 

Remember when I said I had this amazing sustained energy after eating my magical Sydney acai bowl? The magic was in part thanks to the low-glycemic nature of the buckwheat granola replacement. My rise in blood sugar was more gradual after consuming a serving of buckwheat, which means the energy released more steadily throughout the day, leaving me satisfied for longer (rather than having your standard smoothie/yogurt bowl with granola, when you’re hungry again in about an hour). 

It is especially important to pair something like a fruit-based smoothie bowl or yogurt (which, let’s be real, unless you’re eating plain yogurt most yogurts, even the healthiest, have some sugaaa) with a low-glycemic food to help control your energy release. Unless you’re closely watching your blood sugar levels for any reason, the glycemic index probably isn’t the first thing you think about when shopping for your granola, but with the way you feel after eating it, you’ll appreciate this. (oh but for you diabetics, human studies have linked the consumption of buckwheat with lower blood sugar in diabetics. woo.) 

4. SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT IS EXTREMELY HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS + MAGNESIUM

Buckwheat is known as one of the most antioxidant-dense ancient grains (I know, it’s not a grain, but often compared to them due to similar uses and nutrition value). Of all the popular ancient grains, quinoa and buckwheat are known for having the most antioxidants, with a study from Food Chemistry showing that buckwheat has 10x more antioxidants than quinoa! 

More studies need to be done on the benefits of antioxidants and how we can make the most of them, but read this blog post to learn more about antioxidants and why they are good for you. Long story short: Antioxidants = cancer-fighting, anti-aging, energy-boosting, immune-preserving goodness. 

For Lil Bucks, we sprout and dehydrate rather than roasting to preserve as much antioxidants as possible. By sprouting we unleash the nutrition potential of buckwheat and maximize your body’s ability to digest the buckwheat and all its goodness. Then we dehydrate to make these shelf-stable for days (likely at least a year, getting it tested). This also preserves the full nutrition potential of buckwheat, as heat is known to kill off a lot of the antioxidants than come naturally in buckwheat (again, more studies are needed on antioxidants though to determine exactly what temperature antioxidants start burning off). To be safe, Lil Bucks never go over 115°F. 

5. SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT GIVES YOU THE PERFECT CRUNCHY TEXTURE OF YOUR DREAMZ

This all comes back to taste. Of course, if something makes us feel great and gives us a ton of nutrients, we’ll try to eat it, or blend it in a smoothie to mask the taste. But with sprouted buckwheat, you don’t need to do that. On its own (i.e. the Original flavor), sprouted buckwheat has a nice, nutty grain-like taste, and it holds its crunch perfectly in dishes but softly disintegrates right when you bite it. So satisfying. And of course, Cacao (for you chocolate lovers) and Matcha (for you matcha + vanilla lovers) take the taste next level. I highly encourage you to try topping your smoothies, yogurts, oatmeal, desserts, ice cream (yum), salads, ANYTHING with Lil Bucks so you can experience this dreamy crunch like I did in Australia! 

Any questions? Email me: emily@lovelilbucks.com 

Much love,

Emily, founder + owner of Lil Bucks 

Half these products in a standard Aussie grocery store use sprouted buckwheat as the base

THE BOWL OF DISCOVERY. The bowl that changed everything.