Marcia Schechter didn’t plan to go nuts in 2009, in the middle of an economic downturn. When her oldest grandson, Andrew, took an entrepreneurship class, he suggested she market her special mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruits as “Grandma’s Nuts.” Schechter embraced the challenge.

As a lifelong student of health and wellness, Schechter knew the proteins, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, trace minerals, antioxidants and fiber in her mix made a nutrient-dense snack. The flavor of Grandma’s Nuts equaled their good nutrition.

“My son Mark became a vegetarian in the 1970s. I knew he had to have protein, so I made a mix of nuts,” Schechter says. She created a snack of almonds, cashews, walnuts, soy nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. A few months later, Schechter added minichunks of 70 percent dark chocolate to create a second mix with a pop of chocolaty goodness.

Grandma’s Nuts originally sold at Straub’s and expanded its distribution through farmers’ markets. This season you’ll find Schechter and her grandchildren selling them at the Soulard and Washington University Medical Center farmers’ markets. Retail locations include City Greens Produce, Great Harvest Bread Co. in Olivette, Kakao Chocolate, Local Harvest Grocery, Sappington Farmers’ Market, Straub’s Markets, Schnucks and Viviano’s Festa Italiano Market.

grandmas-nuts.com

MORE THAN A MIX

Salame di Cioccolato (Chocolate Dessert Salami)

By Jenny Bazzetta, Kakao Chocolate

Serves | 6 to 8 |

  • 8 oz good-quality dark chocolate
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp dark rum or port
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ lb biscotti or tea biscuits, coarsely chopped*
  • 8-oz bag Grandma’s Nuts original mix
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

| Preparation | Finely chop the dark chocolate and melt in a double boiler or in the microwave at half power until smooth. Using a mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar on high speed until foamy. Add the butter and mix again until well-blended. Set the mixer to low and, one at a time, slowly add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, rum and vanilla until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Stir in the coarsely chopped biscotti and Grandma’s Nuts mix until well-combined. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. Sift powdered sugar onto the work surface and create a log the size of your preference. Sift more powdered sugar to coat the entire surface of the “salami” and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, securing each end with a knot. Wrap in butcher’s paper and secure with butcher’s knots as you would real salami. Refrigerate overnight.

| To Serve | Slice the chocolate salami on a cutting board and serve with your choice of seasonal fresh fruits and crusty bread. Any leftovers will keep, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for 1 week.

* Coffaro’s all-natural Almond with Cherries biscotti is recommended.

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