Edible cookie dough, made from beans, without the junk.
My first memory of beans in dessert form was in college. As part of our dietetics and nutrition club we ran a bake sale fundraiser. Well...it was a modified foods bake sale hence the chickpea chocolate chip cookies and black bean brownies. My favorite thing from that bake sale were the chickpea chocolate chip cookies. I still think about them on occasion.
Today's women in food interview is a fellow bean/pulse enthusiast, Nikki Azzara. She founded a company called P.S. Snacks and they produce chickpea and black bean-based cookie doughs that are completely edible as is, or can be mixed in oatmeal, smoothies, you name it.
In fact, you may have seen the product in stores near YOU like Whole Foods. I finally got my hands on some after a procurement run for a photoshoot and dug in right in the car (lid folded= spoon, right?). I think you're going to be really impressed by the flavors and any one who is using more pulses is A+ in my book.
1. Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Nikki Azzara, I am the founder of P.S. Snacks Company. We make a healthy, organic chickpea and black bean-based cookie dough that is actually good for you. As a health-conscious foodie and exercise enthusiast, I have always been very passionate about nutrition, cooking and entrepreneurship. I started the concept based on a recipe I created in my Wake Forest University dorm room for my food blog, Slender Seven. Upon graduation from Wake in 2014, I decided to forgo the traditional corporate route and launch the recipe as a consumer packaged good in stores. Best decision of my life (thus far) ☺
2. If you could define your food philosophy in one sentence it would be….
Cook simply, eat healthy and feel happy.
3. What are your 3 must have foods in your kitchen?
Eggs as a staple, Himalayan pink sea salt as a spice, ketchup as my sauce ☺
4. It’s your birthday. What are you eating?
Salmon, roasted sweet potatoes and crispy Brussels sprouts…hands down, whether it’s home-cooked or out to dinner. Gluten free carrot cake for dessert to top it off!!
5. Signature cocktail?
Tough choice. I don’t drink beer so I’m a sucker for cocktails, and I love trying all the creative concoctions (as long as it’s not bourbon or whiskey). I do love spicy margaritas.
6. Food you can’t like no matter how hard you try?
No answer! Have yet to come across a food I genuinely dislike. I love taking risks when it comes to trying food. Fun fact though, I’ve never ever had fast food.
7, What are your go-to resources for all things food (websites/magazines/groceries etc)?
Pinterest. My favorite spot to find recipes and tap into different health food bloggers. For groceries, I’m a loyal Whole Foods shopper, mainly because I am in one almost every day!!
8. Food fad you wish would die a horrible death?
Artificial sweeteners. I decided to cut them out entirely about 2 years ago. Not sure how Diet Coke is still a thing!
9. Must have kitchen tool:
Food processor. Makes cooking easier and more creative! I love using it for smoothie bowls, snack bites and bars, shredding kale/brussels sprouts, etc.
10. What’s the one thing you learned this year that changed the way you think about food?
People are becoming more mindful about what they’re putting into their bodies, which has caused a major shift towards healthier (natural & organic, clean-label or minimally processed) foods. This is relevant for my business, consumers and future products, plus it dictates my own health-conscious lifestyle.
Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.