Friday, February 28, 2014

Food Reward Friday

This week's lucky "winner"...  Kirkland Signature Cashew Clusters!!

WHS reader Brad Dieter mentioned these on Facebook the other day:
Nutrition tip of the day. Do not buy Cashew Clusters from Costco. You will eat an entire bag in one fell swoop. Sweet, salty, crunchy, and calorie dense, the perfect storm in Stephan Guyenet's model of overeating. I have n=1 data as proof.
n=1 quickly turned into n=6 as other people chimed in, including myself.  I can attest to the fact that Cashew Clusters are like crack.  Here's more evidence from their Amazon reviews:
"Addiction with less guilt!"  These things are SO freaking good!!!... I'm eating some right now and I am having trouble keeping my hand out of the bag long enough to write this review!
"Delicious".  I gave this as a gift to my girl friend... She loved it ! Heard there wasn't much sugar either. Seems the nuts were crispy and the clusters were very addicting, in a nice way. It lasted only for 6 days. [SG- each bag contains 4,800 calories]
"Buy these and you will be hooked for life!"  One word "NUMMY!"...  Very addicting.
Cashew Clusters are only about 11 percent sugar by calories, with the other 89 percent of calories coming from whole nuts and seeds.  They're probably a healthy snack if you can eat them in moderation.  Can you?


JamesSteeleII said...

My tactic for 'healthy' foods that I find easy to eat a lot of is to keep them hidden in the cupboard in Tupperware containers and limit my serving sizes by only ever having a small ramekin sized bowl (leftover from creme brulee ages ago). One thing I enjoy alot are raw mixed nuts and dried unsweetened figs, but when I eat them together they are incredibly moreish. I can easily polish off 2-3x the amount I have in the ramekin if I just had the bags. So I have half nuts (about a palmfull) half figs (3-4) to fill the ramekin and don't go back after they are put back in the cupboard.

Chris Sturdy said...

I have had a similar experience with Mrs. Mays "clusters" (I can't remember the particular type). The bag could be 100 pounds, and it would still be finished in short order!

Eugenia said...

I recently started soaking my nuts, and eat them soaked (as is, or in salads). I don't dry them back. I will not go back to unsoaked and/or roasted nuts. I find them much more easy to eat as prepared traditionally. This of course also means "no paleo cookies" etc. I'm good with that.

Robert said...

Oh heck - I find regular plain ol' cashews irresistible. So i best pretend that I didn't see this...

normann said...

In Norway we have something just as addictive, called Nøttegodt, which roughly translated means "nut treats" (to get an idea of the concept, the Norwegian word for "dog treats" is hundegodt). They are cubes of roasted peanuts, almonds, cashews and pecans baked in a matrix of tapioca syrup, sugar and sea salt. While under Norwegian law, nutritional information is provided per 100 g, a little arithmetic reveals that a 165 g bag, which can easily be consumed in a single sitting, contains 883 calories, or the equivalent of just over 1.75 Big Macs.

According to the website, Nøttegodt has absolutely no calories whatsoever, so that's all right then.

aaron blaisdell said...

Hah! Cashew Clusters are currently in my pantry. I avoid them like the plague (otherwise, I'll pull a Brad Dieter), but we occasionally give them to our kids for a snack. Funny thing is, they seem to be just fine with eating only one or two. Perhaps the addiction centers of their brains (mesolimbic dopamine?) have not fully matured yet?

Brad Dieter said...


It was great to see them featured in Food Reward Friday. "Crack" is definitely an appropriate term for how I respond to this things. I have to take one or two out of the bag and then leave or I will end up going back for a second handful.

Aaron, that would be an interesting hypothesis to study!

Heather Twist said...

I can't resist them either. Nuts are a food that is easy to over-eat.

It's a well-known trick in gastronomy ... that perfect balance of sugar, salt, acid, and fat. But also there are appetite suppressors in some foods that prevent overeating. Fish (esp. fermented fish) and eggs are big ones, and the fiber in vegies. Nut clusters are the perfect storm: balanced flavors and nothing to trigger satiety.

Now, if you use the same gastronomic trick on, say, an omlette ... you'll get great-tasting eggs but you'll still eat only 4 at most. So what to do ... only eat nut clusters when you are also eating something filling, like eggs or fish or raw carrots or an apple.

Cherish said...

If these are the ones that I'm thinking of, they are not only addicting but have gluten in them. I think they used brown rice syrup as sweetener, and that's when I found out that they make some types of brown rice syrup using a barley enzyme. That's the most sick I've been since I got my celiac diagnosis. It was depressing because they really were good.