Many people would argue that one of life’s greatest pleasures is dessert, and to be frank, after I’ve indulged in an apple crumble topped with fresh cream and a scoop of French vanilla, I could definitely make this claim.
However, there is always a guilty conscience persisting in the back of my head that stops me from eating said crumble every week, which I suppose is a good thing, yet is hard to fight off when those sugar cravings creep in. I’m sure most of you can relate.
While there are healthy alternatives that I have come across in supermarkets, none quite meet my palette’s standards. However, after recently coming across Hunter Gatherer Gourmet, I have been swayed.
Imagine treating yourself to cookies, cake or muffins without feeling any guilt. Secondly, imagine cookies, cakes and muffins that are gluten free, dairy free, grain free and low in sugar, yet taste exactly like the cakes that contain these ingredients. Well, this local baking brand provides exactly that.
Hunter Gatherer Gourmet founder, Julena Nola, grew a passion for baking after growing up on a fruit orchard in West Auckland surrounded by food in its purest form and watching her mother and grandmother produce delicious meals for family gatherings.
When her mother was diagnosed with diabetes, the pair’s shared love for baking, particularly Croatian desserts from family recipes, was jeopardised. At the same time, being a mother herself, Julena noticed a health trend emerging in New Zealand, which involved feeding children both tasty yet healthy food.
From here, Julena set herself the challenge to create recipes that were nutritious, healthy and great tasting. In 2015, Hunter Gatherer Gourmet was launched with a cake mix that tastes like real cake, minus the bad bits, which received a great response.
The brand’s key point of difference lies with the versatility of the unique cake mix. It can be made into cookies, muffins, loaves, slices and cake, serving almost any baking purpose. Bakers can customise the mix by adding chocolate, fruit, nuts, oils or essences to tailor their baking as needed and get creative in the kitchen.
To spice up her plain vanilla mix, Julena’s favourite recipe involves adding a range of spices to create a fragrant gingerbread loaf. She also adds seasonal fruits to her plain mix to create fruit crumble cakes. See, everyone likes crumble!
Another primary focus for Julena is sustainability, which is why Hunter Gatherer Gourmet offers refills jars and packs for its vanilla and chocolate baking mixes. The refill jars and packs allow customers to skip plastic packaging and are more affordable than boxed options.
Refill jars and subscription services have both come as a result of customer communication, which Julena sees as crucial for the success and longevity of her business. Looking forward, Julena would like to see her brand become a household name, “the Betty Crocker of the healthy baking world.” She would also like to export to Australia by the end of 2020.
You can check out the Hunter Gatherer Gourmet range at huntergatherergourmet.co.nz as well as throughout selected stockists across New Zealand.