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Whether you're reaching out with a product question, inquiring about a tasting at your workplace, looking for your next wedding flavor or would like to mentor as part of our employment training program, we'd love to hear from you! Either fill out the form to the right, or shoot us a note at hello@grounduppdx.com. We'll be in touch soon!

Healthy, gourmet nut butters that provide job skills training to women in need.

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She's Empowered Spotlight: Robin Plotnik, Founder of What Robin Eats

Carolyn Cesario

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We’re so excited to introduce you to the next gal in our She’s Empowered series! Meet Robin of @whatrobineats. We’ve loved connecting with Robin and consistently learn more amazing ways to use our nut butter just by following along with her journey on Instagram!

Tell us a little bit about you! 

I'm a certified nutritionist who has a passion for a healthy lifestyle. I've worked in gyms from San Diego to New York City and now work with clients all over the country via my website, www.WhatRobinEats.com. I worked as a fashion model, modeling lookbooks, editorials, and runways for over 10 years. When I'm not writing nutrition plans for my clients or creating recipes in the kitchen for @WhatRobinEats, you can find me with my eight month old baby girl Poppy, my husband Joel, and hairless cat Aero. I believe that a strong body equals a healthy mind and hope to encourage everyone to live a more balanced life. 

What's the story behind your blog, What Robin Eats? 

Being in the fashion industry for ten years, the big question was “what do models eat?”. What started as a hashtag seven years ago became a passion for me. I knew I loved nutrition but never looked at cooking with an artistic eye. I began plating my food with care and putting my “strange but good” toast combos out there for everyone to see. After 2 1/2 years @WhatRobinEats has become more than an Instagram full of food, there is a community that has grown through healthy breakfasts, comfort food hacks, and fitness events. I encourage my audience to tag their #ToastTuesday creations with #ToastLikeRobin every Tuesday and add a nut butter syrup drizzle to just about everything. @WhatRobinEats is a place for people to be inspired to live a healthy lifestyle through fitness and eating food that’s sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

When you're not creating amazing recipes, how are you spending your time? 

With my sweet baby girl, Poppy! I became a mom eight months ago and it has completely changed my life for the better. Yes, it’s the toughest job I’ve ever had but it brings me endless joy. I love being her mom!

What ingredient is your kitchen NEVER without? Nut butter, cinnamon, bananas, eggs, and probiotic yogurt.

How do you stay inspired? Flipping through monthly Bon Appetit magazines and browsing food photography on Pinterest. 


What are your favorite ways to #spreadgood in your community? 

Nut butter syrup drizzles, staying positive, and a whole lotta Poppy videos.

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast with a Cinnamon Snickerdoodle syrup drizzle (makes two servings)

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices sourdough bread

  • 2 egg whites or 2 whole eggs

  • 1/4 cup nut milk

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 2-4 tbsp dairy free strawberry cream cheese

  • 1/2 banana cut into slices

Nut butter syrup drizzle:

  • 6 tbsps maple syrup

  • 1-4 tsp water (depending on desired consistency)

  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cashew Almond Butter, melted

  • Dried strawberries (optional topping)



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Directions:

  • Heat a flat skillet on medium heart and spray with nonstick cooking spray or use 1/2-1 tbsp ghee to coat the pan.

  • Whisk together egg whites (or whole eggs) , nut milk, and cinnamon in a bowl large enough to dip the sourdough bread pieces into. Set aside.

  • Spread 1-2 tbsps of strawberry cream cheese on one slice of bead. Cover the cream cheese with 1/2 of the banana slices and top with an additional piece of bread (like a sandwich). Repeat once more. Place one “sandwich” into the egg wash and lightly press down to make sure the bread soaks in some liquid. Let sit one minute, flip, and repeat. Place on hot skillet and dip the other “sandwich” into the egg wash. Repeat steps above and place on skillet. Let cook roughly 5 minutes on each side, or desired crispness. 

  • While french toast is cooking, make the cinnamon snickerdoodle syrup drizzle. Melt nut butter in a microwavable ramekin for 15 seconds. Stir in syrup and add water as needed. Consistency should be runny yet thick. 

  • Once french toast is done cooking, cut each slice in half, plate, and cover with cinnamon snickerdoodle syrup drizzle and dried strawberries. In my opinion, this tastes like strawberry captain crunch, enjoy!

She's Empowered Spotlight: Kate Jenkins, Founder of Vegukate

Carolyn Cesario

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We’re big fans of the #womensupportingwomen movement (if that wasn’t already obvious) and are excited to launch our She’s Empowered series! Over the next several weeks we will introduce you to some of the women that inspire us on the regular. Up first we have Kate! Kate is the founder, nutritionist, recipe mastermind, and photographer behind Vegukate. We’ve loved connecting with her here in Portland and are so excited to introduce you to her!

Alright Kate, tell us a little bit about you!

My name is Kate and I am a Portland-based nutritionist with a master's degree in nutrition, recipe developer, photographer, the creator of the blog vegukate.com, and advocate for real food nutrition and wellness! 

What's the story behind your blog, Vegukate?

I started my blog as a bit of an outlet for photography and creativity, as well as to share some of my favorite healthy recipes with family and friends. I never imagined that complete strangers would start following along with my blog and creating my recipes, too! It's crazy and wonderful and so much fun! The name came from my younger brother, actually. He put together "Kate" and "educate" and we called it a day! Because I hope to educate my community on how veggies are delicious and avocados are cool, I really think the name fits! 

What ingredient is your kitchen NEVER without?

HAH. I can't choose just one, and I enter full-on panic mode when I don't have: avocado, lemons, olive oil, sweet potatoes, coffee, almond or cashew milk, and nut butter. 

Ok, we have to ask. What's your favorite way(s) to eat your Ground Up PDX?

My favorite dessert: a bowl of raspberries and blueberries smothered in chunky almond, cashew, and coconut nut butter, and sprinkled with cacao nibs and big flaky coconut. SO good. 

How do you stay inspired?

When it comes to recipes and recipe development, I'm inspired by the seasons changing and new produce coming into the market. I also love reading cookbooks and exploring our delicious Portland food scene. It's always super fun to recreate a dish in my own kitchen, with slightly more wholesome twists. 

What are your favorite ways to #spreadgood in your community?

Shopping local and organic at the Portland farmer's market. I love supporting and talking with the people who grow/raise/produce/fish/farm the foods I'm eating. I love heading to the PSU farmer's market on Saturday mornings for pasture-raised meats and eggs, wild salmon, (and super delicious smoked salmon), all of the fresh produce, and other exciting and local foods! 

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Golden Milk and Ginger Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup frozen cauliflower

1 Tbsp. hemp seeds, plus more to garnish

1 tsp. chia seeds, plus more to garnish

2 Tbsp. GroundUp PDX's Golden Milk nut butter

1-2 dates

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 Tbsp. coconut flakes, to garnish

1 dash ground turmeric, to garnish 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients, except for coconut flakes, in a high-speed blender.

Blend on high until smooth and creamy.

Pour into a glass and garnish with hemp seeds, chia seeds, coconut flakes, and a dash of turmeric. Enjoy!

Follow Kate on Instagram for more amazing recipes like what you read above! You can also visit her blog here!

The Story Behind our Cashew Chai Nut Butter: Meet Melanie Hunt

Carolyn Cesario

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For International Women’s Day we partnered with the Portland Lyft team to run a contest for their female drivers, where one lucky winner got to bring their dream nut butter to life! After receiving hundreds of submissions we came across a glorious flavor idea (Cashew Chai anyone?) submitted by Melanie, an aspiring teacher who drives Lyft as a side hustle while she pursues her Masters in teaching. We’ve been SO inspired by Mel and think you will be too!

Alright Mel, tell us a little bit about yourself!

I moved to Portland almost two years ago from the Bay Area. I’m passionate about education and am currently pursuing a Masters degree in Teaching at Lewis and Clark Graduate School.  I’ve worked many jobs within the education world, including campus supervisor, substitute teacher, and behavior assistant. I also spent a summer teaching English in Indonesia! I originally started driving for Lyft as a way to make some quick money, because when I first moved to Portland I didn’t have a job.

I’ve enjoyed driving more than I thought I would! I have been able to meet people from all over and have such intellectual conversations. I’m constantly learning new things from my passengers. It’s been nice sharing ideas and opinions with people from all walks of life.

How did you come up with the idea for the Cashew Chai flavor?

I guess I just love chai so much that when I saw the contest, Cashew Chai was the first flavor that popped into my head. I drink a lot of tea, and chai tea is always such a treat. I also really love cashews, and I thought the milder flavor of cashews would go nicely with a bold chai flavor. (She was right, by the way!)

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How do you feel most empowered as a woman? How do you empower other women?

I feel empowered as a woman when I am taking care of myself. Taking care of my physical, mental, and spiritual health is important to me. It’s not always easy, especially when life gets busy, so each time I exercise, meal prep, meditate, read, or simply just relax…I feel empowered. I know that I’m a badass woman who can balance school/work with life and still make time for myself. (Preach it sister!)

I would say my biggest influence is in trying to empower young girls. I work in education, and will soon be licensed to teach social studies at the secondary level (grades 6-12). In social studies, I am constantly trying to present to students the voices that are missing from the textbook, and more often than not, women are part of the voiceless in history. I try to get students thinking about the role women have played in history. I hope that this empowers my young female students. 

Lyft has also provided a platform for me to empower women. Driving for Lyft is similar to bartending in that some customers are really willing to open up to me. I would say I have a trusting and inviting personality, and have noticed that several of my female passengers feel comfortable talking to me about really personal issues. It warms me to feel such trust from strangers. I have talked with women who are having issues at work, issues with family/boyfriends, or just in general having a bad day. I feel like I have a unique position in being able to offer people an unbiased opinion. I’m thankful to Lyft for providing this opportunity for me to feel like I’m supporting women, even if it’s just on their drive to work.

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How do you stay inspired?

I’m a forever learner. I am constantly seeking new knowledge that inspires me to be better. I’m also inspired from the people I talk to everyday. This includes both my students and my Lyft passengers. It’s amazing what you can learn from other people if you take the time to listen.

What are your favorite ways to #spreadgood in your community?

I’m super eco-conscious, so my favorite way to #spreadgood in my community is by being good for the environment. Slowly but surely I am eliminating all single-use items from my home and I like to support local companies that are using sustainable materials/energy.

I also like to #spreadgood just by being cheerful! Human connection is so important, so I try to connect to those around me, even if it’s just a simple smile or “hello” as I pass someone on the street. The best way to support your community, in my opinion, is recognizing that you are part of one.

The Lyft x Ground Up Cashew Chai flavor is our most limited flavor yet! And to top off all the goodness of this flavor- for every jar sold Lyft is donating a ride to a woman in need through a partnership with Outside In. Order your jar of Cashew Chai before it’s too late!