“One of my visions for this is not only turning almonds into butter, but promote the healthy benefits of almonds in general. Figuring out how we can bring almond meal, almond flour, almond skin and all these other almond forms into food. The hidden benefits of our products are huge. I want this to be an almond company with a health kick, though the butter will always be our trademark,” says Zezima.  Nut-Zez now offers hot cereal mixes and endurance and energy bars with almond butter, flaxseed, chia seeds and oats.

Nut-Zez is also exploring the new ways almond butter can benefit the body by shipping almond butter-based truffle balls to a medical marijuana company in Connecticut. The company infused the drug into Nut-Zez’s products and sells them to licensed dispensaries. “Food has a pharmaceutical healing benefit to it,” says Zezima, and the slowly digested almonds in her products offer a controlled release of marijuana’s medicinal ingredients.

The end of 2016 marked the 10,000 jar mark for Nut-Zez, each 12-ounce jar containing a pound of almonds. The company will soon move to the kitchen at Cohoes Music Hall, and Zezima is looking forward to continued success for her company.

“I want it to taste good, and a lot of times when you start with the word ‘healthy,’ people think that it won’t taste good.”

And does it taste good? Her own favorite method for eating Nut-Zez’s almond butters is “with a spoon, straight from the jar.”

Deanna Fox is a freelance food and agriculture writer. www.foxonfood.com @DeannaNFox.