Baked goods are one of the most beloved snacks in the world.
Think about it: Who doesn't love a brownie, blondie, or cookie on a stressful day? (There's a reason emotional eating is a real thing.)
As good as these little babies may be, few food objects are worse for your body -- aside from maybe a super-sized Big Mac with fries and a soft drink.
Steven Gara of Inspiration/Vita Bakes is trying to change that. This week he's launching a new line of healthier baked goods and he's working on a line of cannabis edibles (just in case we get some good news in November).
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Debuting at this week's Las Olas Wine & Food Festival, the company specializes in nutritiously fortified baked treats catered to a wide range of snackers, including those with allergies.
All Inspiration/Vita Bakes Bakery products contain nearly 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance of 15 essential vitamins with absolutely no trans fats. Each product is also available in sugar-free and gluten-free form for those suffering from diabetes and celiac disease.
According to Gara, the concept was born out of watching friends and family members deal with diabetes and celiac.
"I wanted to create gluten-free and sugar-free goods like you see in the cases at Starbucks," says Gara. "We use a vita-mix blend and natural preservatives (no benzoates or nitrates) in everything."
Products range from breads (like marbled rye and Paleo coconut bread) to cakes (think red velvet and double chocolate) to pastries (such as brownies, blondies, and tiramisu cupcakes).
For now, these products are only being offered at food festivals and events; however, Gara is working on reaching out to investors to get products into stores and other retail outlets.
In anticipation of changes in marijuana legislation, Gara is also working on cannabis infused items. His plan is to have recipes ready-to-go in case it's legalized in the state of Florida.
"We'll just need to find a facility that's licensed and ready to-go," says Gara. "We'll have to go to regulated space, like a dispensary with an attached bakery. If dispensaries open in Florida, we're hoping they'll partner with us for baked goods."
Gara plans to extend the nutritious and dietary conscious recipes to the cannabis side of things.
Currently, he's looking for investors to help get the products into stores. Again, if you're looking to sample his wares, Gara will be set up at the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival.
For tickets to the festival, visit lasolaswff.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.