Have you tried one of Dajia’s Super Snacks flavorful taste sensation combinations yet? So far there’s Almond Cranberry and Cashew Peanut Curry on the shelves; and there just may be a possible third combination underway in the test kitchen.
Dajia Steuber started her business in May 2011 as a natural evolution from making the snacks for herself and her family. As she explains, “I was always looking for healthy energy snack options without additives like sugar, oils, or those hard to pronounce ingredients you see in some energy bars. So I started creating my own combinations.” The combinations became personal snack packets used to top the family’s dinner salads. “They were sweet and spicy and great combinations for salads. Pretty soon we would just eat the whole thing before it got to the salad, they were so yummy.”
Originally, during the era of the energy bar’s growing popularity, Dajia thought she, too, needed to create an energy bar. Here’s what she quickly learned: “When I tried to make the ingredients stick together, and then cut the bars, there was so much crumbling and waste, I thought there had to be a better way.” She questioned why she was going through all the trouble of creating an energy bar that was difficult to stick together when she could just put a select combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit into a bag for an on-the-go snack. So Dajia’s Super Snacks turned into what it is now by default -- simple and in its original form.
And just like her Super Snack ingredients, what inspires Dajia is really simple – her family, and what she’s created and proud of serving them. “I want to show my kids that I’m working hard at something that I’m inspired by, passionate about, and makes me feel good.” Dajia continues, “I love being creative in the kitchen. I’m inspired by food, ingredients, flavor combinations, and using them in unique and unexpected ways.”
Locations, opportunities, and mentors along the way helped nourish Dajia’s inspiration for creating flavorful and unique combinations with food. Attending college in Vermont for her degree in Nutrition, Dajai felt an early connection with food and local ingredients in that environment. “I loved all the little niche bakeries and locally owned sandwich shops. People were making their own bread and using real maple syrup, talking about where their food comes from, fair trade – and that was awhile ago.”
After graduating, thinking eventually she would go to culinary school, Dajia determined that her on-the-job learning experiences were more rich and valuable. “I started working in restaurants and by default I loved the baking part.” Eventually, Dajia worked her way up to executive pastry chef at the famous Philadelphia restaurant, Morimoto, under the tutelage of the famous Iron Chef by the same name. “Being a pastry chef I was able to be creative in the kitchen, learn about exotic ingredients and put combinations together. For example, Morimoto would use fresh wasabi. I would take the root and grind it and make sorbets from it.”
Dajia carries her passion for creative ingredient combinations into her snacks. Influenced by Japanese culinary tradition Dajia says, “I try to make my product like the yin yang of snacks – crunchy yet chewy; spicy but sweet; unique and different with unexpected flavor combinations. Your palette wants all the combinations together.”
Remaining true to her nutritional education, one of Dajia’s commitments is to use ingredients with purpose in her Super Snacks. “The ingredients I use have health benefits, from the nuts, to the seeds, dried fruits, and even the maple syrup has antioxidants – a lot of people don't know that. The hemp seeds have tons of fiber and protein. Eating just a few almonds fills you up and controls your appetite. Even the spices – turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne – help the metabolism.”
Learn more about Dajia’s Super Snacks at the website: dajiassupersnacks.com.
You will have two opportunities to meet Dajia and sample her super healthy snacks:
Saturday, February 6, from 10:30am – 12:30pm and again on Saturday, February 27 from 10:30am – 12:30pm.
Enjoy 20% off all Dajia’s Super Snacks during the month of February.