'Snack to the moon and back'
Sarah Wang of Lake Oswego wants you to "snack yourself to the moon and back."
Wang encourages all to eat adzuki bean bars made by her company, GoodMoon LLC. Adzuki beans are considered a super food that supports health and longevity. The Lake Oswego woman offers these favorite treats from her youth, remade with the right balance of tradition and nutritional science.
Wang says the idea for GoodMoon came to her in 2015, while she was working in China during the county's annual mid-autumn harvest celebrations. Moon cakes are traditionally eaten during the festivals as a symbol of family reunion.
They are made of adzuki beans — the "Jewels of the East" — touted for their antioxidant level, which is higher than that of blueberries, plus their ability to, reportedly, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. These cakes are known for providing consistent energy and promoting weight loss.
Wang wanted to bring the cakes home from China to share with her family, but she knew they were loaded with sugar. She shopped around for versions with lower sugar levels, but she quickly realized all of the cakes were made with preservatives. She thought it would be easier to make her own using her mother's traditional recipe as a guide.
Back home in Oregon, she worked with staff members at Oregon State University's Food Innovation Center, and renowned pastry chef Ellen Jackson, to craft a healthier version of the time-honored treat. Using the purest, freshest ingredients they fine-tuned the texture and flavor profiles, all the while keeping the nutritious red bean paste as the key ingredient.
"With the right balance of tradition and nutritional science, the GoodMoon bars honor moon cakes, but are designed to reshape the future of snacking," she writes on her website, thegoodmoon.com.
Wang says the red beans promote heart health and provide a significant amount of protein for creating new cell tissues and for organ growth and repair. The bean has a high content of B vitamins and minerals like zinc, copper and magnesium to boost bone strength. The bean's soluble fiber helps regulate the activity of insulin receptors to ensure blood levels remain constant and are easily digested, Wang's website says.
The bars are handmade by Wang and her partners, Lake Oswegan Bella Lin and Portland resident Michelle Posey. Using only all-natural ingredients like raisins, hemp seed, honey, blue agave, brown rice, and cocoa, they contain no preservatives, nothing artificial; only real ingredients that stay naturally fresh and flavorful when chilled. With only 120 calories, the bars are made of plant-based protein, and are gluten, dairy and nut free. Currently, they offer three flavors: chocolate, honey hemp and lemon ginger.
The bars are available at local grocery stores, and are great with coffee and milk for breakfast or an anytime snack.
"In June, we also will add four more new stores including three New Seasons and the Market of Choice Belmont store," Wang said. "By the end of June, we will be in 30 stores in the Portland metro and Vancouver areas."
In Lake Oswego and West Linn, you can buy the bars at New Seasons markets, Market of Choice in West Linn, Palisades Market Place and Yodelish.
To learn more, visit thegoodmoon.com.