~Nothin’ But Love for These Treats~

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Everyone loves cookies. Everyone. If you are some kind of space alien who doesn’t love cookies, boy howdy have you been reading the wrong blog. I never pass up a chance to try a cookie or three, so when Nothin’ But Foods offered up their granola cookies during summer diet time, I said “Thank you, sir, may I have another!”. What’s a few more crunches and a couple more minutes on the elliptical machine when it comes to cookies, amirite?

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I really stepped in it, though, because these are goooooooooood. Like, “Ohmahgawd, I ate how many?!” good. When one thinks of granola cookies, you tend to think of hard, dry, crumbly, crunchy cookies that don’t taste like much. I am thrilled to report that nothing could be further from the truth here. Chewy, moist, bursting with flavor is what Nothin’ But’s granola cookies are. I got to try both the Chocolate Coconut Almond and the Cherry Cranberry Almond varieties, and I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite between the two. But I have zero hesitation telling you that these are, hands down, far and away the BEST granola cookies I have ever had. Don’t just take my word for it though. Hubby doesn’t like either coconut or granola, and I had to hide the bags before he polished them off before I could review them. That’s how good they are.

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“Food from a kitchen Not a lab”. Nothing But Premium Foods boasts “100% Natural, non-GMO, gluten free deliciousness, with no fillers, eggs, butter, and made in an kitchen not a lab”, and they deliver in spades. 2 cookies are only 120 calories, with only 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving, all while delivering 2 grams of dietary fiber and 3 grams of protein. And here’s the trumpet card: You know, have heard of, and can pronounce every ingredient. Almonds. Oats. Honey. Cranberries. Cherries. Sea salt. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Espresso powder. I love when I don’t need a chemistry book to know what I’m eating. I love that I probably have 90% of these things in my pantry already. I love that it’s good enough for breakfast, yet tasty enough for dessert.

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Did I mention they make snack bars too? In the above flavors as well as Ginger Lemon Cashew and Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate? Yeah, hands off, hubby. Or you’ll lose a finger. These are MINE. There’s gift assortments if he’s interested, and behaves.

 

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Since 2008, Nothin’ But Foods has been making fantastic, wholesome treats, and putting the others to shame. Started by Jerri Graham after she got tired of processed, fake and nasty “foodstuffs” and wanting something better for her daughter, she decided to fill a niche in the market by making something good and making something real. She started small and grew with word of mouth and dedication. It’s gotten to be a chore to find real foods in the the center isles of the markets. So much processed, shelf stable junk passed off as food. Jerri started in her kitchen making these with love, and it shows in the quality, flavor, and simplicity. There is an old adage that says “Do one thing, and do it well”. So, well done, Nothin’ But Foods. Well done indeed.

 

Get your hands on some Nothin’ But today, but int he meantime, reach out to them via:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nothin’ But Premium Foods .  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Siggi’s: Icelandic Style Skyr Strained Non-Fat Yogurt Tubes in Blueberry #Review

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I’ve been fortunate enough to get to try a whole host of yogurts, Greek style, European style, Australian style…the list goes on and on. Some have been great. Some, not so much. A few are now in my regular rotation. Siggi’s falls into that last category. You might not have heard of Siggi’s, but you really should make a point of finding yourself some.

Siggi’s is truly a different kind of yogurt. In fact, it called Icelandic Skyr, a protein-dense low sugar form of yogurt. Truthfully, they

My local Target carries the Siggi's Yogurt Tubes in Blueberry & Raspberry

My local Target carries the Siggi’s Yogurt Tubes in Blueberry & Strawberry

had me at “low sugar”. In the U.S.A., almost everything you can buy in the markets is salty or sweet. Overly so at that. Don’t believe me? Take a look at almost everything in the middle of the market. Sometimes I think the FDA has revamped the 4 major food groups as salt, sugar, corn and soy. So when Siggi’s skyr says it’s not too sweet, I jumped in with both feet. It’s got all the probiotics and active cultures of the best Greek-style yogurts, but the yogurt here is the star, not some syrup on the bottom or some packets of stuff in a sidecar either.

Here’s another bone to pick: the tubed yogurt marketed mostly to kids is loaded with sugar. It’s practically syrup itself . Yuck.

But not Siggi’s. The yogurt you get in the cups is almost identical to the yogurt in the tube! Nice. And while it’s not as thick as the cups, I’d assume to promote viscosity and ease of eating, it’s not some runny mess either. Finally, something you and the kids can share, and not have them hopped up on a sugar rush later! I’m in love with a tubed yogurt? I am, and I have no shame admitting it. It’s so good hubby made a tube or two a part of his morning breakfast routine.

I have tried only the blueberry tubes from Siggi’s so far, but I’m a big enough fan that I have plans to immediately go and get the other flavor as well.  You can also freeze them and have a healthy frozen yogurt treat!

This is a product unlike any on the market today in the U.S., and if you’re like me a day you’re fed up with all the sugar in everything, get some Siggi’s today. You’ll wonder how you ever ate yogurt any other way before.

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Connect with Siggi’s:

 

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Siggi’s.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Siggi’s: filmjölk Swedish-style drinkable yogurt Blueberry Quick Bread #Recipe

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This is a bread that uses very little sugar and delivers a wonderful texture derived from the combination of flours and the moisture from Siggi’s Filmjolk yogurt. At 0% fat with Siggi’s drinkable yogurt and the little amount of sweetener used, this is a great bread you can enjoy with less guilt!  I am able to enjoy it as a breakfast bread or even a dessert bread. Goes great with seasonal fruit and you can adjust this recipe easily by using any of Siggi’s yogurts. Very versatile and best of all…..very tasty!

Let’s get started……

Ingredients:

1 cup of Whole White Wheat Flour
1 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Almond Flour/Meal
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups of Siggi’s Blueberry Filmjolk or any flavor you desire

You have your choice when it comes to sweeteners in this recipe and the goal is just to use 1/2 cup to get there and I used:

1/4 cup of Dark Molasses
1/4 cup of Maple Syrup & Orange Blossom Honey

1/4 Unsweetened Dried Blueberries and make sure to plump them before adding by using hot water and waiting 20 minutes for them to re-hydrate. You can get creative and warm a fruit drink (i.e. blueberry juice) to hydrate them and I have used the microwave method where I add the blueberries to a bowl, add water and then microwave to warm.

1/2 cup of fresh Blueberries

Optional- Sprinkling the top with Turbinado Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start by re-hydrating your dried fruit and I went with blueberries but you can use whatever fruit or combination of fruits you desire.

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Grab a bowl and mix your flour with a whisk.

Then add the Salt and Baking Soda, and whisk again.

Measure out your Siggi’s Filmjolk and set aside.

Make 1/2 cup of any sweetener mix you desire.

Add the re-hydrated fruit to your dry mix and fold until well mixed.

Then take the wet ingredients (Siggi’s Filmjolk and the liquid sweeteners) and add them to your dry ingredients.

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Fold all ingredients making sure everything is well incorporated and mixed.  You want to make sure there is no dry mix lurking and everything is mixed nicely and wet.

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Grab a loaf pan, spray with non-stick cooking spray.

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Add the mixed batter to your pan and spread evenly.

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Take the 1/2 cup of fresh berries and start studding the top of the bread.

Then, you can sprinkle with sugar to create a nice flaky crust (crisp top) and also sweeten the fresh fruit.  I went with Turbinado sugar because I love the texture and how it makes a loaf just glisten!

Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.  My Blueberry loaf took 47 minutes and I did not need to cover the pan with foil at anytime but if yours starts to over brown, so ahead and cover loosely (tent) with foil.

 

The loaf is cooled for 20 minutes and I use a cake tester to loosen any stuck edges before flipping and allowing it to fully cool.

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I start slicing always after 1 hour or more of cooling to allow everything to rest and not lose any moisture.

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I served mine with more fresh Blueberries and a nice smothering of whipped topping.  The whipped topping was a cinch to make, just softened cream cheese, a little powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream.  You just then let the mixer do the work until it’s nice and fluffy.  You want an airy topping, not very stiff peaks……just a cloud for the berries to float on when served.  Enjoy!

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I highly suggest using Siggi’s Filmjolk yogurt and you can get your Siggi’s fix at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Siggi’s.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

Cocomama Foods: The Easiest and Tastiest way to start your morning with Quinoa Cereal #Review

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Cocomama Foods was kind enough to send me a sampler pack, which featured their 4 different varieties of Quinoa cereal. I indulge in the morning and usually want to start with a nice energy filled meal. Getting anything at the store that comes from a box may energize a hummingbird with the amounts of sugar added, however I can’t flap that fast. I’m seeking energy that lasts so I can keep going at a normal pace and Cocomama Quinoa based cereals fit that perfectly.

Got milk? No worries, their pouch form servings are perfect and ready to eat. No need for a stove or even watts from a microwave. You can enjoy the cereal heated or at room temperature. I love the ease of customization because sometimes I want to add fruit and especially when I buy more strawberries than a family of 2 can eat. What can I say, the sales get to me and I have plans at the store that do not always come to fruition at home. I also love the no excuses approach to starting your day in a more healthier way. You seriously can grab a spoon and eat from the pouch on the go, or be a little more civilized if you did not hit the snooze button twice that morning and enjoy it in a bowl, warmed up with a drizzle of honey and fresh fruit.

Cocomama has a Quinoa Cereal to satisfy any craving and avoid breakfast boredom:

  • Honey Almond
  • Banana Cinnamon
  • Wild Bluberry
  • Orange Cranberry

 

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Each flavor has real fruit and the shortest ingredient list I have seen in a pre-packaged cereal. You have water and coconut cream that creates the perfect base, followed by organic quinoa, a touch of sea salt and then whatever the variety is. For example, the Banana Cinnamon flavor has the aforementioned and then maple syrup, banana puree, natural flavors and cinnamon…….told you Cocomama is real food with no codes and abbreviations for stuff you hope you are guessing right when it comes to ingredients. I tried finding a simple cereal like this and could not at my local market. I would have to make it from scratch!  All cereals are dairy free, soy free, gluten free, all natural, vegetarian friendly, great source of protein and fiber and let’s not overlook the 9 essential amino acids you get in every serving.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Wild Blueberry– This is the happiest blue colored bowl that puts a smile on your face. Made with wild blueberry powder, there is no hunting for blueberries to taste them! You get a blueberry burst of flavor and the smell immiting from the bowl is intense as well. If you want to pretend you are in a blueberry patch minus the thorns from picking them, this is the bowl for you. I enjoyed a nice “patriotic bowl” by adding fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries, plus some yogurt chips. One filling pouch is just 220 calories, which deliver 4 grams of protein, 8% of your daily value of Vitamin C and Iron, plus 4% of Calcium.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Honey Almond I always craved the maple and brown sugar oatmeal that was pictured on the box but my oatmeal never looked like the picture or even satisfied my taste buds. If you seek that flavor, this is the variety for you! You have sweet delicious honey and a small hint of Almond. Want more almond? Add them and I have but this base is better than any oatmeal you can make and that is even if you opted for milk versus water. This version also has kaniwa, a ancient super grain/super food that is less bitter and resembles almost red quinoa. Think of a naked quinoa grain because kaniwa is missing the saponins, the outter coating you find on quinoa. It has a more mild flavor but still that great texture. That is another thing you will enjoy, like pasta, grains must be rinsed and cooked properly to achieve the best texture we all seek and Cocomama does just that. A Honey Almond bowl is only 240 calories and you get 5 grams of protein per serving, 8% of your daily value of Iron and 2% of Calcium.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Banana Cinnamon– I love bananas and especially bread but only myself and the dog eats them, so I rarely make banana anything. Now I can have my “nanner” fix and be happy. Want a super banana taste? Use a fork and mash a small banana and then nicely fold in this Cocomama cereal and heat for 25 seconds in a microwave…….the smell alone is insanely good but wait for it to cool before taking a bite. My taste-buds took control of my brain one morning and they got the best of me or to be more exact, my tongue. The wait will be worth it and you will be in what I call “nanner heaven”. I also seek a more mild cinnamon spice flavor, so this made the bowl perfection for me……think of a deconstructed banana bread slice.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Orange Cranberry– I wish this combination of flavors was more popular than just during the holidays. I can find even cranberry sauce and muffins during December but then the party is over, the year flips and I see no Cran-Orange anything. Now I can party all year because whoever said this is just a Winter treat knows nothing! You have moist cranberries floating in sea of orange juice plumped quinoa. Again, every bite delivers the flavor and the scent is just citrus-y and happy. I was so excited when I saw this combo in the sampler pack because it’s what I seek to not get into that breakfast rut. I was naughty and added just a teaspoon of mini dark chocolate chips…….it’s like having an oatmeal cookie without those disappointing raisins. Oatmeal cookies should be made like this and trust me they would sell……..makes me wonder if adding a little rice flour and honey would probably make this pouch into one pretty yummy cookie (hint, hint).
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Bowl filled with Cocomama’s Banana Cinnamon Quinoa Cereal

As if Cocomama Foods needed to add more to their breakfast or late night meal arsenal, they have come out with a brand-new product…..Crunched Out! I can’t wait to try it and from the pictures below, you can see something like Fudgy Chocolate and I see a Vanilla Nut flavor and yes, I would even put it on my coconut sorbet….eating good sometimes makes me feel guilty because for some, eating good is seen as a punishment. Well, you are not doing it right then! Eating good is full of flavor and I eat everything but it’s just real and natural, with a mix of organic even. Real food delivers the entire fruit, grain……what gives your body energy and fuel to run on. Start your morning with Cocomama and your body will be running on happy!

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Check out Crunched Out:

  • Support Cocomama on Kickstarter- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cocomamafoods/get-crunched-out

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Stay tuned for the Crunched Out reviews and I will be releasing the crunch monster in me, it’s sort of like the kraken but I’m friendlier 🙂

Get you Cocomama fix at:

  • On-line- https://www.cocomamafoods.com/
  • Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CocomamaFoods
  • Twitter- https://twitter.com/cocomamafoods
  • Linkedin- http://www.linkedin.com/company/cocomama-foods?trk=fc_badge
  • Blog- https://www.cocomamafoods.com/blog/

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I received the above product free of charge from Cocomama.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

 

Eslor: The Art of Beauty Skin Care, Replenishing Scrub

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So the year is refreshed, started anew, full of promise and fresh looks. Speaking of fresh looks, isn’t it time to replenish your face too? Enter Eslor, stage left.

I’ve covered a couple of their products recently, and there’s plenty more coming, but today it all about Eslor’s Replenishing Scrub.

You’ll remember Eslor and their HTP System, using natural plant extracts and vitamins. They eschew the toxic chemicals prevalent to many products designed to improve our skin’s health. The Replenishing Scrub is no different. Simple ingredients like aloe vera, whole wheat flour, almond meal, corn meal, oatmeal, and honey. Wow. It’s almost good enough to eat! (Please, for the love of Pete, don’t eat it) It’s effective, my face felt fresh and renewed, and my skin had a healthy glow. I liked that I didn’t have to worry about this chemical interacting with that chemical. I only wish my makeup was this hassle free.

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However, as fantastic as this product is, as much as I love this scrub, I’m hesitant to give it an unfettered “would-buy” rating. Not because I’m not in love with it, but because it’s pricey. Very much so. And again, while it works, works very well in fact, it doesn’t do anything a less expensive scrub could do almost as well. It becomes a game of inches: How much more would you pay for incremental gains?

Ingredient list as listed on the site:

Active Ingredients Almond Paste, Honey, Apricot Kernel Powder, and Peach Kernel Powder.

100% Free of Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate (SLES).

Price Point: For a 1.7 fluid ounce container, the cost is $28.00 and this why I felt that the product is great but for the price point you can find a lower cost product, which would deliver the same results.

Lastly, let me just say as someone who is very sensitive to fragrances and perfumes, this one has both in spades. While it didn’t irritate me per se, I can see that it might over time. So this one, while great in the results department, has some drawbacks that left me wanting. Let’s see if Eslor has a return to it’s heretofore flawless performance in it’s next product, it’s Comforting Mask.

To learn more about Eslor and their great beauty lines, please visit them at:

I received the above product free of charge from Eslor.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Betty Lou’s Organic Angell candy bar made with Dark Chocolate, rich cocoa and almond center

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I always love to find an organic alternative and especially when it comes to candies and/or chocolates. So many chocolates are so sugary and sweet that the last thing you can actually taste is the chocolate itself.

Betty Lou’s was running a nice little promotion via Facebook where if you entered your information, they would send you an item for free in exchange for a review. It’s chocolate so I was game!

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Soon after a candy bar arrives via mail and with California’s hot weather, I was worried it wouldn’t be intact but miraculously it was. I see it says dark chocolate that it has a rich cocoa and almond center, so I’m thinking it’s like a truffle bar and just richly filled with goodness. Being that it was early in the day and I’m an advocate that chocolate is good at anytime, I figured I wait and split the bar with my Husband later in the evening.

We have dinner and we are a “sweets family”, so we always end our meals with a small treat. I take out Betty Lou’s Angell bar and split it in half. I noticed the center of the bar, which stated was rich in cocoa and almond…..is not really visible to the eye and the nut pieces are spread throughout the bar. No matter, I take a bite.

Hmmmm……I don’t taste a rich dark chocolate outer layer or a rich center of cocoa at all and especially with it listing 72% on the packaging. My mouth fills with grit textured pieces that when I can focus on catching one, I decide to check-it out because I don’t taste almond. I also have not chewed sufficiently for the product to be this minced. Sometimes chocolate is not tempered right and maybe this why there is no center, maybe it got lost through out the bar versus staying where it should. I notice what I see is not what it should be, almond. It’s texture is to mush-like and flexible to be a hard nut that resembles almond so I do what I should have done before, check the label with the list of ingredients.

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The label starts with organic chocolate, cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin, organic tapioca syrup, followed by organic almonds and then the culprit……organic gluten-free OATS! Okay, it may be organic in nature but a filler even though it’s not positioned in the center of the bar, is a filler nonetheless. That grit that does not taste like a nut are minced up oats. Not what I expected and even if I get past the unfavorable texture, the flavor is not desirable. The chocolate’s intensity is just not present and after my first bite, I jumped ship and in my chocolate world, this is a rare action in my part. My Husband who is a severe chocoholic than I am, finished his 1/4 piece but said, “I’m not finishing it……something is really off”.

I wanted to love Betty Lou and her chocolate because we are so limited in selections at the market, which then means I have to drive over to Sprout’s or Trader Joe’s to find a good quality product through and through. I am for organic products but origin is one thing that should not alter taste. Most time organic products have delivered incredible results and especially if you get Fair Trade labeled products. I don’t like blogging with the intent to share something negative about a brand and product. This is the only Betty Lou product I have tasted and unfortunately it just was not a favorable experience. I saw they carry an array of goods from even powdered peanut butter, a product that I have been super curious about and I hope to taste and flip this review from a 😦 to a :).

 

The above product was sent free of charge from Betty Lou. I am not obligated in providing a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product, which may differ from yours.

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