SunRype: The NEW Fruit & Chia Bars and just released Energy Bars #Review

sunrype_logo_01_154x89

SunRype, makes bars for consumers that want other options than the soy loaded and artificial sweetener filled bars, you see in so many products of this kind today. I want real food and this goes for when I need a pick-me up snack to even a replacement meal. My Husband has soy sensitivity and I want a bar we can both share and eat. We usually even split an energy bar when we are running errands and the last thing I want to do, is say you can’t have this one. The bars are gluten free and even though we do not have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten, we like to not always eat the same ingredients with every meal. When SunRype approached me about reviewing their 4 most recent bars, I looked into the company and liked how they stated things like “100% Fruit Snacks”, “Simple Ingredients”, to words in the ingredients list that you can pronounce…….so a bar I can actually trust!

I was sent the following varieties from two of SunRype’s newest collections:

Fruit & Chia in Mango Twist
Fruit & Chia in Apple Cinnamon
Energy in Chocolate Coconut
Energy in Raspberry Chocolate

Verdict:

Taste matters because I love fruits and vegetables, and never understood why others did not until I tasted some bars on the market. Any real fruit was annihilated and I probably would feel the same if my introduction to certain fruit bars began that way. SunRype, respects the fruit! The Fruit and Chia bars are like the breakfast scatters I already eat. Every Sunday, I fill a mason jar with dried fruits, seeds and nuts to eat throughout the week. It’s mixed with several flax seeds from ground to whole, dried fruits from coconut to acai berries to other ingredients like cocoa nibs and even mini dark chocolate chips because everything in moderation does not hurt, plus actually makes eating your meal an enjoyment. Ironically, I skip what I call the common filler nuts like peanuts and it’s nothing against the nut but I prefer almonds, pistachios, to walnuts and if I crave peanuts, I’ll just eat peanuts. When I read the packages on the SunRype Fruit & Chia bars, they make what I eat. Versus it being a scatter that I usually eat with yogurt or Kefir, they put it in a package I can travel with. Great for mornings I am in a hurry or dinner will be at a later time that busy day. The bars start with 100% fruit pieces and use sweeteners from the fruit itself to molasses and even brown rice syrup. You know…..real foods! It’s a whole grain bar and they use gluten free oats and brown rice flour. Each of the Fruit & Chia bars contain 800 mg of ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids and both the Mango Twist and Apple Cinnamon bar is just 200 calories per bar. Sodium is just 50 mg and you get a nice 4 grams of protein. I avoid cinnamon anything. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the spice but most times anything with it is loaded and overpowering. Not with SunRype! The spice is a compliment and the bar resembles an apple bread I bake from scratch. The Mango is a nice break from the common flavors and has a tropical puree taste from the dried mango but because the bar contains coconut, it has a beautiful balance.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now, the SunRype Energy bars come with 7 grams of protein that is plant derived. SunRype, also does not hide behind proprietary blends, they list what their energy blend comes from. The main component is pea (protein), green tea extract and ginseng powder for an energy boost. I find my body not only gets a natural boost from these ingredients but I metabolize them better, so no crashing like you would have with some energy drinks. The Chocolate Coconut is 210 calories and the Raspberry Chocolate variety is just 10 calories less. Not bars that you have to punish yourself later by cutting calories from your meals. They are decent in size and more than fulfill their need by stopping hunger to even keeping you going. The Chocolate Coconut was my favorite of all 4 bars. I love coconut and SunRype did not skip on the ingredient. I not only satisfied myself with a snack but also a craving. The Raspberry Chocolate still had the tartness from the berry! Love that because it’s the whole point I go after such berries, I want what they bring from the tart to sweetness that is unique in flavor to that variety.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All in all, this bars were a hit. They remind me of my morning scatters I enjoy, mixed with fruit leather bars I purchase at the local Framer’s Market…..SunRype just got the wonderful idea of making them both meet to make a bar that is not only nutritious, but a pleasure to have. They have a store locator for their products to even available on Amazon, so no reason to not give there treats…..I mean bars a try. ūüôā

DSC_1803

 

Connect with SunRype at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from SunRype. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Advertisements

New Orleans Famous Praline Company: Classic Pralines #Review #PralineInLove

New Orleans Famous Praline - Box of 8 Original Pralinettes

We have always loved anything that is “New Orleans” related from the food to the decor, we have enjoyed it. There is a reason why New Orleans Square at Disneyland was our favorite place to hang out when we had the park’s passports. I make everything at home trying to mimic and bring back that piece of memory from making Beignets, Gumbo, to even Red Beans and Rice with Andouille at home. Most things I can make and hit the mark but the one thing I can’t imitate, is those pralines! You can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to review them.

DSC_1493

The New Orleans Famous Praline Company has been sharing their delicious clusters with us since 1996. Calling them a candy is just too simple. Candy to me is a piece of gum drop, to a sour patch straw. It’s just not enough of a justifiable name to what really is a treat all of it’s own. This is a delicacy that you make it right or wrong, no middle ground here. The N.O.F.P Company (as I call them), offers you 3 different types of Pralines to choose from:

  • The Original “Classic” Praline
  • The Creamy Praline and
  • The Chocolate Praline

Three things done right means you can get away with a short selection but do not discount them!

DSC_1494

Verdict:

I received the box and let me tell you when I opened it, it smelled like the store at Disneyland. That store that stocks all the items you can’t find anywhere that originate from New Orleans. My goodness, did I spend my pay check at that store! It was such a joyful scent of sweetness and butter, with a hint of nuts. New Orleans Famous Praline Company packs a gorgeous little box that even serves as a souvenir itself because it’s that adorable. The box’s image is a drawing of a the shoreline. You see the city and the ships, plus the colors give it that vintage feel; very much like the century old recipe the company uses to produce these beauties. The company only uses real quality ingredients that is why these differ from the rest. Each praline is lovingly sealed in it’s own wrapper, so you have guaranteed freshness and let me get started on how they taste. You have the pecans that are chopped into pieces and floating in a buttery and sugary filling that almost resembles the inside of a pecan pie. The confection is crumbly but not dry or hard, it literally melts in your mouth. Not grainy at all but smooth and it has that classical cluster texture where it’s creamy but not gooey. Just perfectly blended and the proper thickness too. Enjoyable to the last bite and I first devoured this praline as is, but then crumbled some on ice cream (Southern Pecan of course) and it just made that bowl of ice cream pure happiness! These are a must and especially from a company that takes care and pride in what they produce. I hope in the future to taste their other creations, the creamy and the chocolate pralines!

DSC_1495

Connect with New Orleans Famous Praline Company at:

 

DSC_1496

I received the above product(s) free of charge from New Orleans Famous Praline Company. 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.

Gourmet Living: Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Review #IGPInitialPromo #GourmetLivingBalsamic

DSC_0340

Some things are beautiful and I always admire a gorgeous looking bottle. Presentation matters and especially when purchasing a product that retails higher than it’s counterparts but that is if you look at vinegar as plainly an acid, disregarding origin, grape used in production, to aging. This can get blurred and sometimes on purpose by the manufacture. We all want what we pay for and that is something I was critical of when I had the opportunity to review Gourmet Living’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. I love Balsamic and use it almost on a daily basis in it’s “raw form” or to enhance the taste of sauces to meats. Nothing tastes like it and it may look like wine but a good tasting Balsamic will make you forget about wine all together.

When I received the parcel from Gourmet Living, the box was beautiful with gold colored foil highlights and it almost felt like suede when touched. I open it and I see a beautiful red wax seal on top, and the bottle is as noteworthy as the rest. Every detail has been thought of but in the end I seek what is inside the bottle. Does the vinegar have a pleasant taste and will it play well with the others, meaning I don’t want an acidic pungent base that overpowers all the other flavor notes and even the smallest drop makes me just taste vinegar.

I figured the best test was trying it as-is and making a simple at home Vinaigrette. I never buy dressings and just make my own because as much as I want the dressing in the bottle to last, everything a manufacture adds to make it long living also makes it poor tasting. I save money and fridge space, plus I can adjust my dressings by the meals I am serving that day. A Vinaigrette made at home will always be friendly to a waist-line too.

DSC_0341

Retail Price Point: $36.95 for a 8.5 fluid ounce bottle via Amazon

You will look and notice years and size of bottles fluctuate drastically when it comes to Balsamic. I thought the more the ounces combined with greater years, makes the price tag higher, but that did not remain factual. Some expensive brands had poor ratings along with the low quantity of ounces they gave. I get it that aging takes storing, time and care. This is not even what it takes to make the initial fluid in the first place. Boiling a product down reduces the quantity and intensifies the flavor but it depends on the cook and the “starter product”, if even the final product will be worthy. Balsamic may look thick and smell sometimes strong but it delivers sweet notes when done well. As it ages the flavor matures and the wood that is used for storage will also affect the vinegar. The Balsamic from Gourmet Living also has an IGP certification that has certain criteria that must be met for a bottle to pass and reach the seal. Think of it like a diamond and how certain outside agencies will only certify if certain standards are met, down to origin of the stone. The vinegar from Gourmet Living is from Modena and had the proper labeling I have seen with products of this kind, so they passed the visual test and now to how it tastes.

DSC_0342

Taste Test:
I made my dressing and I always taste before adding salt. The Balsamic had a pleasant sweet taste without bitter after notes. You could pick up what the wood had added a distinct flavor to the vinegar, and it just intensifies that aroma you get when using the product and tasting it. I actually found this vinegar very pleasant and for the price, it was a fair price point. I have only been able to get a better price point at Whole Foods on 2 bottles that were being cleared out and that was a once in a lifetime opportunity. A bottle of Balsamic lasts because you use a small amount. Think of when you use demi glace and how a little goes a long way. The same applies here and that makes it a worthy purchase in my book!

Connect with Gourmet Living at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Gourmet Living.  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.

NutriGold: Organic, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil Gold Review #CoconutOil #NutriGold

IMAG2388

NutriGold is a supplement company, which offers an extensive line of products to fit your nutritional needs. Most products you will find are organic and also Non-GMO certified. Your options are endless with NutriGold, as they offer anything from multi-vitamins to herbal and dietary supplements, and simple ingredients like the Coconut Gold oil I was able to review.

Coconut oil comes in many forms from fractionated, Virgin, Refined, Extra-Virgin, to Cold Pressed and others. The clear distinction here is that you want to sort on quality and also take into consideration what you will be using it for. You don’t want to spend on a high grade quality oil if all you will be doing is filling a jar with essential oils and only need a “filler” oil, and this is where fractionated oil found it’s place. When you will be applying the product to your skin and/or consuming the oil, this is where being picky and smart really comes into play, so doing your homework will insure you get what you pay for. I always resort in seeking out a trusted source first and then narrow down what they have to offer. Anyone can claim anything so this is key!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is where NutriGold comes into the picture because they offer a Coconut oil that is sourced from the Philippines and is unrefined. You get 100% Extra Virgin Coconut oil that meets the standard and practices to not only be classified as Organic, but also Non-GMO certified. In the coconut oil world, it is not like the olive one where extra virgin and virgin have clear definitions/standards but a “virgin” oil is commonly known to come from the first press. You have the flesh of the coconut that is in it’s fresh form, pressed to extract coconut milk first, and then comes the water and the oil. The oil from that first press is what you get in every NutriGold bottle.

Retail Price Point: $10.99 for one pound or two pounds for $19.99

IMAG2389

The benefits come in droves when it comes to uses of Coconut oil. You start on the outside and you have a plethora of applications that fall under the beauty category, from softening and nourishing hair to your skin. I use it to nourish and replenish my eyelashes after wearing a waterproof mascara, that can be very drying to the follicle and surrounding skin. You can’t find anything more safe and natural than NutriGold’s Coconut oil and it works, plus my lashes grow beautifully since I started this practice. I have used it also as a nail oil in place of those little cuticle oil bottles that always cost more than meat at the market for a small little bottle! I use the same form of application but save money too. No hangnails to report and because it works, I continue my weekly regimen. Go into the Cooking category and you have an oil that has a decent smoke point for being virgin and produces a crisp on meats to vegetables that made me rethink the fats I use. Coconut oil does not leave a fruit flavor, so you can really use it in different cuisines. It has a light finish, so anything you cook leaves you tasting what you made, versus what you cooked with. No refrigeration is required once opening, so it’s not an oil that needs to take up space in the fridge to avoid it going rancid.

IMAG2384

I was very happy with the one pound bottle from NutriGold that when this one runs out, I will be seeking out the two pounder!

Connect with NutriGold and their array of products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from NutriGold.  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.

Kiss Me Organics: Ceremonial Grade Matcha Tea #Review #OrganicCeremonialGradeMatcha

images

Not too long ago I got the opportunity to review Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea. I liked it. A lot. Clean, not jittery, energy and overall a nice switch from regular coffees and teas. Kiss Me Organics decided to then send me the Ceremonial Grade Matcha. I’m more than game.

IMAG2101

Ceremonial grade Matcha must meet specific guidelines. From only the youngest, brightest, most vibrant leaves, grown in the shade, from only the very tip of the bush. Streamed, air dried, and stone-ground, this highest grade green tea is traditionally harvested from specific regions of the Japanese mountains, and is reserved for special occasions or a special treat due to the unique conditions required for growing and harvesting. It’s taste is unique as well, delicate but also full bodied with high sweet notes and a touch of butter at the finish.

IMAG2301

Kiss Me Organics Ceremonial Grade Matcha is also the most sensitive to light and oxidization due to it’s delicate nature. So it comes in a vacuum sealed foil pouch inside a sealed metal tin with a twist off top that seals airtight again after. Kiss Me Organics is serious about this tea, and one taste will tell you it’s worth the effort. Ceremonial grade is the highest in nutrients, antioxidants, chlorophyll and fiber as well, with no artificial flavors or colors. I didn’t think I’d notice so much difference from one grade to the next, but I did. It’s a whisked tea that’s thicker, richer, and with more range in the flavor than the premium grade. It leave s just a little sediment at the bottom, but that’s nothing to complain about. I just love this tea.
IMAG2300
If you’re wondering if the higher grade is worth the higher price, I say it is. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and plan to save it for special occasions. It has all the same energy benefits I noted with the premium version. It also has the one big drawback too. It’s so finely ground that it’s nearly impossible to not drop a bit, and it stains almost instantly. So I’d advise preparing your tea over glass or something that is glazed and dishwasher safe. I hope my readers treat themselves to this tea and enjoy it as much as I did.

Retail Price Point: $28.00 via Amazon

Connect with Kiss Me Organics:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kiss Me Organics LLC.  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.

%d bloggers like this: