UrthBox: March Box Review…..Discover a Healthier You!

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I can easily state that from all the subscription boxes that are food related…..this one is the most packed!

Urthbox is a company which fills their subscription boxes with healthy, not-your-average treats and snacks. Stocking their box with only non-GMO foods makes this company stand out above all the rest.  They also have boxes that fit every dietary need from vegan, gluten-free and even “diet” options.  Munching diet related products is a great way to know what works, what you like to even what you want to continue purchasing.  Urthbox also has boxes to fit every budget starting from $19 (7-10 items), medium sized box for $29 (12-15 products), to the large box that makes you a super happy snacker at $49 (20-24 items).  I received the “Part-Time Snacker” box in size medium.  I received 12 products from different manufacturers but the quantity was larger because some products came in counts of 2 or even 3.  I liked that they count your products by individual kinds versus counting that they added 2 items of one product and using that towards the full count.  Very fair and generous of UrthBox.  I also want to add that shipping is free, so the above price points are with shipping included.

Let’s get started because I have so much to cover….I will be using the 1 to 5 point system where 5 is superb in taste/flavor and texture, and where 1 is pretty much saying don’t put it in your mouth 🙂

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  • Snap Pea Crisps (One .75 ounce package): I have seen these being sampled at Costco but never actually stood in line to try one.  It’s pretty much Green Peas that are lightly salted and baked.  A healthier way to snack because you get less fat than potato chips but this treat also is a good source of fiber.  I love peas of any kind so I am biased on this one.  I did like the texture but was not super fond of the aftertaste.  It was not pleasant and left my mouth lacking moisture but now I know to pass versus buying on these.  I give them a 2

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  • Hemp Hearts (Two 0.5 ounce packages): I have tested these before and enjoy them very much.  You can read my full detailed review here- http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-fP and I give these a 5

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  • Viana Mild Jumbo Veggie Snack Sausage (Two 1.76 ounce packages): I received the Traditional German Smokehouse variety and have never tasted a non-meat sausage.  I first loved how it smelled because that is my first test before taking a bite.  The smell was spicy and very inviting.  I take a bite and must say that flavor is not missing and you get a nice smoky taste with a wonderful blend of spices.  Being a meat-eater, I can say if you told me it was turkey or chicken based….I would be none the wiser.  It’s organic and you get a generous 13 grams of soy based protein with only 130 calories.  It’s up there with a cup of yogurt and only 360 mg of sodium and 2 grams of sugar.  It fills you up in a more satisfying way and I would purchase this item again.  I give this product a 4

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  • Salba Chia Boost (Two 0.5 ounce packages): Advertised as not your usual chia seed and something I would have overlooked because I have had bad chia seeds.  I did not think qualities changed so drastically and because I sorted on value when first buying them, I first purchased a bag of great quality seeds.  I then go and repurchase the chia seeds but decided to pick-up a cheaper brand……big mistake.  There was such an off taste that eating them in a wet or dry method did not save me.  I ended up discarding them so there went my savings turning into waste.  I can say that Salba does have a premium product and I also enjoyed that these come in ground (powder) form, something that was new to me.  I mix it with my flax seeds and they are a treat with a nutritional punch.  I give this item a 5

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  • Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut oil (One 0.5 ounce package): The Coconut oil is cold pressed and unrefined.  Love that it’s Fair Trade certified and Organic.  I have become a fan of the coconut and it’s oil, to the point I cook with it and even purchase a butter and coconut oil spread that makes great grilled cheese sandwiches, even to just being used on bread.  The Kelapo package states to warm in hands, tear and squeeze.  Like many cooking oils, not all are equal and I put Kelapo in the higher grade when it comes to standards, texture and flavor.  This is why I love these subscription boxes…..I became a fan of a new brand and give this oil a 5

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  • Shelton’s Smoked Snack Stick (One 1.0 ounce package): The sausage stick came in jalapeno flavor and is turkey based.  Shelton’s products use turkey that is antibiotic free and the ingredient list was rather short.  You have the turkey, jalapeno peppers, water, salt, encapsulated lactic acid, celery juice, red pepper, black pepper, granulated garlic, coriander and the blend is stuffed in a beef collagen casing  Pretty simple and as natural as you can get when it comes to the sausage world.  The product has a nice texture and spice content.  You pick up the flavor of the peppers and I loved that it was not greasy or fatty like other sausages of this kind.  I give this product a 4

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  • Neo Water (One 16.9 ounce bottle): Neo is a “Superwater” and it’s super-ness comes with the triple the benefits that come with this drink.  You get water and added minerals for flavor, but also alkaline, has electrolytes and antioxidants.  The water has a crisp and refreshing flavor and it’s definitely noticed when drinking.  It tastes cleaner and I like the added benefits.  I give this bottle a 5

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  • Spatone Pur Absorb Iron (3 0.67 fluid ounce packages): Okay, I never thought of drinking iron and I’m the type that usually tries to get mine from vegetables and meat.  You get 5 mg of iron per package and the contents are listed as iron-rich natural spring water.  Now, I’m more curious and my first thought was, “please don’t taste like iron”.  I taste it as-is and I will say the package suggests adding it to a fruit based juice or just more water.  It does not smell strong but my nose must be stuffy because the taste was very unpleasant.  Strong notes of metal and almost a fishy finish.  I drank plain water trying to wash the unpleasant taste and I would think I was free from it for it to just creep back.  The very unfavorable notes were stuck in the back of my teeth and in my throat, it took several sips to just diliute it enough so it would not give me a “sicky-feeling”.  Again, why would someone want to drink their iron like this is something I thought before tasting and was reinforced after tasting.  I give this product a 1 but wishing my scale had a 0

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  • Licious Organics Honey Cookies (One 1 ounce cookie): Let’s move on from the iron disaster and onto cookies…much nicer.  I received the cranberry almond variety and this is an unbaked cookie.  You have finely crushed oats, coconut, almonds and raw honey, plus cranberries and sunflower seeds.  You also have sunflower oil, Utah pink salt, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon juice. The cookie is also wheat free and 130 calories per small cookie.  I can say it tastes unbaked and even though dates are not mentioned, the pulverized texture makes you think of them of date bars.  This cookie saved me from the iron so I am grateful!  The texture and puck shaped cookie makes it……well un-cookie like.  This is more like a nutrition bar shaped like a disc but when I looked at the protein and nutrition facts, I can see why it’s called a cookie.  Not bad if you have it right there but would not crave it or seek it out.  I give the faux cookie a 2

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  • Beanfield’s Bean & Rice Chips (One 1.5 ounce bag): I was fortunate to review the entire selection offered by the Beanfield’s company and today I still purchase and eat their chips.  I received the pico de gallo flavor and please read my detailed review here-http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-n2 .  You will enjoy these very flavorful chips and I give this tasty chip a 5

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  • Eco-Dent Oral Care (3 packets): This is a company that makes natural based products for oral care.  I received 1 packed of dental gum, 1 packet of the daily rinse and 1 packet of tooth powder that substitutes as toothpaste.  Eco-Dent has a full line of dental hygiene products to fulfill your dental needs.  The products tasted actually rather nice and they all had a mint-based flavor.  The company included a 10% off coupon, plus a nice informative pamphlet about what makes their products premium and natural.  They even stand behind their products with a money-back guarantee!  I’m addicted to keeping my teeth white and while I did like these items, they just did not fit my individual needs.  Yes, Baking Soda whitens but in my experience not as quick and fast as the products I currently use.  These products perform as advertised and I give these products a 4

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  • CalNaturalle Svelte Organic Protein Shake (One 11 Fluid Ounce container): I skip on drinking protein shakes or smoothies and I must be honest on why, I’m lazy about washing my non-dishwasher safe shaker bottle.  Yes, it comes down to that but it’s the honest truth.  I then think of buying one that is dishwasher safe but no point if you need it the following day so I made a simple purchase complicate.  Only me!  In comes Svelte making sure to clear away my laziness by having their shake come in their own bottle.  I just shake, open and drink.  My flavor came in French vanilla and is sweetened with stevia.  All organic products and the protein shake is soymilk based, giving you 11 grams of protein.  It tasted pretty good for being a vanilla flavor and I drank half and then put it in the freezer for it to freeze just enough to make it taste like a shake….20 minutes top.  Then I loved it so I give this product a 4

 

  • So, let’s rate my UrthBox and I give the service, size of box and items included a fairly deserved 4.5 and 5 if you find a discount code…..wait, I found one. Use code 5XU83J and you get a $10 Gift Card towards your first order. Code expires on 5/30/2014.

Please Visit UrthBox and broaden your food and snacking needs:

 

I received the above product free of charge from UrthBox.  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.

Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips in Nacho, Pico de Gallo, Sea Salt, Unsalted, and Salt N’ Pepper

Let me preface this by saying that mine is not a “Chip” household. We don’t buy a lot of potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, or cheese puffs. It’s just not our preference. So to fall so much in love with Beanfields Bean & Rice Chip’s floored my husband and I both. The taste, the texture, the quality…I could go on for days. So instead I’ll just highlight the best of the brand, and hope I do justice to this wonderful food.

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I got my introduction to this brand through the “Love with Food” box I got in February. Included was a little sample bag of Beanfields Bean & Rice “Pico de Gallo” flavored chips. I kind of passed them over at first, because, hey, chips are chips, right? Big mistake. Hubby and I dove in like 2 staving people after the first taste. The flavor dust had barely been wiped from our lips when I decided I should contact Beanfields and see what else they had to offer and where I could get more! A wonderful person from Beanfields replied and said they’d be sending me a variety to sample and review for my blog! Zounds and gadzooks!! What an awesome company! When the package arrived it was like Christmas in March, and oh, the presents we did get!

A few asides about Beanfields before we dive in. This is a family-owned, farmed and made in the USA company. All natural, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan, low-sodium, gluten free, corn free, dairy free, soy free, no fillers, no binders, no artificial colors or flavors, no trans fats, no cholesterol, high fiber, high protein snack. Wow. All that’s left for Beanfields is cold fusion.   Take the time to check them out because your taste buds will thank you!

Facebook – www.facebook.com/beanfields
Website- www.beanfieldssnacks.com
Twitter-  www.twitter.com/beanfieldssnack

So, without further ado, let me introduce what will hopefully become a pantry staple for every person who reads this blog: the multiple-award winning Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips, in 5 mouthwatering varieties!!

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Up first, and our favorite, Salt N’ Pepper.

Oh. My. Gosh. Out of the park, on the first swing. Great flavor, great texture. We had to stop ourselves from polishing off the entire 6 ounce bag. Strong enough to dip, tasty enough to not. The first thing that hits you when you finish is, it’s not greasy or oily in any way. Not on your fingers, not in your mouth, nowhere.  And then it hits you: these chips are made from beans! Not corn, like just about everything else in the market. The ingredients are simple, too: Beans, rice, oil, and flavorings. And lo and behold, I can pronounce everything. How’s that for awesome?

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Close up of Salt N’ Pepper Chips

Next up, Pico de Gallo.

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Another winner, and a close second. Another great flavor with an ingredient list that doesn’t read like a science experiment. Simple ingredients like onion powder, green bell pepper powder, celery powder, garlic powder, tomato powder…Hey, I’ve got all this stuff in my fridge and pantry! I don’t need a PhD in chemistry to understand what it is I’m putting in my mouth! And the best part is, you can taste that someone put a lot of thought into this chip. Not just about how to get you to buy and eat more of them, but on how to make it taste good. I appreciate that, and I think you will too.

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K.I.S.S. comes to mind. No, not “I Wanna Rock-n-Roll All Night”, you goofy husband. Keep ISuper Simple. It should be the mantra if every person who makes food for yourself, your family, or your job. But very few people do it, and fewer still do it well. Beanfield’s get’s it 100% right. And they’re three for three. You can taste the richness of the beans, the long grain rice. And the salt. Oh, did I mention that aside from a little oil, that’s all that’s in these chips!! Holy cow, it seems so simple, but it’s an amazing snack experience, from the first bite to the last. I can’t wait for the next flavor.DSCN1631

Close up of Sea Salt Chips

Luckily, I don’t have to, so it’s on to Unsalted!

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Do these people do anything halfway? Even with the lack of flavorings, the ingredients shine through. The perfect dip chip that goes with anything. You got salsa? Good to go. You’ve got queso? Go for it. Spinach artichoke? Bring it. This chip handles them all.  Want it on it’s own for a guilt free snack? This chip has your back. I can see how Beanfields won so many awards. Nothing but beans, rice, and a little oil, and it still taste like a million bucks.  I had a nice green Tomatillo salsa with these and it was delicious.

Now, let’s see if Beanfields goes 5 for 5 with Nacho flavor.

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Beanfields included some materials for us in the package of yum. One of them mentioned that this flavor a Best of Show award, and labeled this the Vegan answer to Doritos. It’s arguably the market leader in this category. And let me tell you, that this comparison sells Beanfields short. Because this chip leaves Doritos in the dust. Orange colored, salty fatty dust. You’ll never look at a Dorito the same way again, realizing Beanfields chumps them. Hard. While this was our least favorite of the five, it’s head and shoulders over the usual suspects you’ll find in the market. And let’s not forget it’s still a simple ingredient list populated entirely with things you know, understand and can pronounce. Beanfields is a winner, five out of five. I can’t remember a company that I loved everything they make.

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You owe it to yourself to seek Beanfields out and try them for yourself.  You’re doing yourself a disservice not doing it. You’ll wonder how you went this long without them!

I received the above products free of charge from the manufacture.  I am not obligated in providing a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the products, which may differ from yours.

Love Food Review of their Monthly Subscription Box

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Love with Food is a monthly subscription program that not only packs a lot delicious samplings, but also a good bang for your buck.  I subscribed around the start of January for the February box.  It was a Spicy & Sweet theme and you get to see what I received!  You can sign up at http://www.lovewithfood.com/shop.  They even included a cute list of the 9 items they included, and 10 if you add the extra Nektar packet.  I paid a little over $2.00 to try the products because they had a promotion but even at normal price, they really deliver a box full of goodies and deliver it to your door on a monthly basis.  You can cancel at anytime and each box purchase, means a meal for the homeless!  This company not only delivers on top notch customer service but better their community!

 

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Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Piglet from Hagensborg Chocolates (http://www.hagensborg.com) (Twitter: @TrufflePigBar):
I had never heard of the company but just one chocolate embedded the piggy image forever in my head and taste buds.  The company uses a European method that just makes you go crazy.  I like peanut butter but I’m not a lover of it like my husband but we divided the piggy in half (I got the part with cute little tail) and I became a lover of PB!  The peanut butter filling was smooth but not dry and perfectly roasted.  I could taste the peanut and against the milk chocolate, it was better than any peanut butter cup I have ever had.  My only question was, “do they make it with dark chocolate?”  I looked on-line and seriously should have not because they have other flavors and I’m hooked.  I loved these piglets so much, I am hoping to pitch them in the future because Hagensborg Chocolates deserves an entire article on them!

 

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Naturally Flavored Cranberries from Funny Face (www.funnyfacecranberries.com) (Twitter: @FunnyFaceCran):
I usually purchase my dried cranberries at Trader Joe’s because Ocean Spray’s Crazins are just too soaked in sugar anymore that I have noticed they came out with a “less sugar” version.  Glad to know it was not just me.  I received the “Freckle Face Strawberry”.  I opened the package and you could just smell strawberries and it smelled like the real stuff, not just the perfume they seem to add to strawberry flavored foods that smell better than they taste.  The berries are large in size, plump but not a sticky mess.  Their color is vibrant but I noticed their cranberry had more fruit to it than the wrinkly ones I have been buying.  I noticed 50% less sugar, so I turned the package around and the ingredients are so simple.  You have Cranberries, Soluble Corn Fiber, Evaporated Cane Juice, Citric Acid, Safflower Oil, and Natural Flavors…..that is all!  You do taste the strawberries and these would make a great cookie, I’m thinking white chocolate with these cranberries or even a dark chocolate one!  You know they are good when you wish you got more of a good thing.

 

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Pico de Gallo Bean & Rice Chips from Beanfields (www.beanfieldssnacks.com) (Twitter: @BeanfieldsSnack):
I have walked by these bags at my local Sprout’s and I’m a huge fan of the brand “Food Should Taste Good” chips.  I wondered how they were and after having the PopChips nacho version, I was unsure because some were great and some flavors were not that hot!  You have long grain rice, navy and pinto beans that really create an awesome crunch.  I shy away from tomato based flavors because many are just over powdered with tomato powder that just tastes like dried condensed soup or worst, ketchup.  I opened the bag and noticed an herb like smell and picked up Bell Peppers.  Okay, this seems interesting now.  I put a triangle in my mouth and the spices with the chips were outrageous but in a good way!  Not over salty with a perfect balance of spice and again the ingredients are so simple.  You even have a natural smoke flavor that I could have sworn was a roasted pepper, but wait I see green bell pepper powder in the ingredient list.  They also have 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, plus they are corn free.  You have what goes into the actual Pico de Gallo and the black beans just add that extra “umph” that I never get from chips.  These babies are crispy and do not create mush in your mouth like many of these multigrained chips I see hit the market.  I will be buying these and not that they needed to be better, but Beanfield’s is also verified by the NON GMO project.  I wish I had found them sooner and they are a family owned company too!

 

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Original Nuts from Bobbysue’s Nuts (www.bobbysuesnuts.com)  (Twitter: @bobbysuesnuts):

The blend is dry roasted almonds, cashews and pecans that when you read their motto, “delicious nuts with a mission”, I raise my expectations.  The ingredients are the nuts I mentioned above, sugar, egg whites, water, salt and spices.  No corn syrup and they taste like someone made creme brulee nuts!  The coating is light so it preserves the natural crunch you get from nuts and sweetness was perfect and delicate.  I kept looking for honey or some form of caramel.  They had a very light cinnamon flavor that complemented the sugars well and I hope Bobbysue’s comes to a retailer near me soon but Amazon can fill that niche because I found them there.  Every nut dollar goes towards building a shelter for the homeless animals so they not only respect what they make for us humans, but they look out for the furry kind too.

 

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Tomato Basil Sipping Broth from Millie’s Savory Teas (www.milliessavoryteas.com) (Twitter: @SavoryTeas)
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I was excited so much that I missed that this sipping broth has green tea in the ingredients.  I like to taste items as-is without looking what is in them so I don’t go with an idea of what I should expect.  My first bite, I want it to be going into it with almost unknown expectations and the second one I take after, I see what has what.  I will say that when I put the tea bag in the cup, the smell was not appetizing.  The product advertises itself as a savory alternative to coffee or tea.  I think it missed being a savory good tasting broth and also a good tasting tea.  The green tea and basil were overpowering and after the second sip, which was smaller than my first, I had to skip in having more because I just could not.  The idea is sound to a degree and I even had it on a cold night but the blend was just off.  It was so off putting that if someone said it was medicinal, then maybe you can force yourself in having it if it made you feel better!

 

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Nektar Honey Crystals from Nektar Naturals (www.nektarnaturals.com) :

Powdered Honey…..you got me.  I saw powdered Maple Sugar the other day and wondered how it would be and then my mind began to think of ways to use it!  I received two packets and I’m a fan.  I mixed the Nektar with powdered sugar and used it to sprinkle my Lemon Bars and, “oh my”!  These little bees at Nektar have gold in their hands.  No sticky mess and the product dissolves well that I have been using the rest for my teas.  I even made a hot tea and later added ice and this should have reached my hands sooner!  Ingredients are granulated honey (natural honey and sugar).  Simple and I am thinking of making honey biscuits when I purchase this and even a ham glaze.  Yeah, I started thinking again and lets say my imagination can really get creative at times 🙂

 

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Milk Chocolate Caramel Truffle Piglet from Hagensborg Chocolates (http://www.hagensborg.com) (Twitter: @TrufflePigBar):
This little piggy can visit me again all it wants!  The caramel filling made this one my second favorite and wonder if this piglet makes anything bad.  With all natural ingredients and having one of the best milk chocolates out there, I so hope to see this piggy in my area again soon!

 

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Chocolate Madeleine from Donsuemor (www.donsuemor.com) (Twitter: @Donsuemor):
I dislike package cookies or any baked good because they always are dry and taste like the package they came in.  The ingredient’s list makes you wonder why the cookie does not glow so I usually bake myself at home.  I love Madeleine cookies because they are the in-between cookie and cake treat that I can enjoy in small portions and always so buttery.  This one came in chocolate and I liked already that the hue was deep color, so I expected a good amount of chocolate.  The shell shape always makes me smile so that alone on how this little cake was presented, it made me smile.  I had bananas so I decided to add some sugar to them and caramelize it with a torch, to create a nice brulee top.  I pop the cake out and notice it smells like real food and then came that chocolate wave.  I also noticed the edge crumbled so it was not a dry sea foam like I expected.  The company has been around since 1976, so you know they must be doing something right!  They are!  This is probably the only “packaged” cookie I will eat.  I will always try different brands and varieties but rarely finish a package but if I had these, it would be a dangerous territory for me because they tasted so good.  I looked on their website and they have scones and biscotti……I’m in love!  If you served this Madeleine to me, I would not be the wiser it came from a package.

 

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Jer’s Squares (www.jers.com)  (Twitter: @JersChocolates):
I saw Toffee Break and this is the first item I opened from the box.  I use to eat Heath bars until they stop tasting like they use to.  Jer’s uses Valencia peanut butter as the center, mixed with buttery rich toffee bits and covered in dark chocolate.  This bar is made for me!  It has everything my husband and I like but someone crammed it together and created AWESOMENESS!  I loved the crunch from the toffee but the buttery flavor is really there so it goes great with the peanut butter.  I already buy Valencia peanut butter but I want the PB that Jer’s has.  It does not taste like what I have in the fridge.  The dark chocolate cover is not waxy and has a great taste, no bitterness like you get with some dark chocolate coatings.  I want more!
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