100% Natural Just Fruit Bars are all right with me!

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I can vividly remember walking with my parents through many a supermarket’s produce sections, and seeing the fruit rolls cleverly merchandised there along side the fruit from whence it came. And while those rolled, pressed fruit pancakes were yummy, they were quickly replaced by processed, preservative laden junk they scarcely resembled the natural fruity goodness of roll-ups gone past.

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Enter Gorge Delights, Inc.’s 100% Natural Just Fruit bars. The first thing you notice is the ingredient list. Fruit and fruit juice concentrate. That’s it. No binders, fillers, caking agents, or science experiments that make my google spit out complex molecular formulas describing what should resemble and taste like food. Even if it really doesn’t anymore.

 

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Gorge Delight changed the landscape here going back to nature with these tasty treats. So many flavors, flavor combinations and treats, it’s hard to pick only one as my favorite, let alone just review one bar at a time. See, I was kinda a bad girl, and nibbled each bar. Hubby took great big hubby-sized chunks out that he called “bites’. They are good, good for you, natural, look yummy, and be baked with ūüėČ So I’ll do one big¬†√úber-review.

It’s also nice that the fruit claimed in the front is the fruit listed on the reverse. Far too often I had fallen prey to labels shouting out “Berries!” “Pomegranate!” “Tropical fruits!” and the turn it around to see apple juice, pear juice and white grape juice making up the bulk of the product, with a token spritz of whatever they claimed on the front. Not so with Gorge Delight. You see Apple-Blueberry on the front, you see apple and blueberry listed on the back. No more bait-n-switch, and I love that. Cranberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries raspberries, pears and apples. That’s it. How nice is that? And each one tastes better than the last. No oily fingers, no cellophane, just fruity goodness free of added sugars, wheat, dairy, nuts, gluten or added salts. No preservatives, gmo-free, fat free, soy free and made the USA. There’s nothing to not like. Each 40 gram bar is only 140 calories to boot. Almost to good to be true, but thankfully very true. I don’t even crave the old fruit rolls any more. How ’bout them apples (and pears, and blueberries, and raspberries, and cranberries, and cherries…)?

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Connect with Gorge Delights

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Gorge Delights, Inc..  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.

 

 

 

 

Bolthouse Farms: ALMOST Too Much Good Stuff

BHF Orange Simplified Logo¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Almost. But as it stands, this one is¬†just right. I love it. Hubby loves it. You’ll love it too! For those following along at home, this is the last in the Bolthouse Farms Juice reviews. We previously covered their 100% Carrot Juice, 100% Pomegranate Juice, Daily Greens, and now, without further adieu, I happily present Bolthouse Farm’s MultiV Goodness!

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The last treat in my batch of Bolthouse yum is a newer product for them, the Multi-V Goodness Smoothie. Packed with the juice of pomegranate, cherries, strawberries, apples, peaches, blackberries, cranberries and bananas, but not packed with calories (only 140 per serving) there is nothing not to love about this drink.

DSCN4162Did I mention the 8 grams of fiber? That’s nearly a third of the recommended daily intake already. You’re set! High in vitamins A, B, C, and D, and none of the yuck that comes in most highly processed smoothies, this one is good for breakfast, lunch or even dessert! I liked how the flavors all blended in harmony, making for a great experience. Hubby loved it too, and he’s not big on peaches or bananas. There’s no seeds or pulps like a home Smoothie would have. I love it. Hubby loves it. If we hadn’t been so quick to enjoy it, I’m sure the pooch would have loved it too. This one also comes in 2 sizes, 15.2 oz and 32, which makes it big enough to share, if you’re so inclined.

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Visit Bolthouse and their Countless Juice Selections, Juices from Blends to the Plain; to Cafe drinks and even Protein ones:

  • Say hello to the MultiV Goodness¬†online!
  • Veggies and Fruits on¬†Twitter
  • Visit Fun Bolthouse Crew on¬†Facebook
  • Catch the pics on¬†Instagram
  • Save $1.50 off any bottle¬†here!

I received the above product free of charge from Bolthouse Farms. 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.

Almondina: Delicious Cookie without the Guilt Review & Giveaway

Last week, I shared the Valentine’s Day Almondina ice cream hearts recipe and today I wanted to not only recap some of the flavors, but also have a giveaway ūüôā ¬†Yes, one lucky winner will receive the same assortment I did courtesy of the wonderful people at the Almondina brand.

You can visit here to get the Valentine’s Day Almondina recipe to make a treat that is delicious all-year-round-

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https://samplesandfreebiesgallery.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/almondina-cookies-no-bake-valentines-day-gelato-sorbet-and-ice-cream-heart-treats/

It was difficult to choose a favorite among all because they were all delicious. ¬†This is the type of cookie that when I shop at Trader Joe’s, if they did not have my first selection…..it does not matter. I will pick-up the flavor they have in stock. ¬†Yup, not passing it up! ¬†I love to pair the thin cookie mostly with ice cream because it’s like having a treat after dinner but I don’t pay for it a day later at the scale! ¬†It tastes good, maybe so good that you forget that each sweet cookie is just around 30 to 35 calories. ¬†The selection is bountiful and you can choose from chocolate based cookies to just the Original. ¬†No added fat, salt and a cholesterol free product…..so, your heart will thank you as much as your taste buds.

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AlmonDuo:

I love pistachio nuts, so this one really was the perfect little cookie for me. ¬†Almondinas are thin, but do not mistake that for being dry because they are not. ¬†They are crisp and light and the cookie is just studded with with perfect slivers of almonds and pistachios. ¬†It’s a happy cookie that will make anyone smile! ¬†Dip in chocolate ganache and you may even get the giggles ūüôā

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Chocolate Cherry:

This cookie has a rich chocolate base that is deep in flavor. ¬†You have a great combination of plump dried cherries that just complement the cocoa perfectly but also almonds. ¬†I enjoy having this cookie with ice cream because in my eyes it’s almost a sundae with the fudge, nuts and even cherry on top! ¬†Also, you can have your chocolate and enjoy it too with 4 cookies only at 132 calories.

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Cinnaroma:

I love cinnamon but tend to avoid it in products because manufacturers forgot the words, “a touch of Cinnamon”, ¬†Almondina thankfully has not. ¬†You taste the spice but you will find it compliments versus just engulfing your mouth with it. ¬†Your taste buds still enjoy the almonds, and the raisins really make me think of a loaf of cinnamon bread when I have this cookie. ¬†You also pick up the malted barley flour, giving this cookie a distinct flavor.

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GingerSpice:

This is what I call my “breakfast cookie” because I enjoy it with a pear based yogurt I like having in the morning. ¬†The Almondina is like the cereal that never loses it’s crunch in milk but yogurt in it’s place. ¬†I start my morning with this healthy parfait and you get to enjoy the diced Australian ginger they used that really gives it that gingery-snap taste. ¬†Nice to have a cookie like this available year round!

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Almondina cookies come in several varieties and flavors, you are sure to find one (or three) you will love:

  • Original – America’s all natural favorite with almonds and raisins
  • Chocolate Cherry – We combined the world’s finest dark chocolate¬†with plump cherries to produce an irresistible, decadent treat without guilt.
  • Choconut – Rich tasting crunchy chocolate, but low in calories
  • Cinnaroma¬ģ – The original biscuit for cinnamon lovers
  • Gingerspice – Trend setting, with chunks of Australian ginger
  • AlmonDuo¬ģ – Double-nut wonder with almonds and pistachios
  • AnniversaryT – Award winning delight with a touch of anise
  • BranTreats¬ģ – Made with oat bran and the finest cinnamon “Cookies For Breakfast”
  • Sesame – Irresistible, exotic, flavorful
  • Seasonal Pumpkin Spice – A seasonal attraction with a delightful touch of fall spices combined with the highest quality almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

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Try Almondina’s Newest Products:

  • Chocolate Dipped ‚Äď the Original¬ģ dipped in the finest, pure, rich dark chocolate was¬†previously offered only certain times of the year is now available year round
  • Delights ‚Äď The Original¬ģ Almondina totally encased in Milk chocolate
  • Yogurt Dipped ‚Äď Brantreats¬ģ dipped on one side with a layer of all natural yogurt

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Stop by and thank Almondina for sharing with us their Grandmother Dina’s cookie, a delight since 1929:

**Now for the Giveaway**

Very easy to participate and have a chance at becoming the winner of the same selection of goodies I received from Almondina.  All you have to do is-

  1. Like Almondina on Facebook
  2. Please Follow them on Twitter
  3. Then please leave a comment on this review……that is all ūüôā

I will announce the winner on March 3rd!

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

Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Buttermilk Cake

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Everyone loves pineapple upside down cake. If someone doesn’t, then they haven’t had it made right. Little things make the biggest differences. Like, I always just used canned Pineapple. One day I had a fresh pineapple on the counter and decided to try my recipe with it. Best ever, and I have never gone back! One of my easier cakes to make and perfect during the warmer months. Bakes quickly and you can serve it warm, room temperature or even cold. The buttermilk keeps the cake moist and gives it a unique flavor that is not typically associated with cakes. So, I hope this breaks up the usual and you enjoy it as much as we do.

Let’s begin….

Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons of Butter
  • 3 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar

Fruit:

  • 1 whole fresh Pineapple (canned may be used if needed)
  • 6 Maraschino cherries

Cake Batter:

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup of Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup of Buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 a Vanilla Bean
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) of Cinnamon and Nutmeg

First you start by cutting your pineapple slices and coring the rounds. Set those aside and begin making your glaze.

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Add your butter, brown sugar and maple syrup to a nonstick pan.

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Over medium-low heat, you begin to dissolve the sugar.  I usually use a silicone spatula to make sure undissolved sugar crystals do not get stuck to the sides of the (non-stick) pan. Keep stirring and increase the heat slightly. You will reach a gentle boil as you stir and then continue cooking for about 45 seconds, and then remove the glaze from the stove.

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I take a large lasagna pan (sprayed with cooking spray)

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Pour the glaze carefully over and evenly.  Then place your pineapple slices carefully over the glaze.

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Next comes the cherries.

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Start your cake batter by first blending the unsalted butter with the sugar, until nice and fluffy.

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Add one egg and blend until it is incorporated into the mixture.

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Then add the second the egg and fully incorporate into the mixture.

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Follow with the buttermilk, maple syrup and vanilla. I tend to mix all three and pour them at the same time.  Pour only half of the mixture in.

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Follow by adding the 1/2 Vanilla Bean.

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Then comes the dry ingredients. I mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.

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You then take half of the dry ingredients and add it to the mixer. Mix well until everything is wet, remembering to scrape the sides of the bowl.

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I slowly then add the second half of my buttermilk mixture intermediately with the left over half of the dry mixture. I do this so I do not over whip the batter, since this tends to produce a dryer cake if you over beat it. You will end up with a nice smooth mixture by halving the wet and dry, and not over beating.

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Once everything is incorporated, I take the batter and drop spoonfuls into the pan with the glaze and pineapple. I do six large spoonfuls so I can get a nice even layer without disrupting the fruit’s placement.

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Place in oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch. You can use a toothpick to check if the cake is done too.

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The sides will be bubbling!

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Allow the cake to cool down for 15 minutes before flipping. I usually place a glass cutting board on top of the cake pan.

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Flip.

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Remove pan.

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I allow for it to cool a bit more and then start cutting, usually 10 minutes.

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Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if desired!

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You can store the cooled cut cake slices in the fridge (just wrap in plastic) and it holds very well. Enjoy!

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