Luv Michael: Locally Sourced Organic Granola that Gives Back #Review #LuvMichael #LuvMichaelCo

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Being a yogurt lover sort of makes me a granola junkie. I love that crunch combined with nuts and fruits that tends to take the bore out of my geek yogurt. In other words, granola is what adds happiness to any cup of plain yogurt. As granola became more and more popular, many companies sort of got off the beaten path of just oats and sweeteners. Many add other ingredients like Chia seeds to Hemp and antioxidant rich berries like Acai to Cocoa nibs, plus your typical nut blends. Even the sweeteners have changed. Honey is no longer the only thing that bonds the clusters. I have seen from agave to rice derived sugars that really anymore we really have so many choices. Like with everything, being able to siphon out the fakers as I call them is really the only thing to watch out for.

 

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In comes Luv Michael granola, which took the approach of not only making a “cleaner” product but also took the challenge of making changes happen with the products they produce. They contribute back and not just to your taste buds. Luv Michael is a company that invests in people with Autism, just like it’s founder Michael Kessaris. They produce a gluten free product with natural derived ingredients. Foods that benefit many with autistic symptoms. Luv Michael then again took a step further and when the company started with aid from his parents, they employ from the community people with same challenges. Talk about giving back in every way possible and this is why I took interest in such a company. Many companies give back but very few really take their mission to heart like Luv Michael has. The company and it’s members went full circle in every way possible to create not only a welcoming environment for autistic adults but one where they can help contribute and distribute a product for everyone.

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Verdict:

Like I stated being a a self proclaimed granola junkie means I have tasted many combinations and overly elaborate mixes. Many have been great and others just stop being granola and more like trail mixes when you really look at the combos. Finding an original one or what I call plain variety is what is really hard to find. So many even add chocolates to their mixes that a snack turns into a dessert at one point or even an ice cream topper. My hunt for a good plain granola was starting to look murky until I found the company Luv Michael. First of all, finally a resealable package! Air is great for humans but very mean to granola. Some goes stale while other gets sticky when exposed to air for any amount of time. Mostly because of all the sugars and other non-granola ingredients making a simple thing not so simple. The granola from Luv Michael has even a cute name, Originola. Each packet is 2 ounces and masterfully done by not just chefs but Granologists. They use natural and organic ingredients and the end result is a not super sweet but plenty crunchy granola. The oat clusters are decent in size and not just what I call granola dust, when a product has been over processed or worse, those tooth breaking granola boulders. Each package contains perfectly sized chunks that you can enjoy as-is or pair it up with yogurt if you so desire. There is care in how everything is made at Luv Michael and that really is seen in the appearance of the product but more importantly, in the taste! Not super sugary but enough to add some brightness to a breakfast mix or snack. I really liked the oats used because they did not taste like they had been packaged on a shelf for months. There is freshness here and care. Luv Michael has captured what was lost and that is making one awesome plain granola mix that is rare to find anymore. A throwback to what use to be easily found before and from a girl that missed the plain original……she is very glad to count on Luv Michael to fill that knitch for her.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Luv Michael Company. 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.

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Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic and Gluten-Free Homestyle Burger #Review

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I celebrate Meatless Mondays, so I am always seeking out meat alternatives being that I do enjoy meat on other days. My goal is always to get 3 days out of the week where my protein source comes from anything else but an animal. This means I have had many hits and sadly many misses. My Husband is a carnivore and there is no bringing him to the lighter side of meatless meals, so I need something that is easy to prepare while I am making two different dinners in one evening. I am all for working and cooking, if the product delivers in texture and taste,

I had seen Kim’s Simple Meals at my local Sprout’s Farmers Market, but it seems the stock never moved. The boxes even began to gather dust, so when I received the invite to try the first of two, of the Kim’s Simple Meals…..I must admit my feelings were mixed. I looked at reviews and Amazon had a 50/50 ratio when it came to positive versus negative reviews. It took a while to get the coupon for the free product, and in that time Amazon dropped all the products and just carried the Breakfast Sausage from Kim’s Simple Meals. Sprout’s continued to support the brand and when the coupon arrived, finding it was a cinch.

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Kim’s Simple Meals differs from other products like it. So many use soy protein heavily and artificial boosters to gather a protein number worthy of advertising. Kim’s Simple Meals are Gluten-Free and Vegan Friendly, so no animal anything in this. Ingredients are also Organic, Kosher and Non-GMO friendly. Then there is other factors like these burgers being Dairy-Free. Lot’s of “free from” products and I worried if this meant free from flavor or even texture. The box states burger, so I expect a burger-like product.

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Ingredients: Oats*, garbanzo bean flour*, flax seed*, yeast flakes* (yeast autolysate* with rice flour* and sea salt), sea salt, tamari powder* [(soybeans*, salt), maltodextrin*, and salt], garlic powder*, spices*, onion powder*, dutched cocoa powder*, tomato powder*, natural smoked torula yeast, natural hickory smoke flavor [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent). *Organic  .  Soy ingredients is listed and I noticed it comes from the Tamari Powder.

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Verdict:
As you can see, this is not a soy filled product that can sometimes cause bloat and discomfort. Yes, you fill full but also uncomfortable. You have oats and a bean as a source of protein listed first. Next, comes other ingredients to even cocoa powder! Everything is familiar and real when it comes to the ingredients I recognize. The idea is just to hydrate the product and then make your burgers. Pretty simple. I notice water was listed and you can add ingredients to both add flavor and texture to the product. The biggest complaints I saw when it came to other reviews, was the lack of flavor and to the product being high in oats. Upon opening the box, I do agree the oats visible is higher than I desire. The video on Kim’s Simple Meals website, shows burgers being made with mushrooms, plus onions and other ingredients. You can even add walnuts it states. Barbecue sauce was another addition I saw too. So, I began to look at Kim’s Simple Meals as “starter meals”. I am not new to this method and think of quick bread boxes to even “starter sauces” you pick-up at the store. Same idea. I added red and green bell peppers, red and yellow onion, plus a medley of mushrooms. I even grated some carrots, added Edamame and I went more with an Asian style base versus an American style Burger. For me, the mix was already very far away from a Veggie Burger you get at the store or are familiar with, so why push the product into something it does not even resemble? I added a soy sauce and miso mix to create a hydrating base (water) that would not only plump the ingredients, but also add flavor. Everything was sauteed first and I then lastly added the Home-style Burger base from Kim’s Simple Meals. Okay, it smelled pleasant. I opted for small meatballs in the oven that I basted with Soy Vay, a marinade/stir fry sauce mixed with sesame oil. The house quickly filled with these smell of these Asian style meatballs and it smelled good. I basted a total of 3 times and this made the meatball move around, so it created a nice round shape versus a one-sided flat meatball. The oil allowed for a crisp exterior to build up when it was baking, and using the convection mode and baking on parchment paper, made the cooking process an easy clean up. The taste test? Well, they tasted very good and have a meaty/oatsy texture. I could not imagine using the box’s contents as-is. Like no way! It’s workable but I have to be frank, this was a boxed meal that I fixed up and these are ingredients I always have in hand, so it’s a great way to use up perishables but I am unsure if I would seek Kim’s Simple Meals burger box again. I found myself not craving it and I consider that a test when it comes liking a product. Yes, I made it work but should a product be worked up so much that it no longer resembles it’s beginning….because in the first place you read it never would? Probably not. It’s a start like I said and it’s a meal from a box that is better ingredient wise than others, but not exactly a yummy Home-style burger like it says on the box.

Connect with Kim’s Simple Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kim’s Simple Meals and Social Nature. 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.

 

Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery Breads Review #SilverHillsBakery

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The market is full of breads from sliced, wheat, organic,artisan to non-gluten varieties and much more. Finding the bread is easy, but finding one that has real ingredients and tastes wonderful…….well, not so easy.

In our home, we love “brown breads”. This is what we call the molasses type to wheat breads, and even those seedy ones. As much as I do love baking and I do bake our white breads, I have not hit a satisfactory taste profile when it comes to wheat breads and I also would like to just get a loaf at the store, get home and just bake something else. I do not always have the freedom to do so because I’m the type of person that if I can’t find what I am looking for, I make it!

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In comes Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery with their large selection of breads. They all fall into our “brown bread” kind of loaves, but they have everything from bagels, burger and hot dog buns. The breads may share a base color (tan or brown) but at first impression, I was worried they would all have the same base flavor and not really differ much than just what seed selection each bread has. Let us just say don’t judge a loaf by it’s cover!

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My first loaf I purchased at Sprout’s Market and it was in the refrigerated section and the store had some issues like over stuffing the open fridge, so the loaves in the back were partially frozen. I opted on a fresher date, so that meant a semi-frozen loaf. I picked “The Big 16” variety and took it home and because we carry coolers when we shop, I figure I keep the same environment going and put it in the cooler. We got home and the following day we just tried a slice out of curiosity. Even though the loaf had been stressed because I later found out at Target they just keep it out with no refrigeration, this was an entire different playing field when it came to quality. The bread retained it’s moisture but most of all, it has everything I ever wanted in a wheat style bread. The ingredients are simple and understandable, plus as a baker it would be products I would use to make my own breads at home. The wheat is flavorful without those odd bitter notes and aftertaste you experience with most “brown breads”. I find companies use sugars and sweetened syrups to cover up both the bitter off flavors, but to keep the texture satisfactory, and let’s be realistic…….to try to extend the life span of the bread. Not Silver Hills Bakery!!! They let the bread do all the talking on it’s own and I dropped my favorite all time favorite Milton bread over this loaf. This was after just one bite of a naked slice. Nothing else and I already knew I had a winner.  I also like that each slice is around 100 calories and did I mention organic and Non-GMO ingredients?  Plus, vegan and non-Dairy ingredients too.  they make a non-Gluten variety and nothing is loaded with sugars or any unwelcoming (so not necessary) ingredients. I went down the list on their website of all the breads they make and over and over I kept say, “I’d eat that”.

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I go out shopping and because the first loaf was so welcomed, I buy another variety but at Target this time. It’s called the Squirrely Bread and I see it has exactly what I look for in a bread of this type, down to the sunflower seeds. Again, we bring it home and this is when I found out that the breads from Silver Hills Bakery are all each their own. This one tasted nothing like the loaf before! It even tasted better and my Husband remarked you gotta buy this one again, plus I want to try the Little Big Bread they carry. Yup, I’m taking orders now of what loaf to pick-up because even my family knows that this is now our “go-to” brand.

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I feel bad that I never noticed Silver Hills Bakery Breads before but I now not only have made them a part of my permanent grocery list, I now get to share them with others. I am not the only one that enjoys these breads because two Targets on different days and each one was out of the Little Big Bread. The tag was there, so I know they carry it but I will catch it when it’s back in stock. I’m on a mission! I also have added the conquest to get my hands on those bagels they make and why not the hamburger and hot dog buns too! It’s nice to go into a store and pick-up bread like a normal person again 🙂 Make your taste buds sing and try something that is new, different and better…….get your hands on a loaf of Silver Hills Bakery bread and just one slice will make you a believer! You just have to promise to leave the last Little Big Bread loaf for me.

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Connect with Silver Hills Bakery Bread and find a loaf or two at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery.  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.

 

Nutraplex: Megaberry Bar #Review #Nutraplex

 

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We are always hunting for new nutrition, energy, supplement……well, you name it type of bars. I like to not only eat bars when I am busy but I actually enjoy eating them when they are done well. That latter part is where many companies seem to forget and it use to be because it was hard to jam real nutrition into bars.  Nowadays, that is not that difficult with so many ingredients coming in powder to liquid form without compromising their nutrition value. You can really amp a bar up without skipping in real nutrition but so many bars out there are what I call fakers! Bars that call themselves nutritional but offer nothing new than being a multi-vitamin disguised in a sugary concoction. I expect more and especially if the company is asking for more price wise.

Nutraplex is a company, which carries a variety of bars that offer energy and nutrition. Their flavors are:

  • Megaberry
  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Pomegranate Cherry
  • Mango Strawberry

I was sent the Megaberry one to try out. Nutraplex describes their product as a, “balanced macro-nutrient ratio, plenty of omegas and fiber”.

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Ingredients: Dates, Chia Seeds, Cranberry (with Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Cashews, Pea Protein, Honey, Raisins, Safflower Oil, Blueberries (with Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Strawberries, Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Raspberries, Acai Powder, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, and Citric Acid.

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Let’s Break the above down:
The word “macronutrient” just means nutrition that the body needs in a large dose, so Nutraplex bars give you all your nutritional needs in what is really a small portion, which is a good thing. Feel full and have energy but you don’t need to amp calories and/or portions. The Megaberry has protein, which is derived from peas, so it at least breaks away from the soy enriched world so many bars have become. Once source of fiber comes from dates, which you can see from the picture is what makes up a lot of the bar and the word bar is it’s shape, but not exactly it’s consistency. Think of it more as a “soft bar shaped patty”. You have Chia seeds that are great for energy and also expand when wet, so you do feel full. You have acai in powder form, blueberries and strawberries to fill the antioxidant portion of the bar. Mixed Tocopherols and it’s really just an organic compound that helps preserve the bar and it’s oils. Many seeds and the oils they have tend to oxidize with air and light, so this is just Vitamin E used to help prevent (or at least slow down) this natural occurrence.

Retail Price Point: $2.99 per bar via Nutraplex’s site or $44.85 for a carton of 15 bars. I checked with Amazon and they have a price point of $39.45 for the carton.

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Final Verdict:
Yes, the bar is free of gluten and non-gmo ingredients, but I did not see a non-gmo certification listed on the site. Free of high fructose corn syrup, soy and dairy free. You have no dyes or artificial ingredients, plus it’s kosher. The price point is high for ingredients that are not of high value but I am still making the leap that Nutraplex is using higher grades here. Trust me not all Chia seeds are created equal! Even with that in mind, the taste and texture matter. Really matter! You are dealing with simple ingredients and I value that, just not $3 a bar that is not even organic certified. Like I mentioned the bar is in it’s shape and not so much in it’s texture. I opened it and it flops a bit because it’s just ingredients compacted to form a patty…..sort resembles a seed disc for birds. Very soft and chewy and you taste berry seeds but not a burst of berry fruit notes. Think of raspberry seeds, strawberry seeds, the chia seeds and so forth but packed into a date and maybe some raisin batter. I did not find it pleasing and I’m all for the “naked bars” out there. I don’t need a coating of faux chocolate or a oat/granola filling to respect the bar but if you say berry, I expect well a berry slap of flavor. This was too date-y for me and I like dates but when you mush, grind, pulverize and so forth…….the individual flavors start to get muted and I like energy and nutrition, but I still believe you should like what you are eating to some degree other than it’s just good for you. I would walk out with a berry bag of dried (unsweetened) fruit with the same ingredients in cluster form versus the mashed-up form any day. I only tasted the berry one and maybe the other flavors will be better at covering the the date and raisin base. I just think 190 calories (70 from fat) and at only 6 grams of protein, is not worth the exchange or will equate a bunch of energy. You also have 21 grams of sugars and the vitamin content is low with none from vitamin A, 4% of Vitamin C, 10% of calcium and 10% of iron. Sunflower oil is used in the product and with all the fats to choose from in today’s market, I was surprised and again when looking at the list……maybe my idea of “macro-nutrition” means something else because Nutraplex’s bar did not (in my opinion) offer enough macro in their Megaberry bar!  It has nutrition but pretty low for energy and the nutritional facts say it all.  I just don’t understand the price tag when so much is missing.

 

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

 

QSpeed Nutritionals CoQ10 Fast Melt Tablets Review #QSpeedCoQ10

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I’m always looking for a way to boost my body naturally. But I want things that have been proven to work. Not the latest “flash in the pan” fad supplement that some talking head on TV claims is a miracle pill or will cure all that ails me overnight. So about a year ago, when I turned 30-*mumbles* years old, I started taking CoQ10. It is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in the body, but tends to decrease with age. But taking a handful of supplements every morning and night gets…tiresome to say the least. Enter QSpeed’s Fast Melt CoQ10 200mg tablets.

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Used for years now to aid or combat everything from blood pressure and heart disease to even asthma, chronic fatigue, and high cholesterol. The jury is still out as to whether it aids at all in exercise performance, fatigue or diabetes. In fact, it’s been all but disproven to be effective against things like Alzheimer’s disease. So if you temper your expectations, QSpeed’s CoQ10 can become an indispensable tool in maintaining your overall health and wellness.

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A novel approach to getting your daily dose of healthy stuff is gummies. Or fast-melt tablets. I’ve already reviewed the former a while back, but now it’s time for the latter. QSpeed’s novel approach to a healthier lifestyle is their naturally-orange-flavored 200mg CoQ10 fast melt tablets. Coming in a 40 count blister pack, and lacking that usual chalky mouth feel, it’s even sugar free (though it does have mannitol and sorbitol), gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, soy, milk, dairy, corn, sodium, preservatives, and uses non-GMO ingredients. No preservatives or artificial flavors. Just what you want, none of what you don’t, quick, easy and simple. The taste is actually pretty good too. QSpeed has hit a lot of good metrics here, but for me, it missed the boat in one: Price.

The 40 tablets are currently priced at about $25. The recommended dose is one to two tablets per day. You can find comparable products for much less, as long as your OK with taking a pill the old fashioned way. So what it comes down to is convenience versus price. If you hate pills, or are just tired of taking them, then this is your huckleberry.

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Connect with QSpeed Nutritionals:

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

“MELT”ed Chocolate? Yes, Please!

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I’ve been able to try every single kind of Rich & Creamy Melt Organic spread they make (feel free to take a gander at my review from a while back), and I have yet to find one I dislike, even a little bit. From the Original, the Honey, and now, the Chocolate. Oh, the chocolate. How do I love thee?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let’s start with, it’s chocolate.                                   Not that fake, weirdly sweet, waxy, sugary, nasty pseudo-chocolate that everyone seems to like to 3480use. No, I’m talking the real deal. To quote their website, it’s a: “velvety blend of rich organic cocoa”. Boy, howdy is it. It also adds wildflower honey to the mix, along with the Melt Organic to make a truly good and good for you spread. With just 1 gram of sugar per serving and being dairy free, vanillin free, and nut free,everyone can enjoy it. Each square of Chocolate MELT Organic is certified organic, non-GMO (Non-GMO Project Verified), kosher and made with Fair Trade Fair for Life certified virgin coconut oil and Rainforest Alliance certified palm fruit oil. Chocolate Melt is also soy free, gluten free, dairy free and trans fat free. Each serving of Chocolate Melt is a rich source of the ‘good fats‘ with an ideal balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 ALA (that are optimally metabolized with virgin coconut oil), and has 425 mg of Omega-3 ALA (or 26% RDA) and Vitamin E (or 15% RDA). Now that’s a mouthful, and a darn good one, too.

The best part is, since it’s good food that’s good for you, you can truly enjoy it any time, breakfast to dessert. Want to enjoy it on some toast? Aces. Want it with some fruit? Pile it high and deep. Want to bake with it? You had to know I was going to go there, and oh…I went there. But that’s for another post. 😉 Icings, filling, just drizzled on a slice of warm panetone bread. It’s something I can’t recommend enough that you try immediately. They even have coupons to print right from the website. It’s like it’s meant to be!! You really should dip a finger into their butter 2.0, it’s something you’ll wonder how you did without.

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Connect with Melt Organic!!

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

 

 

 

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.

With that we move on to the Sea Salt bag.DSCN1630

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.

Swaggable: YumEarth Naturals Sour Beans

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Being a Swaggable member, my newest item to review was the YumEarth Naturals Sour Beans. The company advertises these little guys as the Jelly Bean with Attitude. Made with real fruit juice and is a gluten free product. This Jelly Bean packs 100% of your daily Vitamin C but is also fat free….who doesn’t want that when it comes to candy?

I have always loved Jelly Beans but I am an addict of the sour stuff, from the ropes, candies, to just dipping my finger in a sour powdered mess, I shall have it! Being such an addict, I was overjoyed when I was picked to try these. I love how they look and being that it was just in time for Easter, they looked like mini Easter eggs for me and they just got me into the whole “Welcoming Spring Feeling!” These little buddies have no artificial dyes and if your little ones (or your big self) have allergies, they are also Soy-Free, Peanut-Free, and Tree Nut-Free. No MSG and I really so not want to know why someone would poison a little Jelly Bean with such things, but I know they do!

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The Taste Test:

I started off with the intent to share. I poured part of the bag onto a plate and then had a pink colored jelly bean and my husband did too. He liked them and I had a second one but I must admit the rest is a fog. I will speed up to the ending and it pretty much was me asking if he wanted the last Jelly Bean and he thought I meant the one on the plate and not the last…LAST Jelly bean. I gulped them and I’m not a midday snacker. They were the perfect sweetness and that tartness just smacks your taste buds but in a good way. I then with fear turned the package over because I feared that this fog of goodness was going to end but to my surprise, one pouch that is 7 ounces is a mere 69 calories. I now did not feel bad at all for having them……well I still feel bad I gobbled them up but let’s say the guilt was lifted .

I have been a fan of YumEarth from the Pomegranate hard candies, lolly pops to now these cuties called Sour Beans. I have purchased them at Sprout’s but also Amazon carries a great selection at good prices. I love that they make the simple stuff the good way, so you can smile while you eat because their products not only taste great but they do not punish you for rewarding yourself. You can check them out at http://www.sourbeans.com and I highly recommend you pick up anything from YumEarth because you will not regret it. Have a smile with me because I am so picking up a bag of these Sour Jelly Beans but I promise to share….promise!

I was provided the product above free of charge from Swaggable.  I am not obligated in providing a positive/favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My opinion is based on my experiences with the product that may differ from yours.

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