MomsMeet: Organic Nutiva Hazelnut Spreads and Buttery Coconut Oil #Review #Nutiva

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Hazelnut spreads are my weakness and when I saw that Nutiva actually makes both a classic chocolate blend and a dark chocolate……I knew what I would be baking up storm with this season (and the next). Nutiva, took the (my) hazelnut spread addiction a step further, by providing us with an organic option. This is a game changer as finding just natural products is difficult with these spreads and most contain artificial ingredients to even nasty ones that take the enjoyment of indulging away. This is why I stopped eating what I enjoyed so much as a kid. Hazelnuts are my favorite and you combine chocolate with them, well it’s a perfect marriage. I always wished they made a dark chocolate variety but in the end, I just kept wishing they added less sugar and sweet syrups to the spreads! My hazelnut spread was slowly lost as time went by and when the company was sold to another food company, I lost any hazelnut or even chocolate flavors that remained. I started just calling it the brown spread. Sort of sounded gross but it summed up how I felt about what I had lost.

 

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Nutiva comes in and saves the day…..heck, my childhood memories. My mind is running with ideas from truffles to cakes made with their spread. I was worried that I was building up the idea and would open up the jar to just find sadness. Nutiva was very generous with the kit they sent and I received:

 

Verdict:

 

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When it comes time to purchase coconut oils, I always resort to Nutiva as my go-to brand. The brand has never failed me when it comes to quality ingredients and they are constantly innovating the brand with the new products they added. Everything is always a must buy after I have tried it once. You can’t say that about many brands out there. Nutiva’s selection may not be as grand as others but knowing that what you are buying is not only made with premium and clean ingredients, you also know that it will taste good. I am all about eating well and organic when possible, but the taste and texture has to be there for me. I don’t like the idea of “eating good” but not being happy about what I am eating in the first place. Nutiva has made me a fan of coconut oil to now being able to add their Organic Buttery one to the mix. I was already at times mixing unsalted butter with my coconut oil in the first place but now I won’t have to. The best part, you taste butter but it’s not there. Nutiva managed to use sunflower to create this genius concoction. I assumed the butter was there when I cooked and ate a pasta dish I made but while eating, I started reading the bottle and noticed this is a “butter alternative”, not actual dairy. It’s even Vegan friendly! Pure genius and I will definitely be purchasing this mix again.

 

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Next comes the Hazelnut spreads. Um, they are back and can I even admit to being better than before? I taste hazelnut again. That was gone after my third jar of trying and I bought the third bottle from another brand by telling myself maybe the other 2 jars were bad batches. You know, made on a Friday at the factory and everyone wanted to leave early kind of batch. Cocoa is the second ingredient followed by Palm and then the nut! No skimping here and I feel the spread is smoother not only in taste but texture. No grainy or oily feel when consumed. The quality of the chocolate is present and no rancid weird taste of what I call “fillers” when not only hazelnuts are used. There is a reason the hazelnut and chocolate combination has been a hit for generations. It works and Nutiva did not mess with that. I finally can have my spread and they listened to me even though I never said anything directly to them, but like some magic Nutiva lowered the sugar. Yup, by 40% less than the leading brand. This is why the power of the chocolate and hazelnut is what you get at every bite……finally, less freaking sugar. I am not anti-sugar but like salt, just a touch so you can still taste the actual ingredients you want. There is also many advantages buying Nutiva’s spread where you get Omega-3 (450 mg), Fair Trade Palm oil, to Organic and a Gluten Free product. Anyone can eat this because the goal was to make the best hazelnut spread with the best ingredients and this is why (and others) agree that so far Nutiva has beat the competition by a huge margin!

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Connect with Nutiva at:

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nutiva and MomsMeet. 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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HouseParty: Lavazza Taste the Passion House Party #LavAzza #Review

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Lavazza has been a household name and favorite for over 100 years in Italy! That is a lot of roasted coffee beans! Once I tasted this coffee, it has been my go-to for drinking and a must for baking. Nothing intensifies chocolate notes like coffee, so like wine, you want to use the very best and Lavazza is just that.

Now, that I can find the coffee here, I have noticed new items and selections available. I was so fortunate in being able to host another party and decided with the colder days ahead, baking a Coffee Chocolate Chip cookie, which went perfectly with the coffees. Simple, quick and the bittersweet chips mixed with the semisweet ones, makes this an irresistible cookie!

First Let’s start with what LavAzza’s Taste the Passion House Party included:

  • 1 Barista apron with the Lavazza logo for host
  • 4 bags of Lavazza Coffee in different varieties
  • Coffee Mug for host with the Lavazza Logo
  • Generous Coupons for guests to save on Lavazza coffees
  • Magnets shaped like a coffee mug for guests
  • Coffee Cups that were just like you get from your local Coffee Shop, with even the little sleeves to go over the cups
  • Fun cards and games to entertain guests, including the “Italian hand gestures” game, which we all tend to “speak”.

The LavAzza Selections:

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  • Gran Aroma- Medium roast, smooth & aromatic, with citrusy notes.  This is the coffee that appealed to everyone and a perfect “everyday and at any season” cup you can enjoy.

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  • Classico- Medium roast, rich & full-bodied, with hints of dried fruit.  This was my second favorite and most guests really enjoyed this variety.  For some the roast was a little stronger than expected but welcoming.

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  • Gran Selezione- Dark roast, intense and chocolaty. 100% sustainably grown coffee that comes exclusively from Rainforest Alliance™ certified farms.  My favorite and every dark roast lovers favorite! This one is just delicious and strong, but without the bitter notes.  The aftertaste is nice and just makes you crave another cup of coffee!

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  • Perfetto- Espresso roast, dark and velvety with a lingering caramel finish.  I’m an espresso girl and this is it without the work.  You get the strength that wakes you up and also everything you love about coffee in one cup, but just in a non-espresso size!

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LavAzza Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2/3 cup of All Vegetable Shortening
  • 3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 3 Tablespoons of any LavAzza Coffee (I brew a strong cup so I can get that intense coffee flavor. I used the Gran Selezione in this batch)
  • 1 1/4 cups of Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Whole Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Large Egg at room temperature
  • 2 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 cup of mixed Chocolate Chips (I use Bittersweet & Semi-Sweet)
  • Optional- you can add 1/2 cup of toasted pecans or walnuts if you desire. You can get adventurous and even add dried fruits and the Lavazza Classico variety is perfect for that combination with it’s fruity notes.

Set your oven to 375 degrees (I use convection)

Using your mixer with the beater attachment, just combine the shortening, butter, coffee and brown sugar. Beat until you have a nice creamy and fluffy consistency. Then add the milk, extract, and egg and blend well. Remember to scrape down to make sure you get a smooth batter. In a bowl combine the dry ingredients, the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to your mix and blend until combined. Make sure to not over beat. Then add the chocolate chips and combine (fold) with a spatula, so the chips do not get destroyed by the beater.

To make the cookies, I like to use a large ice scream scoop and just scoop (leave in ball form) about six scoops (cookies) on a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 14 minutes and allow the cookies to rest for about 5 minutes before moving them onto a cookie rack to cool.

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The cookies will be nice and soft, plus gooey when split open to eat. Really delicious and they hold well in a covered plastic container (room at temperature) for about 3 to 4 days. You will get about 12 cookies that are medium/large in size out of this recipe.

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Don’t be sad if you a one cup machine!  Fate would have it that LavAzza sent me this postcard via mail, so their great coffees come in K-cups too.

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Connect with LavAzza and find your favorite cup of coffee at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from HouseParty and Lavazza.  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.

BzzAgent Green Mountain Coffee Campaign

I received my kit from BzzAgent for the Green Mountain Coffee campaign. I am a no nonsense gal when it comes to making coffee. I have tried many machines in the past and at different price points, but many have left me less thrilled and with a lighter pocket book. I use a simple French Press when I make my coffee. My press is over 20 years old, easy to clean and not having to keep up with the latest “cup” or compatible system they come up with. I can drink and make as much as I want, never having to worry about my coffee getting burned.

I decided to read about the company, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), Inc., before my product arrived to get an idea about what they carried and a little more background information. The company focuses on ethical and environmental standards when it comes to production.  They have a “higher values” system they have implemented in how they treat their employees, coffee growers, to the land’s Eco-system.  It seems to encompass a morality you do not see many manufactures/brands out there use.  Many claim but fall short once you get to see the real picture.  At first, I thought it was a gimmick used to justify the higher price point to consumers but once I read and even reviewed the evidence, Fair Trade is important and implemented in everything GMCR, Inc., does.

How does the coffee taste?  This is really what surprised me more….it’s great.  Better than the leading brand and smoother.  You get a full flavored drink by using the recommended amount and I like strong coffee.  The bitter notes are non-existent, so no masking with creamers, flavorings, and sugars are required.  I used less sugar than usual and found myself enjoying the base product, the forgotten COFFEE much more.  I actually liked tasting the coffee and this meant less calories when making a cup and a more satisfied palette.  I shared my samples with friends and handed out my coupons, to just find myself being asked for more of both.  I recommend trying this coffee and you will not only enjoy the taste but you get that extra “feel good” feeling for supporting a brand that cares about their impact not only environmentally, but also how they treat their employees.

I received all associated products at no (ZERO) charge.  I am not obligated by either company in supplying a favorable and/or unfavorable opinion.  My commitment is to supply an HONEST review and opinion.  My opinion may differ from yours, but is all my own.

 

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