Campbell’s® : New Campbell’s Organic Soups #Review

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As simple as soups are, they probably are one the hardest things for me to purchase off the shelf. It comes down to ingredients used and while some want the consumer to focus on caloric intake, many are just vessels loaded with sodium but no flavor and far from being healthy. I like broth but when a soup says chicken noodles, I sort of expect chicken and pasta in the container. Silly me! My Husband will usually join me and we tend to always split a can/container between us and even though I will always give him more of the noodles and poultry pieces, he will always ask me if I got enough “soup stuff” while he dips and empties his spoon, trying to ladle out the desired chunks. I just finally got tired of cans that did not deliver and started making my own. This means that a simple meal like soup…….was not so simple anymore!

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When I was offered the Organic Soups campaign from Campbell’s, I admit I could not think of the last time I actually purchased a can from the company. I never cared for the condensed version as a child, and much less as an adult. The red and white cans were everything I disliked about soup with soggy noodles, wannabe chicken bits and I never wanted to slurp the salty liquid like the kids did in the commercials. If you added the extra can of water to the soup, it was tasteless but still salty. There was no balance, so I usually went for the brand in the blue can. Now, Campbell’s is advertising Organic soups and get this, no longer in a can but a carton. No broth that tastes like metal, so I give the ever loving brand a second look. Before I received the campaign materials, I visited the website. The soups are advertised as good soups for adults and kids, with the kid versions just having shaped character pasta, but still wholesome and now made with organic derived ingredients. The carton is white and green in color and the only red is the Campbell’s brand that I’ll be honest, I would look at this carton and never imagined it was a Campbell’s product. The soups just look different and the flavors I would actually desire. I look at the list and the new Campbell’s Organic soups come in:

Chicken Noodle
Lentil
Tomato & Basil
Chicken Tortilla
Butternut Squash
Garden Vegetable

The Kid’s (and adults if they so desire) get:
Mega Noodle
Chicken Stars
and Frozen theme Chicken noodle soup with Frozen shaped character pasta

 

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The campaign materials arrive and I begin my hunt for the soups. None of my Target stores carried the soups and when I would locate them, Von’s had them priced at $3.99 a carton (when the coupon covered up to $3) and Stater Bros. had them $1.00 cheaper but also was limited in selection. I visited 2 Von’s and 3 Stater Bros. and I could never locate the Chicken Tortilla and for kids, I never found the Mega Noodle. I still was able to find my second and third choices, plus I had enough coupons to share with my group. I always like giving a sample of a product and a coupon, and thankfully Campbell’s was generous enough to let me share this way.

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Verdict:
I make the first soup, the Tomato and Basil Bisque. The soup has a vibrant red color and the texture out of the carton is perfect, not too loose or thick like a paste. The smell is pleasant and inviting. You can even pick up the sweet notes from the tomatoes and this is before warming anything up. I heat the soup and the smell is just like other Organic varieties I purchase at Trader Joe’s and Sprout’s, which is really one of the few places I can purchase “real soups” with no funny stuff, other than the times I pick up the blue colored cans at Target on sale. I taste the Organic Tomato soup and I am waiting for that off taste, the saltiness to hit me so I can make a face………but it never comes. This soup tastes, do I dare say it, like a normal good soup. I actually had to add a hint of smoked salt to the soup! I quickly add a cupful of frozen organic veggies because this new Campbell’s Organic soup is worthy of it! Yup, I never ruin good veggies beforehand because the worst is bathing vegetables in a base that is just not fixable. A little bit of cracked pepper and some cheese crumbs on top and dinner is done. Oh my goodness, I was able to make soup for dinner like a normal person! No need to make a base by cooking or braising meats, just open the carton and in 10 minutes time (with add-ons) I can eat at a good time after doing grocery shopping. I’m ecstatic and I even take the empty carton to the table and start reading it, trying to find that negative thing like high sodium, maybe sugars, okay it’s the fat, nope it has to be the calories but I find nothing. I can’t believe this is Campbell’s (sorry, Campbell’s but you have burned me in the past)! I actually like the new Campbell’s and I actually will hunt for the Chicken Tortilla version now because the Lentil was awesome and the Chicken noodle……get this, had actual chicken pieces and N-O-O-D-L-E-S!

 

Take a new look at the Organic Soups from Campbell’s at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Campbell’s and MomsMeet.  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.

 

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Klout Perk: VitaFrute Cocktails by VeeV #abetterwaytodrink Acai Spirit #Review #Klout

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Another great perk from Klout and this one was one I have never heard of, Acai based spirits. The company VeeV has this great line of drinks that they call VitaFrute. The superfruit cocktails come in:

  • Margarita
  • Lemonade
  • Cosmopolitan
  • and with Coconut Colada joining the trio soon

The cocktails are organic and made with the finest ingredients. One serving is just 125 calories and these all natural drinks are considered to be made by the World’s first Acai Spirit Company, VeeV.

What is Acai?

I have been drinking Acai based juices and blends for some time now but not with an alcohol base. The Acai berry or fruit is derived from the Acai Palm tree. These dark colored berries are full of juice, which is considered part of the super foods and super fruits we are encouraged to be consuming. The fruit is usually cultivated from the Amazon and located where lots of water is available (i.e. swamps). The fruit is filled with antioxidants and many consume it for the claims attached to them. I do because I enjoy how it tastes and was rally curious about alcohol derived from it.

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I purchased the 2 bottles using the coupon from Klout and because they were on sale at my local Von’s, I was able to score them for free! I looked and hunted for the Coconut Colada variety since it would have been my first choice but I could not locate it but I did find the Lemonade and Cosmopolitan varieties.

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  • Lemonade– The flavor is perfect on a hot Summer day (or night) and I enjoyed the nice counter balance of alcohol and lemon. The combo was perfect and no mixing required. On my second glass, I added a little tart Cherry Juice and it was like a Pink Lemonade that was icy cool and delicious.

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  • Cosmopolitan– I have not enjoyed one of these in years and it’s almost the forgotten cocktail for me. I know I like them but never get around to ordering. I pour the Cosmo over ice and you can instantly pick-up the citrus and fruity notes. Delivers the same as it smells to your palette and definitely was my favorite of the two.

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VitFrute by VeeV contains 15% ALC/VOL (30 proof) and the bottle must be refrigerated once it’s opened. The taste is nice and clean, plus Agave is the only sweetener you will find in this drink. Fillers it has not! I enjoyed it so much that I will be making a Lemon Tart with the Lemonade version!  I shall get my hands on the Coconut Colada one day and when I do, I will post.  I have plans for that one!  The site has great recipe ideas to even a store locator so can enjoy a glass of cold VitaFrute too.

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Connect with VitaFrute by VeeV on:

  • On-line– http://veevlife.com/vitafrute/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/VEEV
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/VeeV
  • Instagram– http://instagram.com/veev
  • #abetterwaytodrink
  • #kloutperk

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I received the above product free of charge from VeeV and Klout.  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.

 

 

Chobani Key Lime Crumble Flip Greek Yogurt

So, where does our Chobani passport get stamped next? Think palm trees, sand, and waves crashing against the surf……..Florida, maybe. Okay, think P-I-E like Chobani’s Key Lime Crumble Flip. Called a Flip because you flip nutritious “goodies” from one cup to the bigger yogurt cup. You can then decide if you want it to be a topper or a mix-in, or a little of both. This version has a nice surprising crunch that I love.

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Let’s break down the cups-
The yogurt portion, which is the larger cup, is Keylime low-fat yogurt. The “flip” is a crumble that is made of the cutest and littlest white chips you have ever seen and crushed graham crackers.

The Verdict-
This Flip comes in at 180 calories and it is higher by just 30 calories from the usual 150, but so worth it. Eleven grams of protein so that caloric count stands up nicely when you count all the positives that fit in that yogurt cup. It does not stop there, you have Vitamin A, Vitamin C, plus some Calcium so your bones stay nice and strong when lifting that spoon from flip to mouth.

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The Flavor-
I must start by confessing that I have bought this version of Flip so many times that I lost count. Key Limes everywhere must have wanted posters up, so from now this review is in whisper-mode (shhhh!). Think of a deconstructed Key Lime pie. The yogurt has a tang and it tastes just like Key Limes, no funny stuff of a Lime holding a key and pretending to be a Key Lime. The tang goes so well with the creamy texture of the Greek yogurt that I call it the pie filling. Then the pie…..I mean this healthy yogurt…has a crumble made of graham crackers, that is sweet from just a touch of brown sugar but has a hint of cinnamon. Made with love and it continues with the sweetest and smallest white chocolate chips that I have ever seen. They are smaller than the miniature morsels you can bake with but the cup is filled with them. I always take one out and smile but never fall for their high cuteness level, so it gets eaten. It’s the only way the white chocolate chip can’t control me, even though I now realize I am out of my Key Lime Crumble and I’m craving some yogurt pie 🙂
The Ingredients-
Lowfat Yogurt (cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Cream, Live And Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus And L. Casei), Evaporated Cane Juice, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Soybean Oil, Key Lime Puree, Cocoa Butter, Whole Wheat Flour, Key Lime Juice Concentrate, Milk, Key Lime Peel, Honey, Nonfat Dry Milk, Natural Flavors, Salt, Cinnamon, Fruit Juice Concentrate (for Color), Turmeric (for Color).

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I received the above product free of charge from Chobani. I have no obligation to provide a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and brand, which may differ from yours.

Hagensborg Chocolates: Wild Boar Bars

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Who doesn’t love chocolate? Who doesn’t love exotic chocolates? Hagensborg Chocolates is based in Vancouver Canada and makes chocolates using European techniques. They have a cute little theme and story in their biography, which introduces you to “Snuffly” the pig, frogs that are princes, fairy godmothers and even a castle. There is even a piggy family with names! I personally like Rose because she has wings. Very whimsical and gives their products that little touch of love. Their products are accessible from the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, to Canada.

I had tried two of their truffle pigs and loved them! They were milk chocolate, which is not my first choice in the chocolate world but after having them, I was craving more so I knew I had discovered a good thing.

My parcel arrived with their newest creation, the Wild Boar bars. Like their other wonderful creations, the Wild Boars have a story. They travel the world and catch ingredients from each content and incorporate it into their magical bars. The boxes alone are eye-catching and once you open the box, you see little “chomp” bites along the bar made by these continental boars (this time, I couldn’t blame Hubby). No detail is not missed by Hagensborg Chocolates from the molds they used to make these bars, to the ingredients added. My parcel included two “passports”, Italy and Indonesia. So let’s begin…..

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Italy- Made from the milk chocolate family and described to include truffle salted almonds which are toasted. The almonds are sprinkled with olive oil, Ritrovo (rare black truffle) truffle and salt. The bar contains 85% organic ingredients and also 39% Cocoa.

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The taste test: After getting over how cute the bar is and reading all the information on the box, it is almost like a mini travel brochure so I appreciated the escape. Every ingredient is of the finest quality and they even list origins for each, like the almonds being from California. I find that when I break off a piece, it almost melts down when you bend it because the chocolate is so soft and velvety. I put a piece in my mouth and allow it to melt. The texture is smooth and even though salt is listed in the flavor ingredients, you get zero granules from it. No crystallization, just a perfect creamy creation! I love the flavor of the chocolate alone as I agree with their statements, it is of fine quality. I eat many “fleur de sel” products, so I am familiar with how they are paired with caramels to different degrees of Cocoa. I did find my first bite to be salty if you allow it to melt and dissolve in your mouth, but not so salty that I did not bite again. My second bite I chewed and it was a perfect balance of flavors. The almonds are not whole, so every bite allows you to get enjoy a small chunk. You do pick-up a slight earthy and grassy notes that may derive from the olive oil and truffle they added. I did not find the flavors overwhelming and they did compliment the bar well. I did enjoy the almonds but just wished I had a few more chunks with every bite.

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Indonesia- This is the one I was skeptical and unsure about and you will soon know why. You have 71% Cocoa in this bar, plus 85% Organic ingredients. This Boar bar is described as rich dark chocolate with cashews, spiced with garlic, chilies and lime. The cashews originate from Indonesia and the seasonings added are in dried form. I have had “spiced” chocolates but never one with garlic added to it or even lime. I was super curious.

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The taste test: You uncover the bar and the minute you cut it, you perfume your surroundings with a delicious chocolate smell. Any apprehension I had about the flavors floated away that instant. When something gives off such a delicious aroma, it can’t be ignored! I take off a corner and this chocolate is harder in texture as it created a snapping noise, not like the milk chocolate boar bar. I put a piece in my mouth and allow it to melt and I love, love, love their dark chocolate. Great quality and texture. Perfect amount of acid you get from the Cocoa but no bitter or wax like texture you get from cheaper brands. I can easily state this in the top three of dark chocolate makers I prefer to have and enjoy! You get almost get a coffee deepness that comes through, somewhat like a perfect espresso. Once again, very smooth and velvet in texture. The cashews are chopped and knowing the nut is buttery in nature, it just compliments the dark chocolate flavors. I never knew cashews went so well with dark and I hope to see this combination in the future. This bar had a good balance of nut and chocolates, so I was happy. The chilies come through but do not rest on your tongue where you would be overwhelmed, the flavor rests towards the back of your throat and I liked how it did not interfere with my enjoyment. Just a touch of spice flavor but no serious heat that burns. The garlic does not come through like it would imagine on garlic bread. You get the garlic flavor and it’s not roasted, more of like when it’s raw (untouched). I did find certain bites left a bitter taste if they were heavier on the garlic. The chocolate is so delicious that I did not care. I just kept eating and had to stop myself.

I recommend Hagensborg Chocolates and I do not view them as a gimmicky company, but one that seriously knows how to create chocolate. If I had a store near by that carried their chocolates, I fear what would happen to my waist line. Many “Chocolatiers” do not have a passion into their art and just think of how they can stretch a cocoa bean to yield the maximum profit. Hagensborg has taken the route of “What is the best way I can showcase this cocoa bean?”. I highly respect a company that does this and I was a fan before of the brand, but the boar line secured that position solidly. If you can add uncommon ingredients to chocolate and still be delicious, you seriously know what you are doing!

Please take a trip over to Hagensborg Chocolates and fall in love with their piglets and boars.
Webite- http://www.hagensborg.com/
Twitter- https://twitter.com/TrufflePigBar
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/HagensborgChocolates

I see the boar has traveled to other areas of the world and I hope to catch his new destinations soon and share them with you!

I received the above chocolates from Hagensborg for free. I have no obligation to provide a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the products, which may differ from yours.

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