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.

 

MomsMeet: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal Cups #Review #BobsRedMill

 

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As the days grow colder, like everyone, I tend to seek out warmer meals and this includes at breakfast time. I consume oatmeal through out the year and my way to change my selection, is by adding seasonal fruit to the cup. This way my cups change and I get to enjoy what the seasons have to offer. What can I say? Oatmeal can get boring as much as my granola does and let’s be honest, this is why I view granola as cold oatmeal! Adding dried fruits, nuts, seeds to even a dollop of yogurt can brighten up a cup on any day.

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I have been a fan of Bob’s Red Mill for years. They just never fail me. I started first by buying their flour decades ago and then as they released more and including meals (i.e. nut flours), I was happy to see them reach the west coast. It’s kind of nice not having to order online all the time and when places like Target started supported the brand….heck, I am thrilled.

 

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I was recently part of the Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cups campaign from MomsMeet. They were kind and generous to send out samples to try and share and like the signature that runs so true to Bob’s Red Mill, they included additional products to share. Love them! Such a giving company and please take a moment to read about the company on their website, you will fall in love with how they treat their employees. There is true pride and respect for the products they make for us. The other part that I have enjoyed being a Bob’s Red Mill fanatic, is they eat like I do. This adding chia seeds to flax seeds to enhance not only your taste buds but your nutrition is something I learned from them. Yes, they taught me to care more about what I eat and always made it easy for me from offering flax seed both whole and in milled form. No excuses in being able to eat better!

 

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The Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal Cups kit included:

 

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Verdict:
The Oatmeal cups are phenomenal. You can use the microwave direction or the add hot water to the cup one. I have been using a mix of nut milks and water to enhance the flavor and not that the cups lack taste, but I sometimes seek a richer background on those colder mornings. All the ingredients are real and clean, no fillers and even making sure to use gluten free oats. The Nutritional Boosters that you can also add are the protein powders to create a morning power meal. You can even go with the unflavored blend they offer online or why not start your morning with some chocolate. It’s is like having a hot cocoa and oatmeal in one cup and it is actually good for you. I make the “Choco-Monkey” blend with the classic oatmeal cup, a spoonful of Chocolate Protein powder, almond milk with water as the fluid, then after heating I add chopped bananas and walnuts with a spoonful of peanut butter in the center. It’s almost like a molten lava cake with that gooey peanut butter center and I feel sinful eating it because oatmeal never tasted this good. My guilt vanishes when I start adding up the protein and it turns out to be a cup filled with healthy nutrition. Eating well goes beyond opening a mealy tasting bar and going out the door in the mornings. The Bob’s Red Mill cups come with tops, so if you have time to pick up a latte, you have time (3 minutes) to give yourself a few microwave seconds to eat the cups as they come or enhance them to your liking. You are worth it and your family will join in because things that taste good don’t get questioned. They just make smiles 🙂

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Connect with the wonderful crew at Bob’s Red Mill at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Bob’s Red Mill 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.

 

 

Moms Meet: So Delicious Dairy Free Creamers #Review #SoDelicious

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Who doesn’t love coffee? I’m one of those where coffee not only tastes good but I have found it helps me with other health issues, by increasing my circulation and giving me a boost of much needed energy. Plus, the warmth of a cup helps when my joints ache. What I don’t like are creamers. I mean I love how they taste sometimes, but not when it comes to the chemicals and thickeners, which take the joy of having a cup of coffee that is now more a loaded cup of sugar. I have been hunting for an alternative and when Moms Meet featured So Delicious, this is the brand I have seen in stores but sort of walked by (shame on me).

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The campaign was mostly focused on the creamers So Delicious makes. You have two non-dairy bases to choose from, Coconut and Almond milk, with the former being the more extensive items to choose from:

  • Coconut Milk in Original
  • Coconut Milk Barista Style in Original and in French Vanilla
  • Coconut Milk in French Vanilla
  • Coconut Milk in Hazelnut

You can obtain the above in pints and quart sizes

  • Almond Milk in Original
  • Almond Milk in French Vanilla

You can obtain the above in only pint sizes

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Retail Price Point: Usually under $3 for the pint and if you get a coupon, this creamer can be easily obtained for $1.50 with a sale/coupon combination. I purchased the creamers at Von’s, Sprout’s Farmers Market and at Target.

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Verdict:
I was unsure what to expect and with about 25 calories per tablespoon with the Coconut variety and 15 calories with the Almond kind (i.e. comparing French Vanilla), you control what you want to put in your coffee. Not filled with sugars or artificial ingredients, plus soy free. Now, the taste matters. I love them. They taste better than the original creamers I used both in liquid and powder form. I’m getting a shot of flavor and creamer, all in one. I liked them so much, that I kept buying So Delicious. I am not branching out to other products. My friend that tried the creamer with us, has now raved about the ice cream……so look at So Delicious and change your routine. There is no getting bored here when it comes to flavors and all the wonderful products So Delicious makes!  Go on-line and connect with So Delicious because they over sweeten the deals (not your coffee) with the coupons they always offer.

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Connect with So Delicious at:

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Moms Meet and So Delicious. 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.

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.

 

Dr. Bronner’s: Organic Baby Unscented Pure-Castle Liquid Soap, Bar of Soap and Sanitizer #Review #DrBronner

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Going green or trying to simplify your beauty and hygiene routine is something we all should consider. Why? I never knew how many toxins and irritants were in beauty products until I experienced a negative reaction and unfortunately, it takes that for some us to take notice. I now adhere by the 80/20 ideology when it comes to my beauty routine. Eighty percent of products that are natural and nice to my skin and body, and twenty percent of the naughty stuff. So, my mascara and eyeliner fit in the latter category, but I have even cleaned up my nail polishes and face washes. My skin actually appreciates me being nicer to it!

I have used the Dr. Bronner’s soap collections before but not in this formulation. I was sent a nice array of products from Dr. Bronner’s:

I love the smell of clean and this means just the freshness, minus the chemical storm I use to create. The parcel from Dr. Bronner’s had a glorious scent that was clean and just in an instant made me feel relaxed and tranquil…..and I’m high strong! I blame the lavender for trying to subdue me in the middle of the afternoon, but I enjoyed every second of emptying out that box!

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Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 liquid soaps are hemp derived and I’m already on the hemp bandwagon when it comes to beauty products and solutions. I use a lip balm that saved my forever chapped lips and the miracle ingredient was simply hemp. The soaps are not only friendly to you but also the environment because they are 100% biodegradable. The Baby Unscented Pure-Castle soap is also Organic, Non-GMO certified and to add to the goodness list, Fair Trade Certified.

Ingredients (as listed on the website)-
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Palm Kernel Oil*, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.  *CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE INGREDIENTS
** None remains after saponifying oils into soap & glycerin

Retail Price Point: $15.29 Special Price for the 32 ounce bottle on the website. $4.49 for for the 4 ounce bottle.  Via Amazon, the 32 ounce bottle is $16.89 and free shipping for Prime members.

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Verdict:
Everything is great on the outside but does the Baby Unscented Pure Castle liquid soap deliver? Yes!!!! A little goes a long way and the soap cleans but does not strip away your skin’s moisture. It actually enhances it because the product contains Olive oil and Coconut oil……two of my favorite oils that are inexpensive but packed with nutrients. The soap is unscented but we all still pick up a smell from such products and this just smells nice and clean. Think of how freshness and a clean spring morning smells and this little bottle captured it. I have caught myself giving in to a few extra sniffs when using it. The liquid soap also has many applications beyond a face and body wash. I have used the soap for:

  • Washing Fruit and Vegetables
  • Giving the Dog a bath and especially after her surgery where she has an incision on her belly
  • Washing bird baths and because it’s gentle and kind to the surrounding, don’t mistaken that for lack of cleaning power.
  • Washing down the feeders where the squirrels and raccoon come to dine.
  • To even treating my roses for aphids because there is no way I would spray 40 rose bushes if I did not trust the brand.

The uses are endless and I feel safe and comfortable using the soap, so that makes me a big fan of Dr. Bronner’s products. I saw the big bottle being sold at Costco and I definitely have already picked up two and you can easily find where you can purchase their wonderful products here.

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Now, for the Lavender Sanitizer. Thank you for making a sanitizer that does not dehydrate my skin or nails. I have been experiencing dryness in excess from over use and because I try not to apply lotion to my hands when I’m out shopping (don’t want dirt and grime to have a welcoming surface), my hands have gone a dusty white in color from the over dryness. Yeah, the dryness that makes even closing your hands hurt but after using only Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Sanitizer spray, all that is gone. I finally found a formula of sanitizer that is kind to me but unkind to germs!

Ingredients (as listed on the website)-
Organic Fair Trade Ethyl Alcohol (62%)*, Water, Organic Glycerin, Organic Lavender Oil *CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE INGREDIENTS

Retail Price Point: $4.99 for a 2 ounce spay bottle.

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Last but not least, the Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castle Bar of Soap in Lavender scent. Let me just rename this my make-up brush cleaner. I simply shave a piece off and added it to a candle votive holder made of glass. The holder allows for easy cleaning of my brushes because I can make little circles while the soap foams and the cosmetic residue, and whatever else stuck on there, just washes off. I simply then rinse the brushes and allow them to air dry before storing. My brushes both natural and synthetic have perfect bristles that are now clean and soft. This bar will also yield many washes because it is large and the lavender scent is calming…..something a girl desires when applying make-up!

Ingredients (as listed on the website)- Organic Coconut Oil*, Organic Palm Oil*, Sodium Hydroxide**, Water, Organic Olive Oil*, Lavandin Extract, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Lavender Extract, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Tocopherol *CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE INGREDIENTS
** None remains after saponifying oils into soap & glycerin.

Retail Price Point: $4.69 for a 5 ounce bar.

I highly recommend trying anything from the Dr. Bronner’s line of products because I am confident you will be satisfied as I am with their products.  I actually plan to try one product in each line due to how well the items I received performed.  The products may be simple in what makes them but not simple when it comes to cleaning!

Connect with Dr. Bronner and their line of products at:

 

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

 

 

 

Modern Table: Bean Pastas and Meal Kits #Review #ModernTableMeals

 

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Modern Table has been a guest on my blog before and it’s one of those products I tried and still continue to purchase today. We all eat them both in cold and warm dishes because it’s a great alternative to pasta that I really don’t see it as just a substitute. The noodles have flavor because they are bean based. I admit there are even times I make a pasta salad and add the Modern Table noodles along with semolina flour based pasta! Yes, that is how good they are.

I was sent another sampling of the newest products released by Modern Table:

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I have at times deconstructed the meal kits to just get to the bean pasta, so this was a welcoming site. Finally, the pasta alone will be sold. There is a lot of benefits when it comes to Modern Table’s meal kits and bean pastas. For starters:

  • Modern Table does not use GMO based ingredients (non-gmo)
  • Their products are Gluten Free (except for the Teriyaki Meal kit)
  • Dairy Free (Southwest and Teriyaki Meal kits, plus the Bean Pastas)
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • Packing a protein punch like no other pasta because they are bean based, so you also have an excellent source of fiber.
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • This is real food with no gimmicks!

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Verdict-
Taste means everything in this home because I don’t believe eating healthy means you should sacrifice flavor. It’s actually the opposite! Fresh meals that provide a good source of protein and vegetables should be packed with flavor and enjoyable to consume. Modern Table shares this same theory because we find their products amazing. You are also not limited! You can add fresh vegetables to even meats to the meals and customize them to fit your needs and/or cravings. I have over time learned to not boil the pasta as long as listed in the directions because we prefer a more al dente’ texture. The bean pastas lend themselves to many creations. Many times I have been in a hurry and need a filling meal that is also quick to make. I add a handful of the pasta to a roasted Red Bell pepper and Tomato soap and it creates one delicious meal in less than 12 minutes. I think it takes me more time to make the accompanying sides like toasting a slice of bread for dunking. There are times where I want a Pasta Primavera and use everything from eggplants, frozen organic veggies, to kale to bump up the flavors and I’m also a veggie junkie.

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The possibilities are endless with Modern Table and their new bean pasta bags mean I can just pour from the bag versus picking the pasta out from the kits. The Pesto meal kit goes great with grilled shrimp.  The new Mac & Cheese meal kit is my ultimate favorite from the meal kits. It’s cheesy and has real white cheddar…….it just takes Mac & Cheese to whole another level! I added pancetta to mine and I don’t think I can go back to Mac from a box again.

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Find the Modern Table Kit that fits your Cravings or Pick-up a Bean Pasta Bag at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Modern Table Meals.  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.

 

Kabrita: Goat Milk Yogurt in Mixed Berry, Mango Peach and Banana with Vanilla Bean Review

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When I was accepted to review the Kabrita Yogurt, I had no idea what to expect. I have eaten goat milk based products from cheeses to yogurts, however I was unfamiliar with the brand and their products. A few weeks pass and I receive an enormous boxed filled with goodies to share. The surprising part, was that the product does not require refrigeration, so again this was a new experience for us.

Kabrita USA (Canadian based) is a new company to the North America region and began launching their products in 2014. They are also the first to create and distribute Goat Milk formula and later expanded into making other products. The founders seek to provide non-GMO products and the best quality in ingredients, so they teamed up with a Dutch based company (Hyproca Nutrition B.V.) that has been in the nutrition business for over 70 years! This created Kabrita USA and a wider distribution network that targets people like us who seek a different (higher) level of nutrition. I’m always seeking to expand what I eat and share, so this is a perfect fit for me.

Kabrita has 3 different yogurts that require zero refrigeration to remain stable, however made with zero preservatives. Once you open the container, you should consume the product within 24 hours. Yup, it’s this natural!

Retail Price Point: $1.79 per pouch or you can purchase a box for $9.99, which contains 6 pouches. Some flavors come in 12-packs for $19.99 too.

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Mixed Berry:

The Mixed Berry Flavor was the overall favorite. You get that tang that yogurt has but that goat milk tends to intensify too. The sweetness of the berries make a perfect combination! The product is creamy and you don’t get a lot of the pear and apple notes, but you do first taste a burst of raspberries (you can even see the seeds in the puree). The pear and apple tend to just help deliver more sweetness, so even though that puree is listed first, you are not cheated in the final product because you do taste berries and lots of them.

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): WHOLE GOAT YOGURT (CULTURED PASTEURIZED WHOLE GOAT MILK), PEAR PUREE, ORGANIC APPLE PUREE CONCENTRATE, RASPBERRY PUREE, BLUEBERRY PUREE,STRAWBERRY PUREE, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (FIBER), ACAI JUICE, ACEROLA CHERRY PUREE (VITAMIN C), PECTIN,ORGANIC LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, MIXED TOCOPHEROLS (VITAMIN E), VITAMIN D3.

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Mango Peach:

This yogurt starts with Mango as the first ingredient in the puree and you indeed taste Mango! The peach is so subtle that it may just help create a better final texture of the product (smoothness) but no one was able to pick up the actual peach flavors because it was all Mango that could be picked up. You again have the apple and pear concentrate to sweeten the product and even Cherry puree but you would not know unless you flipped the package to see. Yes, that is how Mango-y this one is. I also felt the sweetness of all the other ingredients tended to overwhelm my palette and the goat milk base just did not seem to pair up as well. We opened other pouches from other boxes to compare differences (they all tasted a like) but this was voted as least favorite.

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): WHOLE GOAT YOGURT (CULTURED PASTEURIZED WHOLE GOAT MILK), PEAR PUREE, MANGO PUREE, ORGANIC APPLE PUREE CONCENTRATE, PEACH PUREE, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (FIBER), ACEROLA CHERRY PUREE (VITAMIN C),PECTIN, ORGANIC LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, MIXED TOCOPHEROLS (VITAMIN E), VITAMIN D3.

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Banana with Vanilla Bean:
This was a hit and we expected this one to be rated number one but after you have the Mixed Berry, this one was rated two. The banana is so creamy and goes perfectly with the goat milk and the tang tends to be more present, as the banana is not as sweet (not over ripe in taste). This may be from the lemon added to probably keep the color of the product appealing but that natural citrus acid really aids in keeping the banana neutral enough that you can still enjoy the milk’s flavor.

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): ORGANIC BANANA PUREE, WHOLE GOAT YOGURT (CULTURED PASTEURIZED WHOLE GOAT MILK), PEAR PUREE,CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (FIBER), ACEROLA CHERRY PUREE (VITAMIN C), MADAGASCAR VANILLA BEAN, PECTIN,ORGANIC LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, MIXED TOCOPHEROLS (VITAMIN E), VITAMIN D3.

I have always been high on goat’s milk and even sheep’s milk. I just love the products they are used in and I find the flavors more appealing. Yogurts start blending in flavors and taste, with so many flooding the market today. You have Icelandic ones (i.e. Siggi) that are almost like a treat because they are so thick in texture and low in sugars. Noosa, an Australian style one is my go-to because the flavors are unique (i.e. Strawberry Rhubarb) and it’s light enough to enjoy in the morning but thick enough to bake with! All are made with cow’s milk as a base and that is not bad but when you have the same base, it takes a lot for the product to be made all it’s own and stand out. Kabrita stands out with goat milk and it’s not like anything you have every tasted. The benefits of this dairy product, is that goat milk enzymes are easier to digest and softer on the stomach. This is what makes the product great for toddlers to adults! You also don’t get cheated in the nutritional value and who doesn’t want to eat differently now and then? Kabrita filled that niche where a new base brings new flavors and shakes the yogurt boredom wide awake!

Connect with Kabrita USA and their products at:

 

 

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

Daiya Foods: Daiya Deliciously Dairy Free Pizzas #Review #DaiyaPizzas

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Even if we are a household without dietary restrictions, I still like to mix things up a bit. Eating the same way is just utterly boring no matter how good the food can be. To not get in a meal rut means I need to introduce new foods and start weeding out the things we want to take a break from.

Daiya Foods Pizzas, is a leap of many kinds for us. For one, we rarely eat frozen prepared meals and/or side dishes. I do freeze meats in raw form and that is as frozen as we get, along with frozen veggies and fruits. You just can’t grab something from the freezer and nuke it……yeah, that comes back and bites me, so I made some tamales and the such for those days I want to actually use the microwave beyond just softening butter in it. Secondly, I have tried gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, to meatless but never really ventured into non-dairy, unless it’s a fruit based gelato or some kind of sweet treat. This means Daiya foods is eating a way for us that is entirely new because it’s taking everything we have tried before, but all in one dish and at the same time. I’m game!

I was offered to try out the pizzas and no one had ever tried anything from Daiya Foods, except for a faux cream cheese style spread. Some of my group admitted to seeing the cheezes in the dairy alternative aisle at Sprout’s, but never actually tried it. Okay, this is now an entire new experience for us all.

Daiya Foods makes 6 Pizzas to choose from and they all sound delicious and tempting:

  • Supreme Pizza, which includes a meatless sausage topping from Beyond Meat
  • Pizza Bianca Pizza, featuring a white bean sauce that has mushrooms and spinach toppings
  • Cheeze Lover’s Pizza, a simpler non-topping pizza, which features Daiya’s version of cheezes, like Mozzarella and Cheddar
  • Margherita Pizza, a traditional twist on a classic and comes with tomato chunks and basil
  • Fire-Roasted Vegetables Pizza, Daiya did not skimp and you have three bell pepper varieties, onions, garlic, tomatoes and even a dash of basil
  • Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pizza, even when it comes to mushrooms, Daiya makes sure you get something beyond the button kind.  You have shiitake and crimini in a blanket of roasted garlic and all nestled on their tomato sauce

I purchased two of the selections available, the Supreme and the Fire-Roasted Vegetable to try out.  This was what was available at Sprout’s and they were redoing that section when I was shopping and I grabbed the ones that looked more tempting.  I grabbed to of the veggies kind and one of the supreme.  First, one up to cook and see how well it is received is the Fire-Roasted Vegetable:

The pizza was easy to cook and even though the instructions stated to cook directly on the rack, I just got a new range and it’s less than a week old.  A few of the cheeze shreds were dangling off the crust, which I like when eating but not when cooking, so I opted to cook the pizza on my pizza stone just like I would any pizza.

The pizza was cooked and ready in 13.5 minutes!  You have the option to use the standard bake and convection instructions were listed, so I went with that cooking option.

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Verdict:

By the seven minute mark, you could smell the vegetables and they smell as good as they look.  Daiya did not skimp on toppings and that is always a plus in our book.  The crust is crisp and upon slicing, you hear it cut just like a normal pizza crust would.  The dough has a darker tint that can be described as almost wheat-like in color.  It also tastes like a wheat crust but a good one!  Daiya nailed it when it came to how the crust tasted, broke apart when eaten and this made the eating of the pizza enjoyable.  The vegetables are out of this world.  We all agreed the freshness and texture makes you wish Daiya sold the veggies by the bagful.  They are roasted but not soft and a mushy mess from being frozen.  There is still texture and they are so good, plus the tang you get from the tomato sauce provides a nice balance of flavors.  The sauce is light and not super sweet, you just taste fresh tomatoes and a touch of basil.  Now, the only small negative is the cheeze.  The browned portions we all agreed tasted better than the whiter ones, so toasted on top is the way to cook the pizza if you desire this flavor profile.  The cheese does not melt and or string apart like normal dairy versions, it’s almost a little too soft in texture and one guest felt it was like sour cream in taste.  I did not feel the sour notes were present but I can see where the comparison in texture can be made.  This was the only downer but because the crust and everything else was top-notch, it would not prevent me from buying it.  It’s a pizza that I would say has that “rustic” taste but think of it more as a flat-bread pizza with superb toppings and cooks in 15 minutes or less!

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The other positive is that 2 pizzas and I had boneless chicken wings to pair with it, filled us!  I still had dessert to serve and when it came to putting the third pizza in the oven (The Supreme), we were full.  I thought that is a good thing because 8 people were fed very well and we were satisfied with what we ate, so we opted to give the third pizza to the guest that is always late.  She also brought a third extra guest, so she could enjoy the pizza for dinner (versus lunch) when she got home.  Okay, I’m thinking if I give free meals away, people will start showing up late now 🙂 I’m also eye-ing those cheezecakes they sell and they have a Key Lime one……oh’ yummers!

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Connect with Daiya Foods and enjoy their products at:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veri Soda: Organic Soda drinks in Orange, Cola, Lemon-Lime, and Ginger Ale

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We rarely drink sodas and it’s not just because of the unwanted ingredients alone, but most of the times it’s so sugary that it drowns out whatever you are eating. I usually drink cranberry juice mixed with water, lemonades or just plain water. I miss sodas sometimes and especially when we are have a nostalgic meal like pizza or burgers, but what I miss is the “old sodas”. When ingredients were less scientific, less harming and having a soda did not make me feel like a Humming Bird that just found a bucket of nectar to call their own!

When we received the parcel from Veri Soda, I had a nervous moment because it was a 4-pack of each flavor and for people who maybe drink 1 soda every few months, that’s a year’s worth and most times I throw out sodas because they expire (yes, it can happen) and we really just keep them around for guests. I was happy to see many things that separated Veri from the common brands and that was the shortest list of ingredients I saw on any type of cola drink…..ever! Then I noticed the USDA Organic seal, non-GMO, Caffeine free and 60 calories for one can and no playing games with the servings, one can in total is broken down and remains a simple 60 calories. That is like less calories than my 1/2 juice and 1/2 water drinks I have with dinner. Next, came the flavor test and I popped two open to go with our burger night and two other flavors to go with pizza night.

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  • Veri’s Cola Soda Flavor:

In my home cokes were for special occasions or a weekend get together, while my Husband when I met him drank cola and more cola. Water was just for washing things! It drove me nuts and especially when it was Summer and I was so thirsty but everything had sugar and more sugar. I quickly learned just bring a big water bottle when you visit. I was an RC cola drinker when I had any of the caramel colored drinks but it was hard to find. Being that I did enjoy the cola here and there, I then moved to Coke Zero thinking at least when I have it, the penalty will be less but I was never satisfied with how quickly it changed in flavor.

Veri’s cola is perfect and you get super bubbly water that is flavored like sodas we use to drink but even better. I like having things that surpass my memories and this one sip let me know I can have a soda and it won’t overwhelm my taste buds or waistline. The cola flavor has a perfect balance of sweetness and you are not just trying to poorly substitute a “coke”, the flavor profile is seriously better than any of the other brands out there. I loved it and I’m not a cola lover. My Husband was blown away and very few things that I get to test do this but he even checked out the price and what other flavors they carry at our local Sprout’s market because like he said it, “this I can do and actually like”.

Ingredients- Sparkling water, organic cane sugar, organic lemon juice from concentrate, organic caramel, organic flavors, and organic stevia leaf extract.

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  • Veri’s Lemon-Lime Soda Flavor:

I have abandoned my lemonade mix at times for the Lemon-Lime kick. I then discovered that if I have lemon juice or lime juice, I can make one citrus kick drink by adding this version of Veri’s soda to 1/4 cup of either fruit drink. It’s light and crisp like you would want from a clear drink of this kind. The sweetness and tartness is well balanced and Veri just made another version better of what I had before. I don’t miss the past drinks of this kind and I can’t wait for the warmer weather to hit and just enjoy a sandwich with this flavor!

Ingredients- Sparkling water, organic cane sugar, organic lemon juice from concentrate, organic flavors, and organic stevia leaf extract.

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  • Veri’s Orange Soda Flavor:

I use to enjoy as a child a soda that “Crush”ed others because they had fruit flavors.  I always navigate towards fruit drinks and of course it started early.  I just disliked how my phlegm would thicken with flavors like orange and don’t even get me started on grape, because it seems my grape world tasted different from every purple dyed drink out there. A orange soda by the pool was something I just like having and especially ultra cold.  I figured it was a forgotten beverage until Veri came and let me tell you, their orange soda is smacking good.  Your taste buds will be drowned (but in a good way) with real orange flavors that are sweet but the lemon extract not only intensified the citrus notes, but mellows the sweetness.  You get tang and that nice orange twist taste but again nothing bad to ruin the party.  Your tongue may not turn orange in color but it will be happier when it comes to what you just tasted.

Ingredients- Sparkling water, organic cane sugar, organic orange juice from concentrate, organic lemon juice from concentrate, organic carrot juice from concentrate, organic flavors, and organic stevia leaf extract.

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  • Veri’s Ginger Ale Soda Flavor:

I was sick last year and could not find a Ginger Ale that had actual ginger in it. I know, so odd. I would think it can’t be called Ginger anything if it does not contain it but they found the artificial flavor highway to get around that. My Husband drove to 4 stores until he located a soda that had the root and was simple in ingredients, but sadly it was a little too sweet for my taste, so thankfully he just bought the 1/2 sized cans. I love Ginger Ale no matter if I am well or ill, so when I saw this flavor of soda in the box Veri sent, I got happy! The soda contains the perfect amount of ginger extract to give it that snap but not overwhelming. Love the sparkling water base that all their sodas are made from because that base really has a nice clean taste and like always, you taste the flavors and not just the sugar.

Ingredients- Sparkling water, organic cane sugar, organic lemon juice from concentrate, organic ginger extract, organic flavor, organic caramel color, and organic stevia leaf extract.

Final Thoughts:

I really just thought Veri was just going to be a company that uses better ingredients but that the final product would be lacking in flavor or just really not resemble a soda.  Sort of like I can’t find a non-gluten bread to date that tastes….well, like real bread.  I underestimated and need to apologize to Veri for clumping them with companies that spit out versions of something that does not even resemble the real thing.  Veri is a real soda company that has their “game on” when it comes to crafting a good quality beverage that you will enjoy.  The rest is just a bonus when it comes to ingredients because I never thought a soda could still be called a soda unless it had something that was only created in a lab environment.  You know those proprietary blends of who-knows-what and lets us not forget the coloring and dyes because for some reason we need markers in our food supply!  Veri really said it best, “they said it could not be done”…….but they did and they did it good!  I just want more flavors like a Root Beer or a Cream Soda, or even a Pineapple soda….hey, Veri you started this and now that I know it can be done, do it! (pretty please) 🙂

Connect with Veri and let your taste buds wake up to what real sodas should taste like at:

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