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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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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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.

Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic Macaroni Casserole #Review #TryNatural

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Next on the list, is Kim’s Simple Meals and this is their Organic Macaroni Casserole. The product again is easy to make and assemble. You simply boil the pasta, which is gluten free and made from organic brown rice. You then mix the contents with water, blend and add it to the cooked elbow shaped noodles. Mix and in the oven the casserole goes. The Mac is soy free and made with GMO free ingredients. Vegan friendly and Kosher too.

Ingredients: Gluten free brown rice elbow macaroni*, oat flour*, sea salt, sugar*, dehydrated vegetables* (onion*, garlic* & tomato*), yeast powder*, natural smoke Torula yeast, annatto powder* (annatto extract*, maltodextrin*), citric acid, lemon peel powder* and natural hickory smoke powder [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent)]. *Organic

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Verdict:

The instructions were simple and because I tend to like more bite in my pastas, I did not boil the noodles as long as they suggested. When I blended the “cheese sauce”, it was very watery in texture and had an odd smell that was smoky. Kim suggests you can add your own meatless based meats, like a veggie based bacon. This time I decided to just go as it comes but I can see even adding vegetables. Once the pasta was partially cooked, I added the sauce and it did not thicken. It was more like the texture of a thin juice, versus any bechamel sauce I have made to make a typical Macaroni and Cheese dish. There is no real cheese here but I did notice this box is not labeled dairy free like the burger version. Why not add milk? I have no idea and it was not listed as a suggestion. Not even a nut milk that is unsweetened was not suggested, or even soy milk if you have no issues with it. The burger box had soy…..but I went forward and was thankful walnuts were not suggested like the video shared for the home-style burgers, and no oats! The house smells like something is cooking but it’s not like any Macaroni and Cheese I have had before. Maybe a pasta kind of dish but not Mac and Cheese. It comes out of the oven and it’s like one solid mass. I noticed this in the video also, when the serving was cut. The liquid was absorbed and you still smell something smoky-ish but I could not put my finger on it. Maybe fake bacon bits and along that area. I taste it and it’s not cheese and I have eaten many cheeses in my lifetime. This pretender is more like a rice dish, where the rice is shaped like elbow pasta and a yellow sauce. The sauce creates a pasta cake but no cheese and gooey texture you associate with the original. It was not awful but definitely not super delicious. The only thing that came to mind, is it tasted like that mystery dish where the label fell off the platter, which sat in a buffet/cafeteria line. Surprise-a-Dish! If you like surprises, this may be for you and adding vegetables or other items might spruce it up and make it less surprise-ish casserole.

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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.

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Feel Good Foods: Gluten Free Pork Dumplings #Review #FeelGoodFoods

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At my house, we no longer eat out or order in when it comes to Asian cuisine. We were never happy in the end with the amount of protein the dishes delivered, the amount of sodium and the feeling after we ate such meals. Vegetables were usually overcooked from sitting under a heat lamp and I noticed my Husband was always picking out what he liked and disliked, to the point he always had a mountain of mushy vegetables along the side of his plate from things that did not pass the cut (to be eaten). So, I started cooking it myself. I do though appreciate help and even though I am picky about what I purchase from the freezer aisle, I can say that Feel Good Foods was a welcoming sight and taste.

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I was sent several coupons and visited my local Sprout’s Farmers Market. I went with an idea from what Feel Good Foods carried by visiting their website, but it was amazing in the amount of dishes, meals and sides they make. The company has a plethora of items that I had a list longer than the amount of coupons I had. I get to the store and I tell myself just get one item. Try them out and see what happens.

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I pick the Pork dumplings and even though no one thankfully suffers from celiac disease, there are times I just want a gluten free meal like other times I pick no meat to no corn days. Our bodies (well at least mine) needs a break when it comes to what I eat. I don’t want corn in any form in my system on a daily basis and there are days I want a gluten free meal. It changes what I put in my body and it’s welcoming to my taste buds. Labor Day was approaching and we always barbecued outside but this year I wanted something low key and different, so I opted to make it an Asian night. I made everything from Orange chicken, Korean-style BBQ ribs, Shrimp Japanese-style fried rice, Vegetable Lo-Mein to Ponzu Lime Fish. I always love the dumplings and sides but I honestly don’t always have the time to make them homemade but that should be no reason on why I should skip on flavor or real ingredients. Feel Good Foods uses simple ingredients and made from real stuff. No funny fillers and ingredients that come from a lab.

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Cooking- I have 4 burners going at the same time on a 5-burner stove. One was a grill for the short ribs, so that meant my 5th burner was not accessible. I never like to try products from the get-go in the microwave, so I went with the method I came up for times like this, when I have more pots going than burners available. I take the dumplings out and they are a nice size and a decent weight. That surprised me because I am use to the type that really are more wrap than filling. Feel Good Foods does not play that game and they are beautifully sealed too. I placed them on parchment paper and while I prepped the other food, they defrosted for 10 minutes. I use a baster brush and give the dumplings a thin coating of oil (a mix of peanut and toasted sesame oil). I literally use my hand and gather a few droplets of water from the sink’s faucet and let them drop onto the pan, cover with foil and cooked them at 400 degrees. I cooked them for 15 minutes, with the last 5 to 7 minutes uncovered. I get the best of both worlds, the softness and moistness on the inside from a steamed dumpling and the crisp on the outside from a pan fried one. You don’t even have to over brown them because they will be crisp without looking brown. Easy and problem free cooking, for those days I have more going on than usual.

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Verdict-
I serve our meals and noticed I went crazy with the sides but I tell myself this is what we would get at a buffet, share, and always end up eating a little bit of everything. I even made a Jasmine vegetable rice to add to the mix at the last minute, just in case no one felt like hijiki seaweed and wanted a less crispy rice texture. I serve the dumplings and the sauce and everything smells great. We dig in and of course I always tell my Husband to go easy with the Sriracha but noticed I’m too late because not only has his Lo-Mein noodles picked up a red hue, but he has a spoonful on top of the Sriracha garlic paste (too late!). We all continue eating and he asks me about the new sauce. This is the sauce that came with the dumplings. It’s good and not salty, simple but better than plain soy sauce. It’s a welcoming flavor that takes nothing away from the dumplings. Now, the Pork dumplings are plain awesome! Full of pork and the wrap is thin, so you taste the filling and not just the dough. You first taste ginger and this is the real stuff…..none of that powder and they are the best frozen I have bought. I love(d) the Trader Joe’s ones but I have to honest, I would buy the pork and the chicken bags and could never tell, which was which. The flavors just blended and sometimes the wrap was so thick, that the crimped top of the dumpling would not cook right. The Feel Good Foods dumplings were filling and I ate just 2 of them and was very satisfied. I actually wish I served myself 1 more! I cooked the dumplings along side of the Pork Shu Mai dumplings and the Feel Good Foods dumplings had more meat and the filling was not mush. You could see the strands of what made the filling and even though they come frozen, that did not effect the texture of the dumpling. Easy to make and they taste wonderful and I have purchased pretty much every dumpling out there from the Costco Roadshows (featured) brands to the common ones found at the local market. Nothing comes close to Feel Good Foods and the nice part, we just felt satisfied with our meal and no bad after effects from things like MSG or too much sodium. The way meals should be!

I can’t wait to go shopping next week and I will be picking up a new item from Feel Good Foods every 3 weeks and sharing my experience. The company was generous with their coupons, plus they have so much to offer!  You just have to check-out all they have because it’s overwhelming but in a good way 🙂 This is a company that cares about using non-GMO ingredients and where they source their foods from, plus they believe in all natural products and best of all, they see no reason why frozen should not look and taste good.  I never knew gluten-free could taste this good!

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

 

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.

 

Supplimend™ Nutraceuticals: Coenzyme-Q10 (CoQ10) Review #Supplimend

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CoQ-10 is a heart-healthy enzyme that has been a staple of this household for years now, and when the opportunity arose to try out a new brand, Supplimend, I was very eager. I’m always looking to find something better than what I’m already taking, or save a few dollars on like kind and quality.

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The ingredient list reads like every other brand out there, so there’s no step down in quality from my usual brand, Kirkland.

Ingredient List (as posted on-line): Coenzyme Q-10 (Ubiquinone), Rice Bran Oil, Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin, Soy Lecithin, Titanium Dioxide Color, and Purified Water

It’s not some giant horse pill I have to choke down with half a glass of water. So that’s always appreciated. There’s no smell, no funky tasting burps, and I didn’t notice any drop off from how I felt taking my original brand.

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Where this one falls a little short is price. At $17.95 for a 30-Day supply of 120 milligram capsules, it’s nearly triple what I pay for my Costco brand, and for 1/3 as much. This is also the price point via Amazon, and I found other places had the product for $24.95.  That is very, very expensive. Like, “this can’t be part of my supplement routine anymore” expensive, and I can’t figure out why. The Supplimend brand is GMO lab certified, the Costco one USP verified. Both have similar ingredients, same dose size. It’s unfortunately a deal breaker. And that’s a shame. Made in the USA, and a good, quality supplement, but undone by an unrealistic price point. My hope for Supplemend is that as they grow, they can start manufacturing their products more in line with what the market will bear. At $17.95, it’s a no-go for me.

 

Connect with Supplimend™ Nutraceuticals at:

 

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

Nutura Formulas BCAA Capsules

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Poor hubby. He’s back again with a workout supplement review, and as so many of these before, there’s some serious questions asked, including that I take a sabbatical from workout supplements after this next batch has been reviewed. So, off to the races, dear readers! Here’s Hubby:

There’s an accepted holy trinity of workout supplements, and they are Protein, Creatine, BCAA’s. Today I’m going over one of that trinity, and that’s Natura’s BCCA Capsules. I’ve taken amino acid supplements in one form or another for almost 20 years, off and on. We’ve covered a BCAA supplement here before, with Diet Standard’s version, I’m afraid for very simple reasons I can’t recommend these capsules from Natura as highly.

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To start, BCAA’s are three essential amino acids: l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine. Usually taken in a 2:1:1 (2 parts of one to one and one of the others) stack to help promote lean muscle growth and retain lean muscle mass during a calorie deficient diet and workout routine, these are some of the most researched and proven workout supplements on the market. They are plentiful and inexpensive, and used the world over safely.

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My problem is fairly simple: I’m currently using a very popular and well known brand of BCAA caspsules from Optimum Nutrition.

They are considered in many circles the industry standard, trusted and tested to be exactly what they say they are, and their serving size is shown as 1000mg for 2 capsules. I only mention this because Natura’s capsules are purported to be 1600mg’s, and they’re smaller. That’s a huge red flag to me. Aside from the sheer physics of it, it makes me cast a very critical eye at the product. For $17.77, they are almost triple the cost of the same count from Optimum Nutrition. For what should be the exact same supplement. The supplement market is completely saturated with products and companies, so for the life of me I can’t see why one would pay 3 times as much for the same thing, and that’s not even considering that there are less expensive brands than ON on the market. Let me stress again that the capsules are smaller to boot. Both are made in the USA, too. Natura has a guarantee that reads: “GET RESULTS OR YOUR MONEY BACK – You are protected by our 100% Money Back Guarantee. If, for whatever reason, you are not satisfied with your purchase from Natura Formulas, just return the empty bottles for a full refund! WE STAND BEHIND OUR PRODUCTS WITH A RISK FREE GUARANTEE. That’s the Natura Formulas Guarantee”. That’s bold, but really, results from a workout supplement are dependent on the work you put in, not the boasts of being the “most potent on Amazon”, which are laughable. Same with the  questionable boasts of “building muscle faster” “alter your bodies metabolism”, “instantaneous results” and “burn fat faster”. Again, you get from a workout what you put into it, so you can pop a million pills but if you don’t put in the sweat equity, you’re wasting your time and money. I didn’t notice any difference, results wise, from my current BCAA capsules, either. I can’t make a very high recommendation for these, because A) the price, and B) the size problem. Sorry, Natura.

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Okay, so you can see why he’s asked for a break on supplements after we finish this next batch. Once again, disappointment. There’s talk of the FDA finally getting serious about supplement (and cosmetics) regulation, and it con’t really come quick enough in this girl’s opinion. I absolutely hate being down on products that I try fro free from companies that are trying to get their foot in the door, but I would also hate to be up on a product I had serious reservations about and make it seem like I just love something because it’s free. Like Hubby said: Sorry, Natura, but we can’t recommend this product.

Connect with Natura Formulas:

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