Grab Bags of Goodness from Gourmet Nut #Review

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A while back I got the opportunity to take a few Gourmet Nut’s products for a test drive, and boy howdy were they the belle of the ball. Great flavors in their salts and sugars that brought out the best of whatever dish they were added to. But Gourmet Nut wasn’t finished by a long shot. There was also the little matter of their “Gourmet on the Go” line of snack packs. I got to try 4 different varieties, some more than others thanks to the snarfing of a certain hubby who shall remain nameless.
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I’ll start with the mix that went “poof” first, the Cajun Hot Mix. A combination of sesame sticks, peanuts, cajun corn sticks, almonds, and tasty chili bits, this one was a tasty little number that had the added benefit of just a touch of heat. Fans of this blog know that in my house, the hotter the better. And while this mix some heat, it wasn’t so hot as to discourage the chilie-challenged among us from diving in, either. It wasn’t loaded with sodium either, like so many other savory snack packs from other “bigger” brands. All while being trans-fat free, cholesterol-free, and vegan. Not too shabby! This generous 8 oz. bag was gone, baby, gone within a calendar week thanks to Mr. Snack Vacuum over here, but the little bit I got, I loved.

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Next on the hit parade was Gourmet Nut’s “Body Boosting Antioxidant Mix”. Bursting with flavor from raisins, cranberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, pecans and walnuts, this all natural, gluten free treat went over like gangbusters here. Fruit, nuts, and chocolate? Yes, please! Also boasting 5 grams of protein per 1 ounce serving, and just 150 calories, this 6 once bag didn’t last kissing time either. At least I got more than a token handful this time. And every little bit was fresh, full and bursting with flavor. Not a bag full of broken bits and powder, either. Just a Bag of win.

 

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Number three is one that I’m sure will do well, Gourmet Nut’s “Energize Me” Protein Mix. 8 ounces filled to brim with dried cherries, raisins, almonds, cashews, peanuts and pumpkin seeds. All natural, vegan and gluten free, this is a satisfying mouthful for just about anyone. Hubby, usually in  staunch opposition to nuts of almost any kind, even grabbed a handful or three. The dried fruit isn’t overly sweet, and the nuts roasty, not salty. Each one ounce serving gives you a whopping 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and only 150 calories. A crunchy little snack like this goes well with this household, especially since we don’t eat lunch but can get “munchy” between breakfast and dinner. This plugs that hole perfectly.

 

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Last on the hit parade is Gourmet Nut’s Nature’s Mix. This one I loved, with raisins, cranberries, peanuts, pineapple, papaya, almonds, and cashews. It has everything but my name. All natural, gluten free, and vegan. This 8 ounce bag is only 120 calories per serving, and is another excellent mid day snack. It’s also cholesterol free, and trans-fat free. Hubby isn’t crazy about papaya and pineapple, so it didn’t get squirreled away and an empty bag just appear like some of the other varieties. So I got to take my time with the one and really enjoy it. And believe me, I enjoyed the heck out of it.

 

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Gourmet Nut has many more varieties in their “Gourmet on the Go” line,  like Veggie Chips, Mega Omega Mix, Almond Cranberry Crunch, and much more. With prices running as little as $3 and change per bag, up to around $4.50 or so (they’re sold in packs of 6), there’s a snack sack for every budget. Along with the salts and spice rubs I’ve reviewed for them, they also offer Health Seeds and Power Up Snack bags. And there is nothing in their line I’ve tried that isn’t quality. The salts are up there with some of my favorites, and the prices for everything are very reasonable. Too often snack mixes are loaded with salt, sugar, and fillers that leave you hungrier than before you dug in, and then filled with regret when you step on the scale. That’s just not the case here. What you see is what you get. You see pictures of fruit and nuts, and you get a   bag full of fruits and nuts. Very refreshing nowadays. Thank you, Gourmet Nut.

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I’m so tempted to throw a handful of some of these into a quickbread dough and see what happens. Power loaf, perhaps? But that’s a post for another day. Assuming I can hide these from that roaming muncher I married.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Gourmet Nut.  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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ATH Sports: Hemp Gold, Organic Coconut Hemp Protein Powder Review #HempGold

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Protein powders aren’t just for gym rats anymore. Everyone has to go, go, go, and a meal on the run is always appreciated. I am always seeking the new and especially a different approach when it comes to supplements and fuel for your body. The protein bar world is dominated and oversaturated and you can finally find bars that are both good tasting and nutritious, but I wish I could say the same for the world of drinks. Even though they have been around longer than the bars, they have not been what I call mastered by all. Many are filled with….well, fillers and loaded with sugars and cheap sources of protein. Thanks to hubby I have had a chance to sample many different powders, with some being great tasting but not so good for you. Some were good for you and tasted AWFUL (**cough-Arbonne-cough**). Only a select few have balanced both well. I saw a post on The Underground on a new brand that I had not heard of and it’s not your common mix, so when ATH offered to send samples, I jumped on it.

ATH Sports is a Hawaii based company and their Hemp Gold is derived from cold-pressed Organic Hemp Protein seeds. The cold-pressed process helps keep their natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, plus the enzymes intact. I also love that when it comes to sugar, they use an all-natural source….coconut, stevia and Lo Han Fruit Extract, also known as the monk fruit. The Lo Han Fruit is 300 times sweeter than sugar and your body metabolizes it more effectively. The ingredient list in this protein supplement is short and all that it contains is what I noted above. Don’t be fooled by the short list because this is the power punch you get from ATH Sport’s Hemp Gold:

  • 15 grams of protein
  • 2000 mg of Omega-9 Fatty Acids
  • 6400 mg of Omega-6
  • 420 mg of Omega-3
  • 18 grams of Fiber
  • 10 essential Amino Acids
  • Non-GMO
  • No Sugar Added
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic Ingredients

All the above from just 1 scoop! Each 3 pound container yields about 57 servings and ATH’s scoop size is a mere 24 grams. Each serving is only 130 calories, 36 coming from fat. The THC has been removed so testing positive for anything bad is not a worry! Not bad so far but let’s get to the taste test.

Taste Test:
The powder does not fight back when you try to dissolve it and you do smell the Organic Coconut notes, think almost a earthy scent when undissolved. It actually smells good and inviting, so far so good. I mix it and the color of the powder is deceiving, it is like a mustard-green but don’t be fooled……this tastes so good that you can’t believe it’s a protein drink. It’s like no other, no bad after-taste, no needing to chug it, no particles in the water that remain undissolved…..you actually are left with a Coconut butter taste that is better than any Coconut Water I have ever had!!! I’m a fan and can say of all the shakes, mixes, smoothies, the ATH Sports Hemp Gold should be an example to other brands, healthy, natural nutrition drinks can taste freaking awesome!

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I received the above product free of charge from ATH Sports. 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.

Arbonne Essentials Protein Shake in Chocolate and Vanilla Review

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I recently had a chance to try a few different products from the Arbonne Essentials. I thought I’d share my experiences with you.

The first product I tried was the Arbonne Protein Shake Mix. I will say that, thanks to Hubby, I have been able to try a wealth of different protein powder shakes from almost every major brand out there. So he was my “taste buddy” on this little trial run as well.

A few things about Arbonne Essentials before we go any further. They strive to “keep it simple”, keep it healthy, and to make “good for you” products that are free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, cholesterol, trans fats, and 100% animal product free. These are vegan products, and they take that seriously. They have a very comprehensive line of products to address a multitude of needs.

So, back to the shake. I got to try chocolate (Our favorite flavor for EVERYTHING!) and vanilla. We tried to read on the package what the ingredients were, what the nutritional breakdown was, stuff like that. Nothing to really be found. Okay. Let’s look at the pamphlet that came with it. That tells me that it’s “pea protein” blend, 20 grams of it. It’s gluten free. It has coenzyme Q10, alfalfa, ginseng, and flax seed. Unless that doubles as an ingredient list, I have no idea what else is in there. That’s a little…frustrating. I tear into it and I’m immediately hit with a smell that I most closely identify with….latex paint?!? That can’t be right. We dip our respective fingers in and give the dry power a little taste. “Not chocolate” says Hubby. There’s a very strong vegetable flavor that immediately overpowers any hint of chocolate that might be there. Okay, well, it’s dry. You’re not supposed to taste it dry, so let’s add the requisite water and let the flavors bloom. I notice right away there’s A LOT of powder. Hubby’s go-to protein powder has been Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey powder, and for comparison purposes, it’s a much smaller scoop. He has a few different shaker bottles, so we select his best big one and give it the old “30-second shake up”. There’s chunks of goo everywhere. So Hubby shakes some more, and with great vigor this time. No luck. It’s a chunky mess. Well, sometimes it helps to sit in the fridge a bit and let the particles super-saturate and help the process. So sit it shall.

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After an hour, we take it out, noticing that it’s started to separate a bit, but after a couple of shakes it’s still kinda gloopy. Hubby gamely offers that he’s “had worse” and goes in for a taste. He immediately tells me it’s got a very chalk-like consistency and it’s kinda gritty. There’s a very strong veggie taste, even pepper-ish, and the aftertaste that remained as “horrible”. The smell is still off, but I will myself to give it a go and I regret it almost immediately. He’s right, something is off. I really can’t taste any chocolate, but it’s closer to a malted V8. Hubby gamely goes back for more, and after 3 sips, he says he can’t finish it. Just so you know, I’ve seen this man chug things that would choke a billy goat, all in the name of fitness. For him to tell me he can’t finish is shocking to me. I open up the vanilla and smell the same “latex paint” smell from before and I’m not even going to torture ourselves and go through this again. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even mix it.

I have to wonder if there was something off about the samples I received. For company to be so high on their products that they send out samples like this tells me there must be something there, and hopefully this was just an anomaly.

I also got a chance to try their Energy Fizz Sticks, but that is for another post! =D

I received the above products free of charge from a Arbonne representative.  I am not obligated in providing a positive/favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the brand and/or product, which may differ from yours.

 

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