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.

 

 

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.

Connect with Gourmet Nut:

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.

TeeChia: Organic Sustained Energy Cereal #Review in Blueberry Date and Cranberry Apple

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TeeChia is a company that takes making a healthy and super nutritious cereal to another level. You have a powerhouse of super seeds like:

  • Chia
  • Quinoa
  • Flax
  • Ramon
  • Amaranth
  • and Pumpkin

I was able to test out both flavors and see for myself how they are.  So far I like that the product uses Organic ingredients and is Non-GMO verified.  Sweetened with only fruit and is rich in fiber.

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Blueberry Date– Gluten-Free and just one packet provides you with 28 grams of Whole Grains, 6 grams of Fiber and 6 grams of Protein. You get a healthy dose of 1200 mg of Omega-3 fats and the cereal contains zero grams of refined sugar. The Blueberry Date also has currants and real dried blueberries, in addition to apple juice. The base of the cereal is rolled oats, dates and rice flour. The directions suggest to simply add water and you can also punch up the protein by adding milk or yogurt after. I went with a simple Lemon flavored Australian yogurt that complimented the Blueberry flavor perfectly. The reason I mention the yogurt being Australian, is that it’s a thicker base and I found the cereal even though I followed the directions and added the hot water first, it remained in a gritty/sandy state. I let everything soak up but it did not seem to want to play well so I resorted to a 20 second zap in the microwave and that helped it blend or at least hydrate to the point I felt this is as mixed as it’s going to get. Tasting it alone was a bit on the flavorless side and I felt the yogurt helped add flavor and reduce what I felt was not a pleasant texture. This is not an oatmeal, as the directions say you can use cold water if you do not feel like eating it warm/hot. My yogurt saved it and I appreciate the healthy aspect and the nutritional value TeeChia products provide. I remained unsure on wanting to have more and knowing this is not a product I can enjoy as-is, due to the odd texture and consistency it delivered.

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Cranberry Apple– Pretty much the same nutritional facts and contents but this cereal has 7 grams of Protein, versus the 6. Smelled better than the Blueberry variety and you pick-up the Cranberry scent immediately, even though this bag looked different (the base) from the Blueberry Date variety. This one had less fruit but looked more powder like. I decided due to the great Cranberry aroma, I would just eat this one with milk and heated up the milk. I added it to the cereal and again the apple squares did not re-hydrate correctly and this cereal was just sandy and goopy. Still smelled great but when I took the first bite, it was so bitter and you had what can be described as to what you find at the bottom of a cracker bag….dusty and powdery with a taste that was so off. I just could not continue. This cereal did not taste like it smelled! I most times make the best of a situation and especially when it comes to eating healthy. I can get past textures but not when the texture plus the flavor was just so….well, bad unfortunately. I wasted milk in my eyes and I even contemplated adding more cranberries because you can see from the picture that there was just not a lot of dried fruit. I then realized there was no saving this bowl and just discarded it because why add more when in the end the bitter and off taste can’t be fixed.

I wanted to really like TeeChia cereals and mostly by what they contain. I have eaten these seeds and actually add them too many of my meals from salads to yogurts. I don’t know why TeeChia’s same mix of seeds tasted so different from mine. I thought maybe the milling process caused some quick oxidation to occur but there was definitely something off in the Cranberry variety. The cereals need some reworking because if you go by the contents, they are really great. You have the texture issue and the bitterness that is just not a way you want to routinely start your morning with. Eating well can taste so good but this just did not do the trick for me.  I also noticed that both cereals do not re-hydrate or look like the product’s picture on the packaging.  I am hoping I got a bad batch because I really wanted to like this super cereal 😦 and mostly because I love their Teeccino line so much.

If you would like to try TeeChia’s Sustained Cereals, please visit them at:

  • On-line– http://www.teechia.com/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/teechiacereal
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/Teeccino

 

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I received the above product free of charge from TeeChia.  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.

 

 

 

 

Graze.com: Healthy Snacks delivered to your door

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Here’s something new for snackers. Graze is a “snack subscription” service. I was able to try Graze at zero cost, with no commitment (And you can too!). The program allows you to pretty much “Nay” or “Yay” items, but you can’t select what snacks you want in your box, otherwise “build-your-box”. I like the surprise-me idea and because they sort of catalog your tastes before, I gave it a go!

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I was told my box would arrive the first week of February and it arrived the last week of January, so that was a pleasant surprise. My snack box was shipped via USPS and you get four treats, each individually sealed. Codes are also included to share with friends and work sort of like a referral program. Included is also a Nutrition Facts card, which lets you know the caloric count, sugars, ect.. However if you want a full list of ingredients, it states to check on-line….so very easy with even an exact unique link listed on there that coincides with the item.

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My first item to try was the Herby Bread Basket. My husband and I tried the garlic crostini, a mini basil breadstick, and a oregano rice cracker. I tried the cracker first and the cluster seems to be made from brown rice going by the taste but has a very sugary flavor that tends to not bump nicely with the herb notes. I did not detect oregano and more of what you get when you use parsley flakes, but that can be from flavors combining in the packet. My Husband just stated he really does not like how those taste. The sugary notes were overwhelming and hard to look past them and maybe would fit better with an Asian mix, versus a mix that seems more Italian-like going by the flavors. The garlic crostini is just like a crouton would taste and not overly garlic. Think of the square croutons that are meant to be used for making stuffing but in a pinch you see them used on salads. Now, the mini basil breadsticks were pleasant but salty. I even rinsed my mouth thinking the sugary notes from the rice cracker were influencing my taste buds but unfortunately it was not. 1 out of 3 items in this snack were okay-ish,so I gave this one a “Nay”

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The next day we tried the HoneyComb Flapjack, made of rolled oats and drizzled with chocolate. The item is soft in texture and smells a little like a oatmeal cookie does minus the raisins. Took a bite and the first thing that came to mind, a no-bake cookie. You do not taste the chocolate and I give you that the square does not have a processed flavor at all but it was lacking in flavor period. The square smelled better than it tasted. My Husband bailed on taking a second bite because the grainy texture was just not his thing. I dumped the rest into my yogurt cup and it sort of got lost in there. This is when I noticed the grains I eat from my granola mix had more flavor than the Flapjack. We gave this a “Nay”.

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I wanted to end on a good note so I opened the Trail Mix. My mix had redskin peanuts, roasted hazelnuts, jumbo raisins, and cranberries. It’s so my kind of thing that this mix was created for me. I peel open the container and noticed it does not smell like what I am seeing. Sort of musty. I taste a peanut and my Husband takes a very non-jumbo sized raisin and walks off. My peanut was soft in texture and tasted rancid so I did not finish it. I then hear from the other room in the house, “don’t taste the raisin, I had to spit it out”. Ummmm….okay, so I taste a hazelnut and roasted it is not and suffers from that same softness and weird off taste the peanut does. I gave up and disposed of this mix. The nuts are soft like if they had been in a cooler and then sweated a bit when they were warmed (maybe while in transit). Nonetheless, they were bad! Nay again!

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The Booster Seeds I would love to say are my next choice by I am starting to grow shy here. The Booster mix has sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and golden flax seeds. I eat flax seeds and pumpkin seeds on a routine basis, so this is again familiar territory. I peel open the container……..these smell and taste fine!!! Yay!! the seeds have crunch and no musty smell. They are plain with no salt and sugar and play well with anything or you can enjoy them as-is. We have a winner and the quality is decent.

So, 4 snack boxes in total and 1 out 4 was a winner. These 4-box units usually cost $6.00, plus that includes shipping. I will say that $6 with shipping would make me buy at least once a month but when only 1 snack item was a hit and it was the plainer of the bunch, that would be one over priced 1.2 ounces sized snack. I really wanted to be a Graze fan because the idea of trying new snacks and with a healthy twist, plus delivered to your door is something I desire……sort of dreamy for me who likes this kind of “stuff”. The freedom to move deliveries around to fit your needs or even budget makes this a friendly company, which is rare today. The site is welcoming and easy to see what they offer. I just would not want to cringe at opening a packet and being welcomed by rancid nuts that made the dried fruit taste like something that you want to only taste once and never repeat. I worry about when Summer hits and if the quality will “boing” all over the place but have to share for my first-time try, Graze left me wanting to graze from my pantry versus from my mailbox. I may try again in the future because I would love to support a company with good intentions that maybe were caught on a bad day!

If you would like to give Graze a try, visit them at:

  • On-line– https://www.graze.com/us/products
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/grazeusa
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=grazeusa

I received the above product free of charge from Graze.com. 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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