Horizon Dairy: Super Squeeze Snacks made with Organic Milk and Fruit in Mixed Berry Burst, Strawberry Bash and Orange Blast #Review

 

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I’m always looking for snack alternatives and being that we are big on fruit and yogurt like drinks, the Super Squeeze Snack pouches were a perfect combination. Each pouch has only 100 calories and 5 grams of protein, plus 20% of your daily required calcium. A box comes with 4 pouches and each provides 99 grams (3.5 ounces) per serving. I was sent from Horizon Dairy the following flavors:

These are shelf stable snacks that have many uses from being a creamy base for fruit to even slightly freezing them. I took fresh strawberries and blueberries, mixed them with any of the Super Squeeze flavors, and slightly froze the fruit mix for 20 to 30 minutes. Just enough time for the treat to set and have a soft serve texture. Everyone loved it and with the 100 degree days we have been experiencing, this is a low calorie and protein delivering snack that will energize anyone from adults to children on a day like today! The base also makes great “mug cakes” that can be made in the microwave if you are short on time and/or energy.

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Super Squeeze in Mixed Berry Burst- Every pouch is made with real milk and fruit to create a creamy blend. Naturally flavored and this version contains Organic Skim Milk, Strawberry Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin, Organic Blueberry Puree, and Citrus Acid. Simple but delicious and the product is free from artificial colors or preservatives. You get pure ingredients and by far this was our favorite. We even skipped on milk some days and added our granola based cereal to create the perfect morning fruit parfait. Best way to start the day.

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Strawberry Bash Super Squeeze- This was our second favorite flavor. This Super Squeeze contains Organic Skim Milk, Strawberry Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin and Citric Acids. Natural flavors that create a perfect snack. There is no funny red or pink hue to this treat, just pure strawberries always ready on-the-go. The part that makes this a no-excuses snack, is that the squeeze needs zero refrigeration if left unopened. You literally grab it and it’s ready around your schedule. Cravings for adults (and even kids) can be curbed and you just can’t beat having a healthy snack that is just at hand’s reach with no spoon needed.

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Super Squeeze in Orange Blast Think of this as a “dreamscile-like” treat. We enjoyed it and would purchase this variety even though it was not our favorite because it was still delicious. I expected a fake and unpleasant orange taste but I found myself happily disappointed because we actually enjoy real orange based products in our home. This Super Squeeze starts with the same Organic Skim Milk, Orange Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin, Citric Acid and Natural Flavors. As with all Super Squeeze products, you will notice they start with milk and right after comes the real fruit and no fillers!

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In our home, we have always been fans of Horizon and Happy the cow!  Horizon makes tasty treats that can be enjoyed as much by kids and adults alike.  They just make great foods with ingredients that are real!  The crackers taste cheesy, peanut butter sandwich crackers are buttery and creamy, and the macaroni and cheese (especially the white cheddar) is the very best I have tasted from a box.  Yeah, I thought all Mac & Cheese from a box had no love ❤ when it came to flavor and ingredients but Happy the Cow always delivers!

Snoopy and our favorite cow Happy have teamed up:

The Peanuts movie has united with Horizon Dairy where you could win a trip for you and your family for a “Red Carpet Experience” The movie premiere will be in Los Angeles, CA, plus there are other prizes you may be able to win. Go to: http://HorizonDairy.com/Peanuts to enter and Good Luck!

Connect with Horizon Dairy at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Horizon and MomsMeet.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

 

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Pure Natural Miracles’ 100% Organic Raw Cacao Nibs

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I’m a fan of cacao, and have been for some time. I’ve cooked and baked with it and never had a bad thing to say about it. But until recently I never got to try raw cacao nibs, straight up. And now that I have, I’m a fan, in a big way. Pure Natural Miracles sent me a bag to try and review, and I’m delighted they did and opened my world to something new and delightful. Their marketing tactics and high-pressure approach to reviewers I’m not as big a fan of, but I won’t let that stop me from enjoying the product.

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Cacao nibs are like a mild espresso bean, full of tangy, almost bitter notes. Like a baking chocolate, it’s bereft of sugar in any form, but crunchy like a grain, or granola. You get a full, rich chocolate flavor, but no sugar, or processing, or roasting, basically anything that strips away the flavors and health benefits, like antioxidants and trace minerals that are essential to any healthy diet, plus their high in dietary fiber. These Pure Natural Miracle nibs are made from 100% pure Organic Peruvian Criollo cacao and are raw (not fermented or roasted), organic, vegan, and naturally gluten free, so they can be easily worked into any diet or diet plan. They went great with my morning “scatter”, usually some cereal and nuts, along with chia seeds, flax meal, goji berries and Greek yogurt. And while I noticed nothing out of the ordinary as far as energy, or alertness, I also saw no ill effects from consuming them daily for weeks. It was like a morning cup of coffee with my breakfast, but no caffeine dump later. They also went great sprinkled over some vanilla bean ice cream, or just a small handful on their own.

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What I’m less a fan of is, as a reviewer, I make certain promises to the companies I choose to work with. And I expect them to understand that I have many, many companies I work with every day, some regularly for years. Things get reviewed as they come in, in the order received, unless we’ve made special arrangements beforehand for an accelerated or delayed time frame. And I never, ever, let a company put words in my mouth. For good or for ill, my opinions are my own and I will not use a companies “suggested” dialog for my reviews. Whether it was Larviks Investment Group as a proxy or Pure Natural Miracles, I got the hard sell almost from jump. I didn’t appreciate the way they went about this promotion with me, and while I like the product immensely, I can only hope that they’re not the same way with regular customers.

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So in the end it’s a great product that I recommend highly and hope that give them a try. If you like coffee, or chocolate, or chocolate coffee (*drools*), then these are right up your alley.

Connect with Pure Natural Miracles:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Pure Natural Miracles.  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.

Fé Fit: Fé Fuel Gluten Free Protein and Energy Bars #Review #FeFit

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When I read Gluten free on a package, I really first think does that mean flavor free too ? So many products advertise a healthier option, however your diet is more based on avoiding to eat it, versus what the product delivers.  Not the smartest way to diet and going hungry because a product tastes so bad is also wasted money.

When I was approached to review the Fé Fuel bars, I liked the flavors and ingredients but I was a little fearful of what would come.  Is it going to be a dry hockey puck like many of these date based bars of today, or is it going to be a mushy mess.  I like dates.  Many products that are gluten free use it as a base for texture, moisture content and fiber intake……many failed at making good flavorful products that I started to question my liking of dates.  I can’t understand how a moist date can become so dry that it sucks any moisture out of your mouth.  Gluten free products should not dehydrate you!
The good news, you know how so many products advertise the “Best of”, well Fé Fit did not lie!  Their Fé Fuel bars are not only great for being Gluten free but I would eat them just because they taste good and have a good amount of nutrition to combat hunger, plus keep you going.
You start with three flavors to choose from and I opted in ordering the multi-pack to keep things interesting (dislike eating the same everyday) and also so I could taste all three bars.  The flavors are not only good tasting but not the typical Peanut Butter this and Chocolate chip that.
  • Coconut Pecan
  • Cacao Nib Almond
  • Apricot Cashew

All bars deliver only 140 calories and the first ingredient is Isolate Whey protein, with 10 grams of protein.  Then comes raw pecans and organic dates.  The aforementioned is the base product and it then expands to the flavors of the bars.  Everything is kept in it’s raw state, making this a Paleo diet friendly bar or for people like me that seek no processing.  Sweeteners range from Organic Coconut Palm sugar, Organic Coconut Nectar, to Organic Coconut Sugar and Raw Honey.  Simple list and the shortest I have seen on an energy/protein bar.  You will recognize everything on Fé Fuel’s ingredient list and it’s always a plus knowing what you are eating.

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Out of the bars I have eaten in any class, and by this I mean gluten filled or not, to different proteins from pea to whey, the Fé Fuel bar kept me the fullest.  It’s hard to comprehend because it’s small in size but it makes an impact.  I felt full and not bloated, just energy that kept me going and a sense of satisfaction.  I was happy because I was not hungry but had energy.  I kept thinking if the bar had enough because it’s 1/2 the size than a typical bar but it kept me feeling better in all areas.  I digested easier and some bars tend to make me feel bloated as I consume water, sort f like they poof inside me as I hydrate.  Not these bars!  Pure energy is all I got with zero unpleasant side effects.  I ate them crushed in yogurt to just grabbing one and going.  The texture is pleasant when eating and each bar tastes like the combination listed in the package.  If I was craving chocolate, the Cacao Nib literally nipped that craving because it had sufficient chocolate to satisfy my indulgence.

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Retail Price Point: $29.99 for a box of 12 bars.  24 bars is prices at $59.98 and 36 bars at $89.97 via the website.  You can save 20% if you subscribe for monthly delivery.  I also found that via Amazon, you can order 12 bars for $19.99!

No matter the diet you follow, these bars have a place in your tummy!  I found the Fé Fuel bars are what I have been looking for because in the end I don’t want hunger to stop me or worse, cause me a headache and I could keep going.  The bars are satisfying and great tasting like they should be. Fé Fit, also has an entire site dedicated to healthier living from fitness and diet plans that break down in 90-Day combo kits.  The Fé Fit company goes beyond just providing nutrition but also a way to change your body into a healthier you that I always find is a bonus and also to look better.  With Summer upon us, you can start eating cleaner and feeling better.

 

Connect with Fé Fit at:

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

 

 

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.

Healthy Surprise: Subscription Snack Box filled with goodies and delivered right to your door

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Healthy Surprise is a company, which delivers snack filled boxes to your door on a monthly basis. The company also offers specialty themed boxes, like their Chocolate Box that is filled with anything and everything having to do with that cacao bean we all love. You also have different box levels and they just get fuller and fuller as you go up the scale:

  • Starter Box- $40.00 a month and filled with snacks for 1 to 2 people. Each box has 11+ full sized snacks to enjoy.
  • Big Box– $60.00 a month and filled with snacks to satisfy 1 to 4 people. This box comes with 16+ full sized snacks to indulge in.
  • Combo Box– $95.00 a month and filled with snacks to satisfy 2 to 6 people. The Combo Box is huge and filled with 27+ full sized snacks that will satisfy any taste-bud and then some.

All treats are soy free, gluten free, natural to vegan. Snacks are corn free and even plant based. I also found they research very carefully what they offer in their boxes from products not made in China to the ingredients used. You won’t find MSG to High Fructose Corn Syrup. Worried about allergies? Healthy Surprise hunts for dairy free, peanut free, shellfish free, no artificial flavors, dyes, color, to even no artificial sweeteners used in their health friendly boxes. No Partially Hydrogenated oils or yeast extracts to upset your taste buds! It’s munching but at a higher level of quality and some can same say less guilt. I’m always for feeling better and less guilty about snacking!

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One thing I dislike about monthly subscription boxes is the wait. You miss that delivery window and you are waiting 30+ days to get anything. Not with Healthy Surprise!  They even have a count down and I ordered one day in the early hours and I am not kidding, I was opening up my box within 48 hours. Healthy Surprise is a California based company, so I got quick delivery and so can you, as they ship for free anywhere in the U.S. You can also set when you want a box shipped and I like that level of control when ordering.

Now to the box we go! I received the smaller box called the Starter Box and calling it small is an understatement, with 13 items but does it live up to it’s price tag? Let’s see….

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  • Hail Merry Macaroons Blonde– The bag comes with 1.75 of puck shaped macaroons. They are small but packed with flavor and no skimping on the coconut. I loved these and ate them with fruit, then dipped some in chocolate and two macaroons swam in an almost empty jar of Fleur de Sel Caramel that was too good to waste. Love these and they are addicting. The product is gluten free and Vegan friendly. Hail Merry uses top notch ingredients from organic maple syrup, shredded coconut, extra virgin coconut oil to raw almond flour. You add vanilla and sea salt and that makes up the entire list of contents. Simple and delicious and I’m a fan. A bag this size retails for about $4 to $5.

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  • Gorge Delights, Just Fruit Bar in Apple Cherry 100% grown U.S. fruit, this bar is sort of like the “fruit leather” you find at Trader Joe’s. A little thicker and it’s made of apple puree, apple concentrate, and cherry concentrate. The bar is simple but delivers more of an apple punch than a cherry one. Due to it’s ultra minced texture, the bar is a little on the gummy side but not satisfying in texture like a gummy bear is. It’s more gummy and smashed. Was not a fan of the bar and stopped at two bites because the cherry was just not there for me and it started to taste like fermented fruit. I really wanted to like this bar because it does satisfy 2 fruit servings of your daily requirements and I would try it again but in another flavor. This bar retails for about $1.16 when purchased in bulk sizes (for retail).

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  • Oloves in Basil and Garlic These are natural green pitted olives and they have a touch of salt, sunflower oil, basil, garlic, vinegar, and acidifiers listed as lactic and citric acid. The pouch weighs 1.1. ounces and safely keeps the green olives intact. No broken or smashed ones and I added them to a salad, which made my dinner look like a beauty and my taste buds were 100% satisfied when it came to the flavor and texture. You get a nice brine that is not over loaded with acids or too high in flavor when it comes to the marinade. Oloves found the perfect balance where the other flavors compliment versus taking away from the olive. A bag this size retails for a little over a $1.00.

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  • Hail Merry Grawnola in Orange and Cranberry– Another hit for the Hail Merry family and this raw nut and fruit blend is packed with flavor that is perfectly balanced. Many orange flavored items are over powered with a poor tasting juice that smells better than it tastes, but not here. You get the hints of citrus and the granola is crunchy and not coated with that honey/orange juice glaze that gives you sticky fingers. You have ingredients like raw almonds, maple syrup, buckwheat groats, fresh orange juice, dried apples, raw pecans, and cranberries. The blend continues with raw sunflower seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon and salt. Perfect and craveable, plus energy packed. Most ingredients are organic and this product is gluten free, Vegan friendly, grain free and packed with Raw Omegas. Hail Merry products make you look at the label twice and it’s not a trust issue, it’s that you can’t believe something so good is not doused in sugars and bad stuff! This 1.5 ounce bag retails for between $2.50 and $3.00.

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  • Buddy Fruits in Mango Passion & Banana– The drink comes in a resealable container and Buddy Fruits is simple in the ingredient list. You have pure blended fruit derived from Mango. Apple, Banana, and Passion Fruit juice…..that is all. The pouch delivers a taste just like you would imagine the fruit combination would be. Great product to drink as it is or even add to smoothies. I semi-froze mine to enjoy on a hot day and it got a nice slush consistency that made me wish I had 2 of these in my box. The 3.2 ounce pouch retails for about a $1.00 to $1.25.

 

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  • Freshly Wild Super Foods, Kale Joy in Jazzy Sweet Mustard– Healthy surprise sent me another thing I’ve been dying to try, kale chips. Because let’s face it, everyone gets “munchy” from time to time, but potato chips are all kinds of unhealthy and bad for any diet in excess. From Freshly Wild, a small Portland, Oregon-based health food company, comes Kale Joy in Jazzy Sweet Mustard flavor. Not just your average dehydrated kale chip, these are handcrafted and carefully dehydrated in a small kitchen “powered by renewable wind energy”. Cool. Gluten-free, non GMO, and vegan, three things that are quite popular right now. Using “… only the best juices, nuts, seeds and spices”, this little guy is coated in crunch and flavor, with little bits of nut and seasoning all over. Neat-o. In a resealable .75 ounce package to boot. Crispy without being crumbly, and a satisfying crunch that fills that “munchy” feeling I mentioned earlier. Tangy and sweet. Two things jump out at me: 1 is that unfortunately, a lot of the chips became “shards” at the bottom of the bag. And 2 is that for only an ounce, you’d be paying between $4.50 and $6.00 a bag. Yowza. Fortunately, a little bit goes along way.

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  • Snip Chips in Dill Pickle– This is a Parsnip and Coconut snack mix. I have never even sniffed a blend like this or much less had one but I’m a try it all and then decide type of gal. The product is parsnips, raw coconut, raw cashews, apple cider vinegar, dill, garlic and lemon, plus a touch of chipotle, mustard seed, and Himalayan crystal salt. I dive in and it’s not crispy but more of a dehydrated like texture, I have seen these at my local Sprout’s Market and they come in other flavors. I like dill pickles and found myself puzzled by the blend as I knew it.  I did go back for a second and third piece. The verdict is still out on this one for me as much as I tried to make-up my mind about it. I guess I’m in the middle about it, I don’t love them or dislike them but unsure if I will be having more. Sun Chips does have other flavors and maybe the cheesy one would be better. This bag at a weight of 2 ounces retails between $5.49 and $5.99.

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The Daily Crave Veggie Chips– Remember that “munchy” feeling I mentioned? The one that comes between meals and runs diets? Yeah, that one. Here’s another product that should make you feel a little less guilty about munching. Note that I said “should”. I’ll explain that in a minute. The Daily Crave is a snack food company that boasts on their website:

*100% All Natural
*100% Vegan
*No Artificial Ingredients
*No Dairy
*Non GMO
*No Artificial flavors
*No Artificial coloring
*No Hydrogenated Fats
*Perfect for Dipping

That’s a mouthful. And it’s got a neat package, a good price, clever marketing, what’s not to love? Well, a close look at the ingredient list reveals that these are not all that different from, say, those chips in a tube shaped can that stack so nicely. Potato flour, potato star hotel, and oil are the first 3 ingredients. And while there is salt and sugar, it’s thankfully in very small amounts. Almost as small as the amounts of actual veggies in these veggie chips. Now, that’s not to say they aren’t tasty, because they are. But for all they got right, they also got quite a bit wrong. Snazzy packaging and trendy buzzwords do not a great product make. A small filled bag at just 1 ounce retails for $1.33 (retail bulk price).

  • Snapz Premium Grilled Zucchini Crunch & Snapz Premium Pineapple Crunch– I hate being a snack buzzkill, so let me mention a couple of yummers that I loved. Snapz Crisps makes an entire line of gently dehydrated fruit and veggie crisps, so there’s something for everyone. They are a “Brand leader for non fried fruit and vegetable crisps, 100 % natural, not fried or baked. Using unique technology to ensure the products are very crisp (?) they combine the fun and enjoyment of crisps with the goodness of fruit and vegetables. Appealing to all ages groups — young and old alike.” I got to try both sweet and savory with their Premium Pineapple and Grilled Zucchini flavors. While I appreciated the subtle flavors of the grilled zucchini, a little touch of sea salt would have really livened it up. But the pineapple crisps were a hit all around. Too often there are added oils and sugars in dried fruit that completely drown out the flavors of the fruit, but not here. I love the one item ingredient list: Pineapple. Winner! Tasty, crunchy, tangy. Not oily, not overly sweet. What’s not to love? Fat free, gluten free, nut free, GMO free, sugar free, salt free, preservative free…can it be true? It is, but I came crashing down to earth when I went to buy some more: 12 bags (0.46 oz each) were over $17 plus tax and shipping at Amazon. That stings. I really hate that the closer you get to real foods the more it costs, but that’s the reality in America anymore. I will say I really, really enjoyed these and will be on the lookout for them when next I darken the market’s doorstep.

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  • Righteously Raw Chocolates in Mint, Rose, and Dark chocolate– The Dark has a nice creamy and intense cacao notes. It’s not perfume-y, just chocolate satisfaction all the way through at 83% pure cacao you can believe it’s good and no bitter notes at all. It’s the espresso of chocolates! The Mint version has 82% cacoa and it’s not your typical mint that is creamy, think more of a “dry mint” taste where your mint is derived from peppermint so you get the sharp notes combined with the dark chocolate. A good combination and I liked that it was different than the typical mint flavors I have tried before. Then comes the Rose. I love roses and have even indulged in pastries that contain rose water……I took a bite and the flavor was so off, that I quickly chewed and opened the Dark version for salvation. It tasted like something bad had been infused and not like any rose I have eaten or even smelled. The tricky part is the bar smells like just dark chocolate but when you bite, something bitter and sour just takes over your mouth. It says red raspberry powder, brown rice protein powder to red beet are mixed in with the chocolate. Rose hips is last on the list and maybe it’s the flavor combination but it’s a no-go on the Rose and I love chocolate and have even continued to eat chocolate that when asked how it is, I reply “ummm, it’s okay”, but continue munching. Could not do that with the Rose. Righteously Raw did well with the Dark and surprised me nicely with the Mint, so go there when buying this one. The 3 chocolates I received are considered “bite-size”, so finding a price point was a bit difficult but buying in bulk of a bag of dark was 16 pieces for $22.99 via Amazon, making it under $0.70 per bite size bar.

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  • A $25.00 gift card– was also included and can be used towards the purchase of a Healthy Surprise box, making the smaller one more than 50% off. Good company when it comes to continuing patronage with their customers.

I liked being able to try some brands I had never heard of, brands that I have seen but knew nothing about, and seeing the familiar ones like Hail Merry but trying new items from a company I know and purchase products from. Exploring is fun and The Healthy Surprise Company does the hunting while you do the munching. I believe every subscription company should at the very least be tried once and to get a good idea, try it a second time. I did feel some items were overly priced by companies but that is not Healthy Surprises’ fault. It did let me adjust my shopping list by making sure to add some companies to my list and knowing what products to just walk away from. If you are into exploring new items and new flavors, but in a “better for you” way, try Healthy Surprise. I found a great link you can use, which is via Groupon. For a limited time you can get the $60 box for $30!!!

Visit Healthy Surprise and get the Groupon deal at:

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I received the above product free of charge from Healthy Surprise. 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.

HouseParty: Triscuit Thin Crisps in Sour Cream & Chive, Wasabi & Soy Sauce and Cinnamon Sugar #Review #TriscuitParty

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Who does’t love a house party? This HouseParty, sponsored by Triscuit, was not only filled with goodies for the host and guest, but we were able to try the three newest flavors. The HouseParty kit also included the following:

  • Large totes for each guest
  • Free coupons that guests can redeem for free Triscuit Thin Crisps
  • Triscuit boxes for guests to take home
  • 3 boxes in the new Wasabi & Soy Sauce flavor
  • 3 boxes in the new Sour Cream & Chive flavor
  • 3 boxes in the new Cinnamon & Sugar flavor
  • A chip bowl to share Triscuit Thin Crisps with guests
  • Recipe card for the loaded baked potato dip
  • A dip bowl for guests to try different dips I made

As always, Houseparty is very generous with the kit and provides you with pretty much everything you need to hold a successful event. You just supply the guests and party on! I had each guest provide feedback on the each flavor and also if they enjoyed attending the sponsored event.

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The new Triscuit Thin Crisps are very different from the original recipe, as these are made with brown rice. The flavors are also not typical but delicious indeed.

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Triscuit Thin Crips in Sour Cream & Chive– This was a liked crisp but ranked third in likability. Some guests reported that the crisp tasted more like a sour cream & ranch chip and could not pick-up the chive notes that usually resemble onion. The texture was very well liked, as were the ingredient’s list on the box. You have a short list and everything is identifiable. 10 crackers are just 130 calories and 25 only come from fat. Definitely a savory snack that not only satisfies your taste buds but does not punish your waist line. The dip most enjoyed with this cracker was the caramelized onion dip I made because it helped bring out the desired onion notes some felt were missing.

Ingredients-
LONG GRAIN BROWN RICE, WHOLE GRAIN SOFT WHITE WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, NATURAL FLAVOR (CONTAINS MUSTARD), SALT, ONION POWDER, SOUR CREAM POWDER (CREAM, NONFAT MILK, CULTURES), NONFAT MILK, BUTTERMILK, YEAST EXTRACT, SPICES (INCLUDES CHIVE), CITRIC ACID, SUGAR

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Triscuit Thin Crisps in Cinnamon & Sugar– This is the crisp that satisfies your sweet tooth and can even be paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Some even dipped it in a caramel sauce and guests reported the flavor is addicting! I liked that the crisp is not too sweet or overly covered in cinnamon. The base on this cracker is brown rice and sweet potato. You taste the sweetness the potato gives, but it pairs very well with chocolate or just munching as is. I had a few guests comment that this flavor tasted like what you find on “deep fried ice cream” but again at 130 calories for 10 crisps, minus the frying mess.

Ingredients-
LONG GRAIN BROWN RICE, WHOLE GRAIN SOFT WHITE WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED SWEET POTATO, SUGAR, CINNAMON, BROWN SUGAR, SEA SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, YEAST EXTRACT.

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Triscuit Thin Crisps in Wasabi & Soy Sauce– The most liked of the savory variety was this one and it has a flavor that bites back! New and not the common flavor you would expect in a snack but it does not only satisfy your salty cravings, it makes you come back for more. This one was great with a horseradish pub cheese dip I had out for the sour cream & chive flavor. We were all surprised a cheddar based dip went so well with it! Same 130 calories per serving as the other flavors!

Ingredients-
LONG GRAIN BROWN RICE, WHOLE GRAIN SOFT WHITE WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, SUGAR, SEA SALT, MALTODEXTRIN, DEHYDRATED SOY SAUCE (FERMENTED SOYBEANS, WHEAT, SALT), YEAST EXTRACT, CITRIC ACID, PARSLEY FLAKES, NATURAL FLAVOR (CONTAINS MUSTARD), DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, WASABI POWDER

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This Houseparty was easy and everyone did not dislike any of the snacks or dips that were available!  Guests enjoyed taking home gifts and of course being able to redeem a coupon towards a free box.  I did find a coupon on-line so you can also save when try these.  For more information on the new Triscuit Thin Crisps, please visit the links below.

Connect with Triscuit Thin Crisps:

  • On-line Coupon– http://bricks.coupons.com/Start.asp?tqnm=vdupdvh57561263&bt=vg&o=116999&c=TL&p=eRQ3gNZj
  • Triscuit On-line– http://brands.nabisco.com/Triscuit/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/triscuit
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/TheRealTriscuit
  • Pinterest– http://www.pinterest.com/TRISCUIT/

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I received the above product free of charge from HouseParty & Triscuit.  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.

 

 

 

NAZQIZ: QANCHA air-toasted Peruvian Corn snack in Original, Picante and Chimichurri #Review

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I am not a huge snacker but when I get my snack-ems on, I usually like to try something new and off the chart. In comes Qancha snacks, a corn snack that is poppable and off the chart when it comes to flavor. I was a huge muncher back in the days of another brand of corn snacks but after time, I noticed the product changed and it’s mostly now an oily and salty mess! So I moved on to buying the store brand Inca Gold nuggets in picante flavor. I need saving when it came to my corn snack-ems!

Qancha uses toasted Cancha corn, which you have probably heard as also being called Chulpe corn. This Peruvian variety is a maiz that pops when exposed to heat. You get an airy product that has a great crunch and achieves those toasted notes that we all chase after. You will notice from the images that the Cancha has a different shape that is almost elongated, sort of like a peanut but trust me that a peanut wishes it could be this airy and poppable. Nazqiz makes sure to never fry this snack and it’s loaded with better ingredients that makes sure your taste buds are left satisfied. Qancha snacks are air toasted with avocado oil and are naturally gluten-free, high in fiber, soy-free, dairy and nut free. Also, free of preservatives or any artificial ingredients! Freshness is key and the resealable packages state they have a shelf life of 3 months after delivery but it won’t last you that long! Other facts to note is that this product is high in fiber, non-GMO, no trans fat and insanely good!   This is the good stuff so let’s get started with the flavors……

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Original:

What started the party! This classic version combines the toasty Chulpe kernel with avocado oil and sea salt.  The simplicity can be appreciated and it even pairs well with mixed with the other flavors.   I tasted this one first and fell in love with the distinct flavors this maiz has. It’s not heavy and because the product is toasted perfectly, you get none of those “burny corn” notes you sometimes do with the fried stuff. The taste is clean and the salt content is perfect, you don’t even end up with crusty salty fingers, so I can munch with no evidence of my snackings left behind. I was so satisfied with the lightly salted Original that I had to keep going until I tasted the trio.

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Picante:

Comes with a Latin kick that gives you a touch of heat but with plenty of spicy flavor. Not the kind of heat that burns but just a slight smothering of spiciness. You get freshness from the lime that leaves a nice citrus and toasty aftertaste when finished. I noticed this product also contains Lime oil and this was a first for me and I can say I am a fan of the flavor and freshness you get from this ingredient. The Picante variety is not oily and every Chulpe kernel has the perfect amount of flavoring, so you get maximum flavor in every bite.

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Chimichurri:

I love the stuff as my father was raised in Argentina, so we of course dipped everything from bread to meat and even cheese in Chimichurri sauce. Every person has their own interpretation of the spice blends but I liked that Qancha kept things on the traditional level. You get a nice garlic and herby kick here, that just kept coming back for more. The garlic and onion is well balanced but you get the acidity (just a touch) from the red wine vinegar that leaves your mouth just craving more of the zest. I am always cautious with Chimichurri because some interpretations are just off balance, like I love garlic but there is more to the sauce. Qancha captured that “more” and thankfully paired it perfectly with a corn crunch. I had to force myself to stop eating this version and it’s our favorite!

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Price Point: Fairly priced for 3 packets (1 of each flavor) for $7.99 on Amazon

These corn snacks attract attention just by how they look and even how they smell. They are different but will make any guest at least give them one try by the aroma of each distinct flavor. I really never met anyone that does not like one type of corn snack and Qancha by Nazqiz (made in California) gives you three versions to fall in love with. These are great as-is or you can try them over salads, pair them up with other snack foods or spread them over a dip. They take you out of the snacking rut, so try a snack that is thankfully better for you but your taste buds won’t know better!

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For more information or you just want to get crunching, visit Nazqiz Qancha snacks at:
On-linehttp://www.nazqiz.com/
or Order on Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Qancha-Air-toasted-Peruvian-Variety-Flavors/dp/B00I3JXCXM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390936131&sr=8-1&keywords=qancha
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/QanchaNazqiz

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

UrthBox: March Box Review…..Discover a Healthier You!

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I can easily state that from all the subscription boxes that are food related…..this one is the most packed!

Urthbox is a company which fills their subscription boxes with healthy, not-your-average treats and snacks. Stocking their box with only non-GMO foods makes this company stand out above all the rest.  They also have boxes that fit every dietary need from vegan, gluten-free and even “diet” options.  Munching diet related products is a great way to know what works, what you like to even what you want to continue purchasing.  Urthbox also has boxes to fit every budget starting from $19 (7-10 items), medium sized box for $29 (12-15 products), to the large box that makes you a super happy snacker at $49 (20-24 items).  I received the “Part-Time Snacker” box in size medium.  I received 12 products from different manufacturers but the quantity was larger because some products came in counts of 2 or even 3.  I liked that they count your products by individual kinds versus counting that they added 2 items of one product and using that towards the full count.  Very fair and generous of UrthBox.  I also want to add that shipping is free, so the above price points are with shipping included.

Let’s get started because I have so much to cover….I will be using the 1 to 5 point system where 5 is superb in taste/flavor and texture, and where 1 is pretty much saying don’t put it in your mouth 🙂

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  • Snap Pea Crisps (One .75 ounce package): I have seen these being sampled at Costco but never actually stood in line to try one.  It’s pretty much Green Peas that are lightly salted and baked.  A healthier way to snack because you get less fat than potato chips but this treat also is a good source of fiber.  I love peas of any kind so I am biased on this one.  I did like the texture but was not super fond of the aftertaste.  It was not pleasant and left my mouth lacking moisture but now I know to pass versus buying on these.  I give them a 2

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  • Hemp Hearts (Two 0.5 ounce packages): I have tested these before and enjoy them very much.  You can read my full detailed review here- http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-fP and I give these a 5

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  • Viana Mild Jumbo Veggie Snack Sausage (Two 1.76 ounce packages): I received the Traditional German Smokehouse variety and have never tasted a non-meat sausage.  I first loved how it smelled because that is my first test before taking a bite.  The smell was spicy and very inviting.  I take a bite and must say that flavor is not missing and you get a nice smoky taste with a wonderful blend of spices.  Being a meat-eater, I can say if you told me it was turkey or chicken based….I would be none the wiser.  It’s organic and you get a generous 13 grams of soy based protein with only 130 calories.  It’s up there with a cup of yogurt and only 360 mg of sodium and 2 grams of sugar.  It fills you up in a more satisfying way and I would purchase this item again.  I give this product a 4

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  • Salba Chia Boost (Two 0.5 ounce packages): Advertised as not your usual chia seed and something I would have overlooked because I have had bad chia seeds.  I did not think qualities changed so drastically and because I sorted on value when first buying them, I first purchased a bag of great quality seeds.  I then go and repurchase the chia seeds but decided to pick-up a cheaper brand……big mistake.  There was such an off taste that eating them in a wet or dry method did not save me.  I ended up discarding them so there went my savings turning into waste.  I can say that Salba does have a premium product and I also enjoyed that these come in ground (powder) form, something that was new to me.  I mix it with my flax seeds and they are a treat with a nutritional punch.  I give this item a 5

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  • Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut oil (One 0.5 ounce package): The Coconut oil is cold pressed and unrefined.  Love that it’s Fair Trade certified and Organic.  I have become a fan of the coconut and it’s oil, to the point I cook with it and even purchase a butter and coconut oil spread that makes great grilled cheese sandwiches, even to just being used on bread.  The Kelapo package states to warm in hands, tear and squeeze.  Like many cooking oils, not all are equal and I put Kelapo in the higher grade when it comes to standards, texture and flavor.  This is why I love these subscription boxes…..I became a fan of a new brand and give this oil a 5

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  • Shelton’s Smoked Snack Stick (One 1.0 ounce package): The sausage stick came in jalapeno flavor and is turkey based.  Shelton’s products use turkey that is antibiotic free and the ingredient list was rather short.  You have the turkey, jalapeno peppers, water, salt, encapsulated lactic acid, celery juice, red pepper, black pepper, granulated garlic, coriander and the blend is stuffed in a beef collagen casing  Pretty simple and as natural as you can get when it comes to the sausage world.  The product has a nice texture and spice content.  You pick up the flavor of the peppers and I loved that it was not greasy or fatty like other sausages of this kind.  I give this product a 4

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  • Neo Water (One 16.9 ounce bottle): Neo is a “Superwater” and it’s super-ness comes with the triple the benefits that come with this drink.  You get water and added minerals for flavor, but also alkaline, has electrolytes and antioxidants.  The water has a crisp and refreshing flavor and it’s definitely noticed when drinking.  It tastes cleaner and I like the added benefits.  I give this bottle a 5

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  • Spatone Pur Absorb Iron (3 0.67 fluid ounce packages): Okay, I never thought of drinking iron and I’m the type that usually tries to get mine from vegetables and meat.  You get 5 mg of iron per package and the contents are listed as iron-rich natural spring water.  Now, I’m more curious and my first thought was, “please don’t taste like iron”.  I taste it as-is and I will say the package suggests adding it to a fruit based juice or just more water.  It does not smell strong but my nose must be stuffy because the taste was very unpleasant.  Strong notes of metal and almost a fishy finish.  I drank plain water trying to wash the unpleasant taste and I would think I was free from it for it to just creep back.  The very unfavorable notes were stuck in the back of my teeth and in my throat, it took several sips to just diliute it enough so it would not give me a “sicky-feeling”.  Again, why would someone want to drink their iron like this is something I thought before tasting and was reinforced after tasting.  I give this product a 1 but wishing my scale had a 0

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  • Licious Organics Honey Cookies (One 1 ounce cookie): Let’s move on from the iron disaster and onto cookies…much nicer.  I received the cranberry almond variety and this is an unbaked cookie.  You have finely crushed oats, coconut, almonds and raw honey, plus cranberries and sunflower seeds.  You also have sunflower oil, Utah pink salt, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon juice. The cookie is also wheat free and 130 calories per small cookie.  I can say it tastes unbaked and even though dates are not mentioned, the pulverized texture makes you think of them of date bars.  This cookie saved me from the iron so I am grateful!  The texture and puck shaped cookie makes it……well un-cookie like.  This is more like a nutrition bar shaped like a disc but when I looked at the protein and nutrition facts, I can see why it’s called a cookie.  Not bad if you have it right there but would not crave it or seek it out.  I give the faux cookie a 2

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  • Beanfield’s Bean & Rice Chips (One 1.5 ounce bag): I was fortunate to review the entire selection offered by the Beanfield’s company and today I still purchase and eat their chips.  I received the pico de gallo flavor and please read my detailed review here-http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-n2 .  You will enjoy these very flavorful chips and I give this tasty chip a 5

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  • Eco-Dent Oral Care (3 packets): This is a company that makes natural based products for oral care.  I received 1 packed of dental gum, 1 packet of the daily rinse and 1 packet of tooth powder that substitutes as toothpaste.  Eco-Dent has a full line of dental hygiene products to fulfill your dental needs.  The products tasted actually rather nice and they all had a mint-based flavor.  The company included a 10% off coupon, plus a nice informative pamphlet about what makes their products premium and natural.  They even stand behind their products with a money-back guarantee!  I’m addicted to keeping my teeth white and while I did like these items, they just did not fit my individual needs.  Yes, Baking Soda whitens but in my experience not as quick and fast as the products I currently use.  These products perform as advertised and I give these products a 4

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  • CalNaturalle Svelte Organic Protein Shake (One 11 Fluid Ounce container): I skip on drinking protein shakes or smoothies and I must be honest on why, I’m lazy about washing my non-dishwasher safe shaker bottle.  Yes, it comes down to that but it’s the honest truth.  I then think of buying one that is dishwasher safe but no point if you need it the following day so I made a simple purchase complicate.  Only me!  In comes Svelte making sure to clear away my laziness by having their shake come in their own bottle.  I just shake, open and drink.  My flavor came in French vanilla and is sweetened with stevia.  All organic products and the protein shake is soymilk based, giving you 11 grams of protein.  It tasted pretty good for being a vanilla flavor and I drank half and then put it in the freezer for it to freeze just enough to make it taste like a shake….20 minutes top.  Then I loved it so I give this product a 4

 

  • So, let’s rate my UrthBox and I give the service, size of box and items included a fairly deserved 4.5 and 5 if you find a discount code…..wait, I found one. Use code 5XU83J and you get a $10 Gift Card towards your first order. Code expires on 5/30/2014.

Please Visit UrthBox and broaden your food and snacking needs:

 

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

Swaggable: Sheila G’s The ORIGINAL Brownie Brittle Company Review

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I’ve seen this product for the last year or so at Costco and once during the holidays, I picked up the bag but my uncertainty made me put it down on my “maybe next time” list. It’s a big bag at Costco and because I could not see the product, I was worried about getting a lot of dust versus pieces of actual brittle. Then Swaggable offered me the opportunity to try the product out so it’s like I was caught on camera carrying the bag to then changing my mind……spooky!

I get a parcel on Monday so that made my week brighter. Being that the product is chocolate related, this item was opened immediately because chocolate things to test in this house get priority status! Just in case you wonder why maybe a beauty product is not been reviewed today :). The day a beauty item comes with a chocolate bar, I may just lose it!

First Impressions:
Upon opening the first bag, you get an intense chocolate smell. It just starts to hypnotize you and worse, those that may be standing near you too. So, when you purchase a bag, I warn you to open it in an empty room if you are not the sharing type. I looked inside and was amazed to see the brittle shaped into squares. This brittle tends to not break into shards and the usual uneven pieces that turn into powder or even poke bags open. These squares are a perfect snack size and most were in perfect shape. They almost resemble thin cookies…..the wafer kind. I notice there is a healthy amount of chocolate chips, so I have not been cheated, in case you were worried. I notice you get little crumbles so very much like you would imagine a very thin chocolate chip cookie to be like. Smells like brownies, so I take a bite. The product is just like the company advertises, it tastes like the edge of a brownie square….you know, what comes it contact with the pan and crisps up from the butters and oils released by the chocolate and cocoa. Just think of someone baking brownies and shaving off the crispy edges but being kind enough to keep it looking (square) pretty. You get that airiness and it is a light crisp with an intense chocolate flavor. I liked it and finished off my square and went throughout my day.

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The Taste Test:
The next morning I wake up and I am making my breakfast bowl of pumpkin granola clusters, almonds, accompanied by Almond milk and I spot the taped up bag of the brownie brittle. I open it and take 2 squares out and crumble them on top and I start to move on over to my lap top while taking a bite. Oh my…..it made my breakfast sinfully delicious. I started to think of brownie brittle over yogurt and then brownie brittle with ice cream and even baking a cheesecake with a brownie brittle bottom……let’s say I got carried away. It seems my appreciation of the brownie brittle square alone was under valued on Monday until I paired it up with other stuff and it seriously shined!!! I saw the literature they enclosed and they have other flavors like:

  • Toffee Crunch (so curious as I LOVE toffee)
  • Salted Caramel (must try!)
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • and of course, The Chocolate chip one I tried

Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle is 120 calories for one ounce and it will satisfy a chocolate craving in less than that. Things to note is that the product does contain corn syrup solids and I understand it is sometimes needed to achieve the desired texture. You do see sugar and cocoa and my only dislike in the list of ingredients was the caramel coloring. I am not a fan of dyes and prefer a less fantastic color if the taste and texture are there but other than that, this brittle has less going on than your common candy bar and more chocolate satisfaction!

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Check them out on-line at:

I received the above product from Swaggable and Sheila G’s, free of charge. I am not obligated in providing positive/favorable feedback, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the brand and/or it’s products, which may differ from yours.

Peeled Snacks: Organic Go Figure Snacks

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Here we go again with Peeled Organic Snacks! Not your usual fair when it comes to dried fruit mixes as we have gotten a little lost with the chocolates, candies, and clusters added to them by manufacturers. Yes, variety is wonderful and welcomed but so many dried fruit mixes have lost their healthy factor. I much prefer adding one square of good quality dark chocolate than trying to find the fruit in a field of waxy colored coated “chocolates” that can’t even be legally called chocolate by law.

Go Figure has Apricots, Figs and Dates….that is all. I love apricots and figs but must admit that the dates……okay, I usually push them over with a tooth pick and won’t even try them because their texture is usually sticky with that odd softness followed by super sweet goo that just turns me off. Some are even sort of bitter. I swore I would never be fooled by trying a date again. It was up there with the things I would get offered and definitely politely decline. Okay, I think you got my Date Hate established 🙂

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Taste & Texture:
I gave Peeled Snacks dates a try because I literally grabbed one and squeezed it…..no goo and they smelled good but were not super sticky and soft. I forget that all their fruit is “gently dried”, so you don’t get some flash dried fruit that does not resemble what it was when it was “alive and well”. I bite thinking I am so going to regret this with even a napkin in hand but not only did I continue chewing, I like it. Maybe it was a lucky date but I hunt and find another one and find that I like dates. Like them enough that I even counted to see how many dates I had left so I could measure myself and not eat them all at once. I felt I was maybe in an odd mood that evening so I try another one the next day and I get why people like dates. The have a nice honey flavor to them and because Peeled Snacks does not kill it’s fruit, the texture is pleasing and I bite without fruit getting stuck in my molars. I actually crave these dates! I start thinking of adding them to my yogurt with honey and I see myself having a future with……dates.

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The apricots and figs, since I sort of over focused on the dates are just as pleasing and satisfying. No rubbery texture and even though the trio is in the same bag, each fruit tastes as it should. This was actually my favorite blend even though of it not so traditional mix. I like being able to grab a fig and these are whole pieces of fruit, not slices so they are moist and not over seedy. Great quality fruit was used and thank you Peeled Snacks for showing me dates are kind, friendly and delicious.

Please check out Peeled Snacks and their Clusters at:

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