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This blog has now been OFFICIALLY transformed into my own little website!
Please check it out, add me to your blogrolls, and spread the word! :)
Yea-I’m feeling candy this week. It’s DEFINETELY one of those weeks where I need some sweets!
And what better way to satisfy a sugary-sweet tooth than with a lollipop? I remember my favorites growing up were Charms- the ones with bubblegum in the center- and Tootsie Pop –only in the grape flavor- which had a center of a soft tootsie roll. Well- now I’ve moved on to better and more healthier ways to satisfy my craving for a “sucker”. Yummy Earth produces lollipops unlike the commercial brands- no artificial dyes, no artificial colors, no refined sugar and made with real fruit extracts (does that mean if I eat these- it counts as a fruit serving? :P ) And, aside from all that good stuff, the ingredients are organic, gluten free, vegan, and soy/nut/dairy free. How’s that for a lollipop? :)
The lollipops come in several varieties- SuperSOUR Pops, Strawberry Pops, Fruit Pops, Fiesta Pops, and Vitamin C Pops. I got to try the SuperSOUR Pops and the Vitamin C Pops. Each pop is only 22 calories, and is round/flat in shape. They are about the size of a quarter or half dollar each.
Starting with the Vitamin C Pops- each bag has 3 flavors, strawberry smash, tooberry blueberry, and razzmatazz berry. 1 pop provides you with 25% of your daily needs of vitamin C.
strawberry smash- well if this pop isn’t smashing. I love strawberry flavored pops- and this one doens’t let me down. Sweet and not too tart- reminds me of a strawberries & cream dessert in a lolly. :)
tooberry blueberry- ooh I like this one the best of the 3. It’s sweet with a nice blueberry taste- real blueberry, not “fake” blueberry. It also has hints of grape flavors, and isn’t too tart. It doesn’t leave that “stinging” feeling sometimes lollipops give you on your tongue.
razzmatazz berry- this one has a mixed berry/fruit punch flavor. It is smooth and sweet, with stronger strawberry/raspberry fruit essences.
The SuperSOUR pops has 4 flavors- strawberry smash, sour apple tart, googly grape, and very very cherry. I was hesistant to try these- I’m so not a sour girl. In fact, I used to run my sour WARheads candy under the water when I was younger until all the “sourness” went away and it was all sweet afterwards. But, they, in fact, weren’t really sour at all- they just had a bit more of a kick than the original flavors.
strawberry smash- similar in taste to the Vitamin C variety- but with a bit more tang.
sour apple tart- I liked this one! It has a granny smith apple flavor to it, and it was the most sour of all 4 of the flavors. The tangyness really stayed the whole time eating the lollipop, and didn’t fade.
googly grape- this one is tied for my favorite with the sour apple tart. Normally I HATE grape flavored things (they usually taste like cough medicine…yuck..), but this baby reminded me of my favorite grape Tootsie Pops I used to eat when I was younger. Not tart at all- but a sweet, delicious, grape.
very very cherry- Unfortunately- my bag didn’t have any very very cherry! And I LOVE cherry flavored pops. How disappointing :(
Overall, I’m giving these 4 stars. It’s a much healthier (and more eco-friendly!) alternative to commercial lollipops, and they have no refined sugar. That’s a big plus for me- if I want candy, I like to feel at least a little less guilty knowing there is no refined sugars. They are perfect when I’m in the mood to nosh, but don’t want to blow a big calorie bang, and hit your sweet tooth quite nicely. I just hope that they evenly distribute the flavors better in the future– I didn’t get to try the very very cherry flavor, and only got one googly grape (figures it would be my favorite! >:( ) in my bag.
3 pops are 70 calories, 0 grams of fat, 17 carbohydrates, and 0 grams of protein. Each pop is about 22 calories each.
Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Tapioca Syrup, and or OrganicRice Syrup, Citric Acid (from beet sugar), Natural Flavors, [may contain] Organic Black Carrots, Organic Apple, Organic Wheat Grass, Organic Black Currant, Organic Carrot, Organic Pumpkin.
I feel this is an appropriate review, especially with football season coming to an end and the SUPERBOWL coming into play. Plus, who doesn’t like saucy, honey, barbe-quey anything ? :D
And so, scanning the natural section at my local grocery store, I saw LightLife Smart Wings in Honey BBQ and Buffalo flavor. I’m a sweet kinda girl, not so much spicy, so I picked up the Honey BBQ flavor with the coupon LightLife sent me.
Each box of these veggie protein wings comes with 8 wings, or two servings. They are so cute too- shaped like actual chicken wings! But, no chicken here. These are totally vegetarian (they do contain egg white, however, for those of you who are vegan). I made these both ways as suggested, Microwave & in the frying pan. I suggest the Frying Pan, as LightLife does too. Done in the microwave, the veggie wing came out a bit chewier than when I used the frying pan to heat these babies up.
Now, onto the TASTE!
These are freakin’ delicious! They really are finger lickin’ good. They are covered in a sweet, barbeque sauce, which had hints of molasses, honey and a garlicy tomato flavor. I was literally licking the sauce off the packet it came in- so tasty! They were a wee bit salty, but still very good. Some of you may be worried about the texture– as veggie products can be chewy or..weird.. in texture. But not the case here- these wings do have a bite to them, but are chewy like a burger. Chewy in a good way if you will- they have the appropriate consistency.
I had these with some Annie’s Organic Macaroni & Cheese & broccoli (and some chocolate milk-not shown), and I was full all the way until snack time. They pack in protein and fiber, and are very satisfying. You could even have them as a snack with some raw veggies on the side, as they don’t need any extra dip. They are the 3 S’s- Sweet, Salty & Savory. And surprisingly-NO FAT!! (take THAT Pizza Hut!!) I give these 4 1/2 stars!
*I know your drooling… :) !*
1 serving (4 wings) is 120 calories, 0 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of protein.
Wing: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Wheat Fluten, Soy Protein Isolate, Egg White Powder, Less than 2% of: Cellulose Gum, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, Sea Salt, Onion Powder, Dried Garlic, Potato Starch, Sunflower Oil, Salt.
Honey BBQ Sauce- Tomato Puree (water, tomato paste), Molasses, Evaporated Cane Juice, Distilled Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce (distilled vinegar, molasses, sea salt, sugar, spices, tamarind), Corn Starch, Honey, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Spices, Dried Garlic, Xanthan Gum, Dried Onioon.
Whooooooo likes sugar? ( I do ! I do!)
But, whooooo likes all the calories sugar contains and how ADDICTIVE it is, making us crave MORE?
That’s what I thought. :)
So where to turn? Should I forget sugar all together? As in no more brownies? or cupcakes? No. Moderation is key. Everyone needs a lil suggah :)
Or, Should I try artificial sweeteners? I would try to limit those too…
Luckily for you, I found a pretty good answer. Aside from Stevia all natural sweetener, I found a product that is sweet, low in calories, and actually has some health benefits. NXT Nutritionals manufactures a sweetener called Susta, and claims it is “A Healthy Alternative to Table Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners”.
This particular sweetener combines soluble fiber (prebiotics) and probiotics(like the ones found in yogurt), has added essential nutrients and vitamins, is all natural, and has a low Glycemic Index (so no harsh blood sugar spikes!). Each packet is also only 5 calories per serving.
Each packet provides an ample amount of a fine, white powder, not really granulated per se, but more refined. It has a nice, sweet flavor, very similar to sucrose or table sugar. It also doesn’t have a nasty aftertaste like Splenda, Aspartame or even Stevia can have some times (sorry, Stevia- I still love you!). I found it works best in foods as a sweetener, and not liquids. I added a packet to oatmeal, and it really pumped up the flavor. I also sprinkled it on banana slices (which wasn’t “ripe” enough, or sweet enough, for my liking), and it added a nice, mellow sweetness. Nothing too overpowering- but just right. Which is why the flavor was a bit lost when I added it to my tea- it was too mellow and dissolved quickly- so I will stick to sweetning foods with these packets.
Overall, I like these packets. I give them 4 stars, because it really is a healthier alternative to table sugar, and has the added benefit of probiotics, fiber, and added nutrients. Good job, NXT Nutritionals!
1 packet is 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, and 0 grams of protein. You also get 10% Vitamin C, 5% of Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Biotin, and 3% of your daily value of Niacin, Selenium and Chromium. How’s that for sweeeet! ;)
Inulin, Fructose, Natural Flavors, Probiotic (Bacillus Coagulans), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Cinnamon Extract, Goji Berry Extract, Bitter Melon Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Vitamin B6, Niacinamide, Biotic, Folic Acid, Chromium, Selenium, Vitamin B12.
What’s the first thing Lisa grabs to eat on her birthday?
Cake? no… Cookies? no…Pizza? no…
Obviously– a combination of her two favorite things. CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER! And what better way to satisfy my birthday craving then with a chocolate + peanut butter chewy granola bar! Ya know- they say as you get older your taste buds change-I beg to differ. I’m one year older and I’m still craving massive amounts of peanut butter, and chocolate + peanut butter will always be a good combination. Enough said. :D
Anywho- Nature’s Path had just the thing to hit my pb & chocolate craving. Their Peanut Choco’ Granola Bars are new, wheat free, organic, all natural and provide whole grains. I liked the other Nature’s Path bars I tried, so I knew this one would be good too.
First off, I dont know why it says “Peanut Choco’ ” rather than “Peanut Chocolate” or “Peanut Butter Chocolate”, but I’m just going to roll with it. Maybe they thought it sounded nice? Who knows-as long as it tastes good 8) . This bar was actually pretty “hard” for a chewy granola bar. It wasn’t as easily pulled apart as the pumpkin flaxseed variety was, and had more “structure” if you will. I liked that though- I think it was good that it had more of a bite to it, thus, more satisfaction in my eyes. It was also a decently sized bar, 35g, a LOT thicker than Quaker Chewy granola bars, and also a bit longer.
Onto the taste- which really, like I’ve said multiple times before, it’s hard to mess up Peanut butter & Chocolate combinations. And this one, does not fail, and is delicious. The exact words that popped into my head when I took a bite was Ohhh yeaaa. It has a strong peanut flavor, with real chunks of peanuts in the bar. It’s very sweet and salty at the same time- you need water when you eat this or a big glass of milk!! The peanut butter flavor is “sweet”, sort of like Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. There is also a thick coating of chocolate on top. So good.
Ohhh-bviously this is getting 5 stars. The only thing keeping me from eating 2 in one sitting is that it’s 150 calories for one bar, and only 2 grams of fiber. But- it was 150 calories of bliss, so I can “overthink” those facts ;). I wish Nature’s Path sent me more than 1 bar because I had the AWESOME idea to heat it up in the microwave-after I ate it… :( (darnit!!!) I could probably think of another 5 ways to use this bar too. It’s that tasty.
1 bar is 150 calories, 6 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.
Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic rolled oats, organic roasted peanuts, organic chocolatey icing (organic evaporated cane juice, organic palm kern oil, organic cocoa, natural flavors, organic soy lecithin, sea salt), organic crispy rice ( organic brown rice flour, organic evaporated cane juice, sea salt, organic molasses, organic rice bran extract, organic invert cane syrup, organic evaporated cane juice, organic peanut butter (organic peanuts), organic soy oil, organic acacia gum, sea salt, tocopherols (natural vitamin E).
What are Popchips, you ask?
Aside from delicious, Popchips are chips, but they aren’t fried or baked, but rather made with “wholesome potatoes, add a little heat and pressure, and pop! It’s a chip”. They are also relatively low in fat, are all natural, and come in 7 delicious flavors. They are the perfect compliment to your lunch, or eaten directly out of the bag. You can “pop” ;) them in your purse and take them on the go with the conveinent 100 calorie bag portion too.
I was sent a few of the single serving bags courtesy of PopChips! company (thanks guys!).
Each chip is round and flat in shape, and has the consistency of a Lay’s Potato Chip and a rice cake mixed together. They also have a nice CRUNCH to them which I really enjoyed. PERFECT for putting on a sandwich (like tuna or egg salad! Yum!). In the 100 calorie bag portion, you actually get a decent amount. Not like those “100 calorie packs” where you get, like, 4 of whatever you get. *cough cough* has anyone noticed you only get TWO or THREE “mini muffins” in the 100 calorie packs? What is up with THAT *cough cough*
Anyway- :D…without further a due, let’s see how each flavor ranks up!
Original– I definietly like the original. Hits the spot when you craving strictly potato-ey flavors. There’s also a good amount of salt on each chip, and really, what’s a potato chip without some salty goodness? :)
Cheddar- oooh. These are good. It’s a good cheddar cheese flavor, it sort of reminded me of macaroni & cheese rather than Cheetos cheese flavor. The cheese flavor isn’t too strong, and you can definetely still taste potato flavors, but these are a really good alternative to some other cheezy snacks which leave fake orange residue on your fingers..But we’ll save that rant for another day! ;)
Barbeque- Oh how I loooove Barebeque flavors! This was more of a sweet barbeque flavor, and I definietly tasted a smokey flavor mixed with a brown sugar/honey flavor. It has a wee bit of heat to it too, and left a little burn on my tongue. There was a strong onion/garlic/salty flavor that mixed nicely with the sweeter tastes. It was sort of like a transformation in my mouth- sweet at first bite, then the spice hits!
Sour Cream & Onion- Okay, Who took my PopChips! and replaced them with Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion chips? They taste IDENTICAL- and that’s a good thing!! These are my favorite (with the barbeque flavor) by far. Seriosuly- I bit into these, adn thought, where on earth is the fat? HOW is it so low? These are BURSTING with flavor, and have a nice onion/garlic taste with a wee bit of parsley. Just make sure you pop an altoid after eating these ;)
Sea Salt & Vinegar– I had some help with these. I’m not really a fan of vinegar, I don’t even like the smell when we dye eggs at Easter. So, i went to my friend, the lover of sea salt & vinegar anything, and she gave two thumbs up. In fact, she gobbled the bag up in about 3 minutes flat. I tried one and I thought they were very salty with a very strong, bitter vinegar flavor. But hey, if that’s your style, go for it!
Overall, 4 stars. These are really good, and I’ll definitely buy them again. I’ll also feel less guilty serving these at parties rather than Doritos or Lay’s because they are all natural, lower in fat than other chips, and don’t have any trans fats. I also like how the portion size is almost double of a normal portion for chips. You get about 20 instead of the typical 10-11 chips per serving, and for a few less calories! They also have a Parmesean & Garlic and a Salt & Pepper flavor, but I didn’t get to try those. Have you? How are they!?
1 oz of each flavor (about 19-20 chips) is around 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 20 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
Each flavor is made with all natural ingredients. The following is just for the original. If you’d like to see all the flavors, click here.
Natural Potato Ingredients (potato flour, potato starch), Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil, Rice Flour, Sea Salt, Soy Lecithin.
Ohhh how I lovee oatmeal. It really is the perfect breakfast food- you can play it up any way you want. Add fruit, peanut butter, yogurt, milk, maple syrup, chocolate chips… Or, even plain jane style with a pat of all natural butter and a sprinkle of sugar on top. It really warms and fills you up and gives you plenty of energy.
But- what about those days you just don’t have time to cook good ol’ Quaker over the stove top? That’s usually where Instant oatmeal comes in. Boil some water, pour, stir, enjoy. Or, for those of you who don’t have ANY time to spare (or you lazy-bones out there :P ), the microwave helps. However, usually instant oatmeal leaves me unsatisfied. The portion is tiny, the sugar content is high, and it’s just not as good.
So that’s why I was excited to try the Instant Hot Oatmeal from Nature’s Path. I love Nature’s Path and have done several reviews of their products- all of them with positive results. They are a brand I know I can trust to bring me delicious and nutritious foods that will sustain me and my grumbling tummy :)
Nature’s Path oatmeal comes in several varieties, but I tried the Maple Nut, Apple Cinnamon and Multigrain Raisin Spice that comes in the variety pack. It also comes in Flax Plus, but I have yet to try that flavor. What I was first happy about was that each packet has more than traditional oatmeal packets have. The Nature’s Path brand provides 50g of oatmeal as compared to 30g that I normally see. You can tell it gives you more too when you pour it in the bowl- a nice change.
Maple Nut– first off, this oen smelled awesome. You could literally smell the maple syrup through the packet, and I looooove Maple Syrup! When I poured the water the sweet maple smell also came through even stronger. I couldn’t wait to dig in :) There was also actual pieces of hazel nuts in the oatmeal. Not too many, but it added an unexpected bit of flavor. It was the right amount of sweetness-not too sugary and was actually pretty satisfying given it was instant oatmeal. 4 stars
Apple Cinnamon- Growing up, Quaker Apple Cinnamon was always my favorite flavor. I just loooved the little bits of apples (and would often eat them all before my mom even poured the hot water in the bowl!). Which is why I was slightly disappointed with this one. There were only a few apple pieces, and it wasn’t really that sweet. It was very smooth texture wise though, not as “blobby” as instant can sometimes be. To jazz this one up a bit, I added some raisins and some stevia and it was perfect. All it needed was a little boost :) 3 stars
Multigrain-Raisin Spice- I wasn’t sure I was going to like this one. It wasn’t just oats after all- it was wheat flakes, raisins, corn meal and oat flakes all together. But I gave it a shot, and I am glad I did! It was my favorite of the 3, and the sweetest :) I looved the raisins, they were nice, plump and juicy. The oatmeal actually thickens up quite nicely if you let it sit a little bit, and was more hearty than regular oatmeal. The “crunchy” wheat flakes added some texture as well. It reminded me of an oatmeal cookie in a bowl. Definietly goign to buy this one again and again. 5 stars
Overall, a pleasant experience with Nature’s Path Instant Hot Oatmeal. I’ll give it 4 stars all together. They provide you with a little more sustenance than traditional instant oatmeal, and are really good paired with some toast & peanut butter or jam, some fruit, or both for a nutritious breakfast (or pre-workout meal like I did!!). I want to try more of their flavors, like the Optimum Brand in Cranberry Ginger. Yum!
Maple Nut & Apple Cinnamon- 1 packet is 210 calories, 2.5-4 grams of fat, 38-40 carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein.
Multigrain-Raisin Spice- 1 packet is 180 calories, 1 gram of fat, 39 carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein.
Maple Nut-Organic rolled oats, organic evaporated cane juice, organic hazelnuts, natural flavor, sea salt.
Apple Cinnamon-Organic rolled oats, organic evaporated cane juice, organic dried apple, organic cinnamon, sea salt, natural flavor.
Multi-grain Raisin Spice-Organic rolled oats, organic wheat flakes, organic evaporated cane juice, organic raisins (coated with organic sunflower oil), organic brown rice flour, organic corn meal, organic cinnamon, sea salt.
Hey you know what goes good with oatmeal? APPLESAUCE! enter this giveaway now!!
Also- how do you like your oatmeal? rolled oats? Instant? What’s your favorite brand!?