Tag Archives: all natural

LightLife Smart Wings Honey BBQ

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 ? 😀

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.

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Filed under 4 1/2 stars, Light Life, vegetarian

Susta Natural Sweetener

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.

 

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Filed under 4 Star, Toppings

Nature’s Path Peanut Choco’ Granola Bar

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. 😀

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).

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PopChips!

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.

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Filed under 4 Star, PopChips!, snacks

Nature’s Path Instant Hot Oatmeal

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 😛 ), 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!?

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Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips

Food Should Taste Good- unless why  bother eating it?
That’s what comes to mind when I thought of these flavored tortilla chips. Flavored? you ask. Yep! They come in a bazillion (okay, not that many, more like eleven) varieties, ranging from chocolate to lime. Yum! They are also all natural, gluten free, a good source of fiber, and made without any GMO’s.

I was sent these delicious tortilla chips in the mail, and after eating them,  I will not be going back to regular corn Tostitos any time soon! Sorry! I got to try the Cinnamon, Sweet Potatoe, Chocolate and Yellow Corn Flavor provided so generously by Food Should Taste Good. I was also sent the Lime flavor but, some grubby hands snatched that bag before I even got a chance to try one! 😡  I’ll keep the person anonymous (you know who you are!!), but he said they were very tasty. Grr.

anyway-
Cinnamon- These weren’t quite what I expected. I was expecting a sweet cinnamon sugar chip-instead what I got was a very strong corn flavor with a hint of ground cinnamon. Now sweet cinnamon as I had expected. It is slightly sweet, but no where near a dessert sugary sweet. It reminded me and tasted like cinnamon life cereal, but less sweet. They were good dipped in suzanne’s ricemellow creme and also with applesauce. 🙂

Sweet Potato- this flavor tricks you! At first I was like “oh, normal flavor, where’s the sweet potato?”. But after-! You get the sweet aftertaste of a sweet potato! It has a very smooth flavor and just the right amount of salt. I like to think it’s one of the healthier ones because I’m technically eating 2 veggies at once- corn & sweet potatoes 😛

Chocolate- This one was my favorite, and not what I expected. I thought it was honestly going to taste funky, but it was actually really good! The flavor is caught between a chocolate graham cracker and a tortilla chip. It’s salty at first, then you taste the corn tortilla, and then a dark chocolate flavor shines through. It was very good, and left that “I just ate CHOCOLATE” flavor in my mouth.

Yellow Corn-standard corn tortilla flavor. Nice and crunchy and just the right amount of salt. Perfect with salsa (obviously), and even by itself. It was very good and I will probably pick this over Tostitos or other less healthy brands.

Overall, I give these 4 stars. They are a healthier alternative to potato chips, have some rather interesting flavors & pack some fiber as well. They can also be combined with various spreads and dips to create crazy-good concoctions. Let me know if you have any of your own!!

1 serving (about 10 chips) ranges from 140 calories, 6-7 grams of fat, 17-19 carbohydrates, 3-4 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

The ingredients are also pretty much the same for all, with spices and extra flavors added depending on the variety. Check the website here if you are interested. Here’s the stats for the Yellow Corn.
Stone Ground Corn- High Oleic Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil, Sea Salt.

Dont forget to enter my giveaway here !! You will be helping Breast Cancer as well ! 🙂

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Filed under 4 Star, Food Should Taste Good, gluten free, snacks

PowerBar Performance Energy Bar- Chocolate Peanut Butter

Now, I’m more of a granola bar kinda girl over protein and “energy” bars (Clif being my exception- love you!!), because usually they are filled with too much protein (at least in my opinion for what I’m looking for in a bar), too much saturated fat, and too much sugar. However, PowerBar has a line of products that fit everyone’s needs. They have ones for pre workout, recovery/post workout, ones with lower sugar, etc, and all of them have all natural ingredients.

 I decided to try the Performance Energy Line- According to the website, here’s some info about these bars …

  • POWERBAR C2 MAX dual-source energy blend.
  • More sustained energy to muscles.
  • The original energy bar.
  • Low in fat, packing 41–45g of carbs and 8–10g of protein with 230–250 calories per bar.
  • I figured this would be perfect for those early morning workouts when my stomach & I are not quite ready to eat anything big, but need some energy ASAP! (Ironic that I said that, because directly fr0m the website they say “The bars are also an effective option on those days when training starts very early in the morning and eating a pre-workout meal just isn’t realistic.” Now that’s just WEIRD!!)
    These bars come in 14 flavors, and you know me, I chose the Chocolate Peanut Butter. Because, reallly, when has the combination ever failed?

    So, moving on to the bar. It’s 2.29 ounces, so about average, I’d say the size of a  Nutri-grain bar, but a little longer. It isn’t your typical bar, however. The texture and appearance sort of resemble an oversized tootsie roll. Chewy and easy to rip apart, but definietely reminded me of a tootsie roll. It was pretty dense, and had “crispy” rice pieces in it. It was definietely sweet. The chocolate flavor overpowers the peanut butter flavor, and it takes on an almost coffee-ish taste. But, I liked it! It was tasty and I  actually enjoyed it. I DID need a glass of water to drink though while eating. The sodium was a tad high (200 mg) and the combination of chocolate and peanut butter just begged my mouth for some aqua.

    Overall, I enjoyed this and will probably buy it again. I give it 4 stars, because it did as it promised. The PowerBar’s C2 Max dual source energy blend (how much of a commerical do i sound like now? 😛 ) provided me with a ton of energy- I actually got one of the best workouts despite the fact it was 630 in the morning!  It was also very easily digested- I didn’t feel sick while working out and I only ate the bar 30-45 minutes prior. The only thing I didn’t like was that it lacked fiber, so it isn’t a good “meal replacement” bar. But, that’s not really what it’s intended for and I think if they increased the fiber too much, it would be harder to digest. I also wish there was a bit more peanut butter flavor in it-but still yummy 🙂 I also REALLY want to try the Cookies & Cream and Caramel Cookie flavor. Yum!

    1 bar is 240 calories, 3.5 grams of fat ( 1 saturated), 44 caarbohydrates (26 sugars), 1 gram of fiber, and 9 grams of protein. You also get 25% calcium needs!

    C2 MAX CARBOHYDRATE BLEND (ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE SYRUP, MALTODEXTRIN, FRUCTOSE, DEXTROSE), OAT BRAN, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, RICE CRISPS (MILLED RICE, RICE BRAN, ROSEMARY EXTRACT), BROWN RICE FLOUR, PEANUT FLOUR, NATURAL FLAVOR, NONFAT MILK, AND 2% OR LESS OF: PEANUT BUTTER, CHOCOLATE, ALKALIZED COCOA, CANOLA OIL, VEGETABLE GLYCERIN, SALT, ALMOND BUTTER, MINERALS: CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, FERROUS FUMARATE (IRON), VITAMINS: ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), VITAMIN B6 HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMINE MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1).

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    Filed under 4 Star, Bars, PowerBar