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Yummy Earth Organic Vitamin C & SuperSOUR Pops

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 Poponly 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? 😛 ) 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.

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Filed under 4 Star, candy, Fruit Snacks, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian

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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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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Cedarlane Three Layer Enchilada Pie

I know it’s the day after Christmas, but, who’s craving Mexican!?
I was! Too  many sugar cookies (organic of course 😛 ) and yummy dishes can do that to a girl. So I was in the mood for some Mexican, and where other did I turn to than Cedarlane’s Three Layer Enchilada Pie?

Cedarlane’s Three Layer Enchilada Pie is layers of organic corn tortillas, green chilis, cheddar cheese, organic black beans, black olives and cilantro all smothered in a tomatoey salsa-style sauce. Taking it out of the freezer it sure looks prettyy (sorry i forgot to take a picture! D’oh! 😦 ). You could see the cheddar cheese sprinkled on top with about 5 or 6 olives and some scattered green chilis to decorate the dish (and add flavor, obviouslllyyy). When it’s cooked, the cheese melts in with everything else and it has nice and crispy edges. It smells amazing too- saucy, cheesy, onion-y, yumm-y!

I took this “pie” out of the container and transfered it to a plate and put a big heaping of applesauce next to it ( Okay it seems like I eat applesauce with everything!…perhaps that’s true 😀 ). I sort of destroyed the layers by doing that, but it was one big pile of deliciousness on my plate instead of in an organized stack. But i’m not biased- I can eat messy things. Looking at this meal there were a TON  of black beans, so if you like black beans, you are IN LUCK! I scooped up some of my “mess” and it was actually very good. It wasn’t spicy at all, and had a nice cheddar cheese taste. The cheese had a consistency after being microwaved to the cheese in baked macaroni & cheese, rather than being gooey like the cheese in mozzerella sticks (you know, that  annoying kind that you keep pulling and pulling and never ends…*sigh*).  It gets a little pasty, but still has a nice sharp, cheddar taste. The chilis and olives had a wee bit of a crunch to them, and flavored the dish nicely. The taste of the dish overall is like combining Amy’s Cheese Enchiladas with Cedarlane Vegetable Enchiladas. Both I enjoy very much- so I was a happy camper :). I was also happy there was no corn in this dish either (aside from the corn tortilla). Every time I buy enchilada/burrito products there are always corn niblets! I prefer other vegetables, so thank you, Cedarlane for omitting it this time! 🙂

Overall, I liked this. It reminded me of eating a bowl of nachos with the hot salsa/cheese dip in “pie” form. It has a nice tomato and onion flavor, and it was satisfying with the 26 grams of protein it provided. The negatives, however, are that the sodium is a little high (50% Daily value for the whole meal), the saturated fat is a little high (6 grams for the whole meal) and there are 2 servings in one container. I hate that! There’s no way I can cook half or even consider sharing something so delicious. 🙂

Otherwise- 4 stars for you Cedarlane! Delicious!

There are 2 servings per container. Stats are for both servings.
430 calories, 14 grams of fat, 54 carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, and 26 grams of protein. You also get 50% calcium needs. woop!

Enchilada Pie Filling (organic black beans, rennetless cheddar cheese, organic green chilis, organic wheat free tamari, herbs and spices, sea salt), Enchilada Pie Salsa Style Sauce (organic tomato puree, organic tomatoes, filtered water, onion, green chilis, organic safflower or canola oil, herbs and spices, cilantro, corn starch, sea salt), Organic Corn Tortillas, Black Olives.

Hey you-enter to win a fancy robe & slippers! in my giveaway!

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Filed under 4 Star, Cedarlane, gluten free

Amy’s California Veggie Burger

What comes to mind when I say, Veggie Burger? Are you thinking of a schlop of veggies pureed into a patty? Well that’s old school veggie burgers, my friends. Veggie & soy products have gone a looooong way from what they used to be, and some are actually quite tasty. I personally, have never had a veggie burger. So here it is- my first “veggie” burger experience. And what better brand to try than Amy’s?

Fortunately, I was sent the California Veggie Burger, voted Favorite Veg Meat by magazine VegNews in the “Veggie Awards of 2009”. They claimed “Vegetarian food darling Amy’s Kitchen delivers your top choice with a whole-foods burger bursting with flavor”. I was excited. This burger had to be good if it won an award in a magazine. Plus, I’m in love with Amy’s. How could i lose?

And I sure didn’t! 😀
Each burger is the average patty size, and actually decently thick. It has a brown/tanish hue and looking at the patty itself you can see all the yummy veggies, like celery and carrots, blended nicely in the burger. I cooked mine in the microwave for 60 seconds, and then popped it in the toaster oven to crisp it up a bit. I took a bite, and instantly I thought of Amy’s Kitchen Veggie Steak Whole Meal- a.k.a. formerly Country Dinner Whole Meal. The burger tastes very similar to the veggie steak in this meal, with slight variation of course. It has an oaty, lima bean taste, with a hint of cheddar cheese and some salt. It has a “grainy” texture, I felt it was more “crab cake” than “ground beef” consistency. There are also little crunchies throughout the burger due to the walnuts. It was very flavorful and I actually did really enjoy it. It also had a nice garlic and onion flavor to it as well.
Overall, I give this burger 4 stars. It was surprisingly filling and satisfying, and very tasty. Amy’s never lets me down! I had it twice so far, once as a light meal with some salad and applesauce, and once with a slice of cheddar cheese on top. Both were very good combinations, I especially enjoyed it with the applesauce because I love sweet & savory mixed together.
So-moral of the story? Don’t fear veggie products! (at least not ones made by Amy’s Kitchen). I really want to try the Cheddar Burger and the Gluten Free Bistro varieties too!! 🙂 🙂

1 burger is 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. A good swap for beef anyday.

ORGANIC MUSHROOMS, ORGANIC ONIONS, ORGANIC BULGAR WHEAT, ORGANIC CELERY, ORGANIC CARROTS, ORGANIC OATS, ORGANIC WALNUTS, WHEAT GLUTEN, ORGANIC POTATOES, SEA SALT, EXPELLER PRESSED HIGH OLEIC SAFFLOWER OIL, ORGANIC GARLIC.

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Kopali Organics Dark Chocolate Covered Bananas

I know that you’re drooling once you read that line. You don’t have to lie to me. Dark Chocolate Covered Bananas. Yum. At least I know my mouth was watering once I received this from Kopali Organics. From the website, Kopali Organics says, “every choice we make affects our well being, the lives of countless others, and the future of our world. This is the truth that inspired us to start Kopali as a partnership to restore the connection between the food we eat, the farmers who grow it and the planet we all share. Our part is to bring you radically pure, extremely healthful food, produced in the most compassionate and sustainable ways possible.”

They have 10 SUPERFOODS available as of now, in 5 fruit and 5 chocolate varieties. I was sent the Dark Chocolate Banana variety, but I also really want to try the Dark Chocolate Covered MulberriesDark Chocolate Cacao Nibs and the Dark Chocolate Goji Berries. They all sound delicious!
Each SUPERFOOD is organic, nutrient dense, preservative and artificial flavor free and just plain GOOD for you! Bonus! When you buy Kopali’s products, you are supporting sustainable farmers, their communities and families too. Nice!

The Dark Chocolate Covered Bananas were purely excellent. In the bag, there are little “blumps” of chocolate covered pieces. They are not slices of bananas, but rather resemble the candy Raisin-ettes. However, there are some big chunks, some almost as big as a cotton ball, which made me rather happy 😀 .

Upon opening the bag, the chocolate smell is very strong and pure. The Dark Chocolate had a mellow flavor, which I like, because I prefer milk chocolate over dark. I liked to let these melt slowly in my mouth, letting all the sweet and smooth chocolate dissolve until just a piece of banana was left. The banana piece itself is dried banana, so it’s chewy. It has an overall mellow banana flavor, but is also slightly sweet. It goes perfectly with the chocolate. I’m giving these 5 stars for taste, nutrition, the fact that they help the planet (woo!) and the portion size. You can eat a whole bag for only 240 calories 🙂 Chocolate lovers rejoice!

1 serving (3 table spoons) is 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 21 carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. 3 Tbsp. doesn’t seem like a lot, but it really is. A bag of these is lasting me longer than I thought, and you appreciate the flavors more if you savor them 🙂

Organic Dark Chocolate (Fair Trade Certified) (evaporated cane juice, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla), Organic Banana (dried banana, rice flour).

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Filed under 5 Star, Kopali Organics, Sinful Sweets, snacks

Stonyfield Farm Organic Banilla Yogurt

Stonyfield Farm, as you all should know, makes dozens of products ranging from organic/all natural yogurts, frozen desserts and smoothies. They all benefit the earth and are made using only nature’s finest ingredients. I personally love their yogurt, and I’ve passed by the Banilla flavored yogurt way too many times in the store, simply because it was in the 32 oz. cup instead of the individual cups. For conveinence, of course, I usually only buy the individual 6 oz. cups, plus it is easy portion control. However, I decided I was in the mood for a new flavor of yogurt, and Stonyfield has never let me down before, so I decided to give Banilla a try.

So i took home the 32 oz. “cup” of yogurt and took out a spoon from my cupboard. I took a scoop and instantly fell in love. My taste-buds rejoiced upon tasting this yogurt. THIS WAS MY NEW FAVORITE FLAVOR! I was actually, to be honest, a little mad at myself for not buying it any sooner just because it was in the 32 oz. size instead of the 6 oz.

It was very creamy, not runny at all, and had a real banana flavor. Not that “artificial banana” flavor that you get when you buy candy like Laffy Taffy or something of the sort. But it really tasted like vanilla yogurt blended with banana puree. It was sweet, but not too sweet, and was just perfect. Definietely worth 5 stars! I’ve had it multiple times already, and my favorite concoctions [so far] are

1. Banilla Yogurt, Trader Joe’s Chocolate Toucan cookies, sliced bananas, and a squirt of whipped cream.

2.Banilla Yogurt, Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal, sliced bananas, and some organic chocolate syrup.

3.Banilla Yogurt, Kashi Honey Puffs and a Kashi Dark Chocolate cookie.

The possibilities are endless! I’m planning on freezing some soon and maybe mixing it with some peanut butter. Yum!! I will definietly keep buying this flavor, (and secretly wish they transfer it to the 6 oz variety!!) especially with the MyStonyField Rewards program, it is worth 4 points per lid!

1 cup is 200 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 35 carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein and 35% daily value of calcium + tons of probiotics!

CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC LOW FAT MILK, NATURALLY MILLED ORGANIC SUGAR, ORGANIC BANANA PURÉE, NATURAL FLAVOR, ORGANIC NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, TURMERIC (FOR COLOR), PECTIN, VITAMIN D3.  CONTAINS OUR EXCLUSIVE BLEND OF SIX LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES: S. THERMOPHILUS, L. BULGARICUS, L. ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI, AND L. RHAMNOSUS.

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