Posts Tagged ‘Cranberries’

cherriesberries

Picture from Graze.
Click on the Pic to go there.

Ingredients:

cherries, lingonberries, cranberries and jumbo raisins

I received a tray of Cherries & Berries in my November Graze Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I decided to snack on these Cherries & Berries while sipping on this Qing Xiang Dong Ding Oolong from Teavivre.  The contrast of the juicy, tart berries and sweet cherries with the smooth, creamy sweetness of the tea was simply divine!

What I Think:

I wasn’t going to write up a review about this snack, because, you know … it’s dried fruit.  It’s got dried cherries, cranberries, raisins and tiny little lingonberries.

But, I really enjoyed this snack, so I decided to write about it.  I like the textures.  Some of the fruit is plump and juicy (yet dried), and some is slightly more sugary with a slightly more dry exterior.  The drier the fruit, the more sugary and “crunchy” the fruit is to the tooth.

It is sweet and tart and tasty.  The one thing I don’t like is the sometimes “oily” texture that I get from some of the fruits, but, it’s not enough to dissuade me from rating this snack with a “Like” … I’d like to receive this again.

My Final Thoughts:

I liked it, and I marked it “like” on my graze account.  I wouldn’t mind getting this again in the future.  I especially enjoyed the lingonberries which is a fruit I don’t usually find in dried fruit mixes or trail mixes, so that was a nice change of pace.

Picture from Knoshbox. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

These bars are wheat-free, all-natural and made with local apples from Bishops Orchard in Guilford, Connecticut. The flavors and aromas of the bars will bring back memories of apple picking in the orchard and drinking warm cinnamon apple cider on a cool autumn night.

They’re made with: organic rolled oats, Connecticut wildflower honey, organic oat bran, organic sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, golden raisins, cranberries, canola oil, natural vanilla, organic lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, malt syrup, cardamom, sea salt and ginger.

I received this bar in my October Knoshbox, and they can be purchased on the Knoshbox website for a limited time.

Tea Suggestion:

This granola bar has a lot of flavor on its own, so I didn’t want to choose something that might have a competitive flavor profile.  I chose this High Country black tea blend from Trail Lodge Tea, and it was an ideal choice.  The richness of the tea complimented the sweet, toasty flavors of the granola bar, and the earthy tones of the bar highlighted the tea’s earthier qualities.

What I Think:

When it come to granola bars, I typically prefer the softer variety over the crunchy.  This granola bar seems to fall somewhere in between the two … it’s not as hard as the commercially produced granola bars that you’ll readily find in the grocery stores, it isn’t pressed the way those bars seem to be.  You know what I’m talking about right?  It seems like the ingredients for those granola bars are compacted into a solid, brick-like form that is almost as hard as a brick.   That’s not the case with these bars, You can see all the ingredients, and they don’t appear to be quite as SMOOSHED together as the brick granola bars, but these DO have a certain toothy crunch to them that makes them similar to the crunchy granola bars.

But, what makes them crunchy are the chunks of nuts (I can taste the almonds and especially the pecans!  YUM!) and the toasted oats and sunflower seeds.  The texture is brought on naturally, not by over-processing.

My Final Thoughts:

I love that I can identify each ingredient that is listed in the above list.  I can taste the honey, and the cranberries and each of the spices too!  It’s really a warm and delicious tasting bar – definitely very “Harvest-y” … a perfect granola bar for this time of year (and for the Autumn Harvest themed Knoshbox!)  While I do generally prefer my granola bars to be slightly softer, I like that the crunchiness of this bar comes from the toasted textures of the ingredients.

Overall, this is an enjoyable, hunger-satiating granola bar … and one that I enjoyed enough that I might purchase it again.

To learn more about this and other products from Willows Cranberries, please visit their website.

About Willows Cranberries:

Willows Cranberries grows premium quality cranberries and sells specialty cranberry gourmet food products. Willows brand cranberries are used in our own fresh fruit, trail mixes, syrups, sauces, vinaigrette, candies and more. We are always working on improvements of our crops and our specialty food line. We are proud to provide you with the finest quality fruit and products of the industry.

What I Think:

Until now, the only type of dried cranberry I’d ever tried are Craisins (which, if you happen to have any in your cupboard, this recall information may be of interest to you – fortunately the Craisins I have in my cupboard are not subject to recall).  I actually keep dried cranberries (Craisins) on hand all the time – they’re the new raisin.  Truth be told, I’ve never really been crazy about raisins, but, I love dried cranberries.

Since I do have some Craisins on hand, I thought it would be interesting if I were to compare the two … these Sweet Dried Cranberries from Willows Cranberries, and the Craisins.  Believe it or not, there are some significant differences between the two!

First of all, the color of the Willows Cranberries are very consistent.  Every single berry is deep ruby in color.  The Craisins are a bit lighter in color overall than the Willows Cranberries and the coloration is not as consistent with the Craisins.  The exterior of the Willows Cranberries is shiny, whereas the Craisins are a bit duller.  And as far as taste, the Willows Cranberries taste … better.  They are not as sweet as the Craisins, and they have a delicious fruity flavor to them that is sweet and tart, and they just taste … like properly ripened fruit. The Craisins have less of the ripe fruit flavor.  They taste as though they have more added sweetener to them (both dried fruits have been sweetened).

I guess what it boils down to is that Willows Cranberries are grown on a family owned farm, so when you buy Willows Cranberries, you can taste the difference between their cranberries and those grown commercially.

My Final Thoughts:

These make a great snack right out of the package and I always add a handful of dried cranberries to my oatmeal or farro porridge.  (I usually reconstitute them slightly first, by putting them in a bowl with a small amount of water, and microwaving them for a minute or two.)  So, I eat a fair amount of dried cranberries, and I almost always have some on hand.  Until now, I always purchased the Craisins, but, I may rethink that, and start ordering from Willows Cranberries, because they taste better!