Posts Tagged ‘Cranberry’

purelyelizabethgranola

Photo from Knoshy. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

Get ready to enjoy some of the best granola on the planet. Made with all natural, organic and gluten-free ingredients, including: quinoa, an ancient grain considered a complete protein; amaranth, high in b vitamins; chia seeds- providing excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants; and raw virgin coconut oil containing medium-chain fatty acids that get used as energy rather than stored as fat.

I received a pouch of this granola in my January Box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

Because I ate this granola as a breakfast cereal with milk, I decided that a breakfast tea was the way to go!  Recently, I discovered Glen Arbor Breakfast Tea from Whispering Pines Tea Company, and it’s a great breakfast tea.  Very woodsy and rustic, a perfect complement to a granola cereal!

What I Think:

This just may be the best granola I’ve ever tasted.  I was surprised with the first taste, because while it LOOKS like just about every other granola out there, the flavor is much better.

The cinnamon is well-defined.  The oats have been baked to a nice crispy texture.  A tasty nutty flavor from the pecans, and just enough plump, juicy flavor from the cranberry to give it contrast.

My one complaint:  I would like a little more cranberry in this.  That’s something that’s easily remedied by adding a handful of Craisins to the bowl, and even though I’d argue that the right amount of cranberries should be in the granola already, the flavor of the granola makes it worth it to me to open my package of dried cranberries and add a few to the bowl.

My Final Thoughts:

I really liked this.  It was a delicious granola, and I’m going to be picking up more from Chuck’s Produce, as I’ve noticed this on the shelves the last time I was there.  I’m definitely going to be wanting more!

cocoparadise

Photo from Graze.
Click on the pic to go there.

Ingredients:

milk chocolate drops, coconut flakes and cranberries

I received this snack in my February box from Graze.

Tea Suggestion:

I don’t usually pair similarly snacks with teas, but I decided to eat this snack with this Cranberry Black Tea from A. C. Perch.  I found that the cranberry snack really brought out the cranberry notes in the tea.  It was an interesting experiment!

What I Think:

Cranberry and coconut are two flavors that I wouldn’t think to mix, but I like them together.  The sweetness of the coconut softens the tart notes of the cranberry.

I like the texture of the coconut shred.  It almost reminds me of the coconut chips that I love from Dang, although they are a little less dry.  They have a little more moisture to them, and as a result, they’re a little less crisp than the coconut chips.  But they still have a really nice texture and I like the contrast to the snap of the coconut to the chewy cranberry and the creamy chocolate.

The chocolate is absolutely my favorite thing about this mix, and I’m glad that they didn’t skimp on the chocolate drops.

My Final Thoughts:

I “liked” this one.  It isn’t my favorite snack that I’ve gotten from Graze, but I do like the combination of chocolate, coconut and cranberry, and I wouldn’t mind getting this snack in the future.

applecosmo

Photo from Graze.
Click on the pic to go there.

Ingredients:

lime infused raisins, cranberries and apple

I received a tray of this snack in my December Graze Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed a glass of iced tea with this fruit snack from Graze.  And the tea that I had in my fridge this afternoon was this Strawberry Zabaglione Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas.  The fruitiness of the tea together with the fruits – made for a very fruity afternoon!

What I Think:

A tasty snack.   The apples are soft and chewy and are pleasantly sweet.  The cranberries add some tartness, and the raisins taste more of lime than of raisin, but that’s quite alright with me.  It’s like eating a bright, tangy piece of lime but with the chewiness of a raisin.  Very unique.

The lime infused raisins are actually my favorite part of this snack.  I love how they just brighten it all up.  When eaten together, the three fruits taste a little bit sweet and a little bit tart leaning just this side of tart.  And while it is a little more tart than it is sweet, I’m not disappointed by this (and I usually am not too crazy about tart!) because I like the way each component in this snack complements the other ingredients.  It’s a really tasty medley of flavors.

My Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed this snack while it lasted, but, I am not sure if I liked it enough to “like” it on Graze.  Enjoyable, but, I’m still hoping for the fruit snack that just knocks my socks off from Graze.

billionairesshortbread

Photo from Graze.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

fudge pieces, blanched almonds, milk chocolate drops and cranberries

I got this snack mix in my first Graze Box!

Tea Suggestion:

I went with a deliciously light, vibrant green tea to enjoy with this sweet “trail mix.”  The High Grade Dragon Well from Yezi Tea was an excellent choice.  The tea was refreshing and lightly grassy, and made a nice contrast to the sweet-tart cranberries.  The natural nutty flavors in the Dragon Well married deliciously with the blanched almonds, and the chocolate and fudge … well, they just made the tea time that much yummier!

What I Think:

I was so excited to start digging in to my snacks in my first Graze Box!  And of course the first snack I had to try has chocolate in it!

???????????????????????????????I was very interested in the Graze program when I first heard about it, mostly because I love trying gourmet foodie subscriptions like this, as well as the uniqueness of this particular program (You can’t get these mixes anywhere else … unless you make them yourself!) … but what else I really liked about this program was that the kind of snacks that it offers is exactly what I was looking for … something healthy to snack on while sipping on tea.  Because I drink a lot of tea.  A lot of it … and I like to find foods that are healthy and easy to snack on while I sip the tea.  Something tasty and preferably, something I didn’t have to make myself.  (Big bonus points for that one.)

This “trail mix” has four ingredients:  blanched almonds, dried cranberries, chocolate drops and fudge bits.  I would say that in my tray, all four ingredients were fairly represented.  I didn’t see like 75% of one ingredient, and scarce little bits of other ingredients.  ???????????????????????????????

It’s a tasty combination of flavors.  When each item is eaten individually, the ingredient I like least is the blanched almonds, mostly because they’re blanched almonds, and I prefer my almonds toasted, roasted, salted … but not so much blanched.  Even so, these aren’t that bad, especially if I happen to scoop up one of the other ingredients and pop both the almond and one other ingredient in my mouth at the same time and allow the flavors to meld together.  My personal favorite with the almond is the cranberry.

But what’s really delightful is if I pick up one of each item in the mix and pop all four ingredients in my mouth at the same time. The combination of these four ingredients at the same time is quite tasty.

The cranberry is tart and chewy.  The fudge is sweet and chewy.  The chocolate is sweet and creamy.  The almond is nutty.  It’s a tasty combination of sweet, tart, chewy and nutty with a hint of creaminess.

My Final Thoughts:

I liked this alright, but I don’t know if I like it enough to “like” it on the Graze website.   But I ‘am glad I tried it.  I like the size of these snack trays!  This is just the right amount of trail mix to satisfy me when I’ve got the munchies … it works great as a tea-time snack.

???????????????????????????????Product Description:

Hey there!  The gang thinks I’m the sweetest fruit in the bunch but these cranberries will charm your sweet tooth not damage it!  And as if you weren’t already excited – our treats pack in 5 times more fiber than traditional dried cranberry snacks!

I received a pouch of these dried cranberries in my February Love With Food Box.

Tea Suggestion:

To be honest, I wasn’t all that thrilled with these snacks, so the tea that I’d suggest with this one is one that will help you wash the taste of these snacks off the palate!  Something clean and refreshing, like this Southern Mint Herbal Tea from Revolution Tea.  The minty taste helped revive my taste buds.

What I think:

I love dried cranberries.  I try to keep them on hand in my pantry, because they’re so versatile.  I prefer them over raisins … I used to like raisins until I had a most unfortunate experience finding something that I just shouldn’t have found in a box of raisins … now, I find raisins kind of repulsive and only get them when a recipe calls for them and I don’t think that dried cranberries will work as a suitable substitute.

That said, I’m not loving these dried cranberries from Funny Face.  They are kind of “oily” and they don’t taste really like cranberries, nor do they taste like strawberries.  At least not like true-to-the-fruit strawberry … they have kind of a funky, artificial taste to them that I’m not really enjoying.  I don’t like the oily texture, it kind of … well, I’m going to liken it to eating a strawberry flavored chapstick … it’s kind of waxy and oily and just … gross.  I wouldn’t take a bite out of chapstick, and I’m not able to finish this pouch of snacks.

My Final Thoughts: 

Not good.  Won’t buy them again.  Wouldn’t recommend them to anyone unless I was specifically asked “Hey, I’m looking for something that tastes like strawberry flavored chapstick … do you know of anything that might fill the bill?”  Only then would I recommend these.

Product Description:

Intensely satisfying with bits of smooth, rich, organic chocolate to balance tart Bing cherries and sweet cranberries. Our Gracious Granola base adds pecans, almonds and coconut for a wholesome indulgence as delicious as it is nutritious.

Learn more about 18 Rabbits on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Since I ate this for breakfast, I drank a robust Assam with it.  I recommend this amazing Malty Assam from the Tao of Tea.

What I Think:

Until now, I’ve thought that there were two types of granola bars:  the crunchy granola bar and the chewy granola bar.  But this granola bar belongs in its own category.  It isn’t “crunchy,” but reminds me of a crunchy granola bar in that it is hard to bite into, in fact, it’s harder to bite into than a typical crunchy granola bar.  It is “chewy,” but, as I have already mentioned, it isn’t as soft and easy to bite into as a typical chewy granola bar.  This bar requires some jaw strength to eat!

Once I do bite into it, the flavors are quite nice.  Big chunks of chocolate, deliciously sweet and juicy cherries, and a little tartness from the cranberries.  The coconut in the bar gives it a nice sweetness and a pleasant texture.  The bar is tasty:  lots of nutty, oat-y goodness!

This bar is not as sweet as I expected it to be, it actually tastes healthy … which is why I suspect it was in the “Jump Start” tasting box.  Most granola bars available at the grocery store taste more like candy bars with some oats and nuts added to make parents think that they’re a healthy choice for their kids.

And I do feel satisfied after finishing the bar.  This is the kind of bar you’d want to take with you on a hiking trip because one bar is enough to satiate hunger and provide that much needed energy boost.  It doesn’t taste like its all simple sugars that will quickly break down and not provide that sustaining energy that is needed to keep going.

My Final Thoughts

I personally prefer my granola bars to be a little easier to bite into.  I found this hard texture at the start to be a little off-putting.  I think these would be better if they were offered as small, bite size snacks rather than a bar, so that they could be popped into the mouth and then enjoyed.  Once I got past that initial bite to break off a piece of the bar, it was very enjoyable.

If ever there was a foodie holiday, this is it.

Most people in the United States right now are busily preparing their feasts.   But not me.  Whats this, you say?  I claim to be a foodie and I’m not cooking a Thanksgiving feast?

Nope.  Not today anyway.  My husband works today, and for the last ten years has worked every Thanksgiving (save one or two, I think).  The line of work that he is in requires him to be there on this day, as it is one of the busiest days of the year for the company.

So, we generally postpone the holiday until it’s convenient for everyone in our household.  Which is just fine with me.  To me, Thanksgiving is more about gathering with those you love:  family.  It doesn’t really matter which day you choose to serve the turkey and all the trimmings, does it?

Photo from Wikipedia

But this IS a foodie blog and Thanksgiving is a foodie holiday, so I thought it would be appropriate if I share with you one of my favorite holiday recipes.  In my opinion, it’s the one overlooked dish on the plate:  the cranberry sauce.

While growing up, the cranberry sauce was so overlooked that we were served that jelly stuff out of the can, sliced haphazardly using the markings from the can to cut the slices, which were still imparted on the can shaped, jiggling ruby-red jelly.  I’m sorry, that stuff is alright if you’re a kid, but, one of the first things that I changed about my own Thanksgiving when I became an adult is the cranberry sauce, because… gross.  Just… gross.

Now, I am not one to go and get a bag of fresh cranberries and cook them down.  I wish I were, but, on Thanksgiving, there’s a lot of stuff to do, and that much work is not something I want to pile onto the list.  So I do utilize the can, but I use the canned whole cranberries instead of that jelly stuff.

Here’s a basic recipe, keep in mind that when I cook I do it primarily by eye and taste, not so much by measuring:

Cranberry Compote

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of cranberries (whole cranberry sauce)
  • canned pears
  • 1 orange
  • Dried Cranberries (I usually use Craisins, because I they’re my new raisins, I use them all the time)
  • Loose Leaf Chai  (your favorite brand, I think that a black tea or spice only blend works best in this recipe.  If you only have teabags, use 2 teabags instead of 1 for this recipe)
  • Nutmeg (freshly ground)

~*~

Start by steeping the chai tea strong.  If you generally use 1 1/2 teaspoons of loose leaf chai to make a cup of chai, use 3 teaspoons.  Steep 1 cup of the chai using boiling water and steep for 3 – 4 minutes.  Add a handful of dried cranberries to a bowl and strain the chai over the cranberries.  Set the bowl aside.

Open the can of cranberries and put in a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat until it comes to a simmer.  In the meantime, slice the pears into small chunks (I generally use the equivalent of 1 1/2 pears in this compote.  You can use more or less according to your own preference), and zest the orange.

Once the cranberries are brought to a simmer, add the chunks of pear and about 3/4 teaspoon of orange zest.  I don’t measure the orange zest.  I just eyeball it, and this is an estimate of how much I add.  Then cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice and pulp (no seeds, please!) into the sauce.  Stir.

Now add the dried cranberries which have reconstituted slightly in the chai.  Pour off the excess chai (don’t discard it though), and add the cranberries.  By this time, it’s probably getting a little thick and could use a little liquid.  Add the remaining chai by tablespoons until it is a little liquid-y (as it will continue to reduce down a bit), but not too much.  I generally find about 3 tablespoons is about right.  Just remember that you can always add a little bit more, but you can’t take it away once its in there, so add it slowly until you reach the ideal amount of liquid.

Allow to continue to simmer and reduce down a bit.  Once you reach a pleasing consistency, remove from the heat and grate some fresh nutmeg over the top and stir it in.  Then I put it in the fridge to cool because my family prefers it served as a chilled salad, but, it is also quite nice served warm.

~*~

This is my absolute favorite way to serve cranberries, and while cranberries aren’t as popular with the rest of my family as they are with me, my family actually eats them when prepared this way (they don’t like the cranberry sauce as is).  It also tastes great on leftover turkey sandwiches the next day.