Posts Tagged ‘January’

vampirekiller

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

Product Information:

There is no better way to start the new year with a healthy snacking plan! Our favorite kale snack is hands-down these organic kale chips from Brad’s Raw Foods. The ‘vampire killer’ is crispy, nutty and has a great garlic flavor. Organic, kosher, and vegan.

I received a package of these kale chips in my January box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

When I eat chips, I usually like a glass of iced tea to go with it … and kale chips are no exception.  The iced tea I had chilling in my ice box when I snacked on these kale chips was this Cherry Limeade Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas.

What I Think:

I really like kale chips.  I’ve had a few different kinds in the past, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve tried.  My family has been less receptive to the idea of kale chips.  Which is both a blessing and a curse:  when I do happen to buy (or receive as part of one of my monthly subscriptions) a package of Kale Chips, I get to enjoy them for myself and not have to worry about them disappearing before I have a chance to taste them.  That’s a blessing.  But on the curse side, because I’m the only one who likes them … I don’t buy them often because I don’t like buying things just for me.

I like the flavor of these Kale Chips … I love the garlic-y taste!  The cheesy flavor is there too, but it is less apparent … or perhaps I should say that it doesn’t stand out quite the same way as it does in some of the “cheesy” flavored kale chips that I’ve tried in the past.

But the garlic-y notes are delicious.  Not too sharp on the garlic, just enough to let you know that what you’re tasting is garlic … it’s an easily identifiable flavor but it doesn’t go overboard and make your mouth feel like its in desperate need of a thorough brushing, flossing and a handful of breath mints before anyone’s gonna kiss you.

On the downside, I didn’t like that most of the kale pieces were small “crumb-ish” size.  It was a bit more like eating a handful of peanuts than it was like eating chips, you know?  I also didn’t like that I came across a couple of large stems in my package.

My Final Thoughts:

I loved the flavor of these, I just wish that there was a bit more attention paid to the details of the chips.  Less large stems in the package and more large, leafy crisps.  I have seen this product in Chuck’s Produce, and have been tempted to purchase because I did enjoy the flavor … but I’ve found myself looking for another brand that carries a similar garlic-y flavored kale chip because I didn’t like having a package that was mostly crumbs.

Strawberryoffthefarm

Ingredients:

Ingredients: brown rice syrup, strawberries (strawberries, sugar, rice flour, sunflower oil citric acid), oats, cashews, figs (dried figs, rice flour), crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, malt extract, salt, mixed tocopherols), apples, coconut, chia seeds, sesame seeds, tapioca syrup, natural flavors, sunflower oil, sea salt, citric acid.

I received this energy bar in my January box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

I decided to go with a bowl of Matcha to sip with this energy bar to get the most out of the energy aspect of the bar, since Matcha is one of the most energizing teas I know of!  I had this Lucuma flavored Matcha from Red Leaf Tea.  Lucuma is a fruit, but it’s a very subtle tasting fruit in this Matcha, tasting a bit like maple.  Although this particular energy bar was not my favorite from Off The Farm, these two things together:  Matcha and energy bar … had an energizing effect!

What I Think:

Off The Farm has three different varieties of their energy bar, and with this one, I’ve tried all three!  And of the three … this one is my least favorite, and it surprises me to say that, because I love strawberries and coconut.  I thought for sure this would be my favorite, but I have to say that if this had been the first bar that I had tried from this company rather than the last, I would not have been as excited to try the other two flavors.

Don’t get me wrong … this is alright.  But … it isn’t as delicious as the other two.  It … needs something.  The bar itself is tasty, it’s chewy and has a lot of nuts and seeds in it to keep it crunchy.  The strawberries are flavorful and the coconut adds some nice texture and flavor to the bar.  But … something … is lacking in the flavor combination and I am not sure exactly what it is.

After reading the ingredient list, I see that the nut here is cashews, and maybe that’s the issue.  Hey, I love cashews … but they are kind of a … mellow tasting nut.  Maybe something with a little more pizzazz.  Walnuts, perhaps?  Pecans?  Almonds?  Macadamia nuts might be a really cool addition to these and would elevate the flavor of the coconut in an interesting way.

My Final Thoughts:

It’s a tasty bar … but, it lacks the interest and excitement of the other two bars.  It just needs something, because it’s kind of boring.

January's Knoshbox

January’s Knoshbox

OK, so I’m a lot behind!  I have to update on the two boxes that I’ve received.  I received my January Knoshbox “on time” – that is, about the same time of the month that I usually receive it … but, I haven’t posted about it.

I also received January’s Goodies Box … in February.  I didn’t post about it either … so I’m going to combine my posts for the Knoshbox and the Goodies Box this time around.

The theme for January’s Knoshbox is “Snow Day Snacks,” and included A huge pouch of “Just Good Chocolate” hot cocoa mix.  And when I say “HUGE” I mean it … we’re talking 12 ounces of product!  Also in this box was a full package of Salted Rosemary Shortbread cookies from Lark Fine Foods, which I’ve previously reviewed so I won’t do that again.  These are a favorite of mine so I certainly was happy to have another package of them!

Also in this month’s box is a “Mighty Maca Bar” from Beareded Brothers, and a box of Sea Salt Caramels from Liddabit Sweets.  The Sea Salt Caramels are another product that I’ve reviewed previously, but I’m NEVER going to complain when I get some of these!  They are so good.

January's Goodie Box

January’s Goodie Box

January’s Goodies Box has the theme “New Year, New You” and included seven very tempting goodies.  So, even though I was a little dismayed that it appeared that we AGAIN were receiving late boxes, getting so many goodies in one box for such an affordable price, it’s a little hard to complain, you know?

This month’s box included a Whole Wheat fig bar from Nature’s Bakery, A can of Cascal soda, Strawberry Fruit Chews from Stretch Island (which I’ve already enjoyed – they were delicious!  Sweet and deliciously strawberry, I love that these are made with fruit only … no sugar added!)  Traditional Hummus and Pita Chips snack kit from Wild Garden, Blueberry Granola from Go Nola, Spicy Falafel Chips from Flamous Brands, and a cookie from Skeeter Snacks.

So, another great box from Goodies Company … but, I do wish they’d get their shipping on track.  I think this month might be better, because I’ve already received a notification that the package was shipped.  Let’s hope!

And … of course, another great box from Knoshbox.  No surprise there, Knoshbox is my favorite monthly food box subscription.  If you can only get one box per month … this is the box I’d recommend.  It might cost a bit more, but it is OH so worth it!

Product Description:

  • Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
  • Vegetarian Certified
  • Fair Trade Approved
  • Amber Glass Jars with Gold Metal Lid

Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil can be used as a replacement for butter and other oils. The unique flavors of our extra virgin coconut oil turn any ordinary meal into a truly indulgent experience.

Learn more about Kelapo on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Since, I tried this on a slice of toast, I went with a smooth Ceylon to drink with it:  Morowaka Ceylon FBOP from KTeas.  This made for a delicious, light breakfast.  However, I think that this can go with just about any tea … I’m wondering how it would have been to enjoy that slice of toast with this Coconut Cream Black Tea from Zen Tara Teas – YUM!

What I Think:

I’m not going to lie, I had my doubts about this one.  I mean, I was raised on the cheapest margarine available at the supermarket, and after a few years on my own, I switched to unsalted butter and I’ve never looked back.  I don’t miss margarine one bit.  I love my butter!  (Or, in the words of Paula Deen:  Butter makes it better!)  So, when Foodzie included a sampling of this in the Jump Start my New Year, I was certain I was NOT going to like this!

But I do like it!  For the purposes of this review, I spread the sample on a piece of toasted 8-grain bread.  It provides a nice, creamy texture like butter, but it adds a lovely coconut-y flavor!  With this product, not only would I not need to spread butter on my toast, but I also would not need jam, because the coconut flavor is delicious on it’s own.

Then I compared some information.  With this product versus my unsalted butter, I’m not really saving any fat or calories.  In truth, this Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is slightly higher in both fat and calories.  The biggest difference is cholesterol.  My unsalted butter has 30mg of cholesterol while this product has 0.  That’s right.  Zip, zero, zilch … nada!

So, if you’ve been ordered by your physician to lower your cholesterol intake and can’t stand the taste of margarine, you should really give this stuff a try.  I personally have not been told that my cholesterol is high by my physician, but that’s probably because I’ve not been tested.  But, given that my family has a history of heart problems, I can see how this can be a very beneficial addition to my diet.  There are other health benefits to adding coconut oil to your diet, read more here.

My Final Thoughts:

I only tried this on toast, but it was good enough to pique my interest.  I am going to look for coconut oil the next time I’m shopping, because I’m really curious how this will affect other foods in which I use butter (I’m really wondering how an egg fried with this tastes!)

Product Description:

Almonds are our secret weapon against weight gain and mindless snacking. Six almonds contain only about 100 calories, and will absolutely stave off the in-between-meal grumblies. They’re also believed to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, reduce risk of cancer and even improve complexion. Oh, and did we mention they’re delicious? They are, especially these fresh almonds roasted to nutty perfection.

Learn more about Stackhouse Brothers Orchards on their facebook page.

Tea Suggestion:

I chose a naturally sweet, nutty green tea:  Organic Green Tea from TeaSpree.  I just love how well green tea and roasted almonds go together:  a deliciously sweet combination.

What I Think:

After popping the first couple of almonds in my mouth, I couldn’t help but think that something was missing.  No salt!  These roasted almonds are unsalted, which is alright, I suppose, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it.  I guess I should have paid better attention to the labeling, as it says, in red letters right in the middle of the label:  No Salt.  It’s even in parenthesis, which should have called my attention to it.

That’s what I get for not reading the label before I start munching.

Don’t get me wrong, these nuts actually taste quite good without salt, but, I guess I’ve just come to expect salt on “snacking” nuts … however, since these did come in the “Jump Start My New Year” tasting box, it makes sense that the healthier option would be unsalted, roasted almonds.

Other than not having salt, these taste very much like I’d expect them to taste.  They taste like almonds.  They taste like they’ve been freshly roasted, and they have a nice crunch to them.  Sweet, toasty, and delicious.  And just as the above description (from Foodzie) suggests, they definitely do help satisfy that in-between-meals hunger.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed these almonds.  I don’t know that I liked this particular brand enough to set out and buy them rather than another brand from the grocery store.  As I said, these taste remarkably fresh, but is it that noticeable to where I’d want and crave these over a supermarket brand?  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that I found my hunger satisfied by snacking on some almonds while sipping on my green tea.  A delicious yet healthy way to snack!

Normally, I’d publish tea reviews on one of two tea review blogs to which I contribute:  SororiTea Sisters or the Tea Review Blog.  However, since this tea was part of the Jump Start My New Year Tasting Box from Foodzie, I decided to review this tea here on my foodie blog. 

Product Description:

This is tea for coffee lovers: Rich, dark, with hints of caramel and dark spice. Pu’er is green tea that’s been sun-ripened, which both mellows its flavor and increases its healthful compounds. These are believed to aid digestion, assist in weight loss and eliminate alcohol toxins.

Learn more about Five Mountains on their website.

What I Think:

It’s no big secret that I love tea.  But I don’t love all tea, and I believe I mentioned on my article about the arrival of my Jump Start box that I’m not the biggest fan of Pu-erh.  And I’m not.  If I had to list my teas in order of preference, Pu-erh may not end up as the last on that list, but it would certainly rate in the bottom three.

That being said, I am slowly developing an appreciation for Pu-erh, as I am finding more and more Pu-erh teas that I’ve actually enjoyed.  They weren’t just “drinkable” but actually enjoyable.  This Pu-erh from Five Mountains certainly rates as enjoyable.

It is a rich, flavorful Pu-erh (or Pu’er, as Five Mountains calls it) with a beautiful sweetness that tastes similar to caramel.  There is also a warmth to this tea with hints of gentle spice.  It is earthy and a little brine-y which is often expected in a Pu-erh, but, it is not quite as brine-y as some Pu-erh teas that I’ve tried, and I appreciate that.  Some Pu-erh teas can be almost fishy in taste, and it is that fishy taste that makes me not so fond of Pu-erh.  I am glad that this is NOT fishy, only a little salty perhaps, and it is a distant flavor that doesn’t disrupt the aforementioned rich caramel-y flavor and spiced tones that I find so enjoyable about this tea.  In fact, the hint of salt in the background may actually work to this tea’s favor, accenting the robust flavors of the tea just right.

My Final Thoughts:

This tea is remarkably smooth from start to finish, with no bitterness or astringency.  Just sweet, rich flavor that makes the tea an absolute pleasure to sip.  If all of my Pu-erh experiences were as positive as this one, I wouldn’t have had to preface this review by saying I’m not a big fan of it, because this is grand!

And what an awesome box it is! 

I have discussed the changes made at Foodzie, and I was disappointed at first.  But I think that I’m coming around to the changes.  First of all, even though I didn’t want the “choice” at first, I like that there are three boxes to choose from.  The hardest part is deciding which box to select.

Also something I’ve noticed starting in February, you can find out what products are in each box, not just the theme of the box.  If you really want to know, you can simply scroll down on the description of each box to find a list of what to expect in each box.  I personally like that, because it helps with the decision.  For example, had I known that there was Bloody Mary mix in last month’s “Breakfast in Bed” box, I would have steered clear of it.  I’m just not a Bloody Mary (or any kind of alcoholic kind of drink for that matter) kind of person.  By the same token, had I realized that there was TEA in this “Jump Start Your New Year” box, that would have made it a very easy, instantaneous choice for me!

This box contains a whopping EIGHT items in it, including a sample size package of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil from Kelapo, two sample size packages of “Somersaults” snacks from Somersault Snack Co., a granola bar from 18 Rabbits, Kale Crunch Snacks from Alive & Radiant, Sun-Ripened Pu’er Tea from Five Mountains, Chocolate (YES, CHOCOLATE!) from Madécasse, and Almonds from Stackhouse Orchards.

Seriously, this is MY kind of box.

So, OK, I’m not the biggest fan of Pu-erh.  Truth be told, it’s my least favorite type of tea, but, I am slowly coming around and beginning to acquire a taste for it.  But it IS a tea company with which I am not familiar, and as a tea reviewer, that’s something that interests me, and that interest outweighs my apprehension about Pu-erh.

Also included in the box is the “theme card,” and it explains the theme of “Jump Start Your New Year” like this:

Practically every day, someone asks us:  How do you eat food for a living and not weigh a ton?  The truth is we get just as excited about a kale salad (we’re sharing our favorite recipe on the blog this month) as an artisan chocolate bar.  We love all good food, not just the sweet stuff.  In fact, after a holiday season of indulgence, we actively crave healthier foods, but we’re still not willing to sacrifice on flavor.  We’ve selected a few of our favorite foods that nourish the body as well as the soul, and allow you to kick your new year into gear.  Whether it’s some protein-y pick-me-ups, chocolate rich in both flavor and antioxidants, deceptively decadent snack chips or a cup of therapeutic tea, you won’t even notice that these treats are both good and good for you.

I know that I’m terribly behind on posting my reviews from the Breakfast in Bed box (I still have to publish the review the butterscotch candy from the Stocking Stuffer box!)  So maybe this box is just what I need to “Jump Start” on my blogging!  Ha!

I look forward to trying these yummy goodies, and sharing my thoughts with you!