Cranberry Pecan Ancient Grain Granola from Purely Elizabeth

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!

Nature’s Immunity Nuts Snack from Graze

immunitynuts

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

Ingredients:

roasted unsalted cashews, brazil nuts and pistachio kernels

I received this in my March box from Graze.

What I Think:

No tea suggestion with these nuts, mostly because I didn’t enjoy this particular snack enough to try to find a way to incorporate it into tea time.

I’ll be honest and tell you that I went into this particular tasting certain I wouldn’t like it.  Oh sure, I like cashews, brazil nuts and pistachios.  Love ‘em!  But, these are unsalted cashews, brazil nuts and pistachios, and I’m of the opinion that the nuts should be at least lightly salted.

I’m still of that opinion.  I think that these would definitely be tastier if they were lightly salted during the roasting process.

This might be the first time that I’m trying these three particular nuts unsalted, and I do appreciate the opportunity to try them without the salt.  However, I don’t think I like them enough to want this snack again.

My Final Thoughts:

I “trashed” this snack on graze.  I just simply didn’t enjoy the unsalted nuts enough to want to finish the tray of nuts, and I certainly don’t want to receive them again.  I don’t HATE them … but, I didn’t really find the snack enjoyable either.  They’re just kind of … meh … you know?

White Bean with Sea Salt Chips from Beanitos

white bean

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

Ingredients:

Whole Navy Beans, Whole Grain Long Brown Rice and/or Long Grain White Rice, Pure Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil, Guar Bean Gum, Sea Salt.

I received a bag of these chips in my February Love with Food Box.

Tea Suggestion:

As with most salty snacks like this, I went with a glass of refreshing iced tea, and the tea that I had chilling in my fridge when I opened this bag of chips was this Very Big Hill Dew Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas.  I liked the sweet-tart contrast that the drink brought to this salty, savory snack.

What I Think:

Having previously tasted another Beanitos product, I was fairly sure I’d enjoy these too.  And I did enjoy them.

What I like best about them is the texture of the chip – crisp, but not dense like a typical corn chip.

I also appreciate that they’re not too salty.  I can taste the bean.  I can taste what seems like a hint of lime to these too … and I found myself wanting a little more of that acidic flavor.  I think that maybe just a little bit more lime would really brighten up the flavor a bit.

My Final Thoughts:

A tasty snack.  As I said above, I found myself wanting a little bit more of that lime note.  It would be really tasty with a guacamole with an extra squeeze of lime, I think.

Dark Chocolate Covered Blueberries from Emily’s Chocolates

emilysblueberries

Product Information:

Besides being delicious, blueberries specialize in true-blue anti-oxidant power and are particularly bewitching covered in chocolate.

I received a pouch of these chocolate covered blueberries in my February Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

I decided to go with a fresh tasting green tea to drink while I devoured these yummy blueberries, so I chose this Organic Gunpowder Green Tea from Simple Loose Leaf. The tea has a light, brothy texture and a delicious nutty background of flavor, and I liked the way this contrasted with the sweet-tart flavor of the blueberries and the bittersweet dark chocolate.

What I Think:

I was recently told that I “like everything!” by someone visiting my blog and reading a few of my reviews.  And I guess, yeah, I’m guilty of that.  Most of the foods that I’ve reviewed here, I’ve enjoyed.  Occasionally, I’ll try something I don’t like, and I’ll tell it like it is when I come across those foods.

I sometimes wish that I had a more “discerning” palate, but, when I think about it, there’s nothing wrong with finding something that I like in most foods.  It means that I get to enjoy more variety in my diet.  Variety is the spice of life, baby!

And I do like these blueberries from Emily’s chocolates.  First of all, I love that this is a local company.  (Well, kind of local.  We’re in the same state, anyway!)  The dried blueberries are big and plump, and the dark chocolate shell is soft and decadent.

My Final Thoughts:

I devoured the bag in no time, and I found myself wishing that I had more.  Because this IS a local company, I know that I’ll be able to find these products in some local shops, so next time I see them on the shelf, I’m going to be putting some in my cart!  Yum!

Vampire Killer Kale Chips from Brad’s Raw Foods

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.

Banana Split Baby Mama Drama from Mama’s Magic Mix

bananasplit

Photo from Mama’s Magic Mix website.
Click on the pic to go there.

Ingredients:

freeze dried bananas and strawberries, salted peanuts, caramel puffs & chocolate covered graham crackers

I received a pouch of this snack mix in my January Love with Food Box.

Tea Suggestion:

With this salty and sweet snack, I went with something light and crisp:  White Tea!  And one of my favorite White Teas as of late is this Makaibari Bai Mu Dan from Tea People.

What I Think:

This mix is not at all what I expected when I opened the package.  What I expected was granola, I suppose, although now that I read the package again I don’t know why it is that expected this to be granola because it doesn’t actually say granola anywhere on the package.

It’s a “mix” of dried fruit, nuts, crunchy graham cracker-y “cookie” like things that are coated with chocolate (although there were only 2 of these in the bag), and at the top of the pouch there were these “puffs” of sweetness that tasted a bit like a sweetened cereal.

I had about six of those tasty cereal puff things that sat right at the top of the package, and when I looked into the package when I first opened it, it appeared that these were the only thing in the package so I was surprised when I fished out a strawberry piece … and all the puffs were gone!  Had I known that there was more to the package than just those puffs I would have poured the mix into a bowl and saved some of those puffs for last because like I said, they were the tastiest part of this weird mix.

I enjoyed the individual ingredients of the mix.  The cereal puff things were tasty.  They were actually the tastiest part of this mix.  Then there was a layer of freeze dried strawberries and I liked those, as well as the three pieces of freeze dried banana.  The peanuts … were peanuts and they weren’t bad.  They weren’t really salty though, and I guess that’s what I missed there.  The chocolate coated cookie things were alright although they were a bit … lacking in something.

But overall, this … just seemed like a very disjointed sort of snack mix.  Nothing really seemed to work together.  Even the dried strawberries and bananas didn’t really seemed to work together and that always seems to be a classic fruit combination.  The peanuts just didn’t work in this.  I liked that the fruit was freeze dried because I do enjoy the light crispness of freeze dried fruit, but when combined with the peanuts and the other components … it just all seemed a bit like a jumbled mess.

My Final Thoughts:

This was alright.  It was edible.  Is this something I’d buy again?  No.  I found it to be a rather confusing combination of foods that didn’t really seem to go together at all.

Original Jer’s Square & Pretzo Chango-O Jer’s Square

jersquare

I received both of these squares from Jer’s in my January Love with Food box.

Original Jer’s Square Information:

Jer’s Original Squares are crafted with all natural Valencia peanut butter mixed with crunchy rice crisp covered in premium milk chocolate. Now, you can have Jer’s Squares 4 oz. boxes on hand at work, at home, or on the go! That’s what we call “out of the box” thinking!

My Thoughts:

This is yummy!

The peanut butter center is lightened up with the crackly crunch of rice crisp.  The chocolate is sweet and creamy, the peanut butter is too, but there is enough “salty” to it to give it a nice savory quality and to cut through some of the sweet.  I’d take these over a peanut butter cup any day!

Pretzo Chang-O Jer’s Square Information:

Pretzo Change-O Milk Chocolate squares are crafted with sweet and salty pretzel bits mixed with all natural Valencia peanut butter covered in milk chocolate. These 4 oz. boxes are great for sharing, putting into a candy dish at your house or office, or stashed away for that quick fix when needed. After all, that’s how we’re able to pack big flavor into such a little package.

My Thoughts:

The Pretzo Chango-O is also a milk chocolate candy.  Instead of the crispy rice in the original square … this has salty pretzel bits which adds more salt to the treat.  The center is a little denser than the original was because of the pretzel bits, and it’s crunchier.  But I love the additional salty notes to this square.  Of the two, this one was my favorite, but I loved them both! This is truly a salty-sweet treat!

My Final Thoughts:

I want more of these!  That is all.

Summer Berry Flapjack Snack from Graze

summerberryflapjack

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

What’s In It:

rustic rolled oat flapjack with berry-infused cranberries

I received these Flapjack snack bars in my February box from Graze.

Tea Suggestion:

Since these oat bars have a very ‘breakfast-y’ snack sort of taste to them, I went with a black tea, this Australian Daintree Black Tea from McIver’s.   I love the way the rich, molasses-y sort of flavor melds with the flapjack snack!

What I Think:

I like the flapjack snacks from Graze.  In my post about my February box, I mentioned that they’re kind of like granola bars … well, they are … and they aren’t.  They have a granola bar look to them, and some similar ingredients to a granola bar, but the taste and texture reminds me more of a bowl of oatmeal that has been converted to convenient bar form.

The oats tastes sweet and nutty.  It has a rustic, hearty taste and texture to it.  I don’t eat oatmeal made from rolled oats often, because I prefer steel cut oats, but, I like the flavor of rolled oats in granola bars, oatmeal cookies and these.

And after mentioning oatmeal cookies … these not only remind me of a bowl of oatmeal, but a thick, soft oatmeal cookie but without the sweet dough.  It’s like it has all the goodness of an oatmeal cookie without the stuff that you shouldn’t be eating.

The berries in this are cranberries that have been infused with other berry flavors.  I definitely taste cranberry … do I taste the other berries?  Yeah, I think I taste notes of strawberry, perhaps, and maybe blueberry.

My Final Thoughts:

I “liked” this snack.  It’s really yummy and satisfying.  Like I said previously, it’s a little bit like a bowl of berry studded oatmeal in bar form.

Orange Fruit Bar from Oskri

orangebar

Photo from Love with Food.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

The Oskri All – Natural and Gluten – Free Orange Fruit bar is the perfect refreshing snack on the – go.

I received this Orange Bar in my January Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

To go with this orange bar, I decided to go with a green tea and I brewed up this Organic Long Jing from Steepster.  I loved the tea and liked the bar … I don’t know if this would be a “perfect pairing” or not but I enjoyed tea time.

What I Think:

This is a really unusual fruit bar, but I am enjoying it.

Most of the reviews on Love With Food that I saw were kind of negative about this product.

I liked it though.  It has a bright orange flavor, and I can taste and feel the dates, raisins and figs in this too.  I feel the texture of these dried fruits … and taste the sweetness from them.

There are also dried bits of orange in this, and it presents a somewhat hard, almost ‘crunchy’ chunk in the bar.  At first, I was kind of put off by this, but, after a couple of bites, I started to enjoy this element of the bar, and it reminds me a little bit of the Orange Crisps from Simple and Crisp.

My Final Thoughts:  

Definitely different, but I didn’t hate it.  I actually liked it after I became accustomed to the textures that are in the bar.  It’s a different taste, a different texture, but it’s bright and has a really vibrant flavor.

Eleanor’s Apple Crumble Snack from Graze

applecrumble

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

What’s In It:

raisins, cinnamon and honey almonds and apple

This snack was in my January Graze Box.

Tea Suggestion:

When I’m eating a “crumble” … I can think of no tea I’d rather have in front of me than a black tea … perhaps a warmly spiced chai?  So I chose to brew this Bourbon Chai from Vintage TeaWorks.  It’s honeyed sweetness melded wonderfully with the sweet flavors of this mix, and the spices accentuated the warm cinnamon notes of the almond.  This tea turned this snack into a dessert!

What I Think:

This is pretty good, but perhaps I’m a little spoiled on some of the previous fruit snacks that I’ve had from Graze previously, because I found myself wanting the flavor infused raisins that I’ve tried before.

The almonds are definitely my favorite part of this snack.  They are “candied” with honey and cinnamon, and that candied coating is absolutely scrumptious!

The apples and raisins are sweet.  The raisins are nice and plump golden raisins.   The apples are dried and chewy, and have a delicious, juicy taste to them.

My favorite way to enjoy this snack is to grab either a raisin or a piece of apple and eat it with an almond so that I get fruity goodness along with that delicious candied almond.  I wish there were more almonds to this!

My Final Thoughts:  

I enjoyed this snack (especially with the chai that I brewed to go with),  but I found myself wanting something a little more.  The candied almonds were delightful, but, everything else – while tasty – missed some of that excitement that I have experienced with the other snacks from Graze.  I didn’t “trash” this product, but, I didn’t like or love it either, I’ll keep it at a “try” status.