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?

My March Box from Knoshy has arrived!

The box actually arrived a few days ago … but I’m behind as usual!  My box from Knoshy is always a box that I’m eager to receive.  It is a very carefully curated box and I usually love the product choices, and I also appreciate the opportunity to try something that maybe I wouldn’t have tried without this box bringing it to my door.

???????????????????????????????This month’s box is “Taste of Vermont.”  What does Vermont mean to you?  It means MAPLE to me, baby!  And that’s just what Knoshy seemed to have on their minds when they put together this box.  This box included the following yummy treats:  Maple Sugar Candy AND Pure Maple Syrup from Butternut Mountain Farm, Jan’s Farmhouse Crisps, Goat Milk Maple Cream Caramels from Big Picture Farms, and a Vermont Maple Cookbook.  (Some yummy looking recipes in the cookbook!)

I love maple, so I was quite pleased with the selections of this month’s box.  I’ll let you know what I think of each product as I try them out!

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.

My March Box from Graze is Here!

The day that my Graze box arrives in my mailbox is a happy mail day, indeed!  And this month is the first month where I am seeing the “power” of choice with Graze.  I received two products that I previously liked/loved.  Yay!

???????????????????????????????Both of the revisited products are from my very first box from Graze.  The first snack is the Fruit & Seed Flapjack snack - I had marked this one as a “like” and the second snack is the Toffee Apple snack, and it’s a snack tray that I LOVED.  I’m especially happy to have this snack again … and I’m eager to find out if I enjoy it as much now as I did then.

As I write this, I’m snacking on the Fruit & Seed Flapjacks and they’re so yummy!  I’d take a tray of flapjacks to a granola or energy bar any day.

Also in this month’s box are two new-to-me snacks:  Bonnie Wee Oatbakes and Nature’s Immunity Nuts.  I’ll be writing reviews on these two snacks later (after I’ve had a chance to enjoy them), but I won’t be writing another review on the previously reviewed two snacks.

Interested in getting your own Graze box?  I can give you a “friend code” that will allow you to join Graze!  Just comment on this post with your email and I’ll respond to your email with the code.  It’s a great price:  just $6 per box!  It’s a great way to get yummy fun in the mail.

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!

Key Lime Pie snack from Graze

keylimepie

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

Snack Ingredients:

lime infused raisins, sponge pieces, mini meringues and green raisins

I received this snack in my February box from Graze.

Tea Suggestion:

When I eat pie, I like to sip on hot black tea.  And even though this is a snack mix and not technically “pie” – I decided to brew myself a cup of Malty Assam Tea from Tea People.  A really lovely pairing!

What I Think:

YUM!  This might just be my favorite snack that I’ve gotten from Graze yet!

There are two different kinds of raisins:  dark raisins that have been infused with lime, and green raisins.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen “green raisins” before.  They look like gold raisins to me, and taste like them.  Sweet and plump.  The lime infused raisins are my favorite of the two raisins though, I love the bright, citrus-y note they add to this snack mix.

The sponge … isn’t as sponge-y as I recall other ‘sponge’ from graze to be.  These are actually crunchy … like a Nilla wafer.  Tasty and they add a pie crust flavor to the mix.

I love the meringue!  Crisp and light and airy!

This snack is fun to eat when I put one of each element into my hand and eat it all at once … it is very “key lime pie” ish!  But I also enjoy popping each item into my mouth individually and exploring the flavors.

If I were to change anything about this particular snack, it would be to have more lime flavor to it.  Maybe there could be some lime in the meringue bits or the cookie bits.

My Final Thoughts:

I “loved” this snack on my Graze account.  I hope they send it to me again soon.  I’d be happy to have it in every box.

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.

Coco Paradise Snack from Graze

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.

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.