Nothing better than starting your Saturday with a buddy long run. I am always up for those. Early wake ups are worth it to see this girl. Today is my last ever weekend day I will not be working for the next few months. That means back to working seven days a week. Not too thrilled about it but then I remember the pay check and feel a tad bit better. A tad. I am taking full advantage of the day and having a coffee date with an author today, someone who I hope I will be able to share with you all soon enough. An inspirational lady to say the least.
But the real juice of what I want to get to is the future of Snack Attacks. I really like doing these, but I am going to begin phasing them out. That means probably by the end of February there will be no Snack Attacks for a bit. Balance is something I struggle with. While these posts are a great resource, they are a tad overwhelming to write. I have to put a lot of work into them. I am usually sent a small sample so to get a good picture of the product, I need to make sure I do my research. My reviews build up because it takes time to write them – that is why it will be phasing them out rather than just stopping. On that note, I am so gracious for the companies even sending a small sample which is why I like taking my time on them. For my own sanity though, I need a break. By the end of February it will be a time out from Snack Attacks. Hope you all understand. (ps you will always still find past reviews in my Snack Attack tab!)
But.. on to this week!
- Thunderbird Energetica: Total winner. Staples for me now, you will always find one in my bag.
- NutriBiotic Rice Protein Powder: A tasty protein powder alternative that is the easiest to bake with.
- Buddy Fruits: Made for young kids but actually work so well for baking, snacking and just noming!
- Mother Earth Products: Obsessed, freeze dried vegetables and fruits that are tough to find at a decent price like this.
- Jenni-O: A brand I rely on for my gluten free turkey goodness weekly.
- Fruit Bliss: Dried fruit without that added sugar – my first fig trial that I loved!
- Yumnuts Naturals: Cashews and Almonds only made with the good stuff, even if they are coated in ‘chocolate’.
- Manini’s Gluten Free: A gluten free flour mix company that yields some amazing results.
- Barry’s Bakery French Twists: (not GF) A total winner for a healthier dessert alternative to the bakery french twists.
- Endangered Species Chocolate: Oh drool, dark chocolate that gives to a great cause with each bar sold.
- Somersault Snack Co.: (not GF) Uses the power of sunflower seeds to make a crunchy, salty and healthy pop em size snack.
- Lucy’s Cookies: Crispy small cookies and brownies that make any gluten free person praise because they actually taste like cookies!
Move over, I need more space for these in my bag to take everywhere. The founders and owners of Thunderbird energetica are fellow Celiacs with a passion for pushing their bodies to the limits while refueling with the best stuff. What they found was that their endurance sport love needed a big energy demand, something that the average processed sports bar did not give them. Enter these bars with an ingredient list that is simple and without that mumbo jumbo items you can’t seem to read. These bars are raw, gluten free, no added sugars, vegan, non GMO, handmade, soy free, agave free, and made with only plant based whole foods. Another perk are their compostable packages, pretty sweet if you ask me. (Guess what – they were nice enough to offer you all 20% off your order using the code EatThunder booya!)
Thunderbird energetica come in six flavors, each better than the next - Cherry Walnut Crunch, Cacao Hemp Walnut, Cashew Fig Carrot, Almond Cookie Pow-Wow, Sweet Lemon Raindance and Hyper Hawaiian Crunch. Now what I mean by simplistic ingredient lists, I mean. For example, one of my favorite the Hyper Hawaiian Crunch includes organic prunes, organic buchwheat groats, papaya, organic raisins, organic mango, pineapple and Hawaiian black lava salt. That’s all. You can see the ingredients, you see it! Another favorite was the Cashew Fig Carrot. Literally there were big chunks of fig and carrots that made the bar a mix between a soft chew and a loud crunch of cashew. Texture lover right here with all the bars.
More and more the girl who said she would not rely on protein powder has found it as a great source of fast, quick recovery. NutriBiotic perked my interest because it is a whole grain, sprouted brown rice, vegan alternative. Rice Protein is ideal for those individuals with food allergies but also those with digestive difficulties (you see my interest?). This protein powder is gluten free, vegan, 80% protein content, free of common food allergies like soy, milk, eggs, wheat, corn, nuts and preservatives, made without pesticides, herbicides, GMOs or PCBs and made in chemical free processing. The process of making it is kind of cool… at their low temperature enzyme process whole grain, sprouted brown rice is ground into fine flour. Then pure, filtered water is added. Throughout the process, organic plant enzymes are added to break down and separate the carbohydrate and fiber from the protein portion of the whole grain. The final stage is filtering, drying, and low temperate milling.
NutriBiotic Rice Protein comes in individual serving packets (60 calories per packet) and larger jugs. Their flavors include Plain, Vanilla, Mixed Berry, Chocolate, Organic Vanilla, Organic Plain, Spectrum Shake, Plus Flax Seed and Plus Antioxidants. I tried the Vanilla and Plain both in cooking and with just drinking. I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot. My stomach got no nasty side affects and I liked the taste of it. With cooking, it was nice to be able to use the plain so that I could add my own flavors to it, making it super versatile. This protein powder is the one that I have actually already paid with my own money for more. It is now my go to.
Check out their website to learn more and see if it is for you!
I swear I am 23 years old, doesn’t stop me one bit from enjoying these. Buddy Fruits has an added bonus, it makes eating fruit a whole lot easier. Especially when you can’t always keep fruit, travel or have a busy life (you see?). Buddy Fruits has no preservative, no artificial flavorings, no food dyes and no genetic modifications. Convenience is a huge factor with these, most coming in little squeezable, resealable pouches. Their product line keeps growing now including Pure Blended Fruit, Pure Fruit Bites, Coconut Milk & Fruit, Superfruit and Blended Fruit & Milk. I honestly had no idea there were so many but boy am I happy there is.
The Pure Blended fruit pouches were just delicious on their own or my specialty putting them in place of applesauce in some recipes I used. A flavor boost in an easy serving size. The apple strawberry made one killer coconut flour mug cake. The Pure Fruit Bites were made for me, little chewy gems with 1 serving of fruit per pouch. I couldn’t get enough of the apple flavor. I was hesitant when it came to the Coconut Milk & Fruit that came in 4.2 oz pouches but I couldn’t stop drinking it (or slurping it?). Perfect refuel after a hot run. The Superfruit are again the big 4.2 oz pouches but packed with antioxidants, the Raspberry & Cranberry kind was like drinking a healthy, less sugary juice. The Blended Fruit & Milk reminded me of a smoothie, made with a blend of milk and fruit needing no refrigeration. Again, a perfect on the go drink.
I have always loved freeze dried fruits. For some reason, the dried stuff just doesn’t agree with me but freeze dried has and is my go to. Mother Earth is a family owned business committed feeding our bodies so that we can experience health and happiness in life. They make Dried Vegetables, Dehydrated Vegetables, Freeze Dried Fruits, Free Dried Vegetables and Textured Vegetable Protein. The dehydrating process allows them to remove all the water to ensure that mold or bacteria can not survive or grow. It also helps maintain the nutritional value. These Dried and Dehydrated Vegetables can save you so much time when cooking and taste great when added to recipes. Freeze drying is similar in that it allows them to remove the water to preserve them. The four steps include Pretreatment, Freezing, Primary Drying and Secondary Drying. In this process, the most nutrients, color and cell structure can be preserved. Again, these products save money and time when it comes to cooking.
I was sent Freeze Dried Mangos, Freeze Dried Rasberries, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Freeze Dried Broccoli, Freeze Dried Peas and Freeze Dried Corn. Now, the fruit was pretty freaking good. I ate it plain, I ate it on yogurt, I ate it on cottage cheese. I couldn’t get enough. Like fruit, it has a sweetness and still a bit of crunch – not like that chewy dried stuff. The mango was bomb, seriously blew through that bag in a few days. The vegetables were something I have never tried before – and now I can’t get enough of them. The peas were so cool, like little pops that were easy enough to just eat like that. I actually used the broccoli in making a tomato sauce, adding real vegetables in it as well and putting it over fish. Total yum.
I seriously encourage you to order these and give them a try, especially for all you cooks out there. Check out their website to learn more!
Dare I say I have cooked this past week? You heard me, this girl got in the kitchen prepped and ate some pretty good food. That is all thanks to this company, Jennie-O. Jennie-O Turkey Store has been a leader in turkey for more than 70 years with over 1500 turkey products, including a gluten free line. Their product line includes Fresh from the deli (lean, delicious and prepacked), Lean breakfast protein (links, patties, turkey bacon and fresh ground turkey), and Sizzling burgers (both fresh and frozen). Jennie -O strives to give you convenience without sacrifice of some high quality lean protein to fit your healthy lifestyle.
As I said, not all their products are gluten free but their gluten friendly options are pretty extensive including All natural Turkey burgers, Turkey Bacon, White Turkey and Gravy, White & Dark Turkey and Gravy, Fully cooked Italian style turkey meatballs, Breakfast Lover’s turkey sausage, Fully cooked home style turkey meatballs and all natural Fresh whole turkey. My grocery store was quite limited for options but I was able to snag some Turkey Bacon, Fully cooked home style meatballs and Breakfast lover’s turkey sausage. First thing I noticed, was the lower sodium content. That is huge for me because my stomach just can’t handle high sodium foods. Taste wise – a company I will be buying from in the future. I gobbled up that turkey bacon like no other. I chopped some and added them to some eggs, winner. With some Breakfast lovers turkey sausage on the side, perfect brinner if you ask me. The meatballs were amazing as well, easy to heat up so made my dinner not only faster but tastier. Man did I need these products to spruce up my eating.
I know I will be buying them again, check out their website and give them a try.
As I said, dried fruit is sometimes way too sugary for me. Who knew I could find a company that made soft dried fruit with no added sugar. Who knew. Fruit Bliss is known for making the moistest dried fruit you will ever taste with four delicious fruits Apricots, Figs, Plums and Dates. All these are are fruit and water. Period. There is no added sugar, preservative free and rehydrated with water to give them that extra juicy texture. Add in their certified Vegan and non GMO factors and you have one killer snack. They come in 6 ox resealable pouches as well as individual 1.76 ox on the go sizes.
These were incredible. The moistest texture boast is so true, so freaking true. I had actually never had a date or fig before so I had no idea what to expect. Boy were those figs big! Each one was about the size of a quarter and oh so tasty (guys I finally tried a fig!). Even the plums were like quarter sized plums. The shapes were none of that cut up the fruit add more sugar squares that you now see a lot of days in the dried fruit department. These little pouches came with me everywhere for an easy to carry and eat snack that I needed. Overall, they weren’t that overly sugar crash taste you can get from dried fruit making them a much tastier and healthy alternative.
You all need to try these bad boys out, I know I have some major fruit lovers out there! Check out their website to learn more.
Yumnuts is all about the nut. Nothing else but the nuts. Mike started working with his dad who sold cashews and wanted to create a better nut. A nut that didn’t have the oil or artificial ingredients. So that is what they do and will continue to do today. Normal big nut companies will cook their nuts at very high heats in bad for you oils. This ends up destroying the healthy fats and producing unhealthy free radicals. Instead Yumnuts roasts their batches in small amounts, oven bake them, no added oils, no cholesterol, no trans fat and no or low sodium. Yumnuts sells almonds and cashews in raw form and with some delicious added bonuses like coated in chocolate, with a touch of honey, toasted coconut, sea salt, easy cajun, dark chocolate, cinnamon and ginger orange.
I was able to try the Chocolate Cashews and the Dark Chocolate Almonds. Now don’t get these confused, they are not coated in a milk or dark chocolate. The layer is almost like a thin paper skin so nothing that comes apart from the nut. Instead of using fatty milk chocolate, they use Chocolite – they simply dust their nuts in cocoa powder to create a lighter snack. This dusting gives it just enough flavor to not overpower the nut itself. Plus, it is a way healthier alternative to those chocolate coated nuts you find elsewhere.
Nut fans rejoice, there is a healthy nut that gives you more than just a salt covering. Check out their website to get your own!
Ten years ago Maninis was developed by a mathematician mother and a chemical engineer father. They were out to create products that were good tasting and nutritiously rice free and gluten free for their daughter who was diagnosed with celiac. What Maninis ended up doing was developing a reinvented bread and pasta mixes without rice. They are produced in dedicated facility free of wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish and shellfish. Their mixes are based on ancient grains and are bought by both commercial and home bakers.
I was sent some mixes to review – Miracolo Pane Classic Peasant Bread Mix made with resistant starch, Avena Pane Country Oat Bread Mix, Papa’s Pane Rustic Multigrain Bread Mix, Multiuso Multipurpose Flour Mix and Trovato Pasta Mix. These all came in 5 lb bags so giving you plenty of bang for your buck. I was a big fan of the Multipurpose Flour Mix because of its versatility I normally just use coconut flour to make pancakes or mug cakes but that tends to give it this hint of coconut every time. With this, it was exactly like using flour and made some killer tiny rolls. I can’t wait to keep experimenting with it. The Classic Peasant Bread Mix was the one that intrigued me because I think of crusty delicious bread, something I can never really find gluten free. While I don’t have a loaf pan I did make some miniature loaves that tasted so good. Like bread worthy drooling good. I will be making my way through these flours for a while!
Baking gluten free is never super easy but with these flours I found myself wanting to experiment more. Check out their website to get your own!
After the owner of this company suffered a major heart attack followed by bypass surgery, he has to make some major life changes. One of the biggest was limitation of sweets which for a sweet lover like him was difficult. Enter his secret recipe that made layer on layer of puff pastry, sprinkled with sugar (made from beets) and cinnamon. Indulging without compromising his health. These are not gluten free but boy did I have some eager taste testers at the events we had this week. French Twists are only 30 calories each, low fat, low sodium, no cholesterol, no eggs, no butter, no yeast, and no dairy.
I was sent a tub of the Original, Wild Raspberry Maple, Chocolate Chip and California Almond. First off, these are good size pastries for only 30 calories. You can see the flavor of each (some serious caramelization going on) and the layers of puff pastry that just breaks apart. As I said, I brought them to some work events I had each night this week. Well, they did not last more than one night. People could not get enough! They loved the softness yet nice crunch that each had from the sugar. They were not too sweet or overpowering, just enough sweetness to tame the sweet tooth. The favorite by far was the California Almond, many said it had the flavor of an almond biscotti. Even the Maple came as a surprise to some, imagine a pastry covered in maple syrup – not drenched but coated. Delicious to say the least.
You guys, give these a try. People did not want these to be gone! Check out their website to learn more!
I know you don’t need an excuse to eat chocolate but if I gave you one wouldn’t that make you even happier? Like the name says, this company grew out of a desire to protect those species disappearing from the Earth. In 1993 they began their mission to source natural, ethically traded chocolate as a spear for their message. Every time you purchase a bar, you support species and habitats worldide. 10% of net profits each year are given to environmental non-profits focused on conservation and preservation of our wildlife. This non profit supporter over here is a big fan. Big fan. Their product line includes Natural Bars and Squares, Organic Bars and Squares along with chocolate covered fruits and nuts.
Now dark chocolate is that chocolate I can not get enough of. The darker the better. So I was pretty excited when I saw some dark chocolate headed my way. I was able to try the Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Almonds (72% cocoa) and Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds (72% cocoa). These 3 oz bars were the highlight of my days. The texture of the almonds adding a bit of a crunch to a smooth dark chocolate with a hint of salt was so noteworthy. I froze the bars and then could eat squares as a night snack. The cranberry one was addicting as well because you had these chewy pieces of bright red cranberry goodness that made a sweet chew. You can see I only was able to try a small number of their glorious chocolate varieties, but don’t worry, I think I see more buying of these in my future. The super dark chocolate 88% cocoa is calling my name!
Seriously people, I don’t think I have to tell you, I hope your drool can, but try these. Check out their website to see their chocolate line!
Viva the power of seeds! No joke, that is part of their mission – providing nourishing, tasty snacks that fuel our active lives. They use seeds for this use because they believe they are the new nut with a perfect balance of protein, fiber and balanced nutrition. They chose sunflower seeds as their ‘nutritional superhero’ as they say. Sunflower seeds are packed with antioxidants, protein, fiber, Vitamin E, minerals and healthy fats. They contain 50% more protein than most popular nuts, six times more vitamin E than peanuts, seven times more folate than almonds, cashews and pecans, and more fiber than an apple. Nut free, 3 g of protein and 6 g of fiber – a snack worth snacking about. Sadly friends these are not gluten free. Holy smokes I didn’t know any of that!
The actual size of the Somersaults snacks are about the size of a nickel. They come in five flavors – Salty Pepper, Cinnamon Crunch, Pacific Sea Salt, Dutch Cocoa and Santa fe Salsa. I loved that you could get them in individual 70 calorie packs, just the perfect serving to get a taste of each flavor. The two favorites for tasters had to be the Salty Pepper and Santa fe Salsa. The Salty Pepper reminded them of salt and pepper chips, yet with a much healthier spin. A spice that just popped in those bite size crunchers. If you are a chocolate fan, the Dutch Cocoa had just enough sweetness without overpowering the nutty taste that people kept going back for. I have some new customers over here!
Check out their website, these are the perfect healthy snack to keep in those work snack drawers I keep hearing about!
Again, another great background – Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her child had severe food allergies making her need to adjust to this new dietary restriction. That is where she hit the kitchen. Lucy’s cookies are not only gluten free but they are also made without milk, eggs, peanuts or tree nuts to support other dietary needs. These cookies are known for their crispy crunch yet a light airy texture. They are made in a dedicated bakery so they can use their testing methods on the cookies for specific allergens. Dr. Lucy doesn’t just have cookies though, they also have Brownie Cakes, Snack n go Chocolate chip cookies, Snack n go Combo pack, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cinnamon thin Cookies, Chocolate Cookies, Ginger Snaps, Maple Bliss Cookies, Oatmeal Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Holiday Sugars, Chocolate Mint Cookies, and Costco Chocolate Chip.
Man were these addicting! They did have that crispy texture I like without being too heavy. I have to say, the Sugar Cookie is by far my favorite. I am all about those plain flavors when it comes to cookies but rarely do you find an impressive packaged sugar cookie. Well these take the cake, tasting homemade all the way. I brought some in to some coworkers as well, not telling them they were gluten free. They even kept going back for more. Their jaws dropped when I told them that they were gluten free, especially the chocolate chip ones.
These little goodies will make any gluten free person happy! Check out their website to learn more.
Have a great Saturday!