August 15, 2012

Healthy Snacking: Real Foods Organic Corn Thins

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I recently returned from a backpacking trip with my daughter. Her favorite snack on the trip was Real Foods Organic Corn Thins.

Original Corn Thins contain the great taste of golden sun-ripened corn, and are made simply by popping grains of maize under high temperature. Prepared with a great recipe for maximum crunch and flavour, they taste sensational on their own or with any number of delicious toppings. With more dietary fibre per gram than wholemeal bread, Original Corn Thins really are good for you.

97% fat free
Made with all natural ingredients
Free from artificial colours and preservatives
Gluten free
GMO free
Contain 10% dietary fibre


We love to eat Corn Thins plain, but they are also really good with toppings, such as avocado. They are a great alternative to rice cakes and are much tastier.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 10, 2012

Navitas Naturals Power Foods for the Modern Lifestyle

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I am a big fan of Navitas Naturals! They combine organic superfoods in convenient snacks. The Superfood Blueberry Hemp Power Snacks by Navitas Naturals are delicious, but be careful, you can eat a lot of them in one sitting, especially while driving! 

 We have just tried the Navitas Naturals Trail Mix, 3 Berry-Cacao Nib-Cashew:

Navitas Naturals organic three berry, cacao nibs, and raw cashews trail mix powder is a special trail mix, which contains high-energy cacao, healthy raw cashews, antioxidant-rich goji berries, sweet well-rounded mulberries, and vitamin-packed golden berries. Ancient nomads were the first to discover the benefits of trail mix--potent wild foods that are portable, full of energy, and do not require cooking. Today, Navitas Naturals extends this tradition by using only the most powerful superfoods available to create the ultimate organic raw trail mix. Excellent by the handful, or tossed into recipes for an easy gourmet boost, Navitas Naturals trail powder is a delicious way to fuel your lifestyle. All ingredients in this simple and healthy mix are raw, kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and 100% organic.

Navitas Naturals has never let me down!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 31, 2012

Naturally Decaffeinated Organic Liquid Green Tea: Make Hot or Cold

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I had never heard of liquid tea before receiving our samples from Sereni Green Tea, Organic. What I like about this tea is how easy it is to make a glass of iced tea on a hot day without having to first brew it with hot water.

SereniTea is organically grown free from pesticides in the pristine Wuyi Rock Mountains of China, the Natural Reserve area where the flavor of tea is dramatically affected by climate, soil conditions and the care used in its processing.The Wuyi Mountains is in Fujian province of China. Mt. Wu-Yi is one of the most popular mountains in the Wuyi mountain region which in total covers an area of approximately 70 square kilometers. This pristine area has the perfect climate for tea cultivation and is known to produce some of the most pristine organic tea due to height of the farms in the region.

In addition to the unsweetened green tea, we were sent a sample of Organic Green Tea - Sweetened Lemon Decaf. Unfortunately, it uses sucralose as a sweetener in order to maintain zero calories. Sucralose is an artificial, chemical sweetener.

It really angers me when companies place artificial ingredients in their organic products. Most consumers see the USDA organic label and assume the products are all natural.

Another concern is the use of spring water from China. I am sure it is filtered, but I don't like to drink water from around the globe. Of course, how else would you make a liquid tea but with water.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 24, 2012

Kid-Friendly, Natural Snacks: FruitaBu Apple Rolls

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When my children were toddlers, they loved Stretch Island Fruit Leather. This obsession has worn off as they age.

Stretch Island also makes Stretch Island Fruitabu Rolls. We were sent the apple flavor to try:

Kids enjoy the wonder of real fruit in tasty FruitaBü® Smoooshed® Fruit Rolls. Portable and convenient, our Smoooshed Fruit Rolls contain:
  • 1 serving* of all-natural fruit
  • No artificial additives
  • Real-fruit purée
  • No added sugar - all sugar comes naturally from fruit
My kids do not enjoy the rolls as much as the leathers, as they are messier and harder to eat. I also wish they were organic.
 

I do like how Stretch Island supports Fruit Tree 101:

Established in 2007 by Stretch Island Fruit Co. and The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Fruit Tree 101 plants orchards at schools to address proper nutrition and sustainability with students across the country. When an orchard is donated to a school, students and teachers work together to plant trees while learning how fruit is important to a healthy diet and planet.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 21, 2012

Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook: Food to Live By

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Earthbound Farm is a large organic producer available around the country and in many big box stores. Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook is filled with beautiful recipes and photographs from the one of the founders Myra Goodman.

Organic food is synonymous with premium quality, the deepest, richest taste, conscientious farming, and optimum health. It's what we need to feed our kids, what we deserve to feed ourselves. And no one is doing more to popularize organic food that Myra Goodman, a mother, a creative cook, and most significantly, co-owner of Earthbound Farm, the world's largest grower and purveyor of organic produce.

In Food to Live By, a dazzling full-color cookbook, Myra Goodman offers an utterly appealing, new casual style of cooking based on using the best ingredients, organic or otherwise. The dishes are irresistible: Sweet Corn Chowder. Spinach, Feta and Mushroom Quiche. Foggy Day Chili. Merlot-Braised Short Ribs with Cipollini Onions. Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Ginger Lime Salmon. Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Orange Sauce. Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes. Coconut Lemongrass Sorbet. Cherry Panna Cotta. Farm Stand Carrot Cake. Plus, throughout are Farm-Fresh Ingredient boxes--on sorrel, corn, asparagus, artichokes-- cooking and shopping tips, and health notes.

I can't wait to try the summer berry crisp and the roasted beet salad!

This is an omnivore's cookbook.

I try to buy local produce and avoid bagged items like Earthbound Farm, but I do enjoy this cookbook. 

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 19, 2012

Natural Snacking: TLC Soft-Baked Apple Spice Bars and Non-GMO Verification

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Back in the spring, I recall GMO controversy surrounding Kashi products. I was upset, as my son loves Organic Autumn Wheat cereal. Fortunately, this is one of their products that is certified GMO-free.

Kashi explains the problems with GMOs and how difficult it is becoming to ensure products do not contain these ingredients due to their prevalence in agriculture.

What's Kashi position on GMO?
At Kashi, we've been helping to create positive change in the food system since 1984 when the company was founded. Currently, more than 80% of many crops are grown using genetic engineering in America and only 0.7% of U.S. cropland is organically grown so we believe the food system still needs to evolve. That's why in 2002 we began significantly ramping up our use of organic ingredients, which has increased seven-fold since that time. Now we're partnering with the Non-GMO Project to achieve Non-GMO Project Verification, which is another important milestone on our journey.

Do you use GMO ingredients?
The foundation of our foods is our unique combination of seven whole grains which are not grown using GMOs. However, the majority of food crops grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered. In addition, factors such as pollen drift from nearby crops and current practices in agricultural storage, handling, and shipping, has led to an environment in North America where GMOs are not sufficiently segregated. As a result, some of our foods include ingredients made from genetically engineered crops.

Seven Kashi products are verified as Non-GMO. The product we were sent to try is not one of them. Kashi TLC Cereal Bar Baked Apple:

Ingredients
Our Tasty Ingredients: Apple Filling (Pear Juice Concentrate, Evaporated Cane Juice, Tapioca Syrup, Apple Powder, Water, Unmodified Corn Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Spices, Natural Flavor), Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame® Flour (Whole: Oats, Hard Red Winter Wheat, Long Grain Brown Rice, Rye, Triticale, Barley, Buckwheat, Sesame Seeds), Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Organic Whole Oats, Honey, Tapioca Syrup, Gum Arabic, Oat Fiber, Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Natural Falvor. Contains Wheat and Soy Ingredients

I like that Kashi products are regularly available in large conventional grocery stores. It is one of the few choices for whole foods you can find. I wish more organic ingredients were used, and the company would move quickly towards GMO-free verification.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 18, 2012

Organic Energy Gel: Honey Stinger

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I admit, I have never tried an energy gel. I don't run marathons or cycle long distance. I do backpack.

Honey Stinger Gold Energy Gel uses the power of honey to give you long lasting energy when you need a pick me up.

  • Honey has been used for centuries as a source of pure energy and modern research is providing us with more information to show the benefits of how well it works. Try it for yourself!
  • Honey Stinger is more versatile than other energy gels. Consume it straight from the packet for a long-lasting boost of energy or spread it on toast or stir it into tea.
  • Consume it straight from the packet for a long-lasting boost of energy or spread it on toast or stir it into tea. All flavors also mix well with water to make a natural energy drink.
We were sent the following flavors to try:

  • acai pomegranate

  • vanilla

  • fruit smoothie

Each packet has 100 calories.

When I was in labor (19 hours!) with my daughter, my midwives would sneak a spoonful of honey into my mouth. This little bit of sweetness gave me energy to continue during this hard labor. I can see how these organic energy gels would help athletes.

We were also sent some Honey Stinger Organic Stinger Waffle: Lemon. The lemon is a refreshing twist on this classic cookie.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 6, 2012

Slow Cooker Plus Casseroles, Soups, & Stews

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Slow Cooker Plus Casseroles, Soups & Stews (105 Easy Family Favorites plus Slim Down Suppers) is a bookazine from the editors of Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and Country Living (1-year auto-renewal). These recipes are heavy on the meat, but many of them could be adapted to a vegetarian diet. 

 There is a vegetarian lasagna recipe that looks good, although I would admit the fake meat. I have never made lasagna in the slow cooker. I bet it would be really good. The winter vegetable pot pie recipe also looks really delicious, although not a slow cooker recipe. I like how it is just topped with biscuits instead of being baked in a pie shell. In fact, I think I will make this for dinner tonight!

It may not seem like soup or stew weather, but summer is a great time for warm foods when they are bountiful in our gardens and local farms.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 19, 2012

Clif Kid ZBar Baked Organic Whole Grains Energy Snack: Iced Oatmeal Cookie

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Kids need snacks. Kids like sweets. Combining whole grains with 12 vitamins and minerals kids need into an energy bar is a great way to meet nutritional demands and sweet cravings.

Clif Kid ZBar comes in many flavors. We were sent the Iced Oatmeal Cookie to try:

Ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Fig Paste, Organic Soy White Chocolate (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Flour, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Soy Butter (Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soybean Oil, Salt), Organic White Coating (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Oat Fiber, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Organic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Organic Cinnamon.

Lots of goodness in these 95% organic bars. Of course, there is no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, or artificial anything. You can feel good about giving your kids (or yourself) these snacks.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 12, 2012

Clean Start: 100 Recipes Using Farm Fresh Ingredients

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If you are looking for new, fresh recipes to try, Terry Walters cookbook Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes is an excellent source whether you are just beginning your journey towards better eating or if you are already there.

Terry Walters' first book, CLEAN FOOD, caused a sensation and fueled a nationwide movement about nourishment and clean food that's been embraced all the way to the White House. Cooks, foodies, and anyone in search of a healthy and sustainable approach to eating and living well embraced her philosophy: eat minimally processed foods for maximum nutrition. CLEAN FOOD taught us the benefits of eating locally grown, seasonal, and fresh. And now, CLEAN START makes it even easier for everyone-from the kitchen novice to the seasoned chef-to eat clean. CLEAN START features 100 exciting new recipes for the foods we all need more of, featuring Terry's signature quick, easy, and delicious preparations. CLEAN START inspires you to take the next step...no matter where you're starting.

I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but these are a few that I can't wait to make:

  • Polenta Pizza

  • Asparagus with Miso Lemon Dressing and Marcona Almonds

  • New Year's Soup

  • Blueberry Tart

All of the ingredients are whole foods! The photographs are mouth-watering and beautiful! Mmmm, I'm hungry.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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