Monthly Archives: July 2009

Larabar Banana Bread

banana_largeLarabar Banana Bread. Delicious flavor from the almonds, dates and unsweetened bananas. Very simple ingredients list which is why we LOVE Larabars. Very true to the name, lots of banana flavor and chopped up nutty almond bits. The bits of almonds gets annoying sometimes when they stick to the nooks and crannies of my teeth. I like to slice it up in slivers and enjoy like real banana bread. At times, there is a sour note in this Larabar. From the dates? One serving is 220 calories, 5WW, 11 grams of fat (1 gram saturated, 7 grams MUFA, 2.5 grams PUFA), zero cholesterol, zero sodium, 460 milligram potassium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Larabar just came out with 3 spanking new flavors: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Tropical Fruit Tart, and German Chocolate Cake Jocalat. These new flavors sounds promising. A lot of bloggers got to taste them already. So jealous.

Also, Larabar is going to start selling those Larabar Minis! I’m gonna be all over those since I always break my Larabars in half anyways. Super excited.

@Larabar Tweets:

Trop.FruitTart ingredients: dates, pineapple, coconut, almonds, cashews, orange juice & peel. Paradise in a bar. In stores soon!

you asked. we listened. MINI LARABARS are here! 12 minis/pack. cherry, apple & cashew mixed flavors. Supreme delish in 1.5 bites. you like?

I just took the “What flavor LARABAR are you?” quiz and got: Peanut Butter Cookie http://ignighter.com/t/6fa49a#boingquiz

Follow @Larabar to get the latest Larabar news!

Retails: $1.29 @ Whole Foods
My Cost: $1.29
Calories: 220 per bar
WW: 5

P.S: Check out this lucky 62 giveaway.

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Filed under Bars, Whole Foods, WW: 5

[Me] & Goji Custom Artisanal Cereal

06-01-09_1530I apologize for this MUCH delayed review. I got to mix my own personal [Me] & Goji mix months ago and it arrived at my doorsteps in record time. Ever since it arrived I banished it away in far corner of my pantry, putting boxes and cans in front of it to get it out of my line of sight. Goji, it is not you, it’s me. My name is Stephanie and I am a cereal addict. There, I said it. I’m so good with portioning everything else out, but the cereal box, or in this case, the cereal capsule just has this spell over me. I keep on digging in it, one handful after another. Cereal is my kryptonite. I have no self control when it comes to cereal and with artisanal cereal like [Me] & Goji, I knew I would be trouble once I break it open. Low and behold, I ate 1/5 (aka 3 servings) of the canister mindlessly once I opened it. With the jumbo canisters containing 15 servings, I did some major caloric damage, but it was worth it because, yes, it was THAT good. I wish it was as easy as buying all your favorite cereal and mix ins and mix it yourself, but honestly, the ingredients that [Me] & Goji uses are so fresh and delicious I have no idea where I would purchase something comparable.

The Skinny Plate’s Ultimate Goji Mix contains: Artisanal Cereal (multigrain oat bran, rye, spelt, barley, amaranth, wheat germ), Shredded Wheat (bite size shredded wheat), multigrain o’s, ground cinnamon, choco goji, coconut, mulberry, goji, pineapple, mango, pistachio, walnuts, and chia seeds. I felt like I put everything and the kitchen sink in my mix, but I was no where near covering all the bases [Me] & Goji offers as ingredients for your customizable granola and cereal. With 7 bases, 19 grains/extras, 14 dried fruits ,and 14 nuts and seeds as add ins, the possibilities are endless. Best of all, they have some awesome ingredients that I have not seen anywhere else. [Me] & Goji gets props for having a lot of unique add ins. It was so fun playing with the site. Their website is so interactive and user friendly that even kids will have no trouble making their own mix. Follow three simple steps to create your very own personalized your own cereal or granola. Step one: pick a base. Step Two: add fruit, nuts, seeds & more. Step 3: they hand-mix & ship it to your doorstep. The personal signature from the actual “mixer” of my mix is a very nice touch. [Me] & Goji features a large running nutritional information chart and running cost on a capsule on the left that updates automatically, big cereal bowl where you add your selection by dragging and dropping, a compost bin for you to remove any unwanted selection, and cute leaflets on top of each ingredient that give you a description and possible benefits of your ingredient once you click on it. If you are like me, you can spend hours reading up on each ingredients and being all wishy washy on my selections. In the end, don’t forget to give your mix a kick ass name. Love your mix? Reordering is a snap since each recipe has a personal id.

Wahhh… is it just me or is this post getting REALLY long. I can’t help it. [Me] & Goji is so good I can’t stop talking about it. Now I want to describe to you my favorite ingredients. I would seriously consider ordering a whole capsule of just the Artisanal cereal. So FREAKING good! The flakes are fresh, crunchy, barely even sweet, with a really great nutty flavor and 6.5 grams of fiber per serving right off the bat.  I love how the cereal base are really low in sugar because they know that some of the add ins such as dried fruits and chocolate covered items already have a lot of sugar so that balances everything out. Sweet on sweet is not good. The non-sugared up shredded wheat and multigrain o’s really let the whole grain flavors shine through. The goji berries don’t really taste like much, but these are big and plump and not dried out like the one I normally get. The pistachio and walnuts seems to be raw and not roasted. All natural, fresh and delicious. The coconut comes in the form of huge flakes are are so full of flavor. The pineapple crystals are plump and delicious and the mango are perfectly chopped up into little pieces. Does not seem to have added sugar. Mango flavor is just bursting out when you chew on it. Chia seeds are just chia seeds, lots of benefits, but don’t taste like much.   I’ve never had mulberries before, but I thought they were meh.

Like most customizable granola and cereals, [Me] & Goji tends to be on the pricey side if you get carried away with tons of add ins. As far as comparing to online customized granola and cereals, the prices here are very competitive and reasonable. Don’t forget that [Me] & Goji comes is gigantic capsule. If you compare just the basic cereal, which are PHENOMENAL, goji is very competitive as well. This picture is self explanatory:

goji

My mix is 262.3 calories per 3/4 cup serving, 5 WW, 9.8 grams of fat (0.7 gram saturated), zero cholesterol, 136.8 milligram of potassium, 39.7 grams of carbohydrates, 9.4 grams of dietary fiber, 8.8 grams of sugar and 8.2 grams of protein. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Interested? Here is the id: 110139. Summer special makes shipping very reasonable. The first capsule is $4.99 and each additional capsule is $0.99. Round up your families, besties and co-workers to save a bundle on shipping.

Am I the only one raving about [Me] & Goji? Of course not. Food & Wine Magazine just named [Me] & Goji “Best Natural Cereal.” Congrats. You guys really deserve this title.

Retails: Varies @ [Me] & Goji
My Cost: Free
Calories: 262.3 calories per 3/4 cup (or varies)
WW: 5 (or varies)

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Filed under Breakfast, Cereal, Snacks, WW: 5

Lesser Evil Krinkle Sticks Classic Sea Salt

LesserEvilKrinkleSticksLesser Evil Krinkle Sticks in Classic Sea Salt courtesy of the lovely Kristina over at Nikes and Ponytails. I won her Kernal Season giveaway and she spoiled me with a lot of extra goodies. I can’t wait to try them all out. Lesser Evil Brand Snack wants to “stop the bad snacking” so they make their snacks with all natural ingredients, reduce the fat, no trans fat, no artificial flavors, gluten free, baked (not fried), cholesterol free and no preservative.  The “Krinkles” are little bent potato sticks that are a little “airy” when you bit into them. A denser “cheese puff-like” snack in texture. I like that the potato flavor really shines through and not covered up with all the extra MSG and artificial flavorings.  If I did not know better, I thought I was eating some Pogos from Medora Snacks. I think they are very similar products. Their nutritional information are pretty similar too. An one ounce serving is 110 calories, 2 WW, 2.5 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 270 milligram of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. No greasy fingers, but you will get “dusty” fingers after eating these. Didn’t feel like these were very salty while eating them, but afterward, I guzzles a lot of water. My mini 1.2 ounce bag was enough to keep me happy for 1 snacking round. The Krinkle sticks are pretty light, so visually, I feel like I get a lot to snack on per serving. Available at Target, Whole Foods and Safeway.

Retails: $2.99 per 5 ounce bag @ Target
My Cost: Free (from NikesandPonytails giveaway)
Calories: 110 per ounce
WW: 2

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3 Comments

Filed under Chips, Snacks, WW: 2

PowerBar Harvest Toffee Chocolate Chip

PowerBarHarvestPowerBar Harvest Toffee Chocolate Chip taste like a delicious candy-like bar. The bottom is coated with chocolate and the whole bar is sprinkled with mini chocolate chip morsels. I would like it a lot more if the sugar level is toned down a couple of notches. Too sweet for me, so it may be too sweet for a lot of people out there. Brown rice syrup and evaporated cane juice syrup are the second and third ingredients. Delicious tasting chocolate chip bar, but the toffee flavor is lacking. Reminds me a lot of a Luna bar because of the “soy/rice crisp” texture it has, but I think it taste a lot better than Luna bars (again, not a Luna bar fan). The 2.29 oz bar does pack quite a caloric-punch, so I do like to split it in half like I do with most of the bars I eat. I find it more enjoyable that way (too much of the same food numbs my taste buds). I would treat this as a treat rather than a normal snack. Despite this being candy-like and too sweet, it does stop me from being hungry which is the whole point of eating, right? Stopped my hunger in it’s tracks and allowed me to fall asleep NOT feeling hungry with only 1/2 the bar. I was too lazy to go to the kitchen and this was all I had in the room. One serving is 250 calories, 5 WW, 5 grams of fat (2.5 gram saturated), 140 milligram of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein and a long list of added vitamins and minerals. Other varieties from the PowerBar Harvest line includes: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Double Chocolate Crisp, Strawberry Crunch and Apple Cinnamon Crisp.

Retails: $1.33 @ Amazon
My Cost: Free (my brother left it behind)
Calories: 250 per 2.29 bar
WW: 5

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Filed under Bars, WW: 5

Sonny & Joe Hummus

hummusstack4Sonny & Joe is the new kid on the block. Village-style, smooth and creamy hummus is their specialty. So far, these are only available at selected locations on the east coast, but they are quickly expanding. Hopefully they will come to a store near me soon because I can’t get enough of their Garlic Addiction and Hot Enough Hummus. Hummus, hummus and more hummus. Six tubs of hummus to be exact.

Just Hummus: This is your basic creamy hummus. Not as flavorful as I had hoped, but works well as a spread in my wraps and sandwiches. The hummus is very smooth and creamy. You really haven’t tried creamy hummus until you have tried Sonny & Joe. Really good on already flavored chips.

Garlic Addiction: This is a rich and creamy, garlic explosion hummus. I think this is on par with the Sabra Roasted Garlic hummus. Tons of roasted garlic on the top. Very delicious on my wraps. One of the better hummus I’ve had in a while. I get a lot of satisfaction eating this hummus. It is just so creamy. Easily my favorite. Good with veggies and chips.

Hummus Jalapeno: Big chunks of jalapeno pieces on top. Great hummus. Their basic hummus recipe is good so with the addition of the jalapeno flavor, I liked it a lot.

Hummus Gailee: Personally I am not an olive fan so I would never pick up this flavor if I was shopping for myself. The olive flavor is strong and present. I did not love it nor did I dislike it. Lots of olive bits and pieces on the top which I avoided. Olive lovers will like this. Thick and creamy as usual.

Hot Enough Hummus: Thick and creamy hummus. They sure did not skimp on the chickpeas and thani. Not for the weak because this has quite a bit of heat. It was like fire in my mouth. And if you want an extra boost of heat, don’t forget to dip your chips in the spicy middle part. This has got to be the spiciest hummus I have ever had. Not for the weak. I was expecting more flavor in the hummus. Aside from the heat, I thought the hummus was rather bland. Nothing a little lemon juice and garlic can’t fix. Great with flavored chips.

Babaganoush: I love saying that “babaganoush.” Something about that word just rolls off the tongue really smoothly. Yea, I am kind of a dork sometimes.  Not a mayo fan, but I don’t mind using this to make some egg white salad. The babaganoush is much thinner than the hummus. Strong mayo flavor. Small bits of “seed-like” eggplant is visible. I don’t know what babaganough is suppose to taste like, but I don’t taste any eggplant flavor here.

Sonny & Joe is a very good brand for hummus. You don’t know what rich and creamy hummus is until you have tried some of Sonny & Joe’s hummus. They have even converted one of my friend that was a hummus hater into a hummus addict. He went gaga for the Hot Enough Hummus. This hummus is just as good from the first spoonful to the very last drop. The consistency remains the same even when sitting in your fridge. I am very impressed with the quality of the hummus. Check out their very own blogging spot.

Retails: $3.99 @ Target
My Cost: Free
Calories: 70 per 2 tbsp (hummus)
90 per 2 tbsp (babaganough)
WW: 2-3

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Filed under Hummus, WW: 2, WW: 3

No Pudge Brownies

NoPudgeAfter seeing Marisa over at Trim the Fat enjoy her delicious No Pudge brownie for dessert, I whipped out my own box of No Pudge that has been sitting in my pantry for months. The blogging world introduce me to No Pudge, but I never got around to baking it. I followed the direction on the box and poured 2/3 cup of non fat plain yogurt along with 1 tsp of vanilla extract (you can use 2/3 cup of non fat vanilla too). At first, I thought there would  be no way that 2/3 cup of yogurt is enough moisture to make the mix turn into a batter. I followed through and kept on stirring and stirring. Eventually, the mixture DID mix and the batter became really thick and “fudgey”. I poured the mix into a pan that I sprayed with non-stick spray and  baked for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the No Pudge baked, I basically “cleaned” the bowl by scraping every bit of the chocolaty batter into my mouth.  The batter was FREAKING amazing. OMG. So chocolaty and good. At this point, I was super excited to try the baked goods. I couldn’t help it, fresh out of the oven, I ate 3 pieces. No Pudge really lives up to it’s standards for being just as delicious as full fat brownies. I could not tell that these  are fat free and a fraction of the calories as regular brownies.  The center pieces are moist and chocolaty. The sides are a little harder and chewy. Can’t wait to try these with ice cream. You can make single servings with No Pudge by adding 2 tablespoon of mix with 1 tablespoon of yogurt and microwave for 1 minute. Since I love the batter just much as the baked brownies, I can’t wait to try it out the single serving way with my next batch. I heard baking single serving in a ramekin renders good results too.  One should really follow the directions and tips on the box. I tried to wing it and cut the brownie sheet without cooling it in the fridge and without running water on the knife after each cut and I end up butchering my brownie pieces. T_T My brownie squares turned out uneven because brownie were sticky and stuck to my knife. In pieces, but still delicious. Fresh out of the oven, I found it easier to cut. After cooling at room temperature, I’d suggest you follow the directions on the box. No Pudge offers flavors such as Cappuccino, Raspberry, Mint and Original. Trader Joe’s only offers the original flavor and I am content with that. Love that Trader Joe’s sells them for way cheaper than other grocery stores. I’ve seen them go for $4-$5+ bucks elsewhere. One serving (1/12 package) is 120 calories, 2 WW, zero fat, zero cholesterol, 100 milligram of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Retails: $2.89 @ Trader Joes
My Cost: $2.89
Calories: 120 per serving (1/12 of box)
WW: 2

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Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, Trader Joe's, WW: 2

PROBARS

Probars 014PROBARS are “Whole Food Meal Replacement” which are 100% vegan and are made with organic ingredients. Each PROBARS contains at least 15 whole foods to help you sustain your energy through the day weather you are an athlete or eating small chunks as a snack in-between meals. PROBARS have either peanut butter or almond butter as well as natural sweeteners to “glue” the bar together. No preservative or chemicals. Depending on the flavor, the 15 whole foods are somethings like raw sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins, sesame seeds, cashews, almonds, dates, rolled oats, fennel seeds, etc. Sounds like all the good ingredients us foodies love and adore.  The ingredients lists are long, but not in a bad way, just packed with real and all recognizable ingredients. Each bar is wide and pretty much a square shape. The 85 grams in each bar is a lot bigger than other bars on the market. Just for a quick comparison, Clif bars are 68 grams, Luna Bars are 44 grams, Larabars are 45 grams, and Pure bars are 48 grams. The bar does not crumble like a granola bar, but are easily breakable. Has a crunchy and chewy texture.    I would describe these as a hybrid of a Larabar and a KIND bar.

Cocoa Pistachio: A sweet and savory combination of delicious roasted pistachios, unsweetened dark chocolate, peanut butter, raw coconuts, sesame seeds, just to name a few ingredients.  You can’t go wrong with pistachios and chocolate, right? Lots of whole nuts and seeds. I took great caution to give them a good chewing. The unsweetened dark chocolate were a little melted, but still good. The bar contains 400 calories, 9 WW, 25 grams of fat (7 grams saturated), zero cholesterol, 350 milligram of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.

Maple Pecan: I really like the maple flavor mixed with the nuts and grains. I ate this for breakfast which kept me going for hours without snacking. Very tasty! One bar is contains 400 calories, 9 WW, 22 grams of fat (5 grams saturated), zero cholesterol, 200 milligram of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Nutty Banana Boom: Another flavor I like to eat in the morning. Taste like someone baked a batch of banana bread with an overdose of nuts and seeds. Naturally, a more nutty and seedy version of banana bread. Delicious. The bars contain 380 calories, 9 WW, 20 grams of fat (6 grams saturated), zero cholesterol, 70 milligram of sodium, 150 milligram of potassium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Apple Cinnamon Crunch: Another one of my favorite flavors. The apple pieces are delectable and the cinnamon flavor pairs nicely with the apple taste. A nuttier version of a slice of apple pie. The bar is 370 calories, 9 WW, 19 grams of fat (5 grams saturated), zero cholesterol, 90 grams of sodium, 130 grams potassium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Sesame Goji: Abundant in sesame seeds and goji berries.  Love the nutty taste of the sesame seeds. The goji berries did not really taste like anything, but I still love my goji berries. The bar contains 400 calories, 9 WW, 24 grams of fat (5 grams saturated), zero cholesterol, 360 milligram of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.

Koka-Moka: Great chocolaty bar with mocha flavor. Great pick-me-up in the middle of the day. The bar contains 360 calories, 8 WW, 18 grams of fat (5 grams saturated), zero cholesterol, 30 grams of sodium, 210 milligram of potassium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar and 9 grams of protein.

Really high in the calorie department so I tend to eat half of it at a time. Even as a snack, I think 200 calories on a bar is too high for me. I normally break my Larabars and Clif bars in half. Eating only 1/4 of the bar seems pretty dinky tho.  PROBARS are made with tons of good stuff of foodie approved ingredients, but too much of a good thing can be bad for you so watch our for those calories if you are not particularly active.  All the ingredients in PROBARS are recognizable and good for you, but the portion size is gigantic for everyday eating. Good thing I hear that PROBAR is coming out with a lower in calories food bar called fruition in August 2009. PROBARS are perfect for those active people who hike and camp all day without access to “real” food. Then again, these are marketed as “The Whole Foods Meal” so the high calories is justifiable. In the spirit of trying out PROBARS for what it is, a meal replacement, I substituted a couple of meals with PROBAR and I am happy to report that they did keep my satisfied like a meal would have. I did not feel full, but I did not feel hungry either.

Retails: $3.29 @ PROBARS
My Cost: Free
Calories: 350 to 450
WW: 8-10 WW

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Filed under Bars, Breakfast, Organic, Vegan, Whole Foods