Category Archives: Dried Fruit

Peeled Snacks Fruit Picks

IMG_0413Peeled Snacks is a company that specialized in nuts and fruit snacks. I got a chance to try out an array of their fruit picks. No added sugar which is an important factor when I look for my fruit snacks. Fruits already have a lot of natural sugars in them. The packaging is bright and vibrant with cute as a button names. No added sugar, fat, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors; wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. They have the mixed fruit and nuts pouches and also the “unmixed” versions: fruit picks and nut picks. The fruit snacks still retains a bit of moisture so these dried fruits are definitely not dried out. You might get the case of the “sticky fingers” after eating these.

Go-Mango-Man-Go (organic): Really delicious mango stripes. Not overly sweet. I like how the piece were kind of small so I felt like I had more to eat. I snacked away because the entire bag is only 120 calories, 2 WW, zero fat, no sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar and 2 gram of protein. Something I love to see, ingredients, just organic mango. The texture is a bit dry and, but it still retained the fresh mango flavor.

Banana-a-peel (organic): As I kid I use to LOVE those banana chips. As I grew older and wiser I kicked banana chips to the curb and opted for real bananas. Bananas are really convenient and can be taken anywhere just like the dried banana in a package. I consider this flavor to be VERY luxurious to shell out that much money for. Bananas are only $0.19 cents each at Trader Joe’s. Aside from the price, these are pretty good. I can see myself making Banana Bread Larabars with these. No need to “dehydrate” bananas on my own. Soft and sweet, but I prefer real bananas over pouched ones. One bag (40g) is 150 calories, 3 WW, 0.5 grams of fat, no sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 25 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.

Apricot-a-lot (organic): The color is dark and not your usual bright orange dried apricots. Brown blotches of orange, not pretty, but still yummy. Taste fresh and the size is like an inflated half dollar coin.  One bag (41 grams) 110 calories, 2 WW, no fat, no sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Apple-2-core (organic): The texture is mushy and squishy so I am not a fan. Good apple flavor. For apples, I think I like apple chips and real apples. I’ll turn these into homemade “apple pie” larabars. One bag (35g) is 110 serving, 2 WW, no fat, no sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and <1 gram of protein.

Cherry-Go-Round: Very plump and juicy. Reminds me of plump raisins, but in cherry flavor. One bag is 130 calories, 2 WW, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. This is the only fruit variety to got that is not organic.

Pine-4-Pineapple (organic): My favorite flavor because I rarely see just dried pineapples. Usually I see candied pineapples in the bulk bins. Very tropical feeling. Sweet, chewy and soft. One bag (42grams) is 140 calories, 3 WW, no fat, nosodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 32 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.

In general, I treat dried fruits like candy. After all, fruits are nature’s candy right? Especially in dried form, when all the water is gone I don’t feel comfortable eating lots of it at one sitting. Eating the real thing on-the-other-hand is a different story.  I like how peeled snacks are individually packaged so the fruits stays moist and yummy and portion control is a no brainier when each package is only 1 serving. I can keep these anywhere and eat them anytime. I think these are particularity good for packing lunches for the young ones. Fruits and Nuts make the perfect snack option. Check out these amazing combination: Figslated, Bing Bing Chery, Shock-olate, and Plu-What? Now those combination have 2 serving in each pouch and will keep you satisfied with both fruits and nuts. The down side of Peeled snacks is the price. The individual portion size is convenient, but you will be paying a premium price for them. Their spectacular flavors and impressive one item ingredient list is what keeps satisfied customers coming back for more.

Take their survey online to get a $10 gift card. Use it towards some of their summer deals going on and you have yourself an amazing deal. Amazon is also having steep discounts on Peeled Snacks too. Discount code: PEELED22. Combine with the subscribe & save deal, you are looking at a 40% discount. Offer ends August 30, 2009. And I think shipping is only $0.99 standard shipping on all grocery items on Amazon right now. As always, anything over $25 get you free standard shipping on Amazon.

Retails: Sampler about $2.25 each pouch @ Peeled Snack
My Cost: Free
Calories: 110 to 150 per serving (fruit picks)
WW: 2-3


Filed under Dried Fruit, Organic, Snacks, WW: 2, WW: 3

Oh Nuts! Turkish Pistachios, Medjool Dates, & Chocolate Drizzled Pecans

06-19-09_1335Oh Nuts offers a huge variety of nuts, candy, chocolates , dried fruits and with over 2,000 varieties to choose from Oh Nuts is an online foodie heaven. Order in bulk and you get wholesale prices too. Perfect for those of you who like to make your own peanut and almond butters. I got to pick 3 items I wanted to try out the most. My head was spinning from all the choices to choose from, but I knew I wanted to try some delicious Medjool Dates since I’ve seen them on the blogging world so much and I’ve never had the pleasure of trying them myself. After a LONG deliberation with myself, I finally ended up choosing: California Medjool Dates, Turkish Antep Pistachios, and Chocolate & Caramel Drizzled Pecan Clusters.

Turkish Antep Pistachios: Don’t worry, I checked the recall list and Oh Nuts’ pistachio is not part of the recall. Pistachio and pistachio flavored anything are usually a hit for me. If you have never tried pistachio gelato, you HAVE to try it. One of my favorite frozen treats. Yum. I never knew there were so many different kinds of pistachios until I visited Oh Nuts. Turkish Antep Pistachios? Salted Israeli Pistachios? Shows how much I know about my nuts. I am clueless over here. Some people value flavor above all else. Those people will love our top-quality, Turkish pistachios. Smaller and less open than California-grown pistachios, Turkish pistachios feature a richer, more distinctive taste. Consider these the Rolls Royce of Pistachios. Rolls Royce of pistachios? Well, I have to try it or else I can’t call myself a pistachio lover, right? Indeed, these Turkish antep pistachio are less open and smaller than normal California pistachios. It made it harder to get into. The appearance of it is slightly darker as well. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover because although they do not look as appealing they are delicious. Slightly salted, but not overly so which made the true flavor of the pistachio shine through. The flavor is very rich and buttery. Oh, and I make sure I take the skin off the pistachio because when it mixes in your mouth, it takes away from the real flavor of the nut. Although the flavor is good, I still prefer the larger California pistachios because I get more satisfaction eating the bigger nuts AND I don’t have to break my nails trying to get into them. Ouch! One ounce (28g) is 170 calories, 5 WW, 13 grams of fat (1 gram saturated), zero cholesterol, 190 milligram of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Simple ingredient list of just pistachio and salt is a plus. No nasty oils or preservative. This is the kind of filling snackage I’m talking about. Not bad for $6.99 a pound.

California Medjool Dates: The only experience I’ve had with medjool dates is in the bone based soup my mommy makes. This may sound weird to some of you, but my family has been using medjool dates in soups for ages. Then all of a sudden, medjool dates got popular and the prices started to soar. The soup kind (dried and not sticky) and the snacking kind ( moist and sticky) are different so it wasn’t like I could start popping medjool dates from my mom’s cabinet into my mouth. Naturally, I was super excited to try out the REAL snacking medjool dates. These babies are huge. No wonder 2 of them is already 140 calories. I actually measure it and it was about 5 inches long, 1 inch wide and 1/2 inch tall. One big satisfying, uber sweet date. With peanut butter in the middle, it was better than going out on a real date. Grown in sunny California, the brown and saccharine date is probably man’s oldest cultivated fruit. There are many grades of Medjool dates: Jumbo Medjool Dates are the largest, sweetest, juiciest and are the cream of the crop. Only 5% of the entire crop makes this grade. Large Medjool Dates grade are the same quality, delightfully sweet and moist as the jumbos, only smaller size. Extra Fancy grade dates contains mixed sizes of fruit. These dates may have minor skin imperfections and will have some loose or broken skin. They are still very good but didn’t make the Jumbo or Large grade. Any of these dates can be used for cooking, baking and snacking. 20-21 PIECES IN 1LB. Can’t imagine how much bigger a jumbo medjool date can get, these are already very big in my opinion. Dates checked, nuts, checked, homemade Larabar here I come!! At $6.99 a pound, these are not a bad deal. I’ve seen them go for more expensive. Two dates is 140 calories, 2 WW, no fat, no cholesterol, 10 milligram of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 29 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Ingredient list: just medjool dates.

Pecan Clusters (Dark Chocolate & Caramel Drizzled): With so many temptations on Oh Nuts, I had to splurge on something. Fresh Roasted Pecans clustered in a Delicious gooey caramel glaze drizzled with the highest quality dark chocolate. These dark chocolate drizzled pecans looked so heavenly on the website. The package came, in a clear plastic tub, Oh Nuts marked, and wrapped in plastic. I was disappointed that there is no nutritional information on the package or on the website, but I ate it anyways. Gooey caramel and dark chocolate drizzles are what hold the pecan clusters together.  High quality pecans with high quality dark chocolate and I did not find that these are overly sweet.  At $13.99 a pound, this is a very nice treat. Can’t say that these are healthy, but they sure are good.

Retails: $6.99 & 13.99 per lbs @ Oh Nuts!
My Cost: Free
Calories: 120 & 170
WW: 2-3


Filed under Candy, Dried Fruit, Nuts

Kopali Organics: Mango, Mix & Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

KOmango [640x480]Kopali Organics has a wonderful array of organic and delicious products. I got to try out their organic mango, organic mix and their organic dark chocolate covered espresso beans. I have to say that I am really impressed with Kopali Organics.

The Organic Mango is 100% real fruit with organic mango listed as the one and only ingredient. No added sugar and no preservatives, but these are naturally sweet. The one portion size package is great for a grab-and-go snack without having to worry about overeating. The entire bag is 140 calories, 2 WW, no fat, zero cholesterol, zero sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 34 grams of sugar (natural fruit sugar), and no protein, but also packed with 35% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 10% calcium, and 8% iron (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). They are better than any dried mangoes I’ve ever had because they tasted so natural.  These are so wonderful that I am tempted to just slice up some mangoes and stick them in the oven right now!! (T_T very unsuccessful)

Organic Mix includes superfoods like goji berries, mulberries, wonderful nuts like pistachios and tasty treats like cocoa nibs. Blended into a trail mix-esque package, they pack quick a punch in the nutritional forefront. Only those four ingredients are required to create this delicious mix. One serving is 120 calories, 2 WW, 6 grams of fat (2 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 37 milligram of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein with 25% vitamin A, 35% Vitamin C, 4% calcium, and 10% iron (based on a 2,000 calories diet). Love the mix and it taste wonderful in my yogurt mix.

Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso beans are a great pick-me up in the middle of the day when you have no access (or too lazy to make) to a cup of coffee. Coffee beans are normally grown with tons of pesticides, so I like to go organic with coffee whenever possible. I like how big the coffee bean are. Good quality dark chocolate with good quality coffee beans makes a heck of a good chocolate covered espresso bean. One ounce  is 120 calories, 2 WW, 7 grams of fat (4 grams saturated), no cholesterol, no sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Koplai organics is a great company. All of their products are organic, sustainably harvested and fairly traded with a lot of them being gluten free and vegan friendly. Their resealable portion sized package is great for the ladies to keep in their purse or stash in your gym bag. Their ingredients are all natural as well as short and simple. Like their motto, their products are “Good for you, good for the farmers, and good for the earth.” Check out their website for more exotic products. With 4 organic dried fruits, 5 chocolate covered superfoods, and 1 superfood mix to choose from, there is bound to be one that suits even the choosiest eater.

Retails: Varies @ Wholefoods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 120 to 140 per serving
WW: 2-3


Filed under Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Mango, Nuts, Organic, Whole Foods, WW: 2, WW: 3

The Healthy Baking Company Heart Thrive

05-01-09_1706The Healthy Baking Company offers two great vegan friendly products — Suncakes and Heart Thrive. Heart Thrive are vegan energy bars that come in adorable heart shapes which are calcium fortified whereas Suncakes are a big hockey puck-like disk that contains 2 servings. I got the pleasure of trying some of their Heart Thrive energy bars out and they tasted great. Two hearts per package and one heart per serving. You can eat one and call it a snack or both of them as a “meal-on-the-go.” The texture is quite similar to Clif bars, only a little more moist and dense. The simple ingredient list is very impressive as well. The principle ingredients of all the heart thrives are: oats, dried fruit, brown rice syrup,natural fruit juices, brown rice flour, soy protein concentrate, soy flour, rice bran and calcium citrate. They are low sodium, low glycemic, wheat-free, dairy-free, no GMO, low fat and only 3 WW. Now, onto the flavors. The Healthy Baking Company offers their products in these wonderful flavors: Dates, Poppyseed, Raisin, Cranberry, Apple, Apricot and Chocolate Chip. My favorite Heart Thrive flavor has to be the dates one. It has a strong date flavor which is mixed with dried plums, dried apples, dried pears as well. I could tell that it was not purely dates in here, but date lovers will like this bar. Moist and chewy with embedded oats. Very filling. I was going to have this as an element for breakfast, after 3/4 done, I was already satisfied and didn’t even touch my other parts of breakfast. One serving (56g) is 158 calories, 3WW, 1.5 grams of fat (0.18 g saturated), no trans fat, no cholesterol, 13 milligram of sodium, 33 gram of carbohydrates, 5 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, and 189 milligram of calcium. The other flavors taste great and are similar in the nutritional front (plus or minus a little). Each package of Heart Thrive supplies nearly 30% of your daily protein, dietary fiber and calcium. How wonderful is that. They store really well in the freezer so you can order them in bulk (cheaper) and keep them in the freezer for a convenient “grab-and-go” breakfast item. Delicious, healthy and convenient. How much better can it get? Even if you are not vegan, I’d give Heart Thrives a try. For the best deal, order them from their website here.

P.S: Enter my name when you order so they know where you got your information. Let me know if you do order some, I’d like to know your experience.  The Heart Thrives are the best!

Retails: $1.66 each @ The Healthy Baking Company
My Cost: Free
Calories: 154 to 167 each serving
WW: 3


Filed under Bars, Breakfast, Dried Fruit, Oats, WW: 3

You Trail Mix

04-30-09_1554This “customizing” your own food trend is really picking up some steam. It’s everywhere, from cereals, to granola, to protein shakes and nutrition bars. The newest addition to the YouBar and YouShake lines of customized goodies is You Trail Mix!! Now you can customize your own trail mix online and have them sent to you, or send it to someone else for a special occasion. I got the honor to try some popular You Trail Mixes: “Mix Up Your Day” has oat bran sesame sticks, coconut chunks, goji berries, dried pineapples, cashews and a few almonds. This combination has a good mixture of dried fruits, and nuts along with my favorite coconut shreds. A winning combination. The “Chocolate Trails” is made up of some pecans, cashews, peanuts, chocolate covers raisins, cherries, and semisweet chocolate bits. I feel like this is a classic combination which is easily reproducible at home, but it was still delicious. The “Best Trail Mix” is made up of almonds, cashews, walnuts, blueberries, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and some chocolate bits. For myself, I would prefer to mix up my own trail mixes in carefully measured portions. The calories do add up since the basis of the trail mix (nuts, chocolate, dried fruits) are not especially low in calories. Although I would not purchase these for myself, I have no problem sending these over as gifts to people. Very cute and thoughtful.

Retails: $1.89 to $2.19 per bag online
My Cost: Free
Calories: 220 to 234 calories (45 g bags)
WW: 4-5

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Filed under Dried Fruit, Nuts, Organic, Peanuts, Pretzel, Snacks, WW: 4, WW: 5

Sensibe Foods Crunch Dried Snacks

sensible3I like dried fruits a lot, but my biggest complaint is that most dried fruit has tons of added sugar which makes it no difference than just eating candy. These Sensible Foods dried snacks are perfect for the dried fruit lovers. Fat free (except for the soybeans and sweet corn), gluten free, GMO free, all natural, no preservatives and certified kosher. Some varieties are even 100% organic and all of them are naturally sweet with no added sugar. The bags are portioned sized perfectly. Ingredients? One ingredient only. How wonderful is that? These are quite a splurge, but I love these healthy organic snacks.The fruit ones equates to 1/2 cup serving of your daily fruits. I would never substitute these for real fruits and veggies, but for a nice on-the-go snack with a crunch factor, these are perfect. At home, I enjoy these as toppers to my favorite cereals, yogurts, ice cream and oatmeal. I think kids would love them too. Makes eating fruit and veggies a little more interesting for them. Great way to sneak in a healthy serving of fruits and veggies. These Sensible Portion goodies come is many different varieties: Organic Apple Harvest, Organic Cherry Berry, Organic Soy Nuts, Organic Sweet Corn, Orchard Blend, Tropical Blend and Cherry Berry. Of all the flavors, my favorite one was the Organic Apple Harvest which was delicious, crunchy and naturally sweet. Yummy apple chips. One pouch (21g) is 80 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and no protein.

Retails: about $1.40 per package @ Amazon
My Cost: Free
Calories: about 70 to 110 per bag
WW: 1-2


Filed under Dried Fruit, Organic, WW: 1, WW: 2

Trader Joe’s Chile Spiced Mango

12-22-08_2310I was drooling over the frozen dessert section at Trader Joe, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything because there were way too many servings in each box and way too many calories in each serving. Desserts are my downfall, they are too dangerous to keep around the house. Maybe when I’m desperate enough next time, I will take the plunge. There are way too many people at Trader Joe’s this time of year, it was hard to walk around, even without a cart. Trader Joe’s has a really good dried fruits section and there is were I spotted these. I love dried mango and I usually get the “Philippines” brand at the Asian market. A new twist to the usual classic, I had to try these out. I love the sweet and tangy taste of these combine with the paprika, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt.  The texture is really great, dried, but not dried out like some other dried fruits. The ingredients include: mango, paprika, sugar, salt, cayenne which isn’t too bad except for the added sugar part. Now these I can stop at 1-2 pieces. Reminds me of a little stall at my local Farmer’s Market. They sell freshly cut fruit in a cup and they have seasonings on the side where you can add lemon juice and chile spices on it. Those were AMAZING. I stopped getting them when I saw that they had questionable hygiene problems and a few health code violations. Fresh fruits are always good by themselves, especially when they are in season, but when you add some seasonings, it’s a whole new experience. My mom likes to put plum powder on her apples and I’ve seen people eat fresh strawberries with a dollop of condensed milk and a sprinkle of plum powder as well. I think those are great ways to turn fruit into dessert when you have to have some dessert. These Trader Joe’s Spiced Mango are definitely worth their $1.99 and they ended up saving me a lot of calories.

Retails: $1.99 at Trader Joe’s
My Cost: $1.99
Calories: 110 calories per 30 grams
WW: 2


Filed under chile, Dried Fruit, Mango, Snacks, Trader Joe's