Category Archives: Snacks

Lifeway Kefir Probiotic Kefir Bars

Picture 331Little bugs are quickly taking over the world, and by little bugs, I mean probiotic bacteria that has been sprouting up all over the grocery market. Probiotics are naturally found in food items such as yogurt and kefir, but now companies are adding it wherever possible. The latest probiotic craze comes in the form of bars. Lifeway Kefir presents their newest Wellness bars in 3 flavors: Chocolate Crisp, Sweet n’ Salty Peanut, and Pomegranate. These bars are found in the refrigerated aisle (right next to their kefir) which ensures the live and active cultures are alive and well before it hits your tummy.

From the site:

Kefir is the cousin of yogurt and it’s roots can trace back more than 2000 years. Originating in the Caucasus Mountains of Europe where people live well past 100 years, the word Kefir is thought to have been derived from the Turkish word “Keif” for “good feeling”, probably due to the sense of well-being experienced after drinking it.

Now Lifeway Foods, America’s leader in Kefir, has taken the probiotic power found in traditional Kefir, and transformed it into a nutritious, convenient, on the go, snack bar. Lifeway’s Kefir Wellness Bar contains the essential daily probiotics your body needs, and the great taste you deserve.

The bars range from 190 to 240 calories each and are a good 50 gram size. Each bar has a white frosting type layer covering each bar. The snowy white reminds me of snow and Christmas. I think it is the kefir layer which contains all 10 of the live and active cultures. See what it looks like inside here.

Chocolate Crisp: Like the name suggests, it has rice crisps in them . Firm, yet chewy texture with the rice crisps. Visually the biggest bar of the 3. Maybe the crisps “bulks” it up a bit. Not as chocolaty as I would like, but I like the crisps in it. Reminds me of Jamfrakas. No chocolate chunks in there, the chocolate flavor is blended in.  Good balance of chocolate flavor, crunch and chew. This combination works and it taste good. Could be higher in the fiber department, but fairs a decent 11 grams of protein.

Sweet n’ Salty Peanut:  Real peanut butter flavor with bits of peanuts nuts inside. I like it and if you like peanut butter flavored things, you will like it too. Sweet and salty for sure. I like the crunch. Very good.  Highest in calories, but definitely the most delicious. My favorite flavor of the three.

Pomegranate: Softest texture of the bars. Like puree inside with bits of walnuts that seem out of place. Flattest of the 3 bars. Don’t really dig this flavor because I think I’ve been spoiled by the taste of POM Wonderful as far as pomegranate flavored things goes. It doesn’t really taste like pure pomegranate flavor to me. Lowest in the sodium content (70 mg), but highest in the sugar department (24g).

I like how the three varieties are drastically different in terms of taste, and texture so there is something for everyone. The Wellness bars contain all the 10 live and active cultures you find in the drinkable Lifeway Kefir so it makes it simple to get your daily dose of healthy bacteria. Great to pack along with your lunch. The bars taste like regular bars and does not even taste “kefir-ish” if that makes any sense. I suggest you try all 3 before you decide if you like these bars are not because the differ drastically in terms of taste and texture. What I did not like about these bars is the 3 – 4 grams of saturated fat per bar.

Chocolate Crisp: Serving Size: One (50g per serving) Amount Per Serving: Calories 200, Fat Cal 50, Total Fat 6g (9% DV), Sat Fat 3.5g (18% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 190mg (8%), Total Carb 27g (9% DV), Fiber 1g (4%), Sugars 15g, Sugar Alcohol 0g, Protein 11g (22% DV), Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (4% DV), Iron (15% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Sweet n’ Salty Peanut: Serving Size: One (50g per serving)  Amount Per Serving: Calories 240, Fat Cal 120, Total Fat 13g (20% DV), Sat Fat 4g (20% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 200mg (8%), Total Carb 25g (8% DV), Fiber 3g (12%), Sugars 12g, Protein 7g, Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (2% DV), Iron (6% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Pomegranate: Serving Size: One (50g per serving)  Amount Per Serving: Calories 190, Fat Cal 45, Total Fat 5g (8% DV), Sat Fat 3g (15% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 70mg (3%), Total Carb 32g (11% DV), Fiber 4g (16%), Sugars 24g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (2% DV), Iron (8% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Retails: $2.00 each @ Lifeway Foods Online Store
My Cost: Free (from Lifeway Kefir Representative)
Calories: 190 to 240 each
WW: 3-5

P:S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
Blogversary, Movie Tickets, Progresso, Stevia, Oikos & CSN Credit

and… click here to support Operation Chocolate Covered Kindness (click for charity).

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Filed under Bars, Probiotic, Snacks, Whole Foods, WW: 3, WW: 4, WW: 5

Clif Kid Z-Bar Spooky S’mores

Picture 213By now I am sure most of your have seen these Clif kid Organic Z bars in Spooky S’mores floating around. Halloween has come and gone so if you are after the seasonal Spooky S’mores, go grab them quick or else you will have to wait another year. These are seriously hard to track down. So far, I have only seen these at 1 Whole Foods. It was a glorious stand dedicated to this exclusive flavor alone. I couldn’t help myself and grabbed 1/2 a dozen for fear they will soon be gone. They are after-all — seasonal.

This is your basic Clif Kid Z bar made with organic oats, wholesome ingredients and 12 essential vitamins and minerals for healthy kids to thrive. I eat kids food. No shame here. The top part has just the right amount of chocolate frosting that makes these bars delicious and pretty to eat. The inside is embedded with tiny little marshmallows. Nice little campfire treat minus the guilt. When you warm it up in the microwave, this truly becomes “s’more-licious.” The chocolate and the marshmallows become melty and gooey. The texture of the bar is very “soft-baked cookie-like” which makes this an irresistible snack for kids as well as adults. All that yumminess for 130 calories, preportioned so you don’t over indulge.

Best of all, you know there are no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, no preservative, and no artificial flavors in these organic whole grain energy bars for kids. Wished people were passing these out instead of candies on Halloween. I would be the first to put on a costume and go trick-or-treating myself!

Nutrition: Each bar is 130 calories, 2 WW, 3.5 grams of fat of which 1 gram is saturated, no cholesterol, 75 milligram of sodium, 75 milligram of potassium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber , 11 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Other seasonal Clif Bar items are back too. See if you can spot the Cranberry Orange Nutbread, Spiced Pumpkin Pie, and Iced Gingerbread on your next shopping trip.  Noticeably missing is the Pear Strudel from last year, may you RIP.

Retails: $0.69 each 1.27 oz bar @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free (from Clif Bar & Company representative)
Calories: 130 each bar
WW: 2

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
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Filed under Bars, Snacks, Whole Foods, WW: 2

Trader Joe’s Lightly Salted Rice Cakes

Picture 149Trader Joe’s Lightly Salted Rice Cakes are by no means filling or anything substantial, but I do like them because they are low calories and a little something crunchy to munch on. Only 35 calories per rice cake and provides a airy, crunchy base for you to snack off of. They are lightly salted. Usually I add peanut butter and thinly sliced apples on top for a nice afternoon snack or when I am in the mood for something lighter, I use Greek yogurt instead of peanut butter. The rice cakes can hold you toppings while you take a bite into it, but I did notice they started to crumble on me after my first bite. I think it might be because I abused this bag a little too much when carrying it home in my grocery bag. Good thing I eat off of a plate or else it would be quite messy. One serving of 2 cakes (20g) is 70 calories, 1 WW, 0.5 gram of fat, no cholesterol, 80 milligram of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. Ingredients: whole grain brown rice, sea salt. Two simple ingredients. How perfect is that. Love the no sugar part too. Some rice cakes on the market has fancy flavors like apple cinnamon, caramel drizzle, and stuff like that. I like my rice cakes much more simpler. The package is clear with blue writings all over. Inside you will find 2 separate plastic bags of 7 rice cakes each. Keeps the whole package from going stale on you.


Retails: $1.29 per 5 oz bag @ Trader Joe’s
My Cost: $1.29
Calories: 70 per 2 cakes (20g)
WW: 1

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
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Filed under Snacks, Trader Joe's, WW: 1

Mary’s Stick & Twigs Curry Flavor

Picture 071After trying Mary’s Gone Crackers in the Original flavor, I’ve been trying to hunt down the Sticks and Twigs for a while. Luckily, I spotted all three of the Stick and Twigs flavor at a random Whole Foods I just happened to popped into. Of the three flavors, Sea Salt, Curry, and Chipotle Tomato, I picked the most interesting flavor — curry. Not many snacks are curry flavor and I was intrigued. I guess this is a new version of their Sticks & Twigs because it says that it now contains CHIA SEEDS. Awesome! As with all of Mary’s Gone Cracker products, they are organic, wheat-free, gluten-free, kosher, vegan & dairy free and made with whole grains you can see.

When you open the bag, you can definably smell the curry flavor. The stick & twigs come in long and short sizes and are hollow in the middle. Not as thick as the cracker form so it is easier to bite and chew. Hard and crunchy. A little on the salty side, or is it the curry flavor that is giving me a salty sensation? I like these better than the crackers actually. The curry flavor is interesting. Smells stronger than it taste, but at times, you get a twig that is like WOW — CURRY. The more I eat them, the more I like it. Delicious, but I am up for trying the Sea Salt and Chitpotle Tomato flavor as well. Like with the crackers, the sticks & twigs has visible seeds sand grains all over. Imagine these twigs like a Mary’s Gone crackers rolled up, leaving the center hallow, but not as thick. Love the simple and awesome ingredients in the toss: Brown Rice, flax seed, sesame seed, amaranth, millet, whole quinoa, whole red quinoa, and chia seeds. One serving (30g) is 150 calories, 3 WW, 5 grams of fat (o.5 gram saturated, 2.5 grams PUFA & 1.5 grams MUFA), no cholesterol, 190 milligram of sodium, 170 milligram of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, no sugar and 4 grams of protein. Now that is the kind of snack I don’t mind keeping around the house. I like to toss a few twigs in my salads to get a little crunch factor going on too. Mary’s Gone Crackers tweets too! Follow them @GoneCrackers.


Retails: $3.99 per 8 oz bag @ Whole Foods
My Cost: $3.99
Calories: 150 per ounce
WW: 3

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Filed under Crackers, Gluten Free, Organic, Snacks, Whole Foods, WW: 3

EnviroKidz Organic Crispy Rice Bar Peanut Butter

IMG_0488Thanks to the lovely Kimberly over at Gluten-Free is Life for hosting her Nature’s Path giveaway. I got a chance to enter and win. Yay! Along with some yummy Nature’s Path cereal, I got some EnviroKidz Panda Peanut Butter Crispy rice bars. I am a kid at heart so I had no problem gobbling up bars meant for kids. No shame here. The packaging makes the bar look bigger than normal bars, but this is a pretty light weight 1 oz bar. Basically, this is just a gluten-free rice crispy-type bar with peanut butter flavor. I was hoping for a more intense PB flavor, but it pales in comparison to other PB flavored treats. The bar is “glued” together with a sugar concoction. I say sugar concoction because there are 5 types of sugar listed here, evaporated cane juice, molasses, brown rice syrup, honey and invert cane syrup. The ingredients list reflect the taste of the bar — SWEET. Each bar is 110 calories, 2 WW, 3 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 80 milligram of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, >1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. I guess 7 grams of sugar is not an outrageous number, but I thought it tasted really sweet. The rice pebbles are not really stuck together firmly. You can pull it apart really easily, like the texture of homemade rice crispy treats BEFORE you let it sit int he fridge to let it set. In reality, I would not purchase this item to eat myself, but I can see these as a tasty treat for people on a strict gluten-free diet. Other Crispy rice bars from this line to consider are: Envirokidz Kola Chocolate, Cheetah Berry Blast, Lemur Peanut Choco Drizzle, and Penguin Fruity Burst. The are all low fat, low sodium, nothing artificial, gluten-free. USDA organic. Product of USA.

Ingredients
Organic Crispy Rice (Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Sea Salt, Organic Molasses, Rice Extract), Partially Polished Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Honey, Organic Peanut Butter (Peanuts, Salt), Organic Invert Cane Syrup, Organic Expeller-pressed Canola Oil, Organic Acacia Gum, Organic Corn Starch.

Retails: $3.69 per box of 6 @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free (won giveaway)
Calories: 110 each
WW: 2

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Filed under Bars, Gluten Free, Snacks, Whole Foods, WW: 2

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

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

Wonderful Pistachios

IMG_0300Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts. I love the toasty aroma and the natural buttery taste of it. I always pick these up with shells because they are way too easy to munch on without them. It is sort of like built in portion control. Wonderful Pistachios are very easy to open.  One in about 20 pieces I had a hard time opening. The nuts are pretty big in size.  A couple of nuts are enough to stop my hunger. Perfect snack to hold you over. The thing about snacking on these is that they can get messy. Since these are salted and roasted, your hands inevitable gets dirty. Nothing a little soap and water won’t get out. We all civilized people, we wash out hands before AND after eating. Right? Doing a little weighing and measuring, I found that 10 shelled pistachios weights about 6 grams. Taking my time shelling and eating them, about 20 pistachios is a good size snack for me. Let me do the math. My snack turns out to be only 68 calories and nuts really do stop hunger in it’s tracks. I’ve been snacking on these Wonderful Pistachios everyday.

Did you know that pistachios are: the most nutrient dense, highest in antioxidants, and lowest in calories among all nuts, plus they are high in fiber, and  hearth-healthy. Over 50% of the fat content in pistachios are from monounsaturated fat which is the heart-healthy fat that helps lower LDL levels (“bad” cholesterol) and also contains oleoylethanolamide, which is an appetite suppressant found in MUFA.  That is why pistachios are also dubbed as the “skinny nut.” Find out more here. Pistachios are such a wonderful nut that there is a website all dedicated to them — Pistachio Health (@pistachiohealth on twitter). I had no idea that my favorite nut is actually so good for me.

Don’t worry, these babies are safe.  Luckily, Wonderful Pistachios was not part of the recall according to Pistachiorecall.org.

One serving 1/2 cup with shells or 1/4 cup without shells (30g) is about 170 calories, 4 WW, 14 grams of fat (1.5 grams saturated, 4 grams PUFA, 7 grams MUFA), zero cholesterol, 160 milligram of sodium, 310 milligram potassium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.

Retails: $9.99 per 24 ounce bag @ Paviliions
My Cost: Free
Calories: 170 per ounce (shelled)
WW: 4

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
Clif Bars & Larabars

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Filed under Nuts, Snacks