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Crafted Cocktails Bloody Mary Mixer // Perfect for Summer BBQs

With warmer temps upon us and summer around the corner, I want to introduce a healthy and all-natural cocktail option perfect for Summer Parties and BBQs. 

Crafted Cocktails, an all-natural line-up of cocktail mixers and Shrubs, uses pure agave, resulting in a low-calorie cocktail with a natural flavor profile.  Mixer flavors include Piña Colada, Margarita, Spicy Watermelon, Gimlet and Bloody Mary.  All you have to do is add your alcohol of choice or simply mix with club soda and ice to create a drink that is sure to quench your thirst and keep your body looking great on a hot summer day.

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The Bloody Mary Mixer is great. It’s hard to find gluten free pre-made Bloody Mary mix, but Crafted Cocktails has created one that delivers. This tangy blend of savory flavors is tasty! This healthy party-boosting cocktail is infused with natural flavors of tomato, horseradish, celery and Worcestershire. Bloody Mary is so incredibly versatile it pairs perfectly with ALL your favorite spirits.

Recently, Crafted Cocktails’ Bloody Mary Mixer won a Gold Medal from Tastings.com and a Silver Medal from the San Francisco International Spirit Competition, winning based on outstanding quality and taste.  If a Bloody Mary doesn’t fancy your taste buds, the Pina Colada Mixer or Strawberry Shrub is sure to be a refreshing and unique alternative.

Last weekend we made these awesome Bloody Mary’s with Crafted Cocktails Mix and everyone loved them! 

All products are made with 100% real agave, contain no preservatives and are gluten free. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Healthy Summer Beverages

What could be better than an ice cold refreshing drink on a hot summer day? Today, I am going to share a few of my new favorite, thirst quenching, perfect-for-summer beverages with you!

BRUCE COST GINGER ALE is made from whole, 100% fresh ginger, unlike competitors who use artificial ingredients like “ginger oil”. You can actually SEE the ginger pieces in each bottle, and it’s recommended that drinkers “shake gingerly” before twisting off the cap and enjoying! Naturally sweetened with pure cane sugar and locally crafted in Brooklyn, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale is currently available in seven flavors – Original Ginger Ale (bottle and can); “66” (66 calories with monk fruit); Jasmine Tea; Ginger Beer; Pomegranate with Hibiscus; Passion Fruit with Turmeric; and Blood Orange with Meyer Lemon. (Available on Amazon.)

BROOKLYN ORGANICS are perfect for those looking for a sugar free option as all the line of USDA Organic-certified sodas are gently sweetened with plant-based Stevia. All varietals are non-GMO, Kosher, Gluten Free, Caffeine Free and Vegan. Each contains a bold fizz in a svelte package, made with ingredients that are good for you and for the planet. Brooklyn Organics flavors include: Classic, Cola, Acai, Coconut & Guava. While I find these sodas very sweet on their own – from the stevia – they pair well with alcohol for a low calorie cocktail. (Available on Amazon).

GAEA, the leading Greek food company specializing in authentic Mediterranean products such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olives (Snack Packs, Pouches and Jars), is breaking into the cocktail mixer industry with Dirty Martini Juice – a natural fit considering olives are at the core of their business. With only two ingredients per flavor, Gaea Dirty Martini Juice is the perfect mixer to accompany vodka and gin. Gaea Dirty Martini Juice for Vodka contains red pepper stuffed green olives brine with hot red pepper, while Gaea Dirty Martini Juice for Gin contains green olives. Cheers to that! 

Looking for something for your kids? AquaBall is the only zero-calorie, sugar-free and preservative-free children’s beverage currently on the market. The naturally flavored water is available in four flavors: Berry Frost, Fruit Punch, Grape and Strawberry Lemonade, and features fan favorite characters from Disney’s “Frozen”, Disney Princesses, Marvel’s “Avengers,” and Disney Classic Characters. AquaBall is the simple solution to finding a beverage that both kids and parents will love.

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Which beverage do you want to try most this summer? Leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Zemas NEW bite-size cookies

Now more than ever before, people with food allergies, on specialty diets, or those who just want to eat healthy are looking for products that are not only good for you but TASTE GOOD, too. A few years ago I was introduced to Zemas Madhouse Foods, a line of ancient whole grain baking mixes, and met the founder Jill when I was living in NYC. Since then, Zema’s has come out with a new product; mini cookies! 

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Zemas recently launched a new product crunchy, free-from, bite-size cookies! Zemas bite-size cookies are clean, simple and packed with better for you ingredients like nutrient-rich ancient whole grains and a superseed trio of chia, hemp and flax meal. 

The cookies are available in 4 flavors:

  • sweet potato spice: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg provide big flavor and nutrition alongside our vitamin A packed Peruvian sweet potato flour.
  • oatmeal cranberry: Dried cranberries make this a unique treat packed with uper seeds (chia, hemp, flax) add healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • double chocolate: Antioxidant rich cocoa powder meets nutrient-dense, ancient whole grains to deliver a deep, rich chocolate flavor with a big crunch and superfood health.
  • chocolate chip: This classic childhood cookie just got a nutritional boost. To be honest, this was the only flavor I did not really enjoy. 

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While I really liked the sweet potato spice cookies and oatmeal cranberry, I wasn’t a big fan of the other two flavors. But, my sister’s boyfriend LOVED the double chocolate so I gave him the rest of the box! These cookies are good for when you need sweets but don’t want all the sugar and other ‘bad’ ingredients that come along with it. While they do not taste like your ‘typical’ cookie, they will satisfy your sweet and crunchy cravings!

Not only are Zemas products made from ancient whole grants, all products are free from the top 8 allergens. Zemas products are not only certified top 8 allergen free, but also Kosher, Vegan, GFCO and Non-GMO Project Verified and made without refined sugar. 

You can purchase Zema’s cookies on Amazon (free shipping for Prime members!) and in grocery and health food stores across the country, including Legman’s and Price Chopper. Click here to find a retail location nearest you. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

 

 

 

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RW Garcia MixtBag Tortilla Chips

Family-owned snack brand RW Garcia is one of my go-to brands. They offer several lines of artisan chips and crackers that have a clean ingredient deck, are Non-GMO Project Verified and certified gluten-free, giving everyone peace of mind to eat freely and enjoy. 

Their crackers and chips are so versatile and can be eaten on their, turned into appetizers or incorporated into entrees. 

RW Garcia MixtBag combines two delicious flavors in one bag! Quality tortilla chip selections into one bag for a snack the whole family will love. Available in three varieties, Yellow/Blue corn tortilla chips, Yellow/Red corn tortilla chips, and new Veggie corn tortilla chips (there’s 3 different chips in this bag!), the MixtBag offers a great snack that is completely wheat and gluten free, contains no Trans Fats and is made with all non-GMO ingredients.

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I love chilaquiles and have tried many different corn chips in this recipe. The MixtBag tortilla chips held up nicely to the sauce and made for a delicious and crunchy base for the shredded chicken and fresh cilantro. This super simple recipe is easy to make yet delicious! 

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You can purchase RW Garcia products at Shaw’s and Star Market. Click here to find a retail location nearest you. 

 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Celebrating National Chocolate Day with Lily’s Sweets!

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Chocolate lovers, rejoice! National Chocolate Day is July 7, which means it’s time to celebrate one of the world’s best sweet treats: chocolate. Nobody needs an extra reason to eat chocolate, but if you and your family are particularly passionate about the cocoa confection, then you’ll want to celebrate!

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This year I am celebrating with Lily’s Sweets; premium chocolate bars and baking chips. Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate has all the indulgence you crave but with a lot fewer calories. They use only the finest non-GMO ingredients, including genuine, Fair Trade certified cocoa. All Lily’s bars and baking chips are certified gluten-free. 

What sets Lily’s apart?

  • Stevia-sweetened (less than 1g of sugar per serving)
  • Fair trade
  • Gluten free
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan (select products)
  • Available in chocolate bars, snack bars and baking chips/bars

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Cynthia and Chuck named Lily’s Sweets after Chuck’s niece, Lily, an inspired – and inspiring — young lady and childhood brain cancer survivor. Since being diagnosed at age 7, Lily has been raising money for other kids battling cancer, and Cynthia and Chuck are proud to honor Lily’s bravery and commitment to aiding others by contributing a percentage of profits each year to non-profit organizations that provide services to children with cancer and their families. As for Lily, she is now in her teenage years, has celebrated her 5-year anniversary of diagnosis and remains cancer-free and dedicated to helping others in need. In addition to supporting children’s cancer causes, Lily’s Sweets is further committed to operating ethically and sustainably. 

You can find Lily’s Sweets online at Amazon as well as hundreds of retail locations across the country including; Whole Foods Market, Star Market, and Stop and Shop.

Healthier chocolate from a company with a heartfelt mission – indulgence has never tasted this good! 

But why restrict yourself in celebrating Chocolate Day? If you eat good-quality chocolate or chocolate treats in moderation, then any day can truly be Chocolate Day, even while you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. For those who are true lovers of chocolate, the celebration of Chocolate Day knows no bounds.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Keli’s Sauces // Gluten Free Asian and Hawaiian inspired Sauces

Keli’s Sauces is a line of gluten free Asian and Hawaiian inspired sauces. They are a female owned and operated company and since starting in 1992, they’ve been making the best Polynesian style sauces in the U.S.and all of them are naturally gluten free, vegan, nut-free, low fat, no MSG, and 50% lower in sodium than most teriyaki on the market!

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Gluten free teriyaki is not easy to find and when you do find it, it is loaded with sodium. Keli’s Sauces include:

  • Polynesian Sweet-N-Sour
  • Hawaiian Ginger Garlic Teriyaki Glaze
  • Spicy Hawaiian Ginger Garlic Teriyaki Glaze
  • Pineapple Hawaiian Luau Teriyaki Marinade 
  • Pele’s Fire Hot Teriyaki

I was thrilled when Teresa – Keli’s daughter – reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying their sauces. Jeremy and I went on our honeymoon last month to the French Polynesia and I was excited for the opportunity to taste some of those flavors again.

The sauces are great for marinading and glazing, grilling, stir frying and can even be used as dipping sauces. 

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The Polynesian Sweet-N-Sour is my favorite! It’s not too heavy and it has a great flavors it reminds me of being in the islands! I’ve used it on shrimp and tofu and I can’t wait to try it with more dishes. 

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Currently, you can purhase Keili’s sauces online and in select retail locations in Hawaii, Washington and Oregon. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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NiChef – Personal Culinary Experiences in your home

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As most of you know I have a full time job outside of blogging. I try to cook meals for my husband and I at least 4 nights a week but sometimes I just want someone else to cook for me. Is that took much to ask? Not if you ask NiChef!

NiChef is an online global marketplace where you can easily book a personal chef to cook in your kitchen. Niche is bringing communities together through authenticity and experiences while creating new job opportunities in the culinary world. Think of it like airbnb but for chefs.

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Having someone cook in your home, whether it’s a romantic meal for two, dinner party for 4 or 10, it’s such a fun experience and you don’t have to worry about being in the kitchen and not with your significant other/friends/guests. And it won’t break the bank. Contrary to what you are probably thinking, having someone else cook your food doesn’t cost as much as you’d think. In fact, it’s usually cheaper than eating at restaurants, and if you find the right chef like I did, the food tastes better. AND you get to choose exactly what you want to eat and when!

I recently had the chance to experience Nichef. I invited my sister over to share the experience with me. Out chef was Lisseth Conza-Berman. Listen grew up in Peru and all Nichef experiences are Peruvian; centered around the foods she grew up with. Peruvian food is a fusion cuisine, due to its long multicultural history. Lisseth cooked us a delicious meal of Lomo saltado; sautéed beef loin with veggies. Como salted is one of the most emblematic dishes that Peru has to offer. A mix between Chinese cuisine with Peruvian ingredients, makes this dish satisfying and full of flavor. It consists on marinated beef tenderloin stir-fried with onions, tomatoes and served with french fries and white rice.

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The price of the meal is $60 for two people. $30 each for a home cooked meal is a great price and a similar dish in a restaurant would cost you at least $30, if not more when you factor in tip, tax, and beverages/appetizers. 

So how does it work? 

Signing up to use the nichef marketplace is fast and easy. You can sign up with your facebook credentials or your email. After your have confirmed your email, you are ready to go!

To reserve a Chef you will need to sign up and create a Foodie profile. Once you have created and activated your profile, you can then start searching for a memorable experience by type of cuisine, location, and date. It’s recommended that you submit a request at least 1 week before your event date. Once you request a chef, the chef will accept or decline your booking within 24 hours. If you have any dietary restrictions, you can message the chef directly through Nichef’s messaging system.

There are about 40 chefs on the site that you can choose from. Chefs run their own business; choose their own schedules, menus and prices. Every chef has their own ‘niche’ in the culinary market and Nichef allows them to offer you a personal, and delicious, at home dining experience. 

Disclaimer: I received this service free of charge to review for my blog. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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Wallaby’s NEW Simple Bakes

Wellaby’s has launched a new savoury snack. Simple Bakes is the first wholegrain snack that will tantalise your taste buds from the very first crunch, while being completely free from most common allergens. 

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Simple Bakes are baked to a light, crispy and bubbly perfection – bringing new meaning to the word ‘moreish’! Whether you’re celiac, gluten intolerant or simply want to avoid gluten in your diet, you can rest easy because Wellaby’s has you covered! They produce Simple Bakes in a gluten free dedicated facility and operate strict control over incoming ingredients to ensure products are 100% free of gluten.

Simple Bakes are also free of nuts, eggs, dairy, and GMO’s, and are lower in calories and fat than potato crisps. 

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Simple Bakes are so moreish and tasty, yet only have 6% fat and less than 110 Kcal per serving.

The snacks are available in 3 flavors, including:

  • Pinch of Sea Salt & Pepper – A delicate pinch of salt will wake up your taste buds from that first crispy bite. The freshly milled pepper gives it a slight kick. Perfect for dipping with hummus!
  • Spicy Chilli – A fusion of fiery warmth and tasty tanginess that pack a punch without being too hot to handle. 
  • Smoky BBQ – A ‘Deep South’ inspired snack that blends sweet and smoky. The rich BBQ smokehouse flavor is hard to resist! 

You can purchase Wellaby Simple Bakes online here

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Grainful // savory oatmeal meal kits and frozen entrees

Grainful chef-inspired frozen entrees and meal kits are made with 100% whole grain steel cut oats. Instead of rice or quinoa as the base, Grainful uses steel cut oats.

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Steel cut oats are a complete protein, meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids. They are also high in fiber, making you feel fuller longer, and full of calcium, iron, magnesium, B-vitamins and antioxidants. Steel cut oats also Contain high levels of Beta-Glucans, which help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, are low in unsaturated fats and sodium, and can also help regulate blood sugar levels and enhance immune defense.

Made with 100% whole grain steel cut oats, Grainful all-natural frozen entrées are the perfect quick and healthy lunch or dinner. The frozen entrees are great tasting and convenient. Bring them for lunch or heat them up for the whole family for dinner. Grainful chef-crafted recipes inspired by bold flavors from around the globe will leave you wanting more!

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Meal Kits can be used as a side or transformed into a full entree by simply adding vegetables and/or protein. These chef-crafted blends of steel cut oats, spices and vegetables are transformed into a delicious meal with the addition of meat, seafood or extra vegetables. With Grainful Meal Kits, the opportunities are endless. 

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Flavors include:

  • Tomato Risotto
  • Homestyle Cheddar
  • Madras Curry
  • Jambalaya

All products are gluten free certified, contain no GMO ingredients or perservatives, and almost all are vegan. 

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It’s simple. Clean ingredients and bold flavor profiles. 

You can find Grainful products at Wegmans, Safeway, and natural food stores across the US. Click here to find a store location nearest you.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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GLUTEN FREE & ALLERGEN FREE (GFAF) EXPO // JULY 22-23 in WORCHESTER, MA // TICKETS GIVEAWAY

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I will be attending the Gluten Free & Allergen Free (GFAF) Expo as an Official Blogger on July 22nd & 23rd! The expo is being held in Worcester, MA and covers all things gluten free and allergy free. It’s actually the largest expo of its kind in the US and I can’t wait! 

I attended the 2015 GFAF Expo in Secacus, NJ and I had a blast meeting new vendors and trying dozens of gluten free products. This year there are already 75 exhibitors lined up! 

Not only get to attend the blog, meet my favorite brands and try delicious food all day long, but I also get to giveaway 5 FREE PASSES so you can join in on the fun too! During the show I will tweet and instagram all my favorite gluten free finds and provide you with inside scoop on the latest gluten free news and new products. Post show, I will write a post blog post recaping my day and share with you all the new gluten free products I try and where you can find them! 

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Don’t want to wait until the giveaway ends? You can purchase tickets online now. Click on this link to purchase tickets and save 30% off  with code EARLYBIRD (thru 6/21) or
20% off with code ADVANCE (6/22 thru 7/21).

The Expo hours are Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 10am-3pm. A single day pass will work for either day of the event. 

The GFAF Expos are the greatest events on earth for those living a gluten-free or allergen-friendly lifestyle. Attendees can sample hundreds of products, meet with local & national brands, receive coupons, and attend informative presentations by top-notch speakers. The Expos are a fun, family-friendly, educational & safe place made just for you!

What do you get with your Expo Ticket?

  • Entry into the vendor fair with 100+ exhibiting brands
  • Coupons from the best gluten-free & allergen-friendly brands
  • FREE samples from exhibitors- baked goods, pizza, healthy options & more
  • Discounted products available for purchase
  • Informative classes related to the gluten-free & allergen-friendly lifestyle
  • Free reusable bag to carry your goodies
  • The chance to meet your favorite brands, restaurants, authors & bloggers

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The show is meant to meet the needs of people with a diverse array of health conditions. All products are gluten free however, many booths do contain other allergens. The show is not 100% free from any potential allergen, as it is hosted in a multi-use venue. All visitors must be aware of their health situation, take appropriate precautions and carry necessary medication.

The GIVEAWAY

TO enter follow these simple rules:

This giveaway will end on June 14th at 11:59pm EST. Must be 18 or older. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the event in exchange for writing a blog post.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.