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Califia Farms Develops Innovative No Sugar, Low-Calorie Vegan Alternative to Half & Half

New ‘Better Half Creamer’ and updated line of Almondmilk Creamers give coffee lovers ultimate satisfaction without any unnecessary ingredients or additives!

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Califia Farms, one of the fastest growing natural beverage companies in the United States, launched  Better Half Creamer, an innovative nut-based alternative to Half & Half, along with a reformulation of its line of Almondmilk Creamers last month. Both Creamer lines include unsweetened versions to meet the needs of the evolving American palette that prefers less sugar (both have 0g of sugar).

Over 70% of coffee drinkers take some of cream with their coffee and until now they were limited to high-fat, high sugar and dairy versions only. Califia Farms Creamers have zero grams of sugar and are gluten free, soy free, non-GMO and vegan! 

Better Half Creamer comes in Original and Unsweetened and delivers a low-calorie (20 and 15, respectively) alternative without skimping on flavor or creaminess – and is free from unnecessary ingredients and excess sugars. The combination of coconut and almond cream make a delicious smooth, creamy and rich creamer, that tastes good. It’s creamy, but not too thick, and there is no funny aftertaste, just an improved coffee :) 

Califia uses nut creams whereas traditional non-dairy creamers are laden with hydrogenated oils and artificial chemicals – things that I do not want to put in my boy.  All Califia Farms’ Creamers have now been formulated with coconut cream to improve whitening – making a cup of coffee looks just as good as it tastes without titanium dioxide, a chemical frequently used by other non-dairy creamers to create a whitening effect.

In addition to the Unsweetened version, the full line of Almondmilk Creamers also includes Pecan Caramel, Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors. The Unsweetened Almondmilk Creamer has no sugar (0g!) and is just 10 calories per serving, while the flavored versions are a light 15 calories per serving with just 2g of sugar.

Available at retailers nationwide and packed with flavor, Califia Farms plant-powered beverages are like no others on the market and use only the finest ingredients and artisanal processes to achieve guilt-free deliciousness. Better Half is initially available as a Whole Foods Market Test through summer 2016 and then will be available at retailers nationwide.

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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MAIVITA Premium Organic Coconut Flour Review

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Have you heard about the benefits of baking with coconut flour? As the interest in grain free diets continues to rise, many cooks are looking to alternative flours, such as coconut flour, for their baking and everyday needs. 

The Finest Coconut Flour From The Finest People

MAIVITA Premium Organic Coconut Flour comes from only the best coconut crops in the Philippines The manufacturing and production process follows strict guidelines under a fair trade supply chain.

With a texture very similar to wheat flour, MAIVITA Premium Organic Coconut Flour provides the perfect wheat and gluten substitute. It is also high in fiber and protein, and low in sodium, cholesterol, and digestible carbohydrates. Though it is free from gluten proteins, coconut flour contains an impressive number of other proteins. In fact, 100 grams of coconut flour contain 19.3 grams of protein, or 38 percent of our recommended daily value – far more protein per serving than other leading flours such as white, cornmeal or rye.

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Why Coconut?

  • Excellent Source of Fiber
  • Naturally Gluten Free
  • No Fillers
  • No Preservatives
  • No Sweeteners
  • Low Carb
  • Vegan
  • Paleo Friendly: This baking ingredient will assist you in maintaining a paleo lifestyle
  • Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT): Our Coconut Flour has high quality healthy fats. This allows you to enhance your metabolism and may aid in weight loss
  • High in Protein: This high quality flour is high in protein just 4 ounces provides about 20 grams of protein.

Quick Tips

1. In baking, you cannot substitute coconut flour for wheat or other grain-based flours at a 1:1 ratio.  They are not equivalent. Coconut flour is extraordinarily absorbent and very little coconut flour is needed to successfully produce a recipe.  In baked goods, you generally want to substitute 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup coconut flour for 1 cup grain-based flour.  You will also need to increase the number of eggs. 

2. Coconut flour can also be substituted for up to 1/3rd of wheat flour in standard recipes. Baking with coconut flour presents unique challenges as coconut flour does not perform the same as grain-based flours in baking.  Due to its high fiber content
it absorbs lots of liquid, so increase the liquid in the recipe by an equal amount. Because it is gluten free, it is necessary to add egg, chia gel, or even substitute a small amount of tapioca flour to assure that it binds properly.

3. Every flour has its own characteristics and baked goods made with coconut flour tend to be dense and dry.  To reduce dryness, make sure to use plenty of eggs and you can also add cooked, pureed or mashed fruit or vegetables to your baked goods to increase the moisture. 

Where to Buy

You can purchase MAIVITA Premium Organic Coconut Flour – which comes in a 3 lb. bag that will last you months – on Amazon for $15.97. That’s only $5.32 per lb.

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.

50% off 1st Love With Food Gluten Free Box

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NutriGold Certified Organic, Extra-Virgin, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil Gold

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Native to the Pacific Islands, coconut, also known as Cocos nucifera, is now grown in many tropical regions around the world. NutriGold Coconut Oil is made from freshly harvested coconuts to preserve natural levels of lauric acid and Vitamin E. The dried flesh of the coconut is processed through a cold process expeller press to extract the oil. The extraction process does not involve the use of sulfites or any other processing aids, so you can be assured that you are getting a coconut oil that is pure, wholesome, and nutritious.

NutriGold Certified Organic Coconut Oil, Cold-Pressed, Unrefined, Extra-Virgin can be used for cooking, baking, frying, skin care, and hair growth.

I have become a huge fan of coconut oil in the past few years. I use it a lot of different ways, mostly in the kitchen. I spent the weekend experimenting with this particular coconut oil so I could evaluate its performance in all the ways I typically use coconut oil. I’m pleased to say it measures up to other brands. (I also note the plastic jars of this contain slightly more product than the glass jars of, say, Spectrum Organic that you can buy at Whole Foods. So it’s a good bargain, too.)

I use coconut oil in place or butter and processed oils to fry or saute vegetables, especially when I make Mexican, Indian, or Thai-inspired dishes. Because this is an unrefined coconut oil, it has a coconut aroma to it and a little bit of a flavor, and that really enhances cooking.

90% of the time when I bake I use coconut oil as a butter substitute. When I stopped eating dairy two years ago I started experimenting with coconut oil. This is also a great option for vegans and/or people with lactose intolerance. It’s a straight substitution… 1 cup : 1 cup. Beat it with sugar as you would butter.

I just wanted to add, be aware that coconut oil has a lower melting point than butter (70 degrees F) and so will go from rock-hard to liquid very very quickly when it’s being warmed. This is important! Coconut oil works well for recipes that call for melted or soft butter. However, beware in pastry recipes that coconut oil warms quickly, and doesn’t produce the same fluffiness that dairy butter does. Using coconut oil does add a hint of coconut flavor to the dish, so watch what types of baked goods you try. I love using coconut oil when I make cookies, especially chocolate chip!

Coconut oil may contain small amounts of B Vitamins and larger amounts of minerals such as phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and zinc. The lauric acid in coconut oil helps support immune health and, unlike hydrogenated coconut oil, the saturated fat in organic coconut oil does not raise cholesterol levels.

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Health Benefits of Coconut Oil:

  • Rich, natural source of lauric acid and Vitamin E
  • Natural source of MCTs
  • Natural source of energy
  • Supports digestive health
  • Supports healthy weight
  • Supports healthy hair and skin

The Coconut Oil Advantage:

  • Certified organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed source of coconut oil
  • Naturally rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
  • Rich in naturally-occurring lauric acid and Vitamin E
  • Fewer calories than conventional cooking oils
  • Rich flavor and aroma – ideal for cooking and baking
  • Naturally free of cholesterol, gluten, trans-Fat, and hydrogenated fats
  • Suitable for Vegans / Vegetarians
  • Naturally free of solvents, pesticides, and preservatives
  • Verified free of allergens by an independent, third-party lab
  • Verified free of GMOs by the Non-GMO Project™ Product Verification Program
  • Available in 1 lb and 2 lb containers (retail price: $10.99, and $19.99)
  • Product of Philippines / Packaged to stringent cGMP standards in the USA

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Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Product Review: Wonderfully Raw’s Gluten Free & Dairy Free Coco-Roons

When we think of raw foods, we think of celery, carrots and other ‘’boring’’ vegetables.  The actual meaning of raw is, “in its natural state; uncooked, unprocessed, and preferably organic.” Raw foods include fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, super foods, seaweeds, sprouts, whole grains, and beans. Raw foods are filled with enzymes and nutrients, and have many health benefits including:

  • Maintain ultimate health and weight
  • Increased energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of disease

Sequoia Cheney always had a passion for good food, that wasn’t always good for her. When life threw her a curve ball and she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she knew something had to change if she wanted to heal herself.  That began the road to good health. Her journey to healthy eating sparked a passion inside of herself and she was amazed how she could create food that not only tasted delicious, but could heal.  Sequioa and her team— her husband and her son, a chef— have come together to create gourmet delights called Wonderfully Raw, and the amazingly delicious “Coco-Roons”.

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Starting with a passion for pure ingredients and a healthy way of living, Sequoia and her team source their ingredients from around the world supporting the wild, organic, and sustainable movement. Using only the finest organic ingredients, they have created a tasty, healthy gluten free and dairy free treat.

Sweetened with the finest organic maple syrup for its vitamin and mineral qualities, each Coco-Roon has only 4 grams of sugar per serving. The flavor is fabulous. Coco-Roon’s are a wonderful indulgence that are guilt free but taste like they shouldn’t be!

Coco-Roon’s come in six flavors: Apple Pie, Almond & Strawberry “PBJ”, Brownie, Cacoa Nibs, Lemon Pie, and Vanilla Maple.

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I recently had the opportunity to try Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons and here is what I thought:

Almond & Strawberry “PBJ”: Who doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly? Instead of using peanuts these are made with organic, raw almond butter and organic strawberries. I liked the sweet and fruity flavor.

Brownie: Made with raw organic cacoa, these have a deep, rich, and robust flavor. Very delicious.

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Cacoa Nibs: A healthy substitute for chocolate chips, organic cacao is considered a “super food”. This was the only flavor I didn’t enjoy; I found it to have a funny taste.

Lemon Pie: This Coco-Roon is a delicious version of the classic American staple. I’m not a big lemon dessert person, but I loved this flavor. I couldn’t put the bag down!

Vanilla Maple: The combination of organic maple syrup, organic vanilla, and organic coconut creates a purely simple pleasure.

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Coco-Roons have only 76-87 calories per serving.

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Brownie Coco-Roon

A 6 oz bag (8 servings) retails for $7.99, and is available for purchase online and at local healthy food stores. For a complete list of retail locations click here.

The Coco-Roons are also available in mini sized 2 oz versions ($2.99). Wonderfully Raw’s line of gourmet delights also includes Snip Chips, made from organic parsnips and coconuts, and Brussel Bytes, a new take on kale chips.IMG_5532

Wonderfully Raw does not share a kitchen or store any ingredients other than those used their products.  They do not have any wheat, soy, dairy, or gains at their facility.

Stay tuned for my review of Wonderfully Raw’s Snip Chips and Brussel Bytes!

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

 

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Product Review: Dang Toasted Coconut Chips

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 8.13.39 PMA few weeks back, Dang Foods sent me two sample packs of their two coconut chip flavors: original and caramel sea salt.

Dang Foods is a family run snack company that runs on love and coconuts, bringing to us unconventional culinary delights in the form of coconut chips.

Food & Drink
*photo courtesy of Dang Foods

I first saw these chips a few months ago being advertised online in one of the Gluten Free monthly subscription boxes, and was intrigued by the name “Dang” being used for a food product.

After some investigation (thank you google), I found out that the family behind Dang Foods was formed with the motto is “Dang, that’s good!” And let me tell you, they sure are good!

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Made from the nutrient-packed copra, or meat of the coconut, Dang’s toasted coconut chips are a delicious snack that provides loads of energy. The meat is sliced out of mature coconuts then gently toasted until golden brown with a dash of sugar and salt. The toasting process brings out the natural sweetness of the coconut meat and turns it from white to golden brown. With notes of vanilla, yogurt and pear, these coconut chips are unlike any other. They are a deliciously sweet, salty and crunchy snack.

Since copra is high in fiber, you don’t have to eat a lot to feel full…a few handfuls and you’ll be good to go—if you have enough self-control to stop at just a handful. Believe me, it’s hard!IMG_5908

These toasted coconut chips are the perfect snack because they satisfy my snack cravings quickly and gave me a boost of energy. These coconut chips are my new favorite snack!

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I should not that my sister and I sat and ate almost the entire second bag, straight from the bag, while the brownies were cooking.

And if you like to cook, check out Dang’s latest recipe book packed with unique meals and desserts that put Dang Chips to good use!

You can purchase Dang Chips online or use the Store Locator to find a retail location near you.

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

 

 
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Product Review: Melissa’s Exotic and Tropical Fruit Basket

Get your gift-giving thinking caps on, it’s that time of year again! Before you head to the mall or buy any gift cards online, check out Melissa’s for some unique and healthy gift basket ideas.Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 4.25.26 PM

Not the gift basket type? I suggest you take a look at Melissa’s before making that decision. They’ve got something for every taste, from practical and family-friendly to exotic and gourmet. We’re not talking supermarket quality basket, we are talking high-end, quality produce—that’s what Melissa’s does. Melissa’s is an actual produce company, not just a gift basket company, and these people know their kumquats from their clementines!

There are many great gift baskets to choose from, including the Deluxe Exotic and Tropical Fruit Basket that the kind folks over at Melissa’s sent me! IMG_5707This stunning assortment is arranged in a woven basket with cellophane wrapping and colorful ribbon. If you are looking for a fresh, juice selection of the season’s best exotic fruits, look no further. Melissa’s gift baskets would make a great gift for anyone—family, friends, and co-workers. Or if you are looking to add some new and different fruits and vegetables into your life, you can order one for yourself!

Overflowing with some on the world’s most luscious, brilliantly colored fruits, selected at their peak of perfection, promise the mouthwatering flavors of far away places. Based on seasonal availability, the selection may include: Asian Pears, Blood Oranges, Feijoas, Kiwis, Kumquats, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Sapotes, Tamarillos, Lychees, Passion Fruit, Specialty Bananas, Strawberry Papayas, Cherimoyas, Baby Pineapples, Pepino Melons, Mangoes, Starfruit, or Coconuts.IMG_5697

My basket was filled with:

Passion Fruit, Kiwis, and Mangoes – some not just ripe, which was nice so I didn’t feel rushed to eat them all right away.

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Passion Fruit

Feijoas, sometimes known as the Pineapple Guava, are a lime-green, egg-shaped fruit with a soft, succulent flesh similar in texture to a pear. Its flavor is reminiscent of pineapple, quince and lemon, with a hint of eucalyptus. I like to cut them in half and spoon out the white, succulent pulp and edible seeds—yum! Or slice it up and add it to a fresh fruit salad. IMG_5698

Sapotes closely resemble an apple in size and shape. The inside is filled with small black seeds, and the flavor is similar to a blend of banana, peach, lemon, and coconut. IMG_5710

I loved the juicy mangoes, sweet papaya, and baby pineapple, which has the same delicious flavor as the full sized pineapple and is actually a bit sweeter.IMG_5764

The kumquats were sour, like a lemon, and I put them in my water, like you would a lemon.

I also really enjoyed the Tamarillo, also known as a tree-tomato. The full-flavored, tart flesh is an excellent source of vitamin C.

The Red bananas were small and plump with had a creamy flesh that is sweeter than a yellow banana. I couldn’t eat all the ones in the basket so I used the rest to make banana bread.

Is your mouth watering yet? Head on over to Meilssa’s and check out their wide selection of fruit, vegetable, wine, grilling essentials, and many more baskets!IMG_5708

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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Zen Cookery – Gluten Free and Vegan foods for mindful munching.

Zen Cookery – Gluten Free and Vegan foods for mindful munching. Made with love in Boston.Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 10.59.38 AM

Founded in 2013, Zen Cookery is the brainchild of Erica Zendell, a researcher of contemporary China by day and a celiac baker by night. On a mission to provide allergic eaters and health-conscious snackers gluten free, allergen-free, and vegan choices in small batches, all products are free of the top 8 allergens, corn, and sesame.

Erica was diagnosed with Celiac in August 2012. Much of her identity was based around cooking. In college she cooked for a co-op of 30+ people everyday. She loved cooking and she loved food. Over the past year Erica read lots of cookbooks and did lots of research in order to reclaim her identity as a gluten free chef. She spent much of her time in the kitchen experimenting and perfecting gluten free, allergy friendly recipes.

In the summer of 2013, Erica was reflecting deeply on her first year out of school and her future career prospects. One day, upon returning from a weekend retreat and on her way to work at her favorite cafe in the Cambridge, she made a mental leap from, “Why doesn’t this place have a healthy, satisfying snack I can eat with my tea that won’t make me sick?” to “Why can’t I make a healthy, satisfying snack for them to sell here and share with others, especially those with food sensitivities and restrictions?”

And with that brief meditation, Zen Cookery was born.

Erica makes a variety of desserts including:

Brownies: Dark chocolate, red velvet, coconut blondie, and salted caramel

Truffles: Chocolate-coconut, sunflower buttercup, mint matcha, maple vanilla, dark chocolate, and apple spice

Muffins: Banana chocolate chip, chocolate lavender, carrot, and pumpkin

Cookies: Oatmeal chocolate chip, chewy coconut, snickerdoodle, and harvest joy

Don’t see a flavor you like? No problem! That is just a sampling of what she can make. If you can think it, Erica can bake it.IMG_5688

Las night I had the chance to try some of Erica’s creations.

Erica made me three of her most prized dessert – the truffles. I tried the vanilla maple, dark chocolate, and mint matcha. These little truffles are divine bites from heaven. Allergy-free and refined sugar free, these bites are also suitable for those following a raw or paleo diet.

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The vanilla maple was slightly sweet with a subtle hint of maple syrup. The dark chocolate was rich with a silky smooth texture. Yum. The mint matcha was not for me; I learned tonight I do not like this flavor. I don’t think this had anything to do with her abilities as a chef; I just don’t like this flavor.

IMG_5686The oatmeal chocolate chip cookie was my favorite. I love oatmeal cookies and this one is unquestionably one of the best oatmeal cookies I’ve ever had. It had such great texture and a strong cinnamon flavor; I loved it! IMG_5689

I also love that all of her cookies are also made without refined sugar.

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I like that all her products are “little bites”. It’s just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. This is so much better than buying an extra large cookie or brownie the size of my hand, and endimg up feeling sick after eating it all, because let’s face it, who eats half a cookie?

You can purchase these delicious treats online. One dozen of anything—muffins, cookies, truffles, or brownies—sell for $15. Delivery is free within Boston. Place your order now for Thanksgiving!

This December her products will also be available for sale at Violette Bakery and at the Cambridge Winter Farmer’s Market every other Saturday.

Zen Cookery needs your help to start selling retail in Boston and beyond!

Starting up this business has some big initial costs, and Zen Cookery has started an indiegogo campaign to raise money to help cover them. The contributions they’re asking for are linked to their core expenses, and as you’ll see, the rewards are sweet!

$35 buys us an hour’s worth of time in a gluten-free commercial kitchen space.

$75 buys us a month’s worth of stand space at a local farmers’ market.

$150 covers the cost of one of the many licenses and permits we need to do business on a local, statewide, or national level.

$300 covers the cost of different components of our branding budget, including website design, packaging, labeling, and distribution.

In return for your support, Zen Cookery will bake you samples of their delicious desserts. To read more about their indiegogo campaign and make a contribution click here.

The funding campaign will run until November 30, 2013 at 11:59pm.

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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Product Review: Liz Lovely Gluten Free Cookies

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 10.51.56 AMLast week I had lunch with a co-worker and spotted Liz Lovely cookies on the counter. I was pleasantly surprised to see gluten free vegan cookies so I bought one. OMG! This was one of the softest and most delicious cookies that I have ever eaten. I ate one entire cookie and then realized I had just eaten two servings! But at that moment I did not care.IMG_3477

When I got home from work that night I contacted Liz Lovely and told them I just discovered their products and loved the Snickerdoodle cookie I tried earlier. Being the nice people that they are, they sent me a beautiful pink box filled with their fair-trade, organic, vegan, gluten free cookies so I could sample more of their gluten free product line. :)IMG_4215

Liz Lovely’s incredible hand-made cookies are made in the Green Mountains of Vermont, combing vegan and gluten free baking. Liz Lovely cookies are not only scrumptious, but they are made with only animal-free, natural, and organic ingredients, and without the following:

  1. No artificial ingredients of any kind
  2. No preservatives
  3. No “colors” or “flavors”, just real food
  4. No genetically modified organisms (Non-GMO)
  5. No trans fats or hydrogenated oils

I tried six flavors and hands down my favorite was the Snickerdoodle.

All six varieties had a soft texture and great taste.

  • Snickerdoodle: Melt-in-your-mouth goodness, great, soft texture with a nice amount of cinnamon sugar on top.IMG_4220
  • The Chocolate Chip cookie was my second favorite and tasted exactly like cookie dough. Seriously, this was amazing and I couldn’t put it down.IMG_4226
  • The Triple Chocolate Mint cookie resembles the Girl Scouts’ Thin Mints, but is larger, softer, and even fudgier.
  • Chocolate Fudge: Rich and intense like a fudge brownie and smelled like one too. While I am a chocoholic, this cookie was incredibly fudgy, thick and dense, and I had to stop after a few bites. The flavor and richness was great, but only in small doses.IMG_4216
  • Ginger Molasses: Not something I ate growing up as a kid, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first thing I noticed were the pieces of ginger on top of the cookie. The sweet ginger spiciness in this cookie was a huge hit for me, and it was much less sweet than the other cookies. I didn’t get the molasses taste I was expecting, rather it tasted more like a spicy gingerbread cookie than anything else. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. IMG_4217
  • Peanut Butter: I don’t like peanuts but I tried this one anyways, and I didn’t like it. Drizzled with chocolate icing and a chocolate bottom, if you like Reese’s peanut butter cups then you will love this cookie.

Other gluten free cookie flavors include coconut macaroon, German chocolate cake, and Lovely Oh’s (chocolate covered Oreo-style cookies).

Each package comes with two cookies, but in reality this is 4 servings. Each cookie is two servings, which is very misleading. If you are like me and have a hard time eating only ½ a cookie then be careful or else you will be eating twice as many calories and sugar – yikes.

Health and safety are top priorities for Liz Lovely. While they do not have a separate facility, they have a carefully designed plan to eliminate the risk of cross contamination:

  • Gluten free cookies are never baked on the same day as the wheat cookies.
  • Ingredients for gluten free products are stored separately; even the sugar!
  • The bakery and equipment is washed thoroughly after every single production run.
  • Gluten Free products are tested at less than 5ppm, the lowest measurable level.

Click to download Liz Lovely’s Gluten Free Handling Policy.

Liz Lovely products can be bought online or in stores (20+ stores/cafes in the Boston area).  Use promo code LOVELIZ to save 5% off your next online order.

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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Product Review: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt & GIVEAWAY!

I love summer and I am dreading the cold! Although Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer, it isn’t officially over until September 21st. Just because school has started up again and apple picking season is beginning, doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy some of our favorite summertime things – outdoor dining, walks along the Charles River, and frozen treats – just to name a few.

When I finished the Falmouth Road Race, the Yasso truck was at the finish line handing out samples of their rozen Greek yogurt. Although I was incredibly overheated and should have wanted a nice cold treat, all I wanted was water. I later regretted not trying the Frozen Greek yogurt bars.  Luckily for me,the folks over at Yasso offered to give me some samples to share with my co-workers in the office.IMG_4454

Yasso is a Boston-based company started by childhood friends Amanda and Drew a few years ago. Both former athletes, they set out to create a good-for-you frozen novelty product of the highest quality. After a degree from ice cream camp (yep, seriously), countless road trips, and over a year of research and development, they executed their first production run.

Me at the Yasso headquarters in Boston.
Me at the Yasso headquarters in Boston.

Now Yasso makes 6 great flavors of Frozen Greek Yogurt and are in the process of creating new flavors for 2014. My vote is for Chocolate and Mint Chip.IMG_4455

Yasso bars are made with Greek yogurt and contain probiotics, which are live bacteria that help treat digestive problems and regulate the immune system. Yasso bars are made from all natural ingredients, have 6 grams of protein per serving (Vanilla Bean has 7g), are gluten free, fat free (only the coconut has 0.5 grams of fat), contain no artificial sweeteners, and have only 80 calories per bar!

The bars have a creamy texture but are surprisingly light. Each bar contains just 12 grams of sugar, much less than many other novelty bars on the market. I like that Yasso bars are not too sweet, yet are sweet enough to make for a delightful dessert-like treat.

The first 3 flavors introduced in 2001 were blueberry, strawberry and raspberry. Each one is flavorful and has a ‘’berry’’ taste; I like the strawberry the best.

Enjoying a yasso bar and my new yasso sunglasses at the office
Enjoying a yasso bar and my new yasso sunglasses at the office

Blueberry
Blueberry

In 2013 Yasso introduced 3 new flavors – coconut, mango and vanilla bean. My favorite out of these was the Coconut flavor. I could feel and taste the real coconut flakes inside.

Mango
Mango

If you are looking for a sweet healthy treat to keep you cool, but that won’t weigh you down, Yasso is just what you need.

Yasso also makes frozen Greek smoothies, available in 3 flavors: strawberry banana, mixed berry and mango pineapple. Yasso products are available to buy at Stop & Shop, BJ’s, Whole Foods, Walmart, Hannaford’s and many other retail and grocery locations. To find Yasso products near you click here.

Now for the Giveaway! One lucky reader will win two boxes of Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt and four $1 off coupons for future Yasso purchases!

Enter below using the Rafflecopter for a chance to win! This Giveaway will end on Thursday August 29, 2013 at 11:59pm EST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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Product Review: Fabe’s All Natural Bakery – Gluten Free Cookies!

Fabe’s Natural Bakery specializes in making all natural vegan desserts. With nothing but real ingredients, there are no preservatives or added sugars in any of their products.  Fabe’s offers a variety of products to choose from to suit everyone’s personal food choices; including, gluten free, vegan, whole grain, and organic. The gluten free product line includes, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, pies, and piecrusts. All of Fabe’s gluten free desserts are certified gluten free by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG).Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 9.37.29 PM

Fabe’s was so generous to send me four gluten free, vegan, organic cookies. The single serving cookies come in three flavors: dark chocolate, macaroon, and cranberry orange.IMG_3370

Many gluten free cookies are hard, dry, and crumbly, and come in small sizes. These are anything but. All three cookies I tried were thick, soft, and chewy, tasted real, and were gigantic in size!

The organic macaroon is very similar to a macaroon, but in cookie form, and it is absolutely scrumptious. It’s a very moist coconut-based cookie made with a few simple ingredients. The texture was both smooth and soft, and I liked that it was not too sweet.

The Cranberry orange cookie was my least favorite; it had a very strong orange flavor.  Like the others it was also soft and moist, and had a solid amount of cranberries. But this cookie was too sweet, and the orange was overpowering; it needed to be toned down.IMG_3372

The Dark chocolate cookie was surprisingly dense. It was also grainier than the other two cookies. Sweetened with only beet juice and palm sweetener, it was remarkably rich and moist. It tasted fudgy yet still cake-like at the same time. I absolutely loved this one.IMG_3371

The single serve cookies I received are a bit misleading, as each cookie is actually two servings. So if you eat the whole cookie, like I did, that is 260-280 calories per cookie! Relatively speaking this is not so bad, but if you have a hard time only eating half a cookie (like me) you should opt for the mini cookies. The mini cookies come in 4 flavors including organic macaroon, dark chocolate, cranberry orange, and ginger snap. The serving size is much better, with 4-5 cookies per serving and only 130-140 calories.Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 9.36.01 PM

Fabe’s products are not currently available here on the East coast just yet, but you can buy them online.