Snacktime: Quest Cookies and Cream Protein Bar

That’s right today’s protein bar is aptly named Quest because that is exactly what I feel as though I have been on. It feels like a quest to find a protein bar I would actually like to eat. I know it seems like a strange quest to be on. There are many snacks that i can easily choose from. In fact I keep a variety of them in the pantry. Almonds, walnuts and peanuts. Mini sized bags of popcorn. Chomps meat Sticks and Righteous Felon Craft Beef Jerky and seasonal fruit are all available.

The thing is, I enjoy riding my bike and there is a group I ride with, most of whom it turns out are vegans. When I ride my bike I like to keep a simple portable snack, which for me the easiest is either Chomps or Righteous Felon, both of which I use when I am on my own. With the group I like to something a little more vegan friendly than a stick of meat. No one has any objections to what I eat, but I feel it is a bit more polite.

Hence my delving into protein bars recently. Many of them have not been my thing. For some it is textural. many protein bars seem to have the texture of playdoh which I simply do not find pleasant. A lot of them are overly sweet, or too dry and crumbly. And many of them seem to taste like a weird interpretation of uncooked cookie dough.

During my workday when i use an afternoon snack to help me control my dinner time portion size, I like to keep my snacks around 100 calories. When riding I am a little more flexible with the calorie count as I am in the process of refueling often during exercise.

This Cookies and Cream Quest Bar had 200 calories per bar. For the trail ride that is fine. At my desk I cut it in half. The bar is large enough that I am okay with cutting it in half. I can do so and still feel like I am getting a decent sized snack. As odd as it sounds, sometimes perception is everything. If I feel like cutting it in half gives me too small a portion it doesn’t matter what the calorie count says, i still feel like I’ve been cheated. This is large enough that I don’t feel cheated when i half it.

There is some of that playdoh texture on the outside, but I don’t mind it as much with the quest bars. Partially because it is a stiffer consistency and I can’t roll it up easily like a ball of playdoh and partially it is because there are solid pieces inside. The black pieces are the same texture and consistence of the chocolate wafer part of a sandwich cookie, like an Oreo. For all I know they could actually be cookie pieces added to it. They certainly have the right texture and taste. The white bit is not the same filling. It is sweet but it has a slightly aspartame kind of taste. It leaves an aftertaste like you get from a diet soda. While I can do without the aftertaste, I have to say this has been one of the best protein bars I have tried.

While I don’t think that i will ever be a huge fan of protein bars and I will probably not turn to them for my regular daily snacking, for an inoffensive eat on the trail snack, I would certainly pick this Quest Cookies and Cream Protein Bar up again. The flavor is good, there is enough textural difference between the components to make it feel like something it is okay to eat and not like you have taken the Playdoh food factory fun molds a little too literally, and it doesn’t crumble to dust as you bite into it. The only problem is that more than anything it does make me crave a big, cold glass of milk.

Snacktime: Broth Concentrate

This may seem like a strange snacktime post but I have to say that sometimes a warm cup of broth can be the best thing. A lot of my meal prep and planning go into making certain that I have healthy meals in a certain calorie level. I watch my proteins and my carbs as well when I am planning. This way I get the nutrients that i need and generally my food tastes pretty good.

However because the work week is so hectic and lunchtime so short, there is often a craving for something deeper. Here is where the concentrates really help out. A broth concentrate is basically a flavorful broth that has been boiled down to a gel like consistency.

You can buy them in boxes like this one pictured in a variety of flavors, including vegetarian ones). My personal favorite is the pho Chicken Broth Concentrate. There are not only a variety of flavors but a variety of brands. To be honest i really haven’t found that much difference in taste between the less and more expensive ones. This one happened to be on sale at the grocery store around the corner so I stocked up. I think typically the box sells for around $1.50 and contains four packets.

While I will for a dinner, dilute this into a stock pot and add all the delicious veg and noodles making it a full meal, I often find this is good as either a snack or a lunch time on the go. I take an insulated thermos and pour boiling water over the concentrate, stir and pop on the lid. I find my Teami mug perfect for this actually. It is made for tea but it works really well for broth.

Sipped slowly this broth feels far more filling than it actually is. One packet has only 25 calories. It feels like it should have at least a hundred more. It does have a high salt content so I do then to limit consumption to once a week at most and on the days when I drink it i tend to add several extra cups of water to my personal daily intake level.

For me soup has always had a comforting element to it. I think because the best soups seem to take all day to simmer. For me this is a way to get that comfort with out a lot of extra calories added to the day’s diet. It is also a good way to liven up a dinner that requires broth. While I always watch the salt content, for the occasional comforting snack or lunch break, this is a very good option to have on hand.



Snacktime: No Cow Protein Bar Lemon Meringue Pie

As I am sure i have mentioned before, snacktime is for me, one of the best ways to keep on track with my diet. A small snack around two in the afternoon really helps. I can convince myself to have a lighter lunch because I know I’m getting a little treat later in the afternoon and it keeps me from being too hungry at dinner time. My biggest dietary problem is portion control. I generally eat good foods and cook most of my meals at the house, I just some times eat bigger portions than I should. Snacks help me control my portions.

Part is because of the calories they impart, but part is psychological. I make sure that while the snack i choose has limited calories (I try not to go too far over a hundred) it is also something that is a tasty treat so that I feel like I’ve been bad, even when I haven’t.

With protein bars, you really have to watch the calories, for example this No Cow Lemon Meringue Pie Protein bar that I am trying today has 190 calories in it so I knew going in that I would only be eating half today and half tomorrow. In general I like to slice the bar in half and only talk half with me while the other half ends up in a zip top bag for the next day.

Now I am not a vegan and I am not a vegetarian. I do limit my meat intake to at most once a week (technically red meat we only eat maybe once a month at this point, but we eat fish once a week). My lunches are almost always vegetarian and at least three dinners a week are vegetarian. I love both cheese and charcuterie but i do limit them and make sure when i do indulge I go for higher quality.

The best way to get me to try anything is to make it lemon meringue pie flavored. To be honest I saw the bar in the rack at the grocery and thought “I’m low on snacks, oh Lemon Meringue Pie flavor, you shall be mine.” And then it ended up in the cart. When I put the groceries away i noticed the No Cow part and realized there was no dairy in them. Then I tried to recall if dairy was normal. Then I realized that in bar format I tend to go for the Nature Valley Oats and Honey granola bar which is of course not vegan because of the honey but has no dairy in it, but isn’t a protein bar either. Then I spiraled down a protein bar/dairy internet rabbit hole that I suggest you avoid.

The end result is that I love lemon meringue pie. It is my favorite desert and if you can give me something sweet and tart and reminiscent of that decadent dessert then I don’t care if it is vegan or not. So let’s take a look at the No Cow Protein Bar shall we?

According to the website it is…

Dairy Free, 22g Plant Protein, 1g Sugar, 18g Fiber, 190 Calories, Certified Gluten-Free and Kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified, Soy Free, Vegan, Made with pea and rice protein, stevia, and monk fruit, A perfect balance between tangy lemon and a slice of meringue pie. WE threw in some pea protein crisps for added texture too. Try not to salivate., Sweet as pie … high protein, low sugar pie. No Cow. No Bull. No Whey!™

No Cow

Taking the bar from the pack, it looks and feels like it is made with playdoh. It has the exact same texture as if I rolled a piece of playdoh in my hands to make a snake. it does have a pleasing lightly lemon/graham cracker scent to it which I thought was a good start. Biting into it is a bit like biting into a Fig Newton.

Does it taste of tangy lemon? Is it sweet as pie? No.

Chewing it it remains a fig newton like consistency but it tastes like sand. You know how when you go to the beach occasionally you get sand in your mouth? Delete the grittiness, but keep the taste. Add a slight hint of lemon, as though while you had a mouth full of sand a lemon went rolling by on the beach in front of you and you have the flavor of this bar.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Now I knew it wasn’t going to taste exactly like pie. I understand the low sugar aspect. But I figured the worst that would happen would be that it would taste just of lemons. I like lemon, so that wouldn’t be bad.

This was like a cruel joke.

Again, I may not be vegan but I have had plenty of yummy tasting vegan snacks. this simply wasn’t one of them. They should have at least been able to make it taste like lemon. Normally I like to look for the redeeming qualities in something, because most things do have them. I honestly can’t find the plus. It wasn’t good on any level.

Packing something with good for you things only works if you can make it taste good enough to eat. I couldn’t even get through the half that I earmarked for today’s snack. No Cow was a major disappointment.

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Snacktime: Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Kind Bar

In my grocery store I have passed the rack of Kind bars quite often and to be honest they just looked like candy bars so I didn’t pick them up. While I am fond of the occasional sweet, they are not my go to when I go for snacks. I tend to go for savory. I pick up pretzels or nuts or cheese when I need a special treat.

And to be honest most snack bars of this sort are too sweet for me. However I was drawn in by the name. Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. I love Cashews and will happily take down more cherries in one sitting then I really should. And when I go for chocolate, I do tend to lean towards the darker varieties. In addition I stopped by the rack looking for a snack and saw that most of them had some sort of cookie dough flavor.

the bar

Don’t get me wrong, I like cookie dough in itself. I am not a fan of cookie dough flavored things as they are almost always too sweet for me. So the Kind Bar stood out even more as it was not cookie dough flavored.

The bar has 170 calories which is a bit much for me. I generally try not to go over a hundred with my afternoon snack. Occasionally I will push it to 130 but 170 is pretty high. However once in a while I can indulge.

The Kind bar has a chewy texture with enough crunch from the nuts to make it satisfying to bite into. The chocolate is sweet but it has the dark chocolate bite to it that I really enjoy and the cherries are more tart than sweet, almost to the point of cranberry tartness but not quite.

cross section

It was a rather enjoyable snack. In fact it was everything I hoped for when I read the label. However for me, it was too large. I would have been more satisfied with a bar half the size. It was simply too much for me in one sitting. However when I went to the website I saw that they do sell boxes of mini kind bars. From the package on the screen it looked like they sold this bar in a version that was about half the size.

While this was delicious, in this size i would probably not buy it again. It is simply too much of a good thing, However I would happily purchase this dark chocolate cherry cashew bar in a half sized version. I think that would be just enough sweet, just enough afternoon energy and just the right amount of calories for me to feel comfortable with this as an afternoon snack.

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Snacktime: Modern Mill

I know what you are thinking. That is a salad topper, not a snack. I know, but stick with me. The Modern Mill Salad toppers are a line that is carried at most grocery stores, at least the ones near me. There are a bunch of different varieties. This particular one is my favorite. It has edamame, cranberries, cashews and sunflower seeds.

Now here’s the thing. As a salad topper, I am not a fan of this. I’ve tried most of the line and while I purchase them, rarely do any of them make it onto my salad. I think it is a bit too heavy for a salad topping. The cashews are whole and over all this mix tends to dominate whatever salad it is put on. There are also just too many things going on with it. It’s like they pack one too many ingredients into the mix for me to feel happy with it on my salad.

However, as much as I am not a fan of this on my salad, I love it as a mid afternoon snack.

With the whole cashews, sunflower seeds and edamame adding salty nutty crunch and the cranberries adding a tart fruity note, it is actually a really good snack. Very well balanced and really enjoyable. Especially on those days where you just want something to crunch into.

One fourth of a cup is 140 calories so it is a snack for a day when you are going the extra mile with your work out, not for one where the most activity you are getting is chasing a paperclip that some how shot across the room. However there is no filler. The ingredients are really edamame, sunflower seeds, cranberries and cashews. It has 11% of your fiber and 7 grams of protein.

While this isn’t something I enjoy on my salad, I love keeping this in my pantry for a protean packed pick me up. It is well worth having on hand. Just remember that it is very easy to go over board with it, so measure it out instead of simply eating from the bag. I love measuring it out into a small container and taking it with me on bike rides or to snack on between meetings. It is also a good reminder that just because a product is designed for one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be fabulous for something else.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Green with Apple from Smoothie Box

This is it my darlings. We have reached the fourth and final smoothie variety in the Smoothie Box that the brand sent to me for the purpose of review. Each Monthly Smoothie Box contains four packs of Smoothies. Each of the packs contains five separate smoothie packets so in total there are 20 smoothies included. Each packet contains two portions. In general I find that if I am eating the smoothie for a snack i will only eat half of the package (1 portion) but if I am using it as a lunch then i will mix up the full package. So I would get 20 lunches or 40 snacks out of a Smoothie box. Of the three I’ve tried, the Orange (Clementine) and the Cacao smoothies are fantastic for lunch replacements and the Berry I actually prefer for a snack.

This is the first of the Green with Apple that I have tried so let’s see where I would place it. I will be honest, I left this one for last because I thought it would be too sweet for a meal and thus end up as a snack item. I decided this solely based on the fact that there are both apples and pineapples on the front picture. I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or a smoothie by it’s bag.

out of the bag (pre blending)

So I blended up the smoothie to see if it would be a lunch item or a snack for later. I blended it with skim milk as I didn’t want to risk the Almond milk making it sweeter than it might be on it’s own. Plus I find that milk is a nice neutral base so that i can determine the actual flavor before I start to adjust it. I can’t lie, when I blended it, the smoothie very much resembled my homemade spinach dip. which isn’t too surprising considering spinach is the first item on the ingredients list.

Full ingredients: Organic Spinach, Organic Granny Smith Apples, Organic Pineapple, Organic avocado, Organic apple juice, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Brown Flax Seeds and Organic Hemp hearts.

Smoothie Box

And each serving is 80 calories.

When pouring the smoothie into my cup I thought spinach dip. I had to look away to convince my brain that it wasn’t spinach dip. It didn’t smell like spinach dip, which helped. while there is an undertone of spinach the smoothie tasted predominantly of brown flax seeds with a little bit of the hemp hearts thrown in. Occasionally there would be a little nibblet that would make me think apple or pineapple, but it is overwhelmingly flax and hemp heart. It is a very seed-y tasting smoothie.

Which is not a bad taste, just not what I was expecting. And oddly, I miss the sweetness. I think this one could do with a little hint of sweetness added to kind of balance out the seed/nutty taste. In all of the smoothies there were recommendations. With almost all of them I was worried that the additions would make them too sweet and take them out of lunch territory and into snack milkshake ground. (Except for the cold brew coffee added to the cacao smoothie. If I could have that for breakfast every day I would.)

with this smoothie I think the add ins would not only make it delicious, i think they might make it better. The suggestions for possible add ins include, Protein powder, Almond Milk, fruit juice, banana or nut butter. I try not to do too many add ins because I don’t want to increase the calories too much. For me though I think adding the almond milk and banana are the way to go with this smoothie. The almond would pair well with the nuttiness of the seeds and add a little sweetness and the banana I think would bring the other fruit forward a little more.

The smoothie isn’t bad on it’s own, but it feels very one note. I love the iron level, calcium, and protein that I get form this, I just want to add a little bit of sweetness. I will happily have this smoothie as a lunch, but it is the only one that I received in the variety pack where I feel the add ins are needed. In every other smoothie the flavors were complex enough that it feels like a full developed well thought out smoothie. The add ins would be nice but not necessary. This one, needs just a little bit of help. While this Green with Apple is probably my least favorite of the smoothies, it is still quite delicious and I will be consuming all of them during various lunch times. I will also be picking up a bunch of bananas.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Berry from Smoothie Box

Smoothie Box very kindly sent me their monthly smoothie box for the purpose of review. The full subscription review you can find here. As I make my way through the box I am reviewing the individual smoothie types in the box. I received the Variety pack and it contained four separate flavors. This Super Smoothie Berry flavor is number three.

With these smoothies, each pack contains two portions. In general I will always make both portions at the same time, however if I am using it as a snack instead of as a meal, I will only eat half and save the other half for the next afternoon. I still mix them at the same time, then split them, put the unused half in the freezer and then the next morning transfer the un consumed half from the freezer to the fridge. By the time I am ready for my afternoon snack it has the right consistency again. It is super easy and something that really helps me out on days that I know are going to be jam packed.

This smoothie has the lowest calorie count of the smoothies I have tried from the brand. It has 90 calories per serving. For me this was an interesting one. I generally find that if my smoothies are too sweet, my brain thinks of them as a desert and I don’t really feel like I’ve had a lunch. It will feel like a snack rather than a meal and then no matter how many calories are in the mix I will still feel like i should eat something.

If I am using it as a snack then I am fine with the sweeter varieties. Thus far it hasn’t been a problem with the Smoothie Box Smoothies. They have had enough savory elements that I think of them as a meal. With this Berry Smoothie I mixed it up with Almond Milk (one of the recommended liquids). It was absolutely delicious. The issue was that it tasted like a fabulous berry flavored milkshake.

I think part of it is that I always find almond milk to be a little on the sweet side. Once I tasted it, I knew it would be too sweet to serve as a meal, so I went ahead and divided it into two and froze half. I’ll have the other half as a snack tomorrow afternoon.

It was absolutely delicious I just can’t think of something that sweet as a meal. which is my own personal preference. As a snack though, it felt completely indulgent. I found myself double checking the calories. (90 x2 + 60 for a cup and a half of almond milk = 240 for the shake, split in half is 120 cal). It felt like it should have been a lot more. And because it felt like a lot more, I did a little extra in my work out telling myself “Think about that milkshake you had as a snack”. which helped me out in other ways.

I think if I were to use this as a lunch, I would use skim milk and possibly throw a knob of ginger into the mix to make it a bit more savory. However that being said, I am okay with having one variety of these smoothies be designated as snack smoothies rather than lunch time meals. That may just be it’s lane. either way i was delighted with the taste and am looking forward to indulging in the rest of the Super Smoothie Berry bags from the pack.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Clementine from The Smoothie Box

Recently Smoothie Box sent one of their Smoothie Boxes over to me for the purpose of review. The full review of the box can be found here. This is a review of the individual smoothie, Clementine. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

At this time of year, time is at a premium. It is almost as though with the arrival of spring the world wakes up shakes off it’s lethargy and goes into hyperdrive. It is my busiest time of year and honestly, my lunch time game suffers because of it. While a lot of studies go into breakfast being the most important meal of the day, for me lunch time is key.

As anyone following along with my posts on a regular basis knows, I am working towards losing weight. I have no desire to run around in a bikini or imitate any form of model-esque appearance. My goal is simply to be a healthier me. And for me to be healthier I need to get some weight off of my bones. If nothing else it will help out my joints in the long run.

today’s add in

the thing is, I cook. I love to cook. Even before activities were curtailed we ate out at most once a month. Other wise I cook. Which, when paired with a weight loss program, means breaking down recipes by caloric intake and portioning things out. Time is often a factor (for everyone, I know) so a lot of times I will make a larger meal, and then portion it out into several meals, freezing portions so that on days when it is to rushed to cook, I have a meal handy.

In theory, this is fabulous. In practice it means that on the nights I cook I really have to monitor what it is that I am portioning out and not say to myself, ‘Well it wouldn’t hurt to have a little extra since there are so many left overs.’ The key to not doing that is a good lunch. And often an afternoon snack.

These smoothie packs are fantastic for that. The calories are listed on the back, all the ingredients are chopped and ready for blending and they are a great mix of ingredients. This Clementine Smoothie (renamed Orange Smoothie on the website)is 120 calories per portion and has loads of good stuff inside. There are two portions per bag. If I am having it as a snack I will only have one portion. If I am having it for lunch i will have two.

The ingredients in this smoothie mix are: Mandarin Segments, Organic Sweet potatoes, Organic Ginger, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Dates, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Lemon Juice, Carrots and Pumpkin seeds.

Smoothie Box

It is a really interesting mix. The carrots, mandarins and dates make up the sweetness but the ginger and lemon bring it into the savory category. It is a spicy carroty orange flavor which I really enjoy. While the back of the package recommends adding in bananas, Protein Powder, Banana yogurt Orange Juice or Pineapple juice, today I went rogue. I added coconut water and then added a scoop of vanilla bean Greek Yogurt (I am absolutely loving the brand Noosa right now. For me the Vanilla bean has taken the place of after dinner ice cream. It is my favorite.)

blend

The blend oddly enough ,makes it taste a little more like carrot cake. Which I have to admit is my favorite kind of cake. I have had this smoothie with orange juice before and the juice bumps up the orange flavor (obviously) but even with the added sweetness it still has that ginger spice to it.

drink

For me, I am okay with the sweetness, but if it is too sweet then my brain won’t register it as a meal. It will simply thing of the smoothie as a “treat”. Even though it was vaguely reminiscent of carrot cake, it wasn’t too sweet and it made the perfect lunch. As I knw this afternoon was going to be crazy, I went ahead and mixed it up in the morning and put the smoothie in the fridge to wait until lunch time. That’s actually why I used the yogurt. well besides added taste. It keeps the smoothie thick even though the fridge lets some of the frozen bits melt a little by lunch time. It is still just how I like it. This Clementine (Now Orange) Super Smoothie was a fabulous addition to my day.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Cacao from Smoothie Box

Recently Smoothie Box gifted me a Smoothie Box for the purpose of review. For the review of the box as a whole you can click this link. As I work through the box I will be trying out each flavor. As always my opinions are my own. The Smoothie Box I received was the variety pack. If you remember some of my earlier posts, I love a good variety pack. It is a great way to try out a bunch of flavors and get a good idea about the brand as a whole. I love this approach with everything from food to perfume Samples.

I put this review in my snack time line up because these smoothies can be either a snack or a lunch time option. Each smoothie is in an individual bag and has two portions in it. I generally find that if I am eating it a a snack, I will blend the entire bag, and then only drink half. If I have the entire bag then I will use it as a meal replacement. So since it can be both, we are calling it Snack time.

the Smoothie I am trying out today is the Super Smoothie Cacao. Like all of the smoothie bags it has two portions inside. each portion is 130 calories. To mix up you need eight to twelve ounces of liquid added to the mix in the bag when you blend it up. I have a traditional blender (although i am looking at some of the more updated blenders because mine is getting up there in age) and to get the smoothies to blend well I need 12 ounces of liquid. With eight ounces things tend to get stuck and it becomes too thick. So I use eight ounces of Skim Milk (90 cal) with four ounces of water. which means when I have this Cacao Smoothie for a lunch it comes in at 350 calories which is the perfect lunch time meal for me.

The contents of the bag

On the back of the bag there are listed recommended add ins which I really like. Sometimes I will add other items into the mix, just so that it varies them a bit more nd makes them taste different. A lot of the times I just add the milk and water. Smoothie Box recommends Bananas, Protein Powder, Almond Milk, Cold brew, and Nut butter. Quite frankly all of them sound like they would be delicious add ins.

They recommend you add in the contents of the smoothie bag first and then add the piquid, but I find with my blender adding the milk and water in first helps keep the frozen bits from getting caught under the blade.

All blended

I chose this smoothie first from the box because I often have issues with chocolate based smoothies. I actually expected this one to be the one I liked the least. I am not a huge fan of overly sweet things. My tastes tend to lean towards the savory. So when you get Cacao type smoothie mixes two things can happen. One they will be very sweet and it will feel like you are drinking a milkshake.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of milkshakes. However, if I drink something that tastes like a milkshake for lunch it will feel like I am just having dessert. My brain will not think of it as lunch and a little while later i will think, ‘Wow that was a nice treat, but I better have some actual lunch now.’ and I will over eat.

the second thing that can happen with chocolate themed smoothies is they can become chalky. I think to make them healthy a lot of healthy smoothie mixes will reduce the amount of cocoa fat too much and they become chalky that way. At least that’s my theory.

Neither of those things happened with this smoothie. There is a chocolaty taste which is quite nice. There is also a banana taste which is quite nice. And actually it is more banana forward than chocolate. There is a nuttiness to the mix and underneath is a light vegetal note. It is this note that makes it feel like a meal rather than a milk shake. I know it sounds strange but the mix really works well together. It is actually quite delicious.

Smoothie Box has really managed to get the mix right with this one. And what a mix it is. Let’s look at the ingredients list shall we?

Organic Bananas and Banana Puree, Organic Zucchini, Organic Kale, Cacao Chips, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Coconut Cream, and Organic Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder

Together the elements simply work. It tastes like a banana chocolate smoothie with a nutty back note, the vegetables only balancing it to remove some of the sweetness and make it feel more like a meal.

Well not only taking the sweetness. All of the elements are good for you and work towards making this a very nutritious meal. According to the ingredient break out:

Organic Bananas and Banana Puree: High in aspartic acid which helps every cell in the body work. It plays a role in hormone production and release and normal nervous system function.

Organic Zucchini: Zucchini is rich in vitamin B6. This vitamin can help with regulating blood glucose which plays a protective role against diabetes.

Organic Kale: Kale contains several antioxidants that help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures.

Cacao Chips :To efficiently package ingredients we mix several ingredients together and then freeze them into a smoothie chip. This allows us to include beneficial ingredients like coconut cream, cacao nibs, and other fun ingredients.

Organic Coconut Water: High in electrolytes which are minerals that help your body carry out a variety of vital functions, such as hydration, muscle contractions, pH balance, and nerve signalling.

Organic Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, magnesium, protein, and linoleic fatty acids which may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Organic Coconut Cream: Rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and other B vitamins. These vitamins are good antioxidants which help fight free radicals and thereby reduce the risk of most major diseases.

Organic Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder: Cacao in any form is exceptionally rich in antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Cacao has been linked to reduced heart disease and diabetes risk.

Smoothie Box

It is a well thought out mix that is quite honestly delicious. As there were five in my Smoothie Box Variety Pack, I am very much looking forward to having the other four come up in rotation.

Snack time: Original Ginger Chews

I know strictly speaking, these Original Ginger Chews fall more into the candy side of things than the snack side, however as I used them to help curb my apatite in the afternoons, I’m going to call them a snack. As many of you who have read these posts often might recall, I generally find a snack in the afternoon keeps me from overeating at dinner. I try to keep my snack around a hundred calories. And in general if I can get it around a hundred, then I will call it a snack.

No these ginger chews are not around a hundred calories each, they are 15 calories each. I picked them up because I really like ginger and because sometimes I need a break from peppermints.

Thies ginger chews are listed as gluten free and 100% natural. While I am thrilled to know that, what I like is the ingredients list. Are you ready for it?

Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Ginger, coconut fat

Wasn’t that a mega long list? Seriously it is essentially ginger mixed with a bit of sweetness to tame it and something to gelify and stabilize it. As you can see from the picture it has a jelly like consistency. It is bendable which I really like. It is slightly stiff but not rock hard (which i think the individual packaging helps with). While I do like hard candies, I like the fact that something labels chew isn’t rock hard.

the two big issues that candies like this have are that they could be rock hard or they could be so sticky that it gets stuck in your teeth. As I said above, this one avoids the rock hard trap. It is a little sticky in the mouth but I haven’t had a problem with it sticking to my teeth too much. While I will bite them, I do tend to suck on them and let them dissolve in my mouth rather than chewing them. And yes I know that chews are meant to be chewed, but somehow I never have. It used to really bother my brother.

The ginger flavor really comes through. It is not overly sweet and not burn your tongue gingery. It strikes a really nice balance between the heat and the sweet. It is also a nice break from the other snacks I tend to pick up which fall into sweet, salty or creamy sections. The texture makes me feel like I’ve eaten something (even if I don’t chew). And the ginger, while very tasty, can also help to settle my stomach if it is feeling upset in anyway. If you like ginger or want a sweet and spicy treat, this might be something to check out.