Friday, October 30, 2009

Three Sisters Cereal

Sorry I've been gone for so long! School is just insane. I'm only a freshman, but we get divided into different categories of classes based on our abilities. I'm in Accelerated for all my classes, and... I'm kind of worried about how hard sophomore year is going to be. :/ Anyway... Onto the review. In light of Halloween, I've decided to do a sweet, candy-like cereal review! I never ate candy when I was little, but we always had these organic treats at my house during Trick-Or-Treating time. :) This cereal has to be the best sweet thing out there! It's made by the Three Sisters Cereal company, and is currently only available at select Whole Foods locations. If you can't tell from the pic, the cereal doesn't come in a box, it comes in a freshness saver bag. With less packaging, there's less waste.

Here's an excerpt from the back of the bag:

"Each year, there are about 2.5 billion cereal boxes sold in the United States. If even half of those boxes were bags, we'd save 90,000 tons of paperboard. The energy saved could power over 11,000 homes for a year. It would eliminate 170 million gallons of waste water and avoid 1,800 garbage trucks of solid waste."

Not to mention the cereal itself is made with wind-generated electricity! But what about the taste? Well, I've only personally tried the Marshmallow Oaties and the Cinnamon Sweets, but I asked for opinions from people who've tried the other ones.

Marshmallow Oaties: Yum! This cereal is definitely what I imagine Lucky Charms would taste like. The cereal part tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios while the actual marshmallow circles are crunchy, yet melt in your mouth. So far my favorite!

Cinnamon Sweets: I've actually had Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and it tastes exactly like this. Seriously, maybe even sweeter. I couldn't eat more than a few squares of this cereal because of the overwhelming amount of sugar, but my brother could. He's the type who inhales bags of food at a time. >.<

Sweet Wheat: My little cousin tried this one because she loves Mini Wheats. She said these tasted pretty similar, but were crunchier for some reason. I told her it's because of the "organic-ness". *shrug*

Graham Crackerz: Apparently this cereal isn't quite as sweet as the others, but still sweet enough. Kind of like a real graham cracker in cereal form, but not as thick.

Honey'n Oats: This cereal is the only one with flakes in it. There are also sweet oat clusters in it. My mom liked the clusters, but not so much the flakes. She said they were too bland.

Honey Oaties: I think it's even more obvious that these are supposed to be Honey Nut Cheerios. :) I clearly didn't get a chance to try this one, but the picture on the internet looks yummy.

Here are the nutrition facts for the Marshmallow Oaties:

There is corn syrup and gelatin derived from animals (><) in this cereal, but hey, you've got to live a LITTLE, especially on Halloween. :D I hope you enjoyed this review girls! And I'm going to assume, like many food bloggers do, that my readers, or most of them, are girls. Let me know if you're not and I'll be sure to include that in my next post. ;)

Price: On sale at Whole Foods for $3.49 per 12.5 ounce bag
Calories: 120-130 per 30g serving for every cereal except Sweet Wheat, which has 210 calories per 55g serving

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm pretty sure we've all had our fair share of Popchips, but I couldn't resist doing a review of the greatest chips known to (wo)man. I haven't tried or seen all of them, but of the ones I have, they're all delicious!

So... how are Popchips different than other chips? Well, for starters, they're not baked or fried. They're popped! (I'm seeing where the name came from...) And what is "popping"? Start with potatoes, add a little heat and pressure, and there you have it. Apparently, they have rice and corn chips as well, but I've never seen those.

All of the chips have a texture very similar to a regular potato chip. Popchips have a nice crunch, but no grease on the outside. You know how some chips leave you feeling "heavy"? Not with these. All in all, a very innocent snack.

I'll just list all of the potato flavors, in no particular order. :) I love them all.

Cheddar: Okay, I lied. So my favorite is going first. This flavor is just... awesome. It kind of tastes like someone baked really tangy mac cheese into the chip. It's kind of like the chip was dipped in a powdered form of mac cheese. <3

Salt and Vinegar: This flavor is definitely tangy! If you like that burst of vinegar flavor, go for these. I know some kinds of vinegar chips have a subtler taste, but this one is like WHAM!

Sour Cream and Onion: This flavor is somewhat milder than the other ones, but still very good. If you haven't noticed by now, I really like strong flavors. This chip would be perfect if it was more dominant over the potato taste.

Original: Like your regular old Lays chip, just healthier! I actually love this flavor when I need something a little bit calm in the taste bud zone. They are really salty though, and I like that.

Barbeque: There's somewhat of a spice to this chip... I do like the fact that it has an authentic barbeque taste, but it's kind of hot! Some of the people I've asked don't think so though, so maybe it's just me.

Parmesan Garlic: Never tried or seen! I wish I could find this flavor, it sounds great.

Salt and Pepper: I do see this flavor often, but I'm not a big pepper fan, so I just get the original.

Sounding good, right? But how healthy are these chips? Well, they have 120 calories for every flavor, but the chip amount ranges from 19-22. That's quite a lot! They have around 4g of fat per serving, and around 20g of carbs. No saturated or trans fat, so that's good. There is also no cholesterol, preservatives, or artificial stuff. Yum!

Where can you get these? Lots of grocery stores actually have them, not just health food stores. I buy them at Whole Foods, Target, and sometimes ShopRite.

Price: Around $2.99 per bag.
Calories: 120 per serving

I'm feeling giveaway deprived... Got to win one soon. :)

Candid RD's Giveaway ends Friday, October 23rd
Mary's Hush Hush Book Giveaway ends Friday, October 23rd
Audrey: Susie Q Pumpkin Giveaway ends Friday, October 23rd
I Made Dinner's Blogiversary Giveaway ends Sunday, October 25th
Tri 2 Cook's Giveaway ends Monday, October 26th
Julie Go Lean's Nature's Path Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 27th
Audrey: TyeJ Painting Giveaway ends Friday, October 30th

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sensible Foods: Dried Fruit Snacks

It can sometimes be hard to get in your fruits and veggies on a daily basis. We don't buy produce because we don't eat it in time, it's too messy (peaches! <3),>Unfortunately, I've never tried the vegetable snacks from Sensible Foods, but I have tried all of the fruit ones. :) My mom went on this crazy QVC spree and bought an assortment box of, like... 40 or something. It was insane, yet strangely awesome to witness. Our neighbors actually asked what was in the huge box on our porch. I replied dried fruit. They stared. Hm.

Again, in order from favorite to least favorite:

Tropical Blend: A delicious mix of apples, pineapples, bananas, and mangoes. The only reason that this one beat the Orchard Blend was because the bananas are so delicious. They're not like dried banana chips, they're much softer and more like... puffed, I guess?

Orchard Blend: This one is a mix of apples, peaches, and apricots. The peach bits are very good, but the apricots that I had in my bag were slightly sour. It may be just that one bag, because my mom had one as well and she thought the whole thing was sweet.

Cherry Berry: Ah, this one has apple, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries. The strawberries are definitely sour in this one, everyone in my family agreed on that. The blueberries are hit or miss, depending on the size really. The big ones tend to be sweeter. I kind of thought the cherries were kind of scarce in my bag, but it really varies.

Apple Harvest: Eh. Still good but... Apples are one of my least favorite fruits. I love the flavor, don't actually like the fruit itself. These are incredibly crunchy and flat, unlike the puffed up cubes of peach, pineapple, mango, etc...

I do believe there is a marketing strategy to having apples in every bag. Simply put, apple are much cheaper than any of the other fruits they use, and trust me, there are way more apples than the other bits. Oh, well. If you like apples, it's good for you!

The flavors range from 70 (Orchard Blend), 80 (Tropical Blend and Apple Harvest), and 84 (Cherry Berry). The Apple Harvest is the only organic fruit flavor. It's all fat free, and each bag is equal to 1/2 cup of fruit, or one daily serving. The sugars and carbs are quite reasonable considering it's fruit! Check the website here for full nutritional info.

So that's it, lovies. Another yummy review. Anything special you've seen lately at the grocery store, but haven't tried because you don't know if it's good? Leave me a comment and I'll try picking it up and reviewing it for you. ;) Yes, yes, it will be very hard work.

Price: I'm not sure how much my mom got them for, but an individual bag is $1.69 on their site.
Calories: 70-84 per bag

Dun dun dun dun! *fanfare* Giveaway time!

Clif Kid Organic Z Bars

I'd bet that all you foodie bloggers out there have probably tried at least one of these bars. Again, they're aimed toward kids, but I say that just makes for a better portion size. :) These bars were definitely not what I expected, and in a good way too. For some reason, I had always thought that these were cereal bars like the Kashi ones, but they're a totally different category! I don't even know what to call them. They're not like Larabars, Luna bar, granolas bars, or really anything except Clif bars. ^^

I've tried every flavor except the elusive Spooky S'mores, which I've never even seen in stores. Here are my favorites, from the one I like the best to the one I like the least. For all of the bars, the texture is soft and chewy, like a freshly baked cookie. Yum!

Chocolate Chip: This bar is perfection! It actually doesn't even taste "healthy". The Clif site even describes this bar as, "All the thick, chewy, goodness of a chocolate chip cookie - gone healthy!". There's a good amount of chocolate chips in the bar, and a generous drizzle of chocolate on the top.

Chocolate Brownie: If you're a chocolate lover, this bar is for you. It's super rich, and almost tastes like dark chocolate. It's like a brownie/cookie. This bar would probably be my favorite if I liked chocolate a little bit more than I do.

Apple Cinnamon: This bar kind of tastes like an apple pie in bar or cookie form, if that makes sense. It's also really moist, much more than the other "cookie" flavors are. It's like someone baked a cinnamon apple and put in a bar case!

Honey Graham: True to its name, this bar tastes like a graham cracker cookie. It was a close tie between this one and the Apple Cinnamon for third place, but I had to go with the apple flavor because I love fruit too much. Sorry, Honey Graham!

Blueberry: There are actual blueberries in this bar, not just the flavor! I really like that fact, but blueberries are one of my least favorite fruits.

Peanut Butter: I only sometimes like the peanut butter taste in bars. I feel like the flavor was very subtle, almost too subtle. It does go really well with the chocolate topping, however, and the only reason this bar is last is because I like the other flavors a teensy bit better. I still love them all!

So, all in all, I love these bars. They're perfect for on-the-go, and I wish I could find Spooky S'mores. Anyone tried them? I've heard it tastes exactly like the Chocolate Chip, but still... Leave me a comment!

Chocolate Brownie <3

The nutritional facts for Clif Z Bars are all relatively similar. Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, and Chocolate Brownie all have 120 calories. Honey Graham, Spooky S'mores, and Chocolate Chip have 130 calories, and Peanut Butter has 140 calories. Each bar has between 2 to 5 grams of fat, and 2 or 3 grams of protein. All of the bars have 3 grams of dietary fiber and between 20 to 26 grams of carbs. These bars are low-fat, contain 12 essential vitamins and minerals, and are made with whole grains.

I actually find these at Target for cheaper than Whole Foods, unless they're on sale. And, seriously, someone find me the Spooky S'mores! :D

Price: $3.49 per box at Target
Calories: 120-140 per bar depending on flavor

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Unique Splits Extra Dark Pretzels

I don't know if I've ever told you guys this, but pretzels are my favorite food (except I only like the hard kind). Yes, not even just my favorite snack. :) I am always on the hunt for new pretzels. I went through a ton of brands, but this one is definitely one of my favorites.

The "Splits" name comes from the top of the pretzel having a crack down the middle. Who knows? But these pretzels are deelish! They're so dark, they're almost burnt, but in a good way. You've got to like that sort of smoky flavor though.

The Unique Pretzel Bakery in Reading, Pennsyvania creates many different flavors of these Splits. My favorite are the Extra Dark, but I've also had the Cheddar, and Sprouted Multigrain as well. There are even flavors I haven't tried, such as Extra Salt, Jalapeno, Garlic & Onion, and Unsalted versions of each.

All of the pretzels are made using fresh ingredients. Most of the flavors have 110 calories per three pretzels about the size of your palm (or, well, my palm!). The Extra Dark pretzels have 1g of fiber, 3g of protein, and only 2 of fat. Yum!

I love these pretzels, and they're a great change from the regular Rold Gold ones. Pick these up at your local Whole Foods. :D

Price: $3.49 per bag at Whole Foods
Calories: 110 per three pretzels

Giveaways!!! Okay, remember how I was telling you about how I only win Zevia ones? Yup. Happened again. I was a runner-up for the giveaway I posted last time. I don't know whether to be happy or freaked out. Hm.

Julie Go Lean's Candilicious Giveaway ends Thursday, October 8th