Categories: Annie’s

Nothing quite like some mac & cheese! Last night, I was craving some of the cheesy goodness, so I decided to boil up some water and give this mac & cheese a try.

As directed on the package of Annie’s Homegrown Shells & Real Aged Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese, I put the cheese powder packet in 1/4 cup of milk in a measuring cup and stirred. Normally I just add the milk and powder to the pot, but wanted to follow the directions. It came out to be a slightly bumpy cheesy “sauce”, that I then added to the shells once they were cooked and drained. Here’s how it looked

As you can see, there were kind of “cheese puddles” in the shells. The milk/cheese powder mixture really didnt thicken up, so it was a bit runny on the noodles. I found a lot of the sauce on the bottom of my pan. I also found it kind of hard to get all the cheese sauce from my measuring cup out and in the pan of noodles without the help of those flexible spatula things (why yes, I do believe they are called “flexible spatula things” ;P )

Anyway, the taste was acutally pretty good. Not too salty, and a mild cheddar flavor. The noodles turned out to be tender and slightly chewy. I ate this with some green beans and some Smart Bacon.

I'd be totally lying If I said I DIDNT have seconds on the Mac & Cheese and Green Beans. =)

Overall, 3 stars. I love that the ingredients are good, but wish the cheese flavor was more prominent and a thicker sauce. Perhaps I will use less milk next time.

2.5 ounces ( mix not prepared) is 270 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated dat, 46 grams of carbohydrates,2 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein.

What is your FAVORITE boxed mac & cheese?

everytime I look at this picture, i think the peanuts in the top corners are my fingers holding the box up. hah.

Browsing Target, I spotted something new by Annie’s- Organic Peanutty Chewy Yet Crispy Granola Bars! Since I love new products (aaaaand I’m a total impulse buyer) I bought them and took them home.

On the box, it states that these have “NO Artificial Ingredients, Preservatives or High-Fructose Corn Syrup- EVER!”, so I could tell I was already starting to like these!

I opened up the box, and was a bit disappointed at the size. They were about the size of a LARAbar, but not as wide. Usually I prefer a more heftier sized bar for a snack, but then again, taste is what it’s all about!

I took a bite, and found it to be rather dense. It indeed did live up to the name, it really was “chewy yet crispy” in consistency! I also thought it had quite a bit of a sticky feel. It had a good peanut flavor, but really wasn’t all too sweet. I also detected just a hint of vanilla flavor.

the last bite.

While these won’t replace my love for Annie’s Chocolate Chip Bunny Grahams, they were still pretty good. I do wish they were a tad bit sweeter, and also a bit bigger. 3 1/2 stars

1 bar (28 grams) is 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 5 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.



Mac & Cheese! Normally I’m not a pasta person. Spaghetti? Ravioli? Nah, I’ll have rice or bread instead. But, Mac & Cheese has always really been my one exception. Something about the cheesy sauce and the tender noodles that I love!

Well, to add to my Mac & Cheese enjoyment, I had the opportunity to try Annie’s Homegrown Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Extra Cheesy Cheddar Sauce. Annie’s Homegrown generously sent me 2 boxes of this stuff, and I couldn’t have been happier. I especially like mac & cheese when it has the creamy cheese sauce rather than the cheese powder when I have to add milk & butter as well, I find the cheese sauce varieties to always be more tasty!

Some things to point out is that this pasta is gluten free, and is rice pasta. I never had a gluten free mac & cheese before, so this was certainly new for me. According to the front of the box, this product has “No Artificial Anything, 0g Trans Fat, A Naturally Good Source of Calcium & Protein”. Sounds good to me!

I looked at the nutrition information, and saw that this product was relatively low in fat, only 4 grams per serving prepared. I also noticed the sodium was a bit high, 680 mg per serving prepared, and this product also had 63 carbohydrates per 1 cup prepared! I know pasta has carbohydrates, but I felt this was higher than what I was used to.

So, I boiled the water and then added the pasta. I cooked it for about 10-11 minutes, but I prefer my pasta tender. After draining I noticed how long and tubular the noodles were! I liked how long they were- it was fun! 🙂

I stirred the cheese sauce in, and noticed how nicely it adhered to the noodles- a good sign. I don’t like when the noodles and cheese sauce to mix well, but that wasn’t the case here! The noodles & cheese sauce thickened up quite nicely as well. I put some on my plate and gave it a taste- not bad! It has a mild cheddar cheese taste, not too salty, either. The noodles were perfect, just the right amount of tenderness, and not chewy at all. My brother tried some, and he said it was “cheesy”, and seemed to enjoy it as well.

Overall, I give this pasta 4 stars. I do wish it tasted a bit more saltier, as I feel as if that would have brought out a stronger cheese flavor. I do like, however, how the pasta and cheese sauce thickened up so nicely, and how it was low in fat. I think this is a GREAT option for those who cannot have gluten, or for anyone, really! I couldn’t tell the difference between having rice pasta as compared to what I normally have, which is wheat/ whole wheat.

1 serving, about 1 cup prepared, is 320 calories, 4 grams of fat, 63 carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar and 8 grams of protein.

Rice Pasta (white and brown rice flour), Cheddar Cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, non-animal enzymes), Cream, Whey, Skim Milk, Natural Butter and Cheese Flavor, Natural Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Lactic Acid, Sodium Alginate, Annatto Extract for Natural Color, Xanthan Gum.

Hop to it!

With Easter approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to do a review of the  new Gluten Free Cocoa & Vanilla Bunny Cookies that Annie’s Homegrown sent me to try. What better way to celebrate the holiday than with some of my favorite bunnies? (And Bernie, of course!) Even better- EVERYONE can have these this Easter– they are Gluten Free, all natural, and have 0 grams of trans fats!

First off, I LOVE Annie’s Bunny Grahams- honey, cinnamon and chocolate chip are all so delicious, and are my favorites. Annie’s Bunny Grahams truly are ADDICTING, there is no way you can eat just a serving- too delicious! That’s why I was SO excited getting these in the mail. Cocoa and Vanilla sounds like a great addition to the line of flavors.

Each Bunny Cookie is about the size of a quarter, in the shape of an adorable bunny (modeled after Bernie, Annie’s Homegrown bunny, of course!). I noticed that these were not as soft as the Bunny Grahams, and were a bit crisper/had more of  a bite to them. The cocoa flavor reminded me of the outside of an Oreo cookie. Crisp and sweet, but had a deep cocoa/chocolate flavor.  They were really good with the glass of milk I had, and smeared with some all natural peanut butter 🙂 Next was the vanilla flavor, which I preferred over the cocoa, as it was sweeter and more my style. It had a buttery taste to it, and reminded me of a sugar cookie with a little bit of vanilla bean added to it as well.

Overall, these are a nice addition to the line of Bunny Grahams, and let those of you who cannot tolerate gluten enjoy some cute little Bunnies! I’m givng them 4 stars overall– the only thing I didn’t like was that the first ingredient was cane sugar, and these are not enriched with calcium like the other varieties are. 🙁 Otherwise, like the box says, “You can’t eat just two”- I know I certainly can’t!

So forget the junky Easter candy this year- get some Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Grahams or Cookies! You won’t be disappointed!

But, that leads me to ask. What IS your favorite Easter candy? Mine used to be Marshmallow Peeps. Could someone make an organic/healthier version of those, please? 😀

27 cookies are 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 19 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

CANE SUGAR, RICE FLOUR, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, PALM OIL, BROWN RICE FLOUR, CORN STARCH, SOY FLOUR, ORGANIC TAPIOCA STARCH, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, ALKALIZED COCOA, NATURAL CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA FLAVORS, SALT, BAKING SODA, SOY LECITHIN, XANTHAN GUM. 

 

23 Jan 2010, Comments (2)

Happy Birthday Annie's Homegrown!

Author: healthnuttxo

In honor of Annie’s Homegrown‘s birthday, I think it would be appropriate to do a review on a cereal I bought, Bunny Love. This cereal is an all natural, whole grain, corn & oat cereal, made without preservatives or fillers, and is vegan.

I decided to pick it up at the store because it was pretty enticing and the nutritional stats fit for what I generally look for in cereal. It was a royal purple box, with pictures of bunny-shaped cereal on the cover. Cute! It was only 110 calories per serving with 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of sugar, so I figured it was worth a shot.

I tried this cereal a couple of ways (including yesterday’s recipe!). I poured a bowl of it and examined the shapes- adorable! So cute!

Each piece certainly is crunchy and has a mild, toasted oat flavor.  In fact, this cereal really isn’t sweet at all. I probably wouldn’t eat this on it’s own (as I had hoped for from the cute shapes!), but I found it was good paired with some flavored yogurt. Stonyfield Farm Banilla yogurt and Chobani strawberry greek yogurt were two excellent ways to pair with the cereal. It provided sweetness and a nice crunch to the yogurt. I also liked this cereal paired with some chocolate and vanilla soy milk. I’m sure you can use almond milk as well, but the flavors in the soymilk went nicely with the oaty taste of the bunnies.

Overall, given that it was not intended to be a sugary cereal, I give this cereal 3 1/2 stars, by itself, 4 paired with yogurt or flavored soymilk. The nutrionals are excellent-whole grains, fiber and all natural- but I prefer my cereal just a wee bit sweeter so I can munch it out of the box.

1 serving is 110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 22 carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein.

10 Jul 2009, Comments (3)

Annie's Chocolate Chip Bunny Grahams

Author: healthnuttxo

Source

So we all love Teddy Grahams-no? But do we also love the hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup? Eh, I think not. Just looking at the ingredients for Teddy Grahams makes me sick. So, imagine my excitement when I came across Annie’s Bunny Grahams. These cute little guys come in 4 flavors, Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon, Honey and Chocolate. They also have cheesy flavors, but I’ll talk about that at a later date.

So I opened up my pouch of bunny grahams and popped a couple in. Sweet, but not too sweet, and you can DEFINITELY munch on them all afternoon-no problem! In fact, I ate practically half the box in one sitting. Whoops 🙂

Good thing is, no trans fats, all natural, and they provide 20% daily calicum need (more like 60% for me including i had more than one serving!).

28 grams, about 30 bunnies or so, is 140 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 22 carbs, >1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protein.

Organic Wheat Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Expeller-pressed Vegetable Oil, Organic Corn Flour, Organic Graham Flour, Cookie Bits (wheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, sunflower oil, alkalized cocoa, salt, baking soda), Calcium Carbonate, Chocolate Chips (sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla extract), Natural Flavor, Baking Soda, Salt, Organic Chocolate Flavor.

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