Categories: Ian’s

I’m not a pasta person – I’ll take rice, bread and pretty much any carb over pasta. However, an exception to the rule is macaroni and cheese. How can anyone possibly turn it down? Gooey, cheesy and super comforting – what’s not to love?

Ian’s Natural Foods is a brand that I happen to like, so I figured I would try the Ian’s Wheat Free/Gluten Free Mac & NO Cheese that I saw at the store. According to the sticker on the box, I paid $5.19 for it, which is a bit steep, but I also know from experience that gluten free foods tend to be expensive.

So I cooked this by the recommended method, via the microwave. Which, let’s be honest, even if it WASN’T the recommended method and the oven was suggested instead, I’d probably still pick the lazy route and use the microwave. So it was convenient for me the microwave WAS the preferred method =)

As it was cooking, it smelled like chicken noodle soup. Huh? I mean I knew this was called “Mac & NO Cheese”, but I was still hoping for a cheesy smell! After the cook time, here’s how it looked straight from the oven

I wont lie and say it was the most attractive looking entree. It looked kind of...mushy.

Now, finally onto the flavor. What happened to me is the sort of thing that I hope has happened to more people other than myself. When there are 2 cups on the table, say one with water and one with soda, and you go to drink the soda cup but accidentally grab the water cup, take a sip, and then are completely taken aback it’s not soda.

That’s what it was like with this mac and cheese. Or, rather, “Mac & NO Cheese”.

I was expecting at least somewhat of a cheesy flavor. However, I got nothing. It tasted like chicken noodle soup. Weird, I know. But honestly, it had the flavor of chicken noodle soup, but with a creamy sauce and noodles like macaroni and cheese.

I’m not saying it was bad, it was just unexpected. The noodles were pretty good, but had spots of funky-ness going on. Like some noodles on the edges were over cooked, and some on the bottom fell apart and were “piecy” almost.

The rest of/majority of the noodles were soft and had that baked, home-made mac & cheese consistency. The sauce surrounding the noodles was creamy, and not too salty, and there as a good quantity. So overall? I’ll give it a 3 star rating. I might eat it again, but it won’t satisfy a macaroni and cheese void for me.

If you had to choose only one to eat….would it be pasta/noodles, rice, or bread? I’d pick bread, hands down. =)

I have to say, I’m a fan of fruit snacks. Fruit leathers, gummie fruit snacks, etc., I just love things that are sweet and fruity!

Something new for me to try, Ian’s Natural Foods sent me the FruitaBits Crispy Fruit Snacks in Sour Apple & Cherry, and Berry Cherry flavors. At first I thought huh? Crispy Fruit Snacks? But then, I was actually quite surprised and pleased!

Each package contains tiny little balls that are airy, and well, like the package says, “crispy”! Also according to the package, these are “made with real fruit!”, are “Nut Free!” and are an  “excellent source of vitamin C!”. I was glad that they were made with real fruit, including they were supposed to be fruit snacks. =)

I opened the Berry Cherry version first. WHEW! This one had a very strong sour cherry smell to it. The balls or pieces were almost a purpleish red in color. I tasted some, and I actually kind of liked it. They were crunchy and sweet, and have both strawberry and berry flavors. Yummy!

Next up, the Sour Apple & Cherry flavor. These had red and yellow pieces, which actually surprised me, I was sort of expecting green for an apple flavor. Anyway- these had a nice blend of sour flavor and sweet flavor. Neither too overpowering, but actually quite tasty.

Overall, I give these 4 stars. While they are tasty, they don’t have any fiber and have 1 gram of saturated fat for a .75oz package. But, I do like that they are crunchy and sweet, and they sort of remind me of a fruity-type cereal.

.75 oz is 85 calories, 1 gram of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Polly want a cracker?
Maybe not, but I do!

We all love crackers! With cheese, jelly, peanut butter, or even straight out of the box. Crackers are a perfect munchy, salty snack. A lot of them, however, are packed with hidden hydrogenated oils, sodium and artificial flavors and colors. THANKS, but I prefer my crackers au naturale.

So, I got to try some delicious cheddar and wheat crackers provided by Ian’s Natural Foods that are organic & quite tasty.The crackers are about the size of your standard Cheez-it, and are square in shape. Each variety comes with conveinent 100 calorie packs, with about 15-20 crackers in each pouch. There is actually a decent amount of crackers in each pouch, and I was satisfied with the portion given. Normally with 100 calorie packs, the calories may be low, but so is the nutrition and the amount of product you get. (Has anyone had the “100 calorie pack Mini Muffin” variety? HELLO- you get like, TWO muffins! What is THAT!? )

Anyway (rant over)-
Onto the tasting…

Cheddar- Yummmy! Forget Cheez-its– these are going to be my new cheesy cracker in my closet! They had a nice cheddar cheese flavor to it, and while they were a bit salty, they definitely satisfied. They are very crunchy and actually quite addictive. Although satisfied with 1 bag, I totally ate 2 in one serving (whhhhat! They were delicious! 😉 )

Wheat- Oooh. These are also good. They reminded me of a nuttier wheat thin. Slightly salty, and had a slight buttery taste to them. These were great as is, and also with some Laughing Cow Cheese spread on top, and as mini PB&J “sandwiches” (but when do you ever go wrong with peanut butter & jelly?) I also liked how they were made with some whole wheat flour as well.

Overall, these get 4 stars. Perfect for snacking and for on the go. I preferred the cheddar to the wheat, but both are quite tasty. I also love how the ingredients are organic and healthier than other cracker snacks. Plus, the box is 100% recycled paperboard- eco friendly too. Gooooo Ian’s!

1 serving (1 pouch) is 100 calories, 2-3.5 grams of fat, 15-18 carbohydrates, 1-2 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

Cheddar- Organic Wheat Flour, Organic Oils (safflower and/or palm fruit oils), Organic Cheddar Cheese [(organic cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes), Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic Whey, Salt, Disodium Phosphate], Salt, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Leavining (monocalcium phosphate, baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate), Natural Annatto, Yeast.

Wheat- Organic Wheat Flour, Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Oils (safflower and/or palm fruit oils), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Salt, Organic Malt Extract, Leavining (baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate), organic paprika, natural annatto.

24 Dec 2009, Comments (2)

Ian's Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookie Buttons

Author: healthnuttxo

Ian’s Natural Foods is a company that makes organic and all natural foods and snacks geared toward people of all ages and sorts. They have gluten and allergy free foods, and all of them have “no artificial flavors, colors, or preservative…ever”. Sounds like a winner to me!

The cookie buttons come in 4 varieties- Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Gluten/Wheat Free, Cinnamon Gluten/Wheat Free, and Vanilla Wafer. I was sent the Vanilla Wafer variety to try, and was excited. I never saw this flavor in stores by me, I only ever see the Chocolate Chip.

These cookies come in 100 calorie packs (good for portion control!) with a pretty decent amount of cookies in each bag (about 15-20). Each of them are about the size of a half dollar, and the thickness of 3 half-dollars stacked on each other. When you open the bag, there is a nice aroma of vanilla. They aren’t too sweet, but just right. At first bite, you can definietly taste a strong vanilla bean flavor. After a couple more, I think they had a combined flavor of shortbread cookies and sugar cookies, Yum!

Overall, I’m giving these 4 stars. They are low in fat and calories, and are very tasty. They were good with milk, smeared with peanut butter (and jelly!!), by itself, and crumbled in chocolate pudding. So Good!!!! They would totally get 5 stars if they had fiber and were made with whole wheat flour. They have 0 grams of fiber per serving, which is upsetting. I prefer my snacks to have at least a little bit of fiber for some satiety.

1 serving (1 pouch) is 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 16 carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.

Organic wheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, water, organic palm oil, organic tapioca syrup, salt, baking soda, organic eggs, natural flavors, organic vanilla, organic soy lecithin, monocalcium phosphate.
*these are NOT gluten or wheat free!

17 Aug 2009, Comments (0)

Ian's Cookie Buttons-Chocolate Chip

Author: healthnuttxo

 

Ian’s Natural Foods makes an assortment of delicious and yummy products. Of them there are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Buttons. You actually get a decent amount of “cookie buttons” in each pack! They are pretty tiny, about the size of a nickel, with itty-bitty chocolate chips in them. I would estimate about 20 of them in a pack at least, and i got the 100 calorie pack version.

As for the taste, they are excellent! It’s what you would expect when buying a chocolate chip cookie snack. They are sweet, with a touch of vanilla. They have a crispy consistency when you bite them, but they quickly melt in your mouth. I also detected a hint of a brown sugar flavor. They are really good.

One pouch (23g) is 100 calories, 5 grams of fat, 13 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. My only complaint is that I wish these had a little more fiber in them, and they aren’t whole grain or whole wheat cookies.

Organic wheat flour, organic canola and/or soybean and/or sunflower oil, organic dehydrated cane juice, organic chocolate chips (organic sugar, organic chocolate liquor, organic cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin), organic invert sugar, sea salt, organic cocoa, ammonium bicarbonate, organic vanilla extract, soy lecithin.

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