Categories: vegan

 

It’s officially cold and flu season! (Boo!!!) And while there are vaccinations to help prevent the flu, there are no vaccinations against Rhinovirus aka the cold. However, you can take some over the counter supplements that may help support a healthy immune system. Vitamin Friends has a immune system support probiotic gummy that has Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea and a probiotic…and it’s vegan too!

These gummies are vegan, glute, free, egg free, crustacean free, fish free, peanut free, nut free, milk free and soy free…aka allergen free! They are made in California, USA, and are also Kosher. But how does it taste? Can I get my child to eat this?

I was sent an orange flavor to try…I do not think you will have any worries getting your child to eat these because they are yummy! A tangy, slightly tart orange-clementine line flavor. The gummies are soft and easy to chew, and covered with a sugar-like coating.

I’ve been eating them for about a month (2 per day), and have had no issues with going to the bathroom and *so far*, I have not gotten sick (KNOCK ON WOOD!) I do believe that supplementation can play a role in supporting a healthy immune system, especially if you are deficient in vitamins. I like that there is 100% of Vitamin C and Zinc per serving, not “1000% percent!” like some supplements may advertise. More is not necessarily better when it comes to vitamins and minerals, and even thought Vitamin C is water soluble, we shouldn’t be taking it in excess. Vitamins should also never take place of a healthy, well balanced diet, filled with fruits and vegetables and other anti-oxidants. However, I do think this is a good addition to your child’s diet (or yours!), especially during cold and flu season.

They are 15 calories per serving with 4 grams of sugar.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: I received these gummies to try for free from the company. This is an unbiased review. This is not medical advice. Consult your doctor/ PA or NP before starting any supplements.
21 Sep 2018, Comments (0)

Vegan Smart All-in-One Nutritional Shake

Author: Healthnuttxo

Protein powder is a big staple in a lot of diets, especially those who are active, such as body builders and athletes, but also a great supplement to those who have a hard time ingesting protein or those who are dieting to help keep them full.

However, vegan options are relatively slim when it comes to protein powder, as most are made from Whey or Casein, which are animal-milk sourced. In comes Vegan Smart, who has made protein supplement with fiber, digestive enzymes, gluten free, dairy and soy free and some have additional benefits such as prebiotic fiber and Omega-3.

They sent me some samples of their vegan protein powder. I was pretty excited to try these, as I DO like protein powder, but whey is very hard on my stomach so I tend to avoid it entirely. Some fun facts:

  • The protein powders are made from peas, quinoa, chia, potato and chlorella.
  • They are 160-180 calories per serving with 20 grams of protein per serving
  • they have protease, amylase, lipase and bromelian for digestive enzymes
  • they contain medium chain triglycerides
  • certified vegan 
  • gluten free

I received 3 flavors, Cookies and Cream, Peaches & Cream, and Chocolate Raspberry. I mixed all the protein powder with almond milk.

Peaches & Cream:

  • mild peach flavor
  • stevia flavor prominent
  • pea protein flavor detectable
  • easy to mix, but recommend a NICE shake to get all the “bumps” out
  • went well with almond milk
  • good, but not my favorite. Needs more peach flavor/ less “stevia” based sweetness
  • 3 star

Chocolate Raspberry

  • mild chocolate flavor, more cocoa like in nature
  • very mild raspberry undertone
  • flavor is a bit muted, I think it needs a touch more sweetness
  • mildly sweet
  • Not my favorite, but good.
  • I think the chocolate raspberry balance is a bit off
  • blended it with ice and almond milk, wish I added a banana
  • 3 star

Cookies and Cream

  • this one was my favorite!
  • sweet and creamy
  • little baby cookie pieces
  • predominant vanilla flavor
  • stevia flavor is prominent once again
  • however, flavorful and tasty
  • 4 star

Overall, I enjoyed these. They may need a little extra TLC for mixing purposes, since pea protein can be a bit “gritty”. But, if you use a blender or just a shaker cup with a blender ball, you will be fine. I had no stomach issues and they kept me relatively satisfied post workout!

 

DISCLAIMER: I received these to try for free from the company. This is an unbiased review.

Peanuts are a problem these days- it seems allergies are very common, and places like schools and hospitals have become completely peanut free as a result.

Gluten is another problem. It is present in MANY foods, and can cause distress to those who are gluten intolerant or have Celiac’s disease.

In comes Rule Breaker snacks, who have developed  peanut free, nut free, gluten free and vegan snacks that are school SAFE! These snacks are made with chick peas, so they also provide a good source of protein and fiber. The company sent me the P’nutter Chocolate Chip Blondie to try.

It has 240 calories for one piece, with 10 grams of fat, (4.5 saturated), 33g of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein. So even with chickpeas as the first ingredient, I wasn’t super thrilled with the nutrition, but if it’s intended to be a treat, then I think it’s ok.

I had it both right out of the package and microwaved for some added goodness. Here is what it looked like:

 

Okay, Okay…but how was it?

It was…good. You can definitely taste the chickpea flavor, as it is predominant throughout the blondie. So if you’re not a chickpea fan, you may not like this.The mini chocolate chips add a nice touch, just the right amount of sweetness, and balance out the chickpea flavor. Not sure what the white parts of the bar are….white chocolate? They were sweet and also added a nice touch with a mild vanilla flavor.

I actually recommend microwaving it and then waiting a minute or two and eating it. The chocolate chips get all melty and the texture shifts from more dense and soft to slightly on the crunchier side. The bar itself has a sweeter feel to it, and is rich which is partly from the beans but I also believe from “no-nut butter” listed.

Overall, I think it’s a good snack, especially for kids who may feel they are left out from parties, etc. because they cannot eat the same snacks as everyone else if they have nuts, gluten etc. in it. It has a rich flavor, but is sweet enough that kids and adults can enjoy.

Overall, 3.5 star.

I received this to try for free from the company. This is an unbiased review.

Pasta is definitely a fan favorite- versatile, comforting, and well…delicious. However, as we all know, pasta is not diabetic friendly, figure friendly or macro friendly for that matter, as it is loaded with carbs and lacks in the  protein and fiber department (unless you get whole grain). For that reason, I tend to stay away from pasta entirely. It wreaks havoc on my blood sugars for hours. However, the nice people over at Explore Cuisine sent me some plant-based protein filled pastas made with black bean, edamame, red lentil and chick pea.

Each pasta ranges from 180-200 calories per 2 oz serving (a box has 4 servings), with 1-3.5g of fat, 19-35g of carbs, 3-13 grams of fiber, and 11-25 grams of protein.

 

Let’s Start!

The Red Lentil pasta was super mild in flavor. Relatively easy to cook, however, of the 4 I cooked this one seemed to absorb a ton of water and I actually ended up burning the bottom of my pot, so make sure to keep a close eye on it and add extra water. It was bland in flavor, but smelled great while cooking. The texture was identical to al dente spaghetti. I served it with ground turkey, broccoli, and (unpictured) tomato sauce.

The good thing about this one is it looks almost identical to flour based pasta…you could probably try to fool your friends 🙂  — granted they are not allergic to any of the ingredients!!!

 

Next up, BLACK BEAN pasta.

This one is a little weird…and you’ll definitely get some looks when you eat it. I had someone ask me if I was eating squid… but it’s worth it!

I served it with grilled chicken and some butter and I actually really enjoyed this one. It’s not my favorite to eat plain, and definitely requires some flavor. It was a little more chewy than the other varieties, but it still relatively mild in flavor and went well with chicken. This one was highest in protein and fiber and I found I needed no insulin to eat! In fact, both times I took insulin for this dish, my blood sugar tanked. I had a mild rise after I ate and then went back to baseline so I decided this one was definitely a hit for me and my blood sugars!

 

Next up, CHICK PEA  pasta

I loved this one! I added some turkey gravy to it and it was just a tad more chewy than al dente flour based pasta, with a hint of chick pea flavor. Again, super mild in flavor so very versatile and you can probably pair it with anything.  I found the chick pea pasta to be more filling than the other varieties.

 

Lastly, the EDAMAME based pasta.

This one was probably my least favorite of the 4, but still pretty good. It had a sweet undertone to it, and was softer in consistency than the other varieties. It had more of a dominant flavor than the other varieties, but again, still pretty mild. I think it paired well with chicken and some butter and salt.

 

Overall, these are a hit and I will definitely be buying them when I see them in store. Each box had 4 servings, but I stretched it out to 6 because I added vegetables and protein to each, and still had a decent serving. All of them had minimal affect on my blood sugars, which was a big bonus for me. ALL flavors are GLUTEN FREE and VEGAN as well, making them friendly to our pasta lovers who cannot tolerate flour based products. Overall, 4 1/2 stars from me.

 

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS AN UNBIASED REVIEW. I RECEIVED THESE PRODUCTS TO TRY FOR FREE FROM THE COMPANY.

 

21 Feb 2017, Comments (0)

Seattle Chocolate Company chocolates

Author: Healthnuttxo

Time for one of my favorite reviews… Chocolate!!! I got some yummy goodies by Seattle Chocolates. They also sent some cute little tubes of coffee flour, cocoa nibs and cherry pulp which was awesome to see, as it is what makes up this delicious chocolate.

Super Chocolate Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar by Seattle Chocolates. This one is “powered by coffee flour & cocoa nibs” , Non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, and Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Upon opening, the aroma of chocolate is extremely strong, and quite delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an overwhelming chocolate aroma by opening up a wrapper before! It is a dense chocolate, but softer on the inside (the “truffle” aspect, I am assuming). The taste is quite good- definitely a dark chocolate, but not super bitter. While it isn’t a melt in your mouth kind of chocolate (that’s the nature of dark chocolate), it is enjoyable, and I am not a huge dark chocolate fan. It has a semi-sweet sort of feel, kind of like when you pick the morsels out of cookie dough when making homemade chocolate chip cookies. It is sweet, but not overpoweringly so. I really enjoyed this!

4 stars.

1/2 bar is 190 calories, 15 grams of fat, 17 carbohydrates, 12 sugars and 2 grams of protein.

Next up, the Jcoco Chocolate (also by Seattle Chocolate Company). I was given two, the Noble Dark, which was 72% dark chocolate with cocoa nibs, and the Arabica Cherry Espresso in Dark Chocolate. I liked that when I opened each package, there were 3 mini bars inside, all individually wrapped, with fun pictures on each one. On the back it says “one bar= one serving to one in need” , where various donations are made, which you can read more about here.

Both bars are all natural, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten free. The box the chocolate comes in is on 100% recycled paper, and the products are Kosher. Talk about win-win-win for anyone with restricted needs trying to find some yummy chocolate, that ALSO is for a good cause!

First up, the Noble Dark. Make no mistake, this was definitely a dark chocolate. A tad on the bitter side for me, but honestly, I still liked it. And let me repeat, I am NOT a dark chocolate fan. The cocoa nibs added a nice crunch and some texture to the chocolate. Again, not a melt in your mouth chocolate, but still good. Definitely a strong cocoa flavor, but tasted so fresh and pure, with mild sweetness.

3 1/2 stars

Next up, the Arabica Cherry Espresso in Dark Chocolate. This one definitely had a nice cherry undertone to it, which provided both sweetness and a nice flavor. This chocolate seemed to be smoother, and more “melty” in consistency. Not as bitter as the other 2, and a tad sweeter. I really liked this one. My favorite of the three.

4 stars

 

Overall, some pretty darn good chocolate. What’s better than satisfying a chocolate craving, while also giving back to those in need? Plus with dark chocolate, you get a little antioxidant boost that the news, etc. always raves about. Win-win! I would definitely give these a try, even if you are a milk chocolate fan like I am, because they are worth it, and please check them out if you like dark chocolate, you will not be disappointed!

 

This is an unbiased review. I received these samples to try for free.

 

18 Dec 2015, Comments (0)

Modern Oats All Natural Oatmeal

Author: Healthnuttxo

Mmmm oatmeal!!! Who doesn’t love a nice bowl of oats? Even though “winter” by me is unseasonably warm, I still could go for a nice bowl of oatmeal any day!

Modern Oats sent me some samples to try for free of their on the go, individually portioned and flavored oatmeals.  I got 6 flavors- 5 Berry, Nuts and Seeds, Apple Walnut, Goji Blueberry, Chocolate Cherry and Mango Blackberry. All of these sounded exquisite!!

All flavors are Gluten and GMO free, Vegan, and bursting with whole grain goodness.

I was most excited about the Apple Walnut, so I decided to try that first. IMG_7261IMG_7262

Here is a pic of it before I added the boiling water:IMG_7263

 

And here is a picture of the oatmeal after I left the cover sit on it for 2-3 minutes as directed:IMG_7264

How did it taste? Honestly, for 17 grams of sugar, the sweetness was lacking. It was very lightly sweetened, mostly from the baby apples. The brown sugar seemed to stay at the bottom even though I mixed it. It was chewy, and I think it needed a bit more water than recommended. Once stirred, more brown sugar came to the surface, as well as raisins, which provided some sweetness, and some pumpkin and sunflower seeds. There was a mild walnut flavor, but needed more. However, I did like it. 3 1/2 stars

Next up, Mango Blackberry.

 

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This one I added more water to, and I think it worked well, as it was creamier. However, this one was kind of bland. It tasted like lightly sweetened plain oatmeal. The mango flavor was lacking, and the mango that was in there was not sweet. There was only one blackberry in the whole cup. The sweetness was very mild, and flavor was lacking. 2 1/2 starsIMG_7310

Next up, Chocolate Cherry.IMG_7480

This one I added a WEE bit too much water too. However, I did not like this one regardless. It just did not taste good. The chocolate flavor didn’t seem to fit, was too bitter, and needed sweetness. There was a few cherries, which were good, but too little. There was some nuts which were good, but the chocolate overall ruined the cup. 2 stars.IMG_7481

Next up, 5 Berry. Unfortunately, I lost the pictures of the last 3, but nutritional information and appearance was generally the same.

This one had a light sweetness, and some crunch from sunflower seeds and nuts. There was a mild tart flavor from the berry, which had cranberry, strawberry and raspberry flavor. I liked this one! 3 1/2.

NEXT up… Nuts and Seeds. This one I predicted to like the least but was pleasantly surprised. There was a great texture from all the crunchy nuts and seeds and soft cooked oats. There was a slight taste of cinnamon, and again, it was slightly sweetened. I really enjoyed the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and liked how they stayed crunchy. 4 star

Lastly, Goji Blueberry. Again, lightly sweetened (seems to be a theme here), with a tiny crunch from sunflower seeds. I did not taste the blueberry really, and it was majorly lacking. There was a small berry in the oatmeal every now and then, but without flavor. The goji also did not provide much flavor. I think this would have been better sweeter. 3 stars

 

Overall, the oatmeals were good, but needed improvement. The flavors are there, but lack something to bring out the sweetness. Perhaps some spices or salt would help the sweet flavors come out to play. They are good if you are used to a “natural” palate, but you will be a tad disappointed if you are used to the generic super sweetened oatmeal. However, they were all easy to prepare, and a good portion to stay satisfied.

 

I received this product to try for free from the company. This is an unbiased review.

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I got some yummy Perky Fruit Bodies to try! What is that, you say? These are organic, raw, vegan, gluten free, and kosher “fruit leathers”.

Let’s get to it! ^-^

IMG_7575

 

Coconut Banana– this one is squished!

IMG_7576The color and appearance isn’t appetizing, but we always go beyond that for food reviews! The flavor is OK. Banana and coconut flavor is strong, the banana provides the natural sweetness, and tastes like an over-ripened banana. It is dry, and a bit flaky. It is not “sticky” like you would picture a “fruit roll up”, and is more like a natural fruit leather, but still on the drier side. It’s alright. 2 1/2 stars

Strawberry Banana– this one is good!

IMG_7578Tangy from the strawberries, and sweet from the banana. Tastes like a strawberry banana smoothie in fruit leather form. It is a bit chewier than the Coconut Banana, and more held together, which I like. It has a bit of a “rip” to it when you bite it. I would eat this one again. 4 star

Cacao Banana Coconut-  this one I also like.

IMG_7577The cacao flavor is pretty strong, but it gives a chocolate covered banana flavor to it. Good amount of sweetness. The Cacao gives almost a dark chocolate feel as well. The coconut flavor is very mild, and lacking, but I don’t mind because I think it tastes good the way it is. Chewy and has a nice “rip” to it…I like this one! 4 star

Overall, not bad! They run 60-130 calories each, ranging from 14-18 carbs and 0-7 grams of fat depending on the flavor. I think they would go great as a pre workout snack, as you are getting a boost of energy from the sugars from the fruits, and they are light enough where they will not make you feel sluggish during a workout. I also like how they are individually wrapped and easy to bring with you on the go. You can view nutritional information below.

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I received this product to try for free from the company. This is an unbiased review.

 

 

 

 

 

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Laundry… the inevitable chore. While you may lose a sock or two in the process ( I always do…), have you ever wondered what exactly is in your detergent, that you are then putting on your skin? After all, you use it to clean your sheets, pillow case, and clothing, it WILL hit your skin at some point!

I was sent My Green Fills natural Laundry Detergent, Softener, Color Safe Brightener and Enzyme Stain Remover. I was excited to try these, because I have very sensitive skin. I use detergent that has no scent or dyes, and just cleans the clothing without leaving much residue behind. Harsh detergents make my skin break out, which is very unpleasant!

These products by My Green Fills are non toxic, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty free, HE washer friendly, and chlorine free. How is works is you get one jug that you recycle and use over and over again, and you get refills of a powder that you add to the jug with warm water, and voila! Liquid detergent. This is environmentally friendly, since you are reusing the jugs and saving companies from producing more plastic. Each bundle of refill + powder is 12$, which can be purchased at their website.

The powders come in a rice paper package, which is recyclable, and sturdy. The package is filled with a white powder.

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First, you add warm water to the fill line of your plastic jug. Then you add the entire packet to the jug, close the lid and shake! It was super easy to mix. We accidentally added the powder first and THEN the water to one of the jugs….don’t do that! It started to bubble before we could close the lid!

Now…how did it work!?

LAUNDRY SOAP– this one is unscented. I used it with the FABRIC SOFTENER. Both hypoallergenic, 100% natural and non-toxic. The Fabric softener smelled of lemon and herbal type of smells, almost like lavender. I really liked the smell of it, since it was gentle but went well for a laundry aroma.

I had 0 problems with both of these regarding my skin. No breakouts, no irritation, nothing. The clothes came out of the dryer soft, which was exactly what I wanted. I wish the odor of the fabric softener stayed with the clothes once they were dry, it did disappear. This could be since it is a natural product, so I will take the loss over a harsh chemical scent. The clothes just smelled like nothing- like clothes- but were soft and non irritating.

The COLOR SAFE BRIGHTENER OXYGEN BOOSTER– just as promised, color safe! There was no bleeding of colors. We all know that the more you wash bright clothing, the more “dingy” it gets. This product helped prevent the dingy-ness, and kept my bright colors bright. I wear a LOT of bright clothing too…lime green, hot pink, you name it, I most likely own it. So this is a great product for me to have with all my bright gym clothes and pants.

Lastly, the ENZYME STAIN REMOVER. This one you DO NOT add water to! You just add it into the wash. We cheated a little bit and made a little paste out of it and put it on a really hard stain. To be fair, this stain was an older, set in stain. While it did not get rid of it completely, it definitely lightened up the stain, which made Mama happy (it was her towel). You can see below, LEFT is before, and RIGHT is after.

 

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Overall, I am happy with these products. I will definitely use and buy the detergents in the future. They are only 9 dollars for a refill, which isn’t bad at all, and it lasted us a while (family of 4!). It is a bit more expensive than say a traditional brand you can get at the store, but I am willing to pay extra for something environmentally friendly, and that is easy on my skin. ALSO, you get free shipping. Score! Overall, 4 stars.

HOW TO GET A FREE JUG!

The nice folks over at MyGreenFills are giving YOU a free jug of their product for you to try!

All you have to do is click on THIS LINK HERE, and fill out the proper information, and voila! A free jug will be sent to your house to try. Comment below to let me know if you tried it!  🙂

 

 

 

I received these products for free. This is an unbiased review.


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Alrighty! So, I do not drink a ton of protein powder- not my style, I am much more of a food eater, but it definitely has a place in my diet. I tend to stick to low carb whey proteins, and use them when I need calories post workout and do not feel hungry or for convenience in the morning.

I received Growing Naturals Organic Rice Protein in Strawberry Burst to try. I have never had rice protein before. This one in particular is:

Organic
Vegan
Allergy friendly
Made with brown rice protein (raw),
Has 3 grams of carbs (1 sugar), 24 grams of protein
&& is NON GMO certified

There is a complete panel of the Amino Acid profile of the rice protein on the BPA free plastic, which is definitely a plus (see below). There is even an explanation of what an essential amino acid is, which essentially (hehe) are a few of the 20 or so amino acids that your body cannot produce on it’s own and you NEED to eat.

SO, I opened the tub and saw brown powder. I was a little shocked and expected to see pink…since strawberry…but I have to remember this is BROWN rice protein, and there are no added artificial colors. It smells like a mixture of strawberries and well…protein powder. It’s hard to describe what protein powder smells like since it is so unique, but for anyone who has ever tried it, knows it has an odor.

It’s kind of hard to mix…I added it to milk and tried mixing for a few minutes. The powder just did not seem to want to assimilate. I would suggest doing it with a shaker cup or blender.

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I took a sip and….

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meh.

I do not like it. I added half a scoop to roughly 4-5 ounces of 2% milk. The strawberry flavor is muted by the overpowering stevia flavor. The stevia is really bitter and tastes like the extract, and is very strong. This stevia and strawberry flavor put together makes the strawberry flavor taste like a fake flavor, not like natural, fresh picked strawberries but more like a stevia sweetened strawberry flavored milk you’d purchase at a store.

There is a residue left on your tongue, powdery and piece-y. I kind of expected that, since a lot of rice products I’ve had before in the past always had off consistencies. There is an aftertaste as well, but I still would think this is from the stevia.

Overall….huge let down. I was excited by this protein, looking at the label and reading about it. I had another person try this with peanut butter and milk in a blended shake and he wasn’t a huge fan of it, and agreed there was an aftertaste. Perhaps if you mixed it with a banana and used a lot of ice to dilute the flavor, it is doable.

It’s a pass from me. 1  1/2 stars

 

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I received these samples for FREE. This is an unbiased review.

Hello!

I got some  yummy treats from Uncomplicated Foods to try for free called Tali-O Bites! They are these bite sized treats made from organic dates and other flavors, to make for a healthy snack. They come in 3 flavors, Powerfully Peanut, A Hint of Almond, and Double the Coconut. All 3 flavors are gluten free, vegan, non GMO, soy free, and free of added sugars, according to the package. The Double the Coconut and Hint of Almond flavor are also paleo friendly.

As you can see, they are tiny!

I tried the Double the Coconut flavor first. These were soft and chewy, and had a sweet and fruity taste. You can certainly detect the fate flavor. The coconut flavor was prominent, but I wouldn’t say it was “double” in terms of flavor strength. I am assuming the powder on the bite was some type of extra coconut flavor. There were tiny pieces of nuts that gave it a teeny crunch, which was nice and added texture. These were really yummy! I used them pre workout early in the morning (I’m talking 5 am…) for a boost since it was too early for me to eat a full breakfast. 4 stars

Next up, Hint of Almond. This one was not my favorite of the 3, but it was still good.  Almond was not the first thing I thought of when eating these, however. It had a sweet taste to it, but moreso tasted like an almond butter after-taste. It was soft and chewy, and had a rather peculiar flavor that is a bit hard to describe. Almost like if you took almond butter and dates and made it into a chew with teeny nut pieces. Overall, 3  stars.

Lastly,  Powerfully Peanut. This flavor was my favorite! It had a yummy peanut flavor and was mildly sweet. THere was a hint of coconut flavor and almost tasted a little like vanilla. They were soft, dense and chewy. Very good! Definitely want more of these!

Overall, these are good! I do not have or know the nutritional facts, but I do have the ingredients for Double The Coconut listed below.

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