Tags: Annie’s Homegrown

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?

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! ūüôā

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.

22 Mar 2010, Comments (1)

Cascadian Farm Fruitful O’s Cereal

Author: Healthnuttxo

Cascadian Farm makes tasty¬†foods, ranging from cereals, granolas, frozen foods, cereal bars, etc.¬† that are all organic. According to Cascadian Farm, “Our organic foods are grown without¬†the use of¬†synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetically engineered ingredients.” This also means no preservatives or nasty artificial colors or flavors. As a bonus– the companies farming methods help protect and preserve our environment. Way to be, Cascadian Farm!

So I went to Waldbaums the other day and I went to pick up my usual cereals, when I spotted this new cereal Fruitful O’s. They were naturally fruit flavored, instead of artificially flavored. I decided to revel in my childhood and buy a box. It was a bit pricey, all organic food usually is, but I wanted to try this new cereal.

So,¬†I opened up the box when I got home and poured myself a bowl. They came in colors yellow, orange and purple. I really liked how the serving size was 1 cup¬† and still only had 120 calories. Plus, there was a LOT of Fruitful O’s in my bowl with just 1 cup!

The taste was actually quite good, however it was much¬† better in some vanilla almond breeze or skim milk than dry. When they were dry, they were sweet and crunchy, with a mostly orangy fruity flavor. However, when I had them with milk or almond milk, the flavors really shown through, and they wer actually sweeter. Normally when I add milk to my cereals, I notice it gets soggy fast and the flavor disperses in the milk. This didn’t happen as quickly with this cereal. I usually have a method for this, as I like my cereal when it’s a tad soggy from the milk, but still has a crunch. I measure out how much I want, put half in a bowl (usually with a sliced banana), add the milk (and ice cube, of course! ūüėČ ) and then I add more cereal as I go along. Keeps the flavor and the crunch going!

Overall, I was impressed. Cascadian Farms’ brand is also made with whole grain oat flour and has 3 grams of fiber per serving.¬†¬†There is also no partially hydrogenated oils or artificial colors/dyes.

I give Fruitful O’s 4 stars. I think it’s good to mix in with some higher fiber cereals, or to have a bowl as a snack (the cereal alone probably won’t hold you over very long).

1 cup is 120 calories, 1 gram of fat, 27 carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. It is also fortified with vitamins and minerals, like calcium (10% per bowl), iron (25% per bowl) and zinc (35% per bowl).

la la loving the organic ingredients
Whole Grain Oat Flour, Corn Meal, Sugar (from cane), Tapioca Syrup, Oat Fiber, Wheat Starch, Sea Salt, Sunflower Oil, Color (elderberry juice concentrate, turmeric and annatto), Fructose, Natural Flavor.

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 ūüôā¬†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. ūüôĀ 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? ūüėÄ

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.

Related Posts with Thumbnails