Tags: Gluten Free

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Alright!

So a friend of mine told me about this brand called D’s Naturals. I personally never heard of them or have seen them in store, so I went to their website to check them out. I got the opportunity to try some of their No Cow bars, in 3 varieties- the Mint Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough,  and Blueberry Cobbler.

What makes these bars special?

They are gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free, no sugar added, lactose free, and non GMO according to the label. They run roughly 170 calories per bar, with 20 grams of protein and 19 grams of fiber. They are sweetened with Erythritol, not sugar.

These were appealing to me, especially as a Type 1 Diabetic. I CANNOT have added sugar…well I mean I *can* but, it doesn’t lead to pretty blood sugars. However, protein bars are usually chock full of sugar (and sugar is also HONEY, CANE JUICE, do not be fooled!). These also appealed to me since they had a good dose of fiber and protein, so I would have optimal blood sugar regulation as well as being, well, full!

Here’s a sneak peek of the Mint Chocolate Chip Bar:IMG_2221

As you can see, these bars are dense and chewy, almost like a “fruit” based bar made with fig. They are a bit sticky too!

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough– Mmmmm. Nice peanut butter flavor. It has some sort of sweet, semi caramelish feel to it. It was chewy and super soft, with little pieces of nuts in the bar. I can definitely get a peanut butter cookie dough vibe from it though! Like a batter before peanut butter cookies are made, but less sweet. However, there is definitely a consistency thing going on here. It’s hard to explain but there is this “leftover” piece-y type feel on the tongue. Like the bar has broken down and leaves a residue behind. I think it’s from the pea protein that is used to make the bar, but I could be wrong. In this case, taste outweighs texture for me. 4 out of 5 stars

Blueberry Cobbler– This one is sweet and fruity!! I enjoyed the blueberry flavor, it was a mixture of a fresh blueberry feel alongside sweet and chewy dried blueberries. You can’t taste any protein flavor, so that is a plus. I liked the flavor, but again, that texture thing is prevalent here. It’s like I can “feel” the protein, because I am positive this is from the pea protein. A good bar, however. 3 1/2 stars

Mint Chocolate Chip-  As a caveat, I am not a huge mint chocolate chip fan. I like Extra mint chocolate chip gum, and that’s about it. But I remained open minded about this bar. There are little pieces of cacao nibs in this bar which add a little crunch. It honestly tasted like a York peppermint patty, but in protein bar form. The consistency issue was NOT as bad here, still prevalent, but not as bad. The mint flavor is also pretty strong. Perhaps you can get a breath freshening while you dose up on your protein for the day (kidding). Given that I don’t generally like this flavor combination, I would still give it a 3 1/2 star rating.

Overall, not bad. I think the formula needs some tweaking. Personally, the consistency thing isn’t really an issue for me, as I go for nutrition and flavor over texture. For some it might be an issue. I think you have to pick your battles here though, the nutritional facts are pretty good AND these bars are vegan as well as dairy free, so they are limited with their protein sources. I can appreciate this company, so kudos D’s Naturals! I look forward to trying your products in the future, and maybe picking up some of those pb cookie dough bars if I see them 🙂

 

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I received this item for free. This is an unbiased review.
14 May 2015, Comments (0)

Blake’s Shepherd’s Pie

Author: Healthnuttxo

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Mmmm. Shepherd’s Pie. One of my favorites. I saw this at Target, and used a coupon  mailed to me at the courtesy of Blake’s…thanks guys! 🙂

There were two cooking methods…microwave oven or conventional oven. I chose microwave (because I’m lazy). I decided tonight would be a good time for a microwave dinner because
1. It was hot, and I didn’t feel like cooking
2. My normal raging appetite was on the low side today, so a smaller portion meal would suffice

Onward we go! After 4 minutes in the microwave, I let it sit for a bit (because I’ve scorched my tongue WAY too many times doing frozen food to microwave reviews…and perhaps I have finally learned better) and then dug in. Here’s what the inside looked like:

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Heavenly.

Let’s start from the Top to the bottom, shall we?

The mashed potatoes laid on the top. They reminded me of a whipped potato, fluffy and airy, and had a bit of a “country” feel to it. They had a slight taste of garlic but were otherwise on the bland side. It was fine though, since this meal isn’t really intended to eat piece by piece…I just like to dissect my meals.

The corn underneath was sweet, fresh and crisp. There was certainly plenty of it as well, which was good because I always feel I need something moderately “crunchy” in a meal, and the corn is obviously a classic for Shepherd’s Pie. I applaud.

The beef underneath was great as well. It was chopped up very fine, almost minced, and I almost wish it had bigger chunks. That is totally personal preference though, since my mother’s cooking always had bigger chunks of beef for “chop meat”, so I am kind of used to that. However, the beef was fresh and tasty, and had this “clean” feel to it. I can’t describe it other than it tasted fresh. I wonder if it was grass fed beef, since the beef flavor was prominent. It was juicy, not oily, and there were visible onions I saw on the bottom layer as well that helped with flavor.

All together? Pretty dang good. It was small, but hearty for it’s size, and there were good ratios of each of the 3 components. I added a pat of butter on the mashed potatoes and it tied everything together. My only complaint really is that the mashed potatoes I think need a little work, but overall, a good  light meal.

The sodium content is great, only 520 mg for a box (which isn’t that bad for frozen foods), and 18 grams of protein is enticing as well. There are 5 grams of saturated fat, and since the beef tasted lean, I checked ingredients and saw cream, so I assume that is what the saturated fat is from. Regardless, 4 out of 5 stars.

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I received this product for free. This is an unbiased review.
22 Apr 2015, Comments (11)

Blake’s Hearty Beef Stew

Author: Healthnuttxo

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Saw this at Target today (the best store in the world, duh) and decided to give it a whirl. I often stay away from frozen dinners for a few reasons…
1. Full of sodium (hellooooo bloating)
2. Full of preservatives (how about some BHT with your carrots?)
3. Teeny portions for a lot of money

And while this one looked small, the sodium levels were low, and it was a natural dish so no preservatives or colors added. I’ve also had Blake’s chicken pot pie before and it was scrumptious. So I decided to give it a whirl.

Suggested cooking method is the oven. Did I use the oven? Of course I did….the microwave oven (see what I did there?) 😉

Here’s what it looked like:
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Smaller than I thought. Frozen dinner? How about a frozen snack….

There was literally 3 pieces of beef in here. THREE. TEENY. PIECES. I am a big girl (okay, I’m not a big girl, but my stomach likes big portions), and I can easily down a plate of meatballs, steak, hamburger, etc. And still be hungry. So I knew this wasn’t promising.

The first piece of beef was scrumptious. Soft, tender, flavorful. Bits of garlic and pepper, perfectly complimented with the gravy. Reminded me of the stew my mom used to make…mmm.

The other two pieces of beef were fatty. Half fat I should say. White, visible fat. Chewy and bleh. Some people like fatty meat. I am not one of them. Moving on…

The carrots and peas were on point. Carrots were perfect consistency, and peas were nice and crisp. It reminded me of the inside of a pot pie. Both flavorful and fresh. Very good.

The square potatoes were an epic fail. These were supposed to be red skin potatoes? They tasted like the super starchy brown ones you can make french fries with. They were essentially a block of mush. Starchy mush. Awful.

The gravy was thick, but gelatinous, which probably meant it had a high fat content. And seeing as my mere 3 pieces of beef could not possibly contribute all 12 grams of fat, I assume the rest of the fat was in the gravy. Which I will admit, was delicious and flavorful. It held the dish together nicely and went well with everything. Even those awful potatoes.

Overall? Meh. Hearty? Hardly. I wasn’t even hungry when I ate this and I think I am hungrier post meal. Would not buy again, but if bought for me I would eat it. 2 1/2 stars

 

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Follow me on INSTAGRAM for short snippet reviews! Lisa_liftsx

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.

13 Dec 2014, Comments (9)

EnjoyLife Handcrafted Crunchy Cookies

Author: Healthnuttxo

Who doesn’t love cookies?!?!

EnjoyLife sent me a huge box of goodies for free, and let me tell you how pleasant of a surprise it was seeing that on my doorstep!

These crunchy cookies are gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and soy free according to the box. The box also states that they are “free from the 8 common allergies”, so one could definitely assume they are allergen friendly :]

They come in 4 different flavors, Vanilla Honey Graham, Double Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, and Sugar Crisp. I was so excited! I generally prefer soft cookies over crunchy or crisp ones, but I am also never one to turn down a good cookie :]

I tried the double chocolate first. Here is what they looked like up close!

Mmmmm. These cookies were nice and crunchy, but not flaky, they had a good body to them. There was clearly a good amount of chocolate chips, but I think it had more of a dark chocolate than a milk chocolate flavor to them. These actually reminded me of a brownie-cookie. They were very sweet and a tad salty, so in other words, a great combination! The consistency was great. Couldn’t tell it was gluten free or anything aside from a regular ol’ gluten-y cookie. Haha. Very good! 4.5 stars

Next up, the chocolate chip. These were yummmay!!! Crunchy and crispy, but had body like the other ones. The chocolate chips melted easily which was a good thing, and they were plentiful without the cookie. There was a slight vanilla flavor as well. They were sweet with a slight punch of saltiness, so again, delicious combo. You really can’t tell it was gluten free! Often I tried GF cookies where you can taste the potato flour or there is a piecy consistency, but not the case with these. They held together well, and I ate, well, ALL of them 🙂 (oops) 4.5 stars

Next up, the Sugar Crisp. Again…yum! Crispy, but not airy, with a prominent vanilla flavor. In fact, these were full of flavor. These had a slight break down after you chew it where you can tell it was made of rice flour, unlike the other two, but they were still quite good. If you like a sweet cookie with a strong vanilla flavor, these are for you. 4 stars

Lastly, Vanilla Honey Graham!Look how perfect these little guys look! These cookies almost tasted like toast with honey spread on it. They had a rather strong honey flavor, and a very slight undertone of vanilla flavor. The toasted flavor however, was quite predominant, and the cookie has strong flavors. I think the toasted flavor was supposed to be the graham flavor, but not too sure. If you like honey, I would say this a good choice. I enjoyed it, but not my favorite of the 4. 3 1/2 stars

Overall, I approve! I would definitely buy some of these if I saw them on my next trip to the supermarket 🙂

4 May 2014, Comments (2)

KIND Chewy With A Crunch bars

Author: Healthnuttxo

Hey guys!

I got a nice shipment of new Chewy with a Crunch bars, courtesy of KIND, to do a review on! I used to be a KIND addict- they had they’re yummy granola bars with the nuts in them at my dining hall. I would use up a LOT of my “dining dollars” on those babies!

So even though my diet has strayed and I do not eat those bars as frequently anymore, I was still pretty excited to try these new bars.

The Chewy with a Crunch bars are gluten free, made with 100% whole grains, are non GMO, and made with minimal ingredients. So let’s get started!

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate- This one was not too sweet, and had a mild peanut butter flavor. It was a little blander than I would have wanted or expected it to be (peanut butter chocolate is a strong combo in my eyes!) but it was still rather yummy. The chocolate chips added a very nice touch and were definitely necessary. I liked how this bar had a nice crunch but was still chewy- living up to it’s name! 3 1/2 stars

Dark Chocolate Chunk- this one was my favorite! It tasted nearly identical to a Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip bar, but a tad less sweeter. It was very good! It had a nice vanilla flavor in the background, and the dark chocolate chunks actually tasted like milk chocolate to me, which was a plus in my eyes since I prefer milk chocolate. 4 1/2 stars

Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut- this bar was pretty good! I liked that you could taste both the toasted coconut, some mild sweetness from the honey, and that it had a baked from the oven granola kind of taste. It had a nice amount of sweetness, and I found it crunchier than the other bars. 3 1/2 stars

Vanilla Blueberry- this one had moderate flavor, was a little bland, but was certainly saved by the baby blueberries scattered throughout the bar. The vanilla flavor was sort of muted, but once you bit into a blueberry, it lightened up the whole bar, and made it much better. The blueberries themselves were tiny and sweet, and had a good flavor. 3 stars

Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt- I found this bar awkwardly salty. It was good, but it had an off flavor. It wasn’t too sweet, and it had a nice amount of pumpkin seeds scattered throughout the bar. The maple flavor is off…and maple is one of my favorite flavors. Overall the bar was lackluster, and I was not a fan. 2 stars

Nutritional information varies per bar(but is roughly the same). Here is the Nutritional Information for the Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut

150 calories, 4 grams of fat (1.5 saturated), 95 mg sodium, 25 carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.

Time for a review…of my absolute kryptonite! Peanut butter!

Seriously though…I can refuse any baked good in front of me, but put a jar of peanut butter and a spoon nearby, and you’ll find me melting.

I go through the temptation  thoughts like Spongebob with water when he visits Sandy for the first time.
“I don’t need it…
I don’t need it…
I DEFINITELY don’t need it…

… I   N E E D   IT !!! ”

But, alas, here I am reviewing two peanut butters from Pacific Beach. I will say I DID practice portion control, measured on my scale, and then left the jar in the other room so I didn’t finish a jar in 2 days (I made it to 3!!! [just kidding!])

The first one up- the “Our Signature” peanut butter spread.
2 tbsp is 152 calories, 12 g fat (3 saturated), 51 mg sodium, 9 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams sugar,  4 grams protein.
This one is gluten free (WAS gluten free I should say…that jar is long gone)
This…was unbelievable. I’m not going to lie, I am biased with peanut butter bc well I love peanut butter, but THIS was SO GOOD. It was sweet and creamy, but also had bits of peanuts in it so it had a bit of a crunch. It had a white chocolate flavor to it, was a bit buttery tasting..UGH it was SO GOOD! It had the perfect balance of sweetness too-not too sweet where it felt sugary. Just right. The only thing that kept my guilt at bay was it was 152 calories for 2 Tbsp as opposed to the usual 190 cals. WOO!!
5 stars

Next up, the Organic Valencia peanut butter.
2 tbsp is 168 calories, 14 g fat (2 saturated), 58 mg sodium, 6 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 7 grams protein.

This one was also tasty, although definitely more moderate in flavor. I think it could have used a tad more salt, and was a teeny bit bland. But, still a good peanut butter. Again, it was creamy but also had chunks of peanuts in it giving it a bit of a crunch. A nice thick spread, that could easily be spread on bread or eaten from the jar (somehow I always dangerously choose the latter…). I think this is a good nut butter to pair with jelly on a sandwich bc it’s a good base. This one is gluten free and sugar free. I almost wish it had a pinch of sugar or something to bring out more flavor. 3 1/2 stars.

Overall, some tasty treats! I would love to try more from Pacific Beach, because I think their other flavors sounds phenomenal as well. However, currently trying to lean out for summer and I have NO self control around this stuff…bc it is too damn good.

How many of you are peanut butter addicts like myself? It’s so good it hurts!! D:

8 Apr 2014, Comments (0)

Quest Bar RECIPES!

Author: Healthnuttxo

So as you may all know, I am a big fan of Quest Bars. I have done the following reviews on them where I really enjoy the taste and nutrition.

Cookies n Cream Quest Bar (um…can we say better than a sandwich cookie?)

Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Supreme Quest Bars (because who doesn’t like dessert flavored Quest bars?)

Lemon Cream Pie, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Apple Pie Quest Bars (Apple Pie= noms)

Cinnamon Roll and Coconut Cashew Quest Bars (both just AMAZING)

Of all the Quest Bars, Cinnamon Roll, Coconut Cashew, and Cookies n Cream are my favorites 🙂

So, I was shared by Predator Nutrition a nice booklet of some Quest Bar recipes! You can access it here. The Peanut Butter Pop Tart recipe sounds like it would be my favorite!

If anyone ends up trying any recipe, let me know-
OR if you have your own favorite Quest Bar recipe, Leave me a comment!

28 Mar 2014, Comments (1)

Quest Nutrition Cookies & Cream Quest Bar

Author: Healthnuttxo

QUEST BARS!

I have been a fan of these bars for almost 2 years when I got a box to try from the company. Since then, I have been hooked. They seem to almost have blown up in popularity, and well deserved…these things are delicious and perfect when you are on a strict diet and need something high in fiber, low in sugar, and high in protein.

I’m sure almost everyone has heard of the new flavor of Quest Bars that came out recently- Cookies & Cream!! I got a free box of these bars to try, and I was pretty excited about it.

I mean come on…look at this bar. You can see “cookie crumbs” and chunks of white creamy “chocolate”!

First lets talk nutrition. This bar is GLUTEN FREE!, 180 calories, 7 grams fof fat (3 of which are saturated), 310 mg of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrate (17 of which are fiber), 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of Erythritol (sugar alcohol), and 21 g of protein.

I use Quest bars as a snack, as I usually eat 3 meals and 2 snacks, or I’ll eat half when I have those bad hunger pains that just will NOT relent. The nutrition facts are quite awesome- not TOO high in fat, nice amount of fiber (which is ideal for me since I am a Diabetic for glucose control) and only 1 gram of sugar.

Okay, that’s all cool but how does it taste?
The bar is honestly, amazing. It’s my new favorite flavor. It’s chewy and dense, sweet but not overly sweet. The white chocolate chunks are creamy and have a vanilla flavor to them, reminiscent of the cream in an Oreo cookie. The cookie crumbs scattered in the bar is what won me over. Crunchy and tastes very similar to a cookie!! When you find a part of the bar with a huge piece of cookie crumbs or the white chocolate it is like hitting lotto— cookies & cream lotto 😉

Overall, I love these. I always order directly from the site, because I feel like they are freshest and softest from the website. These get 5 stars from me. I honestly can’t complain about a thing.

Q- What is your favorite protein bar? Or what is your favorite Quest Bar flavor? Leave me a comment below 🙂

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