Tags: no artificial colors

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Seeing as I’m going with a chocolate theme for the last few posts, I figured a review of Bear Naked Heavenly Chocolate all natural granola fit the bill quite nicely.

I got a coupon for a free bag of Bear Naked’s cereals from the company, and brought it with me to the store. I always remember seeing these cereals on the shelves, but I rarely buy granola- too calorie dense and too delicious to stop at the measly serving size provided. But hey- this bag was free for me, so why not “splurge” a little? 😉

I decided to pick up the Heavenly Chocolate simply because it was different. I’m so used to fruity granolas, especially cinnamon & raisin types, or something with fruit and nuts. Plus, how can something called Heavenly Chocolate taste bad? Exactly.

At first I turned over the bag- not too shabby. Only 7 grams of sugar for one serving (I’ve seen granolas with sugar counts over TWENTY grams a serving. Sheesh!!), and 130 calories for 1/4 of a cup. Plus, it provides 16 grams of whole grains for one serving, and the first ingredient was oats. Alright, I can dig it.

So, I opened up the bag, and figured the best way to try this was…. straight out of the bag! It smells really good. Like a melted chocolate bar. Yum! Rather than individual oats, they are small “clumps” of brown-chocolately covered clusters, that are just the right mix of chewy and crunchy. I also spotted some baby chocolate chips in some of the “clusters”. It had a nice cocoa/chocolate flavor, without being overly sweet. Just right, in fact. The perfect cereal to have with milk (or soy milk or almond milk or _insert your favorite milk) and a sliced banana. And, gotta love that it’s all natural and NO high fructose corn syrup. Woo-hoo!

Overall, I give this cereal 4 stars. It certainly was tasty, and quite addictive. I also think this is a great topping for yogurt or frozen yogurt (I’m already planning on having a raspberry Chobani yogurt with this cereal!!) I don’t think anyone can stick to the 1/4 of a cup serving size- too good! On the bright side, if you do have 1/2 a cup, it’s 260 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber and a lot of chocolatey goodness! It loses some points because it included refined sugar in the ingredients, and I try to stay away from that as much as possible 🙂

1 serving, 1/4 of a cup, is 130 calories, 4 grams of fat, 21 carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.

Whole Grain oats, Chocolate Chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, milk), Honey, Brown Rice Syrup, Evaporated Cane Juice, Canola Oil, Whole Grain Crisp Rice (whole grain rice, barley malt), Cocoa, Chocolate Extract, Ground Flax Seeds, Oat Bran, Natural Flavor, Coconut.

Yum. Junk Food. I mean really, who doesn’t love chips, cheese puffs & salty pretzels? 😀

LUCKILY- Michael Season’s makes versions of your typical unhealthy fare that are much more diet (and heart!) friendly. All of their snacks are healthier, and don’t contain all those nasty ingredients some companies put into their snacks.

The company sent me a few of their snacks to try, and one of my favorites was the Baked Cheddar Cheese Puffs. Not only are these all natural, they are wheat and gluten free, have no hydrogenated oils, no preservatives, no artificial colors and no artificial flavors. AND- I was sent a bag of them in a pre-portioned 100 calorie pack- gotta love portion control!

Each one of them is about the size of your pinky finger, and a dusted with a coating of cheesey powder. What I liked was that it didn’t leave my fingers all greasy or ORANGE like some other cheese puffs can. The taste was amazing! STRONG cheesy flavor, similar to cheetos, and you can definietly taste the buttermilk undertones of flavor. Salty and cheddary, they provide a burst of flavor and some guilt free snacking. Plus, you get a lot in the bag for 100 calories! Normally 100 calorie packs scrimp on portions, but you get a good amount in each bag. Kudos, Michael Season’s, you get 4 1/2 stars!

1 bag is 100 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protein.

Organic Cornmeal (40%), Cornmeal, Corn Oil and/or Sunflower Oil, Whey, Reduced Lactose Whey, Butter (cream, salt, annatto extract), Buttermilk, Cheddar & Blue Cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes), Salt, Disodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Natural Flavor, Color (paprika, tumeric, annatto), Citric Acid.

HEY! Ya know what goes good with cheese puffs? ALMOND MILK! well,  not really.. but enter my giveaway, anyway!!

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! 😉 ) 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.

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.

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