Tags: whole grain

What do cold wintry days bring? Multiple trips to Starbucks and hot bowls of soup. Well at least for me. The weather was beyond bitter cold and windy the other day, and I thought the only thing to help my winter woe’s was to have a nice hot bowl of soup.  In the mood for something new, I tried, Campbell’s Select Harvest Chicken with Whole Grain Pasta Soup that I bought and was chilling in my pantry.

The ingredients weren’t bad, pretty good in fact. Take a look =)

So I cooked up the soup, noticing there wasn’t much to it. I’d say it was 50 % broth, and 50% content, mostly noodles with a few carrots and maybe 1-2 pieces of celery. I transferred to a bowl, but left some of the broth in the pot which is why it looks fuller.

I took a spoonful of the broth- oh. Where’s the salt?

Looking at the ingredients I noticed it was made with “lower sodium natural sea salt”, and although I don’t know exactly what that is, I assumed the lack of salty flavor was because that was used. But there really was a difference- I’m used to the salty soups!

I tried the chicken first, big cubes of it. It was chewy, yet soft, and again, not too salty tasting. It was pretty good, yet standard.

Next up, the noodles, and a LOT of them. They were whole grain, so that was good, and not mushy at all, also a plus. They kept well in the broth,and were a teeny bit softer than al dente. However, they were really bland.

The veggies were scarce, but good. Soft carrots and tender celery- I wish there was more so it would have “bulked” up the soup a little bit.

Overall, it was kind of a bland soup. Boring, lackluster, and really not enjoyable for that matter. I like that it’s low in sodium but it still needs flavor! How about some extra garlic or onion powder? Something. I felt like I NEEDED crackers or a piece of bread with butter to eat this soup, and I was even tempted to add salt (I refrained…). I also wished there were more veggies, as the soup didn’t satisfy me and I was still hungry (insert handfuls of Ritz crackers here).

With that said, 2 stars. I won’t buy this again, unfortunately.

3 Dec 2011, Comments (0)

Corazonas Banana Walnut Oatmeal Square

Author: Healthnuttxo

I have a confession.

I’m obsessed with banana flavored things. Banana bread, banana ice cream, banana yogurt (yes! they make it!). I DONT like fake banana (aka laffy taffy) but real banana flavored things I absolutely adore. Which, go figure, I find weird because I’m not all that crazy about bananas themselves. Hmm.

So, I got this free Corazonas Banana Walnut Oatmeal Square from the company to review, and I was pumped. BANANA walnut. Even if it was Banana spinach flavored oatmeal square I probably would have been excited. Ok, maybe I’m overexaggerating, but let’s just get it out there that I love banana.

Who nibbled my bar!?!?! oh wait…

So, pregym, I had this bar with a scoopful of peanut butter. It was one of those mornings where I DID NOT want to wake up early and have a proper breakfast before the gym, so a granola bar would suffice. Although, always prepare for the munchies later on if you don’t have a big breakfast! Or at least that’s the case for me!

ANYWAY- this square was really quite good. It was soft, chewy and dense, and you could really taste the banana. It tasted like genuine and real banana for the most part, but did have a tinge of that “artificial flavor” feel to it. But not too bad. And not like laffy taffy (sorry to those who love laffy taffy- can’t do that fake banana flavor!!).

There was a slight cinnamon flavor, and it was certainly sweet! The oats gave it a hearty texture and it was a rather satisfying bar. I felt energized during my workout (trust me, I hardly sleep anymore so I definitely didn’t get the energy from a solid 8 hours of sleep!   ) and I couldn’t get over how banana-y it was. The whole “walnut” aspect of this bar was lackluster for me. I don’t even know if I remember tasting them?? Magical walnuts perhaps…?

Anyway- 4 stars. A good bar. I would buy it in the future.

I'm such a fail at taking pictures of nutritional facts. Boo.

24 Aug 2011, Comments (5)

Oogie’s Hatch Chili Con Queso Popcorn

Author: Healthnuttxo

First off, I’m already a pretty big fan of Oogie’s Gourmet Popcorn. I REALLY liked the Smoked Gouda popcorn, which if you haven’t checked out already, you can read about it here.

Another bag that Oogie’s sent me to try was the Hatch Chili Con Queso Popcorn. I didn’t know what to expect with this popcorn. Would it be spicy? Would it taste cheesy? Salty? The only sure way to find out….open the bag and eat some! ; )

As you can see, it had an orangey tint. It’s even brighter than that picture depicts.

The flavor was certainly different. At first, a very slight cheesy taste, that kind of reminded me of nacho cheese. Then it tastes a bit salty, and reminded me of white cheddar popcorn. Then, WHAM! This little bit of heat and spice creeps up and is left with the aftertaste, with a slight burn lingering in my mouth. It was pretty good, and was spicy enough to detect, but not overly spicy that made me go running to the fridge for some milk to calm the spicyness.There was also a bit of oniony flavor in this light and fluffy popcorn, that added a nice touch.

While I liked this gluten free popcorn and think its very tasty,  I dont think I could eat more than a serving at a time. But hey, maybe that’s a good thing..no eating the whole bag in one sitting! Another thing I noticed with this bag and the other Oogie’s popcorn I have had, is that the seasoning is very hit or miss. Some kernels have a lot (which, I LOVE!) and others are bland. But then again, I feel that way with some other brands of chips too. I guess it’s hard to evenly coat everything!!

Overall, 3 1/2 stars. Pretty good, but I kind of wish it was a bit more cheesy tasting, for the “Queso” aspect. I also found myself coughing quite a bit from the spice/heat of the popcorn. But then again…I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy foods =P  My favorite is still the Smoked Gouda!

SPICY FOODS- yay or nay? I would take super mild peach salsa over hot salsa any day =)

I received this to try for free for the company, but my opinion remains unaffected.
20 Aug 2011, Comments (8)

Corazonas Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Square

Author: Healthnuttxo

Remember my oatmeal debate?  How I’d love to eat oatmeal all the time since it’s healthy, filling and deliciously versatile. But, I’m, well lazy. I don’t like cleaning pots, or waiting for the oatmeal to cook. Especially if a cold bowl of cereal is ready in five minutes after slciing up some fruit and pouring some almond milk. It’s just too easy!

However, I discovered I could still eat those healthy oats, but in an oatmeal square. I enjoyed the Chocolate Brownie with Almonds Oatmeal Square by Corazona, so I was sure I would also like the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Square they sent me to try for free as well.

Some quick facts from the wrapper, this oatmeal square has 16 grams of whole grain, is all  natural, and “is made with ingredients proven in more than 140 clinical studies to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol”.

I opened this square up before a workout for a quick boost. I didn’t have time for a complete breakfast, so I figured this would be good to give me some energy alongside a scoop of peanut butter (you probably saw that one coming ; ) ). This also explains why there isn’t a picture. I’m a bad blogger and was in a rush to eat this. Sorry! : (

This bar was actually really tasty. It was decently sized, about the size of my palm. It was sweet and almost fruity in flavor, it was chewy and a bit dense, but really good.  It was light and slightly sticky as well. It had a mild oatmeal cookie flavor, but wasn’t as sweet as an oatmeal cookie would be. The chocolate chips added a nice touch, and tasted like a smooth milk chocolate. Also, the texture and taste almost reminded me of a sticky banana bread. It was really quite good!

Overall 4 1/2 stars. I would certainly buy it if I saw it in stores, and it provided me with a good amount of energy for the gym! Plus, who doesn’t like eating chocolate chips with some whole grains? 😛

Favorite oatmeal add in? Mine is good ol cinnamon, butter, and milk. Like this yummy recipe here! : )

Here’s the nutrition facts from the website

What’s a movie without POPCORN? (Hey, I know a few people who go to the movies FOR the popcorn! =P)

But the popcorn at movies can be loaded with calories and fat (and I’m just going to go out on a limb here and assume, it’s NOT the healthy fats!). Plus, there can even be trans fats in some popcorns! So I was excited when Oogie’s provided me this bag of Movie Lovers Buttered Popcorn for free. Now I could pop my own movie in at home, and eat a bag of yummy, buttery popcorn!

Some quick facts, according to the bag, this is all natural, gluten free, and whole grain. So, if I wasn’t already digging this popcorn, I was slowly liking it more and more!

I was excited to try this popcorn. For some reason when I opened it, I was expecting a yellow colored popcorn, kind of like the buttery flavored drenched popcorn at the movies. However, it was a pale white which surprised me a bit.

Some pieces had more flavor than others, which was a seasoning. I wouldn’t say it was super buttery, but more of a mild butter and even a flavor akin to parmesan cheese. Was it good? yes. Yummy? yes. Suitable for those who drown their popcorn in butter at the movies? No… But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t delicious.

The pieces of popcorn were fresh and had a soft crunch. Like I said, some pieces were bland, and others had more seasoning on it. It was slightly salty, which made me crave a Zevia soda really badly (and let’s be honest…I was also craving a Diet Coke!!).

Overall, it was pretty good, but not as buttery as I would have liked. There was a good amount of popcorn in the bag, which made for a filling snack at 160 calories, and 3 grams of fiber. For me, it was a 3 1/2 star snack !

What snack do you get when you go to the movies? I used to actually get the soft pretzels and cheese instead of the popcorn when I was little! =)

Ever go grocery shopping, with the intent of buying one thing, and then letting your stomach decide what you actually buy?

Yea. That’s what happened here. That’s how this Kashi Margherita Stone-Fired Thin Crust Pizza ended up in my cart, then in the stove, and then eaten by yours truly. It sort of happened like this…

I figured I would walk by the natural food section of my grocery store, just to browse( for the record, browsing in that section is NOT wallet friendly for me. I spend a LOT of money on food!!) and then  I passed by this pizza.  I’ve seen this pizza over and over at the store, and just never bought it. And after eating it, I’m really mad at myself for not buying it sooner.

Doesn’t this look delicious? Because it was delicious x 10

While it was cooking, my kitchen transformed to normal kitchen to a pizzeria. Seriously. It smelled so good! After it came out, I thought I would be disappointed because it was a VERY thin crust, but rest assured, it was delicious. I cooked mine on a pan, so the edges were a bit crunchy, but the middle part of the crust was nice and soft.

The pizza as a whole wasn’t super greasy, so that made me happy. The crust was even pretty flavorful, with a bit of garlic and a bit of spice weaved in.  It even tasted “doughy” despite the fact that it was a thin crust. The tomatoes tasted unbelievably fresh, and were juicy, as if they were cut straight from the garden. There were garlic and onion flavors mixed in with the cheese, of which there was just the right amount of. Not drowning in cheese, and not so little that I had to wonder if the company remembered to put any cheese on at all, but just right.

Overall? This pizza rocked. It also has whole grains and omega-3’s according to the box. I had half of the pizza left over that I left on the pan, which was devoured by another person as soon as they came home. So much for leftovers… ; )   5 stars

Got some free cookies, courtesy of Fabe’s, and of COURSE I had to try the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies first =) Seeing as I love both peanut butter AND chocolate… well, I guess to be fair, there are a LOT of people who love peanut butter and chocolate… So, let’s just say I did the Fabe’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie for YOU guys first 😉

I dont know about you, but those gooey chocolate chips pretty much won me over  on the spot.


The flavor was pretty good. Chewy and soft, with a mild peanut butter flavor, and pieces of nuts scattered throughout. It was a very rich cookie, and sweet but certainly not overly sweet. In fact, the raging sweet tooth I have kind of wishes it was a bit sweeter. It kind of had the sweet and salty combination going on, especially when I bit into a chocolate chip. Which, by the way, receiving these cookies in the mail on a hot day was sort of like a gift. These tasted like they were fresh out of the oven. The chocolate chips were gooey, but definitely had a different taste than what I’m used to- being a milk chocolate chip. They kind of reminded me of the Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom Non Dairy Rice Milk chocolate bar in terms of flavor. Had a chocolate-like taste, with a vanilla flavor as well.

The middle of the cookie had that “I-just-took-these-out-of-the-oven-ten-minutes-ago” appeal, and like it was at the point where you take out a cookie and your not quite sure if it’s done or not. Your afraid it could be raw, but you dont want to overcook it. Thats how these cookies were in consistency. I’m not saying they were raw, but they were like a few steps beyond it. In other words, just the way I like it 🙂

Overall, very good cookie. It is pretty calorie dense, and has 12 grams of fat and 19 grams of sugar, and it’s also VEGAN and has no refined sugar. In other words,  my kind of cookie. I’m not vegan, but I dont mind when products are, and I certainly like when products are sweetened with other things besides refined sugar. I think this cookie is worth a try.  4 stars

What’s your favorite vegan cookie or baked good?


I’m an oatmeal kind of girl.

Well….. I mean I eat  cold cereal for breakfast 6 out of 7 days of the week, but oatmeal is certainly on the top of my list for things I like to eat. I just hate cleaning pots and instant oatmeal is never as satifying as stove top.  SO basically, I’m a lazy oatmeal lover, where if it’s there, I’ll eat it, but if I have to cook it, I might just have cold cereal and wish it was oatmeal. But what about an oatmeal square?

Corazonas Chocolate Brownie & Almonds Oatmeal Squares got me covered. They incorporate the oats that I really should eat more often, and pair it up with chocolate. And almonds. And according to the wrapper, also “.8 grams of Plant Sterols” and “15g of Whole Grain”. That’s my kind of snack.

Do I get props for taking a good picture yet? No? Ok, I'll keep trying...

Chewy and fudgy in consistency, with some chewier peices that had the consistency of uncooked oats.It was very moist, and could easily be pulled apart. Lightly sweet, with more of a deep cocoa rather than chocolate flavor. I wouldn’t say this screamed “ALMOND” flavor, but there was a hint of almond flavor that went well with the fudgy chocolate flavor. I do think it reminded me of a brownie, but certainly a healthier type of brownie. It wasn’t overly sweet like brownies can be, but it did have somewhat of a rich flavor.  Also, it still  made me want to either

1. Grab a tablespoon of peanut butter to smear on top
2. Grab a cup of milk to eat with this
3. All of the above

(Can you guess which one I did?) (;

Overall, 4 stars. I like it. It’s a little small, but it’s a good snack for me on the go or before a workout, or to pair with some fruit and a glass of milk for a light breakfast. I like that it was sweet enough to feel desserty, but not too sweet where I have  a headache. (headaches from sugar? Not. Fun. Been there, done that, too many times. You think I’d learn! I never do).

So….if you HAD to choose… Cereal or Oatmeal for breakfast? tough choice, I know!


I was provided this bar to try, free of charge.

7 Jan 2011, Comments (1)

New England Naturals Banana Walnut Granola

Author: Healthnuttxo

New England Naturals combines two of my favorite things in one- bananas and granola. Being the avid cereal lover I am, granola is certainly on top of the list. According to the package, this granola has “Banana Chips, Walnuts & Honey”,  as well as “27 grams of whole grains” with “0g trans fats”. Sounds like a winner to me!

I liked the package due to its bright yellow exterior and that I could see the granola right through the front of the package, rather than it being a picture of the granola it was the real deal. Here’s a pic of it below (Voila! I learned from my mistake this time, and  did NOT open the package before I took a picture!)

After opening, I saw rather  large banana chips, a few pieces of walnuts, and a lot of oats. The smell was delicious, just like banana bread. The banana chips weren’t as sweet as I had expected, but still yummy and crispy, with a slightly oily taste. I checked the back and the ingredients said “banana chips with coconut oil”, and I can definitely taste just a hint of coconut on the banana chip. The walnuts were standard, but  good. Crunchy, yet still soft, and flavorful.  Then I took a handful of just the oats and ate those by themselves. The flavor of the granola was really good- certainly sweet, with mild banana, vanilla and coconut flavors. Delicious actually. It wasn’t as crispy as I like granola to be, but still good.

Overall, 4 stars. Pretty tasty, and I liked how there were big pieces of banana chips and not just little banana fragments. This granola has 260 calories and 12 grams of fat per 1/2 cup serving, which is a bit high in my opinion. I think it would be great mixed with another cereal and some fruit for breakfast, or I can picture this being good with plain yogurt, as it has a ton of flavor.

1/2 cup (55 grams) is 12 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.

What’s your favorite brand/type of granola?

I was given this bag of granola to try for free from New England Naturals.

 

I’m in the mood for cereal reviews lately! And today? New England Naturals Honey Nuts & Cinnamon Granola!

One of the foods I love to eat is cereal. By itself, with milk, with yogurt, etc. I also ESPECIALLY love granola! I find it super flavorful, crunchy and tasty.

New England Naturals sent me some of their granolas to try, including the Honey Nuts & Cinnamon Granola. According to the front of this package, there are “Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Cinnamon & Honey” in this granola.  Sounds good to me! I loooove cashews, and cinnamon & honey are always a pleasure! 🙂

Looking at the bag, I liked that there was an area where you could actually see the granola. It looked like big clusters of oats, and big pieces of both brazil nuts and cashews. I opened up the bag, and this smells AMAZING! Very fresh cinnamon flavor and just a hint of honey.

As for the taste? The granola itself wasn’t as crunchy as I had hoped, but more chewy. It really wasn’t that sweet, but had a good cinnamon and a light coconut flavor. It also had a toasted flavor, like it was baked in the oven. The brazil nuts were great- crunchy and fresh. And the cashews had a rather plain taste- as if they weren’t toasted.

Overall, I give this 3 1/2 stars. I do wish it was a bit sweeter, and had more of a honey flavor. I did like that there was a light coconut flavor, and that it had a GREAT cinnamon flavor. However, a 1/2 cup serving is 270 calories and 12 grams of fat, which is a little bit much for a granola gal like me 🙂

**What’s your favorite type of granola? If you’d like to answer, please leave a comment below!***

1/2 cup (60 g) is 270 calories, 12 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

Whole Rolled Oats, Honey, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Cashewes, Brazil Nuts, Dairy Whey  Powder, Coconut, Cinnamon.

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