Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Nature Box tasty snack review!

September 1, 2013

Last month I caved to marketing pressure (thank-you Facebook) and decided to try Nature Box. The concept is that each month a box of delicious goodies will be delivered to your door and you will love them because they are tasty but also natural (no high fructose corn syrup, nutritionist approved, etc.) Find out more here:

You might be wondering if my experience lived up to the claims. Were they tasty?  Were they worth it? Should I give it a try myself?  Well, let’s all settle down for a moment and I will tell you all about it.

To start with I got my first box $10 off.  I know that this is still possible if you refer a friend (I can refer you if you want) but I just saw an ad on Facebook and with the input of a person or 2 that has tried this already I took the plunge.

After I put in the order it took a little while to get to my door.  It was coming all the way from California and it is not like they were sending it super express, but I was excited so I was waiting with bated breath.

Once it arrived the box was smaller that I had envisioned (I apparently thought that it would be the size of a box that a laptop might come in, it was more like the actual size of my netbook) but inside there were 6 bags of goodies.  I believe that you normally get five bags but with the first order there is a welcome gift included.

The box I received was in the theme of “Summer Celebration.”  Well, how festive!  I believe each month there is a theme to the box.  I like themes because being seasonally appropriate is exciting to me.  You should see the window in my office.  Is decorated with seasonally appropriate gel clings (I already picked up the fall ones!)

Ahem… anyway, this is what was in my box: 2 bags of South Pacific Plantain chips (1 was the welcome gift), Mango Almond bites, Tart & Tangy fruit medley, Cherry Crumble granola, and Tuscan summer mix.  Also included is a card with the name of each item that also has some serving suggestions.

Overall the snacks were enjoyable. For the most part my husband and I ate them along with the fruit that we normally have for our morning break.  We portioned everything out as we went and figured out the Weight Watchers points plus for them.  Sometimes we did partial servings since dried fruit and nuts tend to be high in points.  They were a nice accent to our snack.

The only one we did not do this with was the granola.  For this we got some vanilla yogurt and put a half serving on.  This was quite tasty!

After the first month I feel that I can recommend this to people who are looking for less processed food.  If you are used to eating potato chips and Oreos these are probably not going to taste very good to you, but perhaps it might be a step in the right direction.

It is also important to portion these out.  If you do not you will likely eat the entire bag in one sitting and also a ton of fat and calories.  After the first month you are able to customize your box, either adding on more bags for an additional cost or changing out some of the items. For now I am leaving mine as-is.

The thing I like about this is that I get to try different snacks that I might not have picked out on my own, but I believe it is generally cheaper than such snacks would have cost if I purchased them in a store.

I wait with bated breath for my September box.  I know that it has already shipped and I have been tracking it as it journeys across the country.  I will keep you all up to date as to what next month’s comes with.  I am sure that you are just as excited as I am.


Adventures with Cookies

August 27, 2013

What better way to start a blog than to talk about food.  I love food, usually too much for my own good.  While I am not a good cook I do like to bake, so today I decided to try baking vegan oatmeal raisin cookies, specifically those from the Engine 2 diet. Engine 2 is basically a vegan diet paired with eating whole foods.  I do not follow it currently but I am trying to incorporate more recipes and principles for it into my life. You can find information about Engine 2 here:

The recipe can be found here:  This recipe used to be available on the Engine 2 website, but it is no longer available on their website.

Following the recipe was not difficult unless, of course, you do not have all of the ingredients.  This time I did not have baking soda, one of those oh-so-important ingredients that is necessary in order for it to come out right.

After a quick mid-baking trip to the supermarket I finished up the cookies and plopped them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  The recipe says that it makes about 2 dozen, but with my Pampered Chef cookie scoop I made 39 cookies.

My first impression after sampling one while they were cooling (too impatient to wait) was that they were sort of bland and that the you can taste the baking soda.  After some advice from a friend that that taste may dissipate after they sit for a bit we decided not to judge them based on first impressions. After a while longer they still retained that taste. They were also generally bland.

This is not to say that the recipe was a dud.  It may have been the ingredients that I used or the way I prepared it.  The applesauce, oats and some of the spices were Kroger brand.  Maybe I got what I paid for.

But I can imagine that if you were following the Engine 2 diet and were eating all sorts of healthy food these would be tasty.  I have not been following that lifestyle of late (this weekend I ate meatloaf) so I am not much of a judge. I wonder what experiences other people have had with these.

I am, however, counting Weight Watchers points.  The points plus value if they had made 24 cookies they would have been 3, but with my 39 cookie portions they ended up being 2 points plus per cookie.

Other Engine 2 recipes that I have tried have been tasty so I am not going to give up.  Once we eat these cookies (and we will consume them.  I do not waste cookies) I may try them again in the future with better ingredients.