Food Reviews – This Mama Cooks! On a Diet™ https://www.thismamacooks.com Healthy recipes & lifestyle tips for busy moms & their families Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:45:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.8 https://cdn.thismamacooks.com/images/2016/05/cropped-very-large-TMC-badge-512-3-32x32.jpg Food Reviews – This Mama Cooks! On a Diet™ https://www.thismamacooks.com 32 32 Crio Brü review https://www.thismamacooks.com/2017/02/crio-bru-review.html Wed, 01 Feb 2017 12:27:27 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=2347 Looking for Crio Brü reviews? Read how Crio Brü brewed cocoa beans are a healthy alternative to hot chocolate or coffee.

Since I try to avoid sugar and extra calories, finding something to satisfy my craving for chocolate is difficult. That’s why I love Crio Bru brewed cocoa.

Crio Bru cocoa is a chocolate drink that’s brewed like coffee from 100% pure cocoa beans. After brewing, you’re in total control of what you add to the drink, whether it’s cream and sugar or unsweetened coconut milk and stevia.

Looking for Crio Bru reviews? Here’s mine.

I first tried Crio Bru Cavalla, which is now called Ghana Light Roast. It’s a premium roasted cocoa with natural hints of dark spice, coconut and cinnamon. The cocoa beans are grown on family farms on the Ivory Coast.

I chose to make my Crio Bru in an 8-cup Bodum French Press. You can also make Crio Bru brewed cocoa in a standard coffee maker if you have a reusable golden filter.

Make Crio Bru  in a Bodum Chambord 8 Cup French Press Coffee Maker, 34 oz., ChromeBodum Chambord 8 Cup French Press Coffee Maker, 34 oz., ChromeMake Crio Bru  in a Bodum 8 Cup Chambord Classic Coffee Maker, 34 oz, CopperBodum 8 Cup Chambord Classic Coffee Maker, 34 oz, CopperMake Crio Bru  in a Bodum Chambord 8-Cup French Press Coffee Maker, SilverBodum Chambord 8-Cup French Press Coffee Maker, SilverMake Crio Bru  in a Bodum 8 Cup 1928-18 Chambord Classic Coffee Maker, 34 oz, CopperBodum 8 Cup 1928-18 Chambord Classic Coffee Maker, 34 oz, Copper

I used 1 cup of Crio beans for a full French Press.  Since it’s recommended that you use one to two level tablespoons of Crio beans for each “Crio cup,” which is 4.25 ounces or a bit more than half a cup, I figured 8 cups x 1 tablespoon = 1 cup of Crio beans.

I followed Crio’s brewing directions carefully and produced a hot drink that looks like medium to dark coffee.

So how does Crio Bru taste?

Just made without anything added to it, Crio Bru brewed cocoa did taste like hot chocolate. But a hot chocolate drink that you made with too much water and no sweetener.

At first you may find Crio Bru a bit disappointing, because you might be expecting a creamy hot chocolate drink. Instead, think of Crio Bru cocoa with a tongue feel of hot coffee, but instead of coffee it tastes like chocolate. Then once you add your “milk and sugar” – in my case unsweetened coconut milk and stevia – you’ll find it to be much more satisfying.

I enjoyed sipping Crio Bru cocoa and found that it reheated well in the microwave later in the day. (I can’t say the same of coffee, which can get nasty when reheated.)

Looking for Crio Bru reviews? Read how Crio Bru brewed cocoa beans are a healthy alternative to hot chocolate or coffee.

The taste is rich and sophisticated, sort of like a mocha latte, but without the bitterness of coffee. However, I did miss the “tongue feel” of a creamy hot chocolate. I found making a “cocoa au lait” with half unsweetened coconut milk and half Crio Bru brewed cocoa helped. You could also use half and half or coffee creamer, though that ruins the healthy factor of the chocolate drink.

I’ve also tried Crio Bru cocoa cold. You’ll notice some oil globules forming on the top, which is a natural part of the Crio beans. But it’s such a small amount that Crio Bru is considered fat free. If you like iced coffee, iced Crio Bru would be a wonderful summer time drink.

If you like chocolate flavored coffee drinks, adding several tablespoons of Crio beans to your coffee beans would be a healthier choice than adding sugary chocolate syrups to your coffee routine, too.

Crio Bru (Ghana Light Roast - Cavalla, 10oz)Crio Bru (Ghana Light Roast - Cavalla, 10oz)Crio Bru (Ecuador Light Roast - Coca River, 24oz)Crio Bru (Ecuador Light Roast - Coca River, 24oz)Crio Bru (Venezuela Medium Roast - Maracaibo, 10oz)Crio Bru (Venezuela Medium Roast - Maracaibo, 10oz)Crio Bru (Ghana French Roast - Cavalla French, 24oz)Crio Bru (Ghana French Roast - Cavalla French, 24oz)Crio Bru (Peppermint Light Roast, 10oz)Crio Bru (Peppermint Light Roast, 10oz)Crio Bru (Dominican Republic Light Roast - Vega Real, 10oz)Crio Bru (Dominican Republic Light Roast - Vega Real, 10oz)Crio Bru (Pumpkin Spice, 10oz)Crio Bru (Pumpkin Spice, 10oz)Crio Bru (Maya Light Roast, 24oz)Crio Bru (Maya Light Roast, 24oz)

The health benefits of chocolate and Crio Bru

Crio Bru brewed cocoa beans have a high ORAC score, about the same as a cup of raspberries. (An Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC score, is a test tube analysis that measures the antioxidant levels of food and other chemical substances.) It’s also caffeine free.

Crio Bru claims that their drink is packed with more natural antioxidants and heart-healthy minerals and than almost any drink on the market. They also claim their drink acts as an appetite suppressant and gives you a boost of energy. Cocoa beans do contain a natural stimulant called theobromine that is a relative of caffeine. Unlike caffeine, theobromine gives you a noticeable increase in energy without making you feel nervous or jittery.

I’m reluctant to support any of their health claims, so I’ll leave that up to your best judgment. However, the Denver Post published an article, Good news: Chocolate's sweet health benefits by registered dietitian Shirley Perryman, a few years ago that supports some of their claims about chocolate.

Whatever, your reason for seeking out a healthy chocolate drink, I highly recommend Crio Bru brewed cocoa beans.

Originally posted on February 27, 2011.
Photo credit: Crio Bru and GraphicStock.

Looking for Crio Bru reviews? Read how Crio Bru brewed cocoa beans are a healthy alternative to hot chocolate or coffee. Includes Crio bean brewing tips.
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Try ProNourish Nutritional Drinks with these $2 Coupons! https://www.thismamacooks.com/2016/10/low-fodmap-diet-plan-pronourish-nutritional-drink.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2016/10/low-fodmap-diet-plan-pronourish-nutritional-drink.html#respond Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:08:51 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=17431 Click to get a $2 off Kroger coupon for ProNourish nutritional drinks. They're the perfect on the go snack or mini-meal for those who have food sensitivities or are following a low FODMAP diet due to IBS.

Are you looking for a yummy nutritional drink that’s perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle? Well, you’ve got to check out ProNourish Nutritional Drinks!

Click here to get a $2 off coupon! 

Click to get a FREE sample & a $2 off coupon for ProNourish nutritional drinks. They're the perfect on the go snack or mini-meal for those who have food sensitivities or are following a low FODMAP diet due to IBS.

What is ProNourish?

ProNourish is the first low FODMAP nutritional drink of its kind. It’s specifically designed to include the nutrition you want and is compliant with a low FODMAP diet.* 

I also like that ProNourish has 3 grams of fiber and 15 grams of high quality protein, which helps you feel fuller longer. It also has 25 essential vitamins, like vitamins C and D, and minerals like calcium and iron.

ProNourish is suitable for those with lactose intolerance, too.

Finally, ProNourish is gluten free (yay!), has no high fructose corn syrup (double yay!), no sugar alcohols or artificial colors.

Get a FREE Sample and a $2 off coupon for ProNourish nutritional drinks. Ideal for those on a low FODMAP diet for IBS or have intolerance to gluten or lactose.

Where can I buy ProNourish Nutritional Drinks?

ProNourish nutritional drink comes in two delicious flavors, French Vanilla and Strawberry Banana.  You can find it in the nutritional drink aisle at Kroger next to the diet nutritional drinks and meal replacement bars. (It’s NOT in the adult nutritional aisle.)

ProNourish drink may not be available at every Kroger store yet. So call ahead to make sure it’s available in your area.

You can find ProNourish Low FODMAP Nutritional Drinks at Kroger in the diet supplement, diet shakes, and replacement bar aisle.

Click here to get a $2 off Kroger coupon! 

(The link will take you to Kroger’s website. Just search on “ProNourish” to find the coupon.)

I tried the French Vanilla flavor and was impressed with its creamy, sweet vanilla taste. ProNourish nutritional drinks don’t have that weird metallic-like taste of other nutritional drinks. Plus, it’s smooth and not chalky or gritty, which makes drinking ProNourish a treat – perfect for a snack or mini-meal.

Finally, a smoothie-like drink that I can drink on the go without having to make up something in the blender! I like that you can slip a bottle of ProNourish into your purse, backpack or lunch bag so you always have a safe snack or mini-meal replacement when you’re not at home.

*Not for Galactosemia.

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Picky about your protein powders? Try Orgain Organic Protein Powder! https://www.thismamacooks.com/2016/09/orgain-organic-protein-powder.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2016/09/orgain-organic-protein-powder.html#respond Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:18:26 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=17262 Picky about your protein powders? Try Orgain Organic Protein Powder!

I’m picky about the protein powder I add to my morning fruit smoothie. I have a whey sensitivity, so most protein powders give me a tummy ache. While there’s soy protein powders, I’d rather have a non-soy alternative. And have you checked out the label of the protein powders sold at your grocery store? So many of them have some sketchy ingredients like corn syrup, genetically modified soy, artificial flavors, hormones, antibiotics, and low quality non-organic ingredients

That’s why I’ve been using Orgain Organic Protein Powder for over a year now. It’s made from plant-based proteins like brown rice, hemp, chia, and pea. Orgain has 21g of plant-based protein per serving, only 3g net carbs, no added sugar, and 5g of fiber per serving.

Since it’s made from USDA organic plant sources, Orgain is ideal for vegetarians and vegans. It’s gluten free, non-GMO, and there’s no dairy, soy, or lactose in Orgain products, too.

I’m also picky about the taste of my protein powder. Orgain is smooth, delicious and isn’t gritty or medicinal tasting like other plant based protein powders.

About Orgain Organic Protein Powder

Orgain was created by  Andrew Abraham, M.D. He created the Orgain company in 2008 after being diagnosed with cancer. He was disappointed with the nutritional shakes he was given when he was trying to gain back the weight he lost during cancer treatments. He felt the need to develop a better quality, nutritionally complete, high protein nutritional shake.

You can buy Orgain Protein Powders in two different flavors – creamy chocolate fudge and vanilla bean. It’s delicious not only in smoothies, but on cereal, in your breakfast oatmeal, and even in baking.

To find where Orgain Protein Powder is sold, check the store locator or store listings for online ordering.

Picky about your protein powders? Try Orgain Organic Protein Powder! It's gluten free, ideal for vegans and vegetarians, organic, non-GMO, and it has no added sugars. Each serving has 21g of plant-based protein per serving, only 3g net carbs, and 5g of fiber per serving. And it's delicious and not gritty!

My morning routine with Orgain

I love using Orgain Organic Protein powder in my morning fruit smoothies. After all, there’s nothing like starting off the day with 21g of plant-based protein. It leave me satisfied until lunch time.

I place one serving of Orgain, a handful or two of frozen fruit, some ice cubes and a little unsweetened coconut milk or water in my high speed blender. My blender quickly turns the Orgain enriched fruit into a delicious ice cream shake-like smoothie that’s packed with plant based protein. I used frozen blueberries, strawberries or mixed berries. But you can use fresh bananas, peaches, or even some leafy greens for a “green monster” smoothie. (If you want a fresh fruit smoothie that has the consistency of ice cream, just add a handful of ice cubes to your blender.)

You can also combine one serving of Orgain Organic Protein powder with 4 to 5 ounces of water, almond milk, or unsweetened coconut milk. Just shake it up in a shaker blender bottle for an on the go drink or snack. It’s perfect for on the go kids who need something quick before or after extra-curricular sports or other after school activities.

Get more information about Orgain Protein Powder

To learn more, check out the Orgain website. You can also connect with Orgain on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

At Orgain, being picky means they don’t compromise on nutrition, ingredient quality, or taste. It’s my kind of protein powder. If you’re picky with your protein, I bet you’ll find that Orgain will be your protein powder of choice, too!

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Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/12/easy-gluten-free-peppermint-blossom-cookies-recipe.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/12/easy-gluten-free-peppermint-blossom-cookies-recipe.html#respond Thu, 10 Dec 2015 12:22:00 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=14919 Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies. Get the recipe at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

Have you ever gotten a last minute email from school that your child needs to bring in a couple dozen cookies for the club holiday cookie swap? I just got one today! That’s why I created this recipe for Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies. It’s an easy recipe that you can make quickly from ingredients you probably have in the pantry during the holidays or can quickly pick up at the store.

I also wanted to create an easy cookie recipe that’s gluten free, since so many kids are on a gluten free diet these days. You can cook up a batch of Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies after dinner. Or if you don’t mind waking up 40 minutes early, you can bake up some Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies in the morning before going to school. You can easily convert Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies into a dairy free thumbprint cookie recipe, if there are any dairy free kids you are making cookies for, too!

A festive cookie for the Christmas holidays

Blossom cookies are so much fun for the Christmas holidays with the addition of a chocolate kiss candy in the middle. I always have candy dishes around with chocolate kiss candies, but I especially like the striped mint ones. They’re so pretty and I like the crunch from the bits of peppermint candy. However, all chocolate kisses – dark, regular and white chocolate, do contain lactose, which is a milk sugar. I have a food sensitivity to whey, so lactose doesn’t bother me and I can eat the white chocolate kisses without getting a tummy ache.

Don't forget to make a batch of holiday cookies for Santa! Get the recipe for these gluten free holiday cookies at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet. These Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies can also be made dairy free!

However, if you’re making a batch of these Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies for someone who is has to avoid milk products, the dough is already dairy free. So instead of adding a chocolate kiss, you could add a square of dairy free dark chocolate (search the aisles at your favorite health food store for some dairy free varieties). Or you could turn the Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies into Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies and add a dollop of cherry or raspberry jam instead of chocolate. Or leave half the cookies without any additional candies or jam.

All three ways, these gluten free and dairy free holiday cookies are divine – soft, moist and buttery with a bit of crunch from the sugar on the outside. Plus you have a festive cookie that’s perfect for holiday cookie swaps and Christmas parties that can be made in less than an hour (including cool down time). Don’t forget to save a few for Santa!

Baking gluten free with Bob's Red Mill

I’ve been using Bob’s Red Mill products for many years, almost from the time I found out my mother-in-law had celiacs – about 15 years ago. They were one of the first companies that I knew that made alternative flours and products like gluten free certified oats that I needed for gluten free baking. When I learned they came out with an all purpose gluten free flour – Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour – I was excited to try it out.

There was no doubt in my mind that it would be a high quality product, just like the rest of their flours. But I have to say that Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is just about perfect. It’s not gritty at all. It tastes and acts just like regular flour in your baking. You don’t have to add anything extra or tweak your recipe to get it to work perfectly.Need a gluten free Christmas holiday cookie recipe? Try these Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies. They can also be made dairy free! Get the recipe at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour combines finely ground brown rice flour, sweet white rice flour, whole grain sorghum flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour with a touch of xanthan gum. There’s just enough xanthan gum to create chewy cookies and springy muffins. I feel that Bob’s Red Mill got the perfect mixture down compared to some of the other gluten free all purpose flours out there, which are very starch-like or seem mostly made up of rice flour. Instead, the protein in the sorghum flour helps give baked goods made with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour  an almost wheat-like texture and aids in browning.

Of all the gluten free all purpose flour mixes I’ve tried so far, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is my favorite. It truly is as advertised – a “1-to-1 baking flour.” Go ahead and use it in your favorite cookie, cake or brownie recipe!

You can try it for yourself with this $1 off coupon! If you can’t find Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour at your grocery store or local health food store via the Bob’s Red Mill store finder, you can order it online.

This Mama’s tips for making Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies

I already explained above that the Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookie dough is naturally dairy free, but the chocolate kiss candy isn’t. You also have the option of using dark chocolate, milk chocolate or any variety of chocolate kiss candy you like. If you want to use squares of chocolate, you can do that, too! All the cookies don’t have to match either. Some can be peppermint, some can be dark chocolate, and others can be thumbprints. Have fun and get creative!

Need an easy cookie recipe for the holiday cookie exchange or bake sale? Try these Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies. Get the recipe at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

I used Bob’s Red Mill Decorative Sparkling Sugar to roll my cookies in. I love the big sugar crystals and how they made the outside of my cookies a bit crunchy! However, you could use colored sugar crystals. Again, get creative and mix it up!

I used coconut milk, but you can use any dairy free milk you wish. However, some kids have allergies to soy or almond milk, so I feel coconut is the safest one to use. Many kids don’t like coconut, but so little is used, you can’t taste it. Also, a vegan buttery spread may have soy, so again, read the label and check with the parents, teachers and kids you’re serving the cookies to, so you are sure no allergens are being ingested!

Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies aren’t just for Christmas. Change the colors and candies for the various holidays. Just make sure to read the ingredients list of any candies you use to check for gluten and dairy.

Finally, Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies make a wonderful edible holiday gift for teachers, school bus drivers, grandparents, coaches, or friends. Check out my Pinterest board on Wrapping Ideas for Edible Gifts for some gift packaging inspiration!

Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies. Get the recipe at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegan (dairy free) buttery spread, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Decorative Sparkling Sugar
  • 1 package white chocolate peppermint kiss candies (approximately 48 candies per package)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix buttery spread, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and coconut milk in a large bowl until well blended.
  3. In another bowl, stir together Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture a little at a time. Mix until well blended.
  5. Poor sparkling sugar on to a medium sized plate. Using a small ice cream scoop, measure out dough into enough for a 1-inch ball. Roll ball in sparkling sugar and place cookie on a baking mat on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until edges have browned slightly and the cookies have set.
  7. While cookies are baking, unwrap candies.
  8. Remove cookie sheet from oven. Cool cookies for 2 minutes. Gently press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Using a spatula, carefully move cookies to cool on a wire rack.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
Total Time: 28 Minutes
Servings: 46 cookies
  • Serving size: 2 cookies

Learn how to make Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

Need a gluten free Christmas holiday cookie recipe? Try these Easy Gluten Free Peppermint Blossom Cookies. They can also be made dairy free! Get the recipe at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Gluten free kids on the go with Nature Valley Bars https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/10/gluten-free-kids-on-the-go-nature-valley-bars.html Thu, 29 Oct 2015 21:57:32 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=14624 Gluten free kids on the go with Nature Valley Bars. Get gluten free snacking on the go tips at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

If you’re the parent of a gluten free child who’s involved with afterschool activities, you’ve learned to pack your own snacks. Maybe you’ve even had to pack dinners for long road trips to competitive meets. While many marching band and sports parents are well aware of food allergies, it’s hard to find fast food places that are gluten free on those road trips to football games or wrestling meets. Even if you think your child can have something that is normally gluten free, like French fries, there’s always cross-contamination issues to worry about.

Parents like us have become experts at stocking our pantries and refrigerators with quickly put together snacks and drinks that fill growling tummies and put a smile on our gluten free kids. We know what foods are portable in a cooler or insulated bag and can be easily eaten in the car. Now we can add Nature Valley’s new gluten free snack bars to that list!

There are four varieties and 10 flavors to choose from:

  • Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars – almond dark chocolate | salted caramel peanut nut
  • Nature Valley Nut Crunch Bars – peanut crunch roasted nut | almond crunch roasted nut
  • Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars – almond cashew sea salt | roasted peanut honey
  • Nature Valley Protein Bars – peanut butter & dark chocolate | peanut, almond & dark chocolate | coconut almond | salted caramel nut

Your kids will love the chocolate or peanut butter flavored bars. For the grownups, try the Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars since they’re a bit more sophisticated. After all, you’ll need to pack Nature Valley Bars road snacks for mom or dad, too!

Gluten free kids on the go with Nature Valley Bars. Get 10 On the Road Snacking Tips for gluten free kids and families at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

10 On the Road Snacking Tips

If you find you and the kids are always on the road on the way to a meet, music lesson or dance practice, here are some tips for keeping the car and you clean!

  1. Keep a couple of packs of hand wipes in the car – one for the front seat and one in the back. There’s nothing worse than sticky hands and faces, especially when you can’t stop to find a bathroom to wash up!
  2. Invest in a leak proof car litter bag that hangs on the back of the front seat. Find one with side pockets to put napkins in. It’s important to remember to empty it out every time you fill up the gas tank so it doesn’t begin to stink. (Been there – yuck!)
  3. Get those air fresheners that clip to your air vents. Nothing worse than the car smelling ham and cheese and hour after you eat!
  4. Put extra napkins, plastic utensils, baggies in your glove compartment. You never know when you’ll need a few extra.
  5. A big roll of paper towels. You’ll thank me when that can of soda explodes all over the back seat.
  6. A few trash bags. You never know when this will come in handy as a rain poncho, a trash container, a seat cover, or a dirty laundry bag. Life is messy.
  7. Kids get bored with the same old snacks. Take them shopping with you to get a different kind of cheese, deli meat, yogurt, fruit, and Nature Valley gluten free snack bars!
  8. If you have time, smoothies with protein powder are a great car snack. These can be made right before you hop into the car. I like making mine with frozen fruit so they’re extra thick. Invest in blender shaker smoothie bottles as they’re fairly leak proof and hold large quantities.
  9. Fruit is a terrific car snack. Frozen grapes are fun to eat, though make sure to keep it away from the family dog if she’s traveling with you as grapes are poisonous to canines. (Remember to bring your dog some snacks and a water bowl, too!) Cut up apples for anyone wearing braces.
  10. Water! It’s important that your athlete keep hydrated with plain old water, especially when it’s hot out. Keep extra bottles of water in the trunk in case of emergency, too.

Enter the Nature Valley Perfect Pair Sweepstakes – #NVPerfectPairSweepstakes!

Do you take gluten free Nature Valley bars on your afterschool activities? Or maybe you just enjoy them as a snack at home. Show everyone how you enjoy your Nature Valley bars on Facebook or Instagram and you may win one of two $500 VISA gift cards!

All you need to do is 1) post a photo on Facebook or Instagram showing a Nature Valley gluten free bar, 2) another food item, object or activity that you feel goes well with the bar, and 3) include the hashtag #NVPerfectPairSweepstakes.

Official Entry Methods:

  1. Facebook Sweepstakes: entry via the Nature Valley Facebook Page.
  2. Instagram Sweepstakes: follow @naturevalley and post to your public Instagram account using the hashtag #NVPerfectPairSweepstakes.
  3. Send a 3” x 5” card with your name, mailing address and email address to Nature Valley Perfect Pair Sweepstakes, P.O. Box 2605, Grand Rapids, MN 55745-2605.

Full contest terms and conditions are available via the Facebook Sweepstakes Entry Page. Good luck!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nature Valley. The opinions and text are all mine.

 
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Dinner (and More!) On the Go with Hummus Plus https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/10/hummus-plus.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/10/hummus-plus.html#respond Thu, 22 Oct 2015 21:28:42 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=14631 Dinner (and More!) On the Go with Hummus Plus. Learn about the convenience of Hummus Plus delicious combination of hummus and chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

You ever have one of those days that you’re so busy that dinner time sneaks up on you? Then you realize you have no idea what you’re going to make for the hungry hordes? Or maybe you’re too tired to make dinner and all you want to do is veg in front of your favorite TV show? That’s why I love doing dinner on the go with Hummus Plus™.

Dinner on the go with Hummus Plus

Hummus for dinner? No way! Well actually, Hummus Plus is different because it comes conveniently packaged in two separate reusable and containers with a serving of delicious chicken. That’s right, it’s packaged with some already cooked, delicious chicken. You have the option of warming the chicken before adding it to the hummus or eating it cold. (I like it either way, though warm chicken and hummus is something you’ve got to try at least once. Then you’ll be hooked!)

To make a Hummus Plus dinner on the go, serve up Hummus plus with sandwich wraps, some salad leaves, and a few slices of tomatoes and red onion. It’s a dinner that you can make in about 15 minutes or less, but it feels like you went to the deli and got a special take out order. How many containers you’ll need for dinner on the go (Hummus Plus has an 8 ounce and a 6 ounce size) depends on how big your family is and how big their appetites are.

Dinner (and More!) On the Go with Hummus Plus. Learn more about all the varieties of Hummus Plus at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

What’s wonderful about Hummus Plus is that there’s a flavor to fit everyone’s tastes, so you don’t have someone complaining that it’s too spicy or not their favorite.

Hummus Plus comes in the following flavors:

  • Traditional Hummus + Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast
  • Garlic Hummus + Garlic Herb Chicken Breast
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus + BBQ Seasoned Chicken Breast
  • Garlic Hummus + Chipotle Chicken Breast
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus + Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast

So far, my favorite is the Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus + Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast, though Traditional Hummus + Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast was darn good.

While making a sandwich wrap is fun, I also like making a big bowl of salad, putting the chicken in it, and dipping forkfuls in the hummus instead of using dressing. Delish!

Afterschool and family travel on the go with Hummus Plus

Each Hummus Plus container comes packaged with a fork and napkin making it perfect to take to school or work as a hearty lunch. I love the tiny “fold over” forks and have been saving them to reuse in my kids’ lunch bags.

If you have a child in an afterschool activity, Hummus Plus is perfect for packing in a cooler with some baby carrots and a water bottle. Each 8 ounce container of Hummus Plus delivers up to 28 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. The 6 ounce varieties pack up to 23 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. Protein is so important for athletic recovery after playing sports! Also, Hummus Plus hummus and chicken contain no artificial flavors or colors.

Dinner (and More!) On the Go with Hummus Plus. Bring Hummus Plus with you on the road with you whether you're going to grandma's house for the holidays or to an afterschool event. Learn more about all the varieties of Hummus Plus at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

Don’t forget to pack some Hummus Plus in the cooler if you’re making a car trip this holiday season. Packing something nutritious and satisfying like Hummus Plus along with veggie sticks, crackers, low fat mozzarella sticks, fruit, hard boiled eggs, nuts, and refillable water bottles will mean you won’t be tempted to stop for fast food on the way. It’s more economical, too!

Entertaining on the go with Hummus Plus

All of Hummus Plus’s varieties make for delicious and convenient entertaining! Maybe your teens are having a study date. You may be having a play date with the kids and their parents or having a girl’s night in. Or maybe you’re  having some friends over to watch the game this weekend.

Whatever the situation is, what could be more convenient than breaking out some Hummus Plus and making your own pita pocket sandwiches? Just lay out the supplies – pita bread, some slices of tomatoes and onions, lettuce, , etc. along with several varieties of Hummus Plus hummus and chicken all laid out in their convenient bowls.

Dinner (and More!) On the Go with Hummus Plus. Learn how to entertain on the go with Hummus Plus at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

Or you could make hummus pizzas by spreading your favorite variety of Hummus plus on flatbread, adding chicken, and other toppings like crumbled feta cheese, some broccoli, black olives, etc. Finally, there’s the old standby of using Hummus Plus as a dip with pita chips and already prepared veggie sticks from the store. The chicken can be served with party toothpicks and dipped into the hummus, too. Entertaining is easy with Hummus Plus!

Since the Hummus Plus bowls are reusable and come with lids, you can put any leftovers in the refrigerator for later. However, I notice that when my family eats Hummus Plus, they use their fingers to get every last bit of hummus out of the containers until they’re almost clean. It’s just that good!

For more information about Hummus Plus, visit Hummus-Plus.com. You can also connect with them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @hummusplus.]]> https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/10/hummus-plus.html/feed 0 It’s World Osteoporosis Day! Celebrate by eating dried plums! https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/10/world-osteoporosis-day-eat-dried-plums.html Tue, 20 Oct 2015 11:33:00 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=14613 It's World Osteoporosis Day! Celebrate by eating dried plums! Learn more at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet #ad #CADriedPlums

I’m participating in a VIN campaign for California Dried Plums. I’m receiving a fee for posting. However, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I’m in no way affiliated with California Dried Plums and don’t earn a commission or percent of sales.

I bet you didn’t know that October 20th is World Osteoporosis Day. One way we can help support healthy bones is incorporating California Dried Plums as a regular part of our diets. California Dried Plums contain vitamins and minerals such as potassium, copper, boron and vitamin K, all of which support healthy bones.

Having healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis is especially important if you’re a woman. Research shows that eating two servings (about 100grams or 10 to 12 dried plums) may improve bone mineral density and slow the rate of bone turnover in post-menopausal women. Bone strength is so crucial for our seniors, because so often it’s something like a broken hip that ends up putting elderly women (and men, too) in hospitals or nursing homes. This happened to both my grandmother and my dad.

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New research shows eating half that amount, just slightly more than one serving (about 50 grams or 5 to 6 dried plums), may help maintain bone loss in post-menopausal women. That’s really not all that much since you can put 5 or 6 dried plums and blend them into a smoothie. Another breakfast or healthy snack idea is to chop a serving of dried plum and mix them into your oatmeal. Try them in rice pudding! Or you may like eating a few California Dried Plums as an afternoon snack.

In this video, Shirin Hooshmand, Ph.D., an assistant professor and researcher at San Diego State University, explains that in a study done on post-menopausal women, it was found that eating 100 grams of dried plums per day actually increases bone density. Since post-menopausal women typically lose 1-1.5 percent bone density per year, dried plums are a way to help support healthy bones.

The awesome benefits of California Dried Plums

Having California Dried Plums as a snack is a smart way to help you manage your weight since dried plums can improve satiety perhaps by producing lower glucose and/or appetite-regulating hormone concentrations. Also, one standard serving (about 4 to 5 dried plums) provides 3 grams of fiber, which may also give you a sense of feeling full. Each serving has about 100 calories and contains 293 mg of potassium, 16 mg of magnesium, and more vitamin K than any other fresh or dried fruit.

California Dried Plums can also promote digestive health. We’ve known a long time about the digestive benefits of dried plum’s fiber and potassium. Now they’re finding out that California Dried Plums also contain other bioactive compounds such as phenolic compounds that may have general health-promoting benefits in the microflora (or microbiome) of the digestive tract.

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It’s no wonder that California Dried Plums are considered The Whole Package! Not only are they a naturally sweet, convenient and nutrient-dense snack that are fun to cook with – check out the recipes on the California Dried Plums culinary website eatdriedpulms.com – but research suggests that California Dried Plums are a nutritional powerhouse, too! Personally, I think they're just delicious!

For more information on California Dried Plums, go to californiadriedplums.org.

I'm participating in a VIN campaign for California Dried Plums. I'm receiving a fee for posting. However, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I'm in no way affiliated with California Dried Plums and don't earn a commission or percent of sales.

 

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Traveling gluten free with Nature Valley Bars https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/10/traveling-gluten-free-nature-valley-bars.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2015/10/traveling-gluten-free-nature-valley-bars.html#respond Tue, 13 Oct 2015 15:46:04 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=14550 Traveling gluten free with Nature Valley Bars. Learn more gluten free travel tips at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

I’ve been eating a gluten free diet for over four years now and cooking gluten free recipes for my mother-in-law, who has celiacs, for over a decade. It’s never been easier to eat gluten free because of all the new gluten free food products in the stores. However, once you leave home and hit the road, you never know if you can find gluten free foods.

If you’re at the stuck in an airplane on the tarmac or coming in late to a hotel, your meal and snack options may be limited. Then there’s the moment when you go downstairs in the morning for your complimentary breakfast, only to find that the only gluten free foods are yogurt, fruit, and tea. And if you’re like me and eat dairy free, then it’s just an apple and tea until lunch time when you can grab a salad (hold the croutons, please)!

That’s why I always travel with something that doesn’t need refrigeration and can easily be kept in my purse or in my luggage. Meet Nature Valley’s new gluten free snack bars, my new traveling companion!

There are four varieties and 10 flavors to choose from:

  • Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars – almond dark chocolate | salted caramel peanut nut
  • Nature Valley Nut Crunch Bars – peanut crunch roasted nut | almond crunch roasted nut
  • Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars – almond cashew sea salt | roasted peanut honey
  • Nature Valley Protein Bars – peanut butter & dark chocolate | peanut, almond & dark chocolate | coconut almond | salted caramel nut

I like traveling with Nature Valley Protein Bars since they offer 10 grams of protein per bar. I find them very filling and satisfying, especially if I’m on the go and unable to stop for a real meal. Plus, the little bit of chocolate makes me feel like I’m indulging!

I enjoy the other Nature Valley bars as an afternoon snack with a cup of hot tea. I love that Nature Valley is keeping up with the latest flavor trends by offering bars with touches of sea salt, dark chocolate, and salted caramel, don’t you?

Traveling gluten free with Nature Valley Bars. Learn more gluten free travel tips at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

More gluten free travel tips

Plan gluten free eating online. Go online and plan what restaurants you’ll be visiting. Not only is this a good way to make reservations at popular restaurants, but you can take the opportunity to check out menus and talk to managers and chefs on the phone. Many restaurants now have gluten free menus posted as well as regular and children’s menus. The Yelp app is a great resource for checking out menus and reader reviews. Cruise lines, resorts, and the bigger amusements parks now cater to people with special dietary needs. Consult their websites and call ahead to speak to a restaurant manager or concierge.

Do your own gluten free cooking. Sure you want to relax while traveling, but getting sick from being accidentally “glutened” is no fun. Instead, plan to do your own cooking while traveling by getting a hotel suite with a kitchen. That way you’re in control of at least a few meals a day. (You may save money, too!) If you’re a foodie, think of the fun you’ll have exploring the local farmer’s markets and specialty grocery stores!

Enter the Nature Valley Perfect Pair Sweepstakes – #NVPerfectPairSweepstakes!

Do you take gluten free Nature Valley bars on your travels? Or maybe you just enjoy them as a snack at home. Show everyone how you enjoy your Nature Valley bars on Facebook or Instagram and you may win one of two $500 VISA gift cards!

All you need to do is 1) post a photo on Facebook or Instagram showing a Nature Valley gluten free bar, 2) another food item, object or activity that you feel goes well with the bar, and 3) include the hashtag #NVPerfectPairSweepstakes.

Official Entry Methods:

  1. Facebook Sweepstakes: entry via the Nature Valley Facebook Page.
  2. Instagram Sweepstakes: follow @naturevalley and post to your public Instagram account using the hashtag #NVPerfectPairSweepstakes.
  3. Send a 3” x 5” card with your name, mailing address and email address to Nature Valley Perfect Pair Sweepstakes, P.O. Box 2605, Grand Rapids, MN 55745-2605.

Full contest terms and conditions are available via the Facebook Sweepstakes Entry Page. Good luck!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nature Valley. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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