Category Archives: Food Allergies

My Favorite Indulgence

Granola is one of those things I never buy.  I don’t buy it normally because the granola sold at most supermarkets is a calorie-laden sugar bomb, so I avoid it at all costs.  I recently had the opportunity to try the granola from My Favorite Indulgence, and I was more than pleasantly surprised at not only how tasty it was, but the quality of the ingredients as well.  Plus, how cute is this packaging?

my favorite indulgence granolaVicki Schrimmer is the mastermind behind My Favorite Indulgence, a granola company that prides itself on using not only all-natural ingredients, but GMO-free ingredients which is a huge win in my book.  The other thing that’s great about the granola is the simplicity of the ingredients, which also makes it significantly less caloric than the mass-produced granola you see in the stores.

I got to try four of Vicki’s signature flavors: Pumpkin-Spiced, Classic Almond, Chocolate Mocha, and Maple-Cinnamon (which also happens to be nut free).  I really enjoyed all of the flavors, but the standouts for me were the Chocolate Mocha and the Maple Cinnamon.

my favorite indulgence granola bowlEach serving of granola is about 1/4 cup (and 140 calories), and I found it to be a nice light breakfast when served with some almond milk and fresh berries.

I also loved adding the granola to my Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack, and even found myself grabbing a little handful when I wanted a sweet treat.  Since the granola is sweetened with brown sugar and canola oil, it had the perfect amount of sweetness without being too overpowering.

my favorite indulgence bowlAnother bonus to My Favorite Indulgence is the nut-free granola option.  As someone with food allergies, I appreciate when brands offer alternatives for someone who may not be able to have nuts but still want to enjoy some tasty granola.  And the maple cinnamon flavor is so good, you won’t even notice the nuts aren’t there!

So how can you get your hands on some granola from My Favorite Indulgence?  You can order directly from the website, or Orange County locals can pick up a bag at The Hood Kitchen and Market or at the Great Park Farmer’s Market on Sundays.

Thank you Vicki for sharing your granola with me and making me a believer!  I think it’s safe to say I’m definitely now a granola fan.

Send Me Gluten Free

I really like the idea of food subscription boxes.  In fact, I’ve reviewed a few on the blog in the past.  When the team from Send Me Gluten Free offered to send me a free box to review, I happily jumped at the chance to check it out.

Send Me Gluten Free Box

As someone with food allergies, I loved the concept behind the Send Me Gluten Free box as all of the items are free of gluten, and many of the items are free of other allergens.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find how much was in the box.  When I opened it, it was bursting full of gluten-free goodies.

Send Me Gluten Free CouponsIn addition to the gluten-free snacks, the box also contained coupons for many of the products included and a few recipes as well.  Most of the brands I was familiar with, but it was fun to try out some new products as well.  A couple of my favorites included:

This vegan, gluten-free banana muffin mix (I swapped the pumpkin for banana and it still turned out great).

Send Me Gluten Free Banana Muffin Mix

And these PB2 crackers!  I’ve used PB2 in baked goods before to add a nutty flavor, but have never seen it in cracker form.  Not only are the crackers tasty, they have pretty good nutrition stats too.  I’ll definitely be buying these more in the future.

Send Me Gluten Free PB2

Thanks again to Send Me Gluten Free for the awesome opportunity!  And as an added bonus, they are offering 20% off your first subscription!  Just make sure you enter BLOG20 at checkout.  Even if you don’t have food allergies, I highly recommend checking them out – the goodies are THAT good.

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie.  Yes, the name sounds weird but when combined with a few other ingredients this smoothie is delicious and packed with omega 3’s and antioxidants.  I make this blueberry avocado smoothie pretty much every weekend, and still can’t get enough.  I promise it’s that good!

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie GlassLet’s take a look at the ingredients that make this smoothie a nutritional powerhouse; even if they do sound a bit “hippy dippy”:

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie IngredientsBlueberries – very high in antioxidants and great for digestion

Avocado – a healthy source of fat and adds a nice creamy texture to the smoothie

Hemp Seeds – loaded with omega 3’s which promote heart and brain health

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk – a nice dairy-free alternative loaded with vitamins and minerals

Powdered Peanut Butter – a low-fat way to sneak in some extra protein (although regular PB works well in this smoothie too)

Cacao Powder – high in magnesium and iron.  Plus this skit from Portlandia.

The ingredients listed above are just the base for the blueberry avocado smoothie.  Other things such as frozen banana, honey and almond butter also make this smoothie quite delicious and add a nice natural sweetness.

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie:

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tbsp PB2 or powdered peanut butter

1/4 avocado

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Add ins of your choice (frozen bananas go GREAT in this)

Directions:

Place all ingredients into the blender.  Add ice.  Blend until nice and smooth.

Blueberry Avocado SmoothiePour your smoothie into a glass and enjoy.  Preferably with a fun straw.

What’s your current favorite smoothie recipe?

Gluten-Free Product Reviews

Every so often I am approached by various companies who offer me different food products to review on the blog.  I’m pretty picky about the products I review – if it doesn’t sound good to me or isn’t allergy-friendly I won’t review it.  Recently, Zen Monkey and Larabar sent me some new gluten-free items to try, so here are my latest gluten-free product reviews.

gluten free product reviews granola yogurtFirst up, Zen Monkey.   Zen Monkey has a line of breakfast products that combine yogurt, oats, and fruit.  The texture can be a little off-putting at first, but if you have ever had overnight oats or even muesli, it’s very similar to that.

The current Zen Monkey product line comes in three flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, and Strawberry.  Each container is two servings (140 calories per serving) and comes in a reusable Tupperware container which is perfect for a breakfast on the go.

gluten free product reviews zen monkeyOut of all the flavors I tried, I liked the Apple Cinnamon the best.  The strawberry and blueberry flavors were a bit on the sweet side for me, but if you like a strong berry flavor, then I’d definitely give them a shot.  I also felt that half a container wasn’t enough for a full serving.  If I was having breakfast on the go, I’d probably eat the whole container for a more complete breakfast.

gluten free product reviews zen monkey oatsSo would I get the Zen Monkey products again?  I really like the concept and love how convenient the packaging is, but honestly I don’t know if I would get them again.  It’s pretty easy to make overnight oats at home, and I usually have enough time most mornings to eat breakfast at home before I have to rush out the door for work.  But if you are looking for a quick and easy breakfast option (and like yogurt) then Zen Monkey might work for you.  They do have a pineapple flavor coming out soon which I would be interested in trying.

The second of my gluten-free product reviews is Larabar’s new vegan “Renola.”

gluten free product reviews renolaLarabar recently released a new line of grain-free granola that is made with GMO-free fruits, nuts and seeds.  The renola comes in individual packets, so it’s perfect to take around for a snack on the go.

gluten free product reviews renola bowlI had the berry flavor with some almond milk one afternoon as a snack and it was delicious!  It doesn’t have the same cluster factor as traditional granola, but the flavor is spot on and each pouch clocks in at 200 calories and less than 10g sugar.  If you have a hard time with portion control when it comes to granola (which I do), then the renola is perfect for you.

And I just so happen to think that the renola makes a fabulous crumble topping over some grilled pineapple and ice cream.

Gluten Free Product Reviews RenolaI can definitely see myself buying more of Larabar’s renola in the future – it’s perfect for travel and a great way to sneak in a quick breakfast or snack without too much fun.  Plus, I love that it is gluten-free and paleo-friendly – both bonuses in my book.

Any gluten-free products you are loving out there?  What else should I try?