Warning: For some reason, the paragraphs are oddly spaced in this post. No matter how many times I try to fix them they always revert back to the way they are. Sorry.
Hey everyone, sorry I’ve been MIA. This past week has been intense, and I haven’t had time to get posts up. I also haven’t had time to catch up on my Google Reader and the number is scary! 75 and growing, yikes. I’m slowly making my way through and trying to comment on all the posts. We’ll see how it goes.
Are you tired of product reviews yet? I sure hope not, because there are many more to come. I won’t be able to devote huge long posts to each of them, but I will definitely give each product a good, thorough review. I promised the companies I would, so I will.
There are a few I want to focus on in this post: Bare Fruit and Galaxy Granola.
Bare Fruit is a company that makes 100% organic bake-dried fruit, with no additives, sweeteners or preservatives. Their fruit is cored, sliced and baked in wood-burning ovens for over 10 hours, at a very low temperature, to preserve nutrients, freshness, and taste. Their snacks are low in calories, high in fiber, low in fat, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and naturally sweet. Awesome, right? 🙂
They sent me several different products to test: Pear Crisps, Fuji Apple Crisps, Cinnamon Fuji Apple Crisps, Granny Smith Crisps, Dried Tart Cherries and a Dried Banana/Cherry mix.
I opened these first, because I thought they’d be really interesting. They were interesting, but not necessarily in a good way. The texture was a little odd and they didn’t have a ton of flavor. Neither Brady nor I liked these very much. Sorry, Bare Fruit.
Fuji Apples Crisps:
These were really great. I liked them a lot and they were wonderful in recipes. They were slightly tart, sweet, and had a nice crunch to them. Thumbs up. 🙂
Cinnamon Fuji Crisps:
These were my favorite! Brady agreed, and he said he would definitely buy them. I didn’t get a picture because we ate them so fast, but here’s one from the website.
Cinnamon-y, apple-y and delicious. I poured the crumbs over a salad and it was excellent. 🙂
Granny Smith Chips:
As to be expected, these were tart; however, they did have a special sweetness thanks to the dry-baking method. I enjoyed these a lot, and they were wonderful on salads. I also ate them dipped in peanut butter. 🙂
Dried Tart Cherries/Bananas:
Yum! Both the cherries and the bananas were fantastic. They packed a ton of flavor and were very enjoyable. The bananas have an interesting texture that I’d never seen before but it was really excellent.
All in all, this company makes wonderful products! I of course would pick fresh fruit over dried in a heartbeat, but when you’re in need of an easy, portable, all-natural snack, these are 100% ideal. 🙂
I also received a package from Galaxy Granola
. Their motto is “Fruit not fat,” and they bake their granola in applesauce instead of oil. On their website it says: “sure, it isn’t easy. but who wants a granola loaded with fat? we didn’t. so we started using apple sauce instead of oil to bake our products. it works. and, it’s tasty.” So cool, right? With only about 120 calories, 2g fat
, 18g net carbs and 4g protein, these stats are amazing and unheard of
I received three flavors: Not Sweet Vanilla, Vanilla Almond and Raspberry.
Not Sweet Vanilla:
I loved this flavor. The title holds true in that it is not necessarily sweet, but if you’re like me that’s a good thing. I’m not fond of overly sweet things which is why I’ve never been a fan of granola. This flavor, however, has quite possibly changed my mind. Yum.
Mm, yummy! This granola is packed with little freeze-dried raspberry pieces that I LOVE. The granola itself is also (naturally) flavored with raspberry, so it’s quite a wonderful combination. I love this one a lot.
This flavor was wonderful too! (Truthfully I just loved every flavor they sent.) It was very tasty and I enjoyed it a lot. The title of this one also holds true: it’s loaded with almonds, and the granola is almond-flavored. For an almond fan like me that’s wonderful, but if you aren’t a fan you may want to steer clear of this one.
Like I said before, I loved all of these flavors! I’ve really been enjoying the Galaxy Granola
and I would definitely recommend it to you. The stats are incredible, it’s all-natural, it’s packed with whole grains and it’s absolutely delicious. Thanks, Galaxy Granola!
Now that that’s written, I can tell you why I needed to write those specific reviews. I’ve been enjoying the most INCREDIBLE breakfasts these past few days, and all of them have included one (or both) of those products. It would’ve been out of order to tell you about the breakfasts without mentioning the products first, so it had to be done. 🙂
A delicious bowl of fruit (blueberries, strawberries, dried granny smith chips, dried fuji apple chips and dried tart cherries) topped with cacao nibs and homemade coconut butter. Umm wow, delicous? I think so.
Incredible Breakfast #2:
This was heaven in a bowl, I tell you. Overnight Galaxy Granola (I used 1/4 cup Not Sweet Vanilla, 1/4 cup Raspberry) topped with unsweetened shredded coconut, cacao nibs, blueberries and Honey-Cinnamon Coconut Almond Butter. (Recipe to follow)
Overnight Galaxy Granola? Yes, you heard read me right. You may be wondering what that is, but my guess is that you aren’t. The name itself is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, you allow 1/2 cup of Galaxy Granola (or any granola, really) to soak overnight in 3/4 – 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon. Don’t forget the cinnamon; I always add a couple shakes because it’s crucial to the taste. When you wake up in the morning (feeling like P. Diddy) be sure to stir the granola, add more liquid if you need to and top it with whatever you desire!
I guess this kind of defeats the purpose of granola, but it truly is incredible. I’ve been enjoying it so much and it keeps me full for a long time. I’ve only ever tried this with Galaxy Granola (it’s quickly becoming my favorite) but I’m sure it would be just as delicious with whatever you have on hand. Yum.
Incredible Breakfast #3:
Okay, so Incredible Breakfast #3 is really just a variation of Incredible Breakfast #2, but I think it deserves its own number, don’t you? It was so amazingly delicious that I couldn’t let it be overshadowed.
This was also Overnight Galaxy Granola, with a mix of 1/4 cup Not Sweet Vanilla and 1/4 cup Vanilla Almond. I stirred in 1 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, cinnamon, and a handful of Fuji Apple Crisps then let it refrigerate overnight. In the morning I topped it with more Fuji Crisps, cacao nibs and a scattered tablespoon of my Honey-Cinnamon Coconut Almond Butter.
The night before…
The morning after. 🙂
Honestly, there aren’t even words. I cannot describe to you how delicious this was and how much I enjoyed it. There was the perfect blend of almonds from the almond milk, almond granola and almond butter; the delicate chewy apples; the crispy apple chips on top; the crunchy, chocolate-y cacao nibs and the perfectly spiced cinnamon to bring it all together. Apple-Almond Pie
LOVE. (Come to think of it, this would’ve been incredible under a batch of Heather’s cinnamon protein ice cream
. If only I had xanthan/guar. :P)
Now for the recipe that tied the above creations together: my newly-created Honey-Cinnamon Coconut Almond Butter. I know the recipe itself isn’t overly creative or new, but I was excited about it so I wanted to share.
Honey-Cinnamon Coconut Almond Butter
- 10 oz raw almonds
- 2-4 tbsp coconut oil, possibly more if needed
- cinnamon (to taste)
- honey (to taste)
Begin by spreading the almonds on a cookie sheet in a single layer like so. Make sure the cookie sheet is greased or sprayed so the almonds don’t stick.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and roast the almonds for 4-6 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. The idea is to halfway-roast them so you get a nice combination of roasted taste and raw nutrients. Be careful not to burn them! I accidentally let them roast too long and I burned my most recent batch. It wasn’t terrible, but I certainly would not recommend it.
After the almonds cool, place them in a food processor, Vita-Mix or other high-speed blender.
Grind the almonds into a flour, stopping and scraping the sides as needed. I tend to play with the speeds, alternating between low, medium and high. It all depends on what works best at the moment. Once you have a clumpy flour, drizzle in the coconut oil one tablespoon at a time, blending after each tablespoon. You can add more or less if you need to, which will depend on how long you roasted the almonds. Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, slowly blend in the cinnamon and honey. I tend to use about three good shakes of cinnamon and 1.5-2 tsp honey. (Also, if you’re a vegan and you prefer not to use honey, agave will work fine. I’m sure stevia would be good too, although you’d lose the authentic honey taste.)
Allow the almond butter to cool in the canister for a bit, then scrape it into a glass jar/container. I didn’t refrigerate mine because I didn’t want the coconut oil to solidify, but I suppose you could. Actually I think you’re typically supposed to refrigerate raw nut butters… woops. 😛
Ahh, amazing. I love this almond butter so much that I didn’t even mind being out of peanut butter. :O Yes, I said it. This peanut butter-loving girl was more than content with something other than peanut butter! I never thought I’d see the day.
Wow, this is a super long post. I apologize, but I suppose a long post was due after my lengthy absence. I’ll try to be better this week. 🙂
Thanks for reading!