Much-Needed Recap

Wow, I have been gone for what seems like ages! I’m so sorry, guys. I spent all last week at an awesome church camp and today is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and work on a post.

A lot’s happened over the past week and a half, but it’s all been incredible. I’ve also eaten some pretty great things. Allow me to recap a bit:

Since I was so busy at church camp, I often had to rely on bars as snacks. I tried several different flavors of the various brands I’ve received.

Cinnamon Raisin Gnu:

“So brimming with aromatic cinnamon and plump, juicy raisins, you’ll think you’re eating a chewy cinnamon raisin cookie instead of a healthy High-Fiber snack.”

Ingredients: Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic kamut, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, raisins, canola oil, apples, plums, rice, wheat protein isolate, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder.

This bar was delicious! It tasted just like a half-baked oatmeal raisin cookie. I dipped it in peanut butter and it was definitely wonderful. I loved it a lot.

Bora Bora sent me an awesome package with samples of their bars plus some coupons and lip balm! It was really kind of them and I’ve enjoyed everything a lot.

Bora Bora is a company focused on making organic, all-natural food bars that are reminiscent of the tastes and flavors of Bora Bora. They’re gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, dairy/egg-free, kosher and contain no preservatives or refined sugars. How’s that for awesome?

Their bars come in three varieties, Energy, Superfood and Antioxidant, and I was lucky enough to receive two flavors from each.

Bora Bora Paradise Walnut Pistachio:

“Crunchy walnuts, sweet pistachios and chewy raisins. Better than an apple a day, any day.”

IngredientsOrganic PistachiosOrganic RaisinsOrganic WalnutsOrganic HoneyOrganic Whole Grain Crisp Rice, Organic Brown Rice SyrupOrganic Sunflower Oil(Organic Sunflower Oil, Natural Tocopherol, Organic Rosemary Extract)Organic CinnamonSea Salt.

The first bar I tried was the Paradise Walnut Pistachio Antioxidant and I really enjoyed it. It has honey as one of the ingredients, and you could taste it with every bite. It also tasted a lot like pistachios (as expected) and it was delicious. 🙂

Wild Pomegranate Pecan:

“Pomegranate, pecans and cherries. It’s like you’re getting healthier with every bite.”

Organic PecansOrganic Cashews, Organic Sultana Raisins, Organic Cherries (Organic Cherries, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Sunflower Oil),Organic Agave NectarOrganic Whole Grain Crisp Rice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Sunflower Oil (Organic Sunflower Oil, Natural Tocopherol, Organic Rosemary Extract), Organic Cherry Flavor, Organic Pomegranate Juice Concentrate.

Wow, this Superfood bar was great, too. It reminded me a lot of the berry fruit snacks you used to eat as a kid, or Fruit Roll-Ups or maybe even Fruit Leathers. It was very sweet, yummy and I enjoyed it lot. Thumbs up to Bora Bora. 🙂 More of their bar reviews will be coming soon, so keep an eye out!

Kardea also sent me some bars to test!

“Kardea. The coming together of taste and science for natural cholesterol management.

The challenge: it is difficult to enjoy enough heart healthy foods, each and every day, to have meaningful impact.

Kardea was created to enable you to meet this challenge.

We offer a varied selection of delicious natural foods that provide meaningful levels of positive nutrients.

Each of our great tasting snack bars delivers 50% more heart healthy soluble fiber than found in oatmeal, and each provides 1 gram of cholesterol lowering plant sterols.

To read more about cholesterol management and how Kardea can help, go here.

Facts about the bars:

  • Plant Sterols-1 gram
  • Total Fiber-7 grams with 5 grams Soluble Fiber
  • Heart Healthy Soluble Fiber-3grams
  • Protein-7 grams with 3.5 grams Soy Protein
  • Vegetarian-Friendly (Chai Spice & Banana Walnut Are Vegan)
  • Kosher Certified
  • Only 150 Calories/Bar
  • No Trans Fats
  • Lower Glycemic Formulation

I received four yummy-sounding flavors from Kardea, and the first one I tried was Lemon Ginger.

This was very good! The taste reminded me of a healthy lemon bar, which I absolutely love. I haven’t had one in years so this was really nice. The texture was very similar to rice krispies, but I don’t see any sort of puffed rice cereal in the ingredients. I’m not sure what it was, but it was delicious.

The other thing I liked about these bars is that they don’t contain a ton of fruit. Every other company seems to pack dates, bananas, and other high-carb fruits in their bars, but these don’t. It’s a nice change and I appreciated the more subtle sweetness. I also liked the 7g of natural, vegan protein!

I have a few other flavors to test, so expect more Kardea reviews soon. 🙂

Last but certainly not least, Kopali Organics sent me some wonderful things to review!

“Every choice we make affects our well being, the lives of countless others, and the future of our world. This is the truth that inspired us to start Kopali as a partnership to restore the connection between the food we eat, the farmers who grow it and the planet we all share. Our part is to bring you radically pure, irresistably delicious, healthful snacks, produced in the most compassionate and sustainable ways possible. Your part is pure enjoyment. The outcome is…. in your hands!”

Delicious and the highest premium quality, from all over the world.  Never any sugar, oil, sulfites, anything added to our fruits, which are fully ripened, picked by hand and dried right on site at the farm.  Rich dark chocolate with just enough sweetness and rich flavor, dairy-free and lower sugar.

ALWAYS:

100% organic and natural
100% vegan (no dairy, no animal products)
– Rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber
– Sustainably harvested and fairly traded

5 FRUITS:
– Full serving of fruit per bag!
No sugar, no sulfites, no oil, absolutely nothing added

5 CHOCOLATES:
– Premium Dark Chocolate
– Fair Trade Certified
– No cholesterol, no trans fats

The first thing I tried was this incredible Organic Mix! It’s like the Kopali Organics people read my mind–I LOVE trail mixes, and an organic, all-natural, superfood one is even better!

I wish I had taken a picture of the mix itself, but I ate it too fast.. woops. 😛 The label for this is great, though. I highly recommend you enlarge the picture and read it.

The awesome mix contained goji berries, cacao nibs, mulberries and pistachios with absolutely nothing added! To be honest, I didn’t even know what a mulberry was before I ate this, but it was really great. I LOVED this mix and I highly recommend it.

The other thing they sent was their dried mango:

Wow, so delicious! I absolutely LOVED this dried mango. It tasted so good and I loved knowing that it had no preservatives, sulfites or added sugar. It was excellent and had all the yummy-ness of mangoes in a convenient, portable package.

Ookay, wow! That took me forever. Now to continue the recap.

I received some xanthan/guar gum from the wonderful Sami the other day, and I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with it. Thanks so much Sami!

My first experiment was making protein ice cream.

Umm, yeah. It definitely did NOT work. So disappointing! I’m not sure what I did wrong.. I followed Heather’s recipe exactly. Maybe I didn’t add enough ice?

It was pretty much a big pile of weird, jello-y, smoothie. In the picture above I caught it mid-slop off the spoon. Kinda odd, but I don’t like wasting food so I choked it down.

On the plus side, it made a TON of “smoothie” and it filled me up quite a bit.

I tried it again, using vanilla protein powder and more ice. The verdict?

It still didn’t work. Aghh! I’m so sad. Does anyone have any tips on how to do this better? Heather, you’re the master. What am I doing wrong?

To try and cheer myself up, I made Angela’s highly-acclaimed Cherry, Banana, Coconut Butter Bread.

I only had three small bananas, so I challenged myself by doing 3/4 of the recipe. I ended up making quite a few substitutions, like whole wheat flour for the spelt flour, ground flax for the chia seeds, coconut oil for the sunflower oil, Cacao Bliss for the coconut butter and honey for the maple syrup. My bananas were also SUPER ripe, (they were black) so I more than halved the honey to avoid sweetness overload. Oh, I also sprinkled cacao nibs on top instead of shredded coconut. 🙂

I think all my random substitutions changed the recipe quite a bit. I shouldn’t have halved the honey, because it really affected the density and moistness of the bread. Also, apparently using whole wheat flour instead of spelt makes for a drier bread. Another thing I’ll have to figure out is the coconut butter… I used Cacao Bliss because it’s what I had, but it got totally lost in the bread. Next time I’ll add it in clumps at the end after the batter is all ready mixed. Overall it was still great and I liked it a lot, but next time I’ll try to stick exactly to the recipe. 🙂

Oh yeah, I topped my first protein ice cream disaster with a crumbled slice of the bread. Yum. 🙂

Okay, onto the next thing. I made a pizza on a whole wheat, organic 365 tortilla and it was very good. My sauce was a humnut sauce (hummus + nutritional yeast + water) and my toppings were tomatoes and green peppers. Simple.

I also made kale chips! Hooray.

I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you my go-to recipe. Here it is.

  • Kale, washed and ripped into pieces
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss till kale is well coated. 🙂 There are no exact measurements at all… just toss, spread on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 mins at 400°. Yumm.

Oh, I also made some of Katie’s Chocolate Butter. It didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped, but it was still delicious.

At room temperature it was liquid-y like chocolate sauce, and this is what it looked like after I’d refrigerated it. 🙂

Random taco salad love.

Oh, and another Farmer’s Market trip! This was just a really small one by my house. We managed to get some awesome produce though, and I was really happy. 🙂

Lolll. This picture makes me laugh. Please ignore my oompa-loompa looking shirt. 🙂

My Farmer’s Market finds:

Some cucumbers, zucchini, squash and a bunch of cherry tomatoes. ❤

Mmm, potatoes! I’m thinkin of using them in this recipe.

Holy huge watermelon (and the cantaloupe in the back)! While I was cutting this watermelon, I regrettably dropped half of it on the kitchen floor. It broke clean in half, but thankfully the inside didn’t touch the floor. Crisis (mostly) averted. 🙂

Roasting up my veggies. Yum. 🙂

More was consumed than what is pictured. 🙂

In addition to my roasted veggies, I also made a summer-y, raw vegetable salad.

  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Black beans
  • And a delicious dressing of hummus + sea salt + balsamic vinegar.

This salad was really delicious. I’ll definitely have to make it again soon.

Oh yes, I also made a Chocolate-Covered Cherry shake (basically the Breakfast Shake without any coconut) using xanthan and guar. I didn’t use nearly as much and it was wonderful. Not protein ice cream, just a thicker, more voluminous smoothie.

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Nutribiotic)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 10 frozen, pitted, dark sweet cherries
  • Sprinkle of stevia
  • A little bit of xanthan/guar
  • Ice

BEST. SIAB. EVER. I also tossed in some dried, unsweetened cherries from Bare Fruit and topped it all with cacao nibs and the aforementioned melted Chocolate Butter.

So delicious.

And beautiful.

Continuing the chocolate/cherry protein theme, I made a Breakfast OIAJ Sundae for Katie’s contest!

Um, this was quite possibly the most decadent “bowl” of overnight oats I have ever had. Instead of using water or milk for the overnight liquid, I used a protein shake. Not just any protein shake, though. I used my all-time favorite Chocolate Covered Cherry protein shake that I made above. HEAVEN. The protein shake was pretty much the same mix:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Nutribiotic)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 10 frozen, pitted, dark sweet cherries
  • Sprinkle of stevia
  • A little bit of xanthan/guar
  • Ice

Then I stirred it all together with 1/2 cup oats and some unsweetened, dried Bare Fruit cherries. I let that sit overnight (after swatting my hand away several times from taking a bite) and in the morning I poured it into my waning jar of Cacao Bliss.

I topped the jar of decadence with cacao nibs and melted Chocolate Butter, then let the Chocolate Butter harden on the cold oats. Oh. My. Goodness. Words cannot describe the amazingness of this breakfast. It was literally so insane and far better than just stirring plain ol’ protein powder into my bowl of oats. Mark my words, I will never do that again.

Ahh. My whipped cream ^ was at the bottom, Katie. 🙂

Ah, wow. This is a super long post. Thank you for sticking through to the end, if you did. I have a couple posts coming up that I’m excited about, and I promise to be better about posting from here on out. I’ve just been so busy.. I’m sure you all know how that is. Another sign of my busy-ness is the fact that my Google Reader has over 250 unread posts! Yikes. I definitely won’t be able to catch up this time, so I’ll just make sure to keep up with everyone’s new posts.

Well, I better go. I’m behind in my journaling and I need to catch up in that, too. 😛

Umm, I’m trying to come up with a Question of the Day, but my mind is blank. If you think of anything you want to tell me, please do so in the comments!

Thanks for reading!


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11 responses to “Much-Needed Recap

  1. who won the dr kracker contest!!!! I hope its me lol!

  2. dang, i bet the bread made the protein ice cream all better and delicious again!!!

    WOW WHAT AN AMAZING POST! amazing reviews, ahhh cacao bliss!! MMMM ❤

    i was so happy to see a post update from you, always look forward to them!!

    xoxo

  3. Great reviews and recipes!! Everything looks great!!! 🙂

    I love your EFY wristband!!!!! I just got back last week and it was AMAZING!!! I hope you had an awesome spiritual time!! I know I did!! 🙂

  4. Overnight oats in a protein shake is genius! I’m going to try this is one of my spiru-tein shakes… Chocolate peanut butter swirl overnight oats here I come! Thanks girl, I’ve missed reading your posts btw. Glad to see you are back and had a good time!

  5. Kelsey, much to say, but I kind of forgot everything when I saw your breakfast sundae. Um yeah, that looks amazing as did your SIAB. Glad you found some good uses for the gums even the protein ice-cream didn’t seem to work for you. First off, what brand of protein powder are you using. If it already contains gums, then play around with the amounts you add as you might need less, and yes, I think more ice is needed.

    Glad you had a good week at camp, and looks like you had plenty of yummy snacks. I would love to try the Bora Bora bars as I’ve only heard good things about them.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend my little oompa-loompa. 😉

  6. Woah, most decadent OIAJ ever! You really do know how to eat well!! 🙂

    The first time I made that protein ice cream, it was gross too. I’m just not the biggest fan of the gums. But I did really like it when I tried again, with Spirutein (cookies-n-cream)… but that stuff tends to thicken much better than other protein powders. So just wanted to let you know you’re not alone with your protein ice cream woes!

  7. Ummm your OIAJ looks amaaaazing. And I love all three of those bars!! I am seeing Angela’s bread everywhere and am dying to make some 🙂

  8. spoonfulofsugarfree

    Welcome back, Kelsey! Hope you had fun at your church retreat!

    That was a very long post! Nice Job! I don’t know if I could write one that long……But everything looks delicious, especially your oats 🙂

  9. Sorry your protein ice-cream was en epic fail, we had that problem the first time too. I think just halving the amount of gums makes it taste much better. Thw SIAB looks totally delish. we missed ya 😉

  10. Pingback: Much-Needed Recap « CleanTeenKelsey | Fruits Today

  11. Pingback: Catch-Up « CleanTeenKelsey

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