October Degustabox Review ’17

October Degustabox Review ’17

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Degustabox. All opinions are my own.

First off, Happy (belated) Halloween! I’ve made the decision to not dress up as anything—just drop by a department Halloween party, and then head home. I know, I am such a partier I have no control ๐Ÿ˜›

With November here, and Thanksgiving (and my first FALL marathon) coming up, it’s time again for another Degustabox review!

October Degustabox
October Degustabox

Unlike last month’s box, October’s offerings were much more appealing to me. It contained old favorites, and new brands I’ve been meaning to try!

I was ecstatic to see a bag of Hippeas chickpea puffs thrown in. I first spotted them at Starbucks, and then I happened to pass by their warehouse near downtown Santa Monica since it’s right along the Expo Line! I was beyond ecstatic to try the new and local vegan-friendly alternative to cheese puffs.

Hippeas -
Hippeas – Vegan White Cheddar

These were beyond crazy delicious. They had a firm texture, a nice crisp crunch, and each puff was coated with just the right amount of vegan cheese flavoring.

Since it was a box arriving in time for candy’s famous holiday, it made sense that a bag of Cow Tales made a comeback. It’s always been a childhood favorite of mine, but Degustabox has partnered with them before in the past. I also noticed the new colorful, cartoon-y packaging.

Cow Tales Minis
Cow Tales Minis

Then there were two cups of original SunButter…I was certainly awestruck. Fortunately, I can have peanuts and foods with peanut-based ingredients, but I think I still prefer sunflower butter over peanut butter. It has a much smoother consistency in my opinion, while still keeping peanut butter-like thickness.

I had one cup serve an unconventional purpose: as a dip for plain Boboli pizza crust, which was also a featured product in this month’s box. Honestly, it was a pretty good combo!

Sunflower butter and pizza crust
SunButter cup and Boboli Original Mini Pizza Crust

I had the other cup scooped into a cottage cheese chocolate proyo bowl, which is something along the lines of what I’m normally used to as an after-dinner snack.

Just like old times
Just like old times

The Bush’s White Chili Beans contained “chicken base” as one of their ingredients, so I had to pass on trying it. I don’t see why it did though…I’m sure the recipe would have been just as good—if not better—without the addition of a meat product.

Does it have to have chicken in it?
Does it have to have chicken in it?

I was however able to try the Bush’s Kidney Beans in a Mild Chili Sauce, after thorough examination of the ingredients for any meat source. I initially thought about adding it to one of my crockpot dinners, but then I thought why not try it on its own? I warmed it up for lunch in lab one day, and it was definitely nourishing through its well-mixed flavors of ripe tomatoes, chili peppers and cumin. It had enough fiber to keep me satiated as I worked the rest of the afternoon.

Suitable for a lunch break.
Suitable for a lunch break.

The Quadratini Raspberry-Yoghurt wafer cubes were an interesting snackable. I normally don’t prefer wafers over other types of cookies and biscuits, but these wafers were certainly an exception. Each cube has four layers of raspberry-yoghurt flavored cream, sandwiched between mini crunchy wafer squares.

Quadratini
Quadratini Raspberry-Yoghurt Wafer Cubes

They definitely had a yogurt-like aftertaste, but that did not detract from their delicious taste.

Unlike other wafers I've had!
Unlike other wafers I’ve had!

When I saw a small cup of overnight oats, I was reminded of my early blogging days when overnight oats and OIAJ (oats in a jar) were super trendy. Now that brand name companies got a hold of this one-time, food-bloggers-only secret, I wasn’t surprised to find this container from Dave’s Naturals in this month’s box.

Dave's Naturals Overnight Oats - Apple Nut
Dave’s Naturals Overnight Oats – Apple Nut

This flavor had dried apple cubes, chia seeds, and dried oats. All I added was enough almond milk to soak the oats in, and after letting it sit in the fridge overnight, I pulled it out and it made for THE best stuck-in-lab-analyzing-data-all-morning snack.

The Welch’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt snacks were light, poppable, and had a creamy yogurt coating that worked well with the chewy cherry flavor. These were able to keep a gummy-like texture due to pectin. No gelatin was seen in sight, which was a mark of approval in my book!

Welch's Fruit 'n Yogurt Snacks
Welch’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Snacks

I didn’t get a chance to try the two Kernal Season’s Popcorn Seasoning bottles (White Cheddar and Kettle Corn), since I gifted them to my sister, who is a greater consumer of popcorn than I’ll ever be, haha!

Which of these October Degustabox products would you try?

August Degusta Box

August Degusta Box

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Degustabox. All opinions are my own.

In regards to moving, I was for the most part OK with leaving my old place behind. Yes, it was closer to work and provided a lot of conveniences, but after two years it was time to move on. Funny thing was, I had to come back to pick up a package that couldn’t get forwarded in time…I didn’t mind though, because I came prepared with reusable bags to stuff all of my foodie goodies in!

Degusta Box for August!
Degusta Box for August!

This month’s box featured some portable snacks, great add-ins to my weekly yogurt bowls, and snacks that made me recall my childhood.

One of those childhood-recalling snacks were the Mini Cow Tales. As soon as I spotted them in the box, I literally ripped open the bag and had them as a snack on the train ride home. I forgot how chewy and creamy they were, but after biting into my first one out of the bag, the memories came flooding back! My sis and I loved having these as part of our after school snacks, and even opted for the different flavored ones when they were available.

loacker_cowtales
Loacker Rose Chocolates and Cow Tales

Another snack that was provided in the box, but not reminiscent of my childhood, were the Loacker chocolates. They became instant favorites of mine though, since they had a crisp cookie and caramel-like filling with a smooth chocolate layer over them. All in the shape of a flower ๐Ÿ™‚

The Goya Maria Cookies were exactly like the Maire Gold Biscuits my grandmother used to have. It’s interesting how the same type of cookie/biscuit is marketed under a different name on different continents. In India, they’re known as biscuits, and often seen in commercials alongside a piping hot mug of chai tea or next to a cup of milk with a chocolate drink mix if targeted towards kids. I was not a huge fan of these growing up, but the nostalgia that these biscuits brought me now made them more appetizing.

Goya Maria Cookies
Goya Maria Cookies

The box of Honey Bunches of Oats (with strawberries) was a fun find to receive, practically speaking. It obviously makes a good topping for greek yogurt.

Honey Bunches of Oats (with strawberries)
Honey Bunches of Oats (with strawberries)

And this Oregon Chai instant mix…

oregon_chai
Oregon Chai Tea Mix

While it’s intended for instant chai when added to hot water, useful for when you are on-the-go, I found it much more useful as a protein-powder sub-in. It added the mix of spicy, but sweet flavor to my greek yogurt, and this combination was a great vehicle for the Honey Bunches of Oats and a side protein bar. I put together this easy breakfast prior to heading for the train station on one of the weekends I had to stop by lab.

creallll
I had to restrain myself from eating each ingredient separately since I was craving it so bad. Everything tasted so much better when mixed and paired together!!

After a long run last weekend, I was incredibly thirsty, and I was so proud of myself for storing this bottle of Alo drink, made with mango and mangosteen, in the fridge the night I brought all of my Degustabox goods home! I drank this bottle in less than a minute, while rolling out my muscles (as well as my poor posterior shin splint, ughhh) and watching the women’s Olympic marathon. The drink had just enough sweetness and its icy punch really quenched my thirst!

Alo drink
Alo drink

Some of the savories in this box included a jar of fine-tasting mayo and a new flavor/texture of Pop Chips!

Poppin' chips
Poppin’ chips

Pop Chips has ventured into the territory of Ruffles chips with it’s new Ridges line, and the flavor I tried was Cheddar & Sour Cream. Most of the pieces were broken so I was unable to compare a full-size chip to a Ruffles chip, but the chips were packed with flavor and light on the tongue.

Sir Kensington Mayonnaise - Chipotle
Sir Kensington Mayonnaise – Chipotle

The Sir Kensington Mayonnaise in Chipotle was creamy, spicy, and provided a punchy flavor similar to that of the Pop Chips. Instead of cheese, it was chipotle, but a slather of this spread in between two hamburger buns made for an easy snack while in lab.

mayo&bun
So creamy, so simple, yet full of flavor! Also very orange…

The final product in the box that I tried was the White Lily white grape seed all-purpose wheat flower. Since I was visiting my family for a week and would have more flexibility with kitchen space there (my live-in landlords at my new space do not prefer heavy cooking by their tenants), I packed it with me on my trip to Oklahoma.

A new all-purpose flour to try!
A new all-purpose flour to try!

This flour became a staple ingredient for a delicious pot pie crust, and was part of my all-time favorite dinner…a dinner I literally had on the daily when I lived with my family before moving to LA.

Grape Seed Flour Pot Pie Crust/Bread Disc
Serves 1
A hearty, wheat-y bread biscuit, or can be used to top pot pies!
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Ingredients
  1. - 1/2 cup White Lily Grape Seed (WLGS) all-purpose flour
  2. - Greek yogurt (plain)
  3. - Cumin seeds and/or other spices
Instructions
  1. - Mix 1/2 cup of WLGS all-purpose flour with enough plain greek yogurt to get a dough-like consistency (I use about a 1/4 cup, and if necessary will add water).
  2. - Add a sprinkle of cumin seeds or substitute with your favorite bread-baking spices.
  3. - Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, or until dough is puffed and crisp on the outside.
Will Study for Food http://www.willstudyforfood.com/
Once the crust was made, I added it to the top of a bowl of steaming hot veggies cooked in a beet (not beef, lol) broth, but you could use the crust/bread disc as a topper for any stew mix.

The second 12/ of a nothing-but-delicious pot pie.
The second 12/ of a nothing-but-delicious pot pie.

I wasn’t able to have the Vermont Smoke & Cure sticks due to them being non-vegetarian, but when I left them in our common room in lab, they were gone within minutes.

You can learn more about Degustabox on their website, Facebook or follow @Degustabox on Twitter/Instagram!

Which of these products would you be excited to try?

MealEnders Lozenges Review and Giveaway

MealEnders Lozenges Review and Giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is a review about products received from MealEnders and sponsored by FitApproach. All opinions are my own.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been months since I last chewed a piece of gum. There used to be a time that I’d chew through a pack of 14-piece Orbit gum within 1 1/2 days…and now, I shudder to think about spending money on gum when it could be spent on food that is much more filling ๐Ÿ˜‰

But there is nothing wrong with having something small and that lacks “real” nutritional value to keep you busy between meals. It especially makes sense during the holidays—if all the food items for the special family lunch/dinner/feast are in the oven/stove/microwave, what’s left in the pantry to keep you going until it’s time to sit and chow down?

One option is to grab a MealEnders Signaling Lozenge. Yeah, they may be designed as a weight management tool to curb overeating, but there’s no rule saying you can’t have them before a meal. In fact, they pretty much taste like mints wrapped in a candy layer!

 MealEnders Signaling Lozenges.
MealEnders Signaling Lozenges.

MealEnders are described to consist of two components: a sweet, outer reward layer and a cooling/tingling inner core.

mealenders (8)
Those layerz I’m talking about.

The outer layer provides a measured dose of โ€œdessertโ€ associated with the end of a meal, while the inner core engages the trigeminal nerve (the nerve that senses โ€œtasteโ€) with long-lasting cooling/tingling sensations that cleanse the palate.

While they are marketed with the purpose of curbing appetite and to provide the body with time for its natural satiety process time to catch up, I still believe that it’s important to honor your hunger cues first and foremost. If someone has a balanced, intuitive relationship with food, this shouldn’t be a problem.

But for those of us who have dealt with restrictive behaviors in our past and present, it may be healthier to view these lozenges as another snack option. Like I said, they look and taste just like candy! The flavors just scream candy flavors too.

When I tried cinnamon for the first time, it tasted like a melted cinnamon roll at first, before hitting the lozenge layer.

 CINNAMON
CINNAMON

Chocolate Mint and Coffee looked identical, but their flavor definitely kept them apart. One has an outer layer just as cool as its lozenge layer, while the other had a little extra buzzzz.

 Chocolate mint...
Chocolate mint…
...and coffee, don't they look identical??
…and coffee, don’t they look identical??

And while Citrus had me thinking it was going to taste like a “boring lemon cough drop”, I was pleasantly surprised by lime green hue!

 So neon lime!
So neon lime!

It was more like a key lime pie enveloping a fruity lozenge. ๐Ÿ˜›

MealEnders is also giving away four 25-piece packs so you can try all flavors: Cinnamon, Mocha, Chocolate Mint and Citrus. Just enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway restrictions:
– U.S. only
– One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from MealEnders through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

You can also save 20% at MealEnders.com with the discount code FitHolidays20

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