March DegustaBox

March DegustaBox

How is March ALREADY AT ITS END?! How is my visit to see my cousin an event that occurred a little over a month ago, and did I really just run a sub-4:00 hour marathon only this past Sunday

Well, I guess we truly are approaching the end of March, seeing as I’m writing up another DegustaBox review! My box for March came packed with a bunch of goodies!

DegustaBox for March '17
DegustaBox for March ’17

There was a a good balance of sweet snacks and savory staples. Of course, I went for the sweet-flavored stuff first! This time, I went straight for the Loacker biscuits—“Gran Pasticceria Tortina Dark”

tortinadark-noir
A “Hazelnut Tartlet?”

This wafer-based biscuit is described as a “hazelnut tartlet” and has a smooth, creamy dark chocolate shell over a melt-in-your-mouth wafer cookie.

The chocolate is so smooth, you can read the lettering on the shell!
The chocolate is so smooth, you can read the lettering on the shell!

The other cookie-based snack was this bag of Mrs. Thinster’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Thins. Apparently more exotic flavors like Key Lime Pie and Cake Batter are available, but these chocolate chip crispy cookies irresistible.

cookie-thins
Mrs. Thinster’s Chhocolate Chip Cookie Thins

The chocolate in these cookies had a mild, sweet flavor, and a buttery, crisp cookie base.

cookiethins
Mrs. Thinster’s Chhocolate Chip Cookie Thins Close-Up

I was pleasantly surprised to find a full-sized, peanut butter and jelly-filled croissant among this month’s mix of items! The bread itself was sweet and soft, and reminded me of a cake you’d find in an Asian bakery.

7-days
7 Days Croissant Peanut Butter and Jelly

The filling on the inside didn’t look like a lot, but it was just enough.

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A PB&J Croissant?? Which master genius came up with this idea 💡?!

I remember having the Sweet Oat & Flax Good Thins crisps as part of my December DegustaBox, and so I was elated to see that the sweet potato flavored ones were included in this month’s box.

sweet__potato
Nabisco Good Thins The Potato One ~ Sweet Potato

The sweet potato chips were light, crispy, sweet, and extremely light in density.

Boboli Pizza Crust was also included, and at first I was like, what am I going to do with this? Since I share a kitchen with an elderly couple (my landlords), I don’t do much heavy cooking. Plus, I wanted to see if I could utilize this large, dense disc of bread for a meal besides pizza…

boboli_crust
It’s hard to tell but there’s about half of a 12″ Boboli pizza crust at the bottom of this (what seems like) a veggie-dense bowl!

As a result, I added it to my usual veggie-dense crockpot dinner bowl, as well as into some split pea soup that also had tofu cubes thrown in.

soupand veg
Boboli crust in soup and with veggies (topped with mustard)

The crust was soft, chewy, not super cheesy (even though cheese strands were clearly visible), and I even had portions of this 12″ crust on its own when not thrown into the dinners seen above.

One item I didn’t particularly favor was this Lemoncocco drink:

lemoncocco
Lemoncocco

It has Italian origins, but the drink itself has a “milky” appearance. It is essentially coconut water with a hint of lemon, but I thought the citrus flavor was overwhelming and made the drink taste slightly bitter.

Another product I had an adverse reaction to were these Energems. At least I did at a previous time. With this in mind, I decided not to give these a try. I brought and left them in lab, and my co-workers made use of them—I think some of them benefited from the caffeine boost!

energems_
Energems, eh no thanks!

These quinoa bars were a favorite of mine!

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Such pretty packaging colors & font!

They were lightly sweetened, and had a mix of textures, but they were still easy to eat. Not only were they easy to consume, but they were also colorful and the box had the most gorgeous packaging!

quinoabar
This Paul’s Finest Quinoa bar dazzles like a gem. And the fact that it’s sweetened with honey 🍯🍯🍯 ??? Aw man, so good!

The small box of Goya Quinoa Blend that contained black beans, bell peppers, and spices mixed with white quinoa and brown rice held enough grains to make four weekday lunches.

quinoablend
Goya Quinoa Blend

It was very simple to prepare with the microwave. I simply added a serving of the mix into a bowl, filled it to the level of the grains with water, and simply microwaved it from 7-12 minutes. I added a small, sliced Yukon gold potato that was also microwaved ~2 minutes. I cooled off the mix in the fridge in lab, took it out around lunch time, and any excess water that was there right after microwaving had been absorbed by the rice.

quinoa-and-potato
Taking some days off from running has helped me in regards to gaining some free time for meal prep! Vegetarian quinoa by Goya, mixed with a boiled potato has been working as a satisfying lunch 😋 helping me power through the rest of my work day 💪🏽

The potatoes did a good job of absorbing the flavors, and overall made for a nourishing lunch!

The last product in this month’s box I have yet to try is this chickpea pasta:

chickpea-pasta
Tolerant Foods Organic Chickpea Pasta

I plan to soak a serving in water overnight before I plan to use it for lunch, so that it can respond well to a spin in the microwave. I’ll have to add my own spices and toppings, but I think this pasta will be a new favorite of mine since I expect it to have a naturally nutty, rich flavor thanks to those baby chickpeas 🙂 !

Which would you rather try from the following: the quinoa snack bars or the quinoa-rice mix?

October’s DegustaBox!

October’s DegustaBox!

October’s box was full of winners, and unfortunately…some not so amazing finds. Hopefully I can demonstrate my reasons why clearly in this bound-to-be long post!

october-haul
October’s haul

I received two flavors of Hometown Bagel’s Bagel Chips: garlic and cinnamon.

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Hometown Bagel Bagel Chips – Cinnamon

I had the cinnamon ones first and they had a rough texture and hard crunch, but I did like them since it was a unique flavor profile for bagel chips. At least for me, since I haven’t seen sweet bagel chips before. The garlic ones were alright, but to me could have used more seasoning.

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Hometown Bagel Bagel Chips – Garlic

One thing that wasn’t lacking flavor were these Crown Nut Co. almonds:

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Crown Nut Co. Sriracha Almonds

These almonds were sriracha flavored, and even though it was a sample-sized packet, each almond was generously coated and as a result, there was no compromise on flavor.

My favorite product from this box were these fruit chews from Lovely Candy Co.

lovely-candy-co-fruit-chews
Lovely Candy Co. Chews

They honestly reminded me of Starburst, except they had a softer, chewier, and sweeter texture. You could also see fruit pieces within each chew.

chews
Sooooo chewyyyyyy

Finally, an alternative for a childhood candy that once wasn’t suitable for vegetarians/vegans because of its gelatin content!

My least favorite product hands down were these Energems.

energems
Energems…eeek

They are supposed to be a “dietary supplement” and are basically chocolate drops with extra caffeine in them. They do have a caution statement on them saying that they should not be given to children, and for people with sensitivity to caffeine to watch their intake, but the amount of caffeine for one serving (three chocolate drops), 133mg is actually a lot in my opinion.

I didn’t think these would have a strong effect on me, but definitely take caution if you have more than one serving at one time. I didn’t respond well to these, based ony my feelings of cramping, nausea, headache, and even dizziness. Honestly, there are much better ways to get energized (go for a run!), and I don’t think I’ll grab these any time I need a pick-me-up in the near future.

Even though the Energems brought me down, I was happy to find these in the box…

la-tortilla-factory-low-carb-flour-tortillas
La Tortilla Factory – Low Carb Tortillas

I’ve tried La Tortilla Factory tortillas before, but it’s been a while since I had them! They are slightly doughier and chewier compared to regular tortillas, but their stretchiness makes it easy to load ’em up with monstrous fillings. I, however, enjoyed them on their own.

I thought the Wasa Thins were tasty on their own as well. This particular flavor was Sesame & Sea Salt, and while the crisps were thin, they have the loudest crunch that is realistically possible for a cracker!

wasa
Wasa Thins – Sesame & Sea Salt

I personally did not try the Palo White Cheddar popcorn, as I wasn’t sure if the cheese enzymes were animal-derived or microbial-derived. Since I brought them to lab, I actually let my lab mates try them. I thought the packaging was a little retro, but I’m guessing the popcorn tasted like the cheese popcorn found in those giant Christmas popcorn tins that are sold during the holidays in Costco.

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Palo White Cheddar popcorn

I still have to try the Numi tea—this box actually has eight different flavors ranging from green teas to fruity teas!

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Numi Tea Assortment

They’ll be much more appreciated in the winter months, since LA is still having issues deciding if it’s still summer or not, haha!

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Numi Tea – 8 different flavors

I wasn’t able to get around to trying the pasta either, but it’s interesting to see that the “high protein” trend has permeated into the pasta world too. It used to only be that white was available, but now along with the varieties of multi-grain, whole wheat, gluten free, and veggie, we now have a higher protein choice.

pasta-and-protein
Barilla Set

I did have time to make use of the sauce though! This jar contains seven cups of sauce, which I have been using as a wonderful coating over piping hot crockpot veggies. Try this with cooked cabbage, carrots, and squash—you won’t complain unless you are a picky five year old who subsists on chocolate pudding and chicken fingers 😉

crockpotveggieswithmarinarasauce
Crockpot veggies with marinara!

One of the items that came in this month’s box couldn’t be more fitting with the season. Jones Pumpkin Pie Soda was an odd but intriguing item to say the least. I looked them up because I was curious about the company and the idea of bottling such a flavor. Apparently this isn’t their “most creative”. In fact, they even produced a Turkey flavored soda for Thanksgiving (and even Tofurky flavored soda for vegetarians). Not so sure if I’d be down for trying that, but this Pumpkin Pie soda was not too shabby. It honestly looks like beer here:

jones_pumpkinpie
Jones Pumpkin Pie Soda

So there were some hits and misses, but the good items made up substantially for the not so good. Overall, October’s box was full of variety in regards to the kinds of food that were featured. I just know that for me personally, I’m going to stay away from the Energems…

Which of these October DegustaBox items would you try?

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