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Friday, September 30, 2011

Odwalla Chewy Nut Bar

Another review...another bar...but there was a coupon a few weeks ago for like 55 cents off of one Odwalla Bar. So even though I wouldn't normally reach for an Odwalla bar I went for it because of the coupon.

Odwalla Chewy Nut Bar
Chocolate Chip Trail Mix

Now if you're smart, and apparently I'm not part of that group you would have seen that this bar is called a Chewy Nut Bar, and the flavor is chocolate chip trial mix. I just saw chocolate chip trail mix and snatched it off the shelf. My first bite in my reaction was wow this is very nutty for a chocolate chip trail mix bar...That being said there was only a hint of chocolate and raisins in this bar, it's predominantly a chewy nut bar. It was decent. Maybe I didn't choose the right flavor, but I'm also not that big into chewy nut bars. If you love a nut bar, then these are right up your alley. After realizing that this Odwalla bar was supposed to taste like nuts, I was then very disappointed by the scant amount of chocolate and raisins.There was just a hint of each. Overall I'd give this Odwalla bar a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

On to nutrition: This bar boasts that it is made of 24% organic products...In my mind its either organic or its not. I appreciate then that a few of the ingredients in this bar are organic, but it seems like a bit of a waste of money? on those few organic ingredients, since overall this bar is NOT organic. The Chocolate Chip Trail Mix bar has 200 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar and 5 grams protein.

Another thing I noticed while attempting to take pictures for this blog post. The enjoy by date was September 19th 2011, and I definitely bought this bar after the 19th. This tells me two one has been buying this bar at my grocery store, and maybe for good reason. Also next time I go out on a whim and buy something with a coupon I should check the expiration date. :) So eh, Odwalla Chewy Nut Bar not a winner.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bobo's Oat Bars

New Blog Posts!! Reviews!!

I decided that coming back into posting I would have more to offer if I added in some reviews of new products that I've been trying. So here is one of my new favorites.

Bobo's Oat Bars

These all natural oat bars come in ten different flavors and all (including the chocolate) are vegan and wheat free. So far I've tried three of these flavors, and they were all really good, but I find the original to be the best. One of these bars with a cup of tea has been a great breakfast, even Troy (the pup) loves a nibble of Bobo's bars. They are a bit sticky, so you will need to take small bites and have a drink to sip on between tastes, but this just makes these bars last longer. :)

They are a great oat flavor and are super dense and filling for a bar that is under 200 calories. The original has 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 9 grams of sugar, 3 grams fiber and 3 grams of protein. So if you are looking for a protein packed snack or a substitute for a fiber bar this is not for you, but all around this bar has a little bit of everything, and it's honestly yummy and it's one of those snacks where you're not going to feel bad after, you'll actually feel better, and full. If you like to feed your body great, healthy and simple food, and love oats then this is truly a crave worthy product. I absolutely love them!

The biggest downside is the price. At my local Whole Foods they are $2.49 each. If you order a 12 pack from Bobo directly each case costs $28.80 plus shipping and handling, which comes out to $2.40 each plus shipping. Amazon had a few good deals with free shipping and a couple cases of flavors that were on super sale. So give them a try and also check out their website Bobo's Oat Bats.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Ok it's been longer than I intended...but I'm back as of now. :)

A lot has happened since my last post. We now have a bigger family, a puppy who was born June 6th 2009. I'm actually his Mama, and I literally sometimes think I birthed him. We love him so much. Also big news Ben and I bought a house!! So we did all those open houses, paper work and moving, but we have settled in, and now that I have a new kitchen, all my own I've started up cooking and baking again.

Here is my first attempt at making Dog Treats. I forced Ben to try one to make sure they were safe, but I knew we had a winner when Troy (yes the puppy, ok not so much a puppy any more, but our 2 year old dog) started staring at me in the kitchen.

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds**
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp chicken broth
1/4 cup milk (skim)
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, flax seeds and Parmesan cheese. Then stir in the peanut butter, chicken broth and milk until mixture forms a ball. You want the consistency not to be sticky, it should be a firm ball, so add a little more flour if necessary.

Using a floured board roll out dough to an 1/8 of an inch thick. Use cookie cutters (I used circles, hearts and paw prints) to shape your dog treats. I would recommend this just because the dough is so firm this is the easiest and cutest way to make your cookies, however if you are short on time you can always just form balls. These treats will not spread at all so make sure you push those balls flat so they cook fully through. Place on your non-stick baking sheet. They can be grouped close together because they will not grow. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. If you would like each side browned evenly I would suggest flipping the cookies over about 1/2 way through the cooking time, however if you just don't care that much you can leave them for the full 20 minutes and they will not burn.

Let cookies cool on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving to your dogs. I was able to yield 35 cookies from this batch, however your numbers will vary depending on the size cookie cutters you use. Store in an air tight container. These should be good for a couple weeks, you can always freeze part of the dough or some of the cookies if you have a smaller dog. But my 80 lbs doberman will eat these up in a few weeks, if they last that long. :)

**Flax seeds are super healthy for both you and your dog. Those Omega 3s will help with a healthy shiny coat. However make sure you don't over feed your dog flax seeds as they can cause constipation. I wouldn't worry unless you plan on giving your dog like 20 of these cookies in one day.

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever use your last egg for breakfast and need to make cookies? Or have you ever been 1 egg short and wonder can I still make this recipe? Well lately I've been trying to avoid eggs in my baking and have found a few different ways to substitute eggs. This is just one recipe you can't tell is eggless at all. There are a few different substitutes that can be used for eggs and a few are explained below.

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (salted, 1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp ground flax seeds**
4 1/2 Tbsp water
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl combine your flax seeds and water together, place in a microwave for 15 30 seconds. The flax seeds will absorb the water and turn into a thick, gel like substance. It will be the consistency of egg whites. Set this mixture aside. Cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla, then add in the flax seed and water mixture. Stir until combined. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt.) Slowly add the dry to the wet mixture. Beat until the dough comes together. Add the chocolate chips and stir just until coated with the dough.

I use an ice cream scoop to make my cookies, this way they will all be the same size. Using an inch scoop I yielded 30 cookies from this recipe. Scoop your cookies onto a non-greased baking sheet and place in the oven for about 12 minutes, until golden brown. Let cookies harden on the warm baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to cooling racks.

**Flax seeds are a great substitute for eggs. You can find them at any grocery store usually in the natural foods section. I usually buy the ground flax seeds, but you can also buy whole fax seeds, however if you want to use them as an egg substitute you will need to grind them either in a Cuisinart or coffee grinder. Flax seeds have Omega 3s and a ton of other good for you vitamins and minerals. Other egg substitues with measurements are listed below.
1 Tbsp ground fax seeds with 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg
1/4 cup applesause = 1 egg
Egg beaters (follow directions on container.)
For more check out this PETA link.

Also this recipe can easily be made vegan by using vegan butter, and carob chips as replacements. Some vegans do not eat regular refined granulated sugar (because of the refining process.) So you if you are making these for a vegan you should buy vegan sugar and use it instead of the sugar you have in your cabinet, usually found in a natural foods store.