From time to time, the nice folks at Enjoy Life Foods will send me a few products to taste test and then blog about (I do not receive any compensation for my product reviews and blog only my true opinions about those products.)
Most recently, Enjoy Life asked me to review their allergy-friendly trail mixes. Specifically, I taste tested the Mountain Mambo and Beach Bash trail mixes.
In my teen and college years, trail mix was my snack of choice…the perfect mix of salty and sweet with enough crunch to leave your snack craving blissfully satisfied. Years later when my son was diagnosed with peanut and tree nut allergies, I figured my trail mix days were over…and I mourned them. No…really!
I was thrilled to pieces with both the Mountain Mambo and Beach Bash versions of trail mix. The Mountain Mambo mix consists of sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds, raisins, apples, chocolate chips, and cranberries and is free of the 8 most common allergens. Although I enjoyed both trail mixes, I think this was my favorite because it had more salt and crunch to it than sweetness.
The second product I tried was the Beach Bash mix consisting of sunflower kernels, pineapple, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and apricots. Although the majority of the ingredients are very similar to that of the Mountain Mambo mix, I felt like this one had a little bit more sweetness to it and less salty crunch.
Overall, my only complaint with these products is that they are so high in fat…as many trail mixes are. The only thing that could make these products more perfect would be a reduced calorie and fat count!
So next time you’re craving more than your standard granola and you want to add a little zip to your yogurt or savor a salty and sweet snack, give Enjoy Life Trail Mix and let us know what you think!
Down in the south we have sort of a phenomenon, we call it Buccee’s. It is a gas station, deli, souvenir shop, ice cream shop, snack bar, restroom stop. You just can’t imagine or judge it until you’ve been there!
As a mom, I love it because it often has the cleanest bathrooms within 150 miles no matter where the Buccee’s is located. With that being said, they do have lots of peanut/nut products around, so we mostly use Buccee’s for the clean restrooms and packaged snacks.
Our favorite snack to get at Buccee’s is Rocky Mountain Popcorn. They offer a wide variety of flavors. Our personal favorite is their caramel popcorn, but we love them all!
Thank you, Rocky Mountain Popcorn, for making a delicious allergy friendly snack that is safe for our whole family! We love your products!!!
To find out more about Rocky Mountain Popcorn visit: http://www.rockymountainpopcorn.com/
Udi’s, one of my favorite gluten-free brands, is usually only available at The Whole Foods market downtown or at the natural food store just down the road…but never in the grocery store.
Thankfully, the mainstream grocery stores are catching on and are starting to carry Udi’s muffins, cookies, and bread. I’m particularly fond of Udi’s bread and nut-free granola mix.
Most recently I had the opportunity to try a new (or at least new to my neck of the woods) Udi’s product…their gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free chocolate chip cookies.
The cookies were soft, moist and had the texture of the gluten-filled chocolate chip cookies I remember from years ago. The cookies aren’t crumbly like many gluten-free cookies and they had that fresh-out-of-the-oven aroma to them.
With that said, I did feel like the cookies had a bit of an aftertaste that masked the delicious chocolate chip and cookie taste one expects.
Overall, the cookies weren’t bad. I think the main thing that would keep me from buying them again is the price. In this economy it’s hard to justify splurging on anything unless you truly love it and it brings you great joy. While the cookies were okay, I could make my own cookies with Arthur’s gluten-free flour baking mix and could make two to three times the amount of chocolate cookies for the same price as one container of Udi’s.
Udi’s is still one of my favorite gluten-free brands and they made some delicious products! I noticed on my last trip to the grocery store that they also have Udi’s snickerdoodle cookies. I might have to try those too! I’m a sucker for snickerdoodles!
I got inspired today to make some granola bars for my son to take for snack time when he goes back to school this week. I can’t ever seem to find a reasonably priced, peanut/nut/egg-free granola bar on the market…grocery store or specialty store.
A few years ago, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network shared the below recipe for what it called “Lunch Box Granola Bars.” They are easy to make and the kids love them! This recipe definitely bears repeating. (Side Note: If you are a parent of a child with food allergies and you haven’t already, go to www.foodallergy.org and sign up to become a member. It’s a very worthwhile investment in your child’s health…and your peace of mind.)
Lunch Box Granola Bars (recipe of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network)
1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 and 1/2 Tblsp water + 1 and 1/2 Tblsp oil + 1 tsp baking powder (all mixed together)
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup oats
1 cup of a safe rice krispy cereal
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup honey
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pam a 9×13 inch casserole dish. In a large bowl combine brown sugar, margarine, honey, and water/oil/baking powder mixture and mix well. Stir in flour, cinnamon, and baking powder and mix well. Firmly push mixture into the 9×13 inch casserole dish until firm and even. Bake 14-18 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then cut into bars and allow them to cool completely before serving.