Archive | October 2013

A New Twist on Puppy Chow

One of my favorite party snacks is puppy chow.  You know – Chex cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar?  Yea, that’s the stuff.  So GOOD!  And while most Chex cereal is gluten free, it’s the chocolate chips and butter that get me.  Oh and for you peanut allergy people out there, I’ve got a solution for you too.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this or to make it, but just in case you didn’t think of it, here is the recipe for you.  I’ve already tried it and it is delicious!  I’m just hoping I don’t consume all of it before tonight’s bonfire.

Ingredients
9 cups – Gluten-Free Chex Cereal (I used corn Chex, but you can use a combo of corn and rice or just rice)
1 cup – Enjoy Life chocolate chips (these are dairy free, soy free, and peanut free)
1/2 cup – Justin’s Almond Butter
1/4 cup – Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread (this is also dairy free, soy free, and peanut free)
1 tsp – Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups – Powdered Sugar

Directions
1. Measure out 9 cups of cereal, place in large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate chips, almond butter, and coconut spread.  Microwave uncovered for 1 minute.  Stir.  Place it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds.  Stir until everything is smooth.  Add the vanilla extra and stir one last time.

3. Dump the chocolate mixture on the cereal and carefully stir the cereal until it is evenly coated.

4. Pour the coated cereal into a 2-gallon zip lock back (or do 2 small batches in 1-gallon zip lock bag like I did) and add the powdered sugar.  Seal the bag and shake to your heart’s content until all the cereal is coated.

5. Spread out on wax paper to cool before sharing it with your friends.

Try not to eat it all.  Remember sharing is caring!

Try not to eat it all. Remember sharing is caring!

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Coconut Water Review

Anything coconut is all the rage these days.  As I’m sure most of you know, coconut water has many health benefits.  The first thing (which is the sole reason I tried drinking it in the first place) is that it is filled with natural electrolytes.  It is a great way to replenish your electrolytes after an intense workout without any added sugar, preservatives, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.  It is all-natural and who doesn’t like that?  Drinks that are filled with natural electrolytes, like coconut water, are a great way to help lower your blood pressure.  For all of you people out there who watch your carb intake, it has low sugar and carbohydrate levels.  Plus it helps promote healthy skin, fat loss, and weight loss.  If those aren’t reasons to start drinking coconut water, I’m not sure what is.

Naturally, I went out and started buying up coconut water.  Who knew that there were so many coconut water options out there?  I certainly didn’t!  I’m not going to lie, the first time I took a swig of the cold, refreshing drink I about spit it out all over the place.  NASTY!  Eventually, I branched out a tried other brands.  Some are better than others and I haven’t tried them all, but here is what I’ve found.

Brand - Zico Retailer - Walmart Price - $1.89  Taste - Horrific This was by far the WORST tasting coconut water I've ever had.  Too bad for me I bought 4 bottles of it because it was cheap.  It has a funny flavor and it is not refreshing in the slightest.  I do not recommend it.

Brand – Zico
Retailer – Walmart
Price – $1.89
Taste – Horrific
This was by far the WORST tasting coconut water I’ve ever had. Too bad for me I bought 4 bottles of it because it was cheap. It has a funny flavor and it is not refreshing in the slightest. I do not recommend it.

Brand - O.N.E Retailer - Walmart Price - $1.99 Taste - Okay I found this brand to be a bit bland.  It was okay and for the price, I was hoping for something better.  I will say it was a step above Zico, but you get less in this juice box style drink.

Brand – O.N.E
Retailer – Walmart
Price – $1.99
Taste – Okay
I found this brand to be a bit bland. It was okay and for the price, I was hoping for something better. I will say it was a step above Zico, but you get less in this juice box style drink.

Brand - Earth Fare Retailer - Earth Fare Price - On Sale $1.00 Taste - Pretty Good Out of all the plain coconut water I've tasted, this was the best.  I actually like it pretty well and the fact I got it on sale for a $1.00 was an added bonus (especially since I bought 5 cans).  There are 2 servings per can but at 110 calories, I think it's pretty worth it.

Brand – Earth Fare
Retailer – Earth Fare
Price – On Sale $1.00
Taste – Pretty Good
Out of all the plain coconut water I’ve tasted, this was the best. I actually like it pretty well and the fact I got it on sale for a $1.00 was an added bonus (especially since I bought 5 cans). There are 2 servings per can but at 110 calories, I think it’s pretty worth it.

Brand - Coco Retailer - Earth Fare Price - $1.99 Taste - Sweet and Refreshing I found this brand while perusing the aisles of Earth Fare.  It is gogi berry and lychee flavored which added to the overall light and refreshing taste.  However, it does have pulp in it so after I got over the shock of slimy pieces of clear stuff floating around in my water, I thought it was pretty good.  If you are not down with the pulp, I'd pass on this one.

Brand – alo Coco
Retailer – Earth Fare
Price – $1.99
Taste – Sweet and Refreshing
I found this brand while perusing the aisles of Earth Fare. It is gogi berry and lychee flavored which added to the overall light and refreshing taste. However, it does have pulp in it so after I got over the shock of slimy pieces of clear stuff floating around in my water, I thought it was pretty good. If you are not down with the pulp, I’d pass on this one.

 

Brand - Vita Coco Retailer - Walmart Price - $1.99 Taste - SO GOOD! This is by far my favorite flavor of this brand, probably because it is tropical and it makes me feel like I should be sipping it out of an actual coconut, kicking my feet up, and catching some rays - not finishing up an 8-mile run.  The bottle is a bit larger and so you have to pour it out in a cup otherwise end up drinking more than 2 servings (which I end up doing anyway).

Brand – Vita Coco
Retailer – Walmart
Price – $2.79
Taste – SO GOOD!
This is by far my favorite flavor of this brand, probably because it is tropical and it makes me feel like I should be sipping it out of an actual coconut, kicking my feet up, and catching some rays – not finishing up an 8-mile run. The bottle is a bit larger and so you have to pour it out in a cup otherwise end up drinking more than 2 servings (which I end up doing anyway).

So now you know – if you know of other brands please feel free to add to the comment box.  I’d love to know what brand you love (or hate).   If you’ve never tried coconut water before, I challenge you to go ahead and give it a try.  Your body will thank you for it!