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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Love With Food Gluten Free box December 2015

Love with Food
December 2015 box

What is Love With Food?
Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Our subscription membership starts as low as $10/month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes.

For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!

Say goodbye to boring grocery selections and start discovering your Love With Food experience!
What better way to celebrate the holidays than to surround yourself with great friends, family and food? December’s box is the perfect excuse to celebrate all three, with enough chocolate to help you power through until New Year’s. And we’re spreading the love this holiday season, because every box sold donates meals to food banks in the U.S.

I really love the fact that this month, for every box sold through Love With Food, a donation was made to a food bank in America. Having used food banks and received the Holiday food baskets myself during my teenage years, these community services are very close to my heart.

Let’s have a look at all the yummy goodies in December 2015’s box.

Curl up on the couch, watch the rain (or snow) fall and sip these warm, fragrant brews for the perfect holiday afternoon.

I’m not really a tea girl; I LOVE my coffee. But these two flavors had me intrigued.
TURMERIC TEA - AMBER SUN - With all the info in the medical community about Turmeric being good for pain management, I was very interested in this one. I try to avoid taking OTC pain medicine as much as I can… which results in me being in pain 90% of the time.
I didn't mind the flavor, but I didn't see a change in my pain level. I think it would take more than one or two cups to affect pain.
INDULGENT TEA - CHOCOLATE EARL GREY - I have only had Earl Grey tea one time before, in the Keurig sampler pack. I liked it, but would the Chocolate flavoring alter the flavor of the Earl Grey?
The chocolale gave it a hint more sweetness, but that's about it.
TASTE: 4/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Non-GMO, Dairy free, Organic

This ultimate holiday flavor pairing is protein-packed, gluten free, and made with organic ingredients. It’s the perfect treat for the holiday season!

I’ve come to really like Luna bars lately. They must have changed the recipes since the mid-to-late 2000s, when they honestly tasted like dirt.
These honestly remind me of the Keebler Grasshopper or the Girl Scouts Thin Mints cookies. I LOVED this bar. Very delicious.
TASTE: 10/10

A balance of light and citrusy that still gives you the feeling that you’re getting a treat… just try not to eat the whole bag yourself.

FROM THE BACK: Lemony, crunchy and absolutely delicious. One bite and you will be hooked on our Gluten Free Lemon Sugar Cookie Chips. Made with the essence of pure lemon, it is the perfect partner for an afternoon tea or whenever you feel you need a little zest in your life. Like all our Cookie Chips, we only use whole ingredients, just like you would if you baked them at home. Enjoy them straight out of the bag, or pair them with some of your favorite fun foods.

I’m honestly not one for sugar cookies, which is odd, considering I have a severe sweet tooth. These were amazing though. I actually loved how the lemon flavor was extremely strong in these. It sort of reminded me of lemon meringue pie in a cookie. Nice crunch to it as well.
You can save 25% off your order when you use the code loveGF2015. (One time use per customer, expires 06.30.16)
TASTE: 9/10

A smooth, creamy, minty yogurt shell with a crunchy, salty surprise inside. It’s a snack and a present all at the same time!

I love pretzels as it is, and these did not disappoint. I’m not sure what the little crushed red candy bits on the outside are. It tastes like candy canes, but I don’t remember candy canes having a get-like appearance. Neither the yogurt or the pretzel overpower the other. If you’re the type that likes candy-covered pretzels, these will be right up your alley!
TASTE: 9.5/10

Toast, crackers, straight from the bowl - this easy-to-mix, low-fat, and irresistible spread is delicious on just about anything.

Now, I usually LOVE peanut butter, so I was excited to try this. But disappointed me very much. While it was creamy and did spread easily, It tasted bland and lacking. I’d personally try to find a different gluten-free spread than eat this.
TASTE: 2/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy free

Just the way to spice up the holidays - just serve these with your favorite salsa or queso and watch the party get started.

FROM THE BACK: We’re two brothers who love to snack! We think everyone deserves to crunch and dip without compromise -- to enjoy a snack that tastes great and is good for you. But we just couldn’t find a snack that fit the bill… so we created Beanitos.
Beanitos are an honestly delicious snack made from super nutritious beans that have fiber and protein grown right in them, They’re real food, full of crunchy flavor, free of preservatives, and made with only natural non-GMO ingredients.
Some call us revolutionaries. Others call us and say, “C’mon over and bring some Beanitos.” We think you’ll call Beanitos your new favorite snack!
Doug & Dave
The Foreman Brothers

We got a bag of the Original flavor, which is just black beans lightly salted with sea salt. I would have liked more of a salty flavor to these. They tasted very bland to me. They had a nice crunch to them, but still were bland.
I think I would have liked these more if we had received one of the other flavors.
TASTE: 6/10

The perfect snack for the kids when they’re craving those sugary holiday sweets - but surprise! These are organic AND non-GMO.

FROM THE BACK: Your little ones are super humans who deserve super snacks! For this reason we create yummy, wholesome snacks made with only the highest quality 100% organic ingredients.
No sugar, No additives, No preservatives

Not even sure WHAT Goji is, to be honest. It’s some type of Chinese berry. These were good. Nothing that I’d specifically make a trip to the store for, but if I spotted a package and had enough for them, I’d buy them. I didn’t really taste any carrot in these, which for little ones, is probably a good thing. The orange and the goji overpower it.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Non-GMO, Organic, Dairy free

Crunchy, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth, these fruity morsels are so addictive you’ll have to work to keep from eating the whole bag yourself.

I think my bag of these were just mango pieces, because I did not see any berries or yogurt pieces, unless the mangoes, berries and the yogurt was combined. They were very creamy and seemed to melt in my mouth. Very easy to chew.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Organic, Non-GMO

Just the right size for seasoning your classic holiday dish to perfection, once again.

This is just sea salt in a shaker. Nothing fancy here. If you’ve ever had plain salt, you’ll know what this is. The downfall of this was actually opening the top.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy free

These fruity bites have a flavor you can only get when you use organic ingredients. You might just like them better than fresh bananas.

There tasted like mashed bananas (or banana baby food) made into a fruit roll-up and sprinkled with toasted coconut copra pieces on top. I LOVED these. Mama Melissa only had one, due to her coconut allergy.

^^Closeup of the fruit snacks^^

You can save 20% on your order from Matt’s Munchies store (http://www.mattsmunchies.com) by using the code LOVEFOOD20. (Expires 05.31.16)
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Non-GMO, Dairy free, Organic

Nothing says “holidays” like the warm, comforting smell of something baking, and this mix is ready to be made just the way you like it.

I’m honestly not sure if I can try/review these, due to Mama Melissa’s coconut allergy and there are two different types of coconut products in this. If I do, I will edit this, but as it stands right now, this will probably be given away.
TASTE: unable to rate due to coconut allergen
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Non-GMO, Dairy free

Need a quick and easy dinner for those cold winter nights? This stuff is packed with flavor and none of the other stuff like gluten or GMOs.

FROM THE BACK: Lotus foods brings you Millet & Brown Rice Ramen, traditional Japanese-style noodles made from our specialty rice instead of wheat!
In addition to being gluten free, millet and brown rice are some of the most nutritious and easily digestible grains. Our Millet & Brown Rice Ramen has a delicious nutty taste and is a good source of fiber and protein.
Add the savory red miso broth to our quick-cook Millet & Brown Rice Ramen for a convenient bowl of flavorful and nourishing noodle soup any time. For a complete meal, add your favorite veggies and protein. Ready to eat in 4 minutes.

Not the best, but not the worst either. I think the seaweed really ruined this for me. I am not one for seaweed, and especially not in my Ramen noodles. If the seaweed wasn't in it, I would have rated this higher, but there was no way to avoid it, and it ruined the whole thing.

^^The prepared rice ramen^^

That being said, I only tasted a slight difference between the rice ramen and the typical wheat ramen.
TASTE: 5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Non-GMO, Dairy free, Organic

Packed with all the stuff to actually make “good morning” a reality: Berries, nuts, a touch of sugar and no gluten

I added this to an overly-ripened mashed up banana. It was okay, but I would have liked to have more of the nutty flavor to it.
TASTE: 6/10

BONUS ITEM: SPF 15 lip balm
Just a little ‘Thank you’ from Love with Food for my support throughout the year. 3 different types of sunscreens, vitamin E and moisturizers to protect the lips. No real taste to it, but it did make my lips feel softer.

I really don't see disabled people having a problem eating these snacks, barring any chewing/swallowing issues. The hardest thing I see would be opening the box and the individual packages.

The Love With Food Gluten-Free box has merged with Taste Guru. Please visit this link for more info.

Still loving the variety in this month's box. I like how I got snacks, fruit, AND a meal in the same box.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Friday, January 15, 2016

Snakku Japanese Treats Subscription Box

Snakku Japanese Treats Subscription Box

To get you the best that Japan has to offer:

There's so much more to Japanese snacks than the common snacks you find at your local Japanese grocery store. We love Pocky and Shrimp Chips as much as you do, but the best snacks are unfortunately only available in Japan.

But don't worry! We spend tons of time finding the best snacks from all across Japan, so you can get the best that Japan has to offer.

To support local Japanese stores:

Every store, every town, every region of Japan has so much history and is proud of their local products. Often times, a local mom-and-pop shop has been making snacks for hundreds of years, passing down the tradition and recipe for generations.

We aim to support these shops and tell their story, so they can continue to make the delicious snacks for the next hundred years.

To give you the Japanese experience from start to end:

If you've ever been to Japan, you know how amazing the service and attention to detail is. How they treat customers like kings and queens. How they immaculately package their products.

We hope to bring a little bit of the Japanese experience to you too. We've paid special attention to the details by making our packaging authentic and memorable. We've gone the extra mile to provide you with travel tips and snack reviews on our blog. And we're always looking to connect with you! Whether if it's about Snakku or you're just looking for Japan travel advice, we love talking with our customers.
I love trying foreign treats and goodies. That's one of the reasons I love Munchpak so much. However, the downfall with Munchpak is that it's NOT strictly one country or region. It's a global box.

Snakku is a strictly Japanese box, and I was excited beyond words when Shigeki agreed to send me a box for review.

It arrived in WONDERFUL condition. It was securely packed, but not overly packaged to where a disabled person would need help to unwrap it. It was even gorgeously wrapped in a beautiful Japanese cloth. Everything was securely packed in the the box, and no food was damaged.

^^A really bad photo of the box I received^^

Let's take a look at what was in the November 2015 box, which had the theme of 'Tokyo Boutique.'

Tokyo. So much to do, so much to see and so much to eat! The famous places you read about all the time are definitely a must visit, but make sure to take a stroll away from the main path and venture into the lesser known parts of the city. The same goes for the snacks. The popular ones are great, but the real gems are from the stores that only the locals know about. This month, we feature a variety of different snacks from boutique shops in Tokyo!

These snacks are only found in Tokyo and are one of the most popular snacks in the city! This banana shaped fluffy sponge cake is made with real bananas and has been a hit ever since it was introduced in 1991. Even I (Shigeki - Snakku founder) don’t particularly like banana flavored snacks, really enjoy these! The Tokyo Banana in this month’s box is filled with banana maple custard.

Imaging making super fluffy banana pancakes and dousing them with real maple syrup; you have this treat! It was really soft and the custard had more of a pudding texture. At first bite, I thought it was a caramel flavor, but from the second bite on, I realized it was maple.
TASTE: 9/10

A very delicate biscuit made by Tokyo Banana. Like all of their snacks from this store, this is also made with bananas. There’s a light smooth finish to the cookies, which is achieved by using quality bananas and slowly baking the cookies.

I really didn’t taste too much banana in this. To me, it just tasted like your average shortbread, but lighter. It was also VERY crumbly.
TASTE: 8/10

Made by a small shop in the lavish Ginza neighborhood, this unique cracker is made from a mixture of edamame beans and rice. They douse the crackers in a secret broth before baking it, giving it a crisp clean savory finish.
Flavors include edamame, spicy dashi broth and traditional roasted kinako soybean flour.

These snacks had a corn puff texture to them. We received 3 individually wrapped crackers, a light colored one, a dark colored one and a greenish colored one. I’m not 100% sure which one was which, but here’s how we thought they tasted.
Light colored - I’m guessing this was the spicy dashi broth flavor, although to us, it tasted like a white cheese cheez-it.
Dark colored - Again, I’m guessing this was the traditional roasted kinako soybean flour, but it tasted almost cinnamony (is that a word?) and sweet. It certainly didn’t have a soybean/salty flavor.
Green colored - Obviously, this was the edamame flavor. Only having tried edamame beans once before and thinking they tasted a bit like lima beans, we were shocked that this had almost a green tea taste to it.
All three were very yummy and easy on the teeth.
TASTE: 8.5/10

These seasonal folded butter biscuits are from a lesser known but up-and-coming snack store in Ginza. The three flavors (plain, maple and chocolate) are made to represent the foliage from Autumn in Japan.

These were interesting. They look like they would be crunchy and hard, but they are actually soft and flaky.
CHOCOLATE - Not as flaky as the other two; more of a cookie-like crunch to it. Very sweet. The taste is very similar to the cocoa butter scent, if that makes sense.
MAPLE - We did NOT taste any maple in this; if anything, both Mama Melissa and I said we tasted a coffee flavor in this… like a ‘Rich’ or ‘Bold’ brew of coffee. Even though I don’t like those strengths of coffee, this was delicious.
PLAIN - VERY heavy on the vanilla in this one… extremely reminiscent of the white ‘cream’ filling found in filled donuts. My actual favorite of the 3 biscuits.
TASTE: 9/10

Mellow candy made with real rice sake

I have NO clue what sake is, to be honest. I believe it’s a Japanese wine, but I’m not sure.
That being said, these candies reminded me of the Hi-Chew candies or the Puccho Stick Soda chews we got in a Munchpak a few months ago. I didn’t really detect ANY taste to this, not even a rice flavor. But they were softer than I anticipated and I didn’t have any issues chewing these, even with my mouth problems.
TASTE: 7/10

Delicate biscuit sandwich made with Japanese purple yam

The texture of a KitKat, with a very interesting flavor. Sweeter than a yam. I’ve had something to this years ago, but I can’t place what it was.
TASTE: 9.5/10

Double grilled soy glazed mochi crackers

When I hear the term ‘crackers,’ I think of flat pieces of bread-like chips. I do not think of sticks of hardened bread.
But this is exactly what this was; a soy sauce flavored crouton stick. Despite the fact that it was very hard on my teeth and gums, this was my absolute favorite item in the box!
TASTE: 9.5/10

Old school rice crackers grilled in a clay fire kiln.

Ow, Ow, OW! While this was downright delicious, it was another one that was also VERY hard on my teeth. The pieces liked to jab me in the gums. Again, I’d equate the hardness to croutons.
That being said, I sensed a bit of soy flavoring on this as well. I liked it, because I went through a spell of eating cooked rice with nothing but soy sauce on it!
TASTE: 9/10

Two kinds of stuffed mochi cakes (sweet potato & red bean)

Mama Melissa and I got these TOTALLY wrong. We thought the fillings were apple and fig.  We couldn’t tell them apart because neither one of us read Japanese writing, but I think the darker of the two was the red bean flavor.
Both were very sweet and delicious! Really soft on the teeth as well. They even LOOKED cute, as they looked like mini tacos!
TASTE: 8/10

The only problem I see disabled people having with these snacks is opening the individual packages. Most of them are soft on the teeth (and pretty much melt in your mouth), so besides the crouton-like snacks, there should be no issues with chewing.

This is available from the Snakku website starting at $14.95 for the 'Tasting box.' I personally received the '1 Month Subscription Box' for $38.95. There is also a 3 Month Subscription plan and a 6 Month Subscription plan.

Wonderful treat box packed to the brim with Japanese goodies that can't be found anywhere else. Well worth the price!

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**