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Thursday, March 31, 2016

I Stand With MEA

I Stand with MEA

For the first time as far as I know, the School District I graduated from, Montrose Area Schools in Montrose, PA, is in the midst of a Teacher Strike. The Montrose Education Association (the teachers) are at odds with the School Board over health benefits and salaries. The teachers are willing to meet the School Board's request of changing and paying into their healthcare insurance, which will save the District $5000 a year per member. However, when the teachers asked for a raise, the School Board balked at this. You can read more about the Strike on MEA'a Facebook Page.

I'm here to say I stand with the Montrose Education Association and it's members.

I'm thankful for Montrose Education Association and it's members... without it, I wouldn't have had what I consider the best education I could have asked for. I knew if I was having a problem with a course, I could go to that teacher and get the help I needed. I could rely on any teacher to make sure I was safe at school.

I hear a LOT of Montrose's community members saying 'If teachers don't like their job, get a new one.' Here's the problems I see in that theory...
a. Most teachers don't major in education for the dollar. They major in it because they have a passion for helping others. Listen to a teacher talk about their students sometime. They don't refer to them as 'my charges' or 'my subordinates.' Every teacher I've heard calls them 'my kids.' They look at the students they teach as their own kids. Matter of fact, I've heard this right on my own Facebook newsfeed.
I won't give names, but there was one teacher in particular that went ABOVE and BEYOND their job description to make sure I had the BEST education at Montrose... and to this day, I'm very grateful to that teacher.
b. It's HARD for recent college graduates to find jobs, in their field or otherwise... imagine how tough it would be for someone who has taught for the past 15-20 years?
c. Almost every other job pays overtime when an employee works past 8 hours a day; Teachers do not. If a teacher stays after to tutor a student, they are DONATING their time. If a teacher chaperones a school dance/event, they are DONATING their time. They don't get paid for that time.
d. They may only 'work' 187 days of a calendar year, but they take a lot of their OWN time 'working.' Tests don't grade themselves. Lesson plans don't write themselves either. These things are done, at home, 'off the clock,' taking time away from their OWN families. Same goes with supplies; a LOT of a classroom's supply stock comes from the teacher's own checkbook.

I PROUDLY stand with the MEA.

I implore the Montrose Area School Board to work with MEA and come to a resolution that ALL sides are happy with. You are not hurting yourselves or the MEA members by not working with them to come to an agreement. You are hurting the very people you claim to care about: the students of Montrose Area School District.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Love With Food Gluten Free Box March 2016

Love with Food
March 2016 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!
This month’s theme is ‘Love is Real.’ There’s nothing more real than love - for family, friends, or even just for life itself. And what better way to show love in a very real way than with delicious all-natural snacks! This month, show someone you love how special they are and share these goodies. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with showing yourself a little love and keeping them!

Due to one of the items being highly perishable once opened, I reviewed this within 72 hours of receiving the box. With that being said, Let’s take an in-depth look at the March 2016 box.


SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER CHIPS BY IPS CHIPS
These are no run-of-the-mill chips. They’re protein-packed crunchy bites with just a touch of spice that are about to change your snacking forever.

I tried a different flavor of these in the Send Me Gluten Free box for September 2015. Egg whites are hands-down my favorite part of the egg. Growing up, my mother used to get SO mad at me, because whenever she would make hard-boiled eggs, I'd either give her the yolks or toss them out and I'd just eat the whites.
We got the Sea Salt and Black Pepper flavor this time. I really liked these, but I gave these to Mama Melissa, because she didn’t eat the barbeque flavor. They tasted like puffed corn chips. The only problem is you don't really taste the pepper flavoring at first. The first bite of the chip tastes like salt, then the pepper flavor kicks in.
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

CHOCOLATE SEA SALT PROTEIN BAR BY RXBAR
An indulgent mix of 100% cacao with savory sea salt, this delicious bar has 12g of egg white protein, 7 ingredients, no added sugar and absolutely no B.S.

I was indifferent to this. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that great either. It tasted like a ‘healthy’ brownie bar. Best part of this were the almonds and cashew pieces, but I still wouldn’t buy this on my own.
You can take 25% off your first order on these protein bars by going to www.rxbar.com and using the code RXBARlovefood at checkout.
TASTE: 5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Dairy-free

CHICKPEA SNACKS BY BIENA FOODS
Break from the snacking norm with these crunchy flavor-packed bites. Tip: they’d make a perfect post-workout energy boost!

I did an entire review on this same brand of chickpeas back in August 2015. However, we got what seems to be a new flavor; Rockin’ Ranch. But I tasted more of a Dill dip flavor than a ranch flavor.
TASTE: 9.25/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Dairy-free

GLUTEN-FREE MACARONI AND WHITE CHEDDAR CHEESE BY HORIZON ORGANIC
Horizon’s gluten-free mac brings the cheesiness kids (and adults!) crave. Made with real Horizon organic cheese, this mac can’t be outgrown.

Haven’t made this one yet. I will update this once I prepare this.
EDIT 07.08.16: Okay, so I ended up making this on 07.06.16, when Mama Melissa's parents went out for dinner. Turns out it was NOT White Cheddar, but normal Yellow Cheddar cheese.
I couldn't taste ANY difference between the gluten-free variety and the common variety. It wasn't as 'soupy' as the common variety, but it wasn't creamy either. I did like it though. I ended up taking an unused packet of Bacon Ranch seasoning from a Suddenly Salad kit and added 1/2 to this. Made it even better!
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Organic

CLASSIC CHEESE CHEESE UPS BY WELLABY’S
These bites have all the real cheese and calcium you want in a cracker and none of the trans fat you don’t. And would you believe there’s no gluten?

Puffed up triangular Cheez its. That’s all these were. I liked these and wouldn’t mind picking some more of these up.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free

GLUTEN FREE CORN & RICE ORZO PASTA BY DELALLO
This pasta is the answer to anyone who still thinks gluten-free recipes have to be “boring.” They’ll be changing their tune after the first bite.

This looked like yellow grains of rice. I actually liked this, but it was a big hassle to make, and I actually vacuum-locked the pot I used to cook this. I needed Mama Melissa to help me break the vacuum seal on the lid.
I wouldn't recommend a disabled person making this without help.
TASTE: 6/10 (9/10 for actual taste, 3/10 for ease of preparation)
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

SIMPLY SWEEET POTATO CORN TORTILLA CHIPS BY WAY BETTER SNACKS
Sweet potatoes get brought up to the major leagues with a dash of sea salt and quinoa. Your salsa won’t know what hit it.

FROM THE BACK: What do you get when you add sprouted seeds, beans & grains to a tortilla chip? A Way Better Snack!
Every chip in here is bursting with goodness, because we’ve unlocked the powerful nutrients found in premium, wholesome ingredients. So when you share these deliciously sprouted chips, you’re actually improving someone’s well-being. You’re the best.
Still good & crunchy. Still great with salsa. Just better for you. Doesn’t that make snacking better too?

WHAT’S BETTER ABOUT THESE CHIPS?
1. Sprouting eliminates the outer, protective layer of seeds, beans and grains that makes them hard to digest.
2. By Sprouting, we naturally UNLOCK the protective layer, increasing nutrients and making them available for the body to use!
3. Each serving has over 190mg of Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
4. Sweet potatoes are a snazzy spud and are oh so simply sweet!
5. Oh, and OUR chips are YUMMY!

I can’t put my finger on it, but I seem to have had something that tasted like this before. I loved that, and I loved these. I could probably ditch traditional potato chips for these!
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

APPLE 2 THE CORE GENTLY DRIED APPLE BY PEELED SNACKS
Dried fruit doesn’t have to mean dried flavor. These bites will blow you away with seriously sweet-yet-tart apple taste, just try one and see.

I LOVE dried fruits, apples and bananas being my favorites. So, I squealed in delight when I saw these in the box. I was sad when the bag was empty. I DEFINITELY need to find where these are sold and buy them out!
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy-free, Organic, Gluten free

RASPBERRY COCONUT OATMEAL FRUIT SQUEEZE BY MUNK PACK
Change all your old-fashioned notions about oatmeal belonging at breakfast -- this fruit and fiber-packed snack is delish anywhere, anytime.

Two things I LOVE were in this; coconut and oatmeal. But yet, I didn’t like this. There is SOMETHING about foods in pouches that have a strange taste to them. The Kabrita Goat Milk yogurt I sampled had the same funky taste to it. I’m not entirely sure I’d buy this on my own.
TASTE: 4/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

ALMOND ROCA BUTTERCRUNCH TOFFEE WITH ALMONDS BY BROWN & HALEY
Watch out: This is not a candy for the faint of heart. This is pure almond-y, rich, chocolate indulgence. You were warned.

This was absolutely delicious. It was a LOT softer than typical toffee and it didn’t hurt my teeth, like most toffee does. I wish they had put more into the box.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

DARK CHOCOLATE ORGANIC RICE BITES BY MINI ME’S
Indulgent dark chocolate, a hit of sea salt and organic rice cakes make the perfect team for building your new favorite treat.

Wasn’t crazy over these; The dark chocolate ruined them for me. I think I would have liked these more if they had either white chocolate or milk chocolate. I ended up giving these to Mama Melissa, who got nauseous on them.
TASTE: 6/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Organic

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Still loving the variety in this month's box. I like how I got snacks, sweets, AND two meals in the same box.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**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.**

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Carnivore Club subscription box

Carnivore Club

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Welcome to the exclusive club for discerning carnivores. Carnivore Club is the world’s first curated cured meat of the month club featuring artisans from around the world. Each month our members receive an impressive faux-wood box filled with 4-6 handcrafted cured meats from top artisans. Like wine, the laborious craft of cured meats is an art form that requires the diligent pursuit of perfection through endless hours of trial and error. Carnivore Club celebrates the individual recipes of each cured meat savant, no two meats are alike even when similar in name.

Each month’s box is themed around one producer specializing in a particular style of cured meats: French Charcuterie, Italian Salumi, Spanish Chorizo, South African Biltong and Artisanal Jerky are but a few. Carnivore Club loves artisans that purchase ethically treated animals, employ humane slaughtering practices, use locally sourced ingredients and have a passion for making exceptional products. Carnivore Club is about “satisfying your inner carnivore” through the discovery of amazing cured meats and the story of their creators. Enjoy the journey!
I'm usually not one for meat... okay, let me rephrase that. I'm not really one for beef or pork. I have my faves, like roast beef or hard/genoa salami (depending on where you're from is what you know it as... the one withOUT the hard black bits), but otherwise, I'm happy eating poultry or fish.

But I DO love summer sausages and pepperoni, so I was curious; Could Carnivore Club change my mind about meats? With a review box in hand, I decided to find out.


^^What I received^^

I believe I received the February 2016 box, so let's take a look at the meats sent.

THIS MONTH’S SUPPLIER
Ends Meat is a new York based whole-animal salumeria that makes dry cured meats inspired by traditional Italian styles and methods. Dedicated to responsible and sustained practices, they source their pork from local family farms in New York and New Jersey.

Ends Meat believes that the best food is made by hand from great ingredients. They go out of their way to develop strong relationships with the farms that supply them and only use animals they feel confident were raised responsibly. The family farm that supplied the pork in this Carnivore Club box maintains (in addition to several hundred ostriches) a group of a hundred pasture raised, hormone and antibiotic free Berkshire hogs. All of this month’s meats can be directly ordered from Ends Meat starting in March of 2016.

IN THE BOX
LONZA (6 oz)
The pure simplicity of this salami, spiced only with sea salt, pepper and garlic, showcases the quality of the pork without any unnecessary frills or adornments. The taste of the meat shines through in its clean, original flavor.

This looked like uncooked bacon, but it tasted like peppered salami. It was easy to chew. I actually liked this one.
TASTE: 8/10

CACCIATORINI (6 oz)
In the tradition of simple, beautiful Cacciatorini, this small pork sausage is seasoned simply with black pepper or a combination of black pepper and a touch of other carefully selected spices.

This sausage is a bit hard to cut, but it’s easy to chew. It almost crumbles in the mouth. Truth be told, all I tasted in this was salt.
TASTE: 5.5/10

PANCETTA (6 oz)
Ends Meat cured this Pancetta for two weeks with salt, sugar, Tellicherry peppercorn, rosemary and thyme, and then dried for another four months. More delicate than bacon with the same flavorful fattiness, when diced this makes a great addition to a pasta or a high end omelette.

I actually haven’t tried this. It looks like a slab of unsliced bacon with a LOT of fat. Over half of the item was fat. I honestly didn’t know if I needed to cook this or not, and I didn’t want to take the chance of eating this raw. I ended up freezing this for later use.
TASTE: Unknown

NDUJA (6 oz)
‘Nduja is a spicy spreadable pork sausage originally from Calabria in Southern Italy. This ‘Nduja swaps out the traditional Calabrian chile for a blend of New Mexico Red, Ancho, Serrano, and Chipotle chiles. The ‘Nduja was aged for three months.
Now ready to serve, you’ll find it’s soft and perfect to eat spread on top of toasted bread or crackers.

This looks like a slice of meatloaf, but tastes like a pork spread with taco spices mixed in. And it was HOT. Even though it was thoroughly mixed, it tasted like they used WAY too much and it didn’t mix in enough.
I liked the fact I could cut this with minimal effort; a butter knife went through it easily. But I couldn’t eat a lot of this at once.
TASTE: 6/10

I see disabled people having a lot of trouble with this sub box, to be honest. Some meats are vacuum-sealed, and it’s very hard to actually open them. As I said above, I had trouble cutting the Cacciatorini, so if using a knife is not your strong point, That will be an issue as well. I’d suggest having good hand/arm dexterity or asking someone that can use a knife safely to cut up the meats that require this. The meats I did try are easy to chew, so that's a plus.

Taste wise, it depends on the level of spiciness you can handle. The least spicy of the four meats is the Cacciatorini, with the Lonza being the next spicy. If you can’t handle any spicy foods, you will want to steer completely clear of the ‘Nduja spread.

This is available from the Carnivore Club website for $50 monthly or $55 for a one time box.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Great for those that LOVE meat products, but due to the packaging, it's not the best for disabled folks.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Not for disabled people

**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.**

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Munchpak February 2016

Munchpak

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
What is MunchPak?

MunchPak is an assortment of the best snacks from around the world delivered to your home, dorm room, or office as often as you would like.
So, it's the sixth month of Munchpak, and this will be the FINAL Munchpak review for me. Mama Melissa has decided to cancel her subscription to the box, so unless I start paying for it myself, this is the end of the road.
As always, I told Mama Melissa I would do a written review on this, so I'm going in the order she unboxed the MunchPak in. FYI, We got the FamilyPak, which has at least 20 snacks.

INSIDE FEBRUARY'S MUNCHPAK

Uncle Ray’s Ketchup flavored Potato Chips
Ketchup flavored potato chips
Country: United States

We’ve had two other brands of these before; one by Herr’s and one by Covered Bridge. These were wavy, and the taste was on par with the Herr’s brand. Very tasty.
TASTE: 9.5/10

Bud’s Best Cookies Bite Size Candy ‘n Cookies
Cookies with Candy
Country: United States

Reminded me of shortbread cookies with knockoff M&Ms. I liked these, but they seemed a bit underwhelming to me. I was honestly expecting more of the candies in these.
TASTE: 7/10

Scotch Almond Candies
Delicious scotch candy with an almond flavoring.
Country: South Korea

What seemed like butterscotch toffee with an almond on top. A bit too crunchy for me and my oral issues, but I did like the whole almond on top.
TASTE: 8/10

Palaroos Sour Candy Spray
Palaroos Sour Candy Spray Flavors: Strawberry, Watermelon, Green Apple, & Blue Raspberry
Country: United States

We received the Blue Raspberry flavor. Take a Charms Blue Razzberry Blow Pop (which, as a teenager, I ate by the display box monthly) and melt the lollipop/candy into liquid, then put it in a spray bottle. You now have this ‘candy.’ I only tried 3-4 squirts of this, but Mama Melissa said the more squirts you take, the more sour it becomes.
TASTE: 9/10

Sweet & Sour USA Sour!Tails! Strawberry Flavor
Delicious, chewy, sweet and sour candy straws are covered in sweet sugar and filled with sour filling.
Country: Spain

A sour, fruity Cowtail. I wouldn’t say the filling is sour, but it’s NOT like the filling in a regular Cowtail either. The fruity candy on the outside has more of the sour taste than the filling. I personally didn’t really care for this.
TASTE: 5/10

Toxic Waste Sour Smog Balls
Super sour and deliciously sweet combination of toxic waste incredibly sour candy.
Country: United States

Another one I didn’t really care for. I’m really not one for hard candies, and this is what these balls seem to be. Mama Melissa BIT right into hers. I pretty much swallowed mine whole, just to be able to move onto the next item.
TASTE: 3/10

Kras Dorina Kolumbo
And the right choice is new Kras Dorina chocolate bars: an irresistible combination of a creamy treat and the finest chocolate.
Country: Croatia

Mama Melissa and I seem to agree we’ve both had this chocolate before; we just can’t place where. This is a chocolate bar with hazelnuts and honey. Very creamy chocolate and the honey gives it an extra bit of sweetness. I liked this a lot. I also liked the fact that this chocolate did NOT make me gag.
TASTE: 9/10

Tropical Treat Island Flavors Coconut Slice Confection
Mango, Pineapple, Banana and kiwi flavors come together to create this delicious coconut confection.
Country: United States

One of the two snacks I got to myself, since Mama Melissa is allergic to Coconut. I really didn’t care for the Mango flavor, but I really liked the banana-pineapple and the kiwi flavors.
TASTE: 7/10

Crown Candies Home style Peanut Log
Delicious and flavorful white, fluffy and sugary nougat center covered in a thin caramel layer and draped in whole roasted and perfectly salted peanuts.
Country: United States

Think Fluffernutter sandwich in a log, because basically, that’s what this is. The ‘nougat center’ tasted more like solidified Marshmallow Fluff, then rolled in whole peanuts. One of my favorites of the box.
TASTE: 8/10

SimSek ‘Petit Beurre’ Tea Biscuits
Tasty tea biscuit made from the finest ingredients that bring a warming touch to any tea or coffee time.
Country: Turkey

These were reminiscent of Graham Crackers or shortbread style cookies. Crunchier than graham crackers; more on par with shortbread cookies. Mama Melissa said they had a strange taste to them if you ate more than two at a time, but I didn’t notice the flavor.
TASTE: 8.5/10

Drumsticks chewy candy
Drumstick chewy bar is yummy candy for all ages. A UK favorite, milk and raspberry flavor.
Country: United Kingdom

UK’s version of Starbursts. I gave these to Mama Melissa, since they were TOO tough on my teeth.
TASTE: 4/10

Ola Pola Chocolate Wafers
A 2-pack of tasty chocolate covered wafers. A Polish classic!
Country: Poland

Just like a chocolate wafer cookie, covered in chocolate. Really no other way to describe this.
TASTE: 7/10

Cadbury Timeout Bar
Cadbury Time Out bars have a crumbly milk chocolate center that is light and crunchy and sandwiched between two chocolate covered wafer fingers.
Country: United Kingdom

UK version of Keebler’s Fudge sticks, but sweeter and not as crunchy. I really didn’t see much of a difference between these and the Ola Pola bars.
TASTE: 8/10

Boy Bawang Lechon Manok Cornick
Roasted Chicken Flavored Corn Snack makes for a meal even at snack time. They're just the right amount of crunchy and tasty to make for one amazing and legendary snack
Country: The Philippines

These were different. They were what seemed to be fried corn kernels, with a dusting of spicy chicken ramen seasoning. Very crunchy, and a bit hard on my teeth, but I still loved them. Another favorite of this month’s box.
TASTE: 10/10

Gullon Dueto cookies
Delicious Gullon cookies are perfectly wholesome and incredibly irresistible. Once you pop one of these in your mouth you will know why Gullon is so reputably known throughout Europe
Country: Spain

This cookie was really more like chocolate spread on two Ritz-like cookies. The chocolate was delicious, but I feel like I could just make these at home with a jar of Hershey’s Chocolate spread and a package of Ritz crackers.
TASTE: 7/10

Goralki Chocolate Wafers
Delicious chocolate wafers wrapped in even more high-quality Polish chocolate.
Country: Poland

Another one that was just like a chocolate wafer cookie, covered in chocolate. Very similar to the Ola Pola bars from above.
TASTE: 7/10

Cajillions chewy candy in Watermelon
Tiny, tasty, sweet, chewy little candies in a lot (about a cajillion) teeny tiny little delicious pieces. Strawberry flavor.
Country: China

Best way to describe these were chewy Nerds candies. Very heavy on the fake watermelon flavor, which I cannot stand. I also gave these to Mama Melissa, since I was afraid these would get stuck in my gums.
TASTE: 3/10

Fruit ConFusions Twists in Strawberry Pineapple
Juicy strawberry and pineapple twists
Country: United States

These were just like Twizzlers, but more ‘opaque.’ They were also heavy on pineapple flavor. I tasted more of the pineapple than the strawberry, which isn’t a bad thing if you like pineapple flavor.
TASTE: 7/10

Morinaga Hi-Chew Cherry Flavor
These are so yummy! Deliciously juicy, chewy and scrumptious Hi-Chews in mouth-watering cherry flavor.
Country: Japan

We’ve had these Hi-Chews before. ‘Fake Cherry’ flavor abounds in these chewy candies, which have a texture somewhere between the strawberry toffee above and Starburst candies. The cherry flavor was EXACTLY like a cherry lollipop or a LifeSaver in cherry flavor. I really liked these, better than the apple ones.
TASTE: 9.5/10

Only problem I see disabled people having with this (minus any allergies) is opening the packages and chewing the chewy candies thoroughly. If you can eat snacks, you'll be fine.

This is available from MunchPak.com starting at $9.95. These come in 3 sizes; MunchPak Mini (5-6 Snacks), MunchPak Original (10+ Snacks) and MunchPak Family Pak (20+ Snacks), and you can have it delivered weekly, bi-monthy or monthly. As I said, Mama Melissa was subscribed to the FamilyPak, delivered monthly.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Love this service! It's great to get snacks from around the world without leaving your house!
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

Love with Food Gluten Free Box February 2016

Love with Food
February 2016 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!
This month’s theme is ‘Love is You.’ This month, we’re calling out all of Love With Food’s loyal snack lovers. Why? Because you’ve helped us donate 1 million meals to food banks! Take a moment to stop and savor these snacks and be proud of everything your support has done to fight hunger. Think of this box as a way to take a little “you” time. You deserve it!

Let’s take an in-depth look at the February 2016 box.


STELLAR STRAWBERRY NON-DAIRY FRUIT & VEGGIE BLEND BY RUBY ROCKETS
Regular yogurt is so yesterday. This portable, no-refrigeration-needed fruit and veggie-packed snack is the future.

This tasted just like a strawberry Gogurt to me, just less sweet. I gave this to Mama Melissa after taking enough for a taste test, since I was afraid of making a complete mess of myself with it. If I had wanted to eat this somewhere other than our ‘testing station’ (read: at the computers) I probably would have ate more.
If you want to try these seeds for yourself, head over to http://www.rubyrockets.com and enter LWF0216 at checkout to get FREE shipping on your order of 1 3-pack of Non-Dairy Yogurt. (US only)
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE FLAVORED INSTANT OATMEAL BY BAKERY ON MAIN
Take your usual boring breakfast to a whole new level -- a sweet, fruity, non-GMO, can-I-just-have-this-for-lunch-and-dinner-too level.

Smelled just like a strawberry milkshake. Not as sweet as the description proclaims, but sweet enough that I didn’t need to add sugar. A word to the wise though, start with the ½ cup of water that the package says to use, and increase to the ⅔ cup if you like ‘soupier’ oatmeal. I used the ⅔ cup right away and it was a bit too soupy for me.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

COOKIES BY LABREMS BAKERY
These homemade cookies will be gone so quickly you’ll be wondering if there’s some sort of magic baked inside.

We got the Oatmeal Raisin variety. I’m not used to soft, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies… usually the oatmeal raisin cookies I eat are crunchy.
These were alright. I would have liked to taste more of the cinnamon in these. All I could really taste was the raisins.
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

ORGANIC RICE VERMICELLI NOODLES BY EXPLORE ASIAN
Did you make a resolution to travel more this year? Get a jump on your plans with this authentic pasta that will transport you across the world.

Much thinner than even Angel Hair pasta, but had the same taste as typical pasta. Crumbled easily when using a fork and pretty much dissolved with just saliva. Great for those trying to avoid duram wheat pastas.
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

DARK CHOCOLATE AND BING CHERRIES POPCORN BY 479 DEGREES
The classic flavor combination gets paired with another iconic snack: popcorn. Sharing might not be an option with this stuff.

FROM THE BAG: Popcorn so good, we put a Bing on it.
I’ve always considered popcorn to be the perfect snack. I loved it as a kid, and that didn’t change when I grew up and trained at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Later, as I experimented in my own kitchen, I discovered that 479 degrees is the optimal temperature for popping, which sparked the idea for our company name.
Made the artisan way, with non-GMO popcorn and sophisticated flavors, this is a snack you can feel good about eating. It just might take you back to the simple joy of childhood, the way it does for me.

I personally wasn’t too keen on this, which is odd, considering I like chocolate-covered cherries. I really couldn’t taste the dark chocolate, which was a plus. I ended up giving this to Mama Melissa… who got sick on it. We didn’t realize one of the ingredients was coconut oil and it triggered her allergy. This is our fault for not reading the ingredient list better. Whoops.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free

GOOGLY GRAPE ORGANIC LOLLIPOPS BY YUMEARTH
Who says lollipops are only for kids? With organic ingredients and giant grape flavor, these sweets will be a hit with everyone.

Tasted like a less sweet version of your typical grape lollipop. Even though I have a MAJOR sweet tooth, I actually liked this alot.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

MAPLE SUGAR AND SEA SALT PUMPKIN SEEDS BY SUPERSEEDZ
Think seeds are for the birds? Do us a favor and just give these a try. We’ll bet you the whole bag disappears pretty quick.

I’ve made seasoned pumpkin seeds before, so I know what pumpkin seeds taste like. These had a very ODD taste to them… almost like the maple wasn’t mixing well with the sea salt. They had like… a rancid or spoiled flavor to them. I think if I had received a different flavor, I would have liked them more, but this flavor did NOTHING for me.
If you want to try these seeds for yourself, head over to superseedz.com and enter LUVSEEDZ1 at checkout to get FREE shipping on your order. (US only) You can also find SuperSeedz at your local Starbucks.
TASTE: 4/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

PLANTAIN STRIPS WITH SEA SALT BY ARTISAN TROPIC
Sure, you could snack on regular chips. Or you could keep that resolution to try new things and find a new favorite with these sweet and salty crisps.

FROM THE BAG: Artisan Tropic is a family adventure fueled by our family’s passion for healthy living.
We love to eat healthy. Why? In 2011, our youngest daughter was very sick, but after making some drastic dietary changes her body began to heal. This experience taught us the importance of whole food nutrition and made us passionate about eating healthy. Our desire is to share our family’s healthy adventure with you.
Want to join us?

WHAT IS A PLANTAIN?
-Plantains are members of the banana family. They are similar in appearance, but are more dense and less sweet.
-Plantains grow naturally in tropical climates.
-Plantains must be cooked, but can be prepared at any stage of ripeness.

These taste like a sweet potato chip, but softer. They almost turn to mush within seconds of hitting my saliva and a few chews. They have the texture of Lay’s potato chips, but cut a little thicker. They are also a LOT less greasy than typical potato chips, Pringles notwithstanding. I seriously rather eat these than potato chips.
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan

GLUTEN-FREE MINI HONEY GRAHAMS BY PAMELA’S PRODUCTS
It’s hard to go wrong with a classic like graham crackers. And with no gluten, everyone can get in on these little bites of heaven.

Mama Melissa’s mom makes a ‘cheesecake’ using the pre-made graham cracker crust. These cookies have that taste and softness, but less crumbly. They are very easy on the teeth. I liked these a lot.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

SALADPOWER BY ALLINONE VEGETABLES
Why eat your greens when you can drink them? If that sounds a little weird to you, just take a sip of this stuff and you’ll never go back.

A drinkable salad. It has kale, celery, carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, tomato & spinach in it. I was sort of expecting something like V8 Splash or the old Boku juices from the 1990s.
However, They’re absolutely right; I’ll never go back to this stuff. It was COMPLETELY DISGUSTING. It took everything I had to actually swallow my sip. Mama Melissa spit her sip out, and her parents refused to even try it… which I can’t blame them!
TASTE: 0/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

SAVORY BAR BY MEDITERRA
Anyone who says snack bars have to be sweet has never tasted one of these flavor-packed, non-GMO goodies. Don’t be like them.

FROM THE PACKAGE: Sesame Energy Bar with Pistachio & Honey
Did you know sesame seeds and Greek honey are among the best natural sources of energy? Packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, these Mediterranean favorites have been boosting performance since ancient times. We added pistachios from Aegina Island to bring you a nutrition bar bursting with flavor. Just a little taste of the Mediterranean Diet’s infinite wisdom -- made to enjoy on the go.
Good Health. It’s in our nature.

I can’t recall the name of it, but I had something with the same taste as this growing up. This was another snack that was easy on the teeth, which was great, since I was having a flareup of my oral issues during the weekend I got this month’s box. Very sweet and delicious. The honey and sesame played well with each other and didn’t have the ‘burnt’ flavor that a lot of sesame/honey snacks have.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Still loving the variety in this month's box. I like how I got snacks, sweets, AND a meal in the same box.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**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.**