Review – Nogii protein bars and powders – Gluten Free and super delish!

Gluten free has come a long way. I remember almost 10 years ago the lack of options and FLAVOR! I am not GF but have always tried different GF options. Needless to say I was pretty psyched to try the Nogii line.

nogii-logo

I wasn’t familiar with Nogii so I took to the www to do some research. Nogii was founded by none other than Elisabeth Hasselbeck from the talk show The View. Her story of what lead her to Nogii was interesting to say the least. She struggled with stomach issues and fatigue and it wasn’t until a forced 39 day detox (being on the show Survivor will do that to you!) that she found out she suffered from Celiacs Disease. Celiacs Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine and can affect how you absorb food.

nogii 1

The product line for Nogii is impressive. Protein powders, bars, snack bars, paleo bars and kids bars. If you’re new to the whole GF way of life you can even pick up Elisabeth’s book – The G Free Diet. Nogii products are made with sustainably sourced, premium ingredients, NoGii bars have an ideal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and do not contain any trans fat, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup. Score!

The D’Lite bars were my family’s fave. The kids couldn’t get enough. We tried the Caramel Bliss..  a perfect 120 calories when you’re craving a not so friendly candy bar. Plus they’re the perfect size for your little ones!

nogii twins

My next favorite was the Chocolate Coconut High Protein bar. If you know me AT ALL or even read my occasional blog.. coconut or chocolate is definitely a recurring theme. They have high protein bars which average about 17 grams of protein and 230 calories. They also have super protein bars which are 30 grams of protein and about 400 calories. I found the super protein bars were great on a work out day as a meal replacement. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crisp bar was ridiculously good. Just look at the pictures of the Peanut Butter Chocolate High Protein bar and the Cookies & Creme Super Protein bar. Stop drooling..

nogii cookies  nogii bar detail

The Nogii Whey and Quinoa Vanilla Bean Protein powder was a great addition to smoothies – 20 grams of protein! I didn’t really like it in my blender bottle. I didn’t find it to satisfy my hunger like some other protein powders do.

By now you must be at least a tad interested in trying these items yourself. Definitely follow my links! They have a store locator and i was amazed how many places close to me already carry them!

While you’re at it enter their #NogiiTableSetters contest! You can win an overnight trip for you and a guest to NYC to meet Elisabeth Hasselbeck! Enter here!

Links:

Nogii

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 

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Spiced Blueberry Green Tea featuring frozen Wild Blueberries!

Blueberries hands down are my fave thing to have handy in the freezer. There have been many a times I made a smoothie that looked like mud and blueberries are my savior. They turn it a great shade of reddish purple and help cover any super strong spinach flavor. Seriously.. thank you blueberries for helping me lie encourage my kids to drink healthy smoothies.

Moms MeetWild Blueberry Association of North America teamed up to have bloggers everywhere enjoy these tasty, wild blueberries. What was the first thing i did? I went out and bought the biggest bag of frozen wild blueberries I could find! In this case it was Wyman’s of Maine. We did everything with them – added them to pancakes, smoothies, yogurt, granola and some homemade ice cream. (disclaimer – if you have a little one and they eat a ton – be prepared for their.. um.. poop to uh.. turn dark. Cmon parenting is full of these lessons right?!)

blueberries

Then I started to do some research about what exactly makes these little buggers so amazing:

  • 99% of the Wild Blueberry crop is frozen fresh at harvest, which locks in their nutrition and taste.
  • Wild Blueberries have a more intense flavor than regular blueberries. Wild Blueberry plants are more genetically diverse with thousands of interlocking plants spreading and interlocking naturally across fields over thousands of years. That diversity is what gives Wild Blueberries their complex and delicious flavor—an extraordinary mix of tart and sweet
  • Wild Blueberries are called “Wild” because they are not planted— they have occurred naturally in barrens and fields in Maine and Eastern Canada for 10,000 years.
  • Blueberries contain antioxidants, are low in fat and contain vitamin c.

Then came the task of creating something interesting with my blueberries. While doing some research I found everything from pickled blueberries, blueberry onion jam and a bunch of marinades. I wanted to create something that screamed summer. I also wanted to create something that encouraged eating blueberries while maintaining their health benefits.

blueberries ingredients

Spiced Blueberry Green Tea

6-8 bags of your favorite green tea (I chose my fave – Organic India Tulsi Green Tea)

1-3 sticks cinnamon (depends on how strong a cinnamon flavor you want)

2 tablespoons lavender

1 1/2″ – 2″ fresh Ginger (peeled and sliced)

1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries

8 -12 cups filtered water (really just depends how big your container/how much you want to make!)

Cheesecloth

Cooking Twine

The key to “brewing” this tea isn’t brewing at all. I call it refrigerator tea… Everything basically gets put in a pitcher and is ready to go within a few hours.

  • create your spice pouch. Cut approx 5×5 square of cheesecloth. Place the cinnamon, ginger and lavender and tie closed with the twine.
  • create your blueberry pouch. Cut another 5×5 square of cheesecloth and tie your blueberries up in it.
  • Fill your container with the filtered water.
  • Add in your teabags, spice packet and blueberry pouch and give it a stir.

Immediately you notice the blueberries turning the water a lovely red/purple!  Place it in your refrigerator overnight. Here is where you can get creative. Want a super spiced tea – keep everything steeping for 24 hours. Want a lightly spiced blueberry green tea – only leave it in a few hours. Same thing goes for the spice pouch. More ginger if you love ginger, more lavender if you love lavender. If you want a sweeter tea I suggest taking the blueberries out and giving them a quick spin in your vitamix and adding that to your glasses before you pour the tea. Talk about beautiful!

blueberry tea final

Oh and if this is the first time you’re cooking with dried lavender.. don’t worry it’s completely okay to eat!

Everyone in my family loved it! Even my hate-to-try-new-things boys.. they were all about it! This will be our summer staple. The health benefits of Wild Blueberries, green tea and no added sugar. WIN!

Are you a fan of blueberries too? Follow Wild Blueberries for some blueberry inspiration!

twitter.com/wildblueberries

pinterest.com/wildblueberries

instagram.com/wildblueberries

And don’t forget to give us some love too!

twitter.com/matchingmummies

pinterest.com/matchingmummies

instagram.com/sjordanusher

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Vegan coconut pineapple NICE cream with Organic India Moringa Powder 

Moringa?! Seriously before I was sent a free sample from the kind folks at Green Moms Meet I had never heard of such a thing called Moringa. I’m pretty well versed with things on the super food spectrum. Totally not this one.

OrganicIndia-Moringa

Moringa originated in northern India but it is now grown all over the world. The plant itself is considered a super food because it’s rich in vitamins, minerals and and amino acids.

Some things I didn’t know about Moringa:

-Moringa is considered one of the most complete, nutrient-dense plants on Earth, containing over 90 nutrients, 46 antioxidants, and abundant minerals.

-Moringa leaves have been eaten for thousands of years as a superfood nutritional supplement, and are often used to combat malnutrition in impoverished countries.

-ORGANIC INDIA Moringa is USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher and Halal certified, gluten-free, and vegan.

Wow! Sign me up! I work full time (not to mention a two hour commute each day), have 3 crazy energetic boys. Not to mention a Husband who works just as hard and gets just as tired. I was very excited to get the opportunity to try the Moringa Leaf powder and supplement capsules for free!
For me – the real challenge was figuring out how to use it daily. We put it in our smoothies which was great! I’ll admit the taste takes a bit of getting used to. Anyone familiar with any sort of greens supplement will understand what it tastes like ;o)
For me the capsules were a tad easier to remember. I took the Moringa supplements for a week and noticed a difference especially in my PM commute. I didn’t feel so exhausted and didn’t want to crash the second I got home. SCORE!
Using the powder at home was much easier. My favorite concoction – Vegan Coconut Pineapple Nice Cream with Organic India Moringa Powder! Creamy, delicious and a dairy free treat for the family. We used our Kitchen Aid Ice Cream machine. Since I had some technical difficulties (my paddle broke UGH!) I did a small batch in the ice cream machine and another just in some Pyrex in the freezer.
moringa nice cream
Ingredients
-Two 15oz cans of whole fat coconut milk
-One to Two cups of fresh, cubed pineapple – add more or less based on your preferences.
-3 teaspoons Moringa Powder – we found this to be the perfect amount. Gave it a bit of green color without a strong greens    taste
-Your favorite sweeteners – this is TOTALLY optional. We added a bit of maple syrup to give it a bit of sweet but not too much.
-blend all the ingredients in your Vitamix/blender
-refrigerate until fully chilled. the colder the ice cream base the better it works in the ice cream machine.
-if you’re not using an ice cream machine just put into a freezer safe dish with a lid.
The batch in the ice cream machine was smooth, creamy and super delish. It was great knowing we were having a dairy free snack with some added health benefits. My kids absolutely loved it. We’ll be experimenting with other coconut milked based ice creams soon.
moringa nice cream bowl
The freezer batch wasn’t as creamy but still just as flavorful. I let it sit out for about a 1/2 hour. I found it easier to cut into squares.. could you say possible ice cream sandwich ingredient???!
Overall I could see Moringa being a pantry staple in this house. Getting my kids to eat their share of veggies etc is a daily struggle so Moringa powder could be my saving grace! One 8 oz. canister (approx 48 teaspoon servings) of Moringa Leaf Powder retails for $22.99, and 90 capsules of Moringa retails for $19.99.
OrganicIndia-logo

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

ginnybakes cookies & mixes: gluten free, organic AND delicious? Yes please!

I had the pleasure of sampling some ginnybakes cookies and baking mixes thanks to the Moms Meet blogger program. I was blown away by the box of samples… what a great selection! I wasn’t familiar with the brand but have tried a bunch of different kinds of gluten free cookies… most of which were.. um… not great? However the ginnybakes brand holds it’s own.

selection 2selection 1

ginnybarsginnyminis

My favorite thing about these products (besides being non-gmo and organic) is how they taste homemade. Let’s face it.. when you had a Grammy that knew how to bake.. most store bought treats just don’t cut it. Oatmeal Coconut Bliss was hands down my favorite. Hello, my name is Sarah… and I’m a coconut-aholic. And they were just that, bliss. The Butter Crisp cookies reminded me of Christmas as a youngling. There is something about a buttery, sugar cookie that brings you back to being a kid. I think it’s the sparkly dusting of sugar ;o)

oatmeal detailsugar detail

 

Their ginnybakes mixes are just as great! I made the ‘lovely brownie bliss’ in my mini donut pan. I am not a huge fan of using oil in any baked goods. I’m the crunchy momma that always uses those handy little cups of apple sauce. (the ginnybakes recipe calls for coconut oil.. which i LOOOOOVE but ran out of in my AM smoothie). Using the applesauce made the brownies moist and cakelike. My boys went nuts over them. As you can see kid #3 was angry he couldn’t eat them all… sorry dude.

brownies

 

As always I try to learn everything I can about the product I’m reviewing.. Their website is beautiful and their Instagram makes their founder, ginny simon, incredibly accessible. I was in awe when she started to comment on my posts about the product! Most of the time when you tag companies you never expect to interact with their creator!

From their website:

“founded in 2010 by ginny simon, ginnybakes is the realization of a dream. combining ginny’s passion for nutrition, active living and baking, our products are a natural expression of her dedication to leading healthy, balanced lives.”

And you can tell by their social media that they live that mantra. Photos of food, life, family and wellness. Unlike most company’s social media accounts, I thoroughly enjoy ginny’s updates. As a consumer I feel better about the products I choose when I feel a connection to the people and the passion behind them.

Screen shot 2014-08-24 at 9.32.40 PMScreen shot 2014-08-24 at 9.31.45 PM

 

Last but certainly not least they offer ginnybars and ginnyminis. Peace, Love & Apple was my favorite. They also make Love & Nuts, Karma, Love & Apricot and Happy Chocolate Bliss. Crunchy and slightly chewy made this lady happy on her long commutes to work. And then once I got to work I knew I had a little treat waiting for me later. ginnyminis are the perfect little snack during the day. Just enough to take the edge off ;o)

peace love applechocolate minis

 

Please check out these links and follow kindly:

ginnybakes Facebook

ginnybakes Pinterest

ginnybakes Twitter

matchingmummies Facebook

matchingmummies Instagram

matchingmummies Pinterest

matchingmummies Twitter

 

 I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product. 

 

Squeasy Snacker – coolest/easiest/awesomest reusable food pouch. EVER.

I’m sure many of you can relate – kids LOVE anything in a pouch.

Applesauce – check.

Spinach mango – check.

quinoa salmon squash etc etc – check.

Kids will eat ANYTHING in a pouch… but it’s just too darn expensive. I can get like 3x the amount of applesauce in bulk than I can in pouches. But guess what.. my three boys ain’t got time for that.

So the solution – Squeasy Snackers! The lovely folks at Squeasy Gear are on the up an up and were kind enough to give me some to review (and to give away..keep reading!)

6ozgreen-2TI’ve seen many designs of reusable food pouches and usually it boils down to ONE thing.. how easy it is to clean. The best part of the Squeasy Snacker is that they’re made from 100% Food Grade Non-Toxic, BPA free, PVC free, Phthalate Free Silicone. You can easily inside-them-out to clean or throw them in the top rack of your dishwasher.

I was hustling out the door one day and decided to just put water in them. The kids thought they were so cool to use. However.. they had to get used to the squeasy-ness. Thankfully it was a hot summer day and they appreciated getting squirted in the face!

squeasy 1

squeasy 2squeasy 3

The next thing I decided to do was make a smoothie in them. I did our old standby – coconut water, frozen berries, local maple yogurt and bananas! It was chilly and refreshing and a healthy snack.

squeasy smoothiesqueasy oliver

You can check out my kids reaction here on my Instagram post(Just like my kids to scream about going pee in the background! Ahh to be a Mom to three boys):

So you want to check one out for yourself? I have one Squeasy Snacker to give out to a lucky reader! Contest runs until 8/31!

To qualify you must comment on our blog below:

What would YOU put in your child’s Squeasy Snacker?

Like our matchingmummies Facebook page

Like Squeasy Gear’s Facebook page

Earn 1 extra entry by liking matchingmummies on Twitter!

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I received this product for free from the sponsor – Squeasy Gear. As a blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions are my own and I was not paid in any way!

Dr Oz says we’re part of the 1% because we eat Organic.

I work in an industry populated with people who take every word Dr Oz says to heart. There is no in-between with his show.. either you’re about to die from cancer (he will show you 15 ways how) or he’s showing you super-foods to help protect you from them.  The fear of growing old and getting sick has made this man very VERY wealthy.. and popular.

As of late there has been lots of debate around GMO’s.. Genetically Modified Organisms. In layman’s terms.. food that has been genetically altered in a lab to be heartier, stronger, resist diseases, etc etc. Recently California became the first state to tackle the debate.. IS IT IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO MAKE LABELING MANDATORY? Unfortunately.. it wasn’t. Big companies won this one with barrages of media blitzes. Even going as far as to say there are no health BENEFITS to eating an organic diet. If someone is eating an organic diet because they believe the food is more NUTRITIOUS than they need to do some research. People eat organic because of harmful pesticides AND the fear of GMO’s.

Dr Oz needs to decide which side of the fence he wants to be on:

AGAINST GMO’s –

video part 1

video part 2

video part 3

And then recently in a Times article he disses farmers markets, grass-fed beef and compares eating organic as to being part of the 1%. “You don’t need to eat like the 1% to eat healthily,” he says. Craziness.  He also goes on to say “Nutritionally speaking, there is little difference between the farmer’s-market bounty and the humble brick from the freezer case.”

There is a ton of Op Ed pieces coming out now.. pretty interesting.

Natural News

Natural Society

Drudge

We have a family of 5. While a good majority of our paycheck goes towards mostly natural and organic food, I do not feel that my decisions make me an elitist or part of the 1% I buy food from sources I TRUST, sources that are minimally processed and that when available are organic. I support farmers markets because they’re local.. not because they’re healthier. Do I wish we spent less on groceries.. hell yes. Could I shop at our local conventional store for less.. definitely. But I will continue to make natural and organic choices because I want my family to eat the best possible foods. Why would I buy something with tons of artificial additives when a natural version is available for $2 more? To me that’s a no brainer and money well spent.

::stepping down from my soapbox::