I’ve started spring on an energetic note – how about you? I am ready to work on my body, better my mind, and overall feel happy and relaxed, a much-needed change of perspective after two pandemic-driven years.
Here are my product recommendations to help you reach your wellbeing goals this year – carefully curated, and impeccably delicious. Happy spring, everyone 🙂
Nature’s Path keto cereals
This year, Nature’s Path Organic Foods is doubling down on keto breakfast offerings with a new line of ready-to-eat keto certified and USDA certified organic cereal and granola, which contain 3 grams of net carbs per serving and are Non-GMO Project verified, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
I recently tried two Nature‘s Path keto cereals, and I recommend them wholeheartedly. Featuring an exciting mix of navy bean flour (a protein-packed flour that helps to stabilize blood sugar), pea protein and mung bean protein, potato fiber, cinnamon, and monk fruit extract, Nature’s Path Cinnamon Toast organic keto cereal has 10g of dietary fiber and 7g of plant protein per serving.
I used this keto cereal as a topping for my sweet pumpkin soup, a simple dessert I like to eat to invigorate my overworked liver. This is a straightforward combo (homemade pumpkin puree, freshly squeezed orange juice and an abundance of spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom) which I usually elevate by adding a crunchy element- in this case, Nature’s Path cereal. I like to rely on the natural sweetness of the fruit, but you can add raw honey if you’d like this sweeter. This is a preparation as unprocessed as possible, which does wonders to my energy levels. I just love the burst of natural sweetness I get when I eat this! So delicious and uplifting, it feels like a hug in a bowl 🙂
I also used this cereal as a donut topping. Valerie Bertinelli’s recipe is my all-time favorite baked pumpkin donut recipe. To make these donuts I used homemade pumpkin puree, Zulka pure cane sugar (great for baking!), and a scrumptious topping featuring Nature’s Path keto cereal and pomegranate seeds. Sooo delicious!
“Necessity is the mother of invention” seems to be a fitting summary for Quevos, the latest Chicago-based snack to take the world by storm.
Quevos was born after Type 1 diabetic teenager Zach started thinking of creating healthy snacks he could actually eat. Inspired by the crispy leftovers of an egg white omelette, Zach and his childhood friend Nick designed a range of crunchy and flavorful egg-white chips which were an instant hit with health-minded consumers. They appeared on Shark Tank, where they secured funding and mentorship from KIND snack creator Daniel Lubetzky – and the rest was history, as they say!
Quevos come in 6 delicious and superbly crunchy flavors: Sour Cream & Onion, Dill Pickle, Quevos Rancheros, Honey Mustard, and Mesquite BBQ. These are gluten-free, keto-friendly, low carb, and protein-packed. It’s hard to pick a favorite (they are all so good!), but I think Honey Mustard has a slight edge over the others – in my case, anyway. This sweet and savory combo is so enticing, and so pleasing on the palate.
Which Quevos flavor would you try first? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Sunrise Fresh dried fruits
Who’s up for some apple & ricotta sweet pasta casserole? This all-time family favorite couldn’t be simpler to make, and more exciting to devour! Wholesome veggie pasta, buttery grated apples, ricotta, eggs, a bit of sugar, and plenty of wholesome spices come together to perform a “concerto” on the plate, alongside a variety of exciting toppings: pumpkin seeds, dried cherries and apples, and plant-based vanilla creamer.
I was super excited to enhance the natural beauty and deliciousness of several of my desserts recently with dried fruits from Sunrise Fresh, a California-based family business with a passion for good tastes and healthy vibes. All of their fruits are certified non-GMO and kosher, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and have no added sugar or preservatives. “Only the fruit!” is their slogan – a great one for sure!
I was moved and impressed by the delicious simplicity of these fruits. Upon tasting the tart, crisp, aromatic apples, my mind went straight to memories of years past, when my aunt would oven dry apples for the winter, to be used as snack or apple compote. As you know, I have recently started dehydrating fruits myself (in a dehydrator) and I’m loving it! These fruits and the memories they bring about are an excellent source of joy and inspiration.
I also used Sunrise Fresh fruits in the semolina pudding balls below:
Vanilla packed semolina pudding brimming with shredded coconut, chopped nuts and Sunrise Fresh dried cherries & apples, rounded into balls and covered in a minimalist natural coating of elderberry powder – who’d like to join me for these treats? 🙌 The natural sugar in the moist, luxurious cherries provided enough sweetness, with a slight hint of tartness, so there was no need for additional sugar. Meanwhile, the zestiness of the elderberry powder brought these morsels of deliciousness to life in the most vibrant way possible.
It recently occurred to me that these cookies largely resemble snowball and/or sandies cookies, both of which feature a similar combination of nuts & lots and lots of butter. My mom uses raisins and ground walnuts – I used dried Sunrise Fresh blueberries and ground pecans, respectively. These cookies are super soft, and their buttery & nutty flavor combo is a comforting work of sweet treat heaven:
Better Body Foods organic oat flour blend
Did you know that oats are one of the most sustainable grains on the planet and require 80 percent less water to grow than almonds? BetterBody Foods has recently introduced two new offerings in its product line, Organic Oat Flour Blend (a gluten free combo of whole-grain organic oat flour, whole-grain organic rice flour, and xanthan gum for baking) and Organic Oat Milk Coffee Creamer.
I used the Better Body Foods oat flour blend to make my fruit-packed sponge cake, a family and readers’ favorite. Using this flour blend instead of wheat flour rendered the cake super delicate and light, with just the perfect touch of fruity sweetness. If you suffer from gluten intolerance or are simply in search of a healthier alternative to regular flour, this organic oat flour is the perfect versatile solution for dredging, breading, and baking. It can be used to bake cookies, cakes, brownie, and even banana bread. It’s also a great source of fiber that’s so important for maintaining a balanced diet.
Have you used oat flour before? What’s your favorite recipe featuring flours other than wheat flour? Let me know in the comments 🙂
BeeFree Warrior Mix
BeeFree Warrior Mix is another brand I was invited to review recently:
When Jennifer Wiese’s oldest son became ill, she went on a journey of research and discovery which led her back to the basics of nutrition: clean food as close to nature as possible, free of additives, full of pure deliciousness. It was a mission which empowered her and millions of other people across the country. who were looking for gluten- and dairy-free snacks and uncompromising quality. BeeFree Warrior Mix was born out of necessity, but it became much more – a symbol of the good life, lived simply: “eating lean meats, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, foraging for our food, enjoying mealtime with our family and friends, simplifying and slowing down to appreciate the gift of life.”
Made up of a original mix of almonds, seeds and honey, with various additions (such as apples& cinnamon), BeeFree are among the cleanest tasting snacks I’ve ever tried. Not overly sweet and yet super indulgent, they are manufactured in a certified gluten-free facility, and are Paleo friendly.
In addition to eating BeeFree mix on its own (a deliciously addictive undertaking 🙂 ) I also had it with vanilla yogurt, fresh fruit and chopped pistachio for breakfast. Such an amazing product and discovery!
As you may remember from one of my previous posts, I like to use freshly pureed mango as a fruit salad dressing since I believe its sweetness and smoothness go perfect with fruit-based desserts. Instead of mango, I recently used Zellee organic strawberry & pear fruit jel – delicious, aromatic, and naturally thickened with konjac.
Super excited to announce my collaboration with this Hawaii-based small business that has taken the healthy snacking world by storm!
🌻 I love that Zellee fruit jels are organic (and thus non-GMO) and have *zero* added sugar, dyes, preservatives, and artificial colors.
🌻 I’m excited that Zellee thicken their jels with konjac, which has long been used in Japanese cuisine and Chinese medicine. A big YES to plant-based!
🌻 I am impressed that their products are free of the major 8 food allergens, and thus a good option to snack safely.
🌻 I naturally love Zellee’s socially and environmentally oriented partnerships with 1% for the Planet and Terracycle.
And yet, what stood out to me the most, in addition to everything else stated above, was the friendship underpinning the brand. In a world facing automation, technological excursions and a mediated reality, discovering an enduring human connection has been uplifting and empowering. Reading about the 25+ year long friendship between co-founders Eriko and Lisa has been a thought-provoking experience on the purpose and place of human relationships in our changing world. I don’t know about you, but I do like to reflect on these topics quite a bit (maybe too much, too often?)
I invite you to give Zellee a try, to marvel at the natural flavors, and to read about the friendship underpinning the brand. I also urge you to check out all of the products and brands above since they are all amazing examples of the human entrepreneurial spirit in action. I was impressed with the creativity, deliciousness, and passion which inform these success stories, and I hope you will like them too.
Happy spring, everyone 🙂
*Disclaimer: While I received complimentary products to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed here are my own.