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almond

Nature Valley Granola Cups – Almond Butter

Posted in Bakery, Snack Bars

I bought these about a month ago and in true snack hoarder fashion, I totally forgot that I had them tucked away in a Target bag for a rainy day. Well I guess that works because it’s raining outside today in sunny California. Granola anything is something that I can live with or without. It has never been something that I have been like “Wow! I could really go for some granola right now!” but when I saw these, I was a bit intrigued. How much can you really do to jazz up granola that hasn’t already been done? Make it salty and sweet, cover it in chocolate, etc.
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I am notorious for snacking while at the computer. I picked up this bad habit from late nights gaming and chatting on IRC (just typing that instantly makes me feel old) and lately I have been trying to avoid the old standbys of candy and chips – so these totally swooped in and saved the day, until I had a moment of panic. Did I just buy something with a yogurt center? Don’t get me wrong, I like to enjoy granola in my coconut yogurt, but the dairy stuff? Oh boy. Luckily after about 3 seconds of reading, I realized it was almond butter, all right in the world again.

These babies are a little bit bigger than an American half dollar coin. I was hoping for something a little more bite size, but I guess if I didn’t have the mouth the size of a small mouse, they would be. Upon first bite, the flavor of honeyed granola is very apparent as well as cinnamon/brown sugar. The cup portion isn’t as brick like as a normal Nature Valley granola bar that will literally shatter a tooth if you don’t bash it on the counter a few times before enjoying, which makes it nice. The almond butter is smooth and creamy, but not very exciting. My major qualm with this snack is that I feel that the almond pieces on top are a little too large. Sometimes almonds can be like small rocks when chewing and I ran into that with one of the cups I was enjoying. Overall I enjoyed the flavor and it really satisfied my wanting of a sweet snack without it being something that was 110% sugar.

Word to the wise, don’t pop the entire thing in your mouth. Have you ever seen a dog try and eat a large spoonful of peanut butter? It pretty much went like that.

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Found at Target for $3.59

April 6, 2017
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GoPicnic – Chocolate Almond Butter & Croissant

Posted in Bakery, Bread

Remember when I used to update my blog on the regular? Yeah me too. Somehow, we now find ourselves in August, 8 months from my last update. A while back I posted how life has been crazy and I have been trying to figure out how to balance both life and blogging. As you can see, I still have yet to find that balance, but dammit, I’m going to try and make it work. I recently moved, so I have been getting settled into my new place and finally have internet. I have also been working like a mad woman at my job. While leiserly clicking around on my time card recently, I noticed that I have clocked over 100 hours of overtime this year. So, if you have been wondering where I have been, there is your answer.

I have quite the stockpile to work through, and my partner in crime never fails to give me grief about how I buy things with the intention of reviewing them, but they end up sitting in the cabinet never touched. Boo. So that needs to change, not only because I now look like a junk food dooms day prepper, but I honestly miss blogging.

My most recent snack food endevor was a small meal kit that was picked up at Target. The entire line of products doesn’t really appeal to me, mostly because I don’t like buying things that I know I won’t eat everything in the box. That is why I have a hard time buying things like Lunchables – because I am lactose intolerant, I never end up eating the cheese, so I feel like it is a waste (though not to mention that Lunchables are hardly food to begin with, but they are great in a pinch at work). When I saw this kit, I was originally turned off by the apricot fruit leather, because I am not a fan of apricots, but over on my personal blog, I gave myself the challenge of trying new foods so, I went with it.

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This meal comes in a cute little box that easily fits in a purse – although I would not consider this a meal per say, the calorie count would make it one.

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The contents were slightly underwhelming when opening the box. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but something a little more visually appealing for sure. I was concerned that because somehow they say that the croissant will stay fresh until the end of this year, that it would be dry and flavorless. I started with the fruit leather, and was actually quite surprised that I liked it. The flavor was sweet and the leather portion was chewy but not where I felt like I was having apricot jerky.

Next I moved on to the croissant and almond butter. While I was training to run a half marathon (which never came to fruition, though I am proud that I can run much longer than I previously could) I would often look for snacks that runners could carry and eat while running distances. A few friends suggested the single serve packs of Justin’s Almond Butter. Yeah, about that. Almonds and I have a relatively new forged relationship, and I just could not get into the taste, or the texture. I felt like I was eating sand. Too gritty, not enough flavor to off set it. I thought with the addition of chocolate that I might have a better experience – but that really didn’t turn out to be the case. One thing I think could be included with this kit would be a small knife or if the peanut butter was put in a small tub instead of a squeezable package.

I prefer to dip things like bagels and what not into peanut butter instead of spreading it on it, and that’s how I chose to eat this. I was actually surprised that the croissant was moist, buttery, and flaky, despite being able to sit on a shelf for a year. I was not a fan of the chocolate almond butter, but I honestly think it’s just a personal preference, not that it was bad. I was expecting something sweeter like Nutella, but the flavor to me was a bit underwhelming.

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Texture: 3/5 – The fruit leather was perfectly made. It was chewy and not tough, and I would definitely eat it again. The croissant was airy and light, like you would expect. I was honestly surprised by this and would by these in a stand alone packaging. The chocolate almond butter was a little gritty for my liking, but when combined with the croissant it was not nearly as noticeable.

Smell: 4/5 – The fruit leather smelled like fresh apricots, not artificial or sugary sweet. The croissant smelled like a typical croissant. Surprisingly the chocolate almond butter smelled more of almonds than of chocolate despite it’s appearance.

Appearance: 4/5 – I liked that this snack came in a cute recycled box that I could toss into my bag without worrying that the croissant would become a pancake. The packaging of the fruit leather was nice. The croissant and chocolate almond butter were both in no frills packaging. I would have liked to have seen a little more functional packaging on the almond butter, but that is just personal preference.

Taste: 3.5/5 – The fruit leather was my favorite portion of this box, despite having the most apprehension about it. The flavoring from the apricots was a nice balance of fresh and sweet. I would buy these stand alone to put in my lunch. The croissant was pretty good, but was not anything spectacular. I did not care for the chocolate almond butter and would have preferred something a bit sweeter in its place. Maybe if they punched up the chocolate flavoring just a smidge more, I would be interested in trying it again. Overall I am pretty indifferent about this pack, and would take it or leave it. Nice to throw in your bag if you’re into the flavor profile, but nothing that you couldn’t put together at home for a little less cashola.

August 16, 2014
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