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emerald

Emerald Breakfast On The Go! – S’mores Nut Blend

Posted in Confectionaries, Nuts

I am constantly searching for on the go breakfast food that I find somewhat enjoyable. Sure it is easy to grab a Poptart or a bagel, but I like to switch things up a bit. Being the chocolate lover that I am, I was pretty excited when I spotted these on the shelves at my local SaveMart. As I have mentioned in a few previous posts, almonds haven’t always been my favorite, but cocoa roasted? YES PLEASE.

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This mixture is comprised of the following items:

  • cocoa roasted almonds
  • chocolate candies
  • coconut flakes
  • granola bites
  • “marshmallows”
  • honey roasted peanuts
  • graham squares

For 100 calories you get a pretty nice sized baggie of treats. The cocoa roasted almonds have a nice subtle chocolate flavor to them. The chocolate candies taste kind of like a M&M knock off that you would find in most generic store trail mixes. I’m not overly sure where the coconut flakes fit into this mixture but they are okay. I could live without them. The granola bites are pretty good, it has a nice honey flavoring that compliments the rest of the mix.

I am not sure what the marshmallows are. They have the consistency of Play-Doh, but taste good – not at all what I would expect from a marshmallow. The honey roasted peanuts are probably one of my favorite parts. They are exceptionally generous with the candy coating on the outside. The graham squares tie the whole mix together but occasionally can be a bit hard. (That’s what she said)

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Texture: 3/5 – The overall texture of the mix is okay. I tend to be a bit OCD and eat all of each individual item at a time. My least favorite of the mix is the coconut, its like eating a pencil shaving (which I have never done, so it might not be like eating a pencil shaving)
Smell: 5/5 – This mix has a nice nutty, sweet, slightly chocolaty smell to it.
Appearance: 3/5 – This isn’t the prettiest of mixes out there, but it gets the job done.
Taste: 4/5 – I really enjoy this breakfast mix. It is something that I would buy over and over again to add to my morning rotation. Sometimes you really crave the sweetness factor, and this blend does it well without feeling like you ate a spoonful of sugar.

December 5, 2012
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Emerald – Cinnamon Roast Almonds

Posted in Nuts

I really suck at breakfast. I like to sleep in until the last possible second and rarely ever sit down for a bowl of cereal or toasted bagel. I am constantly searching for things that are easy to eat on the go, something that I can grab and snack on on my almost 40 mile drive to work. Sure I could opt for a Poptart, but I am ingesting 400 calories and crazy amounts of sugar first thing in the morning, which leads to a lovely crash midday. It wasn’t until recently that I started enjoying almonds. Are there any foods that you just started liking out of the blue? When the snack food fairy brought these home, I knew that they would be a breakfast staple for me.

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Emerald has been kicking it into high gear with their new flavors. I recently reviewed the dark chocolate and peanut butter mix and the peanut butter and jelly mix. I’ve seen tons of different flavors on the shelf including chile lime, pumpkin spice, rosemary, etc. Cinnamon roast almonds don’t seem like that far of a stretch, it’s not like they are reinventing the wheel here, but surprisingly not all over the market. These come in a larger container as well as the 100 calorie packs for those of us who either are counting calories, enjoy forced portion control, or are just looking for a small snack. I enjoy a breakfast blend from Emerald for breakfast (imagine that!) often which includes cocoa roasted almonds – which I don’t find exceedingly good. They taste good, but they are not incredible. I was expecting the cinnamon roast almonds to follow suit. Instead I was greeted with almonds coated in cinnamon and sugar (ala Cinnamon Toast Crunch) and they had a nice roasted flavor. There is no shortage of coating as there is about half a teaspoon of coating in the bottom of the bag. I made the mistake of dumping this into my mouth and was overwhelmed with cinnamon and a little salt, which I did not taste while actually eating the almonds. Kind of a weird taste – I vote, don’t follow my lead and chuck the cinnamon dust.

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Texture: 3/5 – These have the texture of your run of the mill almond. The coating on the outside makes for a little more grit but it also helps give the almond a little more crunch.

Smell: 4/5 – These have an intense cinnamon aroma.

Appearance: 3/5 – Nothing overly exciting about these almonds. The outside coating definitely lets you know what you’re getting into.

Taste: 5/5 – These are nothing short of delicious. The spice from the cinnamon mixed with the sugar accompanies the almond flavor quite nice. These make a delicious morning treat or after lunch snack. Check them out – you won’t regret it!

November 15, 2012
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Emerald Sweet & Salty Nut Mix – Peanut Butter & Jelly and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

Posted in Nuts

Good evening foodies! I do apologize for the late post today, but I was out at the biggest Halloween party in Sacramento last night as part of the medical staff on hand, and didn’t roll into bed until 4:30 this morning. To add insult to injury, I woke up with a lovely migraine to boot. Luckily I’m feeling better and can bring you a brand spankin’ new review.

Apparently it was go nuts week with nut manufacturers. This week I have sampled more flavors of nuts that I have ever tasted in my entire life. This is starting to sound pornographic. Anywho, I knew I had to try the Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter & Jelly Sweet & Salty mixes from Emerald because I know they are destined for the clearance aisles. I have been a cashew lover my whole life, followed closely by my love of peanuts. It wasn’t until this past year that I started to enjoy almonds, and I must admit, pecans are not so tasty in my book. It wasn’t until I got to my car after picking these up at Target that I noticed that the Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter mix had pecans in it. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about trying the pecans. But what would a review be if I skipped over part of it?!

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First up are the Peanut Butter & Jelly. I definitely had my apprehensions about this flavor. The picture of the fruit coated almond on the front looked more gelatinous than coated, which I was convinced I was going to be bitting some sort squishy coated almond. Yuck. I also thought for sure that the regular almonds in the mix would have the peanut butter flavor incorporated, but they did not. There are 3 different nuts in this mix:

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• Honey Roasted Peanuts – I LOVE honey roasted peanuts, especially the Frito-Lay brand that you can get 2/$1. I was excited to try the peanuts in this mix but honestly I missed the honey roasted taste. If anything they were just candied and brought a little sweetness to the peanut flavor.

• Plain Almonds – I thought for sure that the plain almonds would be where Emerald brought in the salty factor, but they were completely plain. I’m not overly sure what their purpose in this mix was supposed to serve. If I want plain almonds, I will just buy them.

• Fruit Coated Almonds – The moment of truth, fruit coated almonds. They actually had a hard candy exterior, not a jelly like one that I was concerned about. The first one I tasted was not good. I tried a few more and decided I thought they were rather uninspiring. I feel the fruit flavor is really lacking and all you get is a crunch from the candy and a mild tart flavor from what I’m assuming is raspberry.

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One of these things is not like the other!

Now for an entire handful all together. Meh. I can see what they are trying to do, but I feel like they fell a little short. Better luck next time with these, Emerald.

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Now onto the Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Sweet & Salty mix. This flavor profile seemed a lot safer than the other. Honestly I think Emerald should have lead with this one, then introduced the PB&J later, like some sort of series. Peanut butter and chocolate were meant for each other, I don’t care what anyone says. These also contain 3 different nuts.

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• Honey Roasted Peanuts – see above! 🙂 Though I feel that they work better in this mix.

• Peanut Butter Pecans – The flavoring on these are a bit inconsistent. They taste like candied brown sugar and peanut butter. They are SO delicious.

• Dark Chocolate Almonds – These are chocolate roasted vs. coated. The chocolate flavoring is subtle but good.

A handful of all of these together are rather tasty. I opted to have them as dessert tonight, that’s how yummy they are.

Texture: 4/5 – The coatings on the nuts add a nice crunch to the mixture.

Smell: 3/5 – Neither of these have a very strong smell upon opening.

Appearance: 2/4: – The coated nuts look nothing like the pictures on the outside of the container. They aren’t the most appealing looking.

Taste: 3.5/5 – The PB&J flavor is lack luster. I wouldn’t buy these again. The chocolate peanut butter flavor on the other hand are completely addicting. Yum!

October 28, 2012
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