OK! Seeing as my Beyond Organic Founder’s Pack arrived JUST IN TIME for Thanksgiving – which negated my plans I had had for a “come and try this stuff out” BBQ (which will still happen, but I may need to re-order before then). Let’s get started!
As you may have seen in the unpacking video, the bars are on the small side (35g) which is actually a great thing – if you eat the whole bar, its 200 calories – if you’re a good friend you’ll snap it in half and then there’s a 100 calorie snack for you and a pal. Each 200 calorie bar contains 1000mg Omega3s, a hefty dose of probiotics, 4g dietary fiber, and crunchy delicious roasted flax seeds. I’m a chocolate snob and I like this bar – interestingly enough, a friend of mine’s toddler ALSO likes the chocolate bars, and claims that she needs more so that she can practice counting the seeds… uh huh… SURE. Made in Italy and scrumptious – a fight almost broke out among my receptionists (normally just one on duty, no idea what was up) when I didn’t bring enough of it for all of them!!! YIKES! It seems they’re updating the chocolate page, but here’s the general link – hopefully you’ll see chocolate info on there again soon!
Raw Milk Cheese
Going to warn you right now, these artisan cheeses with probiotics and delicious tangy flavors are dangerous… I’ve already eaten 2lbs of it by myself. Yes, you read that correctly. The cheddar and havarti styles are both great. The cheddar is pleasantly sharp and both have a nice firm texture that’s easy to slice, they also both melt fairly easily on top of hot foods, in omelets, on steak salads, folded into fajita veggies… you get the idea… More about the cheese
What a great kefir alternative! The first sip of the plain took me right back to a favorite strange practice I had as a kid. At Great Grandma’s* house I would rush to the fridge and pour myself a big glass of buttermilk (back then it was actually cultured…). The plain Amasai has that same nice flavor, but much more mellow. A great source of nutrition here – plus probiotics etc. Most people will favor the Raspberry and Milk&Honey flavors, which are good, but watch the sugar content on these, people – yes, its naturally sourced (organic honey, organic cane sugar), but if you’re on a low carb plan or just sensitive, you may wish to stick with the plain. On a lark I mixed half plain Amasai with half Naked (Naked Brand, don’t get excited) Mango juice – and it was like the best mango lassi you’ve ever had at an Indian restaurant. The plain Amasai has only 2 ingredients – whole milk from green fed cows and probiotic cultures. Should also mention that the cows which produce for Beyond Organic are the heritage variety that do NOT produce the potentially harmful genetic mutation derived protein fragment A1 beta-casein. Sometimes I have a hard time digesting milk and well – this has posed zero problems. GET SOME AMASAI!
Reign Supreme Spring Water
Main complaint – small bottles (1/2 liter) – I drink a LOT of water, and on the rare occasion that I purchase bottled water, it needs to be of the liter size. That being said – this is a very nice bottled water, ultra pure, filtered to 1 micron absolute, neutral flavor, etc. Sourced from the same mountain range where I spent many a happy summer as a kid at summer camp. Name of the water facilitates making Iron Chef jokes and to me, that’s a real plus point. Devil’s Advocate Moment: As a buyer of snobby Maeva water filter pitchers from Williams Sonoma, I’m not entirely convinced I need to mail order bottled water. More about the water
Reign Botanical Infusions – Fruit, Veggie, Awaken
Same issue as with the previous item – great high quality product, but small (for me) bottle size. These are nice VERY lightly flavored waters though – and with zero calories. Personally, I’d like to taste a little more – but again – personal preference. If you have a hard time getting in your water every day, adding a little flavor can really help. Amusingly, I am giving a couple of the bottles to one of my clients who LOVES purple – the label is in her favorite shade! Also – see Devil’s Advocate Moment above. More about the Botanical Infusions
Green Fed Ground Beef
WINNER!!!!!!!!!!! VERY reasonable pricing on this high quality delicious ground beef – eaten a ton of it with wild abandon and no guilt, this will admittidly be making up the bulk of my personal orders. No more waiting in line with a bunch of annoying people at Whole Foods, no buying the sometimes oddly watery stuff at a premium price at other grocers. No more getting to the store and finding out that they’re OUT. Besides, this means they’ll also ship me more dry ice to play with. Great eaten as burger patties and as an ingredient in your favorite red spaghetti (squash) sauce, chili or whatever! Thaws quickly and the uniform square shape makes portioning the product ridiculously easy. This beef is really good for you order some!
Green Fed Hot Dogs
Improved hot dog formula is a weiner, uh I mean WINNER. Not like your typical supermarket variety, it’s very obvious these have been made with real beef and have a nice firmer texture, very similar to mild sausages I’ve had overseas. Cook in the usual way on the grill or skillet. I’ve enjoyed slicing them, lightly browning them then tossing them into omelets with broccoli and cheese. Lots of potential here for convenience and creativity. If your kids enjoy “beanie weenie” this would be a good addition to some high quality beans. Cooking them with the saurekraut made one of my favorite super easy meals without the massive sodium. Hot Diggity Dog!
Initially I will admit I was disappointed in the SueroViv – the flavors were overwhelmingly woaaah lemony tart in a strange way – almost like if you zest a lemon but get the pith in there too – some unidentifyable bitterness kinda. Then I let them hang out in the fridge longer, and that helped. CHILL CHILL CHIIIIIIL your SueroViv. The other thing I wasn’t jazzed about was once again… that pesky grams of sugar thing. Again – I approve of the ingredients – they are all natural things, no weird chemicals, no crap – but…. being one that avoids sweetened beverages of all varieties, I was taken aback by the fact of if I consume a whole 16.9oz bottle I will have taken in 120 calories and 30 grams of sugar. The sugar is 100% from organic honey, but… in my world, sugar is sugar and I’m not going to ingest 30 grams without a fight. BUT! It is not all doom and gloom. Which is good news because I have a LOT of SueroViv – I found that 8oz of it is a BRILLIANT starter/mixer for a post workout protein shake! I buy plain unflavored, unsweetened protein powders, so this was just perfect. Get your blender bottle, measure in 8oz of SueroViv (I have done this with all three flavors, but the raspberry lemonade is especially good this way) and add one scoop of protein powder and shake it up! (Current faves: Protein Factory Goat Milk Whey or True Protein Egg Protein – use your favorite – just make sure it’s plain-jane!). More on SueroViv AKA the Protein Shake Starter
*Great Grandma was also a big fan of old fashioned cooking with fresh ingredients straight from the backyard garden, and cast iron skillets. I owe a lot of my everyday, practical cooking aptitude to watching her cook in her intuitive way – like her, I don’t really measure things, unless I’m reverse engineering an original recipe to share with others.