1. Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter
Wild Friends Nut Butter (specifically Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter)
Rating: 10/10. This peanut butter gives life. Just kidding God does that. Last year when this limited edition nut butter came out in fall 2014, I was looking for it like a mad woman on every website that could possibly sell it, but it was sold out everywhere. This led me to having a broken heart for the rest of the year because I wouldn't be able to try it. BUT this fall 2015, right when Keeley and Erika (founders of Wild Friends) announced this flavor was out again, you bet I went online right then and there and ordered some. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. It has the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor and you can still tell its a peanut butter, which I loved. I've tried some pumpkin PBs that definitely did not live up to this one. Wild Friends is my favorite nut butter company. They use only natural ingredients - no artificial anything and not much sugar if at all. If there is sugar, it's either from honey or natural organic cane sugar. I suggest you go buy some. FYI: They're definitely worth ordering online if they don't sell it in your town.
2. Lenny and Larry's Peanut Butter Complete Cookie
Lenny and Larry's Complete Cookies
Rating: 8/10. Lenny and Larry's cookies are magical. My favorite flavors are peanut butter, chocolate chip coconut, birthday cake, and snickerdoodle. And double chocolate is delightful as well - it reminds me of a chocolate ding dong cupcake that I used to eat back in the day! Hostess products were my best friend back then :) Times have changed. This is a MUCH healthier version than Hostess cupcakes, so don't you worry. These dense and flavorful cookies taste very good warmed up and if you're wanting to indulge more, they taste great with a scoop of Talenti Gelato on top! YUM. Lenny and Larry's products are all natural, vegan, protein-packed, and contain no dairy or eggs or artificial flavors. If only they didn't make me feel so bad for saying the serving side is 1/2 the cookie. WHO CAN EAT ONLY 1/2 OF A COOKIE??? I don't have that kind of will power folks. It's all or nothing for me.
3. Bobo's Oat Bars (Apple Pie)
Rating: 9/10. I love these bars. They are dense bars packed with rolled oats, but it's made from good-for-you ingredients, so it's a great option for quick breakfasts on the go if you're not much of a breakfast person. I've had them as snacks before workouts or if I'm just needing a bite of something wholesome sweet after a meal. This apple pie one was great. I'm a fan. Perfectly sweet and satisfying with a nice apple flavor that isn't too overwhelming. There's bits of apple pieces throughout the whole thing too. I'm a big fan of pretty much all of the Bobo's oat bar flavors. One's that are noteworthy in my book are... 1. Maple Pecan, 2. Peanut Butter, and 3. Coconut. The only down side of these is that the label says there's 2 servings in one bar. Now why would they do that to people? Is this some kind of "Will Power Test"? Cruel. I can't help but eat the whole bar! I'm not too worried though since it's made with natural ingredients. Plus carbs rule and give you lots of energy, so it doesn't hurt to have two servings of this wonderful oat bar.
4. Square Bars
Rating: 8/10. I am a pretty big fan of these bars. They are a quick grab n' go healthier organic protein bar option and they are SO CHOCOLATE-Y! If you are not a chocolate fan or if you don't have a thing for dark chocolate, they probably are not going to be your cup of tea. Personally, I have a giant sweet tooth and I am a chocoholic. #NoShame. Sometimes after lunch or dinner, (okay more like everyday) I get big chocolate cravings, and if I have these bars on hand, they're my go-to! I like them all, but one of my favorite flavors is the chocolate coated almond.
*Use my discount code, livehealthyandfree, for 20% off a box of SquareBars at www.squarebars.com ( + free domestic shipping ).
5. Pipcorn Snacks
Rating: 10/10. Pipsnacks was kind enough to send me some of their delicious bags of popcorn: Kettle corn, Sea salt, and Truffle Oil. Man oh man... this popcorn is phenomenal. I mean it reminds me of Skinny pop, but the corn kernels are so cute and smaller than most other popcorns. It's just really addicting and I think everyone should go give Pipcorn a try.
6. Sweet Leaf Stevia Water Drops
Rating: 7/10. Big thanks to Sweet Leaf Stevia for sending me some of their new water drops to try! They sent me 3 flavors: peach mango, strawberry kiwi, and raspberry lemonade. Here are my thoughts on them: Overall, I think they add some really great and sweet flavor to water when you feel the need to jazz up your water a bit or if you're one of those people who really don't like drinking water for some odd reason. These do not add any unnecessary sugar calories like soda or lemonade, so if you need some flavor and sweetness in your water, I would recommend these in a heartbeat. I've only tried the strawberry kiwi so far and it was delicious! The only thing about them that I will critique is that I wish it told you about the amount of drops you should use in, for example, a 16 oz bottle of water. Its very easy to make it too sweet, so I really just had to keep tasting it after every single drop I put in so I wouldn't go overboard.
7. Bitsy's Brain Food Smart Cookies
Rating: 8/10. Okay folks...these Bitsy's Brain Food cookies are awesome! Healthy, natural ingredients, and just the perfect handful of something sweet after a meal or just a little sweet treat sometime in the day. It looks like these were made for kids primarily, but I am 19 almost 20 (in Sept 5, 2016) and I thoroughly enjoyed all three of these flavors! Great for any age :) I won a contest on Instagram, so this company sent me a few of their products to try for the prize. I do not know what grocery stores sell these cookies, but I know for sure you can order them online. Would recommend!
Rating: 7/10. SnackNation is a company who sends boxes of healthier snacks in the mail each month, and make healthy snacking in the workplace and just on the go so much easier and convenient. They generously sent me a free box of their snacks for the month of November, and this was all that was inside! Some of the snacks were GoMacro granola bar, fig bars, nuts, dark chocolate pretzel bark, clif bar (which I usually try to avoid because there are other bars that are more natural and better for you, but it was still delicious nonetheless), and a handful of healthier chips, some made with beans, some with lentils, and other ingredients that you can actually pronounce, which I think is a huge win because so often, processed packaged foods and snacks have a laundry list of ingredients that sound so foreign and scary. Eating real food with real ingredients is so important for a healthy diet and lifestyle. My only complaints is that a few of the snacks in there didn't seem like all that healthy choices in my opinion, but I guess compared to A LOT of other snacks out there, they are better for you.
9. Simple Mills Banana Bread Mix
Rating: 9/10. I love Simple Mills baking and cooking mixes! They are paleo, gluten-free for all you gluten-intolerant folks, and made with real good-for-you ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, and coconut sugar. This banana bread mix was my first Simple Mills product I picked up to try, and it was nothing but delicious. And I loved how I felt like I was actually doing my body good by feeding it real food with real ingredients as opposed to other oil and sugar filled baked goods. Totally recommend these Simple Mills baking mixes!
10. Siggis Yogurt
Rating: 10/10. Siggis rocks. Some people find it not sweet enough, so they like to add a little honey or something, but I find the flavor and sweetness juuuuust right. Favorite yogurt out there for sure. All of the flavors! My favorite is probably strawberry or vanilla (which I like to top with a big spoonful of nut butter! I love mixing in and topping Siggis with berries and Purely Elizabeth granola or my homemade banana bread granola or gingerbread granola to make a fun parfait. My thing is that I can't eat yogurt plain...Not sure why but I've always been this way. I absolutely HAVE to have fruit and crunchiness in every bite! Also, not all grocery stores carry Siggis yogurts, but I think most do including Whole Foods, Publix, local stores in STL (where I live), etc.
11. Daily Harvest Smoothies
Rating: 8/10. Daily Harvest just made breakfast a whole lot easier. They ship you these cups (there's 14 different smoothie flavors) filled with frozen fresh fruits, veggies, and other superfoods, and all you have to do is empty the contents into a blender, add some milk or other liquid, and blend blend blend! And breakfast is served. I've tried two of the six that I have in my freezer currently, and both of them were good. The Mint+Cacao smoothie legit tasted like a mint chocolate chip milkshake!! It was phenomenal! I'd give that flavor alone a 10/10. I thought this smoothie flavor pictured above (Carrot + Chia with sweet potato and banana) was a little too sweet for my taste (I think they could have omitted the dates). Overall, I love this company, and they even just released a new line of soup products too! I haven't tried them yet, but I think it's a great idea. The soups or smoothies could be a great gift to someone who needs a little help either with breakfasts or just figuring out how to make easy healthy meals for their new healthy lifestyle.
12. Peanut butter Bobo's Oat Bar
Rating: 9/10. Bobo's Oat bars are pretty darn awesome. I know I reviewed the apple pie flavor above, but I couldn't help but give my opinion on the peanut butter flavor too. Peanut butter in combination with oats, naturally sweetened, and in bar-form... it all comes together so perfectly and makes the oat bar full of flavor. These bad boys are dense but not in a heavy, sit-in-your-gut kind of way. They pack in the good-for-you ingredients into a little bar that you can just grab and go in the mornings or when the afternoon hunger hits hard while in class or at work. Honestly, all of the flavors that Bobo's Oat Bars come in are amazing and I have never had a bad one. Love love love these guys.