Get your chocolate fix

Looking for a chocolate fix? Go Dr. No.

I (virtually) met Amale, the woman behind this amazing chocolate, last year. We chatted via email a bit and I learned that she wants to help people suffering from cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses live happier lives. She really wants to make a difference in our world and has a heart of gold. And really, what better way to spread the happiness than with good-for-you chocolate?

What makes it different?

How cute is this stamp?

Dr. No Chocolate is 75% cocoa and organic with a rich and smooth taste. It makes a perfect treat for diabetics or those eating low carb because it’s sugar-free and void of artificial sweeteners. It’s also gluten free and doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

The chocolate comes in three delicious flavors: Dark Chocolate, Pumpkin Seed & Sea Salt (my favorite!), and Almonds. I love the salty-savory combination that the pumpkin seeds and sea salt add to the sweet chocolate – such a unique and delicious treat! If you have a HUGE sweet tooth, I recommend the variety pack so you can try one of each and pick your favorite!

Great for gifts, baking, or snacking when you’re craving something sweet. You won’t believe it’s sugar-free!

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Dr. No Chocolate. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Snacker successful. All opinions are my own.

Grab ’em and go

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What do you grab when you’re in a hurry? If you’re like most people, it’s junk. I can remember walking to the corner store armed with a pocket full of change and a desire to check off everything on my list – Laffy Taffy, Hot Fries, Slim Jims, and Blow Pops. My 10-year-old self was shining in the glory of it. Why? Because it tasted good, was convenient, and the packaging screamed: “EAT ME, NOW!”

Flash forward almost two decades, and I still revel in all things easy and convenient, but I pride myself on making better food choices.

That’s why I love Bricks Bars. The ingredients are clean and sustainable, and the on-the-go packaging suits my busy – at times, hectic – lifestyle.  Great for hiking, biking, traveling. Just throw them in your bag, and you’re good to go.

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Bricks organic meal bars are paleo and soy, gluten, and antibiotic free. The company uses grass-fed meats, and sustainably sourced GMO-free veggies, fruit, and seeds. Now, that’s something I can stand behind.

My favorite is the organic beef, uncured bacon, cranberry, and sunflower seed bar. Such a unique combination of flavors that makes your senses go wild with adventure. There’s something about the salty-sweet blend that gets me every time.

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Runner up is the organic turkey, sweet potato, cranberry, and pumpkin seed bar reminds me of Thanksgiving. Actually, if I’m honest, it reminds me of Willy Wonka’s factory. Anyone remember the 3-course meal in a stick of chewing gum? I always wondered what that would be like. You get the yummy, savory main course, the side dishes, and pie at the close. What nostalgia attached to this!

Don’t just take my word for it. To taste just how delicious these bars really are, head over to bricksbars.com. You can get a variety sample 3-pack of Bricks Bars for $8.99 and FREE shipping.

Happy Snacking!

 

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Bricks. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Snacker successful. All opinions are my own.

Smooth or crunchy?

It’s the age old PB question, but it fits with almond butter too. I’m a smooth gal myself, and my mom likes crunchy. There’s no compromise here; it’s either one or the other.

Fortunately, most companies have caught on. One of these, Barney Butter, has so many awesome flavors and unique combinations such as Vanilla + Espresso, Honey + Flax, and Cocoa + Coconut. Whether you’re looking for super smooth, chunky, or somewhere in between, they’ve got you covered.

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One of my favorite afternoon snacks.

Barney Butter’s almond butters are made with fresh California almonds in a peanut-free and Certified Organic facility. They are also Certified Vegan, Certified Gluten-Free, and Non-GMO Project verified (other than the Honey + Flax). I love that the company uses recycled, BPA-Free jars that can be reused for on-the-go snacking.

Barney Butter comes in snack packs (perfect for on-the-go) and jars (perfect for every day, baking, and eating with a spoon!) Check out their site for a full list of products.

Sometimes you just need a cookie!

Here’s a recipe that’s easy to whip up with ingredients you probably have on hand.

Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter Cookies

1/4 cup brown sugar20170412_181909

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, sofened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3-1/2 cup Barney Butter Vanilla + Espresso Almond Butter
1 cup gluten free flour blend
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, beat sugars and butter until smooth.
3. Whisk in vanilla and egg, then almond butter.
4. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.
6. Form dough into 1″ balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet, flatten. (Dough may be sticky.)
7. Bake for 6-8 minutes.
8. Let cool and enjoy!

Visit Barney Butter online for fun recipes with all of the creative almond butter flavors.

 

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored, in part, by Barney Butter. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Snacker successful. All opinions (and the recipe) are my own.

Tastes like sunshine

Move over PB, there’s a new jar of goodness in town!

I love peanut butter – on toast, in cookies, straight from the jar – you name it. So the first time I encountered SunButter, I quickly dismissed it. Nothing could replace my beloved PB.

But a couple of months ago I thought I would give it another shot (well, actually try it). It’s like the Heavens opened up and angels were singing – this stuff is amazing.

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Creamy SunButter makes the BEST cookies!

Flavors: natural, creamy, natural crunch, no sugar added, and organic. The organic is Whole30 approved (I’m super excited about that). The creamy also comes in on-the-go packs (great for kid – or adult – lunches).

  • It’s free from the top 8 allergens (including nuts and soy), which makes it a good alternative for those allergic to nuts.
  • It’s school safe. If you don’t have kids this might not seem like a huge deal, but it totally is. Did you know that many schools are banning PB from lunchboxes? We never had to worry about that when I was in elementary school – 75% of kids brought in either PB&J of Fluffernutters. Now there are extra precautions to limit exposure. Better to be safe than sorry! For more information on this, check out the website.
  • It has 7 grams of protein per serving (2Tbsp). This is good for picky little eaters – make them ants on a log and know that they are getting in some extra protein in with their snacks. You can even add a scoop to a chocolate shake for breakfast – yum!

Fun Fact: It takes 3 pounds of sunflower seeds to make one jar of SunButter. Wow! (credit: SunButter.com)

How awesome is this pen?!

Use it just like PB

I swapped out the PB in my favorite peanut butter cookies and not only were they good – they were better with SunButter! I’ve tried several of the recipes online too.  It really is wonderful.

For more fun  ideas, visit SunButter.com

 

This post is sponsored by SunButter. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Diary of a Snacker successful. All opinions are my own.

 

Bottoms up!

A couple of weeks ago I brought an assortment of drinking vinegars and a handful of shot glasses over to my mom’s house and a few of us did rounds of tasting. It was definitely different, but we had a lot of fun finding our favorites and imagining what foods we could pair with them.

I first heard of vinegar shots a couple of years ago while attending a garlic festival. I was skeptical at first, but, to my surprise, they were quite good.

Recently I stumbled upon a delicious group of drinking vinegars or “shrubs” produced by Detroit-based company, McClary Bros. The genius behind this creative company, Jess McClary originally started a home-based bakery that sold goods made with locally sourced produce, but then decided to make healthier products that incorporated many of the same herbs, fruits, and veggies.

That’s when McClary Bros. – the company named for her twin boys Jack and Ben – was born. McClary Bros. has since been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank and in Midwest Living and Cooking Light.

What exactly is a McClary Bros. Drinking Vinegar?

A combination of organic, unpasteurized ACV (apple cider vinegar) mingled with fresh ingredients and organic cane sugar. Each sip is a delightful punch of flavor.

My Favorites

Lemon & Ginger – It’s sweet, tangy, and delicious. Think of it as a spiced lemonade! This would go great with a little seltzer water and a slice of lemon.

Michigan Beet & Carrot – Reminds me of the pickled beets my great-granny used to serve for dinner. Perfectly sweet, sour, and fun! Would pair perfectly with a little EVOO and some arugula.

Michigan Saskatoon – Sweet and summery. Makes a nice, refreshing cocktail! Just pour in over frozen dark cherries and top off with La Croix sparkling water – berry bliss in a cup.

Michigan Saskatoon with frozen dark cherries and a splash of fizz! 

Mix ’em up

Don’t like the thought of drinking vinegar straight from the bottle? No problem! These taste great in sauces, salad dressings, and even cocktails. Check out the website for culinary and cocktail & craft soda recipes. So much fun!

Prices are very affordable, but vary – visit the site for details. While you’re there, check out the cool gifts and extras in the online store including ice ball molds and t-shirts.

 

DISCLAIMER: This post was sponsored by McClary Bros. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Snacker successful. All opinions are my own.

Shake it up!

Do you know how hard it is to find a dairy-free protein shake that actually tastes good? It was like looking for a unicorn…until now. Vega protein is certified vegan, non-GMO, gluten free, and just as the name suggests – completely plant-based and devoid of dairy. This stuff is liquid gold (especially for us lactose intolerant peeps!).

Vega Protein & Greens (prices vary by size)

Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Berry, Tropical, Natural, Coconut Almond.

This protein is so versatile – use it to make a morning shake, smoothie bowl, overnight oats, waffles, and more. Check out Vega’s Recipe Center for a mountain of ideas.

It has 20 grams of protein, a whopping 2 servings of veggies (including kale, spinach, and broccoli), and is only 110 calories. It’s literally a salad in a glass – except, it tastes like dessert. It’s a great way to get those veggies in.

Vanilla

This one is my favorite from the product line. The mild vanilla flavor makes it a great base for seasonal shakes such as a fresh berry smoothie in the summer and a pumpkin spice one in the fall. I prefer to drink the shake blended with either almond or coconut milk because it’s so smooth and creamy.

Chocolate

This one is great for desserts and baking. Of course I love drinking my chocolate salad, but it also functions as a good cocoa powder for chocolate recipes such as protein power balls and mug cakes. Yum!

At about $1.50 per serving, you can’t go wrong. It’s probably the cheapest you’ll pay for a healthy breakfast.

Vega One Starter Bundle ($14.99)

A shake for each day of the week – how cool is that? Try them all and find your favorites before committing to an entire container. Test the shakes for an entire week to see how your body feels after drinking them. That’s a great price for a week’s worth of breakfasts, if you ask me.

And if you want more than just a shake, there is a super awesome recipe for Chocolate Donuts on the site – what!

Vega Sport Starter Bundle ($19.99)

This package includes singles of: Pre-Workout Energizer in Lemon Lime & Acai Berry, Endurance Gel in Raspberry & Orange Zest, Electrolyte Hydrator in Lemon Lime & Berry, Recovery Accelerator in Tropical & Apple Berry, Performance Protein Singles in Chocolate, Berry, and Vanilla, and Protein Bars in Chocolate Coconut (2) and Chocolate Peanut Butter (2).

It is well worth the small investment to find products that you can add right into your daily routine. If you’re really active, this might be a good bundle for you. I’ve gotten into the habit of working out 1-2 times a day and definitely noticed a change with the Pre-Workout Energizer. It gave me the boost I needed to power through my 5am workout! I also fell in love with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars and Berry Performance Protein – they both kept me full and satisfied for hours.

Vega offers many other products, such as smoothies, protein powders, snack bars, and vitamins. For more information or to make a purchase, visit myvega.com.

 

DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Vega. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Snacker successful. All opinions are my own.

#spreadthefit

I don’t have a big sweet tooth. Actually, I’ve had a box of Oreos and bag of M&M minis (that I used on a cake) sitting in my cabinet for over a month – untouched. What really gets dangerous for me is PB. I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER, and don’t get me started on pb cookies. They are just the BEST! Unfortunately, it turns out that eating plain old pb straight from the jar isn’t really that healthy. Who knew?

Lately I’ve been trying to be a lot better with regular workouts and healthier eating. I’m not going to lie – there are days when I want nothing but mac and cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the thought of eating a carrot disgusts me. But, let’s be real – that’s not practical or nutritious.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could eat a cookie for breakfast and NOT feel bad about it?

Wouldn’t it be fun if cookies fit right into our healthy eating plans?

Can I have a drumroll please??

Buff Bake was started by cousins Ashley, a fitness lover and bikini contest competitor, and Brittany, an avid baker. The duo tried their hand at creating protein-infused muffins – a delicious (and healthy!) snack that would fall right in with many strict diets. This was just the stepping stone to the line of Buff Bake products we know today – the much loved protein cookies and nut butters.

The Cookies

There are 16 grams of protein in each cookie and ingredients include natural pb and extra virgin coconut oil. You have my FULL permission to eat them for breakfast. The flavors are fun and seriously delicious: Birthday Cake (gluten free), Snickerdoodle (gluten free), Chocolate Chip PB, Frosted Oatmeal Raisin, and White Chocolate PB. Try a 4-pack, variety pack, or sampler.

The Butters

All nut butters are gluten free and have 11 grams of protein per serving. You will find peanuts, almonds, chia, flax, and more in these creamy and good-for-you blends.

Almond Butters: Birthday Cake, Snickerdoodle, Cookie, and Coffee Bean.

Peanut Butters: Pumpkin Spice, Red Velvet, White Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, and Cinnamon Raisin.

Try a 10-pack of pouches, a whole jar (or two, or three), or start out with a sampler. Spread them on toast, over waffles or pancakes, or mix into your favorite overnight oats – the possibilities are really endless. Buff Bake has several enticing recipes on their site, including one for pomegranate chocolate chip pizza. Yum!

You can #spreadthefit too! To learn more, check out the pretty amusing clothing line, or make a purchase, visit buffbake.com.

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Buff Bake. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Snacker successful. All opinions are my own.