Real Talk: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars

Helloooo! Happy Tuesday y’all!

Can we talk about snacks today?! I am stopping in today with a quick review for Manitoba Harvest. They recently came out with a new product, their hemp heart bars, and I was lucky enough to get to sample two of the flavors!

*Full Disclosure-Manitoba Harvest provided me with product for review purposes through my relationship with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. Per usual, all opinions are my own.*

I was excited to test these out as I am a big fan of hemp seeds as a plant-based protein and am always game for trying new snacks.

There are many days when I get caught up at work and do not have time to sit down and eat a real lunch, so I try to keep relatively healthy and filling snacks around. These definitely fit the bill!

I was sent the apple cinnamon and the chocolate to try. While both were good, the chocolate was definitely the winner in my book. I will be on the lookout for the vanilla so I can try all three!

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Side note: I know this probably doesn’t matter to most people, but I really like the packaging for these… it’s nice and simple, just like the ingredients.  

Speaking of the ingredients, I can pronounce all of them, which if you know me, is very important! You can also see pretty much everything listed!

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A quick run down of the bars from the Manitoba Harvest Website:

“Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart bars are crafted with the goodness of hemp and other tasty ingredients too. We’ve whipped up three different delicious flavours to choose from: vanilla, chocolate and apple cinnamon. Each 45 gram bar contains 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas, so whether you grab one for a pre-workout snack or nutrition on the go, these convenient bars are sure to get you through even your busiest day!”

10 grams of protein! I was super thankful to have one of these in my purse the other day… Once again, I hadn’t had time for a real lunch and I needed a quick snack before heading out to meet a friend for a run! It didn’t bother my stomach and kept me satiated through my workout and up until dinner! Winning!

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Overall, I would absolutely buy these again. However, I would definitely recommend the chocolate over the apple cinnamon. It’s just…I personally would rather eat an actual apple…but that’s just me…don’t let that rain on your apple cinnamon loving parade!

In other exciting news, Manitoba Harvest is running a wicked cool photo contest! You can find the full details here.

Here are some quick details if you’d like to play along: 

  • Tag @manitobaharvest #hempheartbar #fuelledbyhemp #sweatpink @fitapproach for a chance to win a box of your favorite flavor of Hemp Heart Bars!
  • A winner will be chosen each month!
  • Eligibility: open to US and Canada residents.

AND if you’d like to order your own hemp heart bars, Manitoba Harvest is generously offering 15% off your purchase. You can buy them here.

  • The discount code hhbarlaunch1015 will get you 15% off! Expires 3/31/2016 

A big thank you to Manitoba Harvest and Fit Approach for allowing me to sample out another awesome product!

Lets’ chat: Hemp Hearts-yes or no? Favorite pre-run (or other workout) snack? Chocolate or Apple Cinnamon? 

 

 

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Real Talk: Tuesday Night

This is happening in the kitchen… well, technically in the freezer, right now.
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I promise I will be back with regular posts tomorrow.

Happy Tuesday.

PS. I originally titled this post Monday Night. It’s going to be a long week.


August Foodie Penpals!!!

It’s Foodie Penpal Reveal Day! This month, I sent a package to Marcia from Florida. She’s a fellow runner and I loved getting to know her and reading her blog. You can check out her blog by clicking here.

You can see what others got from their Foodie Penpals by going here:  http://www.theleangreenbean.com/august-foodie-penpals-reveal-day/ 

I was lucky enough to be paired with Kelsey. She sent me a pretty amazing package full of goodies from California.

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California Goodness

Kelsey-Huge thanks, this was awesome!

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Such a nice note!

Here’s the low down on what I received:

  • A homemade baggie of cocoa haystacks!
  • A Banana Chocolate Bar
  • An organic dark chocolate bar.
  • A nice little card (above) and recipe for peach salsa-yum!
  • Locally made orange graham crackers
  • Honey Almonds

I was so excited about the recipe, I decided to share it with all of you!

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Can’t wait to make this!

Chocolate bars… she just gets me. I don’t know why this picture is flipped… I’ll call it artsy…

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Bananas and Chocolate? Yes, please!

These almonds were so addicting! I had to hide them…

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Wowowowow

I can’t decide what my favorite thing was… but these crackers are definitely up there.

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So good!

The haystacks didn’t hold up too well in the mail…but I still munched on them. Tasty.

This was such a great package, I love that Kelsey sent me local products, allowing me to get a taste of California.

Another huge thank you, Kelsey! This was such an awesome package!

If you’re interested in becoming a Foodie Penpal, here are some details. To sign up, visit this page! You must sign up by the 4th of the month.

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

 

Happy  Friday!!!


July Foodie Penpals!!!

It’s that time of month again-Foodie Penpal Reveal Day! This month, I sent a package to Emily from “Chicagoland.” I really enjoyed picking out her package because I got to use my imagination!

Collyn from Mass sent me a pretty awesome package full of Trader Joe’s goodies. Thank you so much, Collyn! I am loving all of it!

Here’s the low down on what I received:

  • Caramel Popcorn
  • A Jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter
  • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Cranberries
  • Snapea Crisps
  • A  blueberry fruit strip

 First and foremost, cookie butter?! Where have you been all of my life? It is absolutely out of this world! It’s good enough that I’ve had to talk myself out of just eating it straight from the jar. I’ve also had to talk the hubs out of it. I am going to find a Trader Joe’s for the sole purpose of stocking up on this little gem.

The Snapea Crisps disappeared in about two days… not my usual snack food, but I think I’ve been converted. The crunch is perfect.

Dark chocolate cranberries. DOUBLE WIN! I’ve been savoring these. I also love that they are local to Mass. Kudos!

Ben ate the fruit strip. Grrr…..

Obviously I loved the popcorn and pretzels… two weaknesses…what can I say. I’m also trying really hard to savor these…we’ll see how I do.

Another huge thank you to Collyn! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this!

If you’re interested in becoming a Foodie Penpal, here are some details. To sign up, visit this page! You must sign up by the 4th of the month.

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

 

Happy Tuesday!


Whipped. Chocolate. What?!

Two weekends ago, Farmer Ben and I went for our semi-regular Saturday morning coffee date, followed by the farmers’ market.

I ordered my usual-unsweetened iced coffee with cream…Ben went for a froo-froo drink.

Actually, allow me to clarify; I contemplated getting a kicked-up, flavored, slushy, coffee drink, but changed my mind, partially because I got the judging eyes from Ben. Then I ordered my iced coffee and he ordered the drink I had decided against. 

My jaw dropped and I let him know how shocked I was… and then, something amazing happened.  Our barista gave me a brilliant idea.

“You know,” she said,  “Chocolate whipped cream on your iced coffee would make it so much better!”

I had never thought of that! 

“I’ll allow it,”  I replied. 

It was delicious.

I’ve been thinking about chocolate whipped cream ever since. It’s the perfect combination, light and fluffy but with just enough give. Not too sweet, yet full of flavor.  So simple…yet, just the right amount of … extra.

I’ve felt a need to whip some up and last night was the perfect chance. The hubs and I both had the night off so I volunteered to make dinner.

As the weather has been especially hot as of late, I opted for something simple. Lentil patties over a salad with yogurt sauce…and raspberry sorbet for dessert.

Don’t get me wrong, I love raspberry sorbet as is… but last night, I needed that something extra.

So I made chocolate whipped cream. Then I chopped up a dark chocolate espresso bar that had been hanging out in our cupboard and sprinkled some over the top. Suddenly, a simple dessert was taken to the next level of delish.

I apologize for the photo quality but I couldn’t stand it any longer-I had to wolf this down!

And now, without further ado, here’s the recipe! Per my usual M.O., I didn’t really measure, so the best way to make this is to taste. Enjoy!

Chocolate Whipped Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup  (1/2 pint) Heavy Cream
  • 2-4 tbsp. Powdered Sugar- do this to taste… I prefer a creamy flavor rather than a super sweet, using less sugar.
  • 1-2 tbsp. Cocoa Powder- again, to taste. I didn’t really measure but 1 or 2 tbsp. is a good amount.
  • A Splash of Vanilla (1-2 tsp.)

Process:

Pour heavy whipping cream into a bowl and beat using an electric mixer.

When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder to taste, continue to beat.

Add in splash of vanilla. 

Beat just until stiff peaks form.

If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

Serve over ice cream, fruit, cake or with your favorite coffee. It’s a great life decision.


Noelle’s Notes to Self

I often make mental notes…sometimes I even write them down. Here is a look at what goes on inside my head-at least what was going on yesterday and today.

1. Check pants before putting them on, they may have a hole in them.

2. Wear black underwear if you have a hole in your black pants, it’ll help disguise this fact.

3. If you know you’re not going to get a chance to pee, don’t continue to chug water. (I failed at this.)

4.  I think it’s time to buy some new pants. And to figure out what the heck size I wear these days. I also need heels. And shirts.

5. Buy butter. There is never enough in our house. Especially after kitchen mishaps…

6. Make more peanut butter cookies. (I succeeded at this.)

7. Run run run run run run run!

8. Iced coffee would greatly improve my day.

9. It is definitely a big sunglasses and messy bun kind of day.

10. To post the latest awkward story? Or not to post?

11. Apparently butter and a hot oven don’t mix. Who knew? (okay, that wasn’t actually mine,  I won’t name names to avoid embarrassing this person.)

12. At this time last year, I was going crazy planning a wedding and working crazy hours. This year, I attended a wedding and am still working crazy hours. Life makes me smile.

13. I eat really odd things when left to my own devices. Like sardines.

14. Find tonic that isn’t full of high fructose corn syrup.

15. Until then, drink this instead. With something local. (Check.)

16. Finish the three two other blog posts I started.

17. Pick up items for giveaway.

18. Give Farmer Ben a big kiss. He is way too good to me.

19. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEND!

20. I’m getting old. Falling asleep before 9 pm is ridiculous.

21. Mail Foodie Penpal Package. (Check.)

22. Where the heck is all my chapstick?

23.  I need more cheese in my life.

24. I love Leonardo DiCaprio… and pickles.

25. Holy Cow! This is my 71st blog post!

26. The Ragnar Relay is actually happening! AH!!!! See number 7. Repeat often.

27. Good luck tomorrow Liz! You are gonna rock it!!!!

The End.


Delicious and Dirty (Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies)

This week I felt the ill effects of over-indulgence.

Last week, Ben and I pigged out. I’m talking cheeseburgers, french fries, beer, potatoes, kielbasa,  barbecue, cheese and wine-lots of it.

Monday morning I woke up feeling a hangover of sorts from all of the ridiculous things I had consumed in the days before. I exhibited all of the following symptoms: bloating, pimples, big hair, dry mouth, big sunglasses and headaches. I felt like I was 15 again. Not pretty.

There was one thing I was craving: salad. Lots of glorious greens. I didn’t need it fancy, I just wanted vinegar and lettuce. Something to get my digestive system back on track.

It’s now Friday and I’ve eaten salad every day this week. It feels good. Wednesday was my favorite:  it was a salad of beet greens, red leaf and butter lettuce, scallions, parsley, beets and local goat cheese, topped with a mustard vinaigrette. My hubs is totally boss.

But after all that green stuff,  I needed something naughty. And I had an excuse; it was my turn to bring snack for my small group.

So I made cookies. Delicious dirty cookies.  I found some all natural dark chocolate peanut butter the other night and was dying to try it out. I’m so glad I did.

These cookies are just right. They are chewy, light and full of air-They are gluten-free. They are full of big flavors without imposing on your belly in giant cookie form. Do it to it. You’ll be the biggest hit of the party.

You’re jaw is going to hit the floor when you see the list of ingredients. Easy peasy.

I’ll have to make these again to update with photos-I was in a hurry and didn’t think about snapping a quick picture… my apologies!

(Chocolate) Peanut Butter Cookies

barely adapted from Joy the Baker

What you’ll need:

  • 1-1/4  cup Peanut Butter  (I used 1/2 cup creamy all- natural, 3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter)-if you are using regular peanut butter-use 1 cup, add some cocoa powder or some semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted with a splash of vanilla.
  • 1 not-quite-cup brown sugar-the darker the better!
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 scant teaspoon smoked salt (you can find this at any specialty food store or co-op-Amazing find.) OR, use some regular sea salt.
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips-a few handfuls

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine peanut butter and sugar (if you’re using the cocoa/baking chocolate, add this in now as well). You can use your KitchenAid or mixer, but  I just used a pastry blender.

Add baking soda and egg. Mix until well blended.

If you’re using chocolate chips and smoked salt, throw those in the bowl and mix until incorporated into the dough.

Roll into walnut sized balls (they don’t have to be perfect, perfect is boring!)  and transfer to baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and cookies feel firm.  Makes about 30 cookies.

Enjoy!