New food/drink product roundup

It sure is nice when companies send samples of new food and drink products to review! Here are a few more we tried recently:

Unwind (TM) Low Calorie Relaxation Beverage–This is the opposite of Red Bull. In fact, it’s the polar opposite of those high caffeine drinks. Unwind contains a natural blend of melatonin, valerian root, rose hips and passion flower, and comes in Goji Grape, Pom Berry and Citrus Orange flavors. I tried them all, but not all at the same time. Let me tell you, this stuff works. I would advise that you drink it in the evening or before bed, because it relaxed me to the point of making me extremely sleepy. Not only that, this stuff, despite being low in calories, is delicious. The citrus is a tad bitter but the grape and berry flavors are awesome. Now I need to find more of it. If you’d like to, check out the Unwind website. Happy relaxing!

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Utz new pretzel pieces are bursting with flavor

We recently reviewed Utz Pretzels and talked about how generally awesome they are.

But Utz, like most snack companies, is constantly trying to improve their brand and to compete with other snack makers. So for this summer, Utz introduced, among other new snacks, these pretzel pieces in three flavors–Cheddar, Buttermilk Ranch, and Honey Mustard and Onion.

Now, these aren’t like regular pretzels that are crispy and malty and salty and awesome. The flavored pieces are more like a different kind of snack altogether, with the pretzel being a vehicle for the flavor of choice. And Utz brings the flavor in a big way, in some cases a bit too much. Here is how we sum up these pretzel pieces:

Cheddar–Okay, scratch what I just said about not being like regular pretzels. Because one thing you notice here is that these are Utz Pretzels, which are in a different class than most pretzel brands. Then you get the big cheddar flavor, which is sharp and bold and holds up to the palate of this Wisconsin based cheese snob.

Buttermilk Ranch–Well, this one wasn’t as pleasant. The ranch flavor is quite processed, like they took the pretzels and shook them in a bag of Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix. It also had an unpleasant onion-y aftertaste.

Honey Mustard & Onion–Unlike the ranch and cheddar, this flavor wasn’t as potent, but subtle enough to where you keep tasting the different flavors coming together as one. And with that, you want to keep eating them. Or at least I did. These are actually NOT too onion-y, and the sweet mustard flavor is awesome.

We received samples of all of the new Utz Snacks, so we’ll be reviewing more in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, if you try these pretzel pieces, feel free to leave your own comment in the space below. Thanks for reading and munching with me!

  

Utz does pretzels right

They don’t make pretzels like they used to. Pretzels you buy in the store either don’t have enough salt, are too bland or buttery or boring. And don’t get me started on soft pretzels, which Auntie Anne’s has pretty much ruined for all of America. However, there is hope, and there are still awesome pretzels sold in bags and in tubs. And the best of these is Utz brand pretzels. I found these in stores occasionally when living in New York, but hadn’t seen them since moving away from there years ago. But I found Utz products recently online, and bought a few different types of pretzels. Not only do they taste exactly as I remember, but they seem to be even better.

I bought a bag each of the rings, small logs and regular logs. Utz pretzels have very few ingredients so they taste fresh and not processed. And they don’t have that fake shine that most store-brought pretzels have. They are crunchy, generously salted, and just plain delicious. In fact, after going through the three bags rather quickly, I ordered two more large tubs of Utz pretzel rods. Yum.

Oh, and for good measure I also tried the 7-grain pretzels Utz carries. Amazingly, these are also delicious. With seven whole grains, meaning lots of healthy fiber, these are snacks you can feel good about eating and feeding your kids. It can’t be easy to make something healthy taste this good, but Utz delivers, again.

More Utz snack reviews coming soon……

  

Wholly Queso is here and it’s queso-licious

With all of the processed foods out there that have an ingredient list as long as a phone book, it’s refreshing that there are companies going in the opposite direction. One such company is Fresherized Foods, which has brought us the Wholly Brand of guacamole and salsa for a while now.

Well, now they have taken snacking to a whole new level, with the introduction of Wholly Queso dips. Wholly Queso is made with real cheese and vegetables, and you have to refrigerate it, which is always a good sign when you’re trying to put less junk in your body.

The fine folks at Bow Wow Consulting sent us an awesome cooler filled with these dips, as well as a few other Wholly Brand products and chips to try them with to boot! And the verdict is this….the queso is simply awesome and you should go find it now. Seriously! Here are some more detailed thoughts:

Wholly Queso Classic–This was the more orange tinged queso, and instantly you can tell this is restaurant quality stuff, not the kind of queso you find in a jar near the Doritos. The taste is fresh and has both a sharp cheddar bite and nice chili pepper undertone.

Wholly Queso Blanco–This one was my favorite. It was even more authentically Mexican and had more pepper flavor, and an even sharper cheese bite. Plus, it was spicier than the Classic, and spicier is always better.

Wholly Salsa–The salsa also comes in a refrigerated tub and is incredibly fresh tasting, just like the stuff you get in most Mexican restaurants. The tomatoes were abundant with just the right amount of onion and jalapenos, but the only thing that would have made it better was if there was some cilantro. Of course, you can always add your own.

Wholly Guacamole dip–If you don’t have time to make guacamole and are looking for something quick and easy yet healthy, this is the stuff. You cut open the pouch and squeeze it into a serving bowl and start dipping. It’s creamy and homemade tasting, and, like the salsa, it also doesn’t kill you with onions. The spicy version of the guacamole is even better, but only if you dig spicy food. If you don’t, you’ve probably stopped reading by now anyway.

Wholly Party Dip–This is the guacamole with a layer of spicy pico de gallo on top. The pico de gallo is really spicy, and again, not too onion-y. The combination of flavors is incredible and really works. And the best part is, all you do is open the container and start dipping!

So there you go. You can find Wholly Brand dips in most grocery stores and for more information, go to www.fresherizedfoods.com

  

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