Product Review: The Chia Co: Chia Seeds

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I received a couple of sachets of chia seeds in the December Goodness Me box. I think we’ve established by now that I really enjoy being able to eat healthy foods when they’re in a delicious snack. The chia seeds as a standalone product, I have to admit I was at a bit of a loss with what to do with these.

What is it: Chia seeds! And more chia seeds, and a few more… That’s all there is to it. So chia seeds are loaded with lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants so are quite healthy for you. The recommendation is to just add the chia seeds to foods such as cereal or yoghurt or salads and include them in your diet that way.

Is it any good: I tried it with my cereal and don’t really rate it, especially not if you’re having Sultana Bran or Cornflakes, the chia seeds almost turn it into like a gritty sludge and they kinda get stuck in your teeth. I didn’t find anything amazing happened to my body or my energy levels or anything like that when I had it so sure it might be one of those healthy foods but with just a couple of sachets it’s hard to feel the benefits.

I did manage to get my hands on an extra couple of samples so if anyone else has any ideas I’d love to hear what meals or even snacks you’ve made that you have included these in. I am thinking hiding them in something like spaghetti bolognese, maybe the cooking will soften them up a bit?

Value for money: Catch of the Day are selling at 500g bag of these for $16.99 which, when you think of what it is doesn’t sound too bad but it would make me think twice about investing in it.

Recommendation: If you can pick up some samples see if you can find a way to include it in your diet and let me know if you noticed any difference with your body. Personally I probably wouldn’t purchase this, not at the price that it is.

Product Review: Kookas Natural: Oat Coconut

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I received a sample of this product in the December Goodness Me box. It’s another sweet treat which gets me excited, I like combining healthy and yummy so was looking forward to trying this.

What is it: They’re cookies, om nom nom! They’re about the size of an Aussie 50c piece, so only small but they’re 100% natural, and these ones in particular are a healthy version of the Anzac biscuit, so it’s full of coconut, oat, cinnamon, even sultanas. They do contain gluten, nuts and sulphates though.

Is it any good: You know I’m one of those fortunate ones; gluten, nuts and sulphates don’t bother me so these treats are fine for me to snack on. They were quite flavoursome and moist, not so much like a cookie, almost like a cake crossed with a cookie. Reminds me of Jaffa Cakes…sort of.

I will say this though, the calorie content in these little buggers in enormous. Just one of them is a serving size…and they’re the size of a 50c piece. Given that, these aren’t a snack that would keep me satiated for very long, or make me feel like I’ve been able to really indulge because it’s just too darn small.

Value for money: Kookas sell packets of these on their website for $11.95 for a 150gm packet. To me this is really quite expensive, but I guess when you think about cost per serving size maybe it isn’t so bad? If you don’t mind small serves?

Recommendation: I’m conflicted, I thought these were really yummy, but I just can’t get past that serving size. I would want to eat a whole lot more of them before I felt satisfied, so for me I wouldn’t bother, there are so many other options out there. But if you don’t mind a small serving size then for sure, try these out.

Product Review: Goodness: Organic Chia Seed Oil

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I received a small bottle of this in the December Goodness Me box, and was quite interested to see what benefits chia seed oil could offer me, whether my skin as this recommends or even applying it to my hair and cuticles.

What is it: It’s the oil that comes from chia seeds when you “squeeze the bejesus outta these little seeds”. Supposedly the oil contains a whole lot of nutrients; omega 3, essential fatty acids, B-vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants. The website suggests using it on your face, it can be under moisturiser or make up, or just on its own, and the recommendation is to do this morning and night.

Is it any good: I didn’t like this product. At all. Primary reason, it stank to high hell. To me it almost had a strong fishy smell that lingered on the skin for a good few hours. If you like that smell great, I find it rather awful. It’s supposed to smell nutty and earthy so maybe it’s just my noses interpretation of those smells? The oil and the smell are also supposed to vanish as soon as you put it on, and it most certainly didn’t on my skin, the smell lingered and so did the oily, greasy feeling. To give you an idea I also tried this on a patch of dry skin on my hand (thanks to the work air conditioner) and it did nothing. So then I Googled other uses and saw mention that it can be good for the hair as well, nice and enriching and leaving it feeling soft and silky. I didn’t notice an improvement to my hair either but then my hair has never been dry or anything either.

Value for money: Priceline were selling 20mL bottles of this for $11.99, but are currently out of stock. It seems kinda gimmicky to me so the price is probably ok for something like this.

Recommendation: Pass. Yep, definitely skip over this one if you see it.

Product Review: Harvest Box: Health Bombs

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I received a snack pack of the Health Bombs in Crazy Cacao in the December Goodness Me box. Going by the card in the box I was lucky to get the Health Bombs rather than the Power Mix, which are like nut and seed mixes which I find utterly boring. So I was quite pleased to get these Health Bombs instead which are like sweet little nuggets of healthy goodness!

What is it: They’re small bitesized balls that are cold pressed, no added ingredient combinations of cacao, chia and cashew, plus dates, whey protein and coconut. A serving of this snack is about 40g and is worth 136 calories, so it’s a really decent size without being too high in energy for a snack.

Is it any good: Oh they are so yummy! They have a sweetness from the dates and the coconut and are a great snack to nibble on and are just filling enough. There are a couple of other flavours of Health Bombs as well that look tasty, Gogo Goji, Berry Bazooka and Banana Smoothie.

Value for money: I have found these for sale on the Coles website for $2.75 per snack pack which is a little on the pricey side for just one snack pack.

Recommendation: They are a relatively new snack I think so not readily available everywhere, apparently you can get them at Coles supermarket but I have yet to spot them. If you can find them I’d definitely try a pack and see what you think!

Product Review: Food for Health: Vanilla Blueberry Bar

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I received one of these muesli bars in the December Goodness Me box. Muesli bars aren’t typically something that interest me as a snack, when they’re tasty ones I find that they can be quite calorie dense without being satisfying, and when they’re the healthy kind, they’re just bland..and still unsatisfying.

What is it: It’s a muesli bar, a healthy one though. So it is gluten free, no added sugar and also low in fructose, it also contains superfoods, teff and quinoa for protein, so it’s everything you could want for a healthy muesli bar.

Is it any good: It’s ok. I’m not particularly a muesli bar fan anyway, so me saying it’s ok, well if you like muesli bars you’ll probably like this one. I had expected for a healthy muesli bar it would be bland and gritty from seeds and what not, but this one had just enough blueberry bits dotted throughout it to give it a bit of sweetness. It was maybe a little “stick in the teeth” sort of thing because of all those small seeds like chia, and I’m guessing it was the rice syrup that helped it stick there. But overall, yeah it was ok for a muesli bar!

Value for money: The Aussie Health website are selling a 6 pack for $7.95 which is quite pricey, you could pick up like a 12 pack of Coles muesli bars for about that price, but then they wouldn’t be anywhere near so healthy!

Recommendation: If you are a health nut or want to encourage your kids to be a health nut, and have the budget for it, then it might be worth trying this product out as a healthy alternative.

Product Review: Morlife: Choc Coated Goji Berries

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I received a sample sachet of this snack treat in the December Goodness Me Box. I’m always on the hunt for healthy snacks that are substantial, filling and tasty. Plus I’ve never tried goji berries before, so I was really looking forward to this one.

What is it: Goji berries covered in decadent dark chocolate is what it is, yum! The idea behind Morlife creating this was to have a nutrient dense snack that was still super tasty. As a bonus this snack is also gluten free, it doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives, so is totally guilt free.

Is it any good: Oh my gosh, I loved this snack, it was absolutely delicious. There’s the sweetness from the chocolate, and the goji berries which was like a sweet berry crossed with sultana type flavour. The aftertaste was a bit like an ovaltine, so overall it was a lovely sweet treat.

Value for money: You can buy packets of this directly from the Morlife website for $7.95 for a 150g packet, though I think I’ve seen them in Coles for about a dollar cheaper. Keep in mind the suggested serving size is 10g, but you could bump that up to 30g and still keep it under 150 calories, so overall it’s not a bad price really.

Recommendation: If you’re a sweet tooth like me and looking for a healthy snack alternative which is still sweet and you can have a decent size of without ingesting too many calories, then I would definitely try this out.

Product Review: Table of Plenty: Lemon and Herb Dukkah

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I received a box of the Lemon and Herb Dukkah in the December Goodness Me Box. I don’t mind dukkah, I think there are some really amazing flavours out there, but it’s not something I eat on a regular basis. I had to try this though, so I packed myself a special afternoon tea one day at work with fresh bread, olive oil and the dukkah so that I could try it out. I even sat in an office on my own so that I wasn’t disturbed, how dedicated is that?!

What is it: Dukkah is a blend of seeds and nuts with some spices thrown in. It’s a traditional North African food and can be great just with fresh bread and olive oil, or you could use it on fish or in a salad, or almost anything really. This particular dukkah’s base is almonds and it uses Australian lemons plus a combination of herbs and spices such as coriander, basil and sumac for flavouring.

Is it any good: It wasn’t too bad. The reason I tried it with just bread and olive oil was so that I could get a strong idea of the flavour of it. It’s pretty subtle though and I could only really taste a hint of the lemon and herbs in it. I would have preferred something a bit stronger so you get a real flavour hit, but if you were just using this as say an appetiser before a main meal it would probably work well. That subtle flavour would be just enough so that guests didn’t feel the need to gobble it all up and not have room for the rest of the meals!

Value for money: Table of Plenty sell this on their website for $3.50 which isn’t bad for something that can be used at a dinner party. For every day cooking though, I would stick with my normal array of seasonings which would be more cost effective.

Recommendation: Worth a shot if you’re looking for something with a soft flavour for a dinner party.

Product Review: Sealand Birk Birch Water

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I received a 330mL bottle of the original flavour birch water in the December Goodness Me Box. Honestly, I’m a simple kinda gal when it comes to my water, I don’t really go for flavoured waters or anything like that, preferring to keep it plain. Still I was interested to see what this water would be like, how different it would taste to normal tap or filtered water.

What is it: Birch water is water that is harvested directly from a Birch tree in early spring and contains a buttload of sap which is supposed to be good for you and also makes the water taste a little bit sweeter as well. It is also 100% organic and claims to boost your body and mind as well.

Is it any good: The taste of the water reminds me of cross between honey and maple syrup, and it’s not a subtle flavour either, it’s quite strong. That sweetness being so strong makes it unpalatable for me. I got through half a bottle, with lots of face scrunching and then had to give it up. I shared it with a guy that I work with though and he quite liked it, he didn’t think it was too sweet, he quite enjoyed it. So I think it’s just a matter of personal taste.

Value for money: You can buy this direct from the Sealand Birk website for $44.00 for a pack of 10 330mL bottles which is quite expensive.

Recommendation: It depends what you like in terms of flavour, for instance if I was feeling dehydrated I could easily down a bottle of Powerade, but I wouldn’t be able to down a small bottle of this, it just tastes way sweeter than Powerade, almost sickly. Because of that, personally, I wouldn’t buy this drink.

Goodness Me Box – December 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI signed up for a new subscription box just recently which is called the Goodness Me Box and each month it sends you a sample of foodstuffs to try out. Lots of different kinds of good, healthy foods, some organic, some fair trade, some of the food that is raging currently like chocolate goji berries! So below are pictures of what I got in this first box.

Sealand Birk: Birch Water which is water that comes from a tree somehow… Read the review!

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Table of Plenty: Lemon and Herb Dukkah, which I like to have with a bit of oil and bread but can also be added to veggies or soups or just about anything. Read the review!

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Oxfam: Green and English Breakfast tea, this is fair-trade and organic tea. Read the review!

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Goodness: Organic Chia Seed Oil, this is actually for the skin to help hydrate and nourish it. Read the review!

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Spiral Foods: Organic Bonsoy Tofu which is am organic tofu that apparently has a silken and smooth texture. [Update: I gave this away to one of my friends because I don’t like Tofu, but they thought it was a nice one!]

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Morlife: Choc Coated Goji Berries, a yummy, healthy indulgent snack! Read the review!

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Food for Health: Vanilla Blueberry Bar, another healthy snack that is gluten free, low fructose and no added sugar. Read the review!

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Harvest Box: Health Bombs, a healthy treat made of fruit and nut goodness. Read the review!

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The Chia Co: Chia Seeds, they are great for boosting nutrition and can be sprinkled on the morning bowl of cereal, or just about anything else really. Read the review!

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Kookas Natural: Oat Coconut, these are a naturopathically designed cookie range. Read the review!

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Have you ever heard of this box before? What do you think of it? I’ll be doing quick reviews of everything I try in these boxes so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Take care,

Jas