I have a whole bunch of things to review and instead of doing individual reviews which would have been incredibly short, here they all are together.
1. Mary's Organic Crackers - Herb
These are wheat- and gluten-free and have been eying me for months, years even. Seriously. As soon as they hit the retail store I was working at at the time, I had to have them. So what stopped me? The $6 price tag (despite my discount) and the fact that they look a little sketchy. I'm picky when it comes to crackers. I'm a huge fan of water crackers, Triscuit low-sodium crackers with prosciutto and brie and I'm a huge fan of Ryvita crackers with a smear of cream cheese topped with prosciutto or cucumber slices or radishes, but other than that, I'm not crazy about crackers. I should be since they're easy to snack on and fairly small so they can be tucked into my purse for emergency snacks. The only thing is that, as you can tell, I don't like plain crackers. Oh wait, I forgot the main point I was getting at...one of my co-workers told me that the crackers were a little "weird" and after hearing that, I never bothered to purchase.
But lo and behold, after all my food blog reading and after reading about everyone calling Mary's Crackers, Mary's Crack...I had to give them a chance. So here my friends, is my long-awaited taste of Mary's Organic Crackers in Herb flavour:Quite brown and kind of weird looking. One side--the side you see here--was kind of shiny, while the other side was more matte. It was a little bizarre. The box, upon opening, smelled super strong...of a bunch of weird herbs. It was kind of over-powering and off-putting at first.
Purchased from: Shoppers Drug Mart but also available in grocery stores
Purchase again: I'm on the fence.
2. Vita Coco
I've been reading about Vito Coco water from various food bloggers but it was Heather from Heather Eats Almond Butter whose frequent photos of Vita Coco water made me jot it down on my list of things to get while at Whole Foods. I was a little shocked at the $2 sticker price. I mean really, $2 for a little 330mL tetra pak? That's more than a can of a pop for less than you'd get in a can of pop. And it's just coconut water! But I love coconuts! And it's a natural way to rehydrate!! Ugh!! So many conflicting thoughts were running through my head. As much as I love coconuts and fresh coconut water (my dad sometimes buys young coconuts for 2 for $3), could I really justify buying a small box of coconut water for $2--and mind you, this was actually the sale price. There was a larger size available for $6.99 but what if I didn't like it? So I decided to stick with the smaller size instead and went with the regular and one pineapple flavoured water. Here's my box of the 100% pure coconut water. Note its tiny sizeI stuck that baby in the fridge and drank it when it was cold and holy shit! was that ever good. I mean, I'm not kidding! Anyone that knows me knows that I drink things incredibly slow. It's one of the reasons I cannot drink things in a can unless I'm at home because I know I'll never finish them and so drinks from a can either a) have to be split with someone else or b) put back into the fridge where the gaseous drink will fizzle out.
This coconut water went fast, I mean, REALLY fast. Immediately upon finishing I wanted another one. I wanted the pineapple one and I wanted it NOW. But my will-power prevailed and I was able to keep the other Vita Coco (with pineapple) in the fridge for later consumption. Said coconut water was consumed a few days later after a stressful day at work (I no longer drink as much water as I used to since we're not allowed to have food/drinks in the lab) and I felt really dehydrated once I got home. Hey, what better way to rehydrate than with a Vita Coco?! So I downed that baby pretty quickly. Only bad thing about the pineapple version is that it's pretty strong so the pineapple kind of overpowers the coconut flavour in my opinion. It's more like pineapple with a hint of coconut rather than vice-versa, which I would have preferred.
Overall though, I am hooked. Following the weekend when I had run out of my two precious boxes of Vita Coco, Sean and I wandered into a sketchy Asian market looking for a substitute but nothing suitable was found. I was really surprised though. I'm not taken with the idea of subbing my precious Vita Coco for anything other than the juice of a fresh young coconut.
Cost: 2 for $4 (on sale)
Purchased from: Whole Foods
Purchase again: Hell yes!
3. Liberte Greek yogurt
I've always been a big fan of Liberte's products. From their milk to organic yogurt to their Mediteranee-style thick yogurt, Liberte has always gotten a gold star from me; that's why I was so excited to see a Liberte Greek-style yogurt in store. I didn't even know how much it was since there was no price tag, it was a new product on the shelves, but there was a $1 off coupon so I grabbed one of each (a tub and a coupon) and happily placed it into my basket.I decided that the first way to enjoy my Greek yogurt was with some buckwheat cereal and fruits. What better way to enjoy the natural taste of Greek yogurt, but boy was I in for a shock. It was mega tart. A kind of tart that I couldn't even get accustomed to. The yogurt would be good for cooking applications but it would definitely not be something I would snack on, or even use for breakfast. Blech!
Cost: $3.99 (with my $1 off coupon)
Purchased from: Sobey's
Purchase again: I'm afraid not
4. Larabar - Coconut Dream
In my never-ending quest to find energy bars that actually taste good, I stumbled upon Larabars at my most recent jaunt into Whole Foods. Larabars are quite popular amongst the bloggers I read on a daily basis and the Coconut Dream flavour caught my eye, as well as the "low sodium" advertisement. Surely, my dad would be proud! Here's the bar in action:And the nutritional label:A bit calorie rich for a "snack" but again, these are touted as an energy bar, so I suppose eating them right after eating lunch wasn't the greatest of ideas but I wanted something sweet and this was all I had. Here's the short list of ingredients:
I like coconut and it appeared twice on the list...how awful could the bar be? Well, I've decided that I am no longer purchasing bars where "dates" appear as the first ingredient on the list. Unless dates are fresh or dried and eaten as is, I'm just not a fan of them. Out of every energy bar I've tasted in which dates were a primary ingredient, the consistency and taste never sat well in my mouth. It was a two-bite taste and then it went back in my lunch bag. And that's where it stayed...for days...because I felt guilty throwing it out since it cost me $2.39 plus tax--for one freakin' bar!
Purchased from: Whole Foods
Purchase again: No :(
5. So Delicious - Vanilla Bean
If you're not familiar with the So Delicious brand, they manufacture dairy-free frozen treats. Typically their treats are made with soy milk but they also have a line of products made with coconut milk, perfect for people like me who can't consume anything made with soy.
To be honest, I've been dying to try So Delicious ice cream made with coconut milk for ages but every time I'm in a grocery store that carries the coconut milk variety, I'm always far away from home and therefore, can't purchase a pint without it melting. A late-night trip to Metro was a major score because not only did we get the following:we scored it for $1.99 since there wasn't a price when the cashier scanned it. Ah-ma-zing! So onto the product. Look at the inside, real specks of vanilla bean!Here are the nutritionals for a 1/2 cup serving:Not a bad 160 calorie treat, I'd say. And here are the ingredients:Organic and all natural = delicious! Unfortunately, that wasn't quite the case. Not for me, anyway. The aftertaste was a little too much for me to handle. I don't know what it was...perhaps the chicory root?...but it was just too much; I left the carton at Sean's.
Purchased from: Whole Foods
Purchase again: No :(
6. Tropical Treets Ice Cream - Coconut
At $5.99, this was definitely a "treet." Was it worth it? Yes. It tastes completely and utterly of coconut heaven! It was so good I forgot to take a pic of the ingredient list and well, this was technically Sean's ice cream choice. I chose the bomb above. If you love coconut, you will love this ice cream. That is all. The ice cream is even made locally, within a 30-minute drive of my house, according to Google Maps.
Purchased from: Metro in Stouffville
Purchase again: Hells yes!
So that's all the reviews from this round. Let me know if you've tried any of these products and what you think.