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60 Degrees and Muddy

Posted Feb 17 2011 11:18pm

60 degrees and sunny would have been better….but I’ll take what I can get! :)

I was so excited to go for a run in the warm(er) weather today! It was fabulous despite being a little slippery and wet from the melting snow. Check out the mud!

 

soggy shoes

 

 

Besides the awesome weather and the awesome run….I also got two really great sampler packages to test out for you all!

One from Coconut Secret and one from Cavewoman Bars…..I was so excited about both of these! And rightfully so cause they both rocked!

First up, Coconut Secret !

This company specializes in raw, organic coconut based products with a special focus on the nutrient dense sap of the coconut. Here’s a little background info on coconut sap:

“Coconut palms are one of the oldest flowering trees in the world.  For centuries throughout the tropics, the traditional practice of “tapping” coconut trees for their prized “sap” is a time-honored art form.  The nutrient-rich sap that exudes from the blossoms before they mature into coconuts, is used to make many unique and nutritious food products.  The Coconut Secret line is the direct result of these artisanal family recipes.”

The nice people over at Coconut Secret sent me 3 of their unique products to sample:

Raw Coconut Crystals, Raw Coconut Aminos, and Raw Coconut Nectar!

I am all about natural sweeteners so I immediately wanted to make something with the nectar and crystals.

I actually made a batch of my Pumpkin Protein cookies with the crystals. They turned out fabulous with a slightly sweeter taste then usual.

The crystals actually taste and smell a lot like brown sugar, except 100 x healthier and of course natural since they comes only and directly from coconuts….so the crystals would be a perfect alternative in a recipe calling for brown sugar.

My mom actually tried the nectar in her coffee…she usually used raw honey.

She was expecting it to have a more coconutty flavor but the products say right on the package that the sap does not have a coconut flavor. We both agreed that it tasted like a cross between maple syrup and agave nectar. Flavorful and not overly sweet. I can’t wait to try this for baking as well!

The aminos are said to be good alternative to soy sauce, with less sodium and of course no soy. So, I used the aminos just as I would use soy sauce.

I created a little sauce for some veggies by combining the coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, a bit of the nectar, and ginger! It turned out great and I could really taste the unique flavor of the aminos…..almost had a smokey flavor<- which I loved! I think it is a great alternative to high sodium, low nutritional value soy sauce!

Overall I thought these Coconut Secret products were so unique and I am really happy I got a chance to try them!

********

Next up, Cavewoman Bars !

Doesn’t the name get ya interested! And not to mention the awesome packaging….

Animal prints? LOVE IT! Hahaha I loved these bars before I ever even tried them! They are vegan, 100% natural, no sugar added, and gluten free…wonderful, huh?

And the amazing flavors just added to my excitement:

Blueberry Pancake-I loved how the blueberry taste was really pronounced and the addition of the maple flavor really made this bar taste like blueberry pancakes! Some bars that have blueberries as their main flavor rely on a ton of sweetener to make the flavor come through…but not these bars! The blueberry was spot on and not too sweet like actual blueberries are!

PB&J- This one reminded me of the Larabar PB&J bar, but with more pronounced peanut flavor that I definitely enjoyed. The combo of salty peanuts and sweet fruit is perfect and this bar encompassed those flavors so well! No need to make a sandwich if you have this bar.

Baklava- Wow, if you have ever had Baklava you will know what I mean when I say this bar tasted exactly like the real thing! SO decadently delicious for having only 5 ingredients! The dates completely take the place of the honey that is usually fond in Baklava and the pistachios were a perfect addition….I LOVE pistachios!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake-I loved the combo of two of my favorite dried fruits in this bar: cherries and pineapple. Tropical tasting bars are so light and refreshing! The pecans added the perfect amount of crunch and contrast to the sweet fruits.

Banana Nut Bread- You all know how I feel about fake (nasty) banana tastes…but the banana in this bar was anything but fake! It tasted like a perfectly ripe banana with the sweetness that banana bread has. The addition of lemon was so interesting but it really worked well with the other flavors! Very similar to the GNU Banana Bread flavor if you have ever tried one of those.

I really enjoyed all the bars immensely! Fruit and nut bars are one of my favorite snacks and with these being no sugar added and completely raw….well it doesn’t get any better than that! Alyssa, the Cavewoma n herself!, was so sweet when I contacted her about reviewing her products and I just want to thank her again for her generosity!

Tomorrow is Friday!!! YES! Celebrate yourselves this weekend!


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