In like a lion, out like a lion! That’s how I viewed March in Chicago! Luckily, last month I tried some really fun new foods + products that helped keep spirits up when the weather was down! I do a lot of product reviews in the fall but thought it would be fun to it pick back up again when we’re not in pumpkin season to share what I thought of some fun things I tried this month! You guys often ask how are things when I post about them in my stories or on my Instagram page, which is why I wanted to answer all of your questions and more below! Please note, I received samples of these products and am not being compensated to write this. All opinions are my own!
This post does include affiliate links that will take you to my Amazon list of pumpkin products and more! I do receive a small commission if you purchase something off the list, but I promise you they wouldn’t be on there if I didn’t try them for myself and approve! Happy shopping!
Rao’s Homemade – Do you crave restaurant style red sauce on pasta? Is mostaccioli your jam at family gatherings that cater in food? If so this sauce should be in your cart! I was lucky enough to receive samples of Rao’s Homemade marinara sauce, garlic roasted garlic sauce and lemon cooking sauce, and have been asking myself why I hadn’t been purchasing this stuff before! As you can see here, I’ve experimented with it mainly on Banza pasta, but also dipped a panini sandwich in it which was delicious! They also have a sensitive version of their marinara sauce for people with food sensitivities to onion and garlic. It contains no onion or garlic, and is lower sodium than their original marinara sauce.
Fawen Soups – Polish holidays are filled with two things. Beets, and cabbage…aka sauerkraut! Imagine my surprise when I saw these very two things combined into one of the Fawen soup flavors! To be honest, I never ate that soup as a child, but this time around I actually enjoyed it! Fawen soups has a line of ready-to-drink when on-the-go soups in flavors like broccoli and cauliflower with turmeric, and sweet potato lentil with cinnamon (my favorite of the three). All the soups are dairy free, gluten free, vegan, and organic. With just 5 grams of sugar per serving, these soups pack more vegetables then you probably consume individually a day making them a great way to add nutrients to your diet.
Skinny Soups – Staying on the soup trend, I also sampled new flavors of Skinny Soups that are now available in Whole Foods, and Fresh Thyme in the Chicago-land area. Their spicy super greens soup was the firs soup I’ve ever drank cold and throughly enjoyed. Maybe I was extra hungry at the time, but the flavor and texture was really good and it had a little bit of a kick to it that I liked too! Nutritionally they are high in fiber from all of the vegetables packed in which makes them an awesome choice for lunch because of that staying power.
Hippeas– Two words. Grown-up funyuns. That’s the first thing I thought of when I tried these chickpea based snacks! I broke open a bag of the white cheddar and for a minute it took me back to my childhood when I ate those chips. Yep, I sure did! Hippeas snacks are vegan and one ounce comes in at 130 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 2 grams of sugar. That’s what I like to see when I’m looking at snack-y type foods. Low, to no sugar and some protein! All the flavors were good, and although I don’t feel like I need to eat them all the time, I think they are a fun way to switch things up if you’re in a snacking rut. They call themselves the snack for modern hippeas, and I can be all about peas and love if I can munch on them once in a while!
Squares Organics Crisp Bars – Chances are I am late to the party on this one but this somewhat new line of crisp bars from Square Organics are seriously a new player in the bar game! Coming in at 10 grams of plant-protein and made with ingredients like cashew butter, coconut nectar, amaranth, cocoa nibs, and crips I was super impressed by the taste of all of the “crisp” flavors and found them a perfect topper to my smoothie bowls and when I was in a pinch running out the door. Grab some for yourself on my here!
Peanut Butter from Target – You may be wondering what is so special about peanut butter from Target, but think about it for a second. You’re at Target picking up only things you need of course, and take a stroll down the food aisles, naturally. In my opinion, Target has seriously stepped up their game in this department, and their house brand Market Pantry, at least for peanut and almond butter, can give Whole Foods’ house brand line a run for their money. I’ve been buying their almond butter for about a year now and absolutely love the texture and consistency. When I’m not making my own pumpkin spice almond butter in the Vitamix you will find a jar or two of this stuff in my pantry. At $6.99 It’s the lowest price for almond butter I’ve seen for the quality across Whole Foods, Jewel, Marianos, and Fresh Thyme stores. Plus I get that red card discount which makes trips to Target just that much more dangerous! Invest in one of their nut butters the next time you are there. I’d love to know what you think!
Strawberry Hummus & Cauliflower Hummus from Lantana – You’ve seen me post about the fun new flavors combinations of hummus coming from Lantana , and I seriously cannot get enough! I worked with Lantana to create two recipes this month and really enjoyed playing around with what I could do with their different hummus flavors. In the case of the strawberry, taking something that is traditionally so savory, and making it dessert like was a total hit in my opinion, and the cauliflower was definitely one I would get again. I do have to say that both of these flavors are limited edition and may not be available in your area. It’s definitely worth it to check the hummus section of your grocery just in case!
I’ll admit at first I was a little skeptical of strawberry because I honestly don’t love fruit flavored foods that are not fruits. This strawberry hummus combines white beans, strawberries, and the savory notes of basil and white balsamic vinegar. It’s perfect with some crackers, and as I found myself eating more and more of it, I thought it might just be the best new thing to use as filling inside of a crepe. As you can see here the combination did not disappoint! I mixed a couple with some Kite Hill almond cream cheese and that was delicious as filling too!
I’ve got to say, way to capitalize on the trend of cauliflower everything with this hummus flavor! The taste was not dripping in cauliflower like you might imagine. It’s subtle but enough for you to know it’s cauliflower. I say if you’re a fan of cauliflower pizza crust or putting frozen cauliflower into your smoothies, this hummus is a must try. You can even dip some cauliflower florets into your cauliflower hummus…imagine that! You can check out a couple of the ways I incorporated it into my meals here.
Kaia Naturals– I’m no skincare expert, but since the beginning of the year I will say that what I put on my skin has been just as important as what I put into my body. You can read more about my skincare epiphany here! From Kaia Naturals, I tried their juicy bamboo wipes that have a sweet, juicy scent and make your skin feel bright and amazing. Bonus that these wipes are bio degradable, so you can literally plant the cloth in the soil and it will be gone in 60-70 days!
I also tried their all natural bamboo charcoal deodorant (in juicy bamboo too) with their deodorant booster bar and their turmeric detox hot bath. Thought you could only add turmeric to your lattes? Well Kaia has captured the healing anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric into a effervescent bath soak that felt great on my sore muscles. No, it will not turn your body orange! As far as the natural deodorant, I’m still experimenting with it. I experienced a lot of sweating the first couple day that I used it (something they say is natural), but didn’t really notice any sweat smell with that. I’m still using about twice a week on days I know I’m not going to the gym. Verdict? If you’re a novice looking to enter into the field of natural deodorant this is a great options for all of their information on how to properly “make the switch” and things you will experience along the way.
Reebok Flex Weave Lightweight Running Shoe– You may be asking when did Reebok start making cool shoes again? That’s the expression I get when people ask me about what shoes I’m wearing! These are definitely not for running (in my opinion and someone who needs a lot of support!), but are great for cross training and lifting exercises that require stability. The minimalist design is flexible and airy. My feet don’t sweat, and the shoes don’t stink! They match my array of workout leggings as you can see here and here!
Have you tried some of these things already? Leave a comment if so, and tell me what you thought! If you’re a brand or company that would like me to try their product for my April product spotlight please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow along all this month while I uncover new grocery store finds, beauty products, clothes and more!