Tag Archives: experiences

Dried Fruit Candy from 7-Eleven

One day I’m going to do an entire 7-Eleven appreciation post. I love that damn store. But I’m a realist and I don’t love everything they do.

Like this sweetened, dried fruit medley:

Let’s get this part out of the way right now: Yes, it is tasty!

But there are also 17 grams of sugar. Sugar is not good for us. But it’s addicting, and tasty, and stimulates that part in the brain that says “ahhh yess. Just one more.”

Sugar is in most of the foods available in the store. When I’m seen in the store, the number one thing I check the nutrition label for is … the sugar content.

Most of the time, after checking it, the product is back on the shelf before I think to check if there is milk or gelatin in it. That’s because the astronomical amount of sugar added literally stops me in my tracks.

One more thing about sugar grams, (& I’ll get back on topic track ASAP) but notice on the nutrition labels they don’t tell us how much of the daily value we’re consuming. That’s because we’d all be dismayed to discover we ate 2 fancy donuts and it put us over the daily limit.

The Nutrition Label.

So there are a couple things we need to discuss.

We can look and say “17 grams, that’s not bad.” But before it’s officially “not bad,” take a look at the top where the serving size is indicated.

There are 4.5 servings in one bag.

If someone were to enjoy one serving a day, this should last the entire work week.

But, sadly, and yes it is sad, this decent sized bag probably wouldn’t last more than 3 days.

The honest truth is that consuming an entire bag of these would supply your body with over 70 grams of sugar.

That’s just crazy. Especially because this is a snack food and you are pretty much guaranteed to be eating more food with added sugar later on.

Many people may be fooled into thinking these are healthy when it’s just as bad as a Snickers bar.

Now, what about the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit? How much of the 17 sugar grams comes from fruit? I would really like to know.

However, as the amazing resource that 7-Eleven is, they do have much healthier dried fruit options that do not have added sugar πŸ’› I’ve seen mango and pineapple so far! However, before we switch food products, I have one more bone to pick with these:

Look at that green fruit in the package preview window. Now, scroll back up and look at the ingredients. If that’s too much, I’ll jump right to the point:

There are no green fruits in the ingredients:

Pineapple & star fruit are yellow 🍍

Papaya & mango are orange (and sooooo deliciousπŸ˜‹)

Cantaloupe is also orange, but there’s a loophole here as there is a green variety of cantaloupe. But it’s usually called by its name, Honeydew melon. And also, it’s fruity parts are light green.

The added yellow #5 and blue #1 make the color green. Oh no, artificial ingredients.

Look, enjoy this as a snack if you must. Consider it real fruit candy But keep in mind a real serving is like 5/6 pieces.

The 100% natural, no sugar added dried fruit is different.

We can tell that this one doesn’t have much added to it. On the package they say the whole pineapple was dried, then they sliced and packaged it.

It tastes good but it’s not pretty. That is, if you want a vibrant yellow pineapple ring, it does not look like that.

Of course, it is still beautiful in its own way.

The sugar content of these claims to be 14g per package. At least we know with this, the sugar comes from the fruit.

Give it a try and let me know what you think πŸ™‚

Cold Brewed Conversations

Coffee qualifies as a plant-based beverage. Essentially made with beans and water; it sounds like it should be pretty healthy.

New ways to prepare old favorite food and drinks are everywhere. It’s the best when the new way is healthier, too!

Some may say that cold brew coffee isn’t new but lately it’s being talked about a lot more than ever before.

Is coffee healthy? Who knows, honestly. Some say it’s a drug, it’s a diuretic, it’s addicting, and even that it’s healthy.

The opinion here is that Coffee is okay. It gets more unhealthier the more “add-ins” there are (like granulated sugar and creamers…)

Good advice: drink more water than coffee.

The thing about coffee that makes gives me the most pause is the acidity of hot coffee. It’s just unfortunate, really. But thats where cold brew comes in.

Cold brew means that hot, boiling water is not used in the process of making it.

Using cold water cuts the acidity by around 60-70%. That’s great!

What’s not so great is the process of cold brewing requires the coffee drinker to plan ahead. Like, ahead-ahead. Unlike hot coffee, which can be prepared on about 3 minutes, cold brew goodness requires a few hours until it’s ready. Some say overnight.

However, that’s not a bad thing. The advantage is that a person can make large batches at a time and it’ll be ready to go at a moments notice.

The coffee will be cold to drink, though. Which is fine for someone like me. Iced coffee is the bees knees.

So the musings come in now, with questions of whether or not the acidity levels will rise if the coffee is then warmed up..

And then sweetening cold brewed coffee can really only be accomplished with a liquid sweetener. These are generally bad, unless you make it yourself with good ingredients.

A premade creamer will blend in well with cold coffee, if need be.

I think it would be worth it to try to make your own creamer/sweetener. After all if your making your own cold brew then you can probably do that too!

Can we discuss for a moment, Premade cold brew coffee drinks?

Generally speaking they seem to be reasonably priced (when purchased at the grocery store). And easy to drink. Too easy sometimes, especially if it’s tasty.

I find that for hot coffee, one cup is usually enough caffeine. But for cold brew iced coffee drinks, I’ll be tempted to drink more just because it’s so refreshing. Yes that’s a problem! That’s an easy way to catch the jitters.

Also, always take note of the sugar content in the prepackaged stuff. I like Califia brand, they seem to be reasonable when it comes to the add-ins.

Unfortunately they give no indication of the caffeine content. Also, “XX Espresso”? Where? Lol. Seems normal to me.

Next up is Gevalia. Seems okay.

Quick review:

This product doesn’t seem very caffeine dense. I’ve been following the directions, using 1/2 a cup (with almond milk) and it’s okay.

I mean, I loved iced coffee so, hell yeah, this rocks!

But as a caffeine source, it is hard to come up with a conclusion. Partially because I’ve been significantly sleep deprived (busy life!! Like website content being punched out at 12:34 midnight. ) And, remember friends, caffeine is not a replacement for sleep. Let’s be sure we’re getting enough of that Light Source. Seriously. That’s an order!

I’m impressed with the caramel flavor. Check the ingredients:

I am also happy that there is no sugar in this.

These have 3 flavors that I saw and this is the only one I saw with salt. So I guess that’s an important flavoring component.

Okay you guys, ironically I’m sleepy so we’ll conclude this convo with something very important:

7-Eleven is selling their luxurious cold brew for only one dollar. Take advantage!

Tomatillos!

These fruits (or are they vegetables?) were a first time buy for me. Like many, I often saw tomatillos in the produce section and passed by without a second thought. Well, today I gave it that second thought. They were on sale for $.99 cent a pound!

A stranger saw me randomly choosing some of these golf-ball shaped Earth foods and he had something to say.

“I’ve only seen 2 people buying these,” he said. “Me and you.”

I replied, “Well, that’s interesting because this is my first time!”

He was surprised and immediately began to give me cooking tips. Namely, he told me to roast them. Roast until the skins get “real black” then peel it off and add to chili.

I thanked him for the suggestion. Because I probably would have eaten it raw.

At the word raw, he made a scrunched-up face.

“Nah, dont do that,” he said. “They’re not very good that way.”

“One more thing, sir.” I thought I’d better ask an important question while in the midst of an experienced tomatillo eater. “How do you know when they’re ripe?”

His reply made us both laugh.

“They’re always ready.”

It was cool to meet that guy.

They smell like grass.

Of course, I ate some raw when I got home.

It tastes like sour citrus at first, then a grassy flavor comes through as well.

I like it. They’re a member of the nightshade family, which would explain the green tomato appearance.

I don’t make chili very often so I won’t be taking that guys suggestion. But this roasted tomatillo salsa looks tasty, yeah?

Thanks for reading.

Acorn Squash is Okay

Acorn squash is another one of those Earth Foods that scream “Fall Season!” just by their appearance 🍁 These fruits deeply resemble decorative gourds. The color is a lovely dark green with orange areas. The shape of an acorn squash is where is gets its name.

The ones I purchased sat on the table for about a week. “Ripening,” I said. In reality, I was just a bit lazy. But today was the day for these babies to get in my belly.

I stared thoughtfully at the Acorn Squash, thinking about the easiest way to prepare em for dinner.

Squash pie came to mind but as I said, I wasnt up for doing anything fancy. So, of course, I chose to roast them! But not chopped in cubes, oh no, these were getting 2-3 chops and that’s it!

And yes, they did chop easy. About 85% easier than a butternut squash (which is possibly the hardest fruit ever!). I’m thinking about keeping the seeds.

I scooped out the insides with a spoon. The seeds and guts came out so easy! One of the hollow holes turned out to be bigger than the other.

I chopped some a little further.

And then I placed on a clean, ugly, well-oiled cookie sheet.

I pricked a few holes in the green side and then roasted for about 50 minutes at 400Β°.

They came out nice! I let some Earth Balance melt on them and then I served the pretty squashes with coucous and some roasted broccoli/cauliflower. Drizzed with some brown sauce.

It was quite tasty!

Pie Pumpkin Cutting [video]

Peace you guys πŸŽƒ

Around this time of the year, pumpkins are all over the place. They’re in patches, in just about every department of the grocery store.. I think I even saw a gun with pumpkin spice bullets. No lie. Is it getting out of control?

No way! Pumpkins (and other squash) are good for us πŸ™‚ make a meal of it and you’ll have a healthy dose of anti-oxidants to last through the week πŸŽƒ

Something else awesome about pumpkin season? We all have permission to over use this emoji πŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒ

There’s a post coming up soon about some good fall recipes (plant-based, of course!)

To get properly ready for it, you gotta know how to cut a pumpkin. No canned stuff over here! (Well maybe a little because there was a can of organic pumpkin on sale for one dollar!) πŸŽƒ

Here’s a video I made showing how I slice a very manageable sized pie pumpkin.

And also with a bonus that no one asked for!: my thoughts on Halloween/All Hallows Eve :)πŸŽƒ enjoy ⬇⬇⬇

 

 

Light Source: Kindness + video

Kindness is a gift. We give it to ourselves. It’s also a gift that we give to those around us.

Genuine, healthy kindness is given because the giver wants to give.

It doesn’t matter who is around to see it & it doesn’t matter how it may be perceived to others either.

Kindness is a light source. Positive vibrations come from kind people.

It’s not always easy to be kind. Some situations may create a divide between what is honest and what is kind. [This is where having Grace comes into play].