Monday, July 30, 2018

Fancy Food Trends: Healthier -Functional Teas

Functional tea blends -with or without  some sweetener help-appeal to the whole wellness lifestyle-that dominates today's lifestyles.

Tea Blends+Healthier Sodas

Argentina's staple-Yerba Maté-superfood -liquid style-has a smoky green tea flavor = made from the dry leaves of  an evergreen holly-a native South American plant. Mild or strongly brewed----the taste for non believers benefits from a  bit of honey. It's naturally loaded with antioxidants and has a bit more caffeine than regular black tea (85 mg-caffeine/8 ounces) but less than coffee. Plus-it has some of the perk benefits of dark chocolate too-with theobromine + theophylline. Can be prepared in several ways-like in a french press coffee pot as well as the traditional gourd.   

Palais de Thés-from France...launched blended 'Detox' teas inspired by 5 regions of the world---like the USDA Organic Brazilian-ENERGY -with green tea, maté  ---anti-oxidant açaí and perk up guarana-an ingredient found in a lot of energy drinks.
Stash Tea-Organic Moringa Mint-one of many choices- devoted to better for you brew blends...with a mellow minty taste,

SOFI winner -new product in hot beverage - the winner Tumeric Spice Herbal Tea with anti-inflammatory- turmeric, cardamon, black pepper (enhances curcumin) and cloves. Vahdam teas directly source their tea leaves for absolute freshness-you can taste! There are many other blends too-both black, green + herbal.
Twinings-a super market staple-launched new blends for its themed herbal collections Unwind (passionflower, chamomile with spiced apple +vanilla)-and...Support,  Renew,  and Soothe .

LemonKind -rtd canned teas-themed flavors aimed at detoxing your life. Choices include lightly sweetened (monk fruit+organic wildflower honey)  Bliss (mango, turmeric,  green tea-with a bit of caffeine), Freedom (tangy aronia berries,  hibiscus flower tea) and Unity (ginger peppermint, Japanese matcha tea-small caffeine pop). Interesting. Non-gmo, kosher, and gluten free.

BOS rte cans---Rooibos is super popular in South Africa- and BOS sources there from the Cederberg mountain range. Taste wise-it's a naturally sweet-vanilla-y, mellow caffeine free tea that even non tea drinkers might like. Rooibos-like other teas- have health pluses -including antioxidants, electrolytes and essential minerals. BOS comes in five flavors-70 calories each-sweetened with organic cane sugar. (Lemon, Green Rooibos+Yuzu, Peach, Berry, and Lime+Ginger).

Fancy Food Trends-Packaging=Looks Matter

Part 5

Clever, catchy and an eco  sourced materials for packaging can grab those consumer eyeballs.


Icy cold Coconut Water is so tasty refreshing...and this coconut packaging container-by Thailand's  Pearl Royal- transports us to the source-in a manner of speaking...with  a neat string rope to close/open the top that wins our top pick for cool packaging. It comes with a tiny plastic straw-too-that imo-should be replaced with a paper one. 

can see from up top-Pearl River...the string opens and closes the tiny opening-sized perfectly- that accesses the delish coconut water...where the straw goes. Nifty!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Fancy Food Show Trends: Puffed-Up

Part 4

Indie brands as well as the CPG giants-are re-discovering the fun airy crunchy puff-a winning -lighter texture now in real deal variety of flavors.


Puffs-The Eating Kind
Pirate's Booty- Aged White Cheddar-cheesy baked bites made with cornmeal/rice flour, cheddar cheese, buttermilk, sea salt in the mix- w/o the weird the weird greasy orange stained fingers of our youth. HAAA. Delicious-even our cat leaned in for some-Non-GMO, gluten free and Kosher too.

Coincidentally-Vegan Rob's was founded by the founder of the aforementioned Pirate's Booty (now owned by B&G Foods)- had snack size bags of puffs made from more exotic plant based origins-like Jackfruit and Moringa, as well as cauliflower, brussel sprouts, beets cheddar  and--- Probiotic loaded, but spicy- Dragon Puffs-that ALL found ready grabbers at the show. .Gluten-free, Vegan, Kosher...and zero trans fat. Crunchy -airy-and delicious-organic whole grain sorghum flour and organic sunflower oil...are main ingredients in the Jackfruit Puffs-seasoned well with jackfruit powder, sea salt and turmeric. Some flavors are widely available-but if you want them by the case-trust us-they won't last as long as you think-buy them on the company website. 
We really liked these Snak-King Corp. peanut butter creamy coated good- Nutibles-Puffs..."Baked Corn Putty"-Non-GMO+ gluten-free, Kosher-plus  with meaningful protein- 5 grams (2 more than other puffs)- plus calcium + potassium-150 calories per ounce.  Available-in 8 packs- online-company website 

Fancy Food Show:Trends-Sneaky Veggies

Part 3
Moringa + Cauliflower + Broccoli (Oh MY)

Carb less alternatives, sneaky veggies invade the grain/potato space.
Green Giant goes back to the future with mascot Little Green Sprout-for its soon to be intro-ed USDA Organic assortment of veggie dishes-that sub as tasty alternatives-and lower in calories-than carb-cal loaded pastas, mashed potatoes..etc. Handy-just heat and serve! For now-freezer section stocks Green Giant's veggie spirals...pasta alternatives made from assortment nutrient dense vegetables.
AvoLuv's avocado chips come in four flavors-pictured above-these stackable chips-are made from HASS Avocados, tapioca flour and pink Himalayan Salt-that's it! Gluten + sugar +soy free, vegan, and  free from 8 major allergens-has a crunchy texture and def creamy avocado taste. Tasty--- these...1.5 oz=185 calories -w/ those healthy fats of superfood avocados.

From The Ground Up crackers-are cute sized-like those goldfish....gluten free, Non-GMO
From The Ground Up Cauliflower Pretzels w/ sea salt-are crunchy and shaped like regular ole' but there is a subtle but noticeable-veggie taste to these vs that bar staple snack. Made with cassava and cauliflower flour as top ingredients. IMO-that veggie undertone will not be noticeable if one dips pretzels in mustard prior to devouring -like we do. Each serving has 110 calories-and 10% of daily vitamin needs (a bunch=probably from the vegetable blend powder listed in the ingredients) and 3 grams of dietary fiber.

This exhibitor space was packed when we cruised by...CAULIPOWER flour-in RTE pizzas and Paleo friendly and 'regular' baking mixes that replace flour in any recipe, cup for cup. The mission-- to re-jig America's craving of comfort food with better for you versions of carbs. Dried cauliflower-is the lead ingredient -with almond + cassava+ tapioca flours in Paleo samples-brown rice and rice, sorghum+quinoa flours-in the 'reg' products. Kosher and slightly lesss in calories-plus real deal vitamin C per serving.  

Friday, July 27, 2018

Food Trends: Part 2-Rice Is Nice :-)

Fancy Food Show 2018
Part 2

A world staple-rice-comes in many varieties. As a headline ingredient -several new products used versions of...with tempting results.

Rice Is Nice
Lundberg-USDA Organic rice cake in plastic sleeves -are sold everywhere we shop. Now-their Grounded Snacks-are a smart (and tasty crispy)additions using some of the tons of rice  grown on their farm lands. We tried one-the  French Onion - a flavor in the line of  USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Red Rice & Quinoa Tortilla Chips. FYI-tastes reminds of tangy sour cream onion dips....which makes sense given the ingredients. Eat straight outta the bag,..12 chips+140 calories. Certified Non-GMO

Trends: Food Textures+Functional Ingredients+Packaging

Fancy Food Show 2018

Stroll enough aisles at the massive Fancy Food tradeshow-and food themes jump out...
Below-are some of the new 2018 trends we picked up on.
Part One.

Thin Is In-small bites - crispy sweets
The name is apt...Rich Chocolate COOKIE THINS are crispy melt in your mouth good-now available in snack size (90 calories). If you're the type that separates your Oreo cookies-and eat the wafer part, separately'll love these Mandy's Cookie Thins. (Available by the case- Fusion Gourmet, Amazon) 
These mini graham crackers= Chortles- are so cookie cute small-lends itself to tossing a few atop an ice cream scoop-or yogurt. And as sweet indulgent as these are-there's a cleaner ingredient list-than others in this category. No high fructose corn syrup no hydrogenated oils, no palm oil (YAY), no trans fat, no cholesterol or saturated fats, and made in a nut free facility. The snack sizes above contain 110-120 calories-and they're fun to eat---shapes are kid perfect.
DOLCETTO Petites Lemon Wafer Bites-are delicious-in fact we were surprised how crisp outside was-airy wafer buttery texture- surrounding a perfect sweet tangy creamy lemon-y-vanilla filling.  Seriously-opposites attract here, texture wise...and even if you don't think you'll like these-you will be. In snack size-100 calories.  FYI-Dolcetto in Italian means "little sweet one"--and is also the name of a Piedmont red grape. Available on Amazon and by case on manufacturer site- Fusion Gourmet
Sheila G's Thindulgent Sandwich Cookies-are best eaten whole...the buttery crisp outer layers surround indulgent rich salted caramel or toasted coconut-both within an indulgent (get it?) cocoa-y bonus flavors. Non-GMO-and Kosher...and mercifully-fairly widely available :-)  FYI-def won't last long...just like the Brownie Brittles we get. Available on Amazon.

Monday, July 23, 2018

New Plant Based 'Dairy' -Will Win Converts

Plant based protein yogurt, milk, creamers and ice cream are super popular...and it's not just the clean labels, ethics, and/or the more functional ingredients---it's the taste!!!!
Not surprisingly-our fav products come courtesy of smaller -innovative companies.
 A few Halo / Half N' Half slayers from the recent Fancy Food Show/Consumer Products Events:
WOWWEEEEEE! Organic Nectars Cashewtopia-hand made in a Hudson River  town...just floored us! In a good way. This delicious creamy USDA Organic, Vegan +Kosher- plant based gelato w/ cashew nut milk as the 'dairy' stand-in-is dairy free+ gluten free. No worries tho'-the rich decadent spoon licking flavor we tried...chocolate hazelnut-is sweet enough-(organic agaveLight, organic coconut palm sugar) w/ real deal chunks of chocolate +hazelnuts. IMO-will convince even the skeptical that a better for you ice cream sub-tastes better too. We should of asked for more samples. That good. Available in Whole Foods-and most likely-more supermarket chains are stocking it soon.  


Friday, July 20, 2018

Recycled Coffee Pods...Nespresso/Victorinox=Brilliant!


YES-you can have your caffeine and be sustainable too.

Officially obsessed...
The original Swiss Army knife company Victorinox has teamed up with single serve- pod royalty a recycle program whereby 24 aluminum single serve capsules get the do-over melt-down treatment-morphing into the aluminum cladding-aka the textured scales on the outside of a limited edition PIONEER pocket knife/ multi-tool . There's even a Nespresso engraved stamp on a blade. Available online  $55 while supplies last ...and select Victorinox + Nespresso boutiques.
the 411...fill up the the Nespresso UPS bag w/ used single serve capsules -give/drop off to UPS locations.... or drop off at Office Home Depot or Staples. FYI-part of Nespresso's Second Life Project
pictured-on left this limited Victorinox Swiss Army Pioneer multi tool knife-packaged in recyclable box +Nespresso bag for UPS.

PS: Tools for the Pioneer -large blade, reamer, punch, can opener, 2 screwdrivers (3 mm, 7.5 mm), bottle opener,  and wire stripper

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Better 4 U Bars: Part 3

Fancy Food Show '18

Two companies that we've written about prior-showed new (to us)-versions that stood out...
Reishi mushrooms have herbal medicinal properties-help detox the body, boost the immune system+fight stress. FYI-there is absolutely NO mushroom taste in this pleasingly sweet enough (coconut +coconut sugar) crunchy chewy bar.   
organic pumpkin, chia and hemp seeds, sunflower kernels-and peanuts+peanut butter, cashews+almonds- in this flavor-with 7 grams protein

purely elizabeth. brand expansion on their popular granolas...with a bunch of bars-including four flavors of GRAIN-FREE Granola Bars with organic extract from SUPERFOOD REISHI mushrooms in the mix. NON-GMO, certified gluten-free, vegan and bonuses-NSF certified (great for athletes) & purely elizabeth = CERTIFIED B Corporation

USDA Organic Keep Healthy® Low Glycemic Bar-are tasty treats-with meaningful amounts of plant based protein-making this a really worthy post exercise eat...esp this chewy rich Sea Salt Brownie  dairy free, gluten free, vegan, non-GMO version-that delivers yumminess without the sugar rush. There are other flavors too--all snack bars safer for diabetics or those sensitive to those high/lows glycemic rushes. AND no artificial preservatives, sugar alcohols  or artificial sweetners or high fructose corn syrup.
IMO-real ingredient protein bars (there's also a 15 grams of protein options)-priced similarly-and widely available-why wouldn't one choose a USDA organic Healthy® are now widely available-online too.

impressive-12 grams of protein...5 gm of fiber, 7.5 gm of sugar...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Better 4 U Snacks: Part 2

Fancy Food Show 2018

Vegan Rob's Kombuchabar™ bars-"crunch consciously" with organic quinoa, pumpkin+sunflower seeds and very slight hints of all star ingredient-n kombucha (yup-like the 'it' sip-the tea)...fermented-therefore has active bacteria cultures aka probiotics). Also delivered, 6 gram plant based protein- more than similar bars not loaded with whey (and therefore, not vegan)....and 4 grams of real deal fiber. Four flavors available-Non-GMO, cold pressed (heat protection for probiotics), vegan and grain free. Factoid-this company has plenty of snacking fans...founded by the leading light of Pirate's Booty popcorn.
BIENA's salted roasted chickpeas (deliversr a bit of protein, calcium, iron and potassium, naturally) -are a fav snack-now the company has taken a sweet turn with Fair Trade certified dark chocolate coated and FUN-Girl Scouts' inspired THIN MINTS' flavor-that nails it-the chocolate int so unique surrounds crunchy chickpea---more like a a crunchy texture vs any chickpea flavor. Needless today-those lasted about 48 minutes on the kitchen table before being devoured.NON-GMO, Fair Trade, gluten free, vegan and kosher.

never seen the cat move so fast to grab a bite...beating out  Greenies!
Feline fav---we'd put the almost sinfully addictive, Sheila' G's Brownie Brittle  in the better for you snack category-based on taste -texture alone. The rich crisp snack's MO-is to capture the top layers of home cooked brownies...and is available in a gluten free version-and new flavor Chocolate Almond-laded with chunks of chocolate and almonds---like an 'energy bar'...yet with the same melt-in-your-mouth the best home cooked dessert staple.
re-sealable bag-but our experience with Brownie need for  that,
Al the aforementioned-good to crumble/layer on any kind of creamy yogurt/ice cream/gelato.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Better For You Snacks/Fancy Food Show '18

Snacks- (or dessert additions)-the new 'energy bars' are better than inhaling the typical packaged cookies when the mood strikes for tempting tasty treats.
Part One

Reasons-real deal fiber, organic and/or 'functional' ingredients,  cleaner labels...and allergy free choices.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Flavorful Native Spices/Foods/:Africa, Haiti, Australia

Ancestral inspirations and distant islands/continents...turned up in new ways at the latest Fancy Food Show...with African, Haitian, and Australian spices livening up foodie goodies.
Departure Snacks-travels for you, no security checks-needed, tastes wise-with far flung locales-thematically adding flavors to dry roasted almonds. Pictured-Ethiopian Berbere-with smoked paprika, mild chilies, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and imo the new 'it' spice-cardamon=fragrant spice hits. Non-GMO, gluten free +vegan. 210 calories/pack.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

French Condiments: World Class Tastes


French mustards and salts are probably the most popular of that World Cup powerhouse offerings...besides a football team with players ready for the world stage (too).
Some favs from the recent Fancy Food Show:

Moutarde Pommery à l'Ancienne ---Meaux Mustard- Pommery-founded in 1949. We had the grainy signature crock packaged mustard -with a wax top- in our kitchen pantry growing up-been in the USA for awhile...other truly delicious flavors from mild-to medium...including new fruit added blends-(cranberries on the left, figs on the right)-which we think could add pop of flavor to BBQ-grilled anything. Once Canada slaps on retaliatory tariffs on a certain USA brand of mustard-we think...price of this French gourmet brand-will be similar-and will be an easy replacement. AND-the ancient Romans 'shared' their cultivation of this ancient spice-with the Gauls...but many believe it was really the French town of Dijon-back in 1382 -under the rule of the Duke of Burgundy-made mustard a French staple.

Monday, July 9, 2018

BAHHHHH. Goat Cheese' Tangy Good Tastes

Spreadably familiar- fresh creamy smooth Montrachet style  rolls-soft ripened or aged- in harder rinds' slice worthy formats-or headlining spreads/yogurts/dips/gelato ...goat milk's distinct tangy mildness highlighted  exhibitor offerings at the most recent Fancy Food Show.
just get right to the point-no fancy consultants needed to conjure up this distributor's name...World's Best Cheeses

What caught our eyeballs...

BELLE CHEVRE (an Alabama creamery)=goat cheese nirvana-log rolls, flavored in light+creamy spreadable textures...and an amazingly delicious sweet vanilla lemon zest fresh goat cheese cheesecake $34.95-in a graham crust-airy- like NY cream cheesecake version versus the more heavier Italian ricotta style.

Zingerman's Detroit ST Brick Cheese...goat cheese with Tellicherry Peppercorns in velvety mold...aged 2-5 weeks-crumbly and sliceable for grilled cheese potential-yummy-slight sweet- earthy flavor. An Ann Harbor, Michigan Creamery

Saturday, July 7, 2018


Not a ref to Prince Harry,

Teeth clinging-taffy-like aromatic ginger chews were a fav of  senior family members-acquired tastes for time spent in India and England during/post WW II.

Now-the natural remedies/ health benefits of this fragrant root-are well known-particularly as a digestive tummy calmer+anti-inflammatory helper. No wonder ginger (lemon tea) is so popular...whether sipped up via branded tea bags-or what we do...slice a fresh chunk off the real deal root-peel it a bit-and steep in a cuppa hot water.

Plus unlike say ginseng...ginger actually tastes good. Paired with cinnamon/cloves in cookies, garlic in Asian fusion sautés or on its own (with sugar-in addictive ginger snaps)...this sophisticated flavor multi-tasks in a lot of yummy eats.

Maybe that's why-it seemed like the sweet-savory Ginger chews were the "it' single wrapped hardish chew candy at this year's Fancy Food Show.
Besides the soon to be collectible Harry Potter themed Jelly Beans.

HA-barely got home in a NY minute-before we sampled these seriously delicious original GIN-GINS® chews from The Ginger People Group. (that's an unwrapped piece in the lower right-lightly dusted). Authentic ingredients-non-GMO, gluten free+vegan-Gin-Gins have spicy adult sweet melty taste/quality-with the distinct true ginger  -a palate highlight. The company-founded years back by a couple with a background in tea harvesting-sources its main organic ingredient from family farms on the lush lower slopes of Mount Arjuna, East Java. Widely available -online and brick-mortar like Targets...and in different flavors and sizes including bulk (smart)- too.

Prince of Peace Ginger Chews-Mango
 Other brands seen----

Melting Sweet Ginger Candy

CHIMES Ginger Chews-with Peanut Butter-from the brand we remember seeing sold in our local store-for decades.
Gem Gem Ginger Candy.oh oh Orange! Also in Just Ginger, Mango and Lemon-new product from  Brother's Trading LLC