October 19, 2009

back to blogging and back to nature

After many weeks of (often painful) acupuncture and acupressure treatments administered by an incredibly talented Chinese doctor I am finally optimistic that I have beat my severe tendinitis into submission and it feels good to be back!

A few weeks ago I received a lovely basket full of Kraft Canada's Back to Nature products - different varieties of nuts, fruits and seed mixes from Edelman as part of BloggerAid's wonderful View and Review program.

I love nuts and snack on them all the time but I tend to stick to unroasted and unsalted varieties for health reasons so I was intrigued by the claims that these products contain no additives or preservatives.

The first thing that caught my eye was the list of ingredients - it was relatively short for most varieties and I could actually understand it, which is a very good thing in my book! Next I turned to the dreaded sodium content (I am the low sodium girl after all) and, again, was very pleased to see that several varieties contained no added sodium, not an easy thing to find in the supermarket.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating so I eagerly ripped open one of the bags and munched on a delicious combination of raisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pecans and apricots. Then G opened the cranberry, chocolate covered almond and vanilla almond combo and practically ate the entire bag in one sitting!

Nuts are full of nutritional goodies such as fibre, protein and healthy oils and we would all do well to add a handful to our daily diet. I applaud Kraft Canada for making healthier snacks delicious and accessible! Keep 'em coming!!!

Here are the six available varieties from the Back to Nature site:

Made with premium almonds, plump California raisins (sun-dried with no added
sugars or preservatives), jumbo and large grade pistachios, and cranberries that
are dried with their natural juices intact. This premium trail mix is 100%
natural—no preservatives, no additives, all delicious.

We start by meticulously selecting the highest grade of almonds commercially available: Nonpareil almonds, prized for their superior size. Then we gently dry roast them, and then steep them in sea salt to create delicious almonds—100% natural with absolutely no additives or added oils.

A delicious blend of Nonpareil almonds, jumbo cashews and California pistachios that are either USDA Fancy Grade or US # 1 graded. Our premium nuts are roasted by nut type to bring out their optimum flavour and crunch, without any additives, preservatives or added oils. After roasting, the nuts are blended together to create a 100% natural Sea Salt Roasted Cashew, Almond and Pistachio mix—four simple ingredients, one great taste.

A perfect combination of taste and texture. We begin with crunchy pecans thatare sourced from Southwest US and Mexico. They’re USDA Fancy Grade and juniormammoth in size, roasted in expeller-pressed oils to retain their natural flavour. Then they’re mixed in with our sun-dried and premium-grade California apricots, delicious pumpkin and sunflower seeds, highest-grade almonds and plump raisins to create a delicious, 100% natural trail mix that has no additives or preservatives.

Only jumbo cashews make the cut for Back to Nature. USDA Fancy Grade whole
cashews—no pieces or picked-over remains. We dry roast them and then gently
steep them in sea salt to preserve their natural taste and crunch—creating a
100% natural mix without any additives, preservatives or added oils.

We start with plump cranberries from bogs in Quebec and eastern Canada that grow cranberries exclusively for drying, not juicing. Then we dry them with their natural juices intact, creating a “juicy” dried cranberry. Then we add premium almonds that have been slowly tumbled in dark chocolate of over 50% cacao. Then we finish this perfect recipe with almonds coated in vanilla from Madagascar. The result is a 100% natural, 100% delicious snack.