Family * Travel * Food

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water Is The Real Deal

Do you ever have a taste of something or even a scent that transports you back to your childhood? I grew up in Miami, Florida and it was very common to see vendors on the street corners selling fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, and various goods. One of my favorite things to get was the fresh water coconuts as we called it in my culture. You would get a fresh green coconut that was sitting in a huge cooler of ice and watch the vendor chop the top off with a machete. They would then stick a straw in it and hand it to you to enjoy. There is nothing that can compare to drinking that gorgeous chilled coconut water straight out of the actual coconut. Once you have experienced the real thing, you can't have it any other way. Fast forward... I have lived in South Carolina for close to 18 years and it has been more than 20 years since I have had coconut water like I did in Miami.

I was doing some crowd sourcing on Facebook a month or so ago asking what natural food or drink was rich in potassium. One of my old friends from Florida mentioned coconut water. I told her that would be a winner if I had access to proper coconut water like I did in Miami. She told me to look for one called Harmless Harvest. She is also Guyanese so she knows I know what real coconut water is supposed to taste like. I finally got around to trying it with full hesitation. You see, I've tried about 2 or 3 brands already and I ended up pouring it out in the sink from pure disgust. I took into consideration that Harmless Harvest is refrigerated and is simply organic coconut water with nothing added. It is free of GMOs, toxic pesticides, artificial additives, and irradiation.

I poured some in a glass and was a little intrigued by the pink color. Honestly, I didn't realize that it can be that color (clear to pink). I took my first sip and guess what? I was on transported back to being a kid again. It was the real deal and what coconut water should taste like. No lie, I closed my eyes each time I sipped. I can finally have that taste back in my life all the way up in South Carolina. You can find Harmless Harvest Coconut Water in grocery stores including Kroger, Publix, and Whole Foods in the refrigerated organic/health foods section near the produce department. Check out the amazing story behind Harmless Harvest here.
The back of this t-shirt says "I'm Harmless" :-) 
Harmless Harvest coconut water is the perfect hydrating beverage to help beat the summer heat. Have you tried it yet? If you haven't, I really suggest you do!

I received product samples in exchange for my honest review. It doesn't get more honest than this.

Warm Up With Numi Organic Pu-Erh Tea

Are you a tea drinker? My husband drinks tea every single day, even if it's 100 degrees outside. When I received the Organic Pu-erh collection from Numi Tea, he was thrilled. 
The Pu-erh organic teas are exceptional and full of rich flavor. We received the ginger, chocolate, cardamom and Emperor's varieties. These teas are sourced from 100% real, non-GMO ingredients and that is it. Why would you want anything else? They use biodegradable filter paper for their bags and even the package can be recycled or composted. 
The flavors of these teas are so nice. I'm a strong cup-of-tea girl and these fit my taste just right. My current favorite is the ginger variety. It has a spicy, balanced taste. I like mine with a little organic honey. My husband loves the cardamom and Emperor's blends. He drinks a cup of hot tea after each meal. You certainly can tell the difference in quality from these teas. The fact that they are all made with so much care for the earth and fair labor practices makes it even better. You really can feel good about every cup. 

To learn more about Numi Pu-erh tea and to purchase them, you can order from their website or check their store locator for local stores that carry them. I was lucky to find a couple health food stores locally that carry Numi tea. I look forward to trying out their turmeric teas for the great health benefits. 

If you are a tea lover, you must try these out for yourself. Be sure to follow Numi Tea on Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates. 

I received product samples in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Amaize Sweet Corn- Truly The Best Corn Ever!

Today's post is sponsored by Amaize Sweet Corn. All opinions are strictly my own. 

It's summertime and we are all about the summer veggies. One of our favorites is the classic, fresh corn on the cob. I was watching a segment on a health-related news show a while back and was blown away to find out that close to 90% of our corn is genetically modified. I find that really scary to say that corn is such a common go-to vegetable for families. I was thrilled to be introduced to Amaize sweet corn. Amaize sweet corn is bred using traditional methods through hybridization and is not genetically modified. Amaize is grown locally using conventional farming methods.

So why is this corn so special? It is the sweetest, most crunchy corn I have ever tasted. Some corn tends to get mushy once its cooked. Not Amaize. It stays so crisp and pops in your mouth when you eat it. My family is pretty traditional when it comes to how we like our corn cooked. One of my favorite ways to prepare fresh corn is parboiled in some plain water and then seasoned and grilled on my stove-top cast iron grill. 
I love adding a little something extra to my grilled corn and either grated Parmesan or crumbled feta is a great addition. You can transfer your grilled corn onto a piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle lightly with your choice of cheese and a small pat of butter if desired. Put it back on the grill just for a couple minutes and you will have the most perfect corn on the cob! 

Feta adds a nice salty flavor that pairs perfectly with the abundant sweet taste of the corn. My family raved about how sweet and tasty the corn was. My husband insisted that I must have added sugar to it and I had to ensure him that I did not! It is just that delicious. 

Amaize sweet corn is only available for a limited time-- from June- September in select stores. I am so happy that it is available at my local Food Lion stores. I will be purchasing some to freeze so that we can have some extras for after the summer ends. Check out some of the cooking tips and recipes here and be sure to follow Amaize Sweet Corn on Facebook and Youtube

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on some Amaize sweet corn, let me know how you liked it! I am pretty certain that you will LOVE it :) 

Unique Naan Pizzas from Tandoor Chef- Review

October is National Pizza Month and pizza lovers everywhere should celebrate! Pizza seems to be the one food that is a go-to favorite. My family loves pizza and likes trying different varieties. Tandoor Chef has come out with a line of Naan Pizzas in some very unique varieties:  Cilantro-pesto, Roasted Eggplant, Margherita, Spinach & Paneer Cheese and JalapeƱo. The minute I saw eggplant, I knew I had to try it.
They hand-stretch their naan and all of the ingredients are natural and contain no GMO's. This variety is also vegetarian which is a plus. But, what about the taste? I really thought this came from one of those swanky pizza places that makes specialty varieties with a big price tag attached. It was truly restaurant quality in every way. The flavors were very bold and they did not skimp on the eggplant. I reserved a piece for my husband to try and he never thought the day would come that he would like any food with eggplant on it. We were both impressed!
Tandoor Chef Naan Pizzas are great option if you are looking for a different take on ordinary pizza. I found them at my local Whole Foods market and will be requesting that my regular grocery stores consider carrying them. You can look up your city in the store locator. I don't think I will have to order out anymore with these fabulous pizzas! If you are able to find them, I very highly recommend you give it a try. Don't be mad at me when you become hooked though :-)

You can learn more about Tandoor Chef naan pizzas and other entrees on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

I received product vouchers for complimentary items for review purposes. All opinions are my own as always. 

Salba Chia Seeds-- Where have you been all my life?

For some time now, I have been really curious about chia seeds. I know, I know-- I'm so late. Seriously though, I have been wanting to try them since I have been hearing so many good things about them. I received a fabulous box of samples from Salba Smart to try out. 
Salba chia comes both in whole seeds and ground. I read some material that was enclosed in my package and was blown away by the healthy benefits chia seeds provide. Salba is gluten free, raw, vegetarian/vegan, non-GMO, non allergenic, and has a neutral flavor profile. Salba can be easily incorporated into any recipe to boost the nutrition, which is especially beneficial in more specialized diets. Salba's water absorption properties and high fiber make it excellent for increasing satiety, which is important to maintaining healthy weight. Salba also increases your energy, makes your nails, hair, and skin healthier, and improves regularity.
We tried Salba whole seeds on salad first. I love the fact that chia seeds are practically flavorless. This makes adding a super healthy punch to foods much easier. Me and my husband absolutely love Salba on our salads. Seriously, we have been missing out for so long. The amazing part is staying full longer from eating a salad. This was a first for both of us. I have been adding some seeds on top of my cereal and even our six year old has been asking for them on his oatmeal. This is really good since school starts back in exactly two weeks. I worry about him staying full until lunch time. Looks like we have found a new pantry staple in our household. I love the fact that you can purchase single serving packets. This makes it easy for me to send in my husbands lunch box. 

I plan to incorporate Salba chia seeds into breakfast muffins, yogurt, smoothies and more. To find out more about Salba Smart chia products, check out their website. They have a recipes tab and such great tips on how to use them in general. These tips were very useful to me. Check them out:

Have you tried chia seeds? What is your favorite way to have them?

Made in Nature Organic Dried Fruit Review & Giveaway (2 winners)

I have a confession. I'm not a fruit lover. I'm very particular when it comes to fruit texture. Oddly enough I prefer to eat fruit dried over fresh. I received some samples of Made in Nature Organic dried fruit in Bananas, Cranberries and Black Mission Figs. Made in Nature organic fruit has no added sugar, are non-GMO, nut-free and are unsulfered. I don't think you can get more natural than that! 
I tried the bananas first. They aren't the prettiest looking things, but boy do they taste amazing. I felt like I could eat them like candy. The texture was so chewy and I just loved how naturally sweet they were. The cranberries were nothing like what I am used to from the usual brand I use. Apparently I have been buying the wrong kind for years. Oh boy, the cranberries were perfectly sweet-tart and packed with flavor. I admit, I wasn't too thrilled about the figs. I went for it. You know what? They were actually very good-- surprisingly sweet with a chewy texture. I browsed the Made in Nature site and didn't realize how many recipes you can add dried fruit into.

Eating dried fruit is a very good option for me since my body is in need of the extra potassium and fiber. My husband really enjoyed snacking on all of the varieties of dried fruit with organic pecans. They keep him energized during the workday and I feel good that he's eating something really healthy, without added sugar. We look forward to trying some of the other fruit varieties, especially the apricots, apples and plums. As a matter of fact, I think the plums or apricots would be amazing in a zesty lamb or beef stew.

Giveaway: Two lucky Mom Files readers will win a gift pack including three varieties of Made in Nature Organic dried fruit in Bananas, Cranberries and Black Mission Figs. Enter below:
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This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on July 11, 2014. Please follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter widget. Two winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

I received product samples in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 

Eatrageous- A fun and healthier way to snack #wgc #crunchthenumbers

I received a complimentary box of Eatrageous snacks for review. All opinions are  my own as always. 

Are you a big snacker? I know I am. I find that I always need a quick snack in the afternoon when it's time to pick the kids up from school. I do my best to go for healthy options. I was so interested in trying out the new snacks made by Eatrageous. They are supposed to be a "twist on chips". 
Eatrageous chips are very unique. They use all natural, non-GMO, and gluten-free ingredients in all of their products. What sets them apart from traditional chips is their Clean Cooking Technology. This cooking method uses a thermal flash process to cook their chips to perfection without grease, eliminating virtually all fat and reducing calories. The end result is cleaner, healthier, super crunchy chips.
You're probably wondering how they taste. If you look at them, they resemble an angled tube. I think I was expecting a light crunch with a melting texture (if that makes sense). Turns out that they are very crunchy and addicting. I tried all 4 flavors and wasabi ranch is my top pick. The flavor is so intense without being salty. The crunchy mac n' cheese, sweet & smokey bbq and original sea salt all tied for second place. They are ALL delicious! They are perfect for when I am on the go. I think the crunchiness satisfies my snacking urge and at only 100 calories, this is truly guilt-free snacking! Warning: Your loud crunching may annoy others around you. Crunch with caution :)

Eatrageous chips can be purchased directly from their website or you can see if any local stores carry them with their store locator feature.

Be sure to connect with Eatrageous on Facebook and Twitter.
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