Van’s Whole Grain Cereals

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Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 9.33.24 PMIt all started back in the 1970s at the original Van’s restaurant. It was there they first dished up whole grain and gluten free hot ’n toasty waffles. By the late 1980s, they decided it was time to bring our tasty waffles to a whole new group of customers – right in their local grocery stores.  Now, they have expanded into other foods like breakfast cereals!

You can easily start the day out right with a full serving of whole grains and 5 grams of fiber per serving.  You can get both Honey Nut Crunch and Cinnamon Heaven as flavors.  These are made with nutrient rich whole grains including gluten free oats, brown rice, millet, quiona, and amaranth.  These cereals give you a tasty and satisfying crunch without using dairy, egg, corn, high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, or GMO oils.

We recently tried the Cinnamon Flavor.  It tastes awesome!  You would never guess that this doesn’t have the ingredients that most of the cereals in the cereal aisle do.  My kids have asked to eat this every day for breakfast for a week now!  It definitely was a hit in my house.

I can only recommend Van’s!

Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressing

“We will start a new place and serve good food. At a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but we will serve good food.”

Teresa Marzetti set the tone of her company with this short quote. Who wouldn’t want to be involved with a company with such a mission statement? It all began in 1896 when young Teresa Marzetti arrived in the United States from Florence, Italy, and started her small Italian restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. It grew to be a four star restaurant over time. Customers often were leaving the restaurant with bottles of their freshly made salad dressings, so the upstairs kitchen of the restaurant became a full-scale factory. That is how the Marzetti brand of salad dressings found its way into grocery stores. The restaurant closed in 1972 but the salad dressings and other specialty food products have lived on (hence my review of the Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressings).

One of Marzetti’s new products is the Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressing. These salad dressings are all natural. They are made with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and canola oil (which provides omega-3s). They also do not contain preservatives, trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, MSG and artificial flavors.

We ended up getting the Ranch flavor of this salad dressing. We liked the Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressing. The texture was pretty smooth. This ranch dressing could definitely go with many different things. We personally tried it on a salad first (because well, that’s where I use salad dressing the most!). It was great on a salad with some lettuce, croutons, and cheese (yes, my salads are that boring). We also tried it on some chicken nuggets, because my husband loves chicken nuggets dipped in ranch. Needless to say, he found it a winner for that too. I can also see this going really well with a vegetable tray you put out for a party), crackers, or even beer bread (which is my specialty for dips). I always worry that the healthier something is, the worse it will taste (and sometimes that does hold true). However, for Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressing that definitely does not hold true. It is just as good as any other Ranch dressing we’ve had. I love food that is better for my family that tastes great! It also didn’t seem as heavy as some others dressings I’ve had. The smell of Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressing is definitely yummy too. I can definitely see this being a part of our holiday parties and meals.

If you are finding yourself hungry now, you can find Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressings with the refrigerated salad dressing in the produce section of your local grocery store. It is definitely worth trying with your holiday meals and snacks.

I was one of the bloggers selected by T. Marzetti Company and Clever Girls Collective to host a Marzetti Simply Dressed review. They provided me with product to test myself and compensation for my time. However, my opinions are entirely my own.

Snackimals Giveaway!

This giveaway is now over. The winner is Timmy. Congrats!

Peanut butter and chocolate –two of those classic flavors that can instantly take you back to childhood. And, for moms like yourself looking to avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients, finding that balance between nourishing your kids and allowing them to indulge in those classic childhood treats can be difficult.  Barbara’s Bakery, known for their all-natural cereals, has several snacks that follow their “say no to the bad stuff” mantra. These snackimals have no hydrogenated Oils, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no refined sugar, no trans fats, no artificial additives, and no high fructose corn syrup. Barbara’s just introduced two new flavors to their Snackimals (animal cookies) line that I got to try: Snackimals Peanut Butter and Snackimals Double Chocolate!

Let me tell you — you can’t go wrong with these.  I brought them to a pool play date we had with my husband’s aunt, a bunch of his cousins, and their kids.  Needless to say, we had a lot of people who got to try these out.  Everybody loved them.  You know you have a great product when the adults are snacking on the snackimals just as much as the kids.  Both snackimals were good, but I have to admit that my favorite was the double chocolate.  (Seriously, who doesn’t like chocolate?)  Another thing that impressed my husband’s aunt was that the bags have weight to them.  It isn’t like normal cookies where the bag is as light as can be (and you are hungry again 20 minutes later).  These were a hit! The fact that they are better for you is an added benefit!

Since these were such a hit here, I’ve arranged for one lucky winner to get their own set of cookies!  Here’s what you need to do:

Head over to Barbara’s Bakery and tell me another one of their products you’d like to try!


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For 10 bonus entries:

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This contest will end August 19th at 11:59 pm CST! Good Luck!