Aug 27, 2007

nune's nuts at noon.

I love inserting a deliberate punch of protein into my boys' stomachs in the middle of their school day. And because school is just around the corner, I find myself seeking for and stocking up on protein-packed, bagable snacks.

Nuts, in general, are a great way to insert protein and good fat into kids' diets. Nune's nuts come from Nune's farms, and these nuts are perfect for noon-time munching!

Years ago, I worked a short stint at a company where I helped them determine what specialty food items would prance on their shelves from one season to the next. It was fun: we tried all sorts of sauces, dips and chutneys, mustards and chocolates, chocolate covered sunflower seeds and hot chocolates. When it came to nuts, this particular brand/maker made a notable impression on me: to this day when I see it in a store, I have to buy it.

Nune's nuts aren't as easy to find in a store as their flavors merit; but if you are curious and a bit ambitious, consider purchasing these online. Nune's farm provides small packets of nuts, just the right size to pack in a noon-time brown bag (I buy the 1.5 ounce packs of whole, seasoned almonds).

Our brown bag vote? Nune's nuts are Absolutely Bagable.**

**Rated on a Bagable Scale: Not---Possibly---Probably---Easily---Absolutely

Aug 14, 2007

product review: Ian's nuggets

I really wanted to say good things about these nuggets, but alas reviews are not always raves, nor are raves always reviews.

I will not give up. We will keep trying different Ian's products, hoping for the best. Ian's has the right idea: all natural, no artificial anything, hormone and hydrogenated fat free. Ian captures the heart of eating healthy; my hope is that the flavors will eventually capture our heart, too.

If you DO love Ian's food, you can order their products right online; hey, at least they are aiming to replace the bad version of frozen food.

Ian's chicken nuggets & Ian's wheat/gluten free chicken nuggets: My boys and I tried these, twice. We tried the wheat and gluten free version, and the standard Ian chicken nuggets. The first time my boys ate them, they only ate 1-2 and claimed they tasted like dry bread with some semblance of chicken flavor. The second time we tried the nuggets, we achieved one, disappointed bite.

Sorry, Ian, we tried! Wish they would've been more of a hit, but for our family they didn't make the grade.
These nuggets will never again see the inside of my freezer. Not bagable.**

I think next time we will try the fish sticks.

**Rated on a Bagable Scale: Not---Possibly---Probably---Easily---Absolutely

Aug 6, 2007

chocolate chip studded banana mini muffins.

I am a huge fan of bite-size bagables: easy to eat, fuss-free finger food. I sometimes pack muffins instead of a sandwich, to keep the boys' brown bags interesting. As long as they keep guessing, and new foods appear in their lunches, the interest and curiosity should stay on an elevated level (or so I tell myself).

Mini muffins are a favorite way for me to bake---and pack---muffins: they are less messy than large, crumbly muffins and easy to eat mid-conversation.

And I think my boys get more excited about mini-muffins than they do 'regular size' muffins. This is probably the mini-muffin they see most often:

banana chocolate chip muffins
1 stick (1/2 cup) room temp. butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup mini or regular size chocolate chips

Oven to 350; cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add eggs, beat well. Sift together dry ingredients, then add to mixer. Blend. Add bananas, sour cream, vanilla and blend. Add nuts and chocolate chips; mix in. Butter or spray mini muffin pan; bake 18-20 minutes or until just golden on top.

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