10 Things To Do With KIND Granola

The holidays are my favorite time of year. Not only are they filled with joy and cheer, but the doorbell rings almost daily with packages from all of my online shopping! The other day I opened the door to 2 boxes of KIND products - woohoo! That was truly a treat because I didn't order any bars or granola, the fantastic people at KIND sent them my way complimentary for me to share with my clients, friends and family. First thing I did when I popped open the boxes? Took a picture of course!

KIND product packages say "Ingredients you can see & pronounce" - I love that! Sure enough their granola bags have a window to see the product inside and the bars are wrapped in clear wrap. The ingredients list is definitely easy to read and understand with natural recognizable ingredients. And the part I like most is that their products contain no refined sugar. A+ in my book!

Then I unwrapped a bar and took a bite. OMG the cinnamony sweet goodness of the Apple Cinnamon & Pecan Fruit and Nut bars is so satisfying. The textural blend of crunchy (nuts and granola) and gooey (dried fruits) are complimentary to the slightly sweet yet still salty flavor profile that's got a hint of cinnamon and just the right amount of apple.

Oh and the granola? It's perfect all by itself. It put my homemade granola to shame. For one, it's called Cinnamon Oat Clusters with Flax seeds which means it's got clusters and flax seeds - two things my granola does not have. Might have to try to duplicate this flavor profile and crunch factor. Then I thought, what the heck should I do with all this granola?! To start, I decided to share it. I sent a bag and a box of bars to the Air Force base with my fiance to share with his shop mates. From what I'm told, they all loved it and were thankful for the healthy treat.

On the box it says to eat it "any way you like it: on-the-go, over yogurt, or with milk!"

So that's just what I did.

But then I thought, what else can I do with all this granola?

Here are my top 10 things to do with KIND granola:

1. Share it! 2. Eat it straight out of the bag. 3. Put it on greek yogurt for a healthy snack with a tasty crunch! 4. Soak it in milk and enjoy hot for a warm breakfast cereal. 5. Use it as the topping for your baked apple or apple pie. (more on this later in the week) 6. Use it in muffins and other recipes like stuffing instead of bread crumbs. 7. Top your pancakes and waffles with it. 8. Put it on frozen yogurt or ice cream. 9. Make a parfait with fruit and yogurt! 10. Eat it like cereal in milk or almond milk.

Do you have a creative way to enjoy KIND Granola? Share it here! I'd love to try something new!

Some of My Favorite Things at #FNCE

This year was my first time attending the AND’s annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo – or FNCE for those of you “in the know.”  My attendance was sponsored by my 9-5 so I spent much of my time working the booth and fighting off freebie-loving attendees.  But since this show is the biggest Nutrition show of the year, I had to get around the expo to see who else was there.  I tried to take as many photos as I could, however after scrolling through my camera album it seems as though I forgot a few.  Anywho, here is a list of some of my favorite everyday things that were also at #FNCE! 1.    Some amazing Trail Mix at Forgotten Booth Name (oops) – I’m kind of neurotic when it comes to mixed nuts.  If it’s got any amount of sodium in the mix, I probably won’t eat it. I just don’t like the salty flavor, which usually leaves me thirsty.  I feel terribly, but my first question to the man at booth #563 was “does this have sodium in it?”  Ultimately, the almonds were the only item that contained salt.  I always love a good healthy trail mix and this one was full of nuts and dried fruit.  It even had shaved coconut and dark chocolate!  P.S.  shame on me, I don’t remember the actual blend and the man at the booth didn’t know either.  But doesn't it look good?

2.    Walnuts! – California Walnuts was there with a big fancy booth that had a big fancy walnut on top.  I love walnuts for their big bite of heart healthy fats.  I use them often to add crunch to cottage cheese, banana bread, oats and more.  Throughout the weekend I sent out a handful of tweets to @cawalnuts not because they were running a Twitter iPad 3 giveaway but because I love walnuts!

3.    Daisy Cottage Cheese – any brand of cottage cheese is good in my book, but Daisy brand was representing at FNCE this year.  They even had a cottage cheese bar where you could choose your toppings.  I picked plain old perfect strawberries.

4.    Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk – Silk was there with a handful of their most popular milks.  My favorite from Silk is their Unsweetened Almond Milk.  I use it in recipes, in cereal, in protein shakes and for a healthy beverage on it’s own.  Rich can’t even go one night without his Unsweetened Almond Milk with low-fat Honey Graham Crackers.  It’s his favorite after-dinner dessert.

5.    Kind Bars and their new Granola! – Kind bars are super-yummy and packed with dried fruit and nuts (just my kind of snack!).  They were exhibiting both their amazing bars and their flavored granolas.  I can’t remember which one I tried, but it was yum, and I also took home a sample so I’ll get back to you with a recap of that one at a later date.

6.    Annie’s Salad Dressing – Seriously the best Organic low-cal salad dressings around.  You’d never know they are low-cal by tasting them.  My particular favorite is the Lite-Gingerly flavor (thanks to my kick-a$$ friend Wendy in Wyoming).  When I found their booth, I spent 5 minutes explaining how addicted I am to their dressing – this rant was followed by them handing me a handful of coupons.  Perfect!  I love coupons!  And I love this dressing!

7.    Red Mill Flours – You can find this stuff in Whole Foods, Stop N Shop, Publix and wherever else you buy your groceries.  It’s good stuff!  I’ve used their flax meal and Almond flour before with success.  I stopped to chat with the girl at Red Mill for a few minutes; she had this fabulous cookbook on the table that I’m dying to get my hands on.  I’m hoping she sends me a copy [which I will of course share the contents with you all when she does].  She also mentioned a new flour she had coming out soon.  I’ll share that with you at a future date as well.  Anyway, if you’ve not tried any flours out of the usual, give Red Mill a shot - they have affordable good quality products.

8.    Chobani Greek Yogurt! – Yay for Chobani!  Our booth was directly across from Chobani [which I planned for] that made for a very hungry weekend.  Everyone who walked by had a cup of Chobani yogurt in their hand from Chobani's Greek yogurt bar.  That’s right, they had a Greek yogurt bar where you could choose your flavor and choose your toppings.  I chose plain yogurt with cashews, blueberries and coconut.  It was amazing to say the least.  Chobani always goes over the top for events – their café/kitchen theme went over well and so did their two new flavors – Banana and Pear.  Yum yum!  Can’t wait to try these again when they hit stores!

After a long 4-day event, I can honestly say my time at FNCE was a success.  I learned a few good things from the educational sessions, tried some yummy new flavors and foods, and met some great people.  Before I go, I have to give a shout out to my good friend Marie Spano who I only found out was there via Twitter.  Thanks Twitter for keeping me in touch with my friends!

Did you attend FNCE this year? What were some of the highlights for you? If not, what are some of your favorite healthy treats and snacks?