Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Matcha Powder...Green Tea Like You've Never Seen Before.

Have you ever heard of matcha green tea powder? Well, if you haven't, you're not alone, because I hadn't either before signing up to review this great organic product from Kiss Me Organics! The actual origin of matcha is something that is not unfamiliar to most of us, however. It is simply the leaves of the plant where we get green tea from that have been ground up into a fine powder. So instead of drinking tea that has been made from steeping the leaves, you are actually ingesting the leaves directly. Matcha is proclaimed to have great health benefits, as it is most commonly known for being jam-packed with antioxidants as well as being a great metabolism booster.

What did I think of it personally? I loved it! My husband did, too. We mostly added it to smoothies, which I really think is the best way to consume culinary grade matcha. We did try it as a hot tea drink, though, and I found that to be really quite tasty too...if you like that strong chlorophyll  taste! I added some honey and it was just right for me. Not everyone likes it that way, but if you enjoy stronger, more leafy/grassy flavored teas (Sounds strange but some people really do), then I'm sure you'd enjoy this as a hot drink as well. This product came with a booklet of all different types of recipes to try. I didn't try many of them because they included cream or milk which I cannot have right now because I'm nursing a baby who is dairy-intolerant. BUT, I really wanted to, especially the lattes! They looked delicious!

Here is the link to this product on Amazon if you'd like to try it yourself. It also has a long list of customer reviews, many of them giving very high ratings! Once again, as was the case in my last review, the price is a bit steep for our budget. However, you only need a small amount to achieve health benefits, so one package will last you a while if you choose to just add it to your morning smoothie or have an occasional cup of tea! We have had ours for over a month and still have more than half the bag left. And that is after using it almost daily. Have you ever tried matcha? Please comment below and let me know what you think, or if you tried this product, how would you most like to use it? Smoothies, lattes, baking, or some other unique way? 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Yacon.....Rhymes with Bacon?

So, yippee, I'm doing my first product review EVER!

And I'm really excited to be able to do it for such a unique and wonderful product from Life & Food.

"Yacon syrup? What's that?" That's what I said when I first heard of it, anyway! Well, let me explain a bit about this wonderful sweetener to you. To answer the question in my title, no, it is not pronounced like "bacon", but rather has an accent mark over the "o". So it's "yay-CONE". Anyway, it's made from a plant that grows in certain places in South America. The root is juiced and then cooked down to a syrup. The premium syrup is considered a raw product because it is only heated at 45 degrees Celsius. This product is low on the glycemic index, making it diabetic-friendly and a great option for natural sweetener. It also can help to boost metabolism and improve digestion, as it contains a fair percentage of prebiotics.

Now, as for how it tastes. I would describe it as having a mild molasses-like flavor, minus the bitterness. It is delightfully sweet and tasted great with everything I added it to! My favorite was to have it on toast or pancakes. We also used it in our regular homemade salad dressing instead of honey. We used it in smoothies, too, and I am including a recipe for my newest, absolute favorite smoothie made with none other than.....yacon! :)

As you can see, we really enjoyed it! The only down side is the price...on a tight budget, this is a little hard to justify. However, if you only use a little bit of it here and there like we did, it can last a while and you'll get more bang for your buck. If you take the recommended 3 teaspoons a day specifically for weight loss...well...it might get a little pricey for you!

OK, here's the recipe. It's not mine actually, it's Derrick's. I'll be honest, he is the master chef around here. And he usually just whips stuff up, but I asked him to write down the amounts he used, and he kindly obliged! So here it is...my super duper favoritest smoothie in the world created by Derrick Howry! :)

Coconut Yacon Green Smoothie (Dairy Free)
1 cup kale
1/2 cup spinach
3 frozen bananas
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut cream
2 cups coconut milk (or any kind of milk if you're not dairy free, but the coconut flavor is awesome!)
3 tsp yacon syrup

Serves: 3

cocoa powder and peanut butter to taste (This is what makes it my favorite, but not everyone likes it this way...that's what Derrick tells me anyway. I have a hard time understanding why someone wouldn't want a chocolate peanut butter smoothie, but that's their loss I guess!)

I found this video that gives lots more info about yacon, in case anyone is interested!!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.