June 2nd, 2016

storyteller doll

Graze Box #2

Here are my comments on the snacks I got in my second Graze box.

Snack #1 – Stars & Stripes: This is a mix of blueberry flavored cranberries, mini blackcurrant fruit stars, and raspberry fruit strings. It’s 130 calories. I didn’t actually think I was going to like this as: a) I am not really a big fan of most dried fruit, and b) I have only had blackcurrant before in tea. But it proved to be pretty good. The blackcurrant stars and the raspberry stripes are really more gummies than fruit. On the down side, it is high in sugar (25 grams, admittedly mostly natural from fruit juice and fruit puree) and I didn’t find it very filling. I should also note that I thought that the stars made this a very pretty offering.

Snack #2 – Sour Cream & Garlic Crostini: Not just crostini, but garlic crostini, along with sour cream & onion cashews. This was also 130 calories. This is the sort of thing that is pretty much guaranteed to work for me since I love cashews, croutons, sour cream, onions, and garlic. And, indeed, I did like it, though it was also not as exciting as trying something I wouldn’t normally choose to eat if that makes any sense.

Snack #3 – Strawberries and Cream Protein Granola Topper: This consisted of oat and barley granola, yogurt-coated strawberry pieces, freeze-dried strawberries, and soy protein crispies. Calorie count is 130. (Hmm, there seemed to be a pattern there.) I tasted this on its own first and thought it rather bland. Then I did what most people seem to with this – used it to top a bowl of yogurt. In my case, that was plain whole milk yogurt from the Mennonite farmers at my farmers’ market. I found that considerably more successful and it made quite a nice (and, surprisingly filling) breakfast. I’m left with mixed feelings, though, since my original purpose in signing up for Graze was to shake up my afternoon snacks and, obviously, eating one for breakfast did nothing for that. I guess there is nothing wrong with a change of pace for breakfast, too.

Snack #4 – Butterscotch Popcorn Flapjack: This is a soft granola bar type of thing, with rolled oats and butterscotch popcorn pieces. It’s 250 calories, but there are three bars in the package, so you could actually eat them one at a time. Or you could, that is, if they weren’t so delicious. The butterscotch flavoring made this sweet, but it didn’t feel cloying. This was also quite filling, so it was handy to have with me during a long meeting.

Snack #5 – Energizing Almond, Carrot & Apple: This had almonds, carrot and orange chews, and soft apple pieces. This is high in fiber and 180 calories. The almonds were just almonds – which is fine with me. The carrot chews were kind of weird, with a faint orange flavor, but not any real carroty taste. I usually think of dried apple as hard, but these were big, chewy pieces and, frankly, the texture didn’t work for me. Trying to eat the pieces blended together didn’t make much of a difference. This wasn’t terrible, but, since I can get both almonds and nice crisp apples easily enough, I marked this to trash.

Snack #6 – Brooklyn Bites: I have no idea what poppy seed pretzels, cheese cashews, and roasted pumpkin seeds have to do with Brooklyn. This is 160 calories and is a reasonable mix of savory tastes. The pumpkin seeds are soy sauce flavored, which is nice, but there are too many of them relative to the pretzels and cashews. And I thought the cheese flavoring of the cashews was a bit off – kind of artificial tasting. Not bad, but not exciting.

Snack #7 – Snickerdoodle Dip with Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks: At 150 calories, this isn’t nearly as horrifying as it sounds. And, assuming you like cinnamon as much as I do, it’s thoroughly delicious. I especially appreciated that it wasn’t super sweet. This is also a good argument for the controlled portion size, since I suspect I could go through a whole jar of the snickerdoodle dip on its own.

Snack #8 – Spicy Sriracha Crunch: This is a bit hard to describe. It’s a mix of salted jumbo corn kernels (sort of like corn nuts) and peas and half-popped corn kernels, both with a sriracha flavoring. It’s 110 calories, which is reasonable for this sort of thing. I like crunchy snacks and I like spicy foods, so I anticipated enjoying it. I did like it, but not quite as much as I expected to. It’s a strong flavor and I think it would go well with a beer, but I was eating it at work, so that wasn’t an option.

Overall, I liked the variety of snacks I got. Eight snacks every two weeks seems like an appropriate amount and it was only slightly tricky to spread them out across that time period. It was harder to decide which order to try them in. There was nothing I thought was terrible, though I didn’t care for the texture of the apple pieces in the Energizing Almond, Carrot & Apple. Still, it’s easy enough to rate something as "trash" and not get it again. (Other ratings are "try," "like," and "love." Presumably, the latter two will result in your getting those snacks more often.) I’m planning to continue with Graze for the meantime, since I’m finding it a good way to increase the variety of what I snack on.

Again, if you are interested, I have codes that will get you your first and fifth boxes free (first box is 4 snacks; fifth is 8.) Just let me know.