July 5th, 2016

storyteller doll

Graze Box #4

I do have other things to write about, but wanted to get this entry up while things are still fresh in my mind.

Snack #1 – Herby Bread Basket: This consists of miniature basil breadsticks, oregano rice crackers, and garlic crostini. It’s 90 calories. The basil and oregano are the dominant flavors, which is fine by me. The mixture is nice and crunchy and a nice change from the more ordinary sort of chips or crackers. It’s a good thing for the controlled portion, as I think I could mindlessly eat large sacks of this sort of thing.

Snack #2 – Garden of England: This 80 calorie snack is a mixture of soft dried apple slices, miniature dried strawberries, and dried black currants. I think I’ve discovered the secret to Graze’s dried apple slices – namely, their oddly chewy texture is off-putting on its own, but works well if you eat them with other, sweeter fruit bits. Strawberries are pretty much my favorite food on the planet and the currants added a bit of tang to the whole mix. I rated this as "love."

Snack #3 – Mango Coconut Protein Granola Topper: This consists of a mango and passion fruit sauce, along with oat and barley granola, almond slivers, and coconut flakes. It’s 140 calories. This has 9 grams of sugar, which is actually lower than I’d have expected for this sort of thing. Anyway, it’s meant to be eaten with yogurt and works well as breakfast this way. Given the relative exoticism of the contents, I was surprised to find this the least interesting of the protein toppers I’ve tried so far. It was okay, but the mango flavor got drowned out by the tang of the yogurt.

Snack #4 – Honey Drizzled Cashews: This is pretty much what it sounds like – roasted cashews in a honey glaze. It’s 180 calories, and, to my taste, worth every single one of them. It’s not an especially creative snack, admittedly. But I love cashews and I liked that this was sweet without being cloyingly so. It also think it would go well with dried pineapple or candied ginger, not that I had either of those around my office.

Snack #5 – Kettlecorn Kern Pops These are somewhere between corn nuts and popcorn. They’re 130 calories. I was afraid these would be too sweet, but they were actually okay, since a fair amount of the sugar settled into the bottom of the punnet. They were a bit bland and really dominated by crunchiness. Which was fine, but I’d say they weren’t very interesting.

Snack #6 – White Chocolate with Wild Blueberry Toasts: One of the things Graze seems to do particularly well is their dips. This snack consisted of a little wholegrain toast bits with blueberries in them which you can dip into a thinnish white chocolate cream. It’s really hard to go wrong with those ingredients and it’s even better that it comes out to just 130 calories for a sweet treat. I’d have liked the dip to be a bit thicker, but that is really a minor quibble.

Snack #7 – Vietnamese Pho: This is the least successful of the aromatic broths I’ve gotten so far. On the plus side, it is 60 calories and did make for a filling lunch. But it didn’t taste much like actual pho, which is normally a beef and noodle soup. There were small rice noodle pieces, but they were pretty generic. I will admit that the shiitake mushroom slices did give a touch of meatiness to the flavor. But the soup was really dominated by the spices in the broth and, in particular, star anise. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t really what I was expecting. Which is a shame since I’ve liked the other broths so much.

Snack #8 – Cocoa & Vanilla Protein Flapjack: Graze describes this as rustic rolled oat cocoa flapjack with mixed seeds." That is, it is, basically, three miniature cocoa-flavored chewy granola bars. At 250 calories, it is more a meal than a snack, which is fine when one is stuck in endless hours of meetings. It was pretty tasty and filling enough to make the afternoon survivable. Well, once I got my blood caffeine level back up, that is.

Overall, this box was a good mix of snacks, with a wider variety than I'd gotten last time. I'm impressed that I haven't yet gotten any duplicates, though I realize that saying that has now doomed me as far as the next box I get. As my goal was increasing the variety of what I eat, I think this has been wildly successful. Though I did still buy a big bag of the little bags of Trader Joe's almond, cashew and chocolate trail mix (the most perfect trail mix in the world) the other day.