Sunday, May 27, 2012

Enjoy Life - New Products!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Enjoy Life to review some new products that recently launched.  Since this company is dedicated to creating gluten & allergy free products and are vegan, I gladly accepted this challenge!

I received two of their latest chocolate products - Semi–Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks and Double Chocolate Crunch Granola!  Chocolate - score!!!

Being Mother's Day weekend, I had two things I needed to make - Chocolate Covered Strawberries and a batch of vegan Brownies courtesy of Simply Organic.

I opted to put the Semi–Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks into the Brownies, because I just love chocolate chips in baked goods, especially brownies and I figured chunks of chocolate would be even better!  Since I ignored the brownie mix instructions to add vegan margarine and instead opted for apple sauce - they came out pretty gummy/mushy (next time I will experiment with banana).  I am happy to say that the chunks of chocolate helped to salvage my baking wreck.

I also found myself as well as other members of the household mindlessly snacking away on these mega chunks!  They are the perfect size for snacking and I wager would work perfectly in some trail mix.  I also liked that they were a little soft, easier to bit into.

So, what did I do about the Strawberries?  I actually had Enjoy Life's Semi-Sweet Mini Chips on hand that I had been using to top Hoff's Awesome Chocolate Ice Cream!  A most awesome combination, I must say.  So I melted those down to cover the Strawberries.  They worked perfectly and my Chocolate Covered Strawberries once again received rave reviews!

I am not going to weigh in on the nutritional content of these two types of chocolate chips, because lets face it, chocolate is a treat and cannot be expected to be nutritionally perfect.  I was alarmed at first when I saw that these chocolate chips were made from chocolate liquor and no actual chocolate! But, a little research revealed that chocolate liquor is actually pure chocolate in it's liquid form and comes straight from the cocoa bean - crisis adverted.  I give Enjoy Life props for producing vegan chocolate chips that only contain three ingredients and nothing that I can't pronounce or understand. And for that, I say Enjoy Life's chocolate baking line rocks!

Now for the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola.  First, I have to admit that I am not much of a granola fan.  I'm always confused as what to do with it - snack on it, pour milk on it, stick it in something?  That and the high fat content that typically goes along with granola is a downer.  I opted to snack on this one and frankly, I wasn't too impressed.  Yes, there's a hint of chocolate, but beyond that it didn't do a whole lot for me.  Maybe used to create a trail mix with raisins and such it would hold it's own?

But, it was really the nutritional content that turned me off.  I don't consider granola to be a decadent, indulgent treat, so I'm going to judge this product like I would any other.  The sodium & sugar is rather low and it has a little bit of fiber and protein - not bad.   It fails however, in regards to fat content - it overly exceeds the 20% of calories from fat rule.  That plus the addition of oil, which is probably driving the fat.  Bear in mind that most granola's are high in fat and contain oil, so this product isn't breaking new ground here.  Props again for being vegan and avoiding the top 8 common food allergies, but for me, I would pass on this one.

Keep it Healthy!
The Hoff

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