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#grocerystoreobsessionsAugust8

“Jumping on the bandwagon” is the phrase that comes to mind tonight when it comes to my latest grocery store obsessions.

And these two items are innovative, fun and delicious.

1) Dole Kale Caesar Salad Kit

What the kale Caesar salad kit looks like after tossing it up and then pouring on a plate!
What the kale Caesar salad kit looks like after tossing it up and then pouring on a plate!

Browsing Kroger a few nights ago, I came across this gem, with the “New” on the packaging. Was so excited, and thought to myself two things:

1) Why didn’t they think of this before?!

2) They’re jumping on the kale bandwagon!!

I’ve always been a big fan of its lettuce Caesar kits as the dressing has awesome flavor and its SO easy to make. But now, with kale?! In. Love.

And here’s what’s jam packed inside this particular bag according to Dole:

“Another way to enjoy Caesar, a new way to love Kale: shaved Parmesan-Romano cheeses, roasted garlic croutons and DOLE’s All-Natural Caesar Dressing are tossed with bold baby kale, tender baby spinach and crunchy shredded broccoli. A delicious way to get vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium, it’s everything you love, and more.”

Chock full of vitamins, plus kale, according to webmd.com, helps fight off CANCER along with promoting eye health, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels and lowering risk for heart disease.

This salad took minutes, yes minutes, to prepare, and loved every bite. The dressing had a good amount of tang and spices, and along with the crunch of the garlic croutons and the crunchy baby kale, spinach and shredded broccoli, it was having a restaurant Caesar salad with even more health benefits and minus the prep work / fancy presentation. As kale has been such a huge craze, it’s exciting to see it being implemented into salad bags. Its already implemented into its chopped salad bags (another new favorite of mine from Dole), check those out here.

2) VitaminWater‘s line of sparkling water

VitaminWater's new fruitwater. Strawberry kiwi style.
VitaminWater’s new fruitwater. Strawberry kiwi style.

I said the same two things to myself after seeing these in the water aisle, next to a similar product that’s been out for some time now, Sparkling Ice.

I have found myself guilty of drinking A LOT of diet soda over the years. I love the taste, and at zero calories, it’s a great cold refreshing drink.

But I realize it’s not always the healthiest. And at times, I have turned to sparkling water’s, such as Sparkling Ice or back when I lived in CT/NY – Stop & Shop‘s sparkling waters.

Sparkling water versus seltzer to me is HUGE. The taste of seltzer is acquired. It can be bitter. Sparkling water, depending on the one you have, tastes like fruit flavored soda, minus that hard seltzer taste. Can I get a YUM!?

Which brings me to VitaminWater on the sparkling water bandwagon. It’s awesome.

I’ve had the strawberry kiwi flavor, and it tastes just like its still version, only carbonated. Zero calories. Delicious. Not overly sweet, just the right amount.

After doing a little research, its sparkling water has been around for a bit. However, the new packaging reminds me of Sparkling Ice, which makes me wonder if they’re trying to compete with them.

Regardless, so glad both parties in today’s post are on the bandwagon, and if you try either of these products, please let me know what you think!

DAYTON: #grocerystoreobsessionsMay21

I love grocery stores.

I’m fascinated by them.

Ever since I was younger, I’ve always loved to browse the aisles for unique items.

I’ve done this with friends, I’ve done this flying solo (i.e. the 24 hour Wegman’s in Syracuse, and here, the 24 hour Kroger‘s).

As I’ve said before on this blog, for the most part I like to eat cheap, and eat out of convenience.

Sometimes that can get tough when you feel the need to jump on the healthy train.

But I’m on my latest healthy kick, and I’ll tell you, I have found some guilt-free items at the grocery store I am full on OBSESSING over! And if you tried them, I think you would too.

Without further ado, here they are:

1) SKINNYPOP – Ultra Lite White Cheddar flavor

photo 2(1)

POPCORN. It’s the movie time staple we all know. But when doused in a ton of movie theater butter (I’m guilty of this, trust me), calories can add up. But this popcorn is a guilt-free gold mine. If you love cheese, this is the popcorn for you. It’s just enough of a cheesy taste to fulfill a craving, but it doesn’t overdo it (and you won’t get orange or white powder on your hands!). According to its website, the ultra lite white cheddar has a serving size of 3.5 cups, which is generous! And at only 160 calories, 9 grams of fat and 95 mg of sodium per serving size , guilt-free is definitely the word. And as it says there’s “no artificial anything,” as well as zero trans fat and a good source of fiber, I say DIG IN and bring this to your movies (or try it as a snack anytime).

2) Green Giant Seasoned Steamers: Brussels Sprouts with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper

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These are something that if you offered it to me as a kid, I would’ve said no. Brussels sprouts! The ultimate healthy green vegetable that you either like, or pass on. I grew into liking these green morsels in recent years, and came across these frozen ones at Kroger recently. Very easy to make, just microwave and when you open the bag they’re hot, steamy, and perfectly seasoned with the salt and pepper. The serving size is 3/4 cup at 3 grams of fat. The only thing to watch would be the sodium (at 250 mg).  But according to whfoods.com, brussels sprouts have special cholesterol-lowering benefits, and is also a great cancer protector!

3) KIND Bars

photo 1Have you ever had a protein bar? I’ve tried different kinds, from PowerBars to CLIF, and while not all of these are “protein” bars, they’re amazing for breakfast or as a dessert to resist eating sweets (and I’m a chocoholic, I love sweets!). In fact, it says on the bars’ packaging that “A recent study conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center found that two KIND bars a day can curb appetite and even help prevent weight gain.” The company is all about using ingredients you can actually pronounce, i.e. nuts. But many have nuts in them, so if you don’t like nuts or are allergic, be cautious at the store. There are so many sweet/savory combinations to choose from, but two of my favorites right now are Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants and Dark Chocolate Chili Almond. 

4) Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale Chips, Vampire Killer flavor:

photo 4Friends, these kale chips are mind-blowing.

Mind-blowing.

So much so that as soon as I finished the first pack I bought a few days ago, I went out and bought another one tonight at Kroger. Right now they’re situated near the vegetable section.

Now you’re probably thinking, Vampire Killer?!What’s up with that!

I’m a huge garlic lover, and that’s exactly what Brad set out to do in this chip, bring out the garlic and cheese with a good crunch.

Here’s what makes up Vampire Killer chips, according to its website:

“Coated with red bell pepper, cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, scallions, chickpea miso, garlic, and Himalayan sea salt, these kale chips may kill vampires, but they liven up your taste buds!”

Its website also points out that all flavors of Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale is dehydrated, to preserve the nutrients that “enhance digestion and dramatically increase energy levels.”

Woohoo!If you’re looking for something fun to munch and crunch on guilt-free, this is IT. And to give you an idea of the fat content, serving size is 1 ounce, 7 grams of fat and 116 mg of sodium.And Brad’s story on the website is inspiring in itself, please check it out. Brad, if you read this, I give you MAJOR kudos to an awesome chip. —What are your current #grocerystoreobsessions?Comment below or tweet at me, @kathleenhessman!

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