17 September 2009
Last week I was contacted to review a new product from Kraft Canada and their Back to Nature products. I do the occasional review on my blog if tyhe product is a healthy alternative, available here in Canada or eco-friendly. A day later a beautiful basket arrived at my doorstep with a sampling of each variety they had to offer compliments of Edelman. Nuts are a great snack on their own, but there are many wonderful fruits, seeds and other foods that can be mixed with them to create delicious flavour combinations as they have for their 6 nut/fruit combinations for their new product line.
When it comes to snacking, more and more Canadians are realizing the benefits of nuts which are one of the world’s oldest and most satisfying grab-and-go foods. According to their web site nut consumption is on the rise. In fact, nut consumption in Canada grew by 14% in one year alone, with trail mix growth increasing by 22%. Nuts are definitely a staple in my home and purchased regularily.
This does not mean, however, that all nuts are created equal. Back to Nature is dedicated to keeping ingredients the way nature intended them to be. Some nuts are low quality, processed, or may contain preservatives and artificial flavours that just aren’t found in nature. Not only can this make a difference in the nutrition and health value of the nuts, but it can affect the taste too.
Nuts have natural oils and can spoil quickly if exposed to oxygen. Often packaged nuts are not sealed adequately or there is no barrier to prevent oxygen from leaking inside the bag, resulting in stale and sometimes even spoiled nuts. Instead the company uses nitrogen flushing—a 100% natural process that helps keep nuts fresh in the package before they are opened. Before sealing the bag, the package is filled with nitrogen, which in turn pushes the excess oxygen out of the bag. This keeps the nuts fresher, longer. This packaging method is standard practice with coffee beans, which also have natural oils that can spoil. The packages also come with a quick seal feature so that you can seal in the freshness and consume your product at a later time if you want to have only a handful at a time. They also do not require scissors or your teeth to open the packaging which is a bonus if you are out and about.
Another great thing about Back to Nature is that it has no artificial additives, preservatives, sweeteners, chemicals, hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. It’s 100% natural. They also only use premium ingredients...the best available nuts and harvested fruits. Nut types are individually roasted in small batches. Almonds separated from pistachios separated from cashews so that each nut retains their original flavour and crunch. Even the dried cranberries are juicy because the cranberries they use are dried with their juices intact.
Trail mix is a combination of dried fruit, grains, nuts, and sometimes chocolate which is developed as a snack food to be taken along on outdoor hikes, trips or as an after-school snack. I would consider it an ideal snack food because it is tasty, lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, and provides a quick boost from the carbohydrates in the dried fruit and sustained energy from the mono - and polyunsaturated fats in nuts. I am headed to San Francisco next week for BlogHer Food with day trips exploring the city as well as the coast, so, these packages will come in very handy in my day pack. Some of the nuts are already gone and were so fresh and delicious!!!! The trail mixes will be saved for next week. I am especially looking forward to the chocolate/vanilla mix that will cure my cravings for chocolate in the city of The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.
Try sprinkling nuts into salads, yogurt, cereal, pasta and cooked vegetables. Or add a handful to your muffin and pancake batter for an extra punch of flavour and nutrition. Add fruit and nuts to a cheese platter for new twist on a favourite appetizer. Experiment with flavour and texture by sprinkling or blending it in with softer cheeses. Chocolate bark is a decadent treat any time of year. Try adding your favourite trail mix into the recipe for a guaranteed flavour (and nutrition) boost.
Back to nature has 6 varieties to choose from. Try them today!!!!!!
Made with premium almonds, plump California raisins (sun-dried with no added sugars or preservatives), jumbo and large grade pistachios, and cranberries that are dried with their natural juices intact. This premium trail mix is 100% natural—no preservatives, no additives, all delicious.
They start by meticulously selecting the highest grade of almonds commercially available: Nonpareil almonds, prized for their superior size. Then they gently dry roast them, and then steep them in sea salt to create delicious almonds—100% natural with absolutely no additives or added oils.
After roasting, the nuts are blended together to create a 100% natural Sea Salt Roasted Cashew, Almond and Pistachio mix—four simple ingredients, one great taste.
A perfect combination of taste and texture. They begin with crunchy pecans that are sourced from Southwest US and Mexico. Then they’re mixed in with their sun-dried and premium-grade California apricots, delicious pumpkin and sunflower seeds, highest-grade almonds and plump raisins to create a delicious, 100% natural trail mix that has no additives or preservatives.
Only jumbo cashews make the cut for Back to Nature. USDA Fancy Grade whole cashews—no pieces or picked-over remains. They dry roast them and then gently steep them in sea salt to preserve their natural taste and crunch—creating a 100% natural mix without any additives, preservatives or added oils.
They start with plump cranberries from bogs in Quebec and eastern Canada that grow cranberries exclusively for drying, not juicing. Then they dry them with their natural juices intact, creating a “juicy” dried cranberry. Then they add premium almonds that have been slowly tumbled in dark chocolate of over 50% cacao. Then they finish this perfect recipe with almonds coated in vanilla from Madagascar. The result is a 100% natural, 100% delicious snack.