December 29, 2009

An Apple a Day...

Well now that I totally did myself in with all of the desserts during the Christmas season, I'm going to dedicate a little bit of my blog of some healthy stuff. Everyone seems to make the new year's resolution to lose weight or get healthy. I admit, that was my resolution year after year too, up until a couple years ago when I changed my habits and my lifestyle became 95% healthy and active. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the cookies and junk food every once in a while, but not like before. This old girl, she ain't what she used to be!

So I'm on the quest to find healthy, convenient, and delicious gluten free snacks. I've already discovered several, if I could only blog as fast as I eat them!

I'm excited to spread the word about Pastor Chuck's Orchards! I recently read in the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness's newsletter that Pastor Chuck's Orchards is part of the NFCA's GREAT Association. Companies in the GREAT Association "work to enhance and improve the gluten‐free business climate by promoting quality, tested gluten‐free products to the general public, protecting the needs of gluten‐free customers, and assisting businesses to improve their sales and profits."

When I contacted Pastor Chuck's Orchards to see if any stores in my area carried their products, I was a bit disappointed to learn that there weren't any yet; however, they offered to send me some samples to review. (Writing product reviews are my favorite!)

Pastor Chuck's Orchards has a handful of products, applesauce in both natural and no sugar varieties, apple butter in natural and no sugar varieties, and apple salsa. All are organic and natural. And all are unbelievably delicious. I know about the importance of eating organic, and trust me, I try to buy organic as often as I can. I never thought organic applesauce to be a must have organic product, but after one taste of Pastor Chuck's applesauce, butter, and salsa, it's definitely a must! I guess it should have been a no-brainer as apples are one of the most contaminated fruits on the "dirty dozen" list.

The first product I tried was the apple salsa. I really love fruit salsas, the combination of sweet and spicy is as Alexandra would say, "magical". Paired with a salty chip and you're in taste bud heaven. The apple salsa was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. It wasn't sugary sweet like some fruit salsas can be, nor was it incredibly spicy. It was a muted heat, semi-reminding me of the flavor of mole sauce - rich and flavorful, but not mouth burning spicy. I dipped my FoodShouldTasteGood Sweet Potato chips in there and the apple/sweet potato combo was fantastic! I also put some on a cheese and chicken quesadilla, again phenomenal!

As soon as I took a bite of the apple butter, I believe the words out of my mouth were "Oh my God, what is in here?!" I'd never tasted an apple butter as good as this. I was expecting a tart spread, but instead this apple butter tasted like I was drinking apple cider. I looked at the back of the bottle and the ingredients were organic apples, sugar, sweet apple cider and spices. Um...yum! So spicy and smooth. Perfect when having some toast and tea. I can also see this working well with pork tenderloin. Hmmmm.....

There was a giant hole in my piece of Udi's Bread!

And the applesauce? To call it gourmet is to say the least. The flavors of the apple and spices jumped out immediately. It was thick and chunky, not watery and runny like other applesauces. Again, the spices gave it a mild and smooth taste. I ate it plain and made cinnamon applesauce ornaments with it. I can't wait to try it in my 5 minute brownie recipe!

If Pastor Chuck's Orchard products are in your area, I strongly advise you check them out! If not, they are still running a holiday promotion on their site. You can get 10% OFF Holiday Boxes. Use coupon code at checkout: PT4121CP.


Nutrition to Kitchen said...

I tried the sweet potato chips - delicious! Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy New Year!

Linda-KitchenTherapy said...

I would eat it all, and make ornaments out of the cheapo stuff.

Warm cinnamon applesauce is comfort food.

Lisa Cooks Allergen Free said...

That apple salsa looks great!!! Thanks for sharing.

julie said...

Mmmmm, Betsy you are making me hungry. I love savory fruit preparations... so complex and sophisticated. Yum-o!

Marsha said...

Thanks for the product reviews. Sounds like some great stuff! So glad to see so many people giving up the old traditional NY resolutions and moving to ideas that will really help. Happy new year, Betsy!