I was on the lookout for a creamy, all natural salad dressing when I spotted Annie's Naturals Organic Buttermilk Dressing. I remembered that this brand had a solid review of it's Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette Dressing Review, so I thought this would probably be worth the $2.79 for an 8 ounce bottle.
For some reason, I had the idea in my mind that I didn't like buttermilk, but I actually don't think I've ever tried it. I popped open the bottle after washing a head of crisp romaine and attempted to drizzle some of the creamy concoction onto my greens, but I quickly realized that no matter how much shaking I did, the dressing was not going to come out. It's about the thickness of mayonnaise, which seemed really odd to me.
I got my fork down into the bottle and dug out some of the mixture. After carefully tossing the salad to ensure that it was evenly coated, I dug in. All that I can say is you NEED to get this dressing out of that bottle one way or another because it's phenomenal! It provides a delightful creaminess in a light and delicate manner, along with a slight tang that makes any salad more interesting. Need incentive to eat your greens? Look no further than Annie's Naturals Organic Buttermilk Dressing.
One serving is 2 tablespoons, but for once, I can actually say that you will probably use LESS because a little goes a long way. Each serving of this vegetarian, gluten-free dressing provides 60 calories, 6 grams of total fat, 1 gram of which is saturated fat (9% & 5% of the daily value), 230 mg of sodium (10% of the DV), 1 gram of sugars and 1 gram of protein.
(Photo Credit: J Wynia)
When I was a kid, a can of Chef Boyardee was pretty standard fare. I can remember eating everything from the spaghetti and meatballs to the canned Mac and Cheese. My favorite though was always the Cheese Ravioli. But there are better, less caloric options out there. For several years now, I have noticed that my local health food store has been carrying Annie's Certified Organic Cheesy Ravioli. I've always been tempted to buy a can and give them a try, but the $2,79 they charge for ONE CAN has been keeping me away. As luck would have it, I saw it in Wal-mart for only $1.29 a can so I snatched up a can to try (okay, two cans).
Annie's Cheesy Ravioli is described as "organic pasta pillows filled with yummy organic cheese smothered in traditional organic tomato and cheese sauce". A quick scan of the can showed a surprisingly short list of real food ingredients and not one thing I couldn't pronounce. This product also contains only vegetarian ingredients as no animal rennet (aka calf stomach) is used in the production of the cheeses. I emptied my can into a bowl and was pleased to see that the raviolis were very puffy and full looking and that there were a lot of them - not just a 15 ounce can of sauce with a few bits swimming around.
I was also excited to see that all of my raviolis were intact - there is nothing worse than a can of broken up pieces ravioli. Like any canned pasta, Annie's can be prepared either via microwave or stovetop. I popped my bowl into the microwave for like a minute and half, gave them a good stir and dug in. These things kick Chef Boyardee's butt! The cheese inside the raviolis actually tastes like cheese and the pasta itself isn't near as mushy as your standard pasta from a can. The sauce tastes less salty and more tomato-ey. It's still pasta from a can, so it's obviously not a replacement for ravioli at your favorite Italian restaurant or even the frozen out of the bag kind, but for what it is they were good.
Salads, particularly ones with lots of dark, leafy greens in lieu of iceberg lettuce, are great for our bodies, providing us with a natural source of vitamins and minerals. Sadly, even a couple of tablespoons of many bottled salad dressings can undo all of our good intentions with unhealthy fats, too many calories and artificial ingredients. Practically every dressing on the market today has some sort of reduced fat and calorie counterpart, but still retains a mile long list of ingredients, most of which sound like they belong in a laboratory rather than your stomach. Annie's Naturals fills a need for a tasty salad dressing made with simple ingredients. Annie's has many different dressing flavors but my favorite is the Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.
It turns out that you don't need a mile long list of goodness knows what to make a little ol' bottle of salad dressing. Annie's does a bang up job with only roasted red peppers (bonus points for the name of the dressing and the first ingredient being the SAME THING), cider vinegar, water, expeller-pressed canola oil, honey, sea salt, garlic, xanthan gum (a natural thickener), black pepper and basil. To plagiarize Rachael Ray, this stuff is Yummo! As the name implies, it tastes like roasted red peppers, only in liquid form with a hint of smoky sweetness. This dressing is delicious on an all vegetable salad, on salads with protein like chicken or even fish, as well as a vegetable dip. It also has a good "cling" factor, meaning it sticks well to whatever you put it on, rather than running off and ending up at the bottom of the plate or bowl.
I'm always looking for condiments to put a little variety in my regular sandwich rotation without adding too many calories. Annie's Honey Mustard fits the bill quite nicely. It's sweet, it's zesty ... seriously, this stuff can take a turkey sandwich on wheat to a whole new level.
Since my love-fest with Annie's mustard has begun, I've taken some creative liberties by using it in non-traditional ways and creating atypical yet delicious concoctions. I recommend putting some on a chicken breast before baking or making your own French fries with oven-baked potato wedges and using this honey mustard as an alternative dipping sauce to ketchup. What are some ways you use mustard (other than in sandwiches)?
I, like many others, enjoy a crunchy sweet ending to a meal or as a simple snack to get me through the day. However, finding a well balanced and tasty treat is not always easy. You can officially stop searching and start seeking out Annie's All Natural Honey Bunny Grahams. Each bunny shaped cracker is about the size of a Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Cheddar Goldfish Crackers and tastes exactly like a good Graham Cracker should; subtly crunchy with a delightfully sweet honey taste infused into a wholesome wheat base.
The nutrition information for these guys is almost perfect. After munching on 30 little addicting cookies (30 grams), you will have consumed 130 calories, 4 grams of fat (6% of the RDA), no saturated fat or cholesterol, 160 mg of sodium (7% of the RDA), no fiber, only 6 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein. Furthermore, each serving packs in 20% of the RDA for calcium.
I'm sure you have heard of/ eaten Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Snack Crackers (if you haven't read our review) - they have reigned as King of animal shaped crackers for quite a while. But it looks like the Bunnies (specifically Annie's Totally Natural White Cheddar Bunnies) got jealous and decided to challenge them for the kingdom. Will they succeed?
Annie's Bunnies gave it a good try, but ultimately, they fell short.
* The appearance was on point with and I was more than pleased by the off-white, lightly toasted bunnies awaiting my consumption.
* These bunnies are the perfect thickness, with a small hollow center which seems to be the ideal composition to achieve optimum crunchiness. Translation: crunchy!
* Where is the flavor? They may be crunchy, but they are totally bland with only a slight hint of white cheddar - actually more of an after-taste and not really even a strong one. Each cracker is dusted with a light coating of flavored powder, so perhaps more powder would have offered more flavor?! I don't know what they need to do, but they won't be taking over from the Goldfish any time soon.
While they weren't exactly disastrous in their lack of flavor, they certainly do not tempt me into debasing my healthy lifestyle (I have always considered crackers one of my major downfalls that leave me wanting to eat the entire box). So, for me, The Winner, and still King of the animal-shaped cracker universe is Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Cheddar Goldfish Crackers.