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This week’s product review is of the Chocolate-Flavored Vega One Nutritional Shake. I tested the one-serving size, which was 1.5 oz of shake mix that I blended with 1 1/2 cups of unflavored almond milk. The Vega One shake is touted as a complete meal with 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals, 15 g of protein, 6 g of fiber, and 1.5 g of Omega-3 Antioxidants, probiotics and greens. That’s a lot of healthy stuff to pack into one shake! They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free and also do not contain added sugar.  The shakes come in a variety of flavors – berry, chocolate, vanilla chai, french vanilla and natural. gfcf_protein_shake

I found the chocolate-flavored shake to have a slightly gritty texture; this seemed to be more bothersome at the end of the drink. But, the flavor was really great. It tasted slightly sweet, creamy, and almost like a dark chocolate malt. I drank this as my lunch one day to see if it was a true replacement meal. I did not find that I was very hungry for the rest of the afternoon, so I would agree that it functioned as a meal replacement.

I think these shakes would be great for travelling, since all you need is a milk substitute to mix them up. Because they do come in single-serve size, you could easily toss one in your suitcase, your purse, or even keep some at your desk at the office.

Looking for a healthy, tasty gluten-free snack bar?

You should definitely try the new Good ‘n Natural bars! I had the opportunity to taste all four flavors of Good ‘n Natural bars; cranberry almond, peanut butter, chocolate, and lemon. The bars are both gluten-free and dairy-free and also have 5 g of fiber, 10 g of protein, and contain all-natural ingredients. Good ‘n Natural bars are free of preservatives, chemicals, and other unpronounceable ingredients.

Each flavor has a distinct taste.

I was provided with one sample of each flavor and I was pleasantly surprised by the distinct taste of each flavor. The cranberry almond (pictured) had a nice tart fruit and nutty taste, while still being very soft and chewy. The peanut butter flavor was reminiscent of Nutter Butter cookies (which I used to love when I was eating gluten!). The lemon flavor reminded me of lemon bar cookies with a subtle taste that didn’t come off as too tart. And, finally the chocolate flavor was a nice dark chocolate taste, not that fake carob-like chocolate flavor that some energy bars seem to have. I am torn on which flavor is my favorite – at first, I thought it was the chocolate, but after I tried the cranberry almond…I’m thinking that flavor may be my favorite.

Now is a great time to try out these bars! With summer activities keeping everyone “on the go”, the Good ‘n Natural bars are a great snack to take along for whatever summer adventures you have planned. And, I noticed that the bars are now available in grocery stores nationwide plus there were some “buy one, get one free” coupons in my local paper over this past weekend. For more information about Good ‘n Natural bars, please visit their website. You can even order bars through the website if they haven’t made it to your local area yet.

Disclaimer: Good ‘n Natural provided me with  free samples of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

This is a recipe that I found in Sunset Magazine’s November 2011 issue and then adapted to be both GFCF  and really low in sugar.  They turned out beautifully and tasted great.  I wasn’t sure what the combination of pumpkin and cocoa would be like; but you mostly taste the chocolate, which is just fine in our household! The original recipe also had a super sweet frosting made with mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar.  We usually skip frosting at our house and these do taste just fine without the frosting (and are much easier to pack in a lunch bag without all that extra goo).

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffin

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes (Nick Rating = 4 Thumbs Up!)

1 cup Agave Nectar Syrup

1/2 cup Rice Milk

1 tsp Lemon Juice

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat sugar, milk, oil, eggs, pumpkin, salt, and vanilla until well blended. Whisk together flour, cocoa, xanthan gum, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Gradually add dry mixture to wet mixture, beating on medium speed until smooth.

Line muffin pans with muffin cups and fill each cup with 3 tbsp batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; approximately 25 minutes. Cool completely before eating or storing.

Other Recipes You Might Like to Try –

Mom’s Best GFCF Brownies

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Chocolate Citrus Bars

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free German Chocolate Cake

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