March 12, 2009

PC Blue Menu for Healthy Meal and Snack Choices

I've been using Blue Menu products for years - since they first appeared on the grocery store scene.

When I see a Blue Menu logo on a product, I know it will probably have less fat and less sodium than similar products that are not similarly logoed.

Look for this logo.

So when I was contacted by an account executive, who shall remain nameless because his name is not important right now, offering me the chance to review some new products that PC was launching under the Blue Menu line, I said I'd be happy to.

Within minutes - well, it was days to be exact but it felt fast - a package arrived at my front door from PC.

We opened it up and found a reusable shopping bag full to the brim with blue menu products for us to try.

Look at all the free stuff! Whee!

Here's what was inside:

So there's Pretzels, coffee, seltzer (the seltzer actually exploded all over me when I opened it just like in comedy routines of old - awesome), frappa beverage of some sort, tea, soya beans, toddler fruit snacks, black bean soup, mushroom barley side dish stuff, olive oil, honey dijon salad dressing, cookies, cereal, and (yay! yay!) extra dark european chocolate.

We've tried most of the products now and I want to tell you all about them...

We liked:

Honey Multigrain Pretzel Braids. These are really good and, for pretzels, really light on the salt. Don't worry, though, you still get a salty taste and a touch of honey. They're multigrain, too, which is good from a health point of view. They're also a really good price. We finished the first bag and actually went out and spent our own money on another. I recommend dipping them in 100% just peanuts peanut butter for added deliciousness.

The Seltzer, which was lime flavour, was good. Shockingly, for a fizzy beverage, there was no sugar, no artificial flavour, no artificial sweeteners and no sodium added. REAL lime was actually used to make the lime taste. I love my water bubbly and I was delighted with this, even though it attacked me like I was all 3 of the stooges when I opened it. I will be buying this again.

100 calorie packs of ginger & lemon cookies. These are tangy and delicious. And you get many cookies for your 100 calories. These would be great and easy for school lunches and for moms. One for the lunch, one for me (you know what I'm talking about, I know you do).

And, oh yes, the chocolate. Wonderful. Hubs and I often buy the PC European Dark chocolate. The extra dark was very similar, if slightly cocoayer. Delicious. This chocolate is so rich that you only need a few squares to feel like you've had your chocolate fix (and this is coming from me - chocolate feind extraordinaire).

I was okay with:

Toddlers 100% real fruit snacks. Now keeping in mind that no one here is a toddler, we liked these. Hubs and I actually like them better than the kids, who found them a bit too tangy. Hubs wondered if young toddlers would find them too tangy as well. They might - I guess it would depend on your child. These are freeze dried tiny pieces of real fruit (in this case mango and banana). They can be easily gummed by toothless tiny people (I gummed them at the back of my mouth and Buddy gummed them in the spot where he's missing a front tooth). They taste a lot like Jolly Ranchers - sweet, fruity, but quite sour. If I had toddlers, I would buy this if they'd eat it.

I can't find the picture of it but the next product is the PC Fair Trade Coffee. Far be it from me, with my sick addiction, to dislike any coffee. But this coffee is pretty good. When I made it nice and strong (1 tbsp coffee per 1 cup of water, plus 1 tbsp extra of coffee for the pot - so if I was making 4 cups, I'd use 5 tbsp of coffee) it tasted kind of like Starbucks coffee. It's less good when it's not made nice and strong. I might buy it for days when I'm too lazy to grind my own beans (aka most days when Hubs doesn't make the coffee).

On Track plus protein cereal. The kids loved this and had it every morning. Hubby liked it, but said that it needed to soak in the milk for a little while before being eaten. I thought it lacked a bit in flavour and took a lot of chewing, but the truth is that protein is a good thing to have added to breakfast - it kept me full for much longer than regular cereal. For the first time in, well to be honest, EVER I wasn't starving at the end of my kids' swim lessons on Saturday. We would probably buy this again.

I didn't like:
Fat Free Honey Dijon. This has a very strong Dijon taste. If you like Dijon, like Buddy (who loves this), then you'll like this. If you, like me (who thinks Dijon is gak!), don't like dijon then you'll not like this.

Fruit Frappe, dairy and fruit beverage. Just weird. Like yop but without the tanginess. Like a very thin, mild strawberry milkshake. If that's your bag, though, then you'd probably enjoy this. I didn't like it. The kids, though, drank it fast and asked for more. I think it's expensive, though, for what you get and I will not be buying any.

I've yet to try the tea, the olive oil, the soya beans, the soup and the barly mushroom sidedish thing. I'll let you know what I think as I try them out.

Over all, I recommend PC Blue Menu products. If you see them take a moment to compare their nutrition labels with those of similar products in the grocery store. I think you'll find that they're lower in fat and sodium and that they're often/usually/maybe even always the healthier choice. And they're often/usually/maybe even always delicious. Give them a try. I think you'll be happy you did.



B said...

Man did you hit the jackpot there! I've used their stuff in the past and for the most part I have found them pretty good too!

Elaine A. said...

I totally want that seltzer water and those cookies now. Unfortunately we don't have that brand here... bummer.

Jen said...

those look like cool products. I am going to look for them!

Karen said...

Fun! Hey, you're not getting off that easy. I tagged you, girl.

You're it! Hope you can play!

Debbie said...

I wish packages of food appeared at my door! Or money. Packages of money would be great too.

scrappysue said...

it's like christmas!!!

Eighty MPH Mom said...

Wow - how fun is that! You did hit the jackpot, my fellow SITSa!

Mary G said...

I use a lot of Blue Menu stuff and like most of it, but I am with you all the way on the Honey Dijon dressing. Yick.
Didn't know about the ginger cookies; thanks.
Lucky Duck!