I’m a snacker. Even before I was vegan, I always had a full arsenal in my bag. You’d think I had a toddler with all the snacks I carry. Nope, I just am one. Usually I’m packing bars, nuts, and fruit. As a vegan, I always want something on hand because I can’t guarantee I’ll have a vegan-friendly option when I’m out of the house. No one wants to see me hungry with my crankypants on, not cute.
Anyway you can imagine my delight when I came home to find a box from Peeled Snacks. YIPPPPYYY! They sent a variety pack to test out. I’m a lucky dog. I had to refrain from ripping them open and devouring the entire box. Patience young Skywalker, you have to take photos.
Look at how nicely it arrived! I love getting packages.
Oooooooo……. Ahhhhh check out all the pretty colors! Their packaging is so cute. Bright, cheery, whimsical.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m a bit of a dried fruit connoisseur (toot, toot…and yes, too much dried fruit can lead to exactly that). I’ve tried Whole Foods,Trader Joe’s, and I stop at every natural foods store I pass. Peeled really is far superior. Yes, its dried fruit, but it doesn’t taste like the life has been sucked out of it only to be replaced with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or sulfur dioxide. It actually tastes like fresh fruit, but in a form that’s portable with a longer shelf-life. They are made with premium, organic, and all-natural ingredients, with no sugar or oil added. They also try to source from sustainable farms making them not only good for the body, but good for the environment. LOVE THAT!
These single-serve packages are great on-the-go, and are low-calorie, ranging from 110 (apple & apricot) to 150 (banana). The portions are perfect for those like me who cannot control themselves with dried fruit. It’s easy to over consume and next thing you know, you’ve eaten a bushel of apples.
Even the names of their six varieties make me smile: much-ado-about-Mango, pine-4-Pineapple, Banan-a-peel, Apple-2-the-core, Apricot-a-lot, and Cherry-go-round. I’ve had the mango before (and loved it), but had not tried the other flavors. Until now!
Much-ado-about-mango was gone first. That and pineapple are the household favorites. The mango is soft so you don’t break teeth chewing it, nice benny. The colors are vibrant and you know how mangos have that thread-like texture when they’re really ripe? It was still there. Hard to believe it’s dried.
Mmmm pine-4-pineapple…super chewy, with a natural sweetness. It’s like crack. LOVE IT.
Look at this, whole apple slices!
Even the apricots are soooo plump and juicy. How do they do that? I don’t usually love apricots because they’re always depressing, shriveled up balls, but look at these gorgeous little morsels!
I bought Balaton cherries with no sugar added from Whole Foods a while ago and I just had to compare them to the Peeled cherries. Look at the difference between them. Well, it’s hard in the picture… I’m not great at the close-ups yet. The cherries on the left are Whole Foods, the right are Peeled. You can see the Peeled cherries are plump and juicy. The Whole Foods cherries are dry and completely flat. They’re actually kind of hard to chew. I did like how tart the Whole Foods cherries were and think they’d be good in cookies or oatmeal when they’re cooked and can plump up a bit. The Peeled cherries are amazing on their own, and mind-blowing in trail mix when combined with nuts and chocolate. Which would you rather eat?
whole foods vs peeled
In addition to just regular snacking, I used the Peeled bananas and apricots in my oatmeal and OMG it was awesome. Totally tasted like banana nut muffins.
banana nut oatmeal
I prefer steel-cut oats over old-fashioned rolled or quick cooking. Although steel-cut take longer to cook, I like the nuttier, chewier texture, and find it’s always a little better on day two. What’s the difference between steel-cut, rolled and quick oats? Well, they’re all the same grain (groats – the inner kernel), just different stages of processing. Steel cuts are the least processed since it’s the whole raw oat, and are cut with steel blades into smaller pieces. Rolled oats are rolled (shocker) so they are a little thinner and cook a little faster. Quick oats are basically rolled oats processed a little further, so they cook even faster. Instant oats are the thinnest and are pre-cooked so they, cook the fastest. Click here for more info.
And here’s the recipe for Banana Nut Oatmeal. I use Bob’s Red Mill steel-cut oats, but use whatever you can find at your local grocery store. They even have a gluten-free version. Of course you can substitute any of the ingredients with any nuts, dried fruit, or even use jam instead of maple syrup. The options are endless!
Banana Nut Steel Cut Oatmeal
1/2 cup steel-cut oatmeal, cooked
1/2 pack Banan-a-peel peeled snacks
1 T pecan pieces
1/2 T maple syrup
2 Apricot-a-lot diced
1 T ground flax-seed
Splash of nut milk (just to moisten)
1. Add splash of nut milk to cooked oatmeal and microwave for 1-1.5 minutes depending on your microwave. Mix in toppings and eat!