Foodie Favorite: Orchard Valley Dark Chocolate Almonds

Sometimes, nothing else will do. Something with chocolate must be had, and any other snack would feel like an imitation of pleasure.

Then, my analytical side kicks in. My age and genetics require me to be a little more conscientious about what I eat. I try very hard not to be too strict, or too obsessive about it, as I find these kinds of methods seem to backfire with my rebellious brain. On the rare occasions I have tried documenting every calorie I intend to eat in the day ahead, I find myself searching for ways to alter or “cheat” on said plan even before it has been executed.

So, I have been trying to make little changes, rather than very extensive ones. I feel that they may be less noticeable to my very contrary psyche and therefore, perhaps more readily accepted. One little change I have made recently is adopting a new chocolate-craving-busting snack, the Orchard Valley Dark Chocolate Almonds.

orchard farms dark chocolate almonds

I figure I can’t really go wrong with almonds, as they have a satisfying texture and can help satiate a growling tummy. And I have never complained about a bit of added chocolate, personally. It is dark, so I didn’t expect a huge burst of sweetness, but I did find it to be smooth and it is quite capable of satisfying my cocoa cravings.

I think maybe my favorite part is that they come packaged in individual servings. I know how ridiculous that must sound, of course I could buy a bulk bag and portion them out myself into smaller containers. However, I find the prepackaged portions so much more convenient, and it doesn’t afford me the option of adding “a few” extra, just because it was a tough day.

I can simply pop a portion in my handbag if I feel I might crave something sweet later, or come home to a cup of hot tea and chocolatey almonds.

orchard farms dark chocolate almonds

(Photo Credit: Layout items curated by my son.)

Bonus: My son loves them as well, and seeing as how they are way more nutritionally sound than the candy he usually requests, I am willing to let him have them as an occasional treat!

I’ve noticed that Orchard Farms has also come out with pre-portioned bags of some varieties of trail mix. They look quite interesting as well . . .

I hope everyone is enjoying the new year! Best wishes to all; and stay cozy!

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Foodie Favorite: Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea

There is absolutely nothing like a warm, soothing drink on a cold, wet evening, in my humble opinion. The weather is a ‘changing and Old Man Winter is slowly making his approach known. The leaves have turned and are falling, and the cold, damp air is becoming a fixture, rather than the occasional feature that it once was earlier this fall.

Back to that warm drink . . . I am an equal opportunity coffee and tea drinker. And I most definitely have different purposes in mind with each beverage:

-Some form of coffee or espresso for the morning and afternoon pick-me-ups.
Black or green tea might also feature in a midmorning work session.
-For evenings, some variety of herbal tea.

It should be stated though, “equal opportunity” should not be confused with “having no opinions” or favorites; I absolutely have those.

celestial seasonings peppermint tea

This Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea has been a longtime favorite of mine, although I have newly rediscovered it these last few months. Besides intriguing quotes and fun facts adorning the box, the ingredients (and usually where they came from) are clearly noted. This is a robust, though not biting, peppermint tea. Brisk, but domesticated.

With some added honey this becomes a refreshing and delicious treat. On its own, it is a very pleasant afternoon or evening, no calorie, no caffeine beverage. My absolute favorite use of this tea is as an after dinner/bedtime tea. I am ashamed to admit that I have a bad habit of overeating at dinnertime, but I love how a cup of this tea seems to soothe my digestion and calm my belly before bedtime.

‘Tis the season for large family meals and hours of sitting and talking to loved ones in front of cozy fireplaces, or, perhaps more commonly these days, the warm glow of a favorite Netflix film. All this eating and socializing sometimes requires a beverage that is both soothing and invigorating (with an added benefit: it can freshen your breath!). This tea fits the bill for our house.

Wishing everyone peace and warmth; stay cozy!