Monday, October 27, 2014

Ian's - the Best of Both Worlds

Many of us with food allergies spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Chopping, recipe-trying,! Did I mention cooking? The cooking is wonderful and all- I mean, it's healthier for us and we're nourishing our families one bite at a time. But eventually, this too begins to lose it's shine. Food allergy parents begin to have trouble with their families getting bored of some of the meals because sometimes, you just want to eat fun food, right? Sometimes, everybody just wants to be able to come home, open the freezer, throw something into the oven and just enjoy it. Is this possible with food allergies? Thanks to Ian's Natural Foods, yes I believe it is.

In the beginning, there were frozen pick foods and (honestly), in the beginning some of them were just, well, ok. Not fabulous, not astoundingly good just..meh. Edible..if there was nothing else. Am I being brutally honest? Yes because it's important to be- it brings me to the products that I feel comfortable sharing with others. I hate to say it but even Ian's Natural Foods used to be in that range. Even Nutrimom can be disproved.  Need a visual? Gaze upon the mouth-watering glory that is their Southwest Breaded Chicken Tenders. Why did our entire family devour them (which includes super-picky eater, NutriSon)- we loved the mild, somewhat smoky/spicy coating on the tenders and we all agreed that they had a tiny kick of flavor but a bit more on the mild side for those who don't like anything too spicy hot. I do recommend that when heating, check the cooking temperature for these as they are a bit thicker and I noticed that our tenders started to overcook on the outside but were undercooked on the inside (and nobody wants any undercooked chicken!). Also, a request for Ian's as well- please, PLEASE consider adding a few more pieces to the package.

And how did this happen? Well, it was timing (to my advantage) because just before I attended the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference, I not only found out that Ian's Natural Foods would be there but they also had many delicious new samples. A definite advantage on their part in my eyes because a) all of us loved sampling b) the representative that was there was just so sweet and c) no other sponsor table there had hot food to sample. (Well played, Ian's!) I had to walk away from the table to stop eating their products and then they asked me if I would like to have some sent to me for a review...why of course I did! The Smokin'Sweet BBQ Breaded Chicken Nuggets were one of the items I sampled before and during my product review. Now these, these were my personal favorite (and I did make sure I made them, ate them and only shared just a few because I was in a selfish kind of mood). These crunchy bite-sized munchies have a combination of a slightly smoky flavor with a hint of a barbecue sauce, maybe a honey barbecue? They almost remind me of a chicken fritter.

Now let me fast forward to my thoughts. Somewhere along the years, I had tried their Breaded Chicken Nuggets and I just plain, flat out did not care for them. I don't know if it was the texture of the chicken, the spices, the breading- who knows. What I do know is that whatever has been improved has been improved. I am pleased to announce that our household has another delicious option in our freezer. And the AlphaTots- this was a no-brainer. We have had AlphaTots since I have been trying to teach my children to read & eat. When they were younger, they loved them because they could spell out words and play with their food but I liked the fact that they were safe for everyone in our house, that they were learning and they were eating all at once (gosh, multi-tasking at an early age). But Ian's, we also adored your Veggie Tots...... those cute vegetable versions of the Alpha Tots that were green and orange- any thoughts on trying to bring them back? (PLEASE?!!!!)

Satisfied, full and so happy to have been asked to try them, I cannot wait until all of their newer products are available in our area. I have seen a few but I am scouring my stores for all of the options to come my way. Especially with the holidays coming up, these will be especially enjoyed by NutriSon who gets a special "goodies pick-food plate" for our yearly holiday party that we attend (I always love the other guests who are intrigued and ask what he has and if they can try some too). A big thank you to the people at Ian's Natural Foods for asking me for my opinion as I truly do get excited about new foods for our family.*

PS- Are you one of the lucky ones who noticed Ian's spelled down the left side of the blog post? (elbowing)

*As with all of my product reviews, I did not receive any compensation other than the products that were sent to me to review. My opinions are my own and I intend to share the truth to help others.

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