Monday, July 11, 2016

New Food, Did I Chicken Out?

Our family is very much protein-based. Numerous studies have proven that protein is highly recommended for optimal brain function, especially in children as they are still developing. I have also seen so many people who are afraid of any type of fat because they are afraid of gaining weight. Although I understand that, I also know that the use of healthy fats in meals will help maintain your metabolism, increase energy and those lead to a better ability to control other aspects of your body. The key is to find the good fats- the healthier foods that are not full of higher amounts of what actually does your boy harm. So how does a blogger with a protein pushing family do this? The opportunity was actually presented right to us.

"It Tastes Just Like Chicken" only, it doesn't! I have been on a hunt to fulfill our sausage fix but I am also very picky about my foods. I want food that tastes good, period. I don't want food that sort of tastes like food or that looks like it but definitely doesn't taste like it- I want what I want. I was asked if I would like to try out First Fresh Chicken Sausage and yes, I did have that skeptical thought in the back of my head Another chicken sausage that will taste like chicken. They look innocent enough, right? They look just like breakfast sausage only very pale. I do admit, in the pan they made me cringe a bit. I can't help it- I've tried a lot of foods and can you blame me?! They start out one way and look just like your typical sausage. And you know what? They actually taste like sausage! NOT chicken, NOT something like sausage but actual breakfast sausage! This is exciting to me- food excites me!! ....am I the only one here? I even tried the mix in challenge and First Fresh passed with flying colors (the mix in challenge is when you try a food alone and it's good but then sometimes you can taste the difference when you add it into one of your favorite meals). My only tiny pet peeve- First Fresh Breakfast Sausage contains 9 sausage links whereas other brands typically contain 12. I know, it's a minor thing but when you budget and you have hungry kids, you need more.

Italian Sausage the Italian Way What better way to try out the Mild Italian Sausage than to serve it
up as sausage parmigiana?  NutriSon can have cooked cheese so this is one of his favorite things! But first, I had to prepare the meal and not tell anyone it was chicken sausage. Why? Because if my kids don't know, they will eat it. If they do know, I will be met with frowny faces and attitudes even if it tastes absolutely delicious. A parent must do what a parent must do. I was happy when I bit into my sausage and it tasted just like Italian sausage. I was not met with resistance or frowny faces, I was not met with attitude or comments under breath. Instead, I watched as my family eat their dinner and asked for more. I was even astounded when the kids told me they would eat First Fresh sausage again after I told them it was chicken....could this be the same family? Could this be a brand new food that all of my family would enjoy?! I think yes. I don't know about the other parents out there that cook but this is amazing to me! Admit it- there are many, many families out there that have picky eaters and will spend the time to prepare different foods for each meal just so everyone eats properly. One meal means less time at the food store and in the kitchen. I'm happy.

Some Like It Hot My last package of First Fresh to try... so sad, as they don't carry this brand at my local stores (YET! I will work on that!). Growing up in New Jersey, hot Italian sausage was like a food group, especially during the summer. Italian sausage sandwiches, on the grill, in sauce (or, gravy, depending on which part of Jersey), sausage and peppers...you get me. I picked up my very pale chicken Hot Italian sausage and STILL, in my stubborn brain were the words It looks pasty...it's not going to taste as good.....white chunks, I'm eating white chunks. WRONG! Three for three- well played First Fresh. I don't praise products that don't taste good and for a Jersey chick to tell you your Hot Italian Sausage is awesome, you have definitely won the food game.
 
Numbers Don't Lie Enough about me and my eating, let's just look at the actual numbers. I talked about utilizing the leaner, healthier fats in your meals so let's see what I noticed when I looked at labels:

                 First Fresh        Other Brand
Breakfast Sausage
Calories:         70                      170
Total Fat:        4 grams             13 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram               4.5 grams
Cholesterol:    30 mg                40 mg
Sodium:          190 mg              490 mg

Italian Sausage
Calories:          120                    260
Total Fat:         5 grams              21 grams
Saturated Fat:  1.5 grams           8 grams
Cholesterol:     60 mg                 60 mg
Sodium:           390 mg               570 mg

**PLUS First Fresh have no MSG, added hormones, preservatives, nitrates or fillers (see all here)

Of course, I also had questions since my son has multiple food allergies. I read labels, I noticed they have some other items that they offer so I inquired to see if they produce any other products that contain peanuts, nuts, eggs or shellfish. The answer- no (another win!).


I want thank First Fresh for sending out such a generous amount of sausage to review- it was a very pleasant experience and I will always be more than happy to try them again. For more information on the full line of their products, visit them at  www.firstfreshfoods.com or follow them on Facebook, TwitterPinterest and Yummly.  As always, I never receive compensation for product reviews except for the products themselves as my opinions are my own and are always honest.









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