Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deleting the naughty...with Conscious Box November

My first actual Conscious Box, outside of the Super Magical Mystery Box, has finally arrived.

A monthly subscription to this is $12.00 plus $7.95 shipping for a total cost of $19.95.

The theme of this months box is "Express Appreciation, focusing on giving thanks for everything both big and small, and find way to express your appreciation..." Also, noted by posts on Facebook, it is Conscious Box's one year anniversary and the promise of an extra special box.

I was a little unsure of this one, mostly because the mystery box contained very few items that were of interest to me or my lifestyle. I am a mom of two kids, and a box full of workout energy boost sport drinks and protein shakes doesn't do a thing for me or my lifestyle, so I was disappointed. I was hoping this one would be a lot better. On to the products:

Lush Nuts:
This package was .8 oz of handcrafted, sweetly coated peanuts in Dark Cocoa Chili. With no preservatives or artificial flavors the ingredients were few and simple, peanuts, sugar, dark cocoa, chili and sea salt. I don't typically like chili flavors mixed with sweet, so this will be a taste adventure for me. Pretty tasty! They were crunchy on the outside, like a hard candy shell of cocoa, you could taste real cocoa. Th peanut inside was big, and lightly salted, and the chili spice lingered a little but wasn't painful or overpowering. I was thinking it would be an odd combination, but I get the appeal of mole, the Mexican flavor, now. Hubby, who loves all things crunch and spicy, ate the majority of these and loved them.

Justin's Organic Peanut Butter Cups:
This is the first thing I tried. I love peanut butter cups, so my husband and I were both anxious to try them. The package contained 2 cups. They were pretty good, the chocolate is harder than other name brand pb cups, and had a real cocoa taste. The peanut butter inside was very good too, it wasn't oily and more natural tasting. I buy peanut butter that is JUST peanut butter, with no added sugars, just peanuts so I like the flavor of the real stuff. I enjoyed them. My husband preferred the peanut butter more than the chocolate and the kids, of course, loved them, irregardless of what brand these were.

L'Ecuyer's Gourmet Caveman Rub
I am excited to try this product. Ingredients are ancho chili pepper, sea salt, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, oregano, white pepper and cayenne pepper. There is a recipe on the inside to give an idea for how to use this, but it is for potatoes. Frankly, I am not going to waste this mix on potatoes, and we are planning to rub a nice, fatty chuck eye steak with it and whip up some fresh pico de gallo and guacamole for fajitas of some sort. YUM! I wanted to get this review posted so I will update.
SweetLeaf Sweat Drops Sweetener:
I received the Vanilla Creme flavor. Sweet Drops is a sugar free stevia based sweetener. You add 5 drops to 8 oz of liquid, such as coffee, tea, smoothies, protein shakes or any recipe. I don't know how you would use this in recipes necessarily as a sugar substitute, but I can see it in quick breads and using it instead of vanilla sometimes. I am a purist, and don't sweeten any drinks. I like my ice tea plain and my coffee natural with a touch of cream, so I would never use this. But my husband is going to love it and so would my father-in-law. It's all theirs and I hope they enjoy it.

Simply Organic:
I received a jar of minced onions. I have used these before and they are great in a pinch. I sometimes throw it into a recipe that needs quick cooking. I usually chop up the organic onions I get from our CSA and freeze them raw in gallon size bags and tend to run out before I get fresh ones. It will come in handy for quick stuff like burgers and meatloaf, etc.

I received a package of Organic Snow Peas. I love peas, and have grown them in my garden before with some success, as long as I can keep the rabbits away. My kids love going out to the garden and eating right from the vine, whether it be grape tomatoes, peas, strawberries or whatever I planted that year. This will be fun to do with the kids. Obviously, since it is November and nearly freezing here, we will not be planting til spring, so if I remember to update, I will. :)

Freekeh Grains:
The description on the package is really interesting. "Freekeh is a process which means to rub, in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a middle eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. The crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff and cooked it up."  Loaded with protein and fiber, this low-fat ancient grain is as easy to cook as rice. Use just like any grain - soups, pilafs, salads or just about anything else. I like quinoa, so I think this will be good stuff!

Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix:
A wheat-free, gluten-free pancake mix made from brown rice flour, white rice flour, buttermilk, almond meal and other starches. This is not a complete mix and needs egg, water and oil added to it, but not much so it is an easy enough recipe.

Organic India Tulsi Tea:
I have never heard of this brand and I am excited to try it. I had to look up what Tulsi is, because it is not referred to as tea leaves, so to speak, but it steeped like a tea. The Tulsi leaves are called holy basil in the west, and a principal herb of Ayurveda health. It is referred to as the incomparable one. It is supposed to reduce stress, support the immune system, balance metabolism, aid digestion and uplift mood. The first package is Original Caffeine-Free and the second is Tulsi Green tea, a blend of tulsi and green tea, and is caffeinated. It is ok to add sweetener but is best consumed without milk.
Description: Non-acidic and containing the prebiotic inulin, Teeccino rebalances the negative effects of coffee. Made from organic carob, barley chicory, ramon seeds and natural coffee flavor, this product claims to deliver the same enjoyment of coffee without the caffeine and acidity. The large package I received is Maya Chocolate, a lush dark roast with velvet chocolate and a hint of chili heat. This one you can brew in your coffee pot, just like coffee. The other two packages were French Roast and Hazelnut, and these are in "tee bags", and you steep them in hot water just like tea. I have to say, I could not get into these. I opened one up and the smell alone turned me off. This isn't my thing. But kudos to those who like them, I am sure it is way healthier!

BONUS ITEM! Avalon Organics Lip Balm or Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey:
I, for some reason, did not receive either one of these bonus items. I don't know what the rules were for the item, but I am disappointed, as I would have like one of these two products more than any item I got in the box this month.

I am going to see if customer service responds, and give this box one more month. I think 3 boxes is a fair shake. I know that some people say you shouldn't complain and that it's a mixed bag with these, but quite honestly, this box costs a little more. While it is only $12, you still pay shipping, and at $7.95, I expect all my items to be in the box if I am paying the same price for shipping as everyone else. These aren't just free samples, I am paying for them, so I don't think it is wrong to expect the same items and such as everyone else. That's all folks!

Update: Customer service got back to me and told me the people who got the bonus items were those who were active on their facebook, liked their page, etc.  I've written about them twice, free publicity on pinterest, etc. Oh well, I'm new. :)

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