Categories
Costco Product Reviews

Rhythm Organic Cauliflower Bites: Costco Product Review

Rhythm Organic Cauliflower Bites: $9.99 at Costco, 163 grams, $6.12/100g, 11g of carbs per 50g serving, sea salt, Vitamin C and K, Gluten-free, Vegan Certified and oh-so-good!

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I love most about Costco is their willingness to try new things. Sometimes is doesn’t pan out, and the product is quickly removed from the floor, never to be seen again, and sometimes they hit the bull’s eye, as they have with Rhythm Organic Cauliflower Bites, seasoned with sea salt.

Rhythm Organic Cauliflower Bites

Before I get started on why I love Rhythm’s Organic Cauliflower Bites, let me tell you the one reason I don’t: the price. While I bought them on special, $2 off, the $9.99 regular price is just ridiculous for what amounts to a few handfuls of fried cauliflower. A $5 price point for this quantity of product would be a lot more reasonable, and honestly, just more fair. Based on the nutritional information fact sheet, there are just over 3 servings of 50 grams each per bag, so that’s $3.06 per serving.

This is not caviar. It’s cauliflower. It’s cheap, even if it’s organic, so drop that price and I’ll buy a lot.

Now, after this bummer of an opening, let me tell you the reasons why I LOVE this awesome organic snack from Costco!

Rhythm Organic Cauliflower Bites Nutrition Facts

The first thing would be this: for once, I can buy a nice, crunchy snack that is more or less healthy.

I’m not saying it’s perfect: there’s quite a bit of salt in there, 240 mg per serving, which amounts to 10% of your daily requirement.

Moreover, the fat content isn’t great, but that being said, most of the fat is in the form of monounsaturated fat, for 9 grams per portion. There’s also quite a bit of fiber – 14% of you daily requirement -and no cholesterol.

Since the cauliflower is cooked – or fried, rather- at low temperatures, it retains much of what is good about it, namely a stunning amount of Vitamin C, 82%, 24% of your vitamin K, as well as non-trace amounts of potassium, calcium and Iron. There is no cholesterol, and no sugar or proteins to speak of. As far as calories are concerned, this is where the ‘fried’ really kicks in, as there are 170 calories per 50 grams serving.

This is all well and good, unsurprisingly the Organic Cauliflower Bites are not bad for you, but how do they taste?

One word : AWESOME!

The texture is very satisfactorily crunchy, as in crumble-in-your-mouth crunch, dry but not arid. The bigger pieces are especially delicious in terms of texture. Unfortunately, the Cauliflower Bites are so dry that they tend to crumble by themselves in the bag, so you’ll be lucky if you have more than 15-20 bigger pieces in a bag, the rest is crumbs, still crunchy and delicious but smaller than 0.5 cm in diameter. I’ll update with some pictures when I buy more, I ate the whole bag…

Rhythm Organic Cauliflower Bites

There is no doubt that these are cauliflower bites; they taste like cauliflower, in a most pleasant way. The taste is not overpowering, but it’s there; some of the pieces, towards the bottom of the bag, will be saltier but even then that’s not bad, you never get a bite that you will feel is just too salty.

Rhythm’s Sea-Salt Seasoned Cauliflower Bites Ingredients

This is where this product really shines; no unpronounceable ingredients, nothing weird or unhealthy:

  • Organic Cauliflower
  • Organic high oleic sunflower and/or safflower oil
  • Sea salt
  • Sugar (organic maltodextrin)

This product is certified organic by the aptly name Organic Certifiers, certified Vegan, and certified Gluten Free. It is also USDA Organic and NON-GMO Verified. It is made in Mexico for Rhythm Superfoods, a company based in Austin, Texas.

Sea-Salt Organic Cauliflower Bites : In Conclusion

There’s no avoiding this : these bite-sized, crunchy cauliflower bites are absolutely delicious; crumbly, but not too much, salty, but not overpowering, taste like the original vegetable without making you feel like a rabit for eating it, and to top it off, just about healthy in every way.

The only thing that is a negative, and it’s a big one, is the price. At more than $3 per 50-gram serving, this is just too much. If Costco can use its purchasing power to get us a lower price, then this will go in my weekly basket; this is something that is delicious, fun to eat, fun to give, offer and make your friends discover.

If you’ve enjoyed my review, make sure to check out my other product reviews!

Categories
Costco Recipes

Costco Deli Chicken Wings in Actifry Air fryer

Costco Deli Chicken Wings (not from food court!) cooked in Tefal Actifry, about 25-30 minutes, tender and juicy, much less salt and grease

The Costco deli chicken wings are always a favorite at my house; they are delicious, affordable and easy to make. You just stick them in the oven for about 20 minutes, and you’re good to go!

Just one small problem: like all chicken wings, they are incredibly fatty, as the foil on which they cook will attest, and more specifically to Costco, they are spectacularly salty! The salt content is not rated, but trust me: if the batch is not properly mixed by the employees, you will find some wings with clumps of seasoning, and they will be downright inedible.

(side note: just now, as I write this, I have completed my bag of Moon Cheese I reviewed a few days ago; as I thought, I will not be buying it anymore)

As I was given a Tefal Actifry air fryer recently, I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to try something new. The deli manager at my local Costco told me he’d never tried it, that I might lose some seasoning, but that it should work.

Boy, did it ever!

Costco Deli Chicken Wings in Tefal Actifry

This took about 25-30 minutes, a bit longer than the oven, but it was well worth it. Much of the seasoning did end up in the bottom, soaking up the grease, but it would not have been possible to tell; the wings were just as flavorful and delicious as usual, although they did seem a little bit dryer, probably due to the fact that all the grease that I normally would have eaten was at the bottom of the Actifry.

Costco Deli Chicken Wings in Tefal Actifry  (Residue)

I cooked about 2/3rds of the package, so about 1.5 kilograms; in retrospect this is way too much for the Actifry, but I didn’t know, I just got it. Cut me some slack, okay?

Joking aside, check out the picture above; all that salt and grease I normally would have eaten. It’s absolutely wonderful that I can cook these awesome and tasty chicken wings from Costco while not ingesting all that sludge! And seriously, the taste is just about the same.

Costco Deli Chicken Wings in Tefal Actifry  (close-up)

Check out this crunchy, tender and delicious Costco chicken wing! Compared to the version cooked in the oven, it looks downright healthy! True enough, there are patches where this no more seasoning or batter, but honestly, this makes no difference except visually.

On a grosser note, since I overloaded the Actifry, some of the wings got roughed up and lost their skin, which ended up in the bottom rolling around with the seasoning and grease. I mistakenly bit down on one such morsel, and I won’t do it again.

In conclusion the Tefal Actifry is perfect for cooking Costco deli chicken wings; it’s fast, doesn’t make a mess and most importantly, it removes much of the excess salt and fat, which conveniently clump at the bottom of the non-stick surface, ready to be disposed of in the garbage. The wings come out juicy and tender, with the just the right amount of crunch.

Please make sure to share this article -please! – and check out my other product reviews right here.

We’re talking here about the Costco chicken wings that are sold raw, to be cooked at home. If you’re looking for the food court chicken wings, make sure to read Lord of The Wings Costco food court chicken wings review, after you’ve read my stuff!

Categories
Costco Product Reviews

Cheddar Moon Cheese Bites : Costco Product Review

Moon Cheese Cheddar Crunchy Snack from Costco : 283 grams per bag, $12.79 per bag, Costco item number 1395182; Gluten free, 18 grams of proteins per serving; definitely an acquired taste

One of the best things about shopping at Costco is that they are not afraid to bring in new things; who knows, they may discover something entirely new and make lots of sales! In this case, I’m not sure we’ve got a winner. I’m talking here about the Moon Cheese Cheddar Crunchy Bites of Golden Delight, which I got at my local Costco.

Moon Cheese Cheddar

Before we get into the details, let me give you my first impression; the Moon Cheese bites from Costco are very crunchy and quite salty; they will also leave a film of greasy matter on your fingers, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that snack really tastes of dried cheese; for me, that’s okay, but then again, I’ll eat pretty much anything. I find that the taste becomes really cool if I stuff a whole bunch in my mouth, but I find it difficult to appreciate if I only eat one at a time.

The thing is that out of 4 people in my family, only one of them – me – likes them. My wife said that they taste like the bottom of a box of Cheez-It, the stale taste is heavily implied although she didn’t say so, probably out of politeness.

My 8-year-old son ate a single one, made a face and said that it tasted like a failed Cheetos – his words, and my daughter, all of 5 years old, said that it tasted like cheese and nuts and would not have another. Now I’m not saying my kids have the last word on all things snack-related, but it does give me a clue where this is going.

Cheddar Moon Cheese Bites Nutrition Facts

In terms of nutrition, how do I put this … there is none. Except if you have a several calcium deficiency, or perhaps you lack saturated fats or sodium in your diet.

Seriously. For 50 grams of these things, or 2/3rd of a cup, you’ll get a whopping 87% of your saturated fats, 28% of your sodium, 18 grams of protein and 600 mg of Calcium, which is good for 46% of your daily requirement, based on a 2,000 calories a day diet. Of yeah, and that two thirds of a cup of dried cheese is worth 310 calories. Think how long you’ll have to be on the Stair-Master . Answer: almost as long as it’ll take to get rid of that cheese-breath. A long time. Long.

Quite frankly, there is not much good to say here. The positives are the calcium, the proteins and the lack of carbohydrates and sugar. That being said, the ingredients list is honest and devoid of creepy, unpronounceable chemicals. Here is the list:

  • Cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, salt, bacterial culture, annatto, microbial enzyme)

This cheese product is made in the USA, so there’s that going for it, at least it’s not Chinese, although I would be curious to know what type of cheddar they use, and if the milk used to produce it is full of antibiotics.

Here’s a close look at a piece of Moon Cheese; I must admit that the resemblance to moon rocks is quite striking, at least in my imagination. I understand why they rolled with the name.

Cheddar Moon Cheese close-up

Each and every piece of Moon Cheese looks like this, and this is a pretty representative piece in terms of size. Every Moon Cheese ‘rock’ or Bite is about 2 centimetres in length and pockmarked with Moon-inspired “craters”.

Here’s the problem, as I see it. Many people will enjoy this, but many more will not, and at $12.79 for a tiny 283 grams bag, this is a pretty expensive snack to eat mindlessly while watching TV. I like the Shiitake Mushroom Crisps a lot more.

While I enjoy these Cheddar Moon Cheese Bites, or “Crunchy Bites of Golden Delight”, no one else in my family remotely does, so I won’t be buying them again, unless they are seriously discounted. Moreover, even if you’re not shocked by the distressing nutrition facts, there are more enjoyable ways to ingest 310 calories of cheese. For example, by eating actual cheese.

Thank you reading, make sure to share and subscribe to our Facebook page to be notified of all new articles, and read our past reviews here!

Update 2020/11/18: Seems like Cheddar Moon Cheese Bites is on the way out at Costco, at least in my area. I bought a bag – I know, why? – for $8.97, if you’re familiar with Costco prices you’ll know that this is a liquidation price, and the product is unlikely to return in its current form. Maybe it’ll just change packaging, size or price, and in this case hopefully all three.

Categories
Costco Product Reviews

Crystal Margarine : Costco Product Review

Crystal Margarine from Costco: 1.7 kilograms, $5.99 (Regular Price); Lactose-free, Vegan, No Trans fat, Contains Omega-3 fatty acids, tastes great

It’s fun to write new and exciting products, but sometimes one must pay homage to the true heroes of the kitchen, those whose praise are rarely if ever sung, but without whose existence cooking would be an unpleasant, tasteless chore. Today, I am happy to pay my dues to the humble margarine, specifically the Crystal Margarine, which I’ve been purchasing at my local Costco for many years.

Crystal Margarine from Costco
Crystal Margarine from Costco

Margarine has been a staple of our household forever; I remember as a kid having it on toast, and to this day a toasted English muffin is not the same without margarine. Of course you can forget making Kraft Dinner without this oily, delicious staple. It even goes great with the Pretzel Crisps Crackers!

I’ll get ahead of all the margarine haters right now: I know its made from oil, and I know that it doesn’t replace butter. Even though it may look similar, and in many cases has similar uses, it is not the same; different ingredients, different uses, different taste.

Margarine, or oleo for the crossword lovers out there, has a long and contentious history in my home province of Quebec. Quebec, you see, is home to a large and powerful cartel of dairy farmers, who through lobbying imposed ridiculously draconian laws and regulation on margarine, as they were afraid people would stop buying butter. For many years, margarine could not be yellow, just plain white. For some time it came with a separate little capsule of yellow dye, which you could mix in with the margarine and thus skirt these lobby-imposed regulation.

Thankfully, for the last 20-25 years, margarine has broken free and can now be whatever color it chooses. It’s still pretty whitish.

Crystal Margarine Nutrition Facts
Crystal Margarine Nutrition Facts

Now, to the crux of the matter, the awesome Crystal Margarine that I purchase at Costco. It costs $5.99, Canadian dollars for 1.7 kilograms or 3.75 pounds, but it is often on special, when you can get the same for as little as $3.99. I usually buy a couple in those cases. It’s a product that is almost always in stock, except in exceptional circumstances – more on that later. If you need it, the Costco item number is 1316819.

Crystal Margarine is non-hydrogenated, vegan, lactose-free and contains absolutely no Trans fat. It’s also a great source of polyunsaturated Omega-3.

For those that are interested by this, it’s also kosher, and made from 91% Canola oil and 9% vegetable oil. Here’s the ingredients breakdown:

  • Canola Oil
  • Water
  • Modified Palm and Palm Kernel Oil
  • Salt
  • Vegetable Monoglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Flavor, Annatto, Turmeric, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2

Like most reasonable people I’m no big fan of palm oil in any form, so I wish that is something that could be addressed by the company, and that this damaging ingredient could be removed. In the meantime, there’s not too much of it, so I’m willing to give them a chance to fix it.

Crystal Margarine is made in Canada by Richardson Oilseed Limited of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and its absolutely great to be able to encourage a local product, such as it is. Not everything has to come from China, and Canada is a major producer, if not THE major producer of Canola, so let’s get to it already. Crystal Margarine is actually made even closer to home, in Oakville, Ontario.

One of the great things about Crystal Margarine is the reusable Tupperware-style container it comes in; it’s clearly designed to be saved and reused, and is it ever. In fact, one of the only times Crystal Margarine was out of stock at Costco was when they switched containers and packaging, causing great distress in Tupperware closets all over Canada, as the old and the new do not stack neatly together; still, its a small price to pay, as for $5.99 you get 1.7 kilograms of delicious margarine, and a container that you can use for lunches and leftovers for years. This is not a cheap container, as good as any brand-name.

Just like rice, flower, pasta or butter, Crystal Margarine is a product that I make sure never to run out of. It’s delicious, affordable, relatively healthy and has a variety of uses around the kitchen. Don’t forget about the container. Never forget about the container.

Please make sure to like and share this post, check out my other product reviews, and as always I welcome your comments!

Categories
Costco Product Reviews

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps : Costco Product Review

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps from Costco : 300 grams per bag, $9.99 (Regular price), lots of fiber, quite salty and greasy, crunchy and delicious, made in Australia

I have not written on this site for a long time, but I thought that I would start again by writing a review of one of my favorite products at Costco, one that I simply cannot avoid purchasing when I’m there – which is often.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps!

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps

So what are those, exactly? This is a question you’d better get used to answering when you get addicted to them, because they look strange and people will talk.

Basically, these are whole shiitake mushrooms, stem included, that have been very lightly cooked – in oil – thoroughly dehydrated and then seasoned, with quite a bit of salt. It takes about 840 grams of fresh mushrooms to make 300 grams of the cooked and dried ones. Here’s what they look like:

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps close-up

So when is a good occasion to partake in delicious Shiitake Mushroom Crisps from DJ&A? Well, anytime. You can bring some as a snack to work, munch on them as you’re writing a product reviews – ahem – or just do like a lot of North Americans , and eat them in front of the TV. What I most enjoy doing is just let it sit in my mouth for a long time, so it regains a little bit of that oh-so-special chewy shiitake mushroom texture.

The size of the bag is also quite generous, 300 grams, which they brag about on the packaging. It used to come in a smaller size – 200 grams I believe – but that was too small for Costco. They re-branded the whole thing, changed the packaging and the price, and there you have it! The current price at my Costco for these is $9.99 per bag, and they are occasionally on special.

What’s great about these Mushroom Crisps is that the taste of mushroom is not overwhelming; it’s there, make no mistake about it, however it’s not overpowering. The spices, which include onion and garlic, blend well with the natural flavor of the mushroom and make for a delicious snack, one that you can certainly binge, although I would not recommend it, because of the impressive saturated fat content.

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps nutrition facts

Each 50 grams, or 1/6th of a bag, contains 23% of your daily allowance of saturated fat, as well as 13% of your sodium and 14% of your sugar. Considering that these are delicious, it’s very easy to go overboard and eat more than 50 grams (which is about a cup).

The good news here is that you get a whopping 46% of your fiber, so that’s awesome. Moreover, DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps are a completely vegan snack option, and the oils used in cooking the mushrooms are sustainable and renewable, even the palm oil.

This product is imported from Australia, and the mushrooms themselves are from China, which is unfortunate, but not so mush so that I’m not buying them. I tell myself that I’m encouraging an Australian company and leave it at that.

DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps

The ingredients of this delicious snack are as follows:

  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Oil blend (which includes palm, sunflower, canola and rice bran)
  • Sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Yeast extracts, spices, onion, garlic and natural flavor

The list of possible allergens in the Shiitake Mushroom Crisps is also quite impressive, and includes wheat, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, sesame, egg, fish, crustacean and mollusks. I guess they are covering all the bases and just don’t want to get sued, which I guess is fair enough. There is even a little warning that says that the stems might be hard to chew, which they are, but it’s part of the fun.

In conclusion, the DJ&A Shiitake Mushroom Crisps from Costco are just delicious; I love them in all circumstances, and are for me a much better snack than the pretzels I also get from Costco. They are affordable, relatively healthy and a Vegan option to offer to your friends when they visit. I make sure to always have a bag or two available!