Culinary boner : 5 foodie products I excitedly recommend

Have you ever had something, then kinda wished you’d never tried it, because now your life is forever changed and there’s no going back from here because you know what you’d be missing? Yeah, I’ve had a couple of those moments recently.

Curate Gluten-Free Snack Bars

Y’know how you can eat some health foods, and your body instantly perks up, as if recognizing “Hey! This is good for us! And like, made of real, actual things??!” These bars offer those moments, every dang time you unwrap one. We have yet to come across a variety that either I or my boyfriend isn’t absolutely nuts (wakka, pun) over. They’re small, but each nibble is pure delight.

Celsius Sparkling Orange (Pack of 12)

It’s in my nature to give products like this one the ol’ side-eye. It’s one of those celebrity endorsed loads of shiny promises with dubious origins. Except I kinda like this one. I tried it as a sample and actually found myself impressed. Drinking it makes me feel good! Now, I might owe that to the whopping 200mg of caffeine. That alone certainly makes it not for everyone–some people report getting shaky or having stomach aches. But I don’t drink it all at once, and instead sip slowly at it over the course of the day, which puts the caffeine intake on par with my typical summer iced coffee intake. What makes it better than a typical energy drink: green tea extract, ginger root extract, a bunch of vitamins/minerals (including biotin?) and no preservatives, sugar/HFCS, artificial colors/flavors or aspartame. But before you try it, please be warned: it only technically tastes like orange. To me, it’s more like if you tried to calm down the aggressiveness of a ginger beer with some orange Sunkist.

LÄRABAR Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, 1.6 oz, 16 Count

Speaking of things I used to give the side-eye… I was so insistent that these things COULD NOT POSSIBLY be worth the price. Until I had one, that is. Ho-lee-Hannah, y’all. The secret to their success is that the base is made from dates. In fact, this particular bar has four ingredients: dates, nuts, fair trade chocolate and salt. I was under the impression that these were “power bars”, but calorically, they’re not much different than your average candy bar. (Considering sugar and calories, this is almost exactly the same as two full-size Reese’s cups, minus the TBHQ.) But this is satisfying on a wavelength that no candybar touches for me. And it feels good knowing I’m snacking on something that’s made from actual food.

Primula 3 Cup Aluminum Espresso Maker

We haven’t had one of these lil’ guys in a while, and boy did we miss it. Sure, getting the caffeine to my mouth takes a bit longer than my Keurig, but the results are delightfully worth it. Nothing beats a Café Cubano. For the uninitiated, you fill the bottom with water and there’s a chamber in the middle for the grounds. You plunk this thing down directly on the stovetop burner, and in a few minutes BOOM, espresso. Compared to nitrous extraction, it’s a bit less creamy, but the ease factor and price definitely make up the difference.

Norpro Nonstick Springform Set Of Three

I have had this set of springform pans for a while now, but I keep finding new uses for the pans. If you’re not familiar with a springform pan, get familiar fast! They’re great for a variety of dishes, from cakes and pies to deep dish pizzas and quiches. The nonstick on this pan isn’t perfect, but it’s good. Most importantly, it hasn’t worn off, scratched or visibly rusted. You do have to be mindful when cleaning the edges, but the extra effort there is well worth the lovely result.

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