Tag Archives: product review

Turning Frozen Fruit Into Healthy Desserts with Yonanas

1 Sep

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Disclosure: I was given a Yonanas machine to try out and I thought it was pretty cool, so I thought I would tell you all about it. All opinions are my own.

I’m more than a little obsessed with kitchen appliances. If it does something new and different, I must have it, much to the dismay of my hubby who is trying to declutter our home while I clutter it up. One of the machines I’ve had my eyes on for some time is Yonanas, a frozen fruit dessert machine that lets you take any frozen fruit you have and turn it into a creamy, non-dairy soft serve dessert. I was already having high hopes for this machine…

The box arrived and I couldn’t wait to tear into it. The instructions were great and it was very easy to assemble, I had the machine up and running within minutes. I had some frozen banana and frozen blueberries that I wanted to try mixing first as this is one of my favourite fruit smoothie combinations. Per the instructions, I allowed the fruit to thaw for a few minutes before starting up the machine. I started with two frozen bananas and one cup of frozen blueberries. I read that banana needs to be placed into the machine first before adding any other fruit and sure enough, it was a good tip as the banana kicked things off and acted as a base. It was pretty amazing to see how quickly it turned my boring old fruit into a creamy looking frozen dessert. After tasting it, I was really happy….there was no added sugar and no additives, just the pure flavor of my own frozen fruit.

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Since that first trial run, I mostly throw in whatever frozen fruit I have on hand along with frozen bananas, which we always have in the house. This machine is the perfect place to use up spotty bananas that are a bit past their prime to eat fresh. I find that I get the best texture when I use a mix of old and new bananas (ones that have been frozen recently) along with a few handfuls of my favourite fruits. If you’re not a fan of bananas, you can use any other frozen fruits that you have on hand, just remember to let them sit out and thaw for about 5 minutes for best results.

To me this is a great machine for families to have as it can please everyone…ice cream lovers, people who are lactose intolerant, vegans and anyone who wants to make their own healthy, frozen desserts. I’ve used it to introduce my son to different fruits and as an added bonus, the cold helps to relieve his teething discomfort. His favourite combo…mangoes and strawberries…yum! The possibilities are endless, I have only tried a handful of the recipes on the Yonanas site…there are still so many others I have to check out.

To learn more, visit http://yonanas.com/ for info about their products and tips and recipes for frozen fruit desserts made both with bananas and without them.

Here are a few of my favourite “no bananas” Yonanas recipes, taken from their website. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Pineapple Sorbet

Ingredients: 1/2 cup frozen strawberries and 1/2 cup frozen pineapple

Directions: 1. Slightly thaw your frozen fruit prior to putting through your yonanas maker. 2. Insert 1/4 cup frozen strawberries. 3. Insert 1/4 cup frozen pineapple. 4. Alternate remaining ingredients

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Peach and Cherry Sorbet

Ingredients: 1/2 cup frozen peach slices and 1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries

Directions: 1. Slightly thaw your frozen fruit prior to putting through your yonanas maker. 2. Insert 1/4 cup frozen peach slices. 3. Insert 1/4 cup frozen pitted cherries. 4. Alternate remaining ingredients

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Review: McDonald’s New Signature Veggie McWraps

16 Sep

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Disclaimer: I did receive compensation from McDonald’s Canada for this post, however all opinions expressed are those of myself, my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and my friend. 

My husband and I are always on the go. We are often out and about and we do love the occasional road trip (Montreal anyone?). As a vegetarian married to a meat-eater, I’ve found that over the years there are only a few quick service a.k.a. fast food restaurants we can visit that have good meal options for both of us. When I say a few, I’m being generous, there are only two places that I can think of immediately and both have veggie burgers as their star vegetarian attractions. What about the salads you say? Please. Stop. I want a real meal and there really is a certain joy that comes from eating on the road out of a paper bag. Which brings me to a piece of research provided by McDonald’s Canada…

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So I pretty much jumped out of my chair when I heard McDonald’s Canada released two new Signature Veggie McWraps (new vegetarian items excite me, what can I say!). I ate meat until I was about 14 years old and I loved McDonald’s when I was growing up, actually I still do. To me, McDonald’s means happy times and fun moments, like the incredible birthday parties I used to have there (the little hats and the birthday cake with the M on it were the coolest!). Now my fun moments are with my nephews, watching their eyes light up while they have a Happy Meal. To know that I might have a chance to eat with them instead of just having a coffee was very exciting indeed.

Knowing that I’m vegetarian, McDonald’s Canada challenged me to try their new Signature Veggie McWraps. I learned that the Veggie McWraps had been customized to suit Canadian palettes by McDonalds’ Director of Menu Innovation, Anne Parks. For example, Canada is the first country to use a whole-wheat tortilla.

I’ll review them in the order that I tried them in, with additional comments from my sister-in-law (she also eats seafood), brother-in-law (he will eat anything!) and my friend (who eats chicken on occasion) just to give you all a few opinions. Really though, you’ll just have to try them!

Wrap #1 – The Santa Fe Veggie McWrap

Ingredients: This wrap contains fire-roasted corn, black beans, a blend of real cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, tomato, red onion, iceberg lettuce, crunchy tortilla strips, chili lime glaze and southwest sauce, served in a whole wheat flour tortilla.

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Was it love at first sight/bite?  Yes! I was immediately intrigued by the packaging (I started my career in printing and I’m obsessed with cool packaging). I loved how interactive the packaging was, asking me to tear around it to release the wrap. Cool concept. I took a peek inside the wrap and it was filled with good looking ingredients and lots of colours and textures.

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I dove in and I immediately liked the crunch of the veggies and tortilla strips. The chili lime glaze and southwest sauce kicked it all up a notch and I liked the light lingering heat that was left on my tongue. I think it’s spicy enough to satisfy those who want a little kick but not so much that it will turn people off. The tortilla held everything together nicely and I was able to taste that it was whole wheat, which was great. There was a good balance of flavour and I was able to enjoy the ingredients to the very last bite. I appreciated the fact that my last bite wasn’t just a mouthful of tortilla!

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I enjoyed the southwest sauce that was used in the wrap, it reminded me of the sauce used in a delicious McSkillet Burrito I had tried at the McDonald’s flagship restaurant in Chicago a few years ago. They were able to make that vegetarian and it was a flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, roasted red and green peppers, onions and salsa roja. Filling and delicious with a spicy kick. Yet another awesome menu item that we should have here….can you hear me McDonald’s Canada? : )

My Feedback:

If McDonald’s could give me an option to add sautéed or crispy tofu to this wrap, I definitely would. I really enjoyed the flavours in this wrap but adding a bit of extra protein would kick this up a notch for me. In terms of the packaging, I would like to see the bottom end of the packaging come up a bit higher, as I think too much of the wrap is exposed when you remove the top cover. I ended up having to support the wrap so all of the tasty toppings wouldn’t come out in my first few bites.

Would I eat it again?

Absolutely. There was a spicy kick in it that I really enjoyed. I’m looking forward to eating this again.

 

Wrap #2 – The Mediterranean Veggie McWrap

Ingredients:  This wrap includes two exciting ingredients that have never been on McDonald’s Canada’s menu before: hummus and real feta cheese. Yes, that’s right, I just said hummus! Other ingredients include tomato, cucumber, red onion, iceberg lettuce, crispy lemon-seasoned onions and a creamy Mediterranean sauce, all served in a whole wheat flour tortilla.

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Was it love at first sight/bite?  A few days after trying the Santa Fe, I went back to try the Mediterranean Veggie McWrap. Once again, I was really excited when I unwrapped the box and I realized that it was because it felt like I was opening a present….a vegetarian present : ) My first bite was filled with crunchy lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and feta, one of my favourite combinations….yum!  As I went deeper into the wrap, I tasted the crispy onions and I really liked them. The sauce wasn’t overpowering and I could enjoy each ingredient, which I appreciated.

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My feedback: Again, an option to add sautéed or crispy tofu to this wrap would be great. Alternatively, throwing some chickpeas in for extra protein could work?

Thoughts from others on both the Santa Fe and Mediterranean Veggie McWraps:

Santa Fe:

Sudha (my sis-in-law) – “I felt that all of the ingredients were overpowered by the southwest sauce, which made the wrap a bit soggy as well! Perhaps I should try it with the sauce on the side?!”

Craig (my bro-in-law) – “I enjoyed it and would eat it again.”

Mediterranean:  

Kanika (friend) – “Good to see veggie options at McDonald’s. The Mediterranean Veggie McWrap was filled with fresh toppings and I thought it was full of flavour and healthy. I’m hoping to see more vegetarian options at McDonald’s soon!”

Sudha (my sis-in-law) – “I prefer the Mediterranean one over the Santa Fe! It was very refreshing and the best surprise was the addition of flavourful crispy onions!”

More comments from Sudha (my sis-in-law) – “How will they maintain consistency of the wrap? Would it taste the same every time? It is easier when a protein is involved as it is literally the “star”; with veggies, one has to make sure there is a balance!”

Craig (my bro-in-law) – “I enjoyed this one too and I would also eat it again. I actually enjoy all of the McWraps on offer.”

And that’s a “wrap” folks : ) (Pun fully intended).

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As an added bonus to the readers of Milk & Eggs, McDonald’s Canada shared a few original vegetarian recipes that were developed by their Director of Menu Management. These were a few of my favourites. Enjoy!

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Have you tried the new Veggie McWraps? If so, please let me know what you thought of them or if you have any vegetarian suggestions I can pass on to our friends at McDonald’s : )

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