5 Favorite Things

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A sea of daffodils at the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill

Hello friends! Spring is in full swing here in New England, and I was able to get over to the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill to see the fields of daffodils in bloom. If you’re ever in Massachusetts, I can’t recommend this garden enough. It’s particularly beautiful in the summer months, and at Christmas, it’s adorned with hundreds of lights and gorgeously decorated Christmas trees. I also got married here, so this space has a very special place in my heart. It’s a beautiful space to connect with nature and a wonderful place to explore with the kids.

I hope this week brings you love, beauty, and great weather so you can spend time outside with the ones you love.

Here’s what I’m loving this week:

Trader Joe’s Bambas

When I first read the description for these snacks, I was unsure they sounded appetizing: peanut and corn with hazelnut filling?! It sounded like a strange combination, but I’m an adventurous eater so in the cart they went. Boy am I glad I bought these! They’re crispy, light, and just the slightest bit salty on the outside with a creamy, sweet, hazelnut filling on the inside. It is the perfect flavor combination, a fantastic lightly crisp texture, and they happen to be gluten and dairy free. Consider me hooked!

You can find these in the chip aisle. Here are the ingredients as of 4/24/22:

CORN FLOUR, SUGAR, PEANUT BUTTER (PEANUTS), CANOLA OIL, CORNSTARCH, HAZELNUTS, PARTIALLY DEFATTED PEANUT FLOUR, COCOA POWDER, HIGH-OLEIC SUNFLOWER OIL, SALT, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), SUNFLOWER LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), CALCIUM CARBONATE, POWDERED CELLULOSE, TAHINI (SESAME SEEDS), NATURAL FLAVOR, ROSEMARY EXTRACT (TO PRESERVE).

Quinoa Bowls

I am often looking for creative, healthy ways to get protein from plant-based whole foods and I always find myself gravitating back to quinoa. What I love about quinoa is that, unlike some plant proteins, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make on their own. It has a light, nutty flavor that I find pairs well with almost anything, and it incorporates wonderfully in dishes for all seasons. I love it in my quinoa chili, strawberry quinoa salad, and harvest bowls like the one pictured above. I have a summer harvest bowl that I’ve been working on, and will hopefully get it just right next time around so I can share it with you.

Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink

I’ve loved these probiotic drinks for years but realized this week that I’ve never posted about them. These sparkling drinks from Kevita are a delicious option if you’re looking for a mocktail or a healthier alternative to soda. They come in a variety of flavors but I really enjoy the slight kick that comes in the lemon cayenne option. These are made with live probiotics, apple cider vinegar, and purified stevia leaf extract to keep the sugar content to a minimum. Here are the ingredients as of 4/24/22:

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

Sparkling Water, Water Kefir Culture (Water, Lactic Acid, Kefir Culture, Natural Flavor), Apple Cider Vinegar*, Lemon Extract*, Cayenne Extract*, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086, Maple Extract*, Purified Stevia Leaf Extract*, Lactic Acid.

I buy these at Whole Foods but I’ve also seen them at Wegmans and Big Y. You can use their store locator to find them near you.

The Loopy Whisk

The Loopy Whisk is a food blog that I’ve been following for a while that posts recipes suiting a variety of dietary needs, including dairy free and gluten free. It’s run by a woman named Katarina and everything she posts is absolutely drool-worthy. As someone who has recently decided to get serious about baking, I have some real admiration for the gorgeous treats Katarina is baking up. You can follow The Loop Whisk on Instagram or visit the website to find a plethora of delicious dairy free sweets.

Chomps Meat sticks

If you’ve ever enjoyed a Slim Jim in your life, you may appreciate this favorite of mine. Chomps meat sticks are a delicious, healthier alternative to your standard meat stick or Slim Jim, and they’re certified gluten-free and free from the top 8 allergens. They’re also Whole30 and Paleo friendly, and made without sugar. I always have these in my purse, and they make a great addition to lunch boxes and school snacks. I buy these at Whole Foods and Amazon and you can use their store locator here.

Other things I’m loving:

Brooklyn Candle – Currently 40% off

I absolutely love the scents from Brooklyn Candle Studio and burn these candles in my home office almost daily. The candles are made using sustainable soy wax and phthalate-free perfume oils infused with essential oils. They smell absolutely heavenly and burn evenly and slowly. Nordstrom is currently running a 40% off sale on a meditation three pack, which is a great deal.

My Marc Jacobs Small Backpack

I love my Marc Jacobs small backpack for when I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking and don’t want to deal with holding a purse. I used it while touring the botanic gardens this week, and it’s great for visits to the zoo, museums, chaperoning field trips, and going to festivals. Some other cute backpacks to check out are this one from Vintage Havana and this one from Bagbase.

Carter’s 60% off sale

Carter’s is currently running up to 60% off on baby essentials through 5/2/22 for all you mamas out there with little ones!

What do you think of my favorites this week?

Have you tried any of these products? Leave a comment below with your feedback. I appreciate it!

Be sure to snap a pic if you try any of these! Tag @milkfreemom on Instagram and hashtag it #milkfreemom

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