I am a snack-aholic.
My kid is a snack-aholic.
And the hubbster? You guessed it. Snack-aholic.
With all the snacking we want to do, especially late at night we’ve had to branch out of our usual chips with sour cream mixed with salsa regimen. (Try it, it’s great. Or don’t try it. It’s addictive.) However, with me being pregnant, the kiddo being very persistent, and the hubbster being a grade-A enabler, you can imagine how difficult it has been to try and stay away from snacks altogether. And so I went looking for healthy alternatives. But here’s the thing, guys. The alternative had to not taste like an alternative. It needed to taste like a treat, but without the guilt of a treat.
And let me tell you, I struck GOLD.
Sweet Mother Nature, a store I found on Etsy.com, makes amazing snacks that will no doubt satisfy the inner-snack-aholic in you, just like it did for me. So I dropped Matt and Sheryl (owners) a line, and talked them into letting me review their awesome snacks on my new blog. (They were brave- the blog was three days old at the time.) Here’s the interview:
The Frugal Flambe (TFF): First off, let me just say, I love the idea of having healthy snacks on hand. And my kid loves your snacks!
Sweet Mother Nature (SMN): The first thing I have to say about the snacks from Sweet Mother Nature is – YES – KIDS DO LOVE IT!!! Also a very smart choice for dieters. These are snacks that everyone can appreciate. Dehydrated goodies are perfect for snacking and a great replacement for candy and/or sugary, so-called, “gummy fruits”.
TFF: Well that certainly takes a weight off my mind when I’m feeding the kidlet. But hey, you say your stuff is healthy- how healthy?
SMN: They remain healthy because they retain their natural goodness including all the anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. There are NO preservatives and NO sugar added. One more benefit is that dehydrated goods need NO refrigeration and last for months in your cupboard. Everything is made in a commercial grade dehydrator in clean, country home. Definitely better than CANDY – it’s Sweet Mother Nature.
TFF: How did you come up with the idea to start making these treats?
SMN: Snackers at heart, Matt and I are always on the look out for healthy treat alternatives. We wanted nutritious, low calorie snacking foods, but had trouble finding anything we liked, without added sugars and chemicals. Health food stores carry and offer healthy foods, but we find the prices did not always meet our financial budget. Living in the Finger Lakes area of New York State, we have a wealth of locally grown fruits and wanted to enjoy them year-round.
TFF: I can relate to the snacker part- where did the idea to dehydrate the fruit come from?
SMN: Well, we needed a way to make our fresh produce last throughout the winter months. Since we are very conscious about our electrical bill, we didn’t want to have to run a chest freezer all year. We also found that frozen produce gets mushy and some just can’t be frozen successfully – thus the dehydrating began! You would not believe the combinations we come up with <lol>. Pineapple/Orange, Pear/Blueberry, Orange/Cranberry, Banana/Mango/Coconut – OMG the possibilities are endless.
TFF: So why not just keep the goodies for yourself? How did you end up selling these out of your home?
SMN: We had such a positive response from family and friends that we thought we would try selling at our local craft / vendor shows and online commerce sites. [listed below]
TFF: And have you been successful?
SMN: YES! We were recently approached by our first investor! Here’s an article about all the excitement:http://www.ventureancap.com/seeds-funded/sweetmothernature-com/#more-10 AND- You may be happy to know that we take special orders – let your imagination FLY!!
After our interview, Matt and Sheryl actually sent me samples of their delicious stuff- here’s what I thought:
- Dried Bananas- Not crunchy like I expected, by chewy and sweet- like candy.
- Dried Apples- Awesome- with a little dusting of cinnamon, the tartness of the apples was highlighted and tasted like heaven.
- Pineapple Leather: Nature’s fruit roll ups, I kid you not. This was by FAR our favorite part of the whole testing experience. Tart, a little bit of sweetness, and chewy enough to satisfy my snacking urge.
- Strawberry Leather: The kiddo dug this one- he literally ate the whole piece. Tastes just like strawberries in the summertime.
- Dried Cherries- SO MUCH BETTER than the ones you buy at the store- tart and sweet at the same time, these were perfect.
- Dried Papaya- Our least favorite of the bunch, but still great. It tasted like I took a bite right out a fresh papaya- you can’t ask for better than that!
And you guys- the best is yet to come! Sweet Mother Nature was so stoked about being featured at The Frugal Flambe, they agreed to do a giveaway! That’s right, FREE goodies for you and your family. Just leave a comment below, and on Friday, March 25, a random commenter will be chosen to receive this sweet prize- Honey Cinnamon Dried Apples (they literally melt in your mouth).
Like what you see? Shop to your hungry heart’s content at the Sweet Mother Nature’s Etsy Store.http://www.etsy.com/shop/healthytreat
Questions? Direct them to email@example.com
A very special thank-you to Matt, Sheryl, and the rest of the Sweet Mother Nature Crew!
Now, I know you’ve all been clinging to the edge of your seats for this one: the Sweet Mother Nature Giveaway Winner!!!
According to the Randomizer, our winner is: Amanda!!!!
Congratulations to you, Amanda, and a special thanks to all who participated.
To the winner: expect an email from thefrugalflambe(at)gmail(dot)com within 24 hours- it’ll include the contact info of Sweet Mother Nature, and you can send your address directly to them to get your FREE bag of dried apples! Yummy!