I had the pleasure of attending a NC Mom Blogger Meet Up Event with several of my local blog buddies for the launch of the new Eat. Think. Smile.â„¢ product line now available at all Loweâ€™s Food locations and will be available to more retailers in the spring. The Eat. Think. Smile.â„¢ lineup consists of Chewy Granola Bars, Granola Clusters, Baked Nutrition Bars and Crispy Thins. What makes these snacks so unique and tasty is the secret ingredient, a proprietary blend of premium cocoa combined with sweet and savory all natural ingredients like whole grain oats, fruits and nuts.
â€œWhile other â€˜better-for-youâ€™ snacks are fortified, our proprietary natural cocoa blend provides natural antioxidant power from a wholesome all-natural food source throughout the Eat.Think.Smile.â„¢ line-up,â€ said Amy Preston, PhD, RD, nutrition scientist, Eat.Think.Smile. â„¢
The cocoa used in Eat.Think.Smile.â„¢ products is a proprietary blend of natural cocoa that includes cocoa Lavado â€“ a premium variety that retains the cocoaâ€™s natural antioxidant power, because it is naturally washed and dried in the sun. In comparison, many cocoas are treated with an alkalizing agent that further reduces the natural antioxidants inherent in cocoa, known as â€œdutching.â€
Fun Fact: Cocoa is a â€œsuperfruitâ€ The cocoa pod is a fruit; natural cocoa is made from the cocoa beans, or the seeds found in the cocoa pods.
Recent research shows that natural cocoa powder has more antioxidant power than other superfruit powders, including pomegranate, blueberry and acai.
Each serving of Eat.Think.Smile.â„¢ products has more natural antioxidant power than a cup of green tea.
In conjunction with the brandâ€™s recipe for healthy living philosophy, all Eat.Think.Smileâ„¢. products contain 200 calories or less per serving. Suggested Retail Price Eat.Think.Smile.â„¢ Baked Nutrition Bars, $1.59; Crispy Thins, $3.79; Chewy Granola Bars, $3.99; Granola Clusters, $4.99 (Check your local listings for specials)
I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Amy Preston who is a Senior Nutrition Scientist at Apure Foods. Dr. Preston also currently holds an adjunct position within the Nutritional Sciences Department at The Pennsylvania State University and is actively involved as an instructor and preceptor in the departmentâ€™s Dietetic Internship Program.
I asked Dr. Amy Preston how the Eat. Think. Smile.â„¢ product line compared to other cocoa snack products and she said the key difference is the natural cocoa which in other products youâ€™ll find a chocolate flavored alkali solution. Alkali reduces the antioxidants in cocoa and with Eat. Think. Smile.â„¢ you have a unique and natural cocoa blend. I also asked Dr. Preston if she thought the snack line achieved it purpose and she stated that the Eat. Think. Smile.â„¢ line has better food snacking options. There are lots of different flavor options giving you a nice variety.
Iâ€™m always thinking ahead and even though this is a new product line being very good and nutritious I had to ask if she thought anything would make it better. Dr. Amy Preston said adding even more flavor and snack options would be great and maybe some single serve pouches (pack types) for snacking on the go. I’d have to agree, nothing is better than having a nice snack conveniently on the go!
I was curious to know why antioxidants were so important for our consumption and what it does for our bodies. Dr. Amy Preston helped clarify this for me by stating that antioxidants help protect our bodies against damage. It helps protect our blood vessels, skin cells and our bodies in general.
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals.
Iâ€™ve learned so much about antioxidants, cocoa and have tried the Eat, Think. Smile.â„¢ snack line first hand and itâ€™s very tasty. The fact that itâ€™s delicious and nutritious is a HUGE plus for me! For additional information and store locations, please visit Eat. Think. Smile.â„¢ Website