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Summer eats means delicious and healthy food in addition to fun in the sun

photo courtesy of Applegate, used with permission

Summer is in full bloom, so that means longer days and more time for fun and healthy and tasty summer eats! Summer food is more than just mouth watering dishes, it's also about love, fun, family, friends, health, convenience and less processed ingredients without avoiding flavor. Whether it's grabbing a healthy snack to go, cooking for the family or hosting a summer bbq or cocktail party, below are some great delicious and healthy food choices that will be sure to make everyone's taste buds and tummies very happy this summer!

Summer Eats 2014
photo courtesy of CK of SD, used with permission

Keep in mind, the majority of these brands and products were showcased at the Food Fete and Editor Showcase earlier this year, so you know they are trusted brands and very delicious!

Amazing Meal combines organic Green Superfood with plant based protein, fruits and vegetables which offers 100% whole food nutrition in a convenient mix. Each serving has 11 grams of complete protein and 6 grams of fiber. For those with very active lifestyle, be sure to try this powerful blend of plant based proteins, green superfoods, phtyo nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, digestive enzymes and probiotics. It's organic, raw, vegan and cold processed.

Applegate makes the most delicious organic sausages, especially its Organic Chicken and Apple Sausages. They're so flavorful, with just the right combination of salty and sweet flavor! This brand that boasts of offering top quality meat that's raised without antibiotics and harmones, introduced a better hot dog that is now taking back the lunchbox. Applegate's lunchtime time saver, called Half Time is perfect for kids' (and adults too) lunch boxes, because the ingredients in these lunch items do not contain antibiotics, preservatives and artificial ingredients.

Arnold Bread offers healthy Sliced Breads and Sandwich Thins® Rolls that are cholesterol free, they contain whole grains, zero grams of trans fat and no high fructose corn syrup, so you can feel food about serving your family and loved ones healthy meals. Arnold Bread boasts of using simple ingredients to bake breads that are both delicious and nutritious. Its premium breads are whole grain-based with lots of variety and great taste. For those who love a burger but wish to cut down on carbs, Arnold Thin Rolls are a must-try, because they provide an excellent source of fiber, and makes a delicious burger or sandwich for both kids and adults!

Bare Snacks, makers of the great tasting Bare Fruit Apple Chips that are made from Washington State apples, has the most addictive, delicious and healthy new snack called "Coconut Chips." They come in five delectable flavors: Simply Toasted, Show me the Honey, Sweet and Heat, Chocolate Bliss and Sea Salt Caramel. Bare Coconut Chips are 100% natural, contain no preservatives, gluten free, provides a good source of dietary fiber, non GMO, no refined sugars, baked and never fried. This summer, it's time to replace fried and greasy chips for a bag of Bare Snacks' Crunchy Baked Coconut Chips!

BetterBody Foods' newest healthy foods products is PB Fit peanut butter powder, which is incredibly delicious just like everyone's favorite peanut butter, but better because it's low in fat! PB Fit is made from gently roasted peanuts that have 75% of the oil pressed out. It is then ground to a fine powder with a pinch of sugar and a dash of salt making a delicious low fat peanut butter. This delicious, all natural product has only three ingredients, contains 75% less fat than peanut butter and nearly one third the calories, which is great news to peanut butter lovers! It's so easy to use too. Simply add water to make a healthy peanut butter spread, and it can also be added to make yummy peanut butter cookies!

Ciao Bella makes the most heavenly gelato and sorbet by using the finest quality ingredients. It offers the best flavors of gelato and sorbetto, thanks to the creative vision and artistry of its chef - Chef Danilo who sources ingredients responsibly from quality partners in all parts of the globe, and specifically features non-GMO verified fruit, hormone-free dairy and fair trade cocoa. For those who love chocolate, Ciao Bella's South American Dark Chocolate is out of this world! Ciao Bella's Sea Salt Caramel Gelato Squares are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Ciao Bella's Sicilian Blood Orange tastes mesmerizing when used to make a blood orange cocktail! There are many flavors for everyone's palate, so visit here and stop by the Ciao Bella store at Grand Central Terminal or at the super market.

Divino Dessert offers rare and delicious Italian gelato filled fruits, perfect for a mouth watering sweet treat on a hot summer day. Divino’s innovative gelato desserts boast of finest Southern Italian fruits handpicked from the local groves surrounding the Amalfi Coast only when perfectly ripe. The fruits, bursting with goodness from the mineral rich soil, are then individually halved, the pulps blended and enhanced with local volcanic waters from neighboring Mount Etna and Vesuvius, before their skins are filled with the decadent gelato filling. After flash freezing, Divino is crafted, bursting with Italian heritage, flavor and goodness. The Divino brand has won taste and innovation awards at European fairs such as TuttoFood in Milan in 2011 and 2013, Specialty & Fine Food Fair 2013 and BBC Good Food Show 2013 in London, and SIAL 2012 in Paris. Divino’s Indulgenza single fruit collection consists of Amalfi Lemon, Apulian Peach, Black Diamond Plum, Ciaculli Tangerine and Roman Kiwi desserts. The Celebrazione collection includes one Ciaculli Tangerine, one Roman Kiwi, one Vesuvian Apricot and two Montella Chestnuts.

Dr. Praeger's burgers are great for health conscious individuals who don't want to sacrifice flavor. The Kale Veggie Burger is made with quinoa, brown rice, millet, kale and nine other vegetables. It's low in sodium, GMO free, has no saturated fat, gluten-free, vegan, and kosher. The Black Bean Burger is made with black beans and brown rice, and is a great tasting source of vegetarian protein (12 grams per serving). It's also kosher, GMO free, and has no saturated fat, making it a hearty, healthy meat alternative. The Asian Burger is made with carrots, onions, broccoli, scallions, red peppers, and seasoned with garlic, soy and ginger. It is a nutritious and flavorful burger packed with fiber containing no trans-fat, saturated fat or cholesterol.

Duncan Hines Signature Pink and Blue Velvets are a part of Duncan Hines’ new velvets line and is the first in the baking aisle to extend velvet cakes beyond the traditional red velvet. They're so easy to make, are perfect for making mini cupcakes for kids' playdates, summer treats or birthday parties. Duncan Hines Decadent Salted Caramel Brownies are sinfully delicous, moist and dreamy! It comes with an easy to use salted caramel pouch and allows bakers to go beyond traditional brownies to create decadent treats, such as Salted Caramel S’more Brownie Bites and Salted Caramel Brownie Pretzel Lollipops.

Enjoy Life is a must-try for all chocolate lovers, especially the Dark Chocolate Baking Morsels, which features 69% cacao and clean ingredients of unsweetened chocolate and natural cane sugar. It's the only gluten-free dark chocolate morsel on the market that is also dairy, nut and soy free! Enjoy Life's Decadent Bars boasts of four unique flavors: S’mores, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate SunButter, and Cinnamon Bun. Each bar is topped with a melt-in-your-mouth white or dark drizzle (depending on the flavor). Decadent bars are a great anytime snack or a luxurious dessert. All bars are gluten-free,free from the top 8 allergens, and verified by the Non-GMO project. It is the first time gluten-free and indulgence can be confidently used in the same product description. Chocolate lovers will be glada to know that Enjoy Life also makes Soft Baked Cookies, Crunchy Cookies, and Chocolate Bars.

Earth Balance offers delicious buttery spreads, shortenings, nut butters, soy milk, coconut spread, alternative mayo and snacks. All of its products are plant-based, vegan, made without artificial flavors and hydrogenated oils, and are free from lactose and eggs, offering a delicious alternative for individuals with food sensitivities and those seeking better options of their favorite foods. Earth Balance products are great for cooking and baking, as well as, being consumed on their own. Earth Balance strongly supports the Non-GMO Project and sustainable agriculture practices, and all of its products are made without genetically modified ingredients, so you can feel good about serving it to your loved ones.

Eggland's Best celebrates the 20 billionth USDA-approved Eggland's Best egg. Its eggs are sold in all 50 states in supermarkets nationwide. Eggland's Best conducts more than 35,000 tests a year to guarantee its eggs have lower saturated fat than ordinary eggs while being higher in vitamins and nutrients. This quality assurance leads to both a nutritionally superior and a fresher egg. Eggland's Best's motto is "Better taste. Better nutrition. Better eggs." It boasts of the highest of standards and reject more than 600,000 eggs a day, that don't meet its requirements to receive the EB stamp. Compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland's Best eggs contain 25 percent less saturated fat, four times the vitamin D, 10 times the vitamin E and twice the amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain 38 percent more lutein and provide a good source of vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B5 and B12.

Gearharts Fine Chocolates Peanut Butter PUPS are not only cute, but they taste unforgettable! Just one taste of these yummy peanut butter chocolates, you can't just go back to any peanut butter chocolate and will want only the finest. Each of these whimsical, hand-piped PUPS is made from premium milk chocolate and Virginia artisan peanut butter, then decorated with a dark chocolate face and toasted almond ears. Gearharts is proud to donate 5% of sales of all PUPS to Companions for Heroes ("C4H"). C4H matches rescue pets as companion animals to our nation’s wounded veterans.

Horizon a leading national organic dairy brand, is launched six great tasting Horizon Mac and Cheese products, available in organic and made with organic varieties. Horizon Mac and Cheese provide a new way for kids (and adults too) to enjoy the goodness of organic, and is free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives and that is made with non-GMO ingredients! All of Horizon Mac and Cheese products fall on the organic spectrum and are regulated by the USDA’s National Organic Program, and the labels clearly states which are organic and which are made with organic. The organic varieties carry the USDA Organic Seal and contain at least 95 percent certified organic ingredients, while the made with organic products contain at least 70 percent certified organic ingredients. All Horizon Mac and Cheese products are made with real, Horizon organic cheese, and are available in six new varieties: USDA-Certified Organic Horizon Mac & Cheese Products (Shells and White Cheddar Cheese; Macaroni and Mild Cheddar Cheese) and Made With Organic Horizon Mac & Cheese Products (Pasta Cows and Mild Cheddar Cheese; Shells and White Cheddar Cheese; Macaroni and Mild Cheddar Cheese; Macaroni and Mild Cheddar Cheese with 12g protein per serving).

Lifeway makes tasty and healthy kefir (fermented milk drink made with a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter), which comes in different flavors and varieties such as low-fat, non-fat, Greek, organic and low-carb, is a fermented milk drink made with kefir (a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter). For those who are looking into probiotic and nutritious foods, Lifeway makes Kefir for both adults and kids. Frozen Kefir is made from all natural ingredients, only 90 calorie per serving and is a great summer treat because it's tangy, delicately sweet, light and refreshing. Lifeway has a whole variety of fun products or kids such as ProBugs, ProBugs Blast, and frozen ProBugs. For those who wish to add extra veggies and probiotics to their diet, be sure to try Lifeway's Veggie Kefir which is a tasty smoothie that comes in Tomato, Cucumber and Beet varieties.

Magnolia Bakery, which is renowned for its delicious, classic American baked goodies, is loved by everyone all over the world. This summer, Magnolia's mouth watering sweet treats aren't just about cupcakes, because its pies such as Magnolia Blueberry Pie is gratifying and ever so scrumptious! The crust is flakey and the fresh blueberries taste naturally sweet (not tart at all) and plump. Every morsel and crumb of Magnolia's Blueberry Pie is unforgettable, so be sure to check it out because the gastronimic experience is not to be missed. If you don't get a chance to eat it right away while it's still warm, then heat it up in the oven and it will taste just as good as if it came out of Magnolia Bakery! In addition to pies, Magnolia's amazing menu of heavenly sweets such as cupcakes, cakes, cheesecakes, banana pudding, icebox desserts, cookies and brownies can be found here.

Nutri Ninja is great for all those into fitness and consume healthy juices, frozen desserts and smoothies. It's also wonderful for those who work long hard hours, and students, because it packs in a healthy blend of fruits, vegetables along with ice into a nutritious juice in seconds! The Nutri Ninja can also be used to make sauces, dressings, dips, and purees. Now is the time to get all your veggies and fruits in, quickly blend them, and drink a yummy smoothie in warp speed. Summer is here, so definitely give the Nutri Ninja a try to consume healthy fiber in order to obtain an ideal weight.

Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata hazelnut spread is organic and tastes incredibly delicious! Its ingredients boasts of the highest quality oraganic and non-GMO ingredients (sugar, hazelnut paste, sunflower oil, skim milk powder, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, natural vanilla flavoring) farmed without polluting the environment and with minimal Co2 emissions. It is produced by working all ingredients slowly, carefully and it contains only natural fats, with no palm oils, no hydrogenated fats or artificial flavors, is gluten free so it's basically the best hazelnut spread currently out in the market. Nocciolata is available in the classic 9.52 oz jars, in the new food service size 11 lb pail and “grab & go” pouches which makes it a great summer snack.

R.W. Knudsen Family Nature's Peak™ juice blends are flavorful and made from premium fruits and vegetables. The 50/50 blend is a delicious beverage, that provides a half cup serving of fruits and a half cup serving of vegetables with each eight fluid ounce cup of juice. They are available in 32 ounce glass jar flavors that include Berry Veggie Blend®, Orchard Veggie Blend® and Tropical Veggie Blend®. Natures Peak is 100% Juice (50/50 blend of fruit and vegetable juice), contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and is Non-GMO Project Verified. R.W. Knudsen Family Nature's Peak™ juice blends are great for making refreshing, mouth watering, thirst quenching summer cocktails, which will be sure to make you the life of all your parties this summer and holiday too.

PeachDish is a must for cooks who appreciate new experiences in their kitchen! PeachDish makes cooking an easy, fun experience instead of an obligation. Every week, PeachDish mails members a box with all of the fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and instructions needed to craft two multi-course dinners for two at home for only $50. That's an incredibly low price, considering a visit to the supermarket can cost more than $50. PeachDish menus are seasonal, southern-infused and internationally inspired, and the best part is - the ingredients are very fresh, easy to prepare and incredibly delicious! Try PeachDish to make a romantic dinner, and most likely, your date will think you've spent hours shopping and prepping.

Peacock Brand rice-based, gluten-free noodles are delicious, light and healthy. One great flavor of noodles to try is the Peacock Brown Rice Spaghetti, which is also Chef Pasquale's rice spaghetti alla 'Sanguiannid,' in which he highlighted the versatility of Singaporean Peacock Noodles with his traditional Italian cooking. Peacock noodles are light, delicious and healthy, so they're perfect for summer meals. Peacock products are from Singapore, and boasts of achieving consistent and premium quality so that their wholesome and natural goodness can be enjoyed by all around the world. The entire noodle series: Brown rice spaghetti, Rice spaghetti, Brown rice vermicelli, Rice vermicelli, Basmati rice spaghetti are naturally fat-free, gluten-free, cholesterol free, contain no preservatives and are also Non-GMO Project verified.

Popcorn Indiana FIT Popcorn tastes great, only 40 calories or less per cup and are guilt-free, so it's ok to have seconds! They're crispy, made of whole grains and best of all, full of flavor. FIT popcorn comes in the following flavors: Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Parmesan & Herb. You can't go wrong with Popcorn Indiana FIT, as they're only 40 calories or less a serving, all natural, gluten free, made of whole grains and have zero trans fat. Sea Salt and Olive Oil flavors are Non-GMO Project Verified. Since FIT is so few in calories, there's room to enjoy other Popcorn Indiana popcorn, which are the ultimate treat, such as Drizzlecorn Popcorn. Drizzlecorn flavors are addictive and you can't just go back to any popcorn after trying these: Black & White Drizzlecorn, Cinnamon Sugar Drizzlecorn, Dark Fudge Chocolate Chip Drizzlecorn and Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzlecorn.

Roth Cheese has three new delicious Raclette cheeses: Roasted Garlic, Five Peppercorn and Mediterranean to bring bold flavor to recipes and dishes that call for melted cheese. Raclette is perfect for melting, because it's mild, very flavorful, and has a delicious creamy texture. These three flavors of Roth Raclette are perfect in recipes and to top foods like pizza, burgers (great to stuff inside the beef patties and cook them on the grill), pasta and more that would traditionally be topped with mozzarella or cheddar cheese. Roth Raclette is available at and select grocery stores and deli counters throughout the US.

Seattle's Best Coffee is great for entertainment at home, because it has great at-home coffee options, including five varieties of single-serve K-Cup® packs as well as two new roast and ground blends, House Blend and Breakfast Blend. House Blend and Breakfast Blend can be found down the aisle next to customer favorites, Signature Blends 3, 4 and 5, and Seattle’s Best Coffee K-Cup® packs. What's great about Seattle's Best coffee, is that it's more than a delicious cup of coffee. It can be found at AMC Theatres, Burger King, Chevron Extra Mile, Delta Air Lines, Mac’s Convenience Stores, Royal Caribbean cruises, Subway and Taco Bell. Seattle Best started roasting coffee on the Seattle waterfront in 1970 and won the title “Seattle’s Best Coffee” in 1991, to joining the Starbucks family in 2003 and setting its sights on becoming the most accessible premium coffee brand in the world in 2010. This history, plus the support and backing of Starbucks, means Seattle Best's customers can count on a great cup of coffee any time, any where.

So Delicious Dairy Free renowned for its frozen desserts, beverages, cultured products, and coffee creamers, make sure its products are always dairy free and egg free, Non-GMO Project Verified, plant-based and Certified Vegan. So Delicious boasts of organic ingredients whenever possible and its entire coconut line is made with organic coconuts. It doesn't use artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors or trans fats, so you feel food about consuming and serving your family the delicious sweet treats. It's yummy products are lower in calories, sugar and sodium than other traditional dairy brands and products. This summer, be sure to try So Delicious Dairy's coconut milk-based products, such as Cococcino Coconut Milk Iced Coffee – Latte and Mocha, So Delicious® Dairy Free Gluten Free Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert in Cookie Dough and Cookies N Cream, So Delicious Dairy Free Organic Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert Mini Novelty Bars in Simply Strawberry and Just Java. These delicious frozen desserts are guilt-free, as they're only 80 calories per serving, all USDA Certified Organic and Certified Gluten Free.

Starbucks Customizable Iced Coffee beverages are brewed to personalize so coffee lovers can enjoy iced coffee at home. They're made from 100 percent Starbucks® arabica coffee beans and ranging from 10 to 60 calories per 8 fl. oz. Finally, you can have a delicious Starbucks® iced coffee tailored to your own taste and preference in the comfort of your own home. They are available in these delicious flavors: Starbucks® Customizable Lightly Sweetened for flavor Iced Coffee Beverage, Customizable Unsweetened Iced Coffee Beverage, and Customizable Caramel Iced Coffee Beverage. Also, what better treat to have with coffee, than chocolate! Starbucks have Chocolate Cake Pops (dipped in dark chocolate) too, which is perfect on the go with a cup of coffee! Whether you're stuck in traffic, or having a stressful day at work, everything will be ok for that moment in time while you're enjoying a cup of Starbucks coffee or iced coffee with Starbucks Chocolate Cake Pops! There's also Salted Caramel Cake Pops to balance out the sweetness, Raspberry Cake Pops which is also dipped in dark chocolate with raspberry powder and more chocolate, Tiramisu Cake Pops for the ultimate coffee lover!

Stoneridge Orchards makes the most delicious dark chocolate covered cherries. These 70% dark chocolate (adds iron and magnesium) dipped cherries are made with whole fruits (not a mixture of fruit juice and pectin), and they contain no artificial colors, flavors, hydrogenated oils or sulfites, so they are great for healthy snacking. In addition to dark chocolate cherries, Stoneridge Orchards also makes cranberries dipped in dark chocolates and blueberries dipped in dark chocolates! Other top selling products by Stoneridge Orchards are its Montmorency Cherries and Chili Lime Cherries with Tanjim.

ThinkThin are only 150 calories each. The thinkThin Lean Protein and FiberTM bars deliver the perfect balance of 10g of protein and 5g of fiber to give you energy and help keep you full and satisfied. These guilt free bars are low in sugar, gluten free, made with 100% non-GMO ingredients in decadent flavors. These new bars are are quite tasty, compared to many other health protein bars out in the market today. They come in five delicious flavors: Chocolate Almond Brownie, Chunky Chocolate Peanut, Salted Caramel, Honey Drizzle Peanut and Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate.

Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt are delicious, healthy and guilt-free frozen Greek yogurt bars that started selling at store shelves in mid 2011. Yasso is the perfect summer sweet treat, as they are made with only natural ingredients, including real Greek yogurt, rBST-free milk and natural sweeteners, and each serving contains an average of six grams of protein and 80 to 130 calories per bar. Yasso flavors are Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Coconut, Mango, Vanilla Bean, Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Fudge, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Sea Salt Caramel, and the yummiest of them all is Peanut Butter Cup!

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