I almost look like I’ve got a whole set of healthy reviews this week because its all fruit fruit fruit. But of course, I did have to sneak in some cheese. And some of the fruit is dried which is sort of healthy and sort of sugary, but at least it is fruit.
Don’t forget that the latest Costco US coupon book started on Thursday, so you should check it out to see if there’s anything that appeals to you before your next shopping trip. The most recent Costco UK coupon book runs through August 28, so you have two more weekends to make use of it.
Mariani Premium Island Fruits – This is the best dried fruit combination ever! I don’t know if this is a new selection at Costco, or I’ve just overlooked it in the past, but I hope they keep having it. The island fruits are: pineapple, papaya, and mango. Any of those would be great on their own, in dried form or fresh, but together they are just a wonderful sampling of flavours that you can’t help but love it. On the down side, that means you will go through this bag in no time since it is just 1.6 pounds. And I realize that 1.6 pounds sounds like a lot, but dried fruit chunks are kind of heavy, so it isn’t an enormous bag. On the list of ingredients it says that 40% is pineapple, 35% is papaya and 25% mango. However, it really seems like there is more papaya than anything else in our bag. But Dave and I both love the dried papaya so there are definitely no complaints from us. The worst thing about dried fruit, any of it really, is that there is a lot of sugar. However, if you don’t sit there and eat the whole bag in one go, you’re probably okay. I also console myself with the fact that it is fat free. I like to add a little to my muesli to jazz it up a bit. It also makes a perfect afternoon snack and the sweetness will certainly keep you from obsessing about having a candy bar. And it really is great to take on a hike, or on long car trips, and definitely on the plane. I’d much rather have some dried fruit on the plane than whatever it is that they might be serving up. 709 grams for £6.59. Item #: 0093205.
Mariani Premium Dried Philippine Mango – And here’s another great dried fruit selection that you can find at Costco. And these are just as delicious as the island fruits. I love fresh mango but the dried is pretty yummy too. Plus, with the dried I don’t have to break out my knife or hope my fresh fruit hasn’t turned scary before I’ve had a chance to eat it. The dried fruit is great though because it’s handy and very, very portable – no worries about bruising or a need for a knife. The pieces of dried mango are so good with a perfect sweetness (again, not sugar free by any means) and somehow still moist too. How do the Mariani people manage to make all of their dried fruit so good with all that moist succulentness? As I mentioned about the other dried fruit, these are not a low sugar snack for sure, but you do get around 4 grams of fibre in a 100 gram serving, as well as 75% of your RDA for vitamin A and 35% of your RDA for vitamin C. If you are like me and probably don’t get quite enough vitamin C on a regular basis, this is great. And again, this is a great snack or lunch item because you don’t have to prep it or worry about it going bad or have any other utensils to eat it. We also take some variety, or several types, of dried fruit with us when we are traveling, camping, or hiking; it’s a great treat. 850 grams for £9.59. Item #: 0168605.
Fresh Mango – Oh fresh mango, how I love thee. Seriously, mango is my favorite fruit. For me it just has the perfect balance of flavours with that delicious juicy sweetness, followed by a hint of something like a cinnamony spiciness. It’s just so delicious. I’m honestly going to have to eat one now because just writing about it makes me have a craving. I like mango just cut up and by itself. Or, with some coconut rice, Thai style. But I also like a nice mango smoothie or lassi. If I were more enterprising, I would make my fresh mango into ice cream because that is yummy as well. Probably the most unexpected but fabulous way I’ve had mango lately has been in Thai Panang curry at a restaurant. When we ordered it we were intrigued but didn’t realize it would be our favorite part of the whole meal (and this was a phenomenal Thai place, so that’s saying something). Luckily, Dave makes some awesome panang too, so we will be trying our own version with these great mangoes from Costco. At Costco, if you are going to get mango, you’ll need to buy a whole box, but that is just eight mangoes, so not an impossibly large amount. They are really nice quality and not all bruised and battered. The ones we bought this time are from Puerto Rico, but I don’t know if that is always the case. On the box that they come in, they even give illustrated instructions for all of the ways that you can cut up a mango; very handy and helpful, I think. As with a lot of food items, I like to compare Costco to my local grocery stores. And again, Costco kicks the competitions’ butts. A giant mango at ASDA or Tesco is going to cost around £1.67 but at Costco you’ll only pay £0..75 for each mango. That’s almost £1.00 less! Okay, £0.92 less but still, close enough. For eight similarly sized mango like the box at Costco, that means you’d have to pay £13.36 instead of just £5.99. So, I’m pretty glad that I shop at Costco to get my supply of mangoes. 8 mangoes for £5.99. Item #: 0069388.
Boursin Minis Garlic and Herbs – If you’ve had the regular Boursin, the bigger sized version, you really will like these little balls too. If you haven’t had Boursin at all, it is a very soft and creamy cheese made with cow’s milk and cream and then flavored with garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and chives. The Minis come in little balls of creamy cheese goodness that are a decent sized portion. They are great for serving with crackers, adding to pasta, or a baked/jacket potato, or on top of green beans or broccoli, on bread, or even on a steak. I’ve also added them to mashed potatoes to give a little creaminess as well as a garlicky punch. Obviously, when you add them to something like that they melt up and you can’t tell they were a little size, but just because they’re small doesn’t mean you only have to use them in ways where their small shape will be on display. They still have that delicious Boursin flavour and that soft, smooth texture but they’re just a fun small size. The small size also makes it easy to add a ‘pat’ to dishes, so its nice that way. They’d be great if you were having a party as well since they are already in perfect little portions. You get two containers bundled together at Costco and they will last for quite a while in the fridge, which is good because there really is more in the little tubs than you would think since they only weigh 120 grams. And I wouldn’t try freezing it if I were you. I did that once, and while the flavor was okay it had definitely lost most of its creamy texture; I wouldn’t recommend freezing it. As with any cheese, it really is more flavorful if you let it come to room temperature, and with this cheese it is even more important because it is far more spreadable when warm. I saved about a pound buying this two pack at Costco over Ocado too. At Ocado, one 120 gram container is £2.00, but for £0.99 more I get a whole second container at Costco. 2, 120 gram containers for £2.99. Item #: 0120720.