Healthy Shopper Top Picks for Spring 2014

healthy shopper
For the past 15 years, Randy Boyer and Andrea Donsky have made it their mission to introduce healthier choices for food, vitamins, and personal care products with the Healthy Shopper Coupon Book. It’s available on their website The Healthy Shopper (thehealthyshopper.ca), which features the book as well as product reviews and now a one-stop online shop for the best natural and organic options. We have featured their Top Picks for 2012 and 2013 and are excited to review the Healthy Shopper Top Picks for Spring 2014.

Their first choice is Maison Orphée’s unrefined organic virgin sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil. Maison Orphée’s products have not been genetically modified or treated with chemical fertilizers, which is an important feature to me since there are already so many GMOs and chemicals in the foods we eat.

I use coconut oil all the time. I use it in baking and raw desserts, as well as for frying. It is heart-healthy oil and even though it got a bad rap a few years back, it really is a fantastic option. It can also be used as a moisturizer and in beauty products.  Like most people, we also use EVOO a ton and my husband did a blind taste test with what we already had and found the Maison Orphée’s to be lighter tasting and “less cloudy”, which was the only way he was able to put it into words. I haven’t used sunflower oil too much, but I’m looking forward to baking with it and seeing how my desserts turn out.

The next items in the basket were organic barbeque sauces from Simply Natural products.  These sauces offer an organic alternative to traditional barbeque sauces and come in organic tangy, smoky and honey flavours.  The sauces are all fat free and do not contain any of the “Scary 7” ingredients the Healthy Shopper recommends avoiding (High-fructose corn syrup, Trans fats, MSG (Monosodium glutamate), Artificial sweeteners, Artificial colours, Artificial flavours and Preservatives). We tried the smoky flavour on some barbequed tofu steaks and it was perfect. Not too heavy and just enough flavour to give the tofu a nice taste without being spicy.

The basket included two coupons for free items of Olympic Dairy’s organic milk, cream cheese, sour cream or yogurt. While I don’t often buy dairy for my household, I do appreciate this brand doesn’t have preservatives, gluten or gelatins. When we were eating more dairy and I was serving it to my son, I mostly bought Olympic products.

The last items are some of my very favorites, and come from Earth Balance, which offers natural buttery spreads and nut butters that do not require stirring. Earth Balance Buttery Spreads are gluten free, have no trans fat and do not contain any GMOs, emulsifiers, artificial preservatives, flavours or colours. I have been buying their vegan margarine for a few years now and had hesitated to purchase their peanut butters, as I usually buy the natural variety that includes just peanuts. The basket featured both crunchy and smooth natural peanut butter with flax seed as well as the crunchy and smooth varieties of their coconut and peanut spreads.

I was thrilled and quite humbled when I compared the smooth peanut butter with flax that came in the basket with the nutrition label for my “just peanuts” variety and was shocked to learn that the contents were virtually identical except that the Earth Balance was higher in heart-healthy omegas (due to the addition of flax oil) and only had 1 gram of sugar vs the 0 grams in the product I already had. Knowing this and since I hate having to stir natural varieties or having them turn rock hard in the fridge, I will add the Earth Balance peanut butters into our regular rotation. I also made some fantastic vegan and gluten-free “butterfinger” bars with the smooth variety of Earth Balance peanut butter and they were fantastic!

healthy shopper

I had a great time testing and tasting this year’s Top Spring Picks and do believe they are great options for your next summer picnic or barbeque. The Healthy Shopper does a fabulous job of taking the guess work out of buying natural and organic options, which can be overwhelming for many of us.

THE GIVEAWAY

Win it: One lucky CAN reader will win a gift bag with all the goodies we tried and the coupon book ($225.00-value). Enter to win via Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate this post. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.

Jen Shragge lives just south of Vancouver, BC with her Kid, Hubby and Doggie. When she’s not trying to make the world greener she is trying to get her family to eat more greens. She writes about her attempts and includes her recipes at cookingforthecarnivore.

 

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

182 responses to “Healthy Shopper Top Picks for Spring 2014”

  1. I would love to try their peanut butter!

  2. virgin coconut oil.

  3. I would love to try their coconut spread!

  4. I want to try the sauces!

  5. The BBQ sauces!

  6. I would like the virgin coconut oil, it is supposed to have amazing health benefits.

  7. the nut butters sound soo yummy!!

  8. one of the good, healthy bbq sauces!

  9. all of them! would start with the bbq sauce i think!

  10. The coconut oil!

  11. organic barbeque sauces from Simply Natural products. …

    Read More at http://www.onesmileymonkey.com/reviews/food-reviews/healthy-shopper-top-picks-for-spring-2014-giveaway-225-value/ © OneSmileyMonkey.com

  12. I would love to try the BBQ sauce

  13. Would love to try the BBQ sauces since BBQ season it coming up!!

  14. I’d love to try the Earth Balance smooth natural peanut butter — both straight from the jar, and in my baking.

  15. Earth Balance Buttery Spreads…

  16. Well summer is coming up, so will go with the organic barbeque sauces.

  17. love all the Maison Orphee products!

  18. I love to try the BBq sauces.

  19. I’d love to try the BBQ Sauce and the Coconut Oil the most!

  20. I would really like to try the nut butters and BBQ sauces first

  21. The virgin coconut oil

  22. I’d love to try the Simply Natural BBQ sauce

  23. I’d love to try the BBQ sauces! I’m a fanatic about BBQ and I can’t find anything natural that I like!

  24. I would love to try their bbq sauce

  25. The Simply Natural BBQ sauces sound great 🙂 Id love to try them

  26. the peanut butter! its a huge fav in our household

  27. Would love to start using coconut oil

  28. I would love to try the Earth Balance Peanut Butter. I am having a hard tine giving up my usual peanut butter!

  29. I would like to try the Earth Balance. We go through a lot of peanut butter, so it would be nice to try something new.

    P.S. Is there a recipe link for your “butterfinger” bars? They look delicious.

  30. Earth Balance nut butters!

  31. The peanut butter, yummo!

  32. Nut Butter

  33. I really want to try the extra virgin olive oil!

  34. I’d like to try the cocount oil!

  35. The earth balance peanut butter

  36. I would love to try the BBQ sauces!!

  37. the coconut oil

  38. I would love to try the BBQ sauces, especially the honey one! All of these products sound amazing – thanks for the chance to win!

  39. I want to try the BBQ sauce!

  40. earth balance nut butters

  41. I would most like to try the crunchy natural peanut butter with flax seed.

  42. It’s been such a long time since I have eaten it that I will go with the smooth peanut butter (with flax)

  43. The organic barbeque sauces from Simply Natural would be great to try, especially as bbq season has finally started! 🙂

  44. The Simply Organic Barbecue Sauces caught my eye. Now that it’s bbq season, I’m on the lookout for some new flavors.

  45. I would love to try the organic barbecue sauces.

  46. I would like to try the coconut oil as i have heard so many good things about it.

  47. I’d love to try the spreads – trying to find healthy alternatives at the grocery stores in my area is getting really challenging!

  48. Definitely coconut oil.

  49. I would love to try the Earth Balance Buttery Spreads

  50. I am most excited to try the Earth Balance Peanut Butter 🙂

  51. Earth Balance peanut butter with flax.

  52. Earth Balance nut butters

  53. i would love to try Maison Orphée’s unrefined organic virgin sunflower oil…

    Read More at http://www.onesmileymonkey.com/reviews/food-reviews/healthy-shopper-top-picks-for-spring-2014-giveaway-225-value/ © OneSmileyMonkey.com

  54. I’d love to try the earth balance peanut butter

  55. The bbq sauces!

  56. I’m hearing so much about coconut oil that I would love to try first Maison Orphee’s virgin coconut oil!

  57. I would love to try the organic barbeque sauces …

  58. I’d like to try the organic virgin sunflower oil!

  59. The peanut butter with flax

  60. Earth’s Best peanut butter is a staple at our house. I’d like to try the bbq sauce.

  61. love to try the spreads 😀

  62. I can’t wait to try their coconut peanut spread — I love all things coconut!

  63. I would like to try the nut butters.

  64. The smokey bbq sauce !

  65. I would love to try the BBQ Sauces! The BBQing season has begun!

  66. Coconut oil

  67. The organic barbeque sauces would be at the tops!

  68. I would most like to try the Maison Orphée’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

  69. Hi , i would like to try the Earth Balance Products. Love that they are GMO free.

  70. I’d like to try the Simply Natural BBQ sauces.

  71. I would love to try the nut butters

  72. I would love to try Earth Balance Buttery Spreads …

  73. the peanut butter for sure

  74. I am most looking forward to the coconut oil.

  75. peanut butter. thanks

  76. I would start with the bbq sauce which would be a hit at our house.

  77. That peanut butter would be the first thing I’d open to eat up!

  78. I would love to try the Earth Balance Peanut Butter. I love peanut butter.

  79. The peanut butter looks good

  80. virgin coconut oil….

  81. Oh, their Earth Balance nut butters. They look tasty.

  82. I’d like to try them all but especially the Earth Balance Nut Butters.

  83. I would most like to try the virgin coconut oil!

  84. The BBQ sauces look great, would love to try them.

  85. I would love to try their organic milk.

  86. The Earth Balance buttery spreads.

  87. I would love to try the Earth Balance Peanut Butter with Flax Seed…sounds delicious!

  88. The peanut butter interests me

  89. Would love to try the bbq sauces!

  90. I want to try the Simply Natural BBQ sauces

  91. I’d love to try the Maison Orphee coconut oil.

  92. I love trying/finding new Barbecue sauces!

  93. I would go for anything coconut!

  94. Would love to try the BBQ sauces, always like seeing if there’s a new kind out there that I like

  95. I would like to try the Maison Orphée’s virgin coconut oil. I use coconut oil for many things, so I would like to try this brand.

  96. peanut butter

  97. We use coconut oil for everything in our house!

  98. The Earth Balance nut butters are my fav

  99. I want to try the Crunchy Coconut & Peanut Spread

  100. Would like to try the peanut spread

  101. I’d love the Simply Natural BBQ sauce!

  102. I would like to try the peanut butter

  103. I would like to try the virgin coconut oil by Maison Orphée…

  104. I would also love their organic BBQ sauces but would want try try first is their peanut butter!

  105. I would like to try the BBQ sauces

  106. I’m most excited about the Earth Balance Peanut Butter.

  107. I want to try the coconut oil.

  108. I haven’t ever tried coconut oil, so that would be my choice to use first. Sounds delightful!

  109. I’d like to try the Virgin Coconut Oil

  110. I would like to try the Earth Balance spreads!

  111. We are such a condiment family so the Simply Natural sauces would be tried first!

  112. i would like to try coconut oil

  113. I would like to try their BBQ sauces

  114. I’d like to try their peanut butter!

  115. I would like to try the organic Bbq sauces.

  116. Of the products from their picks, I would most like to try Olympic Dairy’s organic milk, cream cheese. Thanks

  117. Earth Balance peanut butter…would be wonderful to try!

  118. I am very excited about the extra virgin olive oil.

  119. I’d love to try the Olympic dairy yogurt!

  120. Le beurre d’ arachide , c’ est l’ indispensable pour le matin et les collations.

  121. Since its BBQ season, the honey flavoured BBQ sauce sounds awesome!

  122. I am most excited to try the barbeque sauces…

  123. I’d like to try the coconut oil.

  124. I’d most love to try the coconut oil.

  125. I really want to try the organic BBQ sauce!

  126. I’d like the nut butters

  127. I would like to try the bbq sauces

  128. the nut butters sound delish!

  129. I would like to try the Earth Balance nut butters.

  130. I’d love to try those bbq sauces! Mmmmm…..

  131. peanut butter with flax… sounds interesting and healthy

  132. peanut butter

  133. I would love t try the Earth Balance Peanut Butter first!

  134. Oooh, I’m huge into coconut oil, would love to try this one out!

  135. the bbq sauce

  136. I would love to try the BBQ sauces from Simply Natural.

  137. I like to try the Simply Natural bbq sauce.

  138. It is BBQ season now so the Simply BBQ sauces would be a hit I am sure!

  139. Earth balance nut butter

  140. Coconut oil!

  141. Id like to try the coconut oil

  142. Most BBQ sauces are filled with junky ingredients. I’m excited to see that there is a brand out there that’s actually healthy. I would LOVE to try one of these bottles.

  143. The sauces, most likely. I’m a carnivore.

  144. I would love to try the Earth Balance extra virgin coconut oil.

  145. Like the Olympic Dairy Yogurt

  146. coconut oil

  147. The BBQ sauces!

  148. i’d like to try the earth balance nu butters

  149. coconut oil

  150. Earth Balance peanut butter, i absolutely love the healthy shopper coupon booklet!!! helped us save so much & get products we just LOVE!!!

  151. Oohh the maison oils!!!

  152. I would love to try the spreads 🙂 they look delicious

  153. They all look great but would love to try the BBQ sauce!

  154. I want to try the Earth Balance nut butters the most.

  155. organic barbeque sauces

  156. I love Olympic yogurt.

  157. Interesting idea.

  158. I would like to try the coconut oil.

  159. ooooo the bbq sauces!!!!

  160. I really want to try the coconut peanut spread! I’ve been looking for something to replace the peanut butter I used to get.

  161. I would like to try the Earth Balance butters.

  162. I’d want to try the Simply Naturals BBQ sauces; they look great!
    Thanks.

  163. Earth Balance Peanut Butter

  164. BBQ sauce with honey

  165. The coconut oil!

  166. I would like to try the Simply natural BBQ sauce with honey.

  167. FOR ME IT’S THE COCONUT OIL

  168. I would like to try the organic milk…

  169. I’d like to try the Creamy or Crunchy Coconut and Peanut Spread

  170. The BBQ sauce!

  171. I would love to try their peanut butter!

  172. The coconut spread looks nom!

  173. Crunchy Coconut & Peanut Spread sounds yummy!!!

  174. I’d love to try the BBQ sauces!

  175. I’d love to try the Earth Balance Peanut Butter. That sounds delicious!

  176. I had to say the barbeque sauces! We will be BBQ’ing all summer long so it would be so exciting to try out new (and organic!) BBQ sauces!

  177. I would love to try the Buttery Spreads from Earth Balance. 🙂

  178. Looking for a better organic peanut butter, would love to try this!

  179. I would love to try Maison Orphees Coconut oil. We are fans of their olive and grapeseed oil but I did not realize that they had others as well.

  180. I like the BBQ sauce.

  181. organic barbeque sauces

  182. Virgin coconut oil

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