The Fresh Side of Private Selection

As part of the MyMagazine Sharing Network I was invited to participate in “The Fresh Side of Private Selection” mission.  Private Selection is Kroger’s high-end store brand products.  They include such things as produce, frozen foods, meats, and other artisan-inspired products.  I have always found Private Selection products to be of good quality and it’s a brand I frequently buy.  This particular mission focused on trying out Private Selection produce items.

My mission kit included Private Selection Swag (vegetable ribbon slices, an apron and four recipe cards).  It also included a coupon for a free Private Selection produce product to try, six discount coupons for Private Selection produce like mushrooms, petite potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce for me to try and 12 coupons for the same type of products to pass along to friends.  Here are my thoughts on each of the Private Selection items I chose.

Private Selection Navel Oranges
Private Selection Navel Oranges

Private Selection Navel Oranges: $4.99 (free with my coupon)

For the last few years I have had a hard time finding good oranges. They have been not very juicy, the pulp has been pale and they have just lacked flavor all-around. Not so with these Private Selection Navel Oranges! As you can see from my picture they have a vibrant orange pulp, are ultra juicy and they are also bursting with flavor. My only complaint is they are more of a sweet flavor with very little tang which I prefer in my oranges. That being said, these are heads and shoulders above what I have been finding in the store these last few years.

Private Selection Purple Potatoes: $2.50

I love that Kroger has these 1.5 pound bags of petite potatoes–they are the perfect size for a side dish for dinner for four people. Purple potatoes are hard to find but now that Private Selection has them I get to make them more often! The purple potatoes have such a nutty and rich flavor. They are perfect roasted with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.IMG_1408

Private Selection Gourmet Blend Mushrooms: $3.99

This is a blend of shitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms which comes sliced in a 4 oz. package.  We used these mushrooms in a chicken marsala dish that we made and I highly recommend them.  They cooked down nicely without getting squishy.

IMG_1382Private Selection Artisan Lettuce: $2.99

This is a 17 ounce package of four heads of artisan lettuce.  The varieties it includes are Sweet Gem, Tango, and Oak.  This package of lettuce was excellent as it offered a variety–you can use just one type at a time or if you are making a mixed salad you can blend all three varieties.  All varieties were nice and crisp and what is especially nice about this package of Artisan Lettuce is that it lasted several days without wilting a bit.  That is something that I frequently struggle with.  I will definitely buy this lettuce again.

IMG_1381Private Selection Mini Seedless Cucumbers: $2.49

This package of mini seedless cucumbers was great.  The cucumbers are so small, roughly the size of a whole Clausen pickle.  We used these sliced and put into a garden salad.  The slices were the perfect size, about the diameter of a quarter which didn’t require any additional cutting while in the salad itself.  We also used these little guys in our water infusers to make cucumber water.  I love cucumber and these were no exception.  I will likely purchase them again due to their manageable size and freshness.

Private Selection Campari Tomatoes: $3.99

I had not tried these Campari tomatoes before.  It came in a one pound package and the tomatoes are still on the vine.  I thought these tomatoes had exception flavor and color.  They were very red and you could tell they were picked at the peak of their perfection instead of picking too early and waiting for them to ripen.  Not only that, they have continued to hold up in my refrigerator as I didn’t use them all at one time.  The flavor of the tomatoes is great and was ideal for salad as well as making pico de gallo out of.

All in all I would say I am very pleased with all of these Private Selection produce items.  I can’t even find one complaint.  I will certainly continue to purchase all of these products!

 

Ripple Nutritious Pea Milk

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I received an interesting mission from the MyMagazine Sharing Network the other day.  They asked if any milk-drinkers would be interested in trying a new non-dairy milk product called Ripple.  It is a Pea Protein Milk which I had actually never heard of before.  I have tried soy milk and I have tried almond milk, so why not try this?  I am a big animal rights supporter and it would be nice if I could find a good alternative to cow’s milk so that I can eliminate it from my diet–or at least eliminate it as much as possible.

I received a coupon to try a free 48 ounce container of Ripple Nutritious Pea Milk and two pass-along coupons to give to friends.  At Kroger the varieties they had were the Unsweetened Original and Chocolate milk.  It comes in a Sweetened Original, a Sweetened Vanilla, and an Unsweetened Vanilla variety as well, but Kroger did not have those in store at the time of this post.  We chose to try the Unsweetened Original flavor.

Let me first say that I have never been much of a milk drinker.  I don’t really like the way it tastes–unless I drink it while I am eating chocolate! After a few days of the milk being opened it starts to get a scent which turns my stomach.

Because I don’t drink milk straight up I got this Ripple to try in my cereal and in smoothies.  When I opened it I gave it a sniff and it smelled like nothing.  I gave it a taste which also tasted like nothing.  So far so good.  I put it in my Cinnamon Toast Crunch and it got my cereal wet without adding any flavor which I appreciated it.  My husband added a cup to his fruit smoothie and declared it also had no taste–so it was a good thing to have in his smoothie if you are looking for protein without the flavor.

So let’s break down the nutrition versus 2% milk.

Ripple Pea Milk in Original Unsweetend contains 70 calories a cup while 2% milk contains 130 calories.  Ripple and 2% go head to head on grams of fat with Ripple containing 4.5 and 2% containing 5 grams.  Unsweetened Ripple contains 0 carbohydrates and 0 grams of sugar vs. 2% containing 11 grams of each.  As far as protein goes again Ripple and 2% are head to head with Ripple containing 8.5 grams and 2% containing 9 grams.  So as far as nutritional value goes, I would say Ripple has 2% beat.

Here’s the kicker though… a 48 ounce container of Ripple at Kroger costs $4.49 while a gallon (128 ounces!) of 2% milk at Kroger is only $.99!  So, cow’s milk is much more economical.  Now, I can stand the price point I suppose if I am only using a splash of it every morning in my cereal, but if you are talking about baking with it or drinking it straight up, you are going to go through that 48 ounces really quickly and then have to shell out another $4.49 which can really add up.

The only other drawback for me with Ripple was the texture.  It has a kind of syrupy consistency which reminds me of soy milk.  I do not like that consistency at all as it tends to stick to things more which I don’t like!  I basically just want my cereal to be wet but I want to be able to drain out the milk.  Lol.  So for me, I probably wouldn’t continue using Ripple on my cereal because it does not meet my most basic need.

But, if texture doesn’t bother you too much I recommend you give it a try at least.  Ripple boasts that it is high protein, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, lactose-free.  So if all of those things are a big deal to you then go for it!  Ripple also has a Greek Yogurt alternative…I wouldn’t mind trying that!

MyMagazine Sharing Network

 

MyMagazineSharingNetwork
MyMagazineSharingNetwork

 

I was recently invited to be a part of a group of brand-influencers called the MyMagazine Sharing Network.  My Magazine is a magazine put out by the Kroger company.  You can create an account at https://mymagazinesharing.socialmedialink.com and from there you are assigned “missions” which you can choose to accept or not.  The missions usually involve them sending you a product to try or coupons to purchase a product at Kroger to try–as well as coupons to pass along to your friends and family.  Once you try the product you generally link to social media and post pictures and reviews which earns you points.  The more points you get the more likely you are to be selected for future mission.

 

Are you an avid social media user who enjoys trying new things?  You should consider joining!  MyMagazineSharing Network