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I wasn't sure if I was going to post another unboxing for The Keto Box because, well, writing posts is frankly a lot of work sometimes. But I came up with a new method to this process: write as I go! So this time, as we unboxed everything, my fingers clicked, clicked, clicked away. (Finger workout—heck yeah!).
Plus we had a special guest this month: my mom's long-time friend, Joe! He visited and was staying with us, so he got to sample everything and give his input too.
Without further ado, let's dive in.
1. Proudly Pure's Parmesan Crisps
The Keto Box sure loves their cheesy snacks. Mom says she liked these more than the average crisps because they are thinner and flakier. They had a rich cheese flavor. If you put a plate of these out at a party, they would go fast. Yum!!
MUCH better than the Proudly Pure peanut butter cookies we got last month.
Retail Value: $4.99
2. Smart Baking Company's Chocolate Smart Cake
These grew on me. The packaging of the individual "cup" cakes is very cute. When I sniffed it, the smell was a little off-putting to me, seemed a little fake. Mom & our special guest, Joe, said it smelled fine though—that they simply smelled of mild chocolate. Mom also said the texture was nice and fluffy!
These aren't very sweet or rich—maybe a little dry even. But for having only 38 calories, these are pretty damn good! And if you have a fixing for chocolate, these would definitely help kick it. They remind me more of a healthy muffin than a cake—but a yummy healthy muffin! I would love this in the morning with my coffee. Plus the ingredients are top-notch.
Win in our book!
Retail Value: $3.50
3. Crazy Go Nut's Garlic Parmesan Walnuts
I was happy to receive a flavor OTHER than cheese for once! However, the flavor wasn't strong enough in my book. They do make a nice snack, but I don't know if they've got much on other walnuts—especially other flavored walnuts.
Can we talk about that hilarious mascot on the package, though? 😆
Retail Value: $2.00
4. Nekstella's Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
First impression? Definitely a Nutella copycat. Which, I mean, is great; that's what a keto box should be all about! I thought it was funny that even the name sounded similar. Joe pointed out that copycat companies do that all the time—take Dr. Pibb for example.
Here's the unfortunate part. It sucked. Our unanimous opinion was that it was NOT as good at Nutella. The initial taste is good with powerful hits of chocolate and hazelnut. However, the after-taste is noooo good. We all agreed it had a funky flavor that stuck in your mouth, but it was hard to decipher what it was. My guess was that it was the oils in it, but there were no nutritional facts on the packaging (which is a little annoying).
Joe gave it a 3/10. He said it had a grittier texture than Nutella, which I would completely agree with. It's also thicker than Nutella.
Retail Value: $14.99/16 oz jar
(We received a sample size)
5. ChocZero's Pumpkin Pie Syrup
Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. We were stoked to receive this for three reasons:
Mom loves this brand. Last month, we got the dark chocolate pumpkins by Choc Zero, and she liked it enough to go online and order more. She said she almost bought this syrup actually.
Pumpkin spice... duh.
I always talk about how I love substantial products. And it's multi-use products like this one that makes me happy to continue my subscription!
Now how about the taste?
It had a strong flavor of SOMETHING. We weren't quite sure if we would peg it as pumpkin, though. It seemed spice-forward, for sure. Out of everyone, I think I was the most impressed by it. We did all agree that a product like this is definitely meant to be eaten with something else, such as pancakes. However, Mom's not sure if she would prefer this over regular (keto) maple syrup on pancakes. We liked the consistency of this—reminiscent of Smucker's syrup, Joe said.
So while it may not have been a COMPLETE hit, it was good enough in our books. Just depends how you use it!
Retail Value: $7.99
6. Hungry Buddha's Triple Chocolate Keto Bar
We've received a few like this in the past. I didn't want to let that influence our opinion, though. We wanted to base it purely on taste. Maybe this one would be THE one—the one that left us foaming at the mouth for more...
...Aaaand, this wasn't it. In fact, this was downright awful. The texture is kind of gritty. I immediately tasted fig (or something similar), but there wasn't any in there. It was also rather bland. Joe said it was like chewing cardboard (he even spit it out). The after-taste was funky too—probably the worst part for me.
This was a fat NO from us!!
Retail Value: $2.08
7. JOJO's Goes Hawaiian Bites
Yay! Another large product!
These bites were made of dark chocolate, coconut, sea salt, and macadamia nuts. And they were muchhh better than the previous bar! They were dense, sweet (and salty), rich, and the coconut flavor in the oil and shavings tango'd well with the chocolate. These just melted in your mouth. Everyone else LOVED these.
The only negative thing my mom had to say about these is that the carb count is slightly high. If you were closely monitoring your carb intake, you'd probably only want to eat one. Yet we all agreed that, because it's so rich, one would be more than enough!!
Retail Value: $13.99 / 8.4 oz bag
(We received a sample size)
8. Real's Garlic & Herb Beef Stick
You guys... WHAT is with The Keto Box sending beef sticks?! Literally every month. I just want to know why! 😅
Anywho, this one was rather tasty. It was strong and flavorful, even a little spicy. We were thinking the extra potent taste was due to the fennel and the celery powder in it. My mom liked that the casing wasn't overly tough. I'm disappointed that the garlic & herb didn't come through at all for me. I honestly have a hard time comparing it to previous months because they all blend in my mind (which is why I was hoping the garlic & herb would be more prominent—if nothing else, for distinguishing purposes).
Retail Value: $1.25
9. Phat's Sicilian Lemon Iced Tea
Finally, the time is here. I'm not entirely sure why, but I've been waiting foreverrrrr for a drink of some kind. Which is kind of silly because we've gotten both a chocolate milk mix and a coffee drink in the past. But for some reason, and maybe it's just because I love iced tea (and this basically appeared to be an Arnie Palmer!), I've been waiting for a can or bottle of some kind of fun beverage.
In my opinion, this was semi-good. It was light, fizzy, a tad bit citrusy. I did taste the green tea, but it wasn't as potent as I might've liked though. Mom said it had practically no flavor whatsoever—and honestly, she wasn't far off. It's slightly sweeter than a La Croix to me, but Mom said she didn't taste any sweetness at all.
I don't know. We all had different opinions on this. Joe, who hates tea, said it tasted kind of like medicine to him. Mom virtually tasted nothing and said there was no real appeal. And I would easily sip on this, but I wouldn't necessarily go out and buy it again.
Retail Value: $3.49
10. HighKey's Strawberries + Cream Instant Hot Cereal
This is another substantially sized product (win!). I'd say about two, max four servings. (Though, of course, the back says 7 servings *eyeroll*).
It's definitely got some texture between the seeds, coconut, etc. The flavor is pretty good too. It honestly reminded me of a healthy oatmeal. I think with a touch of cream and fresh strawberries, this would be even better. Personally,
Mom was the most impressed by this. She said that she was happy to receive a "real food" product—something she could actually consume for breakfast—as opposed to snacky items. She said she misses getting to have cereal sometimes, so this is a great keto substitute. In fact, she says she'd PREFER it over oatmeal. Woohoo!
Retail Value: $9.99
11. Ketomanna's Chocolate Fudge
With this, you taste the rich cocoa, the coconut, and it's better than the fake-Nutella crap for sure. (Funny that there's another chocolate-coconut product in this box!).
It's kind of gritty, but that doesn't detract too much from the overall appeal of the fudge. I do think you can taste the sugar-substitute in it a little (which is not really surprising by this point at all), but the richness of the cocoa overpowers it. The salt enhances the cocoa flavor too. It actually sways more on the bitter side than the sweet side to me. This would be good on ice-cream!
We'd rate it a 7 or 8 out of 10.
Retail Value: $2.50
Our favorite items:
The coconut chocolate bites and the parmesan crisps were a hit amongst all. Joe's third favorite was the beef stick, Mom's was the instant cereal, and mine was the chocolate cake. We also really liked the syrup (though again, Mom would've preferred regular syrup).
Our least favorite items:
The Buddha chocolate bar was downright awful. The hazelnut spread was better than the chocolate bar but not by much!! (Surprising how there can be such good chocolate and such bad chocolate in the same box).
Here were our pros & cons for this month’s box:
-Good value in box
-Large items: Jojo's chocolate bites, instant cereal, pumpkin pie syrup, and iced tea drink.
-Most things were at least decent, if not good.
-Another beef stick! (At least it was tasty)
-Couple bad items, but that's normal by this point.
Alrighty, that's a wrap! This is always fun to do, especially as a group. What did you guys think? Would you sign up for The Keto Box?
Until next time...