Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Yum! Love With Food Subscription Box {Review and Giveaway}

During the holidays it is so easy to pack on a few extra pounds with all of the goodies that are just around. I know I have to be really careful because snacks are my weakness, I would gladly skip lunch to have a coke and a cookie. I am truly blessed to be able to say that and know that there are so many people who can't.
I also know that during the holidays and all year long, there are more than 16 million children who are at risk for hunger, that is more than 1 in 5 children who need extra help. What a scary but very real statistic, one that food donations would help greatly. My son's school does a food drive every winter to stock the pantries of local food banks. They break their goal every year and really have something to be proud of.
I recently came across a company that is helping end child hunger, one plate at a time, through a subscription box service.
 Love With Food was founded by Aihui Ong (pronounced i-we) after a journey of life lessons. She started off as a wife with what looked like a comfortable life, but that was far from the truth. After a divorce, but new found freedom, Aihui set off to find some comfort. She left California with only a backpack and traveled to Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Istanbul, Egypt, and an assortment of 15 other countries, where she experienced some amazing things. While she was getting to see and do these things, she also witnessed poverty, people with no food or clean water, and it stuck with her when she returned to the US a year later. She was still unhappy with where she was, but lunch with a friend who was facing cancer, gave her a challenge, and she set forth to show her love for a friend, with food.
After a second friend, who had owned her own food business hit financial struggles, Aihui was motivated to start something big. She took her knowledge of food and technology and created a way to help consumers discover new and terrific foods and help food makers, like her friend, succeed. She also realized she could help combat hunger in the US.
Love With Food was created to help everyday people discover new, organic/all natural snacks using a monthly delivery subscription. Each month features seasonally themed treats and goodies to enjoy. As a bonus, for every box sold, Love With Food donates a meal to several food banks all across the country.
How Does Love With Food Work?
Love With Food is a simple and rewarding way to get hard to find treats, delivered to your mailbox. By following these easy steps, you can be on your way to enjoying them and giving back. First, you must choose a box, with options of Tasting Box (as low as $10/month), Deluxe Box (as low as $17/month), and Gluten Free Box (as low as $24.50/month). You can order for yourself or give as a gift. After you have chosen your box, you will choose the plan (month to month, 6 month, or annual), each has a slightly different price point. You then submit your shipping and billing information, you will be billed for your subscription on the first day of every month. The box will ship ten days after you are billed. Plans will automatically renew each month and you may cancel at anytime. You can also "earn" points by giving reviews each month, these points can then transfer back to buying more products from Love With Food. In the end, with every box or product you purchase, Love With Food donates a meal to a food bank in the US. So far over 100,000 meals have been donated.
What Comes in a Love With Food Box?
 What comes in a Love With Food Box depends on which box you have chosen. In the Tasting Box, you will get: 8+ surprise snacks that are organic or all natural, GMO-free, gluten-free, or free of artificial junk. Each box donates 1 meal to feed hungry children. In the Deluxe Box, you will get 16-20 surprise snacks that are organic or all natural, GMO-free, gluten-free, or free of artificial junk. Each box donates 2 meals to feed hungry children. In the Gluten-Free Box you will get: 8-12 surprise snacks that are totally gluten-free, also organic or all natural, and no artificial junk. Each box donates 2 meals to feed hungry children.
 We were given the opportunity to review the October 2014 Love With Food box, thanks to Myra and Steven for setting it all up for us. I knew that we would be getting some really neat surprises.
Our Love With Food package is here!
I had my trusty helper to do the opening

Inside, sealed with plastic was our Love With Food Box
I love the bright red color, logo is easily visible, and we couldn't wait to see more.
Opening it up we discovered the we got the "Monster Mash" theme, perfect for October.
The inside lid gives all the social media links, along with a reminder that your box purchase has helped fight childhood hunger in America.
The first thing we explored was the little information booklet. We loved the monsters and moon on the cover, just spooky enough for Halloween. It also told us we had received the Tasting Box.
Opening it up, we found small photos of each product we would find in our box, along with information about each item. We also found a section with October specials.
On the back we could easily see all of the links to social media news and contests.
Now on to the goodies!
Retail Value: $14.99 for 15 squeeze packs (1.15 oz ea)
"We received 2 squeeze packs, making it approximately $2"
"Justin’s produces the most delicious nut butters & peanut butter cups on the planet. Every small, individual batch of our delicious nut butter flavors is made using a proprietary grinding process to ensure optimum flavor & best consistency. The nut butters are sold in single-serve squeeze packs, jars & blended into our gourmet candy options. We only use the highest quality natural & organic ingredients that are sustainably sourced & found as locally as possible."
Ingredients: Dry Roasted Almonds, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa, Organic Cocoa Butter, Palm Fruit Oil, Sea Salt
These two items were right up my little taste tasters alley. She loves Nutella, so these almond butters were very similar to something she is familiar with and was not afraid to try them out. They were both very flavorful, on the thicker side, but perfect for dipping pretzels. We both preferred the chocolate over the honey though, but that is our normal preference too.
Retail Value: $24.99 for 16 individually wrapped (1.05 oz ea)
"We received 1, making it approximately $1.50"
"Although Clairesquares officially opened for business in 2006, Claire first began making her delectable treats at age 12. Growing up in County Cork, Ireland, Claire took inspiration from her mother’s recipe books and set out experimenting with fudge, butterscotch, toffee, and caramel. Her best-loved endeavor was the caramel square, a mouthwatering combination of shortbread, caramel and chocolate. A budding entrepreneur, Claire tried her hand selling the squares at school. Before long, her classmates were addicted and she sold out every week.Years later and miles away in San Francisco, Claire felt homesick for her native Ireland and turned to the stove. She whipped up a batch of those same buttery, Irish treats for her friends. Much to Claire’s delight, they elicited the same wondrous reaction as years past. Itching for a career change from environmental science and encouraged by her friends’ enthusiasm (and constant harassment for just one more square), Claire decided to sell her Irish treats in the States, and Clairesquares was born!"
Ingredients: Unbleached wheat flour, sugar, butter, sea salt
This was by far our favorite item in the box, it was a shame there was only one. We each had a small bite so that we could all taste it, afterall it is a tasting box. This little square was just the right thickness and butteriness to squelch our afternoon sweet tooth. We even dipped it in some of the Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter (YUM!).
Retail Value: $7.99 for 8 bags (0.75 oz ea)
"We received 1, making it approximately $1"
"At Calbee North America, their passion is simple – to make delicious, natural snacks using quality ingredients that taste great and bring a smile to your day. After all, isn't that what snacking is about?Originally a Japanese company, Calbee Inc. expanded to North America in 1970 with popular brands like Saya and Shrimp Chips. Today, Calbee produces an exciting lineup of snacks, many of which are healthier alternatives to regular chips, and all of which are simple, natural and delicious."
Ingredients: Green Peas, Vegetable Oil (Canola, Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil), Rice, Salt, Calcium Carbonate And Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Palmitate).
We are pea fans in our house, but these crisps were not high on our like list. Like most "dry" snacks, they were lacking the flavor that real peas have. I will have to say, it is a much better alternative snack than chips or other greasy foods would be.
Item #4: J & M Original Cheese Straws
Retail Value: $12.99 for 6 bags (1.5 oz ea)
"We received 1, making it approximately $2"
"J&M Foods proudly continues its family tradition, providing our customers with the best tasting cookies and cheese straws in the market. All of our products are trans fat free, made from only the finest natural ingredients and are baked with care. And, in keeping with our 100 year old family recipe that inspired our great tasting Original Cheese Straw, we continue to introduce new products to keep our customers coming back for more. Founded over 20 years ago by Jamie Parham with the help of daughters Janis and Melanie, the company continues to be driven by a passion for good food.
Located in a 35,000 square foot facility residing on 21 acres, we enjoy being flexible enough to handle all our customers' needs. Renovated in 2007, our plant is expansion capable to roughly 200,000 square feet under one roof. We pride ourselves on high quality ingredients, consistent quality, and the technical ability to exceed our customers’ expectations. Centrally located and nationally recognized, J&M Foods is an award- winning market leader within the specialty foods industry."

Ingredients: Cheddar Cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes, annatto color), wheat flour, palm oil, soy lecithin, cayenne, sea salt
I was surprised by these original flavor cheese straws, you can really taste the spice of the cayenne in them. My kids were not a fan at all because of the "spicy taste", but I could see these being perfect in a bowl of chili. They are thicker than chips and make for a few bites. I would not make these a go to snack only for the reason that they are not healthy when it comes to fat and calorie count, bummer!
Retail Value: $14.50 for 20 bars (1.05 oz ea)
"We received 1, making it approximately $.75"
"Nutryvitta was created to improve the life quality of children and adults around the world, by bringing the benefits present in the Brazilian fruits everywhere in the most accessible way. We created this brand as a result of education, oriented research, sustainability and ethical practitioners to offer products that will improve, protect and restore the body.Our Journey starts with fruit bars. Our bar is a product that focus on fruits and offers simple ingredients with unprecedented flavor and texture. And that's it, Nutryvitta grew from the idea that the nature knows it better. We believe that adding ingredients to the fruit only removes the purity and balance of the nature's intention. Nutryvitta's line of products has a list of simple ingredients. We only use natural non-GMO fruits, and nothing else. Our aim is to make it as convenient as possible to the public. Natural and simple are the main objectives of Nutryvitta's product line."
Ingredients: Banana, acidulate citric acid, potassium sorbate preservative, sugar and cinnamon.
I was completely intrigued and interested in trying out this bar. Cinnamon and sugar is such a great combo, along with banana, sounds amazing. The bar itself is not what I envisioned at all, a dark color covered in sugariness. After just a few bites, while being good, was just too sweet for me. You can definitely taste the banana flavor, but more of a banana that is almost brown. The kids all had a small section and said it was okay, but I couldn't imagine them eating a whole bar. It contains no fat and very little calories, making it a healthier snack option.
Retail Value: $10.99 for 12 bags (0.5 oz ea)
"We received 1, making it approximately $1"
"Bert Cohen, successful entrepreneur and natural foods devotee discovered Surf Sweets, a brand based in California that embodied the active lifestyle and healthy food choices that he valued. His calling from that time on became clear – to create a Candy Contradiction with Surf Sweets.That mission continues today – their organically sweetened gummy candy and jelly beans are full of the fruity flavor that you expect with none of the yucky ingredients you avoid. Anyone can enjoy Surf Sweets because their candy is free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and the top ten allergens.You will love how the fresh fruit flavor of the organic fruit juice is revealed when it’s not masked by processed corn syrup and petroleum-based artificial food dyes. Pack them in a lunch box, bring them to a school party, or treat somebody for a job well done and enjoy the guilt free sweet satisfaction of having delicious treats everyone loves and knowing they are free of artificial ingredients.Though they're not based in California now, as devoted parents and doting uncles and aunts, we understand the constant quest to find fun products kids love that aren’t filled with icky ingredients so join us grab some Surf Sweets and Snack Happy!"
Ingredients: Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Grape Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Colors Added (Organic Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Organic Turmeric, Organic Annatto), Natural Flavors, Confectioner’s Glaze, Carnauba Wax, Organic Sunflower Oil.
Who doesn't love jelly beans!?! These guys were all very flavorful and juicy, some of the better jelly beans I have had. The kids and I gobbled them up, making them our second favorite item in our tasting box. We all wished there were more in the package!
Retail Value: $12.99 for 12 bags (1.6 oz ea)
"We received 1, making it approximately $1"
"Flamous Brands was co-founded in 2007 in Southern California by Jesse, Claude, and Sam – 3 businessmen with a passion for making the world a better place. Sam founded many technology start-ups after working for a top computer company for years, Claude had his own nutritional consulting office, and Jesse used to own a restaurant in Pasadena called Pita! Pita! (aka the Birthplace of the Original Falafel Chip!). With a unique recipe of over 21 vegetables, herbs, spices and legumes, they were able to create a chip unlike any other. Flamous (coined from being Famous for Flavor™) is aiming to be a leader in healthy snacks. Their goal is to create the ultimate snack chips that deliver in both flavor and nutritional value!"
Ingredients: Organic non-gmo whole corn, one or more of the following organic non-gmo whole beans (chickpeas, fava beans, black beans, pinto beans), one or more of the following organic oils, (medium-high oleic expeller pressed safflower/sunflower), organic13-Spice Proprietary Falafell Blend (including organic tumeric), organic dehydrated vegetables (onion, garlic, spinach, carrot, red bell pepper, tomato, reen bell pepper), and sea salt.
These chips look very similar to a tortilla chip and are very tasty. They have a beany flavor, which makes sense since that is what they are made of and would taste great with hummus, bean dip, or even a cheese dip. They are very low sodium and completely gluten, wheat, dairy, and lactose free, making a snack for people who have stricter dietary needs. I would recommend checking out Falafel chips, they also have a spicy flavor that has cayenne pepper, bet they have a good kick.
We also were given a coupon for Harvest Snaps and a 20% off online orders from J&M.
Overall, I was a fan of about half the items in our Love With Food Tasting Box, but was really impressed with the variety of items. I would probably not buy a few of them again, but others (like the jelly beans, shortbread, and falafel chips) will likely show up at our house again. I like that I am introduced to new and unique items that I normally would not have had a chance to try out. For as little as $10 and knowing that I am helping feed hungry children in the US, I would say Love With Food is on a great track.
You can see the value of the box in this breakdown:
 (Because these are sample sizes and approximate prices, I can't give exact numbers)
Justin's Honey Almond Butter and Chocolate Almond Butter $2
Clairesquares Buttery Shortbread Square $1.50

Calbee Harvest Snapea Crisps $1
J & M Original Cheese Straws $2
Nutryvitta Cinnamon and Sugar Bananinha Banana Bar $0.75

Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans $1

Flamous Organic Original Falafel Chips $1
If I paid for an annual plan from Love With Food, it would run me $10/month for a whole year. I would also be donating 10 meals to hungry children. Even though my total of "tastes" was under $10, knowing I am donating to an amazing cause makes it worth way more. The more months your subscription is for, the better the deal. As with most subscription services, some months are better than others, but overall this month was a decent one and I got to try a variety of new foods.
 Want It? Buy It!
Looking to give back a little this holiday season? Why not give a gift to someone you love and also help fight childhood hunger? Check out Love With Food and start giving now. You can follow Love With Food on all of their social media outlets-Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Want It? Win It!
 One lucky reader will win a 6 month subscription service from Love With Food. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter to win. Remember- if the entry field appears in BOLD, it's mandatory. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older.
Click 'Read More' to go to the giveaway.

Thanks to everyone at Love With Food for doing a great service to others!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would like to try the Cheese Straws

  2. The Harvest Snaps look really yummy to me!

  3. The Cheese Straws look good to me.

  4. The Almond Butter looks interesting.

  5. I think those Snap pea crisps look really yummy!

  6. I would really like to try the Harvest Snaps!

  7. Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans looks yummy!

  8. Justin's Honey Almond Butter and Chocolate Almond Butter looks the most interesting.

  9. I'm a huge fan of nut butters in general and Justin's Honey Almond Butter sounds delicious!

  10. Flamous Organic Original Falafel Chips looks the most interesting.

  11. The Justin's nut butters look really yummy!

  12. The cheese straws look really good!

  13. The snapea crisps looks the most interesting!

  14. The Organic Jelly Beans sound really interesting.

  15. I would really like to try the Buttery Shortbread Square.

  16. I would like to try the Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans.

  17. I think the Harvest Snaps are the most interesting!

  18. The Snap Pea crisps sound really yummy to me!

  19. The cheese straws sound really interesting too.

  20. The Calbee Harvest Snapea Crisps sound interesting as well!

  21. The Cheese Straws look really go to me.

  22. The Snap Peas look the most interesting to me though.

  23. The Falafel chips sound like the might be yummy!

  24. The cheese straws also look very interesting!

  25. Calbee Harvest Snapea Crisps looks the best!! Love those!

  26. Nutryvitta Cinnamon and Sugar Bananinha Banana Bar looks the most interesting!!

  27. I think I would like the cheese straws


  28. the organic jelly beans were different


  29. I would really like to try the Justin's almond butter.

  30. The buttery shortbread square sounds really good.

  31. The Nutryvitta Cinnamon and Sugar Bananinha Banana Bar sounds interesting!

  32. I would like to try the J & M Original Cheese Straws.

  33. I would really like to try the Harvest Snaps.

  34. the cheese straws would be nice.


  35. The Harvest snaps would be good too.


  36. Twila - The Harvest Snaps look the most interesting

  37. I'm a sucker for sweets - the organic jelly beans look wonderful.

  38. I think the Banana Bar looks the most interesting.


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