• Starbucks and Griddler Goodies

    June 30, 2009

    When Maris, who works on behalf of Starbucks, contacted me about sampling some new items, I jumped at the chance. You guys know how I love Starbucks! :mrgreen:

    You may have already heard that Starbucks is making some substantial changes to its line of food offerings this summer. The company is holding its food to a higher, tastier standard, reducing the number of ingredients, and using quality items like Oregon blueberries and Washington cherries to make the food more as nature intended. And, as of this morning, Starbucks’ new recipes contain:

    • No artificial flavors
    • No artificial trans fats
    • No artificial dyes
    • No high-fructose corn syrup

    And if this isn’t cool enough, many of these changes were inspired by customer ideas through My Starbucks Idea. Customers wanted products with more natural ingredients, and Starbucks was more than happy to oblige. Don’t you just love it when companies actually listen?!? ;-)

    The Tasting

    Before my physical therapy appointment this morning, I met Maris at Starbucks to taste a bunch of the new items. After ordering our drinks (we both got iced coffees), she ordered a number of tasty treats for me to sample.

    Blueberry Oat Bar: Totally delicious– and made with two types of organic blueberries that actually taste like real blueberries and not some weird blueberry, jelly-like filling. The oat crust makes the bar a wholesome treat– great for breakfast or dessert!

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    Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake: Omg, this was HEAVEN! The Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake isn’t a new product, but the recipe has been reformulated to be better for you and apparently taste way better! I typically don’t like “reduced-fat” baked goods– they always taste weird and fake to me– but, the Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake was moist, soft, and full of cinnamon flavor. Not at all artificial tasting!

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    Banana Walnut Bread: Loved this one, too! The new Banana Walnut Bread is nearly 30% real banana instead of artificial banana flavor like most mass-produced banana breads. This bread was super moist and banana-y.

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    Petite Vanilla Bean Scone: This is also not a new item, but the Petite Vanilla Bean Scones are delicious and perfect portion control when you want a sweet treat, but not a lot of calories.

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    Dark Cherry Parfait: I actually ate the Dark Cherry Parfait for lunch today. It was excellent– light, refreshing, and satisfying. The texture of the yogurt is smooth and creamy, and the coconut granola retains it crunchiness by being packaged in a smaller, removable plastic cup that is fitted into the top of the larger cup. The dark cherries on the bottom are fresh, juicy, and add lots of flavor to the parfait.

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    Greek Yogurt & Honey Parfait: I’m saving this parfait for lunch tomorrow, but I am super excited about the Greek yogurt variety!

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    What a way to start my morning! So many goodies! :mrgreen:

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    Another cool product that I didn’t try, but worth mentioning is the Farmer’s Market Salad, which is a prepared salad with blue cheese, crunchy almonds, tart dried cranberries, and sweet apples piled on a bed of romaine lettuce with all-natural balsamic vinaigrette for just 220 calories (300 calories with dressing). I saw this salad at Starbucks this morning, and it really looked good– fresh and substantial. It would be a fantastic option for lunch if you are pressed for time and hungry!

    Ok, so enough of my raving about Starbucks! I know I have a serious Starbucks problem, but I can’t help it!

    Dinner

    For dinner tonight, I made myself a grilled veggie sandwich with zucchini and squash using our Griddler.

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    I placed my grilled veggies on top of two pieces of toasted hemp bread and melted a slice of cheddar cheese on it.

    IMG_2350.JPGCheck out those perfect grill lines!

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    On the side, I had some of the rice-beans-salsa mixture, which was leftover from last night’s dinner.

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    Dessert

    For dessert, I used the Griddler again to make some sweet plantain slices. I’m pretty sure using a Griddler is not the “authentic” way to cook plantains, but it worked really well! :-D

    How to: I heated the Griddler, coated it with non-stick cooking spray, laid-down the plantain slices, and sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon on top of them. I grilled them for about 5 minutes until they were golden brown and slightly soft.

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    I topped the plantain slices with a squirt of agave nectar, sliced almonds, and raisins. It was an AWESOME dessert!

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    Everything Little Miss Winner

    I’m so glad that you guys liked April’s cards! Aren’t they adorable?

    Without further ado, here are your random numbers:

    15 132

    #15 Teri
    Oh my gosh, I love these! Totally my taste! Thanks for sharing her Etsy shop. The Love Birds and Don’t Forget to Make a Wish cards are adorable. And not cliche, which I love!

    #132 Emily
    So cute! I’m a huge Etsy fan, so I love all homemade cards like this. My favorite product is the paper crane card.

    Congrats, guys! Email me (tina@carrotsncake.com) with your mailing addresses.


    I’m pooped after that marathon post! Good night!!!


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    { 46 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lynn (The Actors Diet) June 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Mmmm plantains! Those grill marks really ARE perfect!

    Reply

    Nicole June 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Yum!!!!! This post is amazing. Look at those grill marks!!

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    Victoria June 30, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for the reviews. I knew they were changing, but I didn’t realized the new stuff was in the stores already. Those parfaits look like really great on the go options.

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    Dori June 30, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I NEED the Banana Walnut Bread!! Mmmmmmmm… It all sounds great. Good for Starbucks!

    Reply

    Jocelyn June 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Is this all starbucks..or just starbucks near where you live? lol I wonder if available in Canada..now if only they weren’t so dang expensive.

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    maria June 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Wow, you got to sample a lot of stuff, lucky!

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    Susan June 30, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    220 calories for lunch? I would be hungry again in an hour!
    Anyways, the parfaits look amazing and I can’t wait to try the Greek yogurt one.

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    Lauren June 30, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Ok, I’m definitely a bit jealous about the Starbucks tasting ;). I’ve never actually bought a food item at ‘bucks, but I just might after reading this post.

    The grilled veggies look amazing – I love our panini press, and have also been using our grill pan a lot lately. Great idea to “griddle” the plantains!

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    Meghan@traveleatlove June 30, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I love the Greek Yogurt parfait from Starbucks! I survive on those when I am off at conferences.
    I also love plaintains, but always eat them with a savory dish. We discovered them on our honeymoon in Grenada. I will have to try them sweet!

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    Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) June 30, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    That’s great that you got to sample all that food! Everything looks so good!

    Mmmm, grilled veggies! Yum!

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    Priyanka June 30, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    I am going to try the Greek yogurt parfait soon!! I love your dessert!!

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    Meganerd June 30, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Wow, I’m so jealous of your free starbucks goodies! I haven’t really tried many of those things because they are so expensive and I always just assume they aren’t healthy.

    I really like the dark cherry parfait though, I ate that on vacation and it was very filling! I remember thinking it was really high in sugar though… what is your take on that?

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    Beverly June 30, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I love that Starbucks is starting to create lighter, lower cal, lower fat, etc items for those of us trying to get healthy! A lot of companies are clueless what TRUE healthy is and think if they toss in an organic nut on top of all that fat, sugar and calories it instantly becomes healthy! So many of those items look fab! Hope they make it to the big market & out amongst us regular peeps in small towns like Erie, PA too! LOL

    Any idea what the numbers are on the reduced fat cinnamon cake or petite vanilla scones?

    Also… I’m SO there in making plantains this way next time! GREAT idea!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    Tay June 30, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Wow your grilled veggies look awesome and so does your dessert!! That’s so cool about Starbucks changing up their recipes. My roommate used to work there and said their foods were all pre-packaged stuff containing partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats). I’m excited that they’re getting rid of that.

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    Evan Thomas June 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    The dark cherry yogurt parfait is my favorite. I almost never get it because I talk myself out of it by thinking “I should be able to make that at home for way less” but when I do get it it’s always satisfying

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    Whitney June 30, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Starbucks taste tester? You are too lucky, my friend!

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    Meg C. June 30, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    What a great day of eats! The grilled veggies look really cool, as do the plaintains. and of course, so does the starbucks feast!

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    Tina June 30, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    @Meganerd: It does have a lot of sugar– some of it comes from the lactose in the yogurt, but it does seem like some is added.

    Reply

    Tina June 30, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    @Beverly: Here’s the link to Starbucks’ nutritional info: http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_info.asp

    Reply

    Lynn June 30, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    I LOVE these new treats at Starbucks! YAY for them listening!! Greek yogurt & honey?! how fabulous!

    Your dinner and dessert look soooo yummy!! Love the ideas! :)

    Reply

    Kath June 30, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Can’t believe they have greek yogurt – and the topping sounds amazing!!

    So do your plantains :)

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    Christina June 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I NEED to try the greek yogurt parfait. I wasn’t expecting that as a new option there. Good job Starbucks! Everything looks delicious.

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    Shelby June 30, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    LOVE the delicious plantains! Next time I’ll grill mine and for sure add cinnamon!

    Reply

    Emily (Healthy Fit Mama) June 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Wow – I hadn’t heard about the new Starbucks menu. That’s awesome! I’ll have to go try some goodies.

    Your grilled veggies look amazing!!

    Reply

    leslie June 30, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    i’m in love with everything in this post! clean ingredients going mainstream? awesome. grilled veggie and cheese sandwich? delicious. plantains for dessert? genius!

    Reply

    Emily June 30, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Way to go, Starbucks!

    And grilled plantains sound good to me!

    Reply

    Sues June 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Yay! I’m excited for all the new Starbucks items!! That banana walnut bread looks sooo amazing. And I am definitely trying the new salad. Can’t wait!!

    Reply

    TorontoGirloutWest June 30, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Man I hope they decide to sell the Greek Yogurt in Canada!!! Any word?

    Reply

    Robin June 30, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Starbucks is great because here in Alberta they post the calories and fat content on their food in the store. The banana walnut bread looks yummy :)

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    Amanda June 30, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    So glad that Starbucks is going a little more healthy (or a lot in some cases!). I love how you’re using the Griddler and you’re totally inspiring me to go out and grab one!

    Reply

    Hallie (Healthy Twists) June 30, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Oh my gosh I will have to be on the look out for those new items…they look amazing! Oh, crazy Starbucks….I try to stay away (you know, support the little guy, make coffee at home to save money, etc.) and yet they get me going back every time :-)

    Reply

    Stacy (StacyGrowsHealthy) June 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    The farmers market salad sounds great. Thanks for the review.

    Reply

    Caroline July 1, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Mmm it’s been ages since I’ve had coffee cake. Any idea if any of those baked goods are egg-free? The parfait sounds right up my alley!

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    joan July 1, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Starbucks, Yum! I love the Cuisinart Griddler. My husband said it is the best investment we made this year.

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    maris July 1, 2009 at 1:54 am

    What a nice post! Glad you loved everything. I’ve been craving a parfait ever since I left – breakfast tomorrow! :)

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    Shannon (The Daily Balance) July 1, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Great new treats from Starbucks! Any idea when these will be available (will they be at all stores or only certain areas?)

    You grilled plantains look fantastic — gotta love those grill-lines! ;)

    Reply

    Lauren July 1, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Wow, these new starbuck goods look awesome. I can’t wait to try them (especially the parfaits, they sound fabulous!)

    I love your dinner idea. Grilled squash is so nice in the summer but making a sandwich out of it would be a great dinner idea.

    Hope you are having a great week Tina!

    Reply

    Marisa (trim the fat) July 1, 2009 at 7:19 am

    That was a great post, Tina! Thanks for the review on all of those items. I’ll definitley be scoping some out when I go to Starbucks next.

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    Tina July 1, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I absolutely adore Starbucks, so I was happy to hear of their menu changes (albeit a little sad that I think they couldn’t appropriately modify their fab Lemon Loaf, so it’s off the menu), but we still need to be health-conscious there. I was looking for a little sweet treat a couple months ago and got ONE of their vanilla bean scones, only to learn they are 140 calories EACH. Yes, it’s low compared to other items, but higher than expected (I thought it would be just under 100 calories).

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    Emily @ The Experimentarian July 1, 2009 at 8:15 am

    So lucky you get to try all those fabby products! Those plantains look awesome–I’ll have to try that as soon as I can track some down!

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    Stacy (Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri) July 1, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Starbucks is my true love and I am so happy that they are trying to improve their products. I have never tried any of their food and probably won’t in the future but it still makes me proud to be a Starbucks lover! : )

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    Sarah July 1, 2009 at 8:20 am

    That is so exciting! I actually used to love the reduced fat cinnamon swirl cake but I haven’t had it in ages because I know how “bad” it is, so I’m glad to hear they are changing up the ingredients, I will have to try it again!

    I love plantains :)

    Reply

    jenna July 1, 2009 at 8:34 am

    that is amazing tina!!! How cool you got to go and try SB’s new stuff!! YUMx 1000!! those vanilla bean scones look sinful!!!! I love me SB thats for sure!

    Reply

    Christy July 1, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Never thought to grill fruit using our griddler! Great idea!!

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    Nicole (dishin') July 1, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Woah..those treats look so good! Thanks for the reviews.

    I love my Griddler – so many ways to use it and it’s easy to clean!

    Reply

    Kara July 1, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Those Starbucks eats always look so good!! But why don’t they make any of those pastries/cakes non-dairy? It drives me insane! If anyone from Starbucks is reading this, could you please show some love to the non-dairy crowd? If anyone knows of anything (besides the oatmeal) that doesn’t have milk or eggs in it, please let me know.

    Reply

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