Welcome to Part 3 of All Natural Living with Watkins featuring the Watkins Gourmet Food line. If you missed Part 1 (featuring Watkins Naturals Personal Line) or Part 2 (featuring Watkins Naturals Home Care Line) it may be beneficial to go back and read through those articles to learn more about Living Naturally with Watkins.
Just to give you a quick background into this article series, I am big into direct sales associates using what they sell no matter what business they are in. To that end a couple weeks ago I went through my house to see just how many Watkins products I use. I knew used a lot of them and but did not realize just at how many until I wrote them down on my little notepad. This is just one of the reasons why I love Watkins as a business partner. Watkins provides products that you use in your everyday life already PLUS they are all natural – good for the environment and the people we love.
|In the third article of this series I am going to focus on the Watkins Natural Gourmet Food line. Watkins has been in business since 1868 providing customers and consultants an opportunity to have all natural products for our families at an inexpensive price point. That’s over 140 years of living naturally! In fact, Watkins as a company provided natural products before it was “cool” to do so. Many companies over the years have followed suit but at a more expensive and at times with less flavorful products. In the 6 years I have been partnered with Watkins I have tried (and loved) many, many food products. Ready Foodies? I am going to share my favorite products. Perhaps you will love them too …|
Double Strength Vanilla: This is by far one of Watkins’ best selling products! Each and every time I ask someone new if they have heard of Watkins they mention the Vanilla. The product comes in the original (or dark) formula and the clear formula for those that like to make homemade ice creams, white cakes or white frostings. I personally use the 11 oz. dark formula which has the best value and we always have plenty on hand for our homemade brownies or chocolate chip cookies. Yum!
Black Pepper: This is probably the spice that I go to most in our kitchen. Watkins’ black pepper is granulated, rather than ground, giving us the best possible flavor without fillers. A great product test is to open the Watkins black pepper and take a whiff. You will get the pure scent of a black pepper without the “sneezes”. Because most competitors grind their product to a powder you will almost always sneeze when smelling most black peppers out of the canister.
Cinnamon: Watkins has won many an award with their purest ground cinnamon. Watkins’ cinnamon is so flavorful that you don’t even need to add sugar when using the product. And here is why – Watkins filters out all stems and bark leaving the pure taste of cinnamon without the bitterness that you find in most competitors. This is another favorite product in our household – making cinnamon toast without sugar for the kids, adding it to french toast and sometimes adding a little to my coffee grounds in the morning for a fun twist on my morning caffeine 🙂
Cinna-Cream Sprinkles: This one is a new favorite at our house and has become a staple. In fact, my son gets pretty upset with me if he runs out and we have no more left in the house. Cinna-Cream Sprinkles combines Watkins Cinnamon with the sweet creamy taste of vanilla icing! We add this to our morning oatmeal and cereals instead of sugar for a little healthier flavor booster.
Gourmet Grinders – Pizza & Pasta / Steak & Chop / Sea Salt: This is the newest of the products in the Watkins Natural Gourmet line. The spices come in their full unground format within the glass bottle. At the top of the glass bottle is a built in grinder. Just flip the product over, grind into your recipes and you have that freshly ground flavor every time. The added benefit is that your spices will last longer on your shelf and will taste just as good as the day you bought them because they are not preground. The Sea Salt is my other go-to spice (along with the Black Pepper). I also love the Pizza & Pasta blend which combines garlic, basil and other Italian spices perfect for homemade pizza night. I also love the Steak & Chop blend as we enjoy lots of whole foods like pork chops, steak, etc. The Steak & Chop blend combines pepper, sea salt, garlic, mustard seed, coriander and parsley – both flavorful and convenient for quick grilling.
Extracts – Almond / Maple / Root Beer: I think that the extracts are the most fun out of all the food products. I use these products in almost any dish or baked item that I want to infuse a flavor boost. For example I use the Almond, Maple and Root Beer extracts in my morning protein shakes. I can make my protein shake taste like a cinnamon roll, a root beer float and even French toast – but my breakfast is more healthy and natural than the real item would be. There are no sugars or fats in any of these extracts making them the perfect substitute in all of your favorite recipes.
Soup & Gravy Mixes – Beef / Chicken / Mushroom: These are awesome to have on hand for all of your recipes to replace expensive canned soups or salty bullions. They are lower in fat and low sodium making them a healthy choice to cook with. Each can comes with at least 15 – 20 servings depending upon how much you use in each recipe. I like to use the Mushroom soup mix in my favorite casseroles … and I use the Beef and Chicken as a crock pot sauce or a soup starter. Basically anywhere my recipe says to use beef / chicken stock or cream soup. The soup and gravy mixes are very versatile and my kitchen is never without my three favs – Mushroom, Beef and Chicken.
Grapeseed Oil – Garlic & Parsley / Original: If you are looking for a healthier alternative to heavy oils or strong flavored lighter oils then this product is worth a try for you. Grapeseed oil has no flavor to it (unless you add some), is smoke free when cooking with it AND lowers your bad cholesterol while raising your good cholesterol. I primarily use the original as I can use this product any time I want to bake or cook on the stove top. Sometimes I like to switch it up with the Garlic & Parsley when I want to make roasted veggies with potatoes or a quick stir fry.
BBQ Sauce: So this BBQ sauce is one of my absolute favorites in the entire Watkins line. I use this with my fries and burgers instead of ketchup … I use this when I want to grill chicken or ribs (add in a tsp of Root Beer extract for a fun flavor twist. The flavor is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy plus it is ready to use … just shake, open, use. Plus when comparing the nutrition content against my previous brand I found it had less sugar too — An added bonus. And of course, the price was a lot better too.
Snack & Dip Mixes – Fiesta, Cucumber & Dill: These snack and dip mixes are a fun way to greet company on short notice. The suggested serving directions call for 3 tbsps of mix to 1 cup of sour cream to make many types of dips. However, with my favorites I also have found additional ways to use this product. For example, I like to add a tbsp or two of the cucumber and dill mix to my tuna sandwich to create a whole new flavor. I use the Fiesta dip as a taco seasoning mix in my ground turkey as a lower sodium substitute to the more salty taco seasoning envelopes that you buy a the grocery store. Oh, and I like to use many of the others like the garlic & dill or tomato & horseradish to a little fat-free mayo for a lower fat sandwich and wrap condiment. Really ramps up the flavors of traditional condiments. Plus each of these bottles have at least 6 servings in them for 1 cup dips (if you are using them for condiment boosters they last even longer because a little goes a long ways).
Watkins Vanilla Classic Recipe Cookbook: This is a fun and classic cookbook. Now, previous to joining Watkins I did not cook much. I always say that Watkins has made me a better cook with their products. Did you know that you could make homemade brownies from scratch as easy and quick as making a box mix that has all the preservatives in them? Well, previous to this cook book I didn’t! There are also tons of cookie, muffin, and bar recipes in this book that are just as easy to whip together. This is a great resource or idea book for all of your pot lucks and kids snack items. And because you are making your treats at home you know that the end product is all natural too.
Baking Cocoa: Speaking of making homemade brownies, this is our primary ingredient! This product is naturally processed and 100% pure. It is a way better alternative to many products you can find on the grocery store shelves – plus at least in my area I find the price to be much lower with the product lasting us much longer. Again, a little goes a long ways.
Cooking Spray: This is my favorite cooking spray that I have been using for 6 years. A couple months ago I ran out of this product and grabbed a different brand off the grocery store shelf just out of curiosity. Needless to say I used it less than a week and threw the rest of the can away. The Watkins brand just tastes so much better, plus what I didn’t realize earlier was that the Watkins can was way bigger. Watkins has nearly 1,600 servings per can for just $8.99. Made me realize why Watkins Cooking Spray became my favorite 🙂
Baking Powder: Watkins makes their baking powder without any aluminum compounds. It is again less expensive than other brands plus it has a great double acting effect which makes it perfect for baking.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my favorite Watkins Natural Gourmet items. Watkins has released a new line of 52 spices and blends in January that I plan on working my way through too. Each of these spices, like the rest of their products are all natural but flavorful and inexpensive to use. For more information on the different new spices available visit my online catalog here: All Natural Gourmet Herbs & Spices or Seasoning Blends & Salts.
And remember, all Watkins products are 100% guaranteed or your money back so you don’t have to worry about the risk in trying Watkins out for the very first time.