November 16, 2008
matisse & jack's bake-at-home snacks
Lately I haven't been buying too many packaged snacks—some for sure—but mostly I've been trying to eat and serve more 'real food'. I was intrigued (but a teeny bit skeptical) when I saw the snack mixes from Matisse & Jack's. They are offering wholesome "bake at home snacks" in super-cute packages. Since they are made by a small San Francisco company I decided to give them a try.
The first thing I did was look over the ingredient list. Everything looked really straightforward. The mixes contain basically the same simple ingredients that I would use in my kitchen. I did notice that 2 of the mix flavors list "natural flavorings" which is often a red flag for me. I contacted the company and they assured me that
"all of the ingredients are from the US, and most of the grain ingredients are local to the western United States. We use chocolate chips from specialty chocolate producer Guittard which is local to the San Francisco Bay area. All the ingredients are 100% natural and non-genetically modified. There is no msg in the product. The natural flavors just consist of powdered vanilla flavor from all natural sources, and the in the Cocoa Squares we use chocolate flavor, also 100% natural. We use premium Indonesian cinnamon as well."
As soon as my kids saw the boxes in our house they wanted to make some right away. Not only was the process simple, it was fast. I love that you can improvise on the mixes. In fact, they encourage it by running contest for recipes! We made the Chocolate Chip Power Snacks. I didn't have applesauce in the house, so I used some plain yogurt instead. I also swapped melted butter for the vegetable oil (don't have that either). They tasted great and the kids liked them so much they asked for the bars to be put them in their lunch the next day.
I think the mixes fill a great need for when you really must whip something up in minutes. Or perhaps if you want to do some baking but have a few small children causing a bit of chaos and distraction at your feet. They are like fresh, delicious and homemade energy bars.
You can order the products on their website (order 6 boxes and you get free shipping). If you are in San Francisco you can find the mixes at Rainbow Grocery. They are also carried in Northern California Whole Foods and national Super Target stores.