Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Product Review: Lightlife’s Smart Dogs #sponsor #momsmeet

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Moms Meet. All opinions are my own.

First, let me say that I am not a vegetarian. And I am not a vegan. I am an equal opportunity eater who is determined to raise conscientious eaters with fearless palates.

What that means is that I don't ban any foods per se - real foods that is. As a rule, we don't eat many processed foods; we avoid high fructose corn syrup and foods with artificial flavors and colors; and we try to eat local and organic as much as possible. We also talk - at almost every meal - about why we eat certain foods and why we don't eat others. As my husband and I have hit our 40s, we're not only talking more about our foods, but we're making different food choices.

And, as I wrote, I'm not a vegetarian. But we are eating less meat as a family. So, when the opportunity arose - through my association with Moms Meet - to try Lightlife's Smart Dogs, I was intrigued.

A little about the company...
In 1979 Massachusetts-based Lightlife was founded with the goal creating great tasting vegetarian fare. They consider their products "Meat without the Middleman" as the foods look like meat though they don't contain any meat. Looking through their timeline, I realize that I was eating Lightlife foods back when I was a vegetarian for over half a decade in the 80s. Does anyone else remember Fakin' Bacon®?

A few highlights about Lightlife Products...
• Lightlife’s Smart Dogs, America’s top selling meatless hot dog, are plant-based and ready for the grill.
• Smart Dogs are certified vegan and verified with the Non-GMO Project.
• Smart Dogs have 7 grams of protein while Jumbo Smart Dogs have almost double that with 13 grams of protein.
• All Lightlife products are refrigerated and can be found in the produce, dairy, or natural section of your grocery store.

My Thoughts...

Because Lightlife and Moms Meet sent me coupons instead of the products themselves, I was able to pick up a variety of products. I grabbed both the Smart Dogs and the Jumbo Smart Dogs for this review. I also selected Lightlife's Smart Ground Mexican Crumbles. But, I'll save that for another post!

I decided to serve the Jumbo dogs in an Asian-style dinner. I grilled the dogs and served them with brown rice, kimchi and spicy mustard.

At first my boys looked at me incredulously, "Mom, we're having hot dogs for dinner?!? We're not even camping!" Then I explained that we were reviewing them and they transformed into thoughtful, helpful eaters. Gotta love that.

Some of the comments included: "The texture is really authentic;" "They feel just like a regular hot dog;" and "The color is right on." No one mentioned anything about the taste. Hmmm...

So appearance and mouthfeel were spot on, compared to a regular hot dog. Compared to the hot dogs that we usually buy - uncured, organic, grass-fed 100% beef dogs - the grind is a little too fine. I would actually describe them as rubbery...but I would also describe a regular hot dog as rubbery. So, as a hot dog substitute, these are a success!

While I wasn't crazy about the Smart Dogs, I love that Lightlife is dedicated to giving back to the community. That has been a priority since the very beginning of the company. So, for over 35 years they have contributed 5% of their profits to organizations that support healthy lifestyles and the earth on which we all live. Their current recipients are: Greenfield Lightlife Triathlon and Wholesome Wave.

Stay tuned for my post in which I used Lightlife's Smart Ground Mexican Crumbles in some enchiladas topped with homemade mole. Delicious!

You may find Lightlife...
on the web

Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program,
May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

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