Christine Koh

Hello!

I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

Let Them Eat Naturally Nora's

naturally-nora.bmpIf you love the ease of boxed cake mixes and desire all natural ingredients, fear not - you can have your cake and eat it too. Today, Kristin reviews Naturally Nora’s all natural collection of boxed cake and frosting mixes. Read on for Kristin’s review, as well as to learn how to win a year’s supply of Naturally Nora cake + frosting mixes!
From Kristin:

I’ll just come right out and say it: I give my kids sugar and firmly believe that the more you fight it, the more your kids will binge on it later on. I should also say that my husband is a chef and we eat everything. My older son's first food was Brie cheese and his second was prosciutto. On his first birthday we let him eat cake, and a lot of it. We buy mostly organic, free-range, local, and clean food, and we are huge fans of farmer's markets. We also are avid label readers, and believe that high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, and other unpronounceable food chemicals are evil.

My son Robert's birthday is coming up and I don't want to assume that my husband will make the birthday cake yet again. Plus, the cake he made last year was so rich and dense that only the grownups ate it; it was way too heavy for the little ones. So what am I to do? In the past, I have loved the ease and taste of boxed cakes but now that I avidly read labels, I can’t go near the traditional, chemical-laden stuff.

So when I was presented with the opportunity to review Naturally Nora’s all natural boxed cake and icing mixes, I thought, "Cool, I'll do taste test play dates and if we like it, we'll use it for Robert's birthday party." I must admit that I initially was a little hesitant because of my previous love for said chemical-laden traditional box mixes. But I wanted to give it a try.

Naturally Nora’s product line consists of five cake mixes (Sunny Yellow, Cheerful Chocolate, Alot’a Dots, Cookie Cookie, and Surprising Stars) and four frosting mixes (Extraordinary Vanilla, Cheerful Chocolate, Alot’a Dots, and Surprising Stars). These mixes contain NOTHING artificial. No artificial colors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and there is no dairy or soy in any of the mixes. Either milk or soy products can be used in preparation.

I decided to make the Cheerful Chocolate cake + icing and the Surprising Stars (yellow cake with cookie star bits) mix. Making the cakes was super easy; simply add eggs, oil, and a little bit of milk, then mix and bake. I will say that there is more oil to add than in traditional cake mixes, but if you were to make a cake from scratch the amount is about the same. I used a standing mixer but you can beat it by hand and get the same effect. The batter is not as dark and rich as your average boxed cake mix, but I would chalk up that dark visual to extra potent chemicals. So in this case, lighter is a good thing. The actual finished product came out light and chocolate-y; not too heavy, not too rich – a cocoa’ish chocolate taste.

The icing also was really easy; just add 6 tablespoons of melted butter and a few tablespoons of milk and mix. The finished product was super rich (3/4 of a stick of butter will do that!) and the icing spread on super smooth and had nice peaks. Even my husband was impressed and my son and his friend loved the cake and icing.

Creating the Surprising Stars cake was exactly the same, except you add the little cookie stars into the cake batter before baking. The only disappointing part of this cake was that I was hoping the cookies would add an extra crunch to the cake, but they really just blend into the cake itself. I felt like it was more for appearance than flavor or texture.

In sum, I really loved Naturally Nora's cakes. I love that there are only 8 ingredients in this product. Yes...8! If you look at the comparison, traditional cake mixes have 15 or more ingredients, and let me tell you, very little in them is natural. I will definitely serve Naturally Nora’s at my kid's party in May.

So let your kids eat cake, especially if it's Nora's!

+ + + + +
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Congrats to winner El!
+ + + + +

Now, want to win a year’s supply of Naturally Nora cake + frosting mixes*? Here’s how:

  • Visit the Naturally Nora retailer page, then email contests@bostonmamas.com (with ‘Naturally Nora’ in the subject), and name a store where you can purchase Naturally Nora cake and frosting mixes.

  • One entry permitted per person; US entrants welcome to enter.

  • Entry period closes at noon EST, Thursday, April 23, 2009.

    *One lucky winner will receive a year’s supply of Naturally Nora cake + frosting mixes (12 boxes of cake mix + 12 boxes of frosting mix; assorted varieties, with at least one of each flavor variety).


  • Meet Dora!

    Happy Marathon Monday!