One of the free items I received for this Simple Truth MyMagazine Sharing Network mission was a box of Simple Truth Gluten Free Fusilli.
I didn’t have high hopes going into this. I have yet to really find a gluten-free product (aside from products that never had gluten in them to begin with) that I have really enjoyed.
For that reason, I decided to just keep it simple (see what I did there?) and just cook the pasta and top it with some store-bought sauce, so that if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t be wasting a lot of expensive ingredients.
I cooked the pasta according to package directions and decided to give it a taste before I used my expensive jarred pasta sauce (I don’t do Prego and such) on it.
The flavor was pretty good, but I didn’t like the texture at all. It wasn’t as gummy as some gluten-free pastas I have tried, but it was still a bit gummy. Perhaps it needed to be cooked differently or maybe that’s just how it is, I’m not sure. I decided I wasn’t interested in eating it.
If I had a gluten allergy or celiac disease, I would definitely consider this as an option, if I were determined to have some kind of pasta, but as a person with no issues with gluten, it’s not a product I would purchase.
I have tried several varieties of Simple Truth’s non-gluten free pastas and found them to be excellent and very comparable to Barilla, which has been my go-to brand for dry pasta.
Simple Truth is basically Kroger’s organic store brand. Simple Truth products include “organic,” “free from,” “natural,” and “fair trade” products.
The organic products are held to the same standards as any other product marketed as certified organic in the United States and this is mostly what I buy in the Simple Truth brand.
The “free from” products are guaranteed to be free from 101 artificial preservatives and ingredients. You can find the full list of everything Simple Truth’s free from products doesn’t contain here.
Simple Truth’s “natural” products are supposed to be minimally processed and in the case of animal products, fed an all vegetarian diet, among other things. They make mention of exceeding federal standards for natural products, but I was under the impression that “natural” was kind of a marketing thing without actual standards. I could be wrong about that though. I always bought the organic versions, rather than the natural versions when I did eat animal products and now that I’ve gone (mostly) vegan, I don’t buy the animal products at all.
Much like with organic, the Simple Truth fair trade products have to meet the same standards as any other product certified as fair trade. You can find out more about fair trade products here.
I buy a ton of Simple Truth products. As a matter of fact, I’m sipping on some Simple Truth bottled water as I write this post. I’m not one of those freaking out about chemicals in my food sorts, but I purchase Simple Truth products for a couple of reasons. The first is, I view organic products as a “can’t hurt, might help” sort of thing. I’m not entirely sold that organically produced products are a ton healthier than conventionally produced products, particularly when it comes to “big organic,” but there’s at least the hope that they are healthier and better for the environment.
The primary reason that I purchase Simple Truth products is that I find them to be competitively priced and consistently high quality. With few exceptions, I have been pleased with the flavor, texture and freshness of Simple Truth products and that’s what keeps me coming back. As a vegan, there’s the added bonus that certified organic products have to meet certain standards, which is helpful when trying to find things like cane sugar that I know hasn’t been treated with animal bones.
One of the suggestions for this mission was to photograph the free shopping bag they sent me, full of Simple Truth products. However, I had so many Simple Truth products in my pantry, I couldn’t even fit them all in the bag.
One of the free products I received, along with the nifty Simple Truth bag, was Simple Truth’s strawberry flavored fruit and grain bars.
The bars are “naturally flavored,” which suggests to me there’s probably little to no actual strawberry in them, but they are organic, along with carrying Simple Truth’s other promises about artificial and gmo ingredients.
“Natural flavorings” are always to be approached with caution for vegans, because they can be pretty much anything. Other than that, I didn’t notice anything on the ingredients list that should be a problem for vegans, though the package does note that it could contain milk, which suggests to me that the product is probably processed on the same equipment as products containing dairy, since I didn’t see any dairy listed on the label.
The bars are very comparable in texture and flavor to Nutrigrain’s cereal bars, so if you like those, you will probably like these.
I’m not much of a breakfast eater and have always considered this sort of thing something I would be willing to eat, but not something I would go out of my way to eat.
Simple Truth’s version of this product fits that mold. It was a reasonably tasty and filling snack. My only real complaint would be that I found the filling to be a bit overly sweet. Not something I would be likely to purchase in the future, but I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys these cereal bars and is looking for an organic version.
I highly recommend the Simple Truth line of products to anyone who is looking for reasonably priced organic and fair trade products.