Coffee Tonic with Organic Coconut Bites
 

Coffee tonics have been around for a while, but if you’re hearing about them for the first time here; welcome, we’ll learn all about them together. The team here at Best Express Foods first came across coffee tonics when we were putting together a list of our favorite coffee blends to match our pastries (read that blog post here), and although we had already made our final selections, we were intrigued by the concept. So, thinking it would be easy, we dove right in and tried it—we failed. 

Let us warn you now: those majestic photos of coffee and tonic water perfectly separated, bubbles frozen in time, are a lie. It took us lots of trial and error to achieve that same effect. After toying with everything from temperature to glassware we finally prevailed all to find that our desired outcome lasted only seconds long enough to snap a picture. That’s when it hit us, the average coffee lover should know exactly what they’re getting into when attempting the same feat, less they suffer the same struggles we did. So we made a guide, guaranteed to save you time, frustration, and lots of coffee. 

First off, it’s important to understand what a coffee tonic is: a fizzy marriage of coffee and a carbonated drink. Although traditionally made with espresso and tonic water, and sometimes referred to as just “E&T,” versions of the coffee tonic made with seltzer, sparkling water, and even soda exist. Some mixologists prefer cold brew over espresso, some add sugar or other sweeteners, and some even add fruit. Because we were looking to enjoy our coffee tonic with some Coconut Bites—this organic treat is like the more delicate version of the coconut macaroon and goes fantastically with cold brew—we chose a brighter brew and lighter tonic water, but adjust as needed.

Ready to make coffee magic happen?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 oz Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water

  • 4 oz Stumptown Coffee Original Nitro Cold Brew

  • 2 oz crushed ice

Like always, feel free to substitute ingredients to suit your taste. Try a different cold brew, test out a different tonic water, or experiment with a new garnish, just make sure to keep the ratios the same. 

And finally, before we get into it, some very important tips:

  • One of the major hurdles we had to overcome when making our coffee tonic was the almost instant loss of carbonation. To mitigate this, pre-chill everything. The colder your coffee and tonic water are, the more fizz you’ll get.

  • To further aid in keeping your beverage bubbly, use a tall, thin glass, similar to a champagne flute. This will not only ensure bubbles are much more tightly packed, but the length of the glass will keep them around longer.

  • Add ice after pouring your tonic. The cold blockade of ice helps slow the coffee and tonic from mixing.

  • Work fast. Seriously. 

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Step 1. Brew
Because espresso can taste somewhat bitter, we chose to use cold brew for our tonic instead. You can either brew your own ahead of time, or crack open a bottle or can of the store-bought variety. (We used Stumptown Coffee Original Nitro Cold Brew.) 

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Step 2. Bubbly + Ice
To further avoid a carbonation volcano, gently pour tonic water along the sides of your glass while holding it at an angle. Carefully drop in your ice, making sure not to splash or encourage the loss of carbonation.

Step 3. Pour
To achieve that two-toned Instagramable effect, slowly, very slowly, pour your coffee mixture over the iced tonic water. Garnish and enjoy after snapping the perfect photo. 

Fantastic, you did it! Now nestle some Coconut Bites next to your cold, fizzy coffee tonic and share your results with the world.

—Best Express Team

 
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5 Aussie Bite Transformations to Indulge In
 
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In the past, we’ve mentioned that the Aussie Bite has a hard time fitting a mold in the snack world. Not quite a muffin, a cookie, or a biscuit, the Aussie Bite just sort of is. So we asked ourselves: how versatile can this little snack be? 

Of course we had to get our hands dirty and our bellies full to find out. After a delicious tasting process, we came up with 5 delicious ways to transform our customer favorite Aussie Bites, into a fun, fancy, or flashy snack. 

But first, a word of caution. These are decadent, indulgent treats meant for your next event or weekly cheat meal. They’re the dressed-up, tricked-out version of an otherwise healthy snack. Having said that, we suggest you save them for special occasions. 

Aussie bite cupcakes

The first, and perhaps the most obvious of transformations is easily the Aussie Bite cupcake. The shape and size of this little snack is perfect for piping gorgeous towers of buttercream. Not only do they look absolutely adorable, but are also much easier to put together than the average cupcake. You can completely skip the baking process (leave that to us!) and skip right to the decorating. We used good old fashioned canned frosting for our version, but you can easily cut down on sugar by making your own. Finish by topping with sprinkles, and enjoy. 


Strawberries & cream Aussie Bites

This next transformation is a slightly modified version of a recipe from one of our lovely customers, and although it may look very gourmet, it’s surprisingly easy to put together. We topped our Aussie Bites with whipped cream straight out of the canister, but cool whip or mascarpone cream are also good alternatives. Finish by adding some sliced strawberries, making sure they are thin enough to stay put. Because whipped toppings can be a bit fickle, we recommend eating these immediately after serving. 


Chocolate covered Aussie Bites

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Because who doesn’t love chocolate? This transformation really is as simple as dipping Aussie Bites in melted chocolate and topping with sprinkles. Now, the type of chocolate used is entirely up to you, but we prefer a semi-sweet or bittersweet variety—milk chocolate was too sweet and dark chocolate too overpowering. To make this recipe even more eye-catching, try using white chocolate and food coloring to create an Aussie Bite rainbow. 

Aussie Bite sundae

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To make an Aussie Bite sundae start off with some good quality vanilla ice cream, add a layer of chocolate fudge, and finish with a cherry on top. Out of all recipes, our staff liked this transformation the best.There’s just something about a rich vanilla bean ice cream that compliments the oat and honey flavors in our Aussie Bites so beautifully. For that reason, and to ensure the Aussie Bite flavors are still able to come through, we recommend sticking with simple ice cream flavors, like vanilla.  


Aussie Bites s’mores

The campfire favorite, upgraded! To make your own, substitute graham crackers for Aussie Bites, pile on mini marshmallows, add your favorite chocolate, and (carefully!) give the whole thing a good blast with a kitchen torch. In a pinch, marshmallow spread can be used in place of miniature marshmallows, but we recommend using a pastry bag and piping tip to achieve smooth results—marshmallow spread is extremely sticky! 


The Aussie Bite is a snack of many hats; it can play cupcake, graham cracker, and waffle cone roles with ease. But at the end of our Aussie Bite dress up experiment, we  rediscovered just why we love them: they’re fearlessly original. 

Want to know more about our Aussie Bites? Check out or blog post on them here.

So, tell us, how do you dress up your Aussie Bites? Head over to our Instagram and show us what you’ve got! 

— Team BEF

 
5 Easy Back to School Snacking Ideas
 

If you’re anything like us, the phrase “back to school” can be a cause for alarm. Crowded stores, hectic mornings, and unwelcome traffic jams are all common pain points of the back to school season; why complicate something as simple as lunch? With that in mind, the staff here at Best Express Foods put together a list of easy to assemble, fuss-free, snack ideas to help ease the transition from summer to fall. 

1. Aussie Bite Parfait

Our first snack solution is as easy as combining ingredients in a bowl or mason jar. Start with the yogurt of your choice, add your favorite fruits and top with crumbled Aussie Bites. For our version, we chose plain greek yogurt to keep the whole thing from becoming too sweet and include an added boost of protein, but there are endless combinations. Experiment with different yogurts, fruits, and toppings—really, any of our snacks will work!

2. Paleo Bite Berry Bowl

Think of this choice as adding creamer to coffee, not always necessary but often welcomed. Exceedingly simple, yet delicious, adding in some mixed berries to your next serving of Paleo Bites is the only step! Although we think this combination is delightful as is, you can add a drizzle of honey or agave syrup if your heart and sweet tooth so desire.

3. Coconut Bite Cuties

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If you fancy a more tropical snack to munch on, try pairing some coconut bites with tangerines or oranges. Along with getting a good dose of vitamin C, the tangy zest of oranges goes great with our sweet coconut bites. The best part about this option though, is it requires practically no prep work at all—just toss them in your container of choice and go!

4. Nut Butter Paleo Bars

How about some almond butter on your almond-based snack? Individual packets of a variety of nut butters and spreads are both low-cost and readily available, making them a perfect option for sprucing up your snack game. We love almonds here at Best Express Foods, so naturally we picked out a cinnamon-flavored almond butter to go with our Paleo Bites, but hazelnut, peanut, and cashew butters are all excellent choices too. 


5. Sunrise Energy Bars & cold brew coffee

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Sleep deprived, mentally exhausted, barely-hanging-on-to-life-parents: this one's for you. We may have cheated a bit by just throwing coffee at this one, (never a bad move though if you ask us) but our Sunrise Energy Bars and a strong cold brew do go together wonderfully. Because these bars are sweet enough on their own, you can absolutely skip the sugar or syrup in your coffee and make this a low-calorie snack.    

So whether you’re a busy mom in charge of packing the family’s lunches, or a college student in charge of feeding just yourself, we hope you give these snack combinations a try. 

Need some ideas on ways to pack your snacks on the go? Check out our list of recommendations here!

Happy Snacking!

— Best Express Staff

 
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Getting to Know Our Snack Bars
 
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Those who follow our treats closely will know that the Sunrise Energy Bars were the first snack bar Best Express Foods produced. Organic, all natural, and free of artificial sweeteners, these bars were our answer to the dense and sometimes chalky alternatives. But how do they compare to our newest snack addition, the now super popular, Paleo Bars? 

The short answer: 

Our Paleo Bars are grain free, and therefore Paleo certified. (You can read all about Paleo certification in our latest blog post here). Our Sunrise Energy Bars are made using rolled oats, so although they are a great plant-based snack, they just aren’t suited for those following a Paleo diet since oats is a form of grain.

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The in depth analysis: 
The most obvious difference comes in the form of shape and size. As shown above, Sunrise Energy bars are both slightly shorter and wider when compared to Paleo Bars, and this all comes as a result of their respective ingredients. Our Sunrise Energy Bars are made using a rolled oat base, making them lighter, airier, and more suited to a less densely packed shape.  On the other hand, Paleo Bars use an organic almond base, no grains, and are tightly packed to hold all ingredients together. Naturally, they have a denser texture. The result from each is a perfectly imperfect fusion of raw ingredients in bar form. 

And then there is the taste....


If these two snacks were coffee (and by the way, they do go great with a good ol’ cup of joe) think of Paleo Bars as a salted caramel latte and Sunrise Energy Bars a classic cinnamon-topped latte. One is nutty, and salty-sweet; the other is richer, sweeter and slightly spicy. Again, ingredients differ. Dried fruits, including cranberries, apples, and raisins contribute to the sweeter taste of Sunrise Energy Bars. Even with the addition of organic sugar, each Sunrise Energy Bar boasts only 8g of sugars per serving (1 bar)—a testament to the fact that not all sugars are evil, especially if they are obtained from natural sources. Meanwhile, Paleo Bars are sweetened using just organic honey, contain no fruits, and hold just 9g of sugars per serving (1 bar). Not too shabby considering the American Heart Association sets daily sugar intake levels at 37.5g for men and 25g for women.

Take your pick:

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Maybe you are looking for a lower calorie, pre-gym snack, something that will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you powered through an afternoon or early morning workout. You don’t care so much about sugars as you do about making sure that what you put in your body is organic, and made of ingredients you can actually pronounce. If this sounds like you, we recommend our Sunrise Energy Bars. They’ll be your loyal gym buddy, help you push through challenging hikes or just be there to grant you the mental clarity to get through the day. 

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Or perhaps you pay very close attention to ingredients as opposed to counting calories. The shorter an ingredient list, the better; the more certifications a product holds, the better. You often reach for grain-free, plant-based options to go easy on your system—evidence shows that one of the many benefits to a grain-free diet are reduced inflammation and better digestion. To you, diet is everything and although you try and get in as much exercise as you can, it’s comforting to know you have a healthy snack handy during hectic times. Sound like you? If so, we suggest giving our Paleo Bars a try. Now individually wrapped, and pocket-friendly, these little morsels won’t let you down.

So tell us, which of our organic, plant-based bars do you prefer? Pop over to our Instagram and let us know! 


Happy Snacking! 

— Best Express Staff






 
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5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Pack Your Snacks
 

Because it’s not always convenient to lug around a big box of Paleo Bites,
we offer you our favorite, eco-friendly ways to store and pack your snacks.

As much as we love our big whopping snack containers, we also realize the need to downsize and carry handy-sized portions while on the go. So the staff here at Best Express Foods put our heads and snacks together to come up with a list of eco-friendly ways to pack and store your favorite treats. 

Before diving in, we would like to point out that our packaging (which is made from recycled bottles) is recyclable. So whether you choose to decant, freeze, or ration out the contents, we ask that you recycle our packaging and keep the loop going!

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Reusable Silicone Bags

Colorful and portion-control-friendly, reusable plastic and silicone bags are ideal for storing our smaller-sized bites. A single serving of Paleo Bites fits perfectly in pocket-sized pouches, while slightly larger ones that lay flat are great for storing bigger snacks like our Sunrise Energy Bars. For softer treats, like our Aussie Bites and Coconut Bites, we prefer reusable bags with the ability to stand up on their own as these do a better job of keeping more fragile contents safe. 

Cleaning reusable plastic or silicone bags is no more difficult than washing everyday tableware. Simply rinse with soapy water and either wipe or leave propped open to dry. From our use, we saw no staining or discoloration with everyday use.

Because this storage solution is quite small, we found the best use is for daily snacking, especially during school or work hours. By simply packing some Paleo Bites or Bars in one of these pouches, you can just about guarantee yourself a healthier afternoon snack. 

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Glass Containers and Jars:

Sturdy, secure, and readily available, glass containers and jars make excellent snack capsules. We dig the classic mason jar for storing Paleo Bites, and making parfaits (check out our Instagram for an awesome recipe!). Standard glass storage containers with snapping lids are perfect for decanting and freezing due to their airtight properties—our snacks can be frozen before the printed best-by date for up to 4 months to guarantee freshness! 

For those with bumpy commutes on crowded public transportation, glass containers are great at keeping delicate snacks from becoming sad, squashy messes. Similarly, smaller mason jars fit right into most vehicle cup holders, making it easier to avoid snacking disasters for those sitting through early morning traffic jams. Enjoy your Aussie Bites and coffee in peace!

Again, cleaning this eco-friendly storage solution is a snap; scrub, rinse, dry and it’s ready to ride another day! 

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Metal Containers:

Another great alternative are stainless steel containers. Big canisters with screw top lids are awesome for decanting snacks and keeping them countertop-handy. Find them in a variety of coatings, colors and sizes to match your taste and you are set. 

Smaller metal canisters and containers are great for camping trips and hikes. Not only are they airtight and extremely easy to clean, but are just about guaranteed not to stain or retain smells.

Compostable Parchment Paper:

Going on a hike? Heading to the gym? Have limited space or just aren’t feeling like carrying anything after consumption? Compostable parchment paper makes great “wrapping paper” for some of our more naked bars. While they are not exactly ideal for our smaller snack lines such as the Aussie Bites and Paleo Bites, you can get creative enough to wrap them with baker’s twine. Beeswax paper also works wonders too!

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Recyclable Plastic Bags:

For many decades now, we have relied on these small bags for its convenience especially among families. The reason we are including recyclable plastic bags, is because we understand that sometimes it’s okay to use as long as we are using it with the environment in mind. While this approach is not the most eco-friendly, it is up to you to make it so. Our recommendation is to give these bag a few uses before tossing them in the recyclable bin. Plastic will not degrade after washing it in a little bit of soapy lukewarm water — they can last a very long time, but if you are using it with the same snack, simply brushing out the crumbs before repacking is all you need to do. Plastic bags have gotten a bad reputation, but their more eco-friendly variation is a fantastic option for those on a tighter budget. The only downside is these bags don’t offer much protection—they are made of thin, soft plastic after all. However, because of their size, they make a great addition to any daily lunch bag. 


So whether it be a beach trip, road trip, or a simple trip to and from work, we hope you bring our bites and bars with you.

— Best Express Staff





 
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