Hilary’s Eat Well Review (Kansas City Local!)

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Hilary’s Eat Well

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Hilary’s:

“Our core principles include making delicious high-quality products, corporate transparency, creating sustainable systems, and having a positive community impact.  Below lists our certifications that reinforce those values.  We love aligning with partners who support our goals and help us change the way our food system works for a better world.

The Hilary’s Eat Well team is committed to the company’s core values of sustainable connections, transparency, and partnerships; we seek to limit ecological impact and increase community impact.

Hilary Brown

Hilary Brown

Founder & CEO

Hilary is the creative chef behind Hilary’s Eat Well creations. She spent a year working as a farm apprentice with the Growing Growers program prior to opening Local Burger®, a first-to-the-market sustainable fast food restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas, in 2005.  Now, she’s is hanging ten on the big learning curve of wholesale food business. Digging the challenges as much as the successes and thanking the Universe for the opportunity to work with an energy packed creative team committed to creating a better future for all.

What do you love right now?
Millet, Hemp, Grass-land, Elk, Turmeric, Kim Chi, Trees, Bats, Crows, People, Worms, Dancing, Tipping Points, breathing and hiking with my family at Clinton Lake…just to name a few. :).”

Products I have been lucky enough to try:

hemp_and_greens_burger_package

Hemp & Greens Burger

About:

“Hemp and greens and thyme… oh my! Follow the yellow brick road to great taste and healthy eating. This delicious burger is filled with good-for-you greens, wholesome hemp seed and tasty thyme.

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Leafy Greens, Hemp Seed, Parsley, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Redmonds Season Salt®, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Thyme.”
veggie_burger_package

World’s Best Veggie Burger

About:

“When Hilary created this recipe in 2005 for her restaurant, Local Burger, she wanted it to taste great and be free of all common food allergens and artificial ingredients. She met all of her goals with this recipe, and now shares it with everyone!

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Quinoa, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Sweet Potato, Spinach, Onion, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Apple Cider Vinegar, Real Salt, Garlic.”
black-rice-burger-packaging

Black Rice Burger

About:

“Love at first sight and taste! When the Lotus Foods Rice team shared their heirloom climate-smart More Crop Per Drop™ rice with us, we fell in love with the taste, integrity and the team. This burger is singing the song of biodiversity with the addition of millet, adzuki beans and health-supportive greens. Flavor and sustainability in perfect harmony.

Ingredients

Water, Adzuki Bean, Lotus Foods Organic Brown Jasmine Rice, Millet, Leafy Greens, Sweet Potato, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice®, Real Salt, Garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Cumin, Lime Juice.”
root_veggie_burger_package

Root Veggie Burger

About:

“Turnip the beets! This deliciously crunchy millet-based veggie burger is filled with organic root vegetables and a kick of mustard. On a bun, as a side dish, on top of a salad–any way you have it, you’ll be feastin’! Fall in love with these easy-to-prepare patties–it’s eating well made easy!

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Turnips, Sweet Potato, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Beets, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Garlic, Mustard Seed, Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric, Paprika, Real Salt.”
adzuki_bean_burger_package

Adzuki Bean Burger

About:

“Millet, adzuki beans, cumin, coconut oil, and Real Salt® are just a few of the stars in this fantastic burger.. We use real-food ingredients that nourish your body and support healthy ecosystems. You’ll fall in love with these easy-to-prepare patties.

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Adzuki Bean, Quinoa, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Sweet Potato, Onion, Mild Green Chilies, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Real Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Cumin, Chili & Chipotle Powder, Lime Juice.”
veggie_bites_package

Original Veggie Bites

About:

“From freezer to table in minutes, these versatile veggie bites are great for busy lives.  Use them as a tasty appetizer, as an addition to salads and casseroles, or as a great way to get kids to smile while eating some veggies. With our stellar ingredients, you’ll feel good about serving them to your family, to party guests, and to yourself!

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Quinoa, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Sweet Potato, Spinach, Onion, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Apple Cider Vinegar, Real Salt, Garlic.”
remoulade-dressing_0

Creamy Remoulade Dressing with Dill Pickles

About:

“Ask anyone who ate at Hilary’s restaurant, Local Burger, and you’ll be assured that our Remoulade is a fan favorite! It’s great on salads, spread on sandwiches (or veggie burgers!), or used as a dip. You’ll be amazed that something free-from dairy, egg and more can be so creamy and so super delicious. Bubbies Kosher Dill Pickles, coconut milk, and mustard are the star ingredients in this versatile dressing.

Ingredients

Organic Coconut Milk (Coconut, Guar Gum), Water, Cold-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Organic Mustard (Organic Grain Vinegar, Water, Organic Mustard Seed, Salt, Organic Turmeric, Organic Paprika, Organic Spices), Bubbies Kosher Dill Pickles (Cucumbers, Water, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Garlic, Dill, Spices [Contains Mustard Seed]), Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Onion, Sweet Leaf® Stevia.”
ranch-chia-dressing_0

Ranch Chia Dressing with Omega 3’s

About:

“This beyond dairy-free dressing is packed with omega-3s and is sure to satisfy. Our beloved Ranch Chia offers the comforting taste of your favorite ranch, while flaunting an all-star list of clean, real food ingredients including healthful organic chia seeds. That’s one rockin’ ranch.

Ingredients

Organic Coconut Milk (Coconut, Guar Gum), Water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Cold-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Organic Chia Seeds, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Mustard (Organic Grain Vinegar, Water, Organic Mustard Seed, Salt, Organic Turmeric, Organic Paprika, Organic Spices), Organic Garlic, Organic Onion, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Dill, Organic Marjoram, Sweet Leaf® Stevia.”
apple-fennel-dressing_0

Apple Fennel Dressing with Dandelion Root

About:

“Tart, tangy, and oh so tasty! Our Appel Fennel Dressing is made with thoughtfully-sourced ingredients including organic apple cider vinegar, cold-pressed hexane-free grape seed oil, and health-supportive organic dandelion root powder. You’ll love fixin’ and mixing’ your salad with this delectable dressing!

Ingredients

Water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Cold-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Organic Apple Concentrate, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Organic Dandelion Root, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Fennel, Sweet Leaf® Stevia.”
balsamic-thyme-dressing_0

Balsamic Thyme Dressing with Eyebright

About:

“Who doesn’t love the classic flavor of balsamic dressing? Well, even if you don’t think balsamic is your thing, we challenge you to give ours a try! You’ll love the earthy organic thyme with a hint of sweetness.  Top it off with innovative ingredients like organic eyebright and you’ll be hooked.

Ingredients

Water, Organic Balsamic Vinegar, Cold-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Thyme, Organic Eyebright, Sweet Leaf® Stevia.”

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My Thoughts:

This review will be a little bit scattered and full of random thoughts, as I have so many jumping into my head with this brand.

Out of all of the reviews I’ve written, this is one of my favorite. It added an extra layer to my appreciation for this brand to get to tour their facility with my husband. Becky at Hilary’s Eat Well could not have been more welcoming and eager to show us how Hilary’s Burgers are made–and she did so with enthusiasm. That, perhaps is my favorite aspect of the people behind this brand. You can tell that they believe in it, are passionate about it, and enjoy coming to work because of that. It’s infectious! Paul and I were lucky enough to meet Hilary, herself while touring the facility. She couldn’t have been more bubbly, free spirited and awesome. What a treat!

Hilary’s creates their burgers in Lawrence, Kansas, which is right down the road from us in Kansas City. It feels really good to genuinely feel supportive of a local brand–believing that they are doing great things and positively impacting how people eat.

I’m appreciative for the fact that this brand has reminded me that not all grain-like seeds are empty calories. I typically advocate and practice a way of eating that is loosely-based on the Paleo approach to eating. In summation, Paleo eating doesn’t allow any dairy, grains or processed foods. Needless to say, that idea is neat in theory, but not everything I eat has been picked fresh from our garden, and I’d be lying if I said I never took a bite out of a block of cheese. The idea is good, though–to refocus yourself to eat real, organic food. I aim to keep my percentages good–meaning that 80-90% of the time, I’m eating nutrient dense, real foods. The other 10-20% of the time I don’t beat myself up if I feel that I want to splurge.

I say all of that to say, Hilary’s has reminded me that you don’t need to be scared of healthy legumes (like beans), grains and seeds (that are commonly labeled as grains), as strict-paleo followers will have you doing. If you are consuming large amounts of real, whole foods, including lots of fresh vegetables, then there’s no need to be neurotic about eliminating these food groups. Just pick good ones that are rife with nutrients. It’s all about the quality of these products. You don’t want to eat a bunch of over-processed bread from your local grocery store, but you can seek organic, whole grain-like seeds and beans that will provide you with a dense nutritional profile. That said, I also believe very much in BALANCE. Allowing grains and beans doesn’t mean eating them all day every day, it just means that you can appreciate what they offer your diet and you can incorporate them in some fashion.

This variety of burgers allows you to do that, in an organic, junk free way. Though my husband and I do consume meat, I’d imagine that the fact that these Hilary’s burgers are vegetarian will appeal to many. They are also free of many common foods that contribute to sensitivities like: gluten, nuts, soy, dairy, yeast and corn. All of these ingredient lists are organically sourced, top to bottom. During our tour, I also learned that Hilary’s sources only high quality, organically grown ingredients that often times are from local farms. They even donate burgers that don’t pass their quality tests (shape & thickness) to a local food bank–so thoughtful and neat to me.

To elaborate on the grain discussion: By grains, I am referring to the millet and quinoa used in most of these burgers, and the black rice used in the black rice burger. Though I consider millet and quinoa to be seeds, many lump them into the grain category and avoid them because of that. I personally do not enjoy the calories from rice as much as quinoa and millet, thus the black rice burger isn’t one that I’ll come back to often. I also hardly ever buy rice, simply because I enjoy getting my carbohydrates from other sources instead. I do realize, though, that many enjoy rice and to them, I’d recommend that burger, because it’s got a great, tasty, hearty flavor. For those looking to stick to just seeds, sans a grain like rice, you can eat all of these burgers (exempt the black rice) and keep within your parameters. I realize those last two paragraphs were a whole lot of rambling, but that is the best way I know to get all of my thoughts out.

As far as which burgers I’ve enjoyed most and see myself purchasing often: I am loving the Root Veggie Burger and the Hemp & Greens Burger the most. I’m so impressed with the seasoning in both of these burgers–they are right on the money and make them so palatable and tasty–even to those who eat meat-based burgers. Hilary & Becky even shared a fantastic idea in combining some organic, grass-fed ground meat in with these veggie burgers to create a more robust, protein filled circle of goodness. I have yet to try it but eagerly await testing it out!

As for the dressings–WHOA! All of them are so good in their own right. What a genius idea to put chia seeds in an organic ranch dressing recipe. As far as initial wow factor in regards to the taste, my husband and I both agreed that the Creamy Remoulade Dressing is to die for. Hilary’s even mentions that it was a favorite at Hilary’s restaurant in Lawrence, Local Burger. It tastes like creamy, mustardy, zippy goodness. My husband suggested even using it as a dip, all by itself–its that good. I typically lean towards thick dressings, but actually really enjoyed the flavors in the Balsamic Thyme & Apple Fennel dressings. I was impressed to see the use of Dandelion root & Eyebright, two healing plants that give these dressings an extra punch of health. Becky at Hilary’s mentioned using the Apple Fennel dressing on a bean salad. After trying it, I’d agree it would be delicious when used that way. Even if you are unsure about these flavor combinations, trust Hilary! These dressings will really “wow” you.

My 5 year old stepdaughter tried the bites last night at dinner with the Ranch Chia alongside and had nothing but good things to say about them. She was “mmmmm”ing the whole time while eating them. It’s safe to say they are a hit with our young in! They’re a convenient food you can feel good about feeling your child (and your whole family!).

I’ve had such a pleasant experience interacting with the Hilary’s team and can’t sing their praises enough. This kind of company is RARE. They truly put the time and effort into making sure they heard my feedback in person, as well as making it abundantly clear how much they value quality and how they source their ingredients–& I think they’ve only just begun! Their passion for what they create will continue to grow and “infect” more people with this positive health bug. It’s so refreshing and I am eager for all of you to try their products. Get one of everything! You can shop on the Hilary’s Eat Well site or use their store locator to find your closest grocery store that carries them. Let me know how you like them in the comments below 🙂

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