Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mum-Mum Rice Rusks

Why does it seem like I keep reviewing products marketed toward babies? Oh, well. They all tend to be tasty, nutritious, and low in calories! Take Mum-Mum products, for example. They sell rice rusks and crackers in a variety of flavors such as Original, Vegetable, and Strawberry. There are two different versions of Mum-Mum, Baby and Toddler. I've tried both, and both are delicious! They're pretty much the same thing in different shapes. The Baby rice rusks are long and stretched out, as you can see in the picture to the left, while the Toddler crackers are perfectly round crackers, sort of like a Ritz. They both taste the same to me, but the Strawberry Toddler flavor that I tried had frosting on it! It was so good, and you would never know that it's not junk food. The Baby rice rusk has only two flavors, Original and Vegetable. The Original is slightly sweet while the Vegetable tastes kind of like veggie sticks. I prefer Original, but my family likes the Vegetable. My favorite is still Strawberry! Must be the frosting. :)

Let's look at the label. The unfrosted rice rusks have only four ingredients, japonica rice, sugar, skim milk powder, and salt. The frosted ones have gelatin in them. The rice rusks come individually wrapped with two crackers per package. Built in portion control! The best part is that each pack of Baby rice rusks (4.2g) have 15 calories while the Toddler rice crackers (5g) have 20 calories each. Forget 100 calorie packs! Go for these.

Here is what the frosted box looks like.

Price: $1.49 for a box with 12 packs
Calories: 15 or 20 per 2 crackers

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Applegate Farms Organic Hot Dogs

Foods that just seem to go hand in hand with summer are burgers and hot dogs. Now, everyone knows about Boca and Morningstar burgers, but what about hot dogs? There aren't too many healthy choices out there! My absolute favorite hot dogs are Applegate Farms. I've never tried their beef or pork because the only meats I eat are chicken, turkey, and fish, but luckily, they have chicken and turkey hot dogs in their product line. To be fair, I've never had a "real" hot dog, but Applegate Farms' turkey hot dogs are amazing! They taste just how I imagine a beef hot dog would taste. The outer casing gets nice and crisp if you fry it up, but it surprisingly tastes great when you put it in the microwave for around 30 seconds. I can actually eat these hot dogs by themselves or in a bun, that's how yummy they are. For a lower calorie choice, you can wrap the dog in a slice of light bread instead.

I love how these hot dogs don't have any preservatives and are all natural and organic. The livestock are raised on vegetarian diets and are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. Even though hot dogs are processed, Applegates Farms uses minimal processing.

Of course, we have to have some nutritional info here. A turkey hot dog is either 40 or 50 calories (depends on if it's organic or not), while the chicken and beef ones range from 70-110 calories. Pretty good! Applegate Farms also sells other products, like cold cuts, burgers, cheese, turkey bacon, etc... Every product I've tried from them has been excellent, so there's my seal of approval!

Price: $4.29 at Wegman's
Calories: 40-110 depending on meat and if it's organic or not

Giveaways! I hope I win something in one of these, or at least that one of you guys does!

Monday, July 20, 2009

HappyBaby Puffs

Sometimes I need a little more flavor to my cereal than my kamut puffs, so I turn to these puffs instead! Before you say anything, yes, I do realize that these are marketed toward babies, but they're just like cereal. HappyBaby's organic puffs taste kind of like a lighter, fluffier version of a cheerio with a hint of flavor. Not to mention the little container that they come in is absolutely adorable and can be reused in a ton of different ways. I only bought apple and banana, but they also come in a "greens" flavor, which is just a vegetable puff basically. Neither of the fruity flavors actually taste like the fruit they're supposed to, but it's just a light sweetness that tastes very yummy.

These puffs are 100% natural, have the 1/2 the sugar of other baby puffs like the ones from Gerber, and have no artificial colors or flavors. A plus to being "baby" snacks is that they're packed with vitamins and minerals.

Even though these puffs have a fruity flavor, I don't have to compromise the calorie count of my kamut puffs! These have 25 calories per 1/2 cup, just like kamut's 50 calories for 1 cup. I used a mix of kamut and HappyBaby puffs for a very low calorie bowl of cereal a few minutes ago to tide my hunger over until dinner. These whole grain puffs are terrific!

Price: $3.89 per container
Calories: 25 per 1/2 cup

Yup, more giveaways! Come on, you know you love them. :D

Friday, July 17, 2009

Arctic Zero Frozen Dessert

It's funny how quickly my life has changed in a matter of a few hours. Why, you ask? This. Ice cream. Is. Amazing. That's all I have to say. When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that I'd end up eating an entire pint of guilt-free ice cream. Yup, the entire pint. Here's my story. I asked my local health food store if they could get a case of these for me a few weeks ago and ended up completely forgetting about them. But I got a call this morning saying that the shipment had come in and decided to go pick it up. I got three of each flavor, but I've only tried Chocolate Peanut Butter so far. The other flavors are Vanilla (with a hint of maple), Chocolate, and Strawberry-Banana. I was SO excited to try it because of all of the reviews I've been seeing on the internet. It was amazing! The flavor was a perfect blend of chocolate and peanut butter without being too much like a Reese's cup. The texture was even better than ice cream, softer in a way, which is how I like it. The best part about these pints? The nutritional info.

Depending on the flavor you get, the pints range in calorie count from 128 to 136. And that's for the whole pint! Each 1/2 cup serving is either 32 calories (Chocolate and Chocolate Peanut Butter) or 34 calories (Vanilla and Strawberry-Banana). I thought for sure that the chocolate flavors would have the higher calories, but who knows? Anyway, it gets better. Each 1/2 cup serving has either 4 or 5 grams of protein and no fat. It's the ultimate super dessert! After reading the nutritional label, I realized that I already had stuck my spoon into the pint, and thought "Why not?". I finished it all. :D You have no idea how much fun it is to eat an entire pint of ice cream. Now you can too!

This frozen dessert (they don't consider themselves ice cream, but I do!) is packed with a high protein whey concentrate that apparently feeds your muscles and starves your fat. It's all natural, low carb, fat free, gluten free, and lactose-intolerant friendly. See? Super dessert!

My yummy chocolate peanut butter!

UPDATE: I had no idea Hungry Girl reviewed these just yesterday! I'm sorry! I seriously didn't even remember about Arctic Zero until this morning. :( Sorry, guys.

Price: $3.89 a pint
Calories: 128 or 136 per pint depending on flavor

Yay for giveaways! Let's see what we've got this week...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sobe "Zero Calorie" Lifewater

Let's start this post off right...

Sobe "Zero Calorie" Lifewater is NOT 0 calories!

No drink is zero calories, except for water. Even tea and coffee has trace calories, so small that they are negligible. Here's the deal on diet sodas and drinks. If a product has less than 5 calories per serving, the company is allowed to print 0 calories on their label. Yes, I agree, it's unfair. That Diet Pepsi you always thought was 0 calories? Actually 1.2 per serving. That doesn't sound bad, but the calories can add up if you're guzzling diet drinks like they are 0 calories. We can look at this with either a glass half full or glass half empty mentality here. At least the calories are still low, right? Some people will still choose to not count diet soda calories because they feel it isn't necessary, but if you want to be truly accurate, you'll unfortunately have to.

Now on to the product review! Sobe Lifewater is delicious, but all three of their "zero" calorie flavors are incredibly sweet, which may be a turn off for some people. My favorite flavor is Fuji Apple Pear, followed by Black and Blue Berry, and then Yumberry Pomegranate. Two new "zero" calorie flavors are coming out soon, Acai Fruit Punch and Mango Melon. I've never seen these new ones in stores, but maybe I will soon. All three of these flavors taste exactly like their name suggests. I don't know how to describe it. The Fuji Apple Pear is light and refreshing, but tastes very much like a pear. The Black and Blue Berry tastes just like a blueberry, and there really isn't any essence of blackberry. The Yumberry Pomegranate tastes like a very sweet fruit salad, kind of like a mixed berry flavor.

Sobe has two different types of Lifewater. The "zero" calorie line is sweetened with PureVia, which is made from stevia, and includes the three flavors I talked about before. The other Lifewaters contain many more calories, about 100 per bottle, and come in a much wider variety of flavors. It can be hard to tell which flavors are which, so make sure you check the bottle's flavor! There are no high calorie versions of the "zero" calorie flavors and no low calorie versions of the regular Lifewater. Just stick with Fuji Apple Pear, Black and Blue Berry, and Yumberry Pomegranate and you'll be good!

So let's find out the actual calories in "Zero" Calorie Lifewater. There are 5 calories per bottle in the Fuji Apple Pear and Black and Berry flavors, while the Yumberry Pomegranate, Acai Fruit Punch, and Mango Melon have 10 calories per bottle. Each bottle is 20 ounces, and will quench your thirst for a while!

The two new flavors, Acai Fruit Punch and Mango Melon

Price: $0.99 per bottle on sale, $1.99 regular
Calories: 5-10 per bottle depending on flavor

Sunday, July 12, 2009

FrütStix Chunky Strawberry Frozen Fruit Bar

It's finally summer! Unfortunately, that can also mean boiling hot days driving you to reach for unhealthy ice creams. What's the solution? These frozen fruit bars from FrutStix. They combine chunks of real fruit and authentic fruit flavors to create a yummy treat. All of FrutStix products are 100% all natural and contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. They're also completely fat free (except for the chocolate dipped ones, which are 99% fat free)! These bars can't be any healthier.

My favorite is the Chunky Strawberry flavor, also FrutStix's lowest calorie option. I would never be able to tell the difference between this fruit bar and a much higher calorie one, such as Edy's or Dreyer's. The strawberry chunks are plentiful throughout the entire bar, and the flavor is so good.

FrutStix has a product line of Fruit & Juice Bars, Creamy Fruit Bars, Organic Fruit Bars, Chocolate Covered Fruit Bars, and Creamy Fudge Bars. I love the Organic Chunky Strawberry flavor, but there are many other options to choose from. The lowest calorie bar is the Chunky Strawberry one, at 45 calories while their highest calorie bar is the Dark Chocolate Almond Covered Creamy Coconut at 220 calories. The Creamy Fudge Bars are 90 calories, still less than those "diet" fudge bars floating around at 100 calories! You can see the entire product line at their website.

Price: $4.99 for a box of 4 at Whole Food's
Calories: 45-220 depending on flavor

It's giveaway time! Click on any of the following giveaways to try to win some delicious healthy food. Good luck!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Brothers All-Natural Crisps

Everyone knows the old saying about an apple a day, but the truth is that most Americans don't get the servings of fruits and vegetables that they should. With these crisps, no one has an excuse not to! For starters, they're delicious, enough said, but they're also made with 100% all-natural fruits and potatoes and are just freeze dried with no added sugar or preservatives. The fruit crisps come in 7 different flavors with the following info:

Fuji Apple: 1 1/2 apples per 39 calorie bag
Asian Pear: 1 1/2 pears per 40 calorie bag
Strawberry-Banana: 1 banana and 4 strawberries per 45 calorie bag
White & Yellow Peach: 1 1/2 peaches per 39 calorie bag
Pineapple: 40% of a pineapple per 60 calorie bag
Strawberry: 8-12 strawberries per 30 calorie bag
Banana: 1 1/2 bananas per 66 calorie bag

But Brothers All-Natural doesn't stop there! They've come out with potato crisps as well, which are just like potato chips except at a much lower calorie count of 45 per bag! These come in four flavors, Original with Sea Salt, Black Pepper & Sea Salt, Fresh Onion & Garlic, and Szechuan Pepper & Fresh Chives. I've only had the original so far, but it tastes just like a chip. I can't wait to try the other flavors.

Besides the regular fruit and potato crisps, Brothers All-Natural has a partnership with Disney for Disney character fruit crisps. I haven't seen these anywhere, but I'll keep an eye out for them. They come in Mickey Mouse Apple, Donald Duck Pear, Pluto Peach, and Goofy Strawberry-Banana. I don't know how they're any different from the other fruit crisps, but they're Disney, so they've got to be awesome.

Batavia-based Brothers-All-Natural launched its freeze-dried Fruit Crisps in 2006 after four years of experimentation.

Where can you get these yummy snacks? I got them at Costco, but you can get them at any of the following locations:


Price: Varies at all locations
Calories: 30-66 depending on flavor

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ZSweet® Natural

No matter how much you try to smile and down your plain yogurts and cereals in the morning, it isn't much fun to eat foods without flavor. Unfortunately, flavor usually comes hand in hand with calories. This is where Zsweet comes in. It's a zero calorie sweetener that is sugar-free, all natural, kosher, and vegan. For me, the big seller with this sweetener is that it's honestly zero calories. Splenda, for example, has calories, but there is an FDA law stating that the nutritional information is allowed to say 0 calories if it's less than 5. Those calories can add up if you use more than one packet, each of which has 4 calories. Zsweet contains carbs that aren't turned into calories by the body. Erythritol, a naturally occurring sweetener found in common foods like fruit, is the main ingredient.

The version I bought came in a canister that has a dual-top spout for easy usage. It looks exactly like regular white sugar, except the granules are a little smaller. I dipped my finger in the top and tasted it plain, and I could mistake it for sugar. I mixed some in with my yogurt and cereal this morning, and it was delicious! You can even use Zsweet in baking and cooking.

There are 4 carbs in Zsweet, but they come from the erythritol, which isn't turned into calories. Other than the carbs, the nutritional panel is blank, which is always a good sight to see. :)

Price: $7.19 at local health food store
Calories: 0

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Unsweetened Original Almond Milk

So you've got your low calorie puffed cereal, but milk can add a lot of unwanted calories. Solution? Pacific's unsweetened original almond milk. It has a nutty taste perfect for the kamut puffs! They go perfectly together, but this milk is great with any cereal. There are so many different recipes that you can use this in. I recently made a batch of cookies with this milk, and I really couldn't taste a difference between those and the regular ones. Then again, my taste buds aren't so refined! The only thing I have to point out is that you may not enjoy this milk if you don't like almonds, obviously. It doesn't taste too much like almonds, but it has that all around nut taste. You could always add a zero calorie sweetener to the milk like Zsweet or liquid stevia, but I love it just the way it is.

Time to flip the box and read the label! Looking at the nutritional info, we've got 2.5 g of fat, 180 mg of sodium, 2g of carbs, no sugar, and 1 g of protein. Not too bad! But the calories have to be the best. 35 for 1 cup! And honestly, who needs a whole cup of milk for cereal? I prefer my cereal drier, so this is even better for me! Delish.

Price: $3.39 at Whole Food's
Calories: 35 in 1 cup

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nature's Hollow Sugar-Free Ketchup

Yup, another post! I wasn't planning on doing another one until a few days from now, but I had to let someone know about this amazing product. It tastes even better than regular ketchup because it's not as sweet and has a tangier tomato taste. I would definitely choose it over any other company without even knowing about the nutritional benefits.

This ketchup in particular is sweetened with xylitol, an all natural sweetener. Xylitol has even been said to be good for your teeth, and has a low glycemic index which is great for diabetics. Xylitol also has absolutely no aftertaste. I can always taste it in Splenda products, but this ketchup? Nothing!

Nature's Hollow is a family owned company that also produces sugar free jams and preserves. I feel great buying their products because of the nutritional info, but also because I'm supporting a down to earth company that creates great products.

This ketchup contains no calories! Must be the xylitol. :) There are 130 mg of sodium and 6 g of carbs. There are very few ingredients, only tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, xylitol, spices, salt, and arrowroot. With regular ketchup, the calories begin to add up very quickly. Now you can enjoy it again, guilt free!

EDIT: I just received an e-mail from the company telling me there was a misprint on their labels and there are actually 14 calories per tablespoon. :( Still lower than the rest, but...

Price: $6.19
Calories: 14 in 1 tablespoon