Sunday, August 30, 2009

Palapa Azul Frozen Fruit Bars

For some reason, I woke up the other morning to find myself completely shocked that it's almost September. Yes, September, the month all students dread. However... Summer's not over yet! And that means we all need to enjoy some more frozen treats before school starts again. I recently found a delicious brand of frozen fruit bars at my Whole Foods called Palapa Azul. They have six different flavors, not to mention a line of sorbet and ice cream as well. I decided to try two boxes of the lowest calorie flavors currently in stock, Strawberry and Watermelon, each at 50 calories. Palapa Azul does carry another flavor called Cucumber Chile that is only 40 calories, but the store didn't have it. A spicy frozen fruit bar? Sounds pretty interesting to me!

Both the Strawberry and Watermelon each had very distinct flavors. Strawberry was really sweet, while Watermelon had a milder, more authentic fruit flavor. It tasted kind of like Strawberry had added sugar while Watermelon was just blended fruit that was frozen on a stick, know what I mean? I love both flavors, but depending on how sweet you like your dessert, one flavor might be better for you. The Watermelon actually has white seeds frozen into the bar itself!

Even though Watermelon tasted much less sweet to me, it actually has 14g of sugar per bar while Strawberry has 10g. The calorie count, 50, is the same for both flavors. All the bars are all natural, made with fresh fruit, non-dairy, wheat-free, gluten-free, and sweetened with organic cane juice. They are also naturally fat-free. The ingredient list is nice and short, looking something like this:

Ingredients: watermelon/strawberries, filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice, guar gum, xanthan gum.

All in all, a very nice nutritional label. Palapa Azul bars are perfect for an anytime treat that doesn't leave your stomach feeling heavy or your mind feeling unhealthy!

Price: $4.39 per pack of 4 at Whole Foods
Calories: 40-80 depending on flavor

With the start of a new month comes... More giveaways!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Amy's Mexican Tamale Pie

I'm moving into a new house from across the country, so for the past three days, my life has looked a lot like this:

Wake up.
Drive to post office.
Pick up boxes.
Load car up.
Haul junk up various flights of stairs.
Unpack said boxes. Rinse and repeat.

So the fact that I am sharing a frozen meal with you today shouldn't really be a surprise. After the post office closed, I found myself starving (see beginning of post. As you can tell, lunch didn't fit itself into the plan.) I opened my brand new stainless steel fridge to find... not much. I only had time for a quick Whole Foods run yesterday, so there wasn't much to eat. I decided to make Amy's Mexican Tamale Pie since I wanted to try it to tell you guys about it anyway. The pie isn't really a pot pie per se, but it's similar. Instead of crust, there is a cornmeal topping, and the filling is just like chili with a little spice kick to it. I'm not a big fan of Mexican food to begin with, but even I enjoyed this pie. I don't think I'd buy it again just because my taste buds prefer other ethnic food groups, but if you're a Mexican food lover, this pie is definitely for you.

I popped this baby in the oven for 40 minutes only to find that the crust was splitting down the center and the filling was bubbling out. It was obviously done, but the crust still wasn't golden brown, so I turned the oven to broil for a few minutes and that solved the problem. My advice would be to broil the pie for the last few minutes of cooking to get the perfect crust!

This pie is only 150 calories! Yup, it's true, not like all of those other 400 or 500 calorie pot pies. It was quite filling too, and I wasn't even able to finish the whole thing (I did make a side of broccoli to go along with it though. Yes, it was frozen. Thank you, Whole Foods freezer section.) The pie has 4g of dietary fiber and only 3g of fat.

Price: $3.39 at Whole Foods
Calories: 150 per pie

Friday, August 21, 2009

LesserEvil Krinkle Sticks

I'm so glad to see that you guys like the throw down post! Unfortunately, this one's going to be regular just because I can't find a similar snack to Krinkle Sticks! All I know is, they're delicious. The LesserEvil company is all about healthy snacks that are lower in fat and calories, and are all natural. The Krinkle Sticks in particular are supposed to be a twist on potato chips, but are baked in sunflower oil, not fried. This makes them contain 75% less fat than regular chips! The sticks are also free of trans-fat and saturated fat, cholesterol, artificial flavors and colors, and preservatives. If you can't eat gluten, don't worry, the sticks are gluten free as well.

The Krinkle Sticks come in four flavors: Classic Sea Salt, Veggie, Sour Cream & Onion, and Old School Bar-B-Que. I only had a chance to try the Classic Sea Salt, but I have to imagine that their other flavors are just as good! The stick was crunchy and crisp on the outside without being greasy, and the flavor was mildly like a potato puff. It was excellent, and I'm looking forward to trying the other flavors! Not to mention the twisty shape is so much fun to eat. It's kind of like an escalator, or a flight of stairs.

Okay, time to look at the back of the bag. The nutritional info for the Krinkle Sticks is definitely good! Only 110 calories per cup, which is around 40 generous sticks. There is only 2.5g of fat. That's even lower than Popchips! They even have 2g of dietary fiber per serving to keep you nice and full, and also 2g of protein.

Overall, these sticks are really yummy. If you're craving chips though, these aren't really an alternative seeing as how they're kind of like a cross between a veggie stick and a chip instead. Still, I prefer these to chips anyway, so... Go get these today! :)

The company "Lesser Evil" focus on healthier savory snacks. One of Lesser Evil's healthier offerings are these potato based Krinkle Sticks.

Price: $2.99 per bag
Calories: 110 per 40 sticks

Yes! I am really looking forward to these giveaways, especially the bag one. I have to thank Stephanie over at The Skinny Plate for letting me know about that one. :D

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Throw Down: Annie's Homegrown Saltines VS. Late July Saltines

Annie's Homegrown Bunny Classics Saltine

Yup! It's my first throw down! I'm going to be comparing Annie's Organic Bunny Classics Saltine and Late July's Organic Classic Saltine Crackers. I'm not going to lie, both of these brands are very delicious, but who comes out on top overall? Let's find out.

Round 1: DESIGN

Annie's: These cute little snacks come in 5 different shapes: a heart, a running bunny, a bunny head, an X, and a circle. I love the bunny shapes! It's not plain like eating a regular saltine in the rectangle form. The box is pretty and appealing to kids with the different shapes shown in each corner.

Late July: Regular circle crackers here. Nothing wrong with that! These are kind of like Ritz crackers, I suppose. The box is beautiful though, in my opinion. It's got a vintage boardwalk feel with a softer blue than the Annie's box. Truly a work of art!

Winner: Annie's

Sorry, Late July! You have a beautiful box, but I just can't get over Annie's shapes. So adorable!


Annie's: These crackers definitely have a crunch to them! The cracker is crisp and fresh tasting. I love how they have a light buttery taste without being too rich. Saltines are supposed to be very crisp, sort of like oyster crackers, and, of course, salty. I think Annie's has achieved the perfect balance! The salt is a little bit much though, depending on your taste buds.

Late July: The first cracker I tried was very buttery, but the rest were lighter in taste. There is less of a crunch to Late July and more of a silky taste. These crackers are less salty than the Annie's crackers, which works with the buttery taste.

Winner: Annie's

I love the crunch of Annie's crackers. Late July is a little too buttery to be a saltine.

Final Round: NUTRITION

Annie's: At 70 calories for 13 crackers (15g), Annie's is definitely a hit in the calorie section! A serving is filling too. There's 1.5g of fat per serving, but no saturated or trans fat. There are 11g of carbs and 160 mg of sodium. These are also vegetarian with no cholesterol.

Late July: These crackers are lower in calorie than Annie's according to grams because they're bigger, but they come in at 60 calories per 4 crackers (14g). They are a bit higher in fat than Annie's, at 2.5 g, 0.5 of which are saturated fat. There are 10g of carbs and 120 mg of sodium.

Winner: Tie

Annie's are higher in calories, carbs, and sodium, but Late July is higher in fat and contains saturated fat. I say a draw here!


The winner is Annie's Homegrown!

I absolutely love these saltines. They're yummy and healthy.

Price varies, so I decided to not include that in the contest. I purchased Annie's on sale for $3.69 a box and Late July not on sale for $3.49 a box.

Yay for more giveaways! I am determined to win one of these... :D

Monday, August 17, 2009

EnviroKidz Organic Crispy Rice Bar

Everyone loves snacking on Kellog's Rice Krispie treats, but though they may be relatively low in calories, they're full of artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and gelatin (Who honestly knows what's in that stuff?). Luckily, a healthy, delicious alternative has arrived! The EnviroKidz Organic Crispy Rice Bars come in five different flavors, Cheetah Berry, Koala Chocolate, Panda Peanut Butter, Lemur Peanut Choco Drizzle, and Penguin Fruity Blast.
I couldn't possibly choose a favorite because they're all equally delicious. The Cheetah Berry and the Penguin Fruity Blast flavors have bits of freeze dried fruit in it, which I think is an added plus! I love these bars though because they're gelatin free but still taste great.

For sweet crispy rice treats, these bars have a pretty nice set of nutrition facts. Except for the Lemur Peanut Choco Drizzle which has 120 calories, all of the bars have 110 calories. They are also gluten free and low in fat and sugar. Some of the flavors, such as Cheetah Berry, even have some dietary fiber packed in there for you. What are you waiting for? Go grab a box of these!

Price: $3.99 for box of 6 at local health food store
Calories: 110-120 per bar

Giveaway time, my dear readers... I'm becoming obsessed with them. :D

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Alexia Foods Oven Fries & Oven Reds

French fries are delicious, but, let's face it: they're usually incredibly unhealthy. Alexia changes all that! They are a company that produces 100% all-natural and trans-fat free oven fries. Did I mention that they taste even better than the greasy restaurant kind? It's true! The fries don't even need ketchup. Just pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes and enjoy your crispy, guilt-free fries.

Alexia has many different styles of fries, ranging from crinkle cut to julienne to oven wedges. I've tried all the different styles except for the sweet potato, simply because I've never been a fan. I also haven't been able to find their waffle fries, but I'd like to try those! Aside from the different styles, Alexia has flavors such as Olive Oil, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto or Olive Oil, Parmesan and Garlic. All the fries I've tried have been equally yummy. I vouch for any of the Alexia fries!

Nutritionally, these fries have a lot going for them considering they're potatoes. Each 3 ounce serving of fries contains around 80-150 calories depending on the cut. You get quite a few fries per serving, and there's even 2 or 3g of protein per serving. I love these fries. I think I could eat them everyday. :)

Their fries are currently on sale at my NY Whole Foods, but I'm not sure about any others. Make sure to check the frozen aisle next time you go grocery shopping to stock up and take advantage of the low price!

Price: $2.19 at Whole Foods
Calories: 80-150 per serving

Friday, August 7, 2009

Zevia: The All-Natural Diet Soda

A beverage review? I haven't done one of these since Sobe Lifewater review, but I like Zevia so much better. For starters, it's carbonated! Who doesn't like fizzy drinks, honestly? They're awesome, especially when they're calorie-free, or at least less than 5 calories per serving. Unfortunately, healthy diet drinks were almost impossible to find, until Zevia! These delicious beverages are sweetened with all natural stevia and erythritol. New studies are now showing that stevia actually helps with dental hygiene and has other herbal benefits. Zevia has no calories, carbs, or fat.

Zevia comes in six flavors: Cola, Root Beer, Orange, Twist (lemon-lime), Black Cherry, and Ginger Ale. I've tried all of the flavors except root beer, which I don't like. Cola is my favorite! It's so good, but I've never had real Coca-Cola (yes, ever!) so I can't say if it compares or not. I just know that the Zevia Cola tastes sort of gingery. Twist is good too! Very citrusy and refreshing. I'm not a big fan of Black Cherry or Orange, but everyone has a personal favorite. I recommend trying them all and seeing what you like! None of them are bad, just not as good as the others.

I give Zevia two thumbs up! I don't know about you, but I hate the aftertaste of Splenda, and who wants all those chemicals in their bodies? Luckily, Zevia doesn't have an aftertaste and is the perfect alternative to that Diet Coke sitting in your fridge. Pick these up today! They've been at every Whole Foods I've been to so far, so it shouldn't be too hard, but you can also order it off of the Zevia website.

Price: $0.99 a can at Whole Foods
Calories: 0 according to the label

Can't forget about the giveaways this post, can we? Here's hoping one of us wins!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbread

These are officially one of my new favorite snacks! This bran crispbread is super high in fiber, and actually tastes great, in my opinion. Most people will find this cracker too dry, but I love to eat it plain. If you're one of the people who finds it dry, you can always top it like in the picture to the left. They're great with fresh fruit, cream cheese, fruit spreads, jams, jellies, peanut butter, you name it. The cracker is sturdy enough to hold anything you might want to put on it, so get creative! Deli meat could go between two crackers and make a nice, crunchy sandwich. Any other ideas?

These crispbreads are really filling because bran contains so much fiber. They are 85% unprocessed wheat bran, the only bread product to contain this amount. The crispbread will keep you full by absorbing moisture and satisfying your appetite. They are the lowest in calories and net carbs than any other bread product out there! The magic calorie number? 12 per slice! And, for your carb counters, there are only 7 carbs, and 5 of those come from dietary fiber, so only 2 net carbs. Dieticians and nutritionists recommend these products to patients, but anyone and everyone can eat them.

I love these crackers because they're so low calorie and filling, but they have many other health benefits. Best of all, they actually keep me full! The bran takes a while to chew, so each 12 calorie crispbread lasts. Beat that, Wasa!

Price: $2.99 per package at Whole Foods
Calories: 12 per crispbread

Here's a few giveaways for you guys! Guess what? I was a runner up for Mom on the Run's Zevia giveaway! Yay!