Monthly Archives: June 2009

Alternate Baking Company

AlternateBakingCompanyThe Alternate Baking Company offers giant delicious soft-baked vegan cookies. No dairy, no eggs, no honey, zip cholesterol,  trans fat free, no refined sugar and ziltch preservative is the standard for these glorious cookies. These are huge (about 5 inches in diameter) and the temptation is there to just scarf down the entire cookie. One serving is 1/2 a cookie so you have to be careful when you are around these. Best to share with a friend right off the bat, because once you start, it is really hard to stop. The cardboard that cookie lays on is really nice. I slide the entire cookie out, and cut it into 8 pieces like you would do with a pizza and slowly enjoy 1 piece at at time. Each “slice” comes out to be about 60 calories. Soft and chewy, like it was freshly baked. It you nuke it for a bit they taste even more like it was fresh out of the oven.

Chocolate Chip Colossal: The big size and soft and chewiness of it reminds me of BJ’s pizzokie cookie. I spooned a few spoons of ice cream and put 2 slices of warmed cookie (1/2 a serving) on the bottom and it was my version of the infamous pizzokie. Mmmm…… very delicious. Not that these are low calories or anything, but I would not have been able to tell that these are vegan. Taste very good. One serving is 1/2 a cookie, 240 calories, 5 WW, 7 grams of fat (2.5 grams saturated), zero cholesterol, 190 milligram of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. My biggest dislike of these cookies is that they are really high in the sugar department.

Outrageous Oatmeal Raisin Cookie w/ Walnuts: Big and delicious with nice plump raisins throughout, but the walnuts were less detectable. Again, very sweet, it still had great oatmeal raisin cookie taste and texture. Half the cookie is 240 calories, 5 WW, 9 grams of fat (2 grams saturated), zero cholesterol, 85 milligram of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

Explosive Espresso Chip: Good espresso flavor throughout. The texture is consistent with the other cookies, soft and chewy. Half the cookie is 240 calories, 5 WW, 7 grams of fat (2.5 saturated), zero cholesterol, 180 milligram of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.

Although the cookies are good, in general, they are very sweet. Enjoying in moderation is good. I think these treats are good for people who are trying to convert from being a vegetarian to a vegan or anyone who enjoys good tasting cookies.  Tone the sugar level down a few notches and I will be all over these.

Retails: $2.50 per cookie @ Alternate Baking Company
My Cost: Free
Calories: 240 per 1/2 cookie (60g)
WW: 5

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Tazo Organic Ice Red Tea & Mango Black Tea

tazoteaAs I said in the Tazo Matcha Concentrate post, I’ve never had luck with Tazo teas so naturally you know that I’ve tried more than just one product to come up with that conclusion. Whole Foods was having a tea sale a couple weeks ago and the Tazo teas were marked down to $1.00 each. Having never tried their bottles teas before, I picked up two bottles. Organic Ice Red Herbal Infusion and the Mango Black tea. If I had read the label more clearly, I would not have picked up the Organic Iced Red Herbal Infusion. I thought it was Organic Iced Red Tea. The herbal infusion is made up with red tea, licorice root (a major no-no), and cinnamon. The taste of the licorice root was icky icky and I do not like the herbal taste at all. Tasted like Chinese medicine. The tea itself is lightly sweeten, but I have learned my lesson. I much prefer unsweetened or regularly sweeten teas. The “in-the-middle” lightly sweeten does not appeal to me when it comes to tea.  Here is a more in depth look at the ingredients: an infusion of (water, rooibos, blackberry leaves, chicory root, black pepper, peppermint, spearmint), cane sugar and citric acid. Each bottle has 2 servings of 8 fl oz for 35 calories, 1 WW, zero fat, zero sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of sugar, and no protein. The Mango Black tea is your regular sweet tea that is nice to enjoy on a hot summer day. Much better tasting that the organic iced red tea. I like the complex tropical flavors. Apple juice and pineapple juice mixed well with the mango flavor. I like it iced cold with tons of ice which dilutes it a little which makes it taste lighter and more refreshing. One serving of 8 fl oz is 90 calories, 2 WW, zero fat, 10 milligram of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and no protein. Notice the big difference in the calories and sugar department between the lightly sweeten and the normal tea? Yeah, the calories in these teas are basically from sugar. Ingredients: an infusion of (water and blended black teas), cane sugar, concentrated apple juice, natural passionfruit and mango flavors, concentrated pineapple and mango juices, ginger juice and citric acid.

Retails: $1.69 (16 fl oz) @ Whole Foods
My Cost: $1.00 on sale
Calories: 35 & 90 per 8 fl oz
WW: 1 & 2

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Pinkberry, Jamaba Juice, Seattle’s Best Coffee & Ben & Jerry’s

pinkberryFrebbies. Who doesn’t like them. In honor of the new arrival of the summer flavors, coconut and passionfruit, our beloved Pinkberry is giving away free small cups of them today, Friday June 26, 2009 between 5 PM to 9 PM. Enjoy a nice cool summer treat. No coupons necessary, but here is the link to the deal and the friendly store locator.

If froyo is not your thing, then gather up a friend or two and hit up Jamba Juice for their summer BOGO offer on smoothies. Link to the coupon here. Offer expires July 12, 2009 so you have plenty of time.

Not feeling froyo either? Boy are you hard to please. Then print this coupon and take it to your nearest Borders to get a nice 12 oz beverage for free. Link to coupon here. Coupon expires July 2, 2009.

For those of you who REALLY like to indulge. Go to Ben & Jerry’s on Mondays for a BOGO sundae offer. Here is the link to the offer and their store locator. Must mention deal to get discount. Offer ends August 31, 2009.

A little something for everyone. Now go out and enjoy the lovely summer day outside.

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Mountain High Yoghurt

mountainhighyogurtI know Greek yogurt is just regular yogurt with most of the liquid strain out of it, but I haven’t been adventurous enough to try it myself. My addiction to Greek yogurt has been getting out of hand lately, especially now that it is summer and hot breakfast is usually not very appealing during this time of the year. I cannot get over the fact of how simple it is to strain your own yogurt and create a delicious, creamy Greek yogurt out of regular plain yogurt. I simply strapped a coffee filter with a rubber band over an empty 32 oz yogurt container and then dumped about 1 cup of this Mountain High Fat Free Plain yogurt on top, close the lid, and left it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I have myself a bowl of thick and creamy fat free Greek yogurt!! It tasted PHENOMENAL and the thickness is comparable to my all time favorite FAGE. I haven’t had FAGE in a long time, so I will have to buy a cup to compare side by side, but my home-strained yogurt is definitely thicker and creamier than Chobani, Oikos and TJ Greek yogurt. I am super excited!! I am eating my bowl of heaven right now and it is DELICIOUS. It’s so simple it makes me cringe at how much I’ve paid in the past for someone else to do it for me. My little contraption can only make about 1 cup at a time, but I will invest in a more sophisticated contraption to start straining yogurt 1 bucket at a time. Muhahaha. This Mountain High Fat Free Plain yogurt works really well for my purpose. One cup is 120 calories, 2 WW, zero fat, 5 milligram of cholesterol, 180 milligram of sodium,  570 milligram of potassium, 18 gram of carbohydrates, no fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.  I wonder if I start straining Stonyfield Organic Fat Free Plain yogurt, will it turn into something like Oikos? One can only hope. No longer a slave to the prices of store bought Greek yogurt. Amen to that.

Retails: $3.29 for 32 oz @ Vons
My Cost: $2.99 on sale
Calories: 120 per cup
WW: 2

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Tazo Matcha Green Tea Latte Concentrate

623307Although Tazo tea is a pretty popular brand, I’ve never had much luck with their products. I did not purchase this product, but my brother, who has the biggest sweet tooth in the world, buys this often and makes his own matcha latte at home. He offered me some so I thought I should try it out just for the sake of blogging. The drink calls for equal parts concentrate mixed with equal parts milk. You can serve it hot or cold. Knowing that drinks like these are often way too sweet for me, I opted to use unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze to dilute the sugar. Nope, still too sweet. 1/2 and 1/2 does not work so I tried 1/4 concentrate, 3/4 Almond Breeze. Better, but I’m still not a fan. Being an avid sencha and matcha green tea drinker, I find that this Tazo Matcha Latte does not taste anything like green tea at all.  This particular blend is suppose to have Japanese matcha green tea and melon flavor in it, but all I could taste was almond milk and sugar. I am not a fan, but if you like the Matcha Green tea lattes they serve at Starbucks, you will probably like this product. The concentrate itself is a pretty dark green color, but once mixed with milk, it turns into this light green color similar to the green color on the box.  One serving (120 ml) is 60 calories, zero fat, zero cholesterol, 5 milligram of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber, 15 grams of sugar and no protein.

Retails: about $5.00 per 32 oz carton
My Cost: Free
Calories: 60 per 4 oz (concentrate only)
WW: 1

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Trader Joe’s Pineapple Salsa

05-27-09_1435Being the salsa fanatic that I am, I always keep my eye out for new and interesting salsas to try. Last time I was at Trader Joe’s, I picked up this Pineapple Salsa because I thought it would be the perfect transition into summer. Pretty chunky, just the way I like my salsa, no heat at all, and a very prominent pineapple juice taste. I like to top my tropical salads with some of this TJ pineapple salsa, but do not like to use this as a dip for my chips. One serving of 2 tablespoon is 10 calories, 0 WW, no fat, 110 milligram of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber, 2 grams of sugar and no protein.  Salsa is a really great way to add flavor without adding tons of calories to your food. At first I did not like it that much, but it grew on me and I really like it on my salads and on my wraps.

Retails: $1.99
My Cost: $1.99
Calories: 10 per 2 tbsp
WW: 0

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GG Bran Scandinavian Crispbread & Sprinkles

ggfiberOnly 12 calories per cracker that is the size of your palm? You better believe it. GG Scandinavian Crispbread is just that. Twelve calories, 85% bran, 5 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of net carbohydrates, and low on the glycemic index. These are a very sturdy cracker which can take on anything you up on it without complaint. No sugar, no flavorings, just unprocessed wheat bran, rye  flour, salt and then baked (I assume they put water in the mix too). If you come in with the right expectations, you won’t be disappointed. Anti-health food eaters would say these resemble and even taste like cardboard, I say that these are fiberful crackers that let’s you use your own imagination to dress it up anyway you like. These crackers are about 4″ by 3″ which has a big enough surface for you to put some spread and some sliced tomatoes on it. The texture is crispy and hard, but does not shatter to piece when you bite into it. For those that have a dehydrator at home, I think you can make something similar. Great way to add fiber into your system. One cracker is 12 calories, 0 WW, zero fat, zero cholesterol, 30 milligram of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrates, no sugar, 5 grams of fiber, and 1 grams of protein.

GG is the high Fiber Champion. Period. If you eat just 4 slices of GG each day, you will receive a whopping 80% of recommended intake of dietary fiber. Take a look at what else you would need to eat to get so much fiber:

3 medium sized yams (6 oz)
5 cups of raw, uncooked broccoli
7 bananas (8” each)
4 cups of bran flakes

The Sprinkles is just the same as the crispbread, just crushed to make it easy to sprinkle some on you salads, soups, yogurts, etc. Very convenient and easy to add to just about anything. One serving is 3 tablespoon (30 servings per tub), 12 calories, o WW, no fat, no cholesterol, 30 milligram of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrates, no sugar, 5 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. My verdict: not particularly tasty which is expected, but filling and makes a perfect base for a more dressed up meal. Great appetite suppressor. I felt like I just ate a whole meal just eating one cracker with just a smear of laughing cow, but this was 1.50 to 2 hours after eating a light lunch.

Retails: Crackers $2.17 per pk & $6.63 per tub online
My Cost: Free
Calories: 12 per cracker & 12 per scoop
WW: 0

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