Monthly Archives: August 2009

Panda All Natural Soft Raspberry Confection

IMG_0556I never knew I was a licorice lover until my friend offered my some strawberry flavored ones they sell in the tubs from Trader Joe’s.  I fell in love with them, but I rarely buy them since I don’t need them in the house taunting me all the time. I spotted the Panda All Natural brand at Whole Foods in single serving packages so I decided to treat myself to the fruity raspberry flavor. In my mind I thought I got myself a raspberry flavor licorice bar, but nowhere on the package do I see the word licorice. “Raspberry flavored bar” and “soft raspberry confection” are the words on the package. Maybe there is some technicality to the term licorice? First bite into it I knew why it is not label licorice, because it isn’t — duh! Or if this really is licorice, then I don’t like it. The texture is like a soft chew, but a little firmer. Nothing like my beloved TJ’s licorice. The flavor is suppose to be raspberry, but I don’t think it has a pure raspberry flavor. It is sort of a mix berry/prune flavor. The bar is pretty thick and solid rod and about 6 inches in length. When I bit into it, there was a noticeable color difference between the outer layer and the inside. I thought it was some sort of filling at first, but it’s not. Not particularly delicious. Each bar (32g) is 100 calories, 2 WW, fat-free, no cholesterol, 65 milligram of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Ingredients: Molasses, wheat flour, citric acid and natural flavor. Panda All Natural Licorice also has other very interesting flavors as well.  I am intrigued by the Panda Filled Licorice which is their original flavor licorice with flavored fillings such as strawberry, caramel, banana, and chocolate. I’m going to take a pass on this one, but might consider their other REAL licorice varieties.

The unique Real taste of Licorice Premium quality, soft licorice All Natural ingredients

No added colors
No added salt
No artificial flavors
99 % fat free
No preservatives
Kosher certified Suitable for vegan and vegetarian consumption

Retails: $0.69 each (32g) @ Whole Foods
My Cost: $0.09 (on sale plus coupon inside Whole Deals Booklet)
Calories: 100 each
WW: 2



Filed under Candy, Whole Foods, WW: 2

Tejava Premium Iced Tea Unsweetened

IMG_0504Tejava premium iced tea unsweetened iced tea. The flavor is strong and bold, yet very refreshing.  The caffeine in here can easily replace your morning cup of joe because this tea is strong.  Imagine the taste of 10 tea bags boiled in 8 fluid ounce of water. Naturally, with tea this strong, there is a bit, for the lack of a better term, tartness on the end. Every sip is like the tea at the bottom of the your tea cup with the tea bag left in. Tejava is a microbrewed tea that truly taste like it was freshly brewed. Good stuff. I highly recommend this for people who like iced black tea. Just chill and enjoy, sometimes I add a slice of lemon just to change the flavor up a bit. Sweet tea lovers can add sweetener of your choice. You really can’t beat the price Trader Joe’s offers these for. Only $1.19 per 1 liter and this comes in a fancy glass bottle too. Ingredients: pure java tea brewed from water and select java tea leaves. Just water and tea is my kind of iced tea. No additives of any kind. Truly a different class of ready-to-drink tea on the market.

From the bottle: Tejava is the world’s only 100% microbrewed and ready-to-drink black tea made entirely from select handpicked tea leaves from the remote island of Java. Although tea (camellia sinensis) is grown around the world, only by using these special Java tea leaves and our unique microbrewing methods can we create the peerless full-bodied character of Tejava.

We add no “tea flavors”, sugar, preservatives or anything artificial to Tejava. What you get, bottle after bottle, of consistently rich, great-tasting ice tea. Simply pure and refreshing tea. Served chilled. Cheers!

Retails: $1.19 for 1 liter @ Trader Joe’s
My Cost: $1.19
Calories: 0
WW: 0

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
Raw Honey, 200th, & Natural Kay’s


Filed under Drinks, Tea, Trader Joe's, WW: 0

Titan Peeler & Julienne Tool

IMG_0416Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The Skinny Plate is doing a non-food review. You like? Spirilizing seems to be all the rage on the blogging world right now and I was this close to plucking down the money to get one myself. My girl over at Blue Eyed Heart gave me an EXCELLENT idea. She purchased a julienne peeler to make her pseudo-spirilized veggie salads. She told me she got her 3-in-1 peeler at Bed Bath & Beyond so I went to pick one up too. Browsing through their wall of kitchen gadgets, this Titan Peeler and Julienne Tool set caught my eye. Same price, stainless steel and AS SEEN ON TV. (I’m a sucker for those kind of infomercials). I quickly had a change of heart and pick this one up instead.

I felt that both the Titan Peeler and Julienne Tool are very well made and sturdy. The blades are razor sharp so you have to be careful when using them. I love how peeler can peel both ways, downwards and upwards which makes peeling very fast. It takes off the skin and not the bulk of the flesh which is what a good peeler is suppose to do. I tested the peeler on a zucchini, a carrot, celery and Roma tomatoes. Normally I do not take the skin off tomatoes, but I wanted to see how the peeler works on more delicate fruits and veggies. Worked like a charm. Simple, but not as effortless as it seems on the commercials. The blades are razor sharp, but I still had to use a lot of effort to peel. Maybe it is because I was angling the veggies weird in order to avoid slicing my hand or because it does not dig deep into the fruit/veggie as other peelers. As for the julienne tool, I find that it works well on firm items such as carrots and zucchini. Flimsy items such as celery gave it a hard time and “stringy strands” got caught in the blade and I had to remove it with a tooth pick. No biggy. You cannot julienne your veggie the whole way because at some point it becomes too thin and too small to julienne safely with this. At that point, I just chop the rest of the veggie up and save it for a stir-fry or just throw it into my salad as well. Here is my work of art: twitpic. The bowl had 1 zucchini, 1 carrot, 4 stalks of celery, 3 Roma tomatoes, crunchy green grapes and some fresh strawberries. Not gonna lie, peeling and julienne all those veggies gave my arm a workout, but it was fun. The Titan tools have mix reviews on Amazon, it seems like people either LOVE it or HATE it. If I were to give these tools a rating, I would give them a solid 4 stars. Cost effective and works like a charm. Cannot wait to make more salads and stir-fry with these tools. I find myself eating more veggies after making this purchase. Check out these tools in action below.

Retails: $14.99 for set @ Bed Bath & Beyond
My Cost: $11.99 (w/ 20% off coupon)

Tip: Never go inside Bed Bath & Beyond without a couple 20% off coupons or $5 off $15 in hand. You can use up to 5 coupons per transaction and they always take expired coupons.

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
Food Matters, Detox 4 Women, Zevia & Chobani


Filed under Gadgets, Tools

Greens+ Superfood Original

IMG_0411Out of the blue I get this pamphlet with a small packet of Green+ Superfood powder along with a whole mess of product information and offer to sign up for their Green+ Heath Club. I was a little wary since I have never heard of this company before.  Naturally, I just cast this aside in my spam mail box to be shredded and recycled later. I’ve been reading the Actor’s Diet and Lynn has been taking this Green+ Superfood in the morning and has some nice words to say about the product. I did not realize it was the same as my sample packet until I dug it up from my spam box. I’m a “word of mouth” kind of girl so I decided to give it a try. The packet contains 1 tsp of finely grounded up green powder with specks of white and orange in it. I mixed it up with 4 ounce of cold water and it dissolved. Does not clump if you give it a good stir. The color turned VERY green; more so than Amazing Grass. The Green+ Superfood powder does not have as strong a “grassy” taste as Amazing Grass does. The “grassy” taste is more subtle and that is probably because the main ingredient in here is not wheat grass. Not particularly tasty, but it might be better in a Green Monster. I felt good after taking it, but I think it might be a placebo effect since it was so green! One thing I noticed was that my digestion for that day seemed to be better, but as far as energy, acuity, and overall wellness, I think I need to take more than 1 sample packet to determine those. This company’s line of products reminds me of Amazing Grass except Amazing Grass has cute packaging and Green+ looks more like your standard supplement packaging. Other products they offer include: Green+ Wild Berry Burst, Green+ Orange Greensicle, Green+ Energy/Protein/Whey Krisp Bars, Whey Protein Green+, Omega Chia Seeds, Fiber Green+ etc.

Citing from the pamphlet, here is what Green+ contains: Soy Lecithin, Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica, High Pectin Apple Fiber, Barley Grass Powder, Wheat Grass Powder, Japanese Chlorella, Hydroponic Soy Sprouts, Brown Rice Bran, Sprouted Barely Malt, Alfalfa Grass Powder, 6 Dairy-Free Probiotic Cultures, Royal Jelly, Acerola Berry Juice Powder, Natural Vitamin E, Licorice Root Powder & Extract, Red Beet Juice Powder, Dunaliella Salina, Nova Scotia Dulse, Milk Thistle Seed, Echinacea Root, Siberian Eleuthero, Astragalus Root, Ginkgo Biloba, Japanese Green tea, Full Spectrum Grape Extract, and Swedish Bilberry (all in various amounts). Check out their story here. They started up in 1989. Wow, it took me 20 years to find out about you.

Retails: $39.95 per 9.4 oz @ Greens+ Online
My Cost: Free (mini sample)
Calories: 35
WW: 0

P.S: Check out these awesome giveaways:
DKB, Going Away, Metromint,
Zappos & Vitamix


Filed under Drinks, WW: 0

Peeled Snacks Fruit Picks

IMG_0413Peeled Snacks is a company that specialized in nuts and fruit snacks. I got a chance to try out an array of their fruit picks. No added sugar which is an important factor when I look for my fruit snacks. Fruits already have a lot of natural sugars in them. The packaging is bright and vibrant with cute as a button names. No added sugar, fat, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors or colors; wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. They have the mixed fruit and nuts pouches and also the “unmixed” versions: fruit picks and nut picks. The fruit snacks still retains a bit of moisture so these dried fruits are definitely not dried out. You might get the case of the “sticky fingers” after eating these.

Go-Mango-Man-Go (organic): Really delicious mango stripes. Not overly sweet. I like how the piece were kind of small so I felt like I had more to eat. I snacked away because the entire bag is only 120 calories, 2 WW, zero fat, no sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar and 2 gram of protein. Something I love to see, ingredients, just organic mango. The texture is a bit dry and, but it still retained the fresh mango flavor.

Banana-a-peel (organic): As I kid I use to LOVE those banana chips. As I grew older and wiser I kicked banana chips to the curb and opted for real bananas. Bananas are really convenient and can be taken anywhere just like the dried banana in a package. I consider this flavor to be VERY luxurious to shell out that much money for. Bananas are only $0.19 cents each at Trader Joe’s. Aside from the price, these are pretty good. I can see myself making Banana Bread Larabars with these. No need to “dehydrate” bananas on my own. Soft and sweet, but I prefer real bananas over pouched ones. One bag (40g) is 150 calories, 3 WW, 0.5 grams of fat, no sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 25 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.

Apricot-a-lot (organic): The color is dark and not your usual bright orange dried apricots. Brown blotches of orange, not pretty, but still yummy. Taste fresh and the size is like an inflated half dollar coin.  One bag (41 grams) 110 calories, 2 WW, no fat, no sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Apple-2-core (organic): The texture is mushy and squishy so I am not a fan. Good apple flavor. For apples, I think I like apple chips and real apples. I’ll turn these into homemade “apple pie” larabars. One bag (35g) is 110 serving, 2 WW, no fat, no sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and <1 gram of protein.

Cherry-Go-Round: Very plump and juicy. Reminds me of plump raisins, but in cherry flavor. One bag is 130 calories, 2 WW, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. This is the only fruit variety to got that is not organic.

Pine-4-Pineapple (organic): My favorite flavor because I rarely see just dried pineapples. Usually I see candied pineapples in the bulk bins. Very tropical feeling. Sweet, chewy and soft. One bag (42grams) is 140 calories, 3 WW, no fat, nosodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 32 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.

In general, I treat dried fruits like candy. After all, fruits are nature’s candy right? Especially in dried form, when all the water is gone I don’t feel comfortable eating lots of it at one sitting. Eating the real thing on-the-other-hand is a different story.  I like how peeled snacks are individually packaged so the fruits stays moist and yummy and portion control is a no brainier when each package is only 1 serving. I can keep these anywhere and eat them anytime. I think these are particularity good for packing lunches for the young ones. Fruits and Nuts make the perfect snack option. Check out these amazing combination: Figslated, Bing Bing Chery, Shock-olate, and Plu-What? Now those combination have 2 serving in each pouch and will keep you satisfied with both fruits and nuts. The down side of Peeled snacks is the price. The individual portion size is convenient, but you will be paying a premium price for them. Their spectacular flavors and impressive one item ingredient list is what keeps satisfied customers coming back for more.

Take their survey online to get a $10 gift card. Use it towards some of their summer deals going on and you have yourself an amazing deal. Amazon is also having steep discounts on Peeled Snacks too. Discount code: PEELED22. Combine with the subscribe & save deal, you are looking at a 40% discount. Offer ends August 30, 2009. And I think shipping is only $0.99 standard shipping on all grocery items on Amazon right now. As always, anything over $25 get you free standard shipping on Amazon.

Retails: Sampler about $2.25 each pouch @ Peeled Snack
My Cost: Free
Calories: 110 to 150 per serving (fruit picks)
WW: 2-3


Filed under Dried Fruit, Organic, Snacks, WW: 2, WW: 3

La Croix Grapefruit Sparkling Water

IMG_0334La Croix offers seven refreshing sparkling water flavors for your sodium- free and zero calories enjoyment: pure sparkling water, berry, cran-raspberry, lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. When I say zero calories, I do not mean artificially sweetened zero calorie drinks, I REALLY mean zero calories. La Croix is your basic flavored sparkling water that comes in more flavors than just your standard lemon and lime. Simple ingredients of water, carbon and natural flavor (nothing artificial). No sugar is exactly what I want in my water. I’ve never seen grapefruit flavor sparkling water in any other brands so I gave this particular flavor a whirl.  The water is clear and you can see bubbles inside from the carbon. Looks an awful lot like sprite. The grapefruit flavor is not overwhelming. You are essentially drinking flavored carbon water.  This flavor is the most unique I’ve had in my sparkling water days. Unsweetened flavored water maybe the stepping stone to  those who are addicted to soda or diet soda to kick the habit. Sparkling water offers the same carbonation, minus all the sugar and artificial ingredients, with a hint of flavor that is the ultimate refreshment on a hot summer day.  The fact that the cans resemble soda cans should help with the mental aspect of things too. Unsuspecting people usually think I am drinking a “no name brand” soda instead of being all healthy and drinking water all the time when I have a can of La Croix in my hand. The can is 12 fl ounce which is easy to finish before it loses its carbonation. The fizziness of the water lasts a pretty decent amount of time after you open it. Nutritional information is zero across the board in case you were wondering. In some places, Costco offers a variety pack of 24 for around $6.99 which is the best price I’ve seen for these. That must be a regional thing because my Costco only carries Perrier, S. Pellegrino, and Crystal Geyser sparkling waters.

Retails: $3.39 per 8 pk @ Target
My Cost: $3.00 (on sale)
Calories: 0
WW: 0


Filed under Drinks, Water, WW: 0

Sabra Hummus Roasted Red Pepper

IMG_0307Sabra hummus always has the prettiest presentation. The center is garnished with lots of red peppers and the color of the hummus is a creamy red color. The texture is consistent with the other Sabra hummus I’ve tried in the past — rich, smooth and really creamy. I’ve had hummus where the texture is grainy. Yuck! The red pepper flavor along with other spices complemented each other well. The red pepper flavor is not overwhelming, but I wish it could be a little stronger.  Because of the nice and creamy texture, I like it on my Alternative Pita Bread and inside my “crack wraps.” Hummus goes well with practically everything. Fresh veggies and Ak Maks are my other favorite hummus dippers. Costco has the best deals for Sabra hummus. You get a ginormous tub for only $5.99. I usually freeze half of the tub in little single serving sizes and leave the other half of the tub in the fridge. That gives me plenty of time to enjoy my hummus without feeling rushed to finish it before the expiration date.

Sabra has so many flavors I want to try. Doesn’t these names sound appealing? Cranberry & Fig, Sun-dried Tomato, Caramelized Onion, Chipotle, and Peppradew. Those are the new flavors Sabra just came out with. I haven’t even gotten a chance to try out all the original flavors yet and now you are telling me you have NEW flavors. Need to catch up. Would I buy the Roasted Red Pepper flavor again? Probably not since there are so many other Sabra flavors to try and I like the Roasted Garlic Flavor more. Of course, there are other lower in calories hummus out there on the market, but I like the smooth and creamy texture of Sabra so much that I don’t mind the extra calories.

One serving of 2 tbsp is 70 calories, 2 WW, 6 grams of fat (1 gram saturated), zero cholesterol, 120 milligram of sodium, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.

Retails: $4.49 per 10 ounce tub @ Pavilions
My Cost: $2.99 (on sale)
Calories: 70 per 2 tbsp
WW: 2

P.S: Check out this awesome giveaway:
Zebra Print Bags & Good Health


Filed under Hummus, Uncategorized, WW: 2