Category Archives: Product Reviews

Frozen Pomegranate Seeds

Today’s post is a link to a guest post I wrote for the fabulous dietitian Robyn Webb. She was recently visiting New Zealand and Australia (so jealous!) and asked many of her fellow dietitians to guest post on her Fabulous Food Finds blog. I was thrilled and honored when she added me to the list! And just in time for the end of National Nutrition Month with the theme “Eat Right with Color,” I had a fabulous food find: Frozen Pomegranate Seeds from Trader Joe’s.  These seeds are full of nutrients and antioxidants thanks to their deep red color.

Check out the post and tell me: Do you like pomegranate seeds? If so, how do you like to eat them?

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Frozen Oatmeal

As I’ve mentioned before, I really like oatmeal, especially in the cold months.  And it’s a breakfast that I recommend to clients all the time. It sticks to the ribs and is full of fiber, which means you won’t be hungry again for at least a few hours. Recently I was visiting family in Atlanta, and my sister-in-law had frozen oatmeal from Trader Joe’s. I had heard about it before, but never tried it, so when I got home I decided to give it a whirl.

trader joe's frozen oatmeal frozen oatmeal Trader Joe's

Overall, I really like the frozen oatmeal, although I do have a few critiques.

Pro:

  • Made with steel cut oats.
  • Lower in sugar than flavored instant oatmeals, even though made with brown sugar and maple syrup.
  • Quick and easy to make – heats up in the microwave in 3-4 minutes.
  • Delicious!

Cons:

  • Only comes in Brown Sugar & Maple Syrup flavor. Wish they made it plain.
  • Made with water. When I make oatmeal at home, I make it with one cup of nonfat milk – equivalent of a calcium serving.

Since the oatmeal already had brown sugar and maple syrup in it, I didn’t need to add any sweetening agent, and with only 6 grams of added sugar it wasn’t too sweet (most sweetened oatmeals have >12 g added sugar). I topped my oatmeal with pomegranate seeds:

trader joe's oatmeal

One pouch of the oatmeal (w/o fruit) contains 150 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar, 5 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium.

What’s your favorite oatmeal?

Note: I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own.

Have You Heard of Einkorn?

One of the biggest culinary trends for 2011 is the emergence of ancient grains, both on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus.  Some ancient grains you may already be familiar with include quinoa, amaranth, and spelt.  But have you heard of einkorn? I hadn’t until I received an email from the nice folks at Jovial Foods. They wrote to tell me about their new line of whole grain pastas made from einkorn and offered to send me some samples. I never turn down samples, especially when it’s for something that’s supposed to be nutritioulicious! Shortly after receiving the samples, I made their “first ever einkorn pasta” and absolutely loved it! (By the way, my husband liked it too, and he’s normally not a fan of whole wheat pasta).

ancient grain einkorn pasta

Here’s the lowdown on einkorn and Jovial’s einkorn pasta:

  • Einkorn was first domesticated from the wild over 12,000 years ago during the Neolithic Revolution. Today, einkorn can still be found in the wild in Turkey and it’s very rarely cultivated in some parts of Europe.
  • Einkorn is the most nutritious form of wheat because it has never been hybridized – meaning it hasn’t been combined with other species of wheat like spelt and durum wheat have.
  • Einkorn pasta (and all forms of einkorn) is high in thiamin, a good source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, and other B vitamins, and rich in antioxidants, especially lutein.
  • The ingredients in Jovial’s First Ever Einkorn Pasta are organic whole grain eikorn and water. As you can see, the pasta is not enriched with other vitamins and minerals as are so many other whole grain pastas.

I would highly recommend trying einkorn pasta, but one thing to note is the cooking time may be longer than it says on the package. Keep an eye on it when you’re cooking so it’s at just the right texture for your palate!

Have you tried einkorn?

*I was not paid to promote Jovial’s Einkorn pasta.

Best Potato Chip I Ever Had

A few weeks ago, I was invited to tour the Frito Lay plant in Killingly, CT (full discolsure: I am a media spokesperson for Frito Lay). It was the first time I had ever seen how chips were made, and it was quite an experience. If you’ve ever looked at the back of the bag of Lay’s Classic Potato Chips or Tostitos Corn Chips you would see that there are only 3 simple ingredients in these chips: Potatoes or corn, vegetable oil (corn, sunflower, canola, or soybean oil), and salt. Whether you believe this or not, I can tell you with 100% certainty that is all there is — there are no other ingredients in these chips, just these 3 natural ones.

Here are some other interesting facts I learned and saw with my own eyes:

  • The potatoes come from local farms and are used within 24 hours.
  • There are 3 registered dietitians on staff and they work with chefs in the culinary center to help make healthier products using natural ingredients.
  • A 10 ounce bag of Lay’s Original Potato Chips is made using 4.5 medium potatoes, 7 teaspoons oil, and 0.7 teaspoon salt.
  • In 2003, Frito Lay was the first major food company to remove trans fats from their snacks.

Here are some cool pictures from the tour:

Frito Lay potato chip tour

Unloading potatoes at the plant

Frito Lay potato chips

Potato chips hot off the press - the best I've ever had!

Frito Lay corn chips

The ingredients used to make corn chips; the roller is used to cut out corn chips in the right size and shape

Frito Lay has worked hard (and continues) to make healthier snack products, and they want consumers and health professionals to be educated about their products. They have created many websites for this purpose, including:

Check them out — maybe you’ll learn something new about snack foods!

Pizza to Go 2

The other day I told you about frozen pizzas and reviewed Kashi’s Thin Crust Roasted Vegetable Pizza. Since I really liked that one, I decided to try another variety that Kashi makes: Kashi Original Crust Sicilian Veggie.

IMG_1021Eggplant, curly kale, fire roasted red peppers, and caramelized onions, with a balsamic-infused white bean tomato sauce on a stone-fired crust made with Kashi 7 Whole Grains & Sesame with flax seed

Nutrition Facts (serving size: 1/3 pizza): 220 calories, 5 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 530 mg sodium, 37 g total carbohydrate, 5 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar, 11 g protein

I specifically chose this pizza since it is cheeseless and I often get asked for pizza recommendations from friends and clients who don’t eat cheese. Andy and I did not like this pizza as much as the thin crust variety. The pizza was smaller, the crust thicker and not as crisp, and all around it left something to be desired. We definitely missed the cheese on this one, so if you do like cheese add your own (or try the other options)!

For vegetarians and vegans who don’t eat cheese this pizza does still have a good amount of protein, due to the white bean sauce, but it definitely needs to be accompanied by something. I recommend a salad with beans or tofu for more protien and more veggies to boost fiber.

Pizza to Go

Yesterday you learned how to have a healthy slice of pizza. But what about all those options in the freezer aisle? Surely fresh is best, but it’s quicker and cheaper to make a pie at home.  Not to mention that you’ll actually know what you’re getting by reading the Nutrition Facts. As you already found out, I’m not usually a proponent of frozen meals, but sometimes they’re ok — especially when it comes to Kashi’s* varieties.

Kashi pizzas are made on their 7 Whole Grain crust and topped with delicious vegetables, providing you with lots of fiber to keep you full. In the past few weeks Andy and I tried two different pizzas. Here’s what we thought of the first one (stay tuned for Thursday’s review of the second):

Kashi Thin Crust Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Broccoli, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, onions and garlic, mozzarella and provolone cheeses with a tomato pesto sauce on a wood-fired, thin crust made with Kashi 7 Whole Grains & Sesame and flax seed

IMG_0980 Nutrition Facts (serving size: 1/3 pizza): 250 calories, 9 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 630 mg sodium, 28 g total carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 14 g protein, 200 mg calcium

As you can see, the pizza is smaller than a regular pie, but it is still enough to share. We each had about half of the pie with a salad, which was definitely filling (although a little less so for Andy!).

IMG_0983

We both really enjoyed the flavors and thought the crust was great – very crispy and flavorful. I would definitely recommend this as a substitute for ordering in, especially since it’s high in fiber, protein, and is a good source of calcium too!

Compared to other frozen pizzas, this pizza is definitely more nutritious. For example, Amy’s Pizza with Organic Spinach & Tomatoes has 300 calories, 12 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 38 g total carbs, 2 g dietary fiber, 12 g protein per 1/3 of the pizza. While not a huge difference, why get more calories and fat and less fiber and protein when you can get something better?!

Have you tried the Kashi pizzas yet? Check out my review of the Kashi Sicilian Pizza on Thursday. And don’t forget tomorrow is Wednesday Wonders, so send me your questions!

*I am not a spokesperson, nor do I consult or work for Kashi. I just love their products!

Sandwich Thins

Hi Nutritioulicious readers! It’s been a few hectic days here, so I apologize for the lack of posts, but I’m back and I have a new product to share with you all. As I think you know, I love trying new foods, and that includes those that pop up in the supermarket. Here’s one you’ll love: Arnold Sandwich Thins.

IMG_1004

These Thins come in four different varieties: 100% whole wheat (shown here), multi-grain, whole grain white, and seedless rye. So far I have only tried the 100% Whole Wheat Thins and they are so flavorful and delicious — even Andy likes them! Each bun-like Thin, which includes a top and a bottom, is only 100 calories and 1 gram of fat, and has a whopping 5 grams of fiber, which will keep you full. (Most other whole wheat breads have 130-160 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 2-4 grams of fiber per 2 slices.) Here are the Nutrition Facts and Ingredients for the 100% Whole Wheat Thins (sorry it’s so small):

IMG_1005

As you can see above, the Thins are made with whole grains and no high-fructose corn syrup, an ingredient you’ll find in some other whole grain breads.

The Thins are great fresh out of the bag or toasted, with anything from peanut butter to a turkey sandwich to a burger on top. If you haven’t already found them, get to the store and check them out (and no, I do not work for them!).

Have you tried the Arnold Sandwich Thins? What’s your favorite way to eat them?