Tag Archives: low calorie

Susta Natural Sweetener

Whooooooo likes sugar? ( I do ! I do!)

But, whooooo likes all the calories sugar contains and how ADDICTIVE it is, making us crave MORE?

That’s what I thought. 🙂

So where to turn? Should I forget sugar all together? As in no more brownies? or cupcakes? No. Moderation is key. Everyone needs a lil suggah 🙂

Or, Should  I try artificial sweeteners? I would try to limit those too…

Luckily for you, I found a pretty good answer. Aside from Stevia all natural sweetener, I found a product that is sweet, low in calories, and actually has some health benefits. NXT Nutritionals manufactures a sweetener called Susta, and claims it is “A Healthy Alternative to Table Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners”.

This particular sweetener combines soluble fiber (prebiotics) and probiotics(like the ones found in yogurt), has added essential nutrients and vitamins, is all natural, and has a low Glycemic Index (so no harsh blood sugar spikes!). Each packet is also only 5 calories per serving.

Each packet provides an ample amount of a fine, white powder, not really granulated per se, but more refined. It has a nice, sweet flavor, very similar to sucrose or table sugar. It also doesn’t have a nasty aftertaste like Splenda, Aspartame or even Stevia can have some times (sorry, Stevia- I still love you!). I found it works best in foods as a sweetener, and not liquids. I added a packet to oatmeal, and it really pumped up the flavor. I also sprinkled it on banana slices (which wasn’t “ripe” enough, or sweet enough, for my liking), and it added a nice, mellow sweetness. Nothing too overpowering- but just right. Which is why the flavor was a bit lost when I added it to my tea- it was too mellow and dissolved quickly- so I will stick to sweetning foods with these packets.

Overall, I like these packets. I give them 4 stars, because it really is a healthier alternative to table sugar, and has the added benefit of probiotics, fiber, and added nutrients. Good job, NXT Nutritionals!

1 packet is 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, and 0 grams of protein. You also get 10% Vitamin C, 5% of Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Biotin, and 3% of your daily value of Niacin, Selenium and Chromium. How’s that for sweeeet! 😉

Inulin, Fructose, Natural Flavors, Probiotic (Bacillus Coagulans), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Cinnamon Extract, Goji Berry Extract, Bitter Melon Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Vitamin B6, Niacinamide, Biotic, Folic Acid, Chromium, Selenium, Vitamin B12.

 

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Filed under 4 Star, Toppings

Penny’s Low Fat Desserts- Muffin Tops

penny

Are you a fan of Vitalicious’s Vitamuffins? Well, then you should DEFINITELY check out Penny’s Low Fat Desserts! Penny’s makes all natural, nutritious desserts, such as muffins, cookies and what I got to try, the muffin tops! The muffin tops come in Orange-Cranberry, Almond Poppy seed, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Carrot Raisin and Apple Cinnamon flavor. All are about 100-120 calories, generously sized (2 oz) and have 10% calcium needs per serving. There also individually wrapped, so portion control is easy 🙂

So how did these muffin tops taste? Well…

Carrot Raisin Top- my first bite, my brain said “Oh. My. God. THIS IS DELICIOUS!” The raisins were plump and perfect. The muffin was chewy and soft. You could actually see the pieces of carrots! I tasted a nice hint of nutmeg, and overall it had a sweet carrot flavor, like carrot cake. It was excellent. 5 stars 🙂 🙂

Almond Poppy Seed Top- Also DELICIOUS! It had a nice, light, lemony flavor and i really liked the teensy poppy seeds that added a bit of a crunch. It was soft, and moist and tasted like angel food cake to me. Went perfect with my Brown Cow Strawberry greek yogurt. I actually let a little piece sit in the yogurt for a few minutes and it got really soft and yummy! 5 stars for this one too!!

Apple Cinnamon Top– this one was also amazing! It tasted like Quaker Apple Cinnamon oatmeal to me! It was very moist, and mildly sweet. The cinnamon added a nice touch. I loved the apple chunks/pieces in it. 4 stars!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Top- This one was the only one i wasn’t crazy about. And it’s chocolate too! Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but not as chocolatey as i expected. I think i would have liked it better if it wasn’t double chocolate, but perhaps just a chocolate chip muffin. But, it was soft, and mildly sweet. I did like the gooey chocolate chips,  especially after warming in the microwave 🙂 It had a mellow chocolate flavor, and it paired well with a glass of milk. I think it might taste good with a smearing of peanut butter on it. 3 stars

Overall, these kick butt! I’m giving them 4 stars as a whole. The almond poppy seed and carrot raisin are 2 that I like a LOT !  I paired these with a yogurt for breakfast and was satisfied because it was not only delicious, but filling. I would love Penny to make a banana flavored top or something with peanut butter.

Carrot Raisin- 1 top is 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 27 carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.
Almond Poppy Seed-1 top is 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, 25 carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.
Apple Cinnamon-1 top is 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 25 carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip-1 top is 100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 27 carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein.

Carrot Raisin-water, wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), raisins, sugar, carrots, dried plums, erythritol, milk, chicory root, cellulose, oats, natural flavors, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), rice syrup solids, cinnamon, salt, palm oil, nutmeg, soy lecithin, cloves, allspice, xanthan gum, sodium alginate, guar gum. Contains wheat, milk and soy.
Almond Poppy Seed-water, wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, dried plums, cellulose, milk, whole wheat flour, chicory root, natural flavors, poppy seeds, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), rice syrup solids, erythritol, salt, palm oil, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, sodium alginate, guar gum.
Apple Cinnamon-water, wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), dried apples, sugar, dried plums, milk, chicory root, cellulose, erythritol, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), rice syrup solids, natural flavors, cinnamon, palm oil, salt, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, sodium alginate, guar gum.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip-water, whole wheat flour, erythritol, wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), dried plums, chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, dextrose, soy lecithin), milk, chicory root, cocoa (processed with alkali), sugar, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), cellulose, natural flavors, rice syrup solids, palm oil, salt, soy lecithin, cinnamon, xanthan gum, sodium alginate, guar gum.

Check out Penny’s website here and order some yourself. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter! Get great tips, updates and more sent to your e-mail!!! Let’s go Penny! 🙂

 

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Filed under 4 Star, Penny's Low Fat Desserts, snacks

Musselman’s Healthy Picks Applesauce

Healthy Picks Group Image

Yum. I love applesauce. Growing up, i would have it pretty much with everything. Chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese, as a side with my mashed potatoes. I just love applesauce! Which is why i was super excited to try Musselman’s Healthy Picks Applesauce in cool flavors like Key Lime Cupuacu, Raspberry Acai, and Blueberry Pomegranate. Their line is “designed specifically for people with busy, active lifestyles”, which is just PERFECT for me. Musselman makes this line with no artificial colors or flavors, no added sugar, enriched with calcium and vitamin C, and is a good source of fiber per cup.

I decided to have these with a granola bar pre workout. Apples supposedly wake you up better than a cup of coffee (I work out in the mornings), and according to Musselman’s pamphlet i was provided with, “Apples contain complex carbohydrates that give you energy faster than eating something high in sugar”. Energy & Antioxidants-nice!

So how were they?
Berry Pomegranate- This one had a nice blueberry flavor too it. It wasn’t too sweet, and complimented my granola bar nicely. It had a slightly bitter aftertaste to it, probably due to the pomegranate.
Raspberry Acai- this one was sweeter than the pomegranate flavor. It had a hint of a lemony taste to it, and was tartish so to speak. It wasn’t bitter, but had a tart flavor to it. In my opinion it had more of a cherry flavor than raspberry, but i liked this one.
Key Lime Cupuacu-  uh.. YUM! This one was the BEST! It also was slightly tart, and sweeter than both of the other varieties. It had a nice blend of flavors that tasted like lime, lemon and granny smith apples all mixed together. This one was my favorite of the three.
All three of the applesauces had a “heftier” feel and texture than your typical applesauce. Not saying it was a chunky variety per se, but it had a bit more of a bite and wasn’t as smooth as other applesauce I have had before. They were also suprisingly filling (probably due to the 3 grams of fiber per cup).

Musselman’s also promotes a few healthy ideas and tips with their applesauces as well. You can pop one of these in the freezer until slushy for a frozen treat (which I tried- it was yummy and low- calorie!)
You can also use applesauce to replace the fat in some recipes to lower the overall fat and calorie content. I bet if i used the Key Lime Cupuacu to replace the oil in some recipes it would have people guessing what I used to give the recipe that “kick” , but i’ll never tell! 🙂

One cup is 70 calories, 0 grams of fat,  17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of protein. You also get 25% vitamin C and 10% calcium.

Berry Pomegranate-apples, water, dextrin (soluble fiber source), apple concentrate, blueberry concentrate, calcium lactate (u.s.p. grade) and ascorbic acid (vitamin c), natural flavor, pomegranate concentrate.

Raspberry Acai-apples, water, dextrin (soluble fiber source), apple concentrate, raspberry puree, tart cherry concentrate, acai puree,  calcium lactate (u.s.p. grade) and ascorbic acid (vitamin c).

Key Lime Cupuacu- apples, water, dextrin (soluble fiber source), apple concentrate, cupuacu concentrate, key lime concentrate, passionfruit concentrate, calcium lactate (u.s.p. grade) and ascorbic acid (vitamin c).

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Filed under 4 Star, Musselman's, snacks

Cedarlane Moussaka Eggplant Mediterranean

eegg

Let me just cut to the chase with this one.
THIS MEAL KICKS BUTT.

I never in my life tried a piece of eggplant. It looks nasty, it’s ugly looking (okay that’s 2 superficial reasons…) and it was just never my vegetable “of choice”. So i was skeptical to try this meal, eggplant? And Eggplant Moussaka? What does that mean? According to Cedarlane, “Moussaka” is just another word for Eggplant Mediterranean in the Old World.  Either way, THIS MEAL IS SO GOOD.
I decided to try it because after overindulging myself with 2 HUGE garlic knots from my local pizza place (oops!), i wanted a healthier dinner that was lower in carbs to balance out all that greasy dough. So i figured what they heck.

So let’s begin. This dish is slices of roasted eggplant in a tomato sauce that has carrots, mushrooms, red bell peppers, feta cheese and other spices in it. Then on the top is a little smattering of a white sauce. The eggplant is amazing. It’s soft, it is bursting with flavor, and it melts in your mouth like butter. I am definetely an eggplant friend now 🙂
The veggies are awesome too. There are thick chunks of carrots, and the vegetables as a whole add a little spicy kick to the meal.
There is also “Ground Round”, or veggie crumbles. After all, this meal is vegetarian. They taste almost exactly like and have the same consistency of ground beef. They are also delicious.
Lastly the white sauce on top. I didn’t care for it too much, it was slightly bland compared to the flavor of the rest of the meal, and if it wasn’t there i honestly wouldn’t have missed it. But who cares. This meal is so good they can keep it or ditch it and i would be happy all the same.
Overall, this meal is tomatoey, gooey, savory and just DELICIOUS! You must must must try it!!

Hows the nutrition? Excellent as well!
per dish, it’s 230 calories, 10 grams of fat, 22 carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of protein. You also get 20% calcium and vitamin C, and 35% vitamin A. Yay!

Eggplant, Milk, Crushed Tomatoes, Veggie Ground Round (Water, Textured Soy Protein, textured Wheat Protein, Natural Falvor, Malt Extract, Salt, Onion Powder, Evaporated Cane Juice, Carrageenan, Garlic Powder, Spices, Wheat Germ, Oat Bran, Vitamins and Minerals), Fire Roasted Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomatoe Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride and Citric Acid), Feta Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Salt and Enzymes), Onions, Carrots, Mushrooms, Rice Vinegar, Organic Unbleached Wheat Flour, Canola Oil, Red Bell Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Extra Virgin Oilve Oil, Parsley, Water, Spices, Garlic Powder, Cornstarch, Salt, Guar Gum, Lemon Peel.

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Filed under 5 Star, Cedarlane

Earth’s Best Elmo Mac’n Cheese

ELMOO

Macaroni & cheese anyone? Who, honestly, can resist mac & cheese!? This sinful dish is often gooey, cheesy and delicious, but also often packed with sodium, artificial colors and fillers. But not this mac & cheese!
Earth’s Best Elmo (yes, ELMO!) Mac’n Cheese is all natural, with 22g of whole grain per serving. Yes i admit, it’s probably aimed toward kids, but who says “older kids” can’t enjoy it as well? Plus i’m a sucker for portion size!

This Mac & Cheese comes with a side of carrots and broccoli for extra nutrition. If you look on the box, you will see, yes, the macaroni is in shapes of elmo’s face. Cute! I was excited to try this, i love macaroni & cheese, but we all know how easy it is to overdo it.

So how does this meal live up? Well, this is real macaroni & cheese. No fake boxed crapola, no cheese “powder”, no dyes. This uses REAL cheese, REAL milk. So, it tastes like REAL macaroni & cheese! It’s very creamy, cheesy, and buttery tasting. The cheese adheres well to the elmo pasta, which is cooked nicely, not mushy but not too hard either. There’s a pretty generous portion of pasta in this meal too, i thought it would be a itsy bitsy amount of pasta, but nope, there are a lot of cheesy elmo faces ready to be eaten. As for the veggies, i would have liked more. The broccoli is not big at all, rather chopped up in little bits. The carrots are good though, soft and sweet. It’s a good compliment to the mac & cheese, but i wish there was more. To make it more filling i added an extra serving of vegetables and had some protein with it as well.

As for the nutrition, it’s pretty good! It’s 220 calories, 7 grams of fat (YES, SEVEN, and it’s made with REAL ingredients!), 33 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of protein. I was happy that the first ingredient was whole grain durum wheat for the pasta, not blanched wheat/refined flour. Yay! It’s also enriched with extra vitamins and minerals, like B vitamins, etc.

The only cons for this meal that i have is it skimps a little on protein (but as i said, i just had a little extra to round this out and make it more of a meal for my size), and it has 4 grams of saturated fat, probably from the heavy cream , cheddar cheese and butter oil in the ingredients. But most macaroni & cheese has about that amount of saturated fat, and at least this fat is from real cheese & butter and not fake stuff..

So if your craving mac & cheese, this will help your craving without helping your waistline fill out. Give it a shot- and enjoy the cute little elmo faces!

Organic Elmo Pasta (Organic Whole Grain Durum Wheat, Organic Durum Semolina, Vitamins & Minerals [reduced iron, niacinamide, zinc oxide, riboflavin, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, cyancobalamin]), Cheese Sauce [water, heavy cream, cheddar cheese [cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, annatto color], nonfat milk, corn starch, butter oil, enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], sea salt, natural flavor, torula yeast, xanthan gum, annatto color), Organic Carrots, Organic Broccoli.

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Filed under 4 Star, Earth's Best