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Product Review: Multiple Low Carb Snacks and Products

May 1, 2008

I received several orders that I placed for low carb and sugar free snacks last week. YUM, so I thought I would review the ones I have worked my way through. Even if you don’t practice a low carb diet, it never hurts to choose a healthier option. Some of these products I have been using for awhile, some are brand new to me.

Lets start with me new all time favorite condiment.

Smokin’ Joe Jones Low Carb Barbecue. Uh can I get a WITNESS? This stuff is heavenly. Let me tell you, I have tried a TON of different sugar free and low carb condiments in the last 5 years. Nothing is as good as this sauce. It is a little bit pricey at $6.00 for a 18 oz jar, but Amazon has a special on right now where you can pick up a 3 pack for only $14.99. Can’t beat that! Just added two to my shopping cart. Wow, it really is amazingly good, we have had it on hamburger patties and steak. I just can’t get enough of it. I am trying to figure out if there is a way to make barbecue baked beans with Eden Soy black soy beans (more on that later of course). *drool* only 2 net carbs and less than 1 gram of sugar. I know it has some sugar, but really, I don’t care its not like I am drinking the stuff….(hey that is an idea lol)

While I am on the condiment kick, I will give honorable mention to one that you may still be able to find in grocery stores. And that is the Heinz One Carb Ketchup.

I buy mine at Netrition. But actually saw it at a QFC (aka Krogers) the other day. It tastes like the real deal, with only one carb and zero sugars per serving you can’t really go wrong. I love it on my scrambled eggs with cheese sometimes. Again ketchup is something I have missed and have tried several of. Steer WAY clear of the Walden Farms version. NASTY with a capital N. Yuck.

Next is one of my newer favorites from Just the Cheese. They have BUNCH of low carb cheese snacks. Some have been hit and miss as far as the flavors they are supposed to represent. With that being said their Popped Cheese, in both the butter and cheddar flavors are YUM-O. I had never really ordered this type before, though had tried almost every one of their 12 flavors. Both the husband person and I really like them.

One flavor that I hadn’t found until just a few weeks back is their barbeque flavor of crunchy cheese snacks. Really tasty, it actually tastes like barbeque. Netrition doesn’t carry this flavor for some odd reason, so I picked mine up at Low Carb U. But they are WAY over priced there. Which I am noticing a lot with the LC products they offer. If this is a snack that you like after you have tried a few, you can buy them in bulk directly from Specialty Cheese the company that makes them for $1.99 a bag! This is the price for the crunchy versions not the popped cheese, which is actually less expensive at Netrition.

The bacon flavored cheese isn’t to bad either. You can’t beat this low carb snack as it only has 1 carb, be warned they are fairly salty, but they do have lower salt versions available. They are great to toss into your purse for an on the go snack with no sugar. They really are a life saver for me between meals. And it satisfies that craving I sometimes still get for potato chips. I always have had more of a fat tooth than a sweet tooth, so these really do the trick.

Moving right along we have the Eat Right crack bars, I mean crisp bar. LOL

Holy cow, these taste exactly like rice krispie treats we used to make as a kid. This is another drool worthy low carb treat at only 4 net carbs per large bar. And bonus, they are Gluten Free! They do run to the expensive side at $7.99 for a pack of 7 bars. But you could easily cut these in half an still have a perfect amount for your snack. I haven’t had a low carb dessert this good in a LONG time. And even back in the LC heyday there were very few really REALLY good ones. This is a gem to be sure.

On the not so good side we have possibly one of the GROSSEST things I have ever put in my mouth. And it may come as no surprise to some that it is produced by Walden Farms. It is their Creamy Peanut Spread.

RUN, do not walk, do not pass go if you see this spread. I would not steer you in the wrong direction. This earns the gag me with a spoon award. I can say more bad things, but I am holding myself back here.

Lastly for today one of my favorites is Nature’s Hollow Preserves and Syrups. We especially love the Raspberry Preserves, but every one of their preserves are delish. Their Maple and Raspberry syrups are divine as well. I like this product line because it is made with xylitol versus malitol which can cause extreme stomach distress in some people. This place has a pretty good price on a three pack of a single flavor for only $14.99. Versus $5.89 per single jar buying direct. I have NOT ordered from Mana Harvest so I cannot vouch for their customer service etc. I just googled the product name and they were at the top of the pile.

That is it for today as far as snacks go. Please post your reviews and opinions on these and other low carb, sugar free snacks you have tried. I always love to hear from you!

Product Review: Sugar Free Chocolate

April 29, 2008

This is a multi product review so I will not be using my usual format. We don’t eat sugar here at our house and live a pretty regulated low carb way of life. But we are human, and I am always looking for some type of delicious chocolate treats for those chocoholic tenancies. Let me tell you sugar free candies and especially chocolates have come a LONG way over the last 5 years, heck even the last 2 years. They used to be nasty. Plain and simple. I am going to review several chocolate bars / candies of varying brands, that I have selflessly tried out for your benefit. LOL

First is a line called Lean-up by Carbothin. Yum! Oh I suppose you want more than a one word review eh? I picked these bars up at lowcarbu.com. These bars are not made with malitol which is well known to cause gastric distress (this my friends is an understatement) when consumed in large quantities. Instead they use erythritol, and have 1 net carb per bar. They offer several varieties, but I stuck with what I like (go figure) which is dark chocolate and peanut butter! The Dark Chocolate Bar was slightly bland, but still a good bar. It didn’t have a weird after taste which many sugar free chocolates have. I don’t know that I would order this one again because I like a slightly bitter taste to my dark chocolate. The Peanut Butter Cup bar however is a different story. I may buy a case of these delicious little beauties! It is milk chocolate which I typically don’t like, but hey, it DID have the word peanut butter in the title. The center has a lovely peanut butter filling. This one is definitely a winner.

Next up is a line of bars I really enjoyed from Maine Cottage Foods. I didn’t get these directly from them, but through another low carb distributor. Next time, I am ordering from their site because they have a much better selection. But you do have to buy in bulk versus singles when you do it that way! Again these bars are made with erythritol. I purchased Raspberry Dark Chocolate, Dark Orange Zest and Mint Dark Chocolate. These were all amazing, perfectly blended so you could taste the flavors but not SO over done they drowned out the chocolate. My favorite of the three was the Mint Dark Chocolate because my friends it tastes JUST like an Andie’s Thin Mint! I couldn’t believe it when I took the first bite. Don’t tell the husband person, but I have hidden what is left of this bar. he he he

You can purchase singles of these bars at Carb Smart. Though they don’t have some of the more exotic sounding bars like Milk Chocolate Cinnamon or Milk Chocolate Butterscotch that the Maine Cottage site offers. They even have sugar free baking chunks for cookies! They are testing out some spiced chocolate recipes as well as herbal / tea flavors. Up on their drawing board are: apple-cinnamon, orange-cinnamon, chili, ginger, oolong tea, green tea, thyme, rosemary, and yuzu just to name a few! I have great hopes for this company and can’t wait to place my next order.

A bar that I have been treating myself to for about a year is the Dark Chocolate Chocoperfection bar. They come in Milk Chocolate AND recently Raspberry Dark Chocolate. The bars are a whopping 1.8 oz of smooth chocolate goodness and the milk/dark varieties are only 2 net carbs for the ENTIRE bar. The raspberry dark is 2 carbs. Again, no malitol madness in this product line, instead they are made with oligofructose and erythritol are 100% natural sweeteners derived from plant fibers. These sweeteners have a glycemic index of zero. Oligofructose is a prebiotic fiber. I have to say I have never tried the Milk Chocolate just because I don’t care for milk. The dark chocolate is smooth, not too bitter and oh so lovely. I recently picked up a Raspberry Dark Chocolate aka The Livin’ La Vida Low Carb-Bar from Jimmy Moore. My verdict is still out on this bar. It almost has a floral taste to it, not overtly, but the raspberry part isn’t what I expected. I will probably stick with plain dark chocolate after I finish this one.

The next chocolate up for review is something kind of cute called The Chocolate Traveler. They are small wedges of chocolate that come in the cutest little travel tin!

These DO have malitol as the sweetener, but I didn’t experience any issues with these. Though I do limit myself to the 4 piece serving. Of course I opted for the Dark Chocolate Mint. These are really good, there is a good mint flavoring, but not too much. I picked these up at Carb Smart. I will probably not get this brand again, not because it isn’t tasty, but I much preferred the Maine Cottage Dark Chocolate Mint to these. They have 4 different varieties in their sugar free line and they also have regular sugar blends as well on their website that look pretty amazing for the sugar freak in your family.

Winding up here I have Ross Sugar Free Chocolate bars. Ross was the first real chocolate I had on my low carb transition more than 3 years ago. You used to be able to find them just about anywhere. Now I can only find them online. I picked up an assortment box the other day. You can also purchase single bars at Carb Smart. So far I have tried the AWESOME Dark Chocolate Orange. This bar really packs an orangey wallop! Yum. I also took a little bit of the no sugar added Milk Chocolate Almond bar as well. This is pretty tasty even for milk chocolate. These bars can have a few more carbs than the other, just be sure to read the net carb information on the website. They are also made with malitol, so don’t eat more than one bar a day.

Last but not least is Chocolate Dreams and Wishes! These are not a bar, but a HUGE chocolate cup (2 oz) and have about 2 net carbs depending on the flavor/type you choose. There are several delicious flavors to choose from. My favorite are their Dark Chocolate Malt, Dark Chocolate Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Coconut. You can also purchase these directly from the company as well. Oh these are also made with erythritol.

So, the bottom line is that if you are diabetic or just want to have healthier options in your chocolate drawer, there are LOTS of great companies and products to choose from.