To Market, To Market: Valor Sugar Free Dark Chocolate by Dana Carpender from CarbSmart Magazine Issue 4. Do you believe that sugar-free chocolate can never taste like the good stuff? Prepare to be amazed.
As many of you already know, I’m a huge fan of the Quest Protein Bars. I love pretty much everything about them. They are convenient, tasty and chock full of non-scary ingredients. In my last review, I talked about the peanut butter and vanilla almond flavors. Today I want to tell you about three new flavors that will leave your taste buds tap dancing on your tongue.
I’ve always loved ketchup. As a child it was my go-to condiment. Judging from the way my children use ketchup, I’d hazard a guess that it’s as popular as ever. The largest problem with this tasty tomato treat is that most brands are loaded with sugar – corn syrup to be exact. This is by far one of my least favorite ingredients. I’ve searched high and low for a brand of ketchup that I would be comfortable offering to my family. I’ve managed to find one nationally popular brand that fit the bill, but my kids tell me it “tastes funny”. (I have no idea what they are talking about; it tastes fine to me.) So my search has continued for ketchup that tastes “right” to them and yet doesn’t contain sugar.
If you like coconut, you probably have a soft spot for coconut macaroons. If you are also living the low-carb lifestyle, you probably miss coconut macaroons as well. I wasn’t so much a coconutty kind of person before starting a low-carb diet, so macaroons weren’t something I ate often, if at all. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had the full-sugar version. I’m telling you this so you’ll know that I can’t really compare this product to it’s high-carb counterpart, since I can’t recall what they were like. What I can do is tell you what I think of Jennie’s Coconut Macaroons.
One of the biggest lamentations I hear about low-carb living is the lack of convenience foods. If you have a job or schedule that requires you to constantly be on the go, it can be a challenge. You can pre-cook a lot of food and keep it in a cooler near by, but that doesn’t always work out either. For those that don’t mind a little “frankenfood” now and then, you do have the options of products like Atkins Day Break Cherry Pecan Bars.
When I think of tea, I think of iced tea on a hot summer day. To be honest, I’ve never been much of a hot tea person. Despite that, I decided to give Davidson’s Dessert Teas a try. When I drink coffee, I like a little heavy cream and some sweetener, so I did the same with the Davidson’s Vanilla Cream Spice flavor.
When thinking of low-carb, one doesn’t often think of coconut. I’m not sure why, but it’s just not one of those visions that pop in your head. Bacon, yes. Coconut, no. Coconut makes me think of sweet indulgent desserts and warm tropics. But coconut products can be a useful part of your low-carb plan.
I’m a Mexican food fanatic. This is a bit unfortunate considering all the rice, beans, corn and flour products used in most Mexican recipes. Learning to adjust, I’ve gladly dug the good stuff out of taco salads, fajitas and chimichangas when dining out. Of course I prefer cooking my favorite dishes at home, where I always know exactly what I’m getting and I can make suitable substitutions when needed. One item I’ve always thought made these recipes perfect was salsa. I love a good salsa and I’ve always felt you can’t beat the home-made stuff. The fresh ingredients and spices bring out a taste that canned salsa’s can’t begin to compete with. At least that’s the way I used to think. Now I’m a believer that you can acquire the home-made taste of healthy fresh ingredients from a jar.
Sweeteners are a matter of personal preference. The spectrum of opinions on this topic range from “anything is better than sugar” to “you should never eat anything sweet again”. I fall more in the middle. I think a little sweet here and there can be beneficial if it keeps you on course. Keeping that in mind, I do have my favorites and not-so-favorites. Sugar alcohols tend to fall in the latter category, although I realize some are worse than others.