The Supermarket Guru's Hits or Misses of 2014
Van's Sandwich Bars PB & J Strawberry, Score 92
If you're looking for a PB & J on the run, this will not disappoint. Made with real peanut butter and gluten free oats and a layer of strawberry (made with real strawberries) this is a perfect snack. Just 160 calories, with 6 grams of fat, but it does have 14 grams of sugars. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and 10 grams of whole grains. What does it taste like? Delicious, not too sweet and tastes like real food.
Saffron Road Dessert Mini Tarts Salted Caramel Cheesecake, Score 86
These are perfect for a fancy dinner party or just a self indulgent snack. Each mini tart is just 50 calories and 2 ½ grams of fat. The caramel cheesecake filling is extraordinary. All you do is let them thaw and pop them in your mouth. Certified halal. No artificial colors or preservatives.
Republic of Tea Hi Teas, Score 90
If you're looking for extra caffeine and don't want to go the route of an energy drink, this is for you. Almost 3 times the amount as regular tea - 140 mg of caffeine! It's a recipe of black tea, green tea extract, licorice and natural coconut flavor. The coconut is not overpowering and just adds a nice, delicate coconut flavor. Remember though, for those who might have a caffeine sensitivity, this is not for you.
PF Chang's General Tso Chicken, Score 91
The restaurant’s signature dish now comes to the frozen food aisle and is perfect for what I call “the indiewoman” trend. This is a skillet meal with all white meat, sweet chili sauce brocolli and red bell peppers. These 31 million woman are single, live alone by choice and have replaced the family unit with other “indiewomen” who like to prepare foods and drink together; but are time pressed and don’t have the cooking skills. We see them as the driving force in the frozen food aisle and they are spending $50 billion a year on food and beverages. The sauce and chicken are fabulous and the vegetables cook up crunchy and delicious.
Perky Jerky, Score 91
Everyone seems to be making a jerky these days, but this one is actually terrific. The turkey itself is tender, not tough and chewy like many other jerkys. The flavor itself is slightly spicy and slightly sweet. No nitrites or nitrates. Why is it perky? Why is it action packed? Besides the spices it does contain extract of guarana which is a substance prepared from the seeds of a Brazilian shrub, used as a tonic or stimulant because it is rich in caffeine (said to contain up 3 times the amount of coffee), tannins and theobromine.
Veggie go's - Fruit & Veggie Sweet Potato Pie Flavor, Score 93
Here's one clever snack! A recipe of apples, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, all pressed together in a chewy and delicious snack. I could see keeping these in a purse or a briefcase and being able to snack on them any time you felt that little pang of hunger. One snack is just 20 calories, 2 grams of sugars and only 5 mg of sodium. No added sugars, nothing artificial, and to make it even better, it delivers 60% of the RDA for vitamin A.
Egg Beaters Portion Cups, Score 90
I love this product! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and skipping breakfast can actually pack on the pounds – people who don't eat breakfast tend to eat more food or nibble on high calorie snacks. Research has shown the importance of protein, it's a macronutrient that builds and repair tissue, makes enzymes and hormones. The price of beef, pork and chicken are going through the roof, so many people are now eating breakfast foods throughout the day! These single serve cups are just 60 calories with a whopping 11 grams of protein – made with all natural egg whites, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol. These are real eggs made convenient – and frankly delicious while being healthier. No artificial flavors colors or preservatives.
Bumble Bee Superfresh Tilapia with Garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Score 87
One of the biggest problems in getting people to eat more fish, and get the health benefits, is that people say they don't know how to cook fish. This could change all that. A recipe of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sea salt, sugar and black pepper is already added to the filet and packaged together. Just open the package, put the fish with the seasonings already on it into this parchment and bake. The tilapia and the seasonings are perfect and each filet is 25 grams of protein. My one concern is that it also has 460 mg of sodium and it actually tastes a little too salty.