by Dana Angelo White in Grocery Shopping, May 21, 2013
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, May 5, 2013
Everyone seems to be going ga-ga for Greek yogurt these days! While the tangy, creamy goodness makes for flavorful chicken salad, smoothies and dips, food manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon offering all kinds of Greek yogurt-filled goods.
Folks dig Greek yogurt for it’s thicker texture and pungent flavor. It’s also higher in protein than regular yogurt, plus it offers those tummy-pleasing probiotics. Our recent taste tests (for plain and flavored varieties) unveiled that there’s quite a difference in flavor across the numerous brands out there.
The freezer section has gone Greek! Not only can you find pints of Greek fro -o (Vanilla Honey Carmel from Ben & Jerry’s anyone?), you can also find portion-controlled frozen bars made with Greek yogurt and real fruit. As far as we can tell, the majority of these frozen goodies are made with real Greek yogurt, but buyers should beware of the health “halo” – many brands have just as much sugar and calories as ice cream!
by Dana Angelo White in Taste Test, April 28, 2013
Confused by all the choices at the supermarket? I had the chance to speak with dietitian Mary Abbott Hess, author of The Pocket Supermarket Guide. Her savvy supermarket shopping tips will have you reaching for healthier choices during your next trip to the market, and saving money too.
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, Healthy Recipes, Kid-Friendly, March 16, 2013
Back in 2010, we did our Nonfat Greek Yogurt Taste Test and there were only a few brands to choose from. Today, the number of companies making Greek yogurt has exploded, and so have the flavor options. So how do the flavored varieties stack up? Find out.
I used our typical 5-point scale (5 being the highest) to rate these yogurts. For nutrition, I paid close attention to calories, protein and sugar content. Even plain Greek yogurt contains some natural sugars from milk (aka lactose) but when looking at flavored varieties, there’s often a large variation of ingredients. Sugars on the label can come from milk, fruit and/or added sugars.
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, Label Decoder, February 14, 2013
I make quick, easy and kid-friendly breakfast every day for my 3 kids. If you’re not a believer that you can make breakfast happen in a flash, try any of my tips to make it happen.
Food Groups Matter
It’s not just about throwing together easy foods, but making sure your little ones gets the nutrients they need from a variety of food groups. As a rule of thumb, I make sure at least 3 food groups are represented in any of my kid’s breakfasts. Choose from dairy, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean protein. The more food groups you can include, the better.
Quick Recipe Ideas
Simple, no-fuss recipes you can throw together in less than 10 minutes.
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, January 10, 2013
The serving size for any food isn’t “one size fits all.” It depends on numerous factors like the food group, shape and nutrients provided. I’ll layout your standard fruit serving sizes and delve into the nitty-gritty details of some not-so-traditional foods (like those squeezable fruit pouches) so you’ll know what one serving of fruit actually is.
According to the USDA’s MyPlate, any fruit or 100% fruit juice can make up a serving of fruit. Fresh, canned, frozen, freeze-dried, dried, whole, cut up and pureed fruit all count. How much fruit you need each day varies by gender, age, and level of physical activity. Here are the guidelines for men and women ages 19 and older:
- 19 to 30 years: 2 cups
- 31 years and older: 1 ½ cups
- 19 years and older: 2 cups
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, December 8, 2012
It’s a new year and a good time to stock up on fresh, healthy foods. The next time you hit the supermarket, take a good look around—you’ll see many new products on the shelves. Here are some of our favorite finds.
Besides the basic pale yellow color, quinoa can be found in a vibrant shade of red. Several companies including Eden Foods, Trader Joe’s and Quinola sell them. You might see black quinoa on the market as well.
This ancient grain is derived from young green wheat. It cooks up similar to wheat berries and is a great way to mix up your daily grains. It does take a bit more time to cook than rice– so cook up a double batch to use throughout the week in dishes like soups, salads and pilafs.
by Dana Angelo White in Taste Test, November 2, 2012
This line of gluten-free frozen dishes, soufflés, and veggie muffins has taken the market by storm. I spoke with Garden Lites’ co-founder Jeff Moskowitz to find out the secret of their success.
Q1. How did you come up with the idea of creating Garden Lites foods?
I wanted to make foods that would help people live a healthier lifestyle. There’s no healthier food than vegetables, but people seem to look at veggies as something they HAVE to eat versus something they WANT to eat. I wanted to change that perception.
Q2. You have a delicious line of soufflés. Are they meant to be eaten on their own or can they be used in cooking?
Our consumers eat them for breakfast, lunch or a hearty snack as well as cut them up and serve as a side dish. The soufflés also make a wonderful ingredient. We started a partnership with Meatless Monday where we post meatless recipes using our soufflés on our social media and cross promote it on Meatless Monday’s Facebook page. That has been very successful. We have a lot of really amazing recipe ideas (like our Veggie Lasagna below), which you can find on our website. We will also be expanding our recipe section on our new website starting in January 2013.
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, October 28, 2012
There are so many brands of this lunch-box classic. Which is best for snacking?
There’s a wide range of granola bar options and an even broader range of ingredients. Some brands do a much better job of making their bars with quality stuff. They all contain some form of sugar (they wouldn’t taste very good without it), but we looked at all the ingredients very carefully to evaluate the best options.
For this taste test, we rated chewy chocolate chip bars on taste, ingredients and nutritional information—focusing on calories, fat and sugar. We rated each on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest).
by Toby Amidor in Grocery Shopping, September 6, 2012
Every year I attend the Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo and scout the expo for the newest must-have foods. This year I found a variety of new chips, fun dairy flavors and one hot blender.
Chips made from various grains and legumes are very trendy right now. These bean chips come in a variety of flavors such as Black Bean (my favorite), Pinto Bean & Flax, and Black Bean Chipotle BBQ. They are non-GMO certified, corn-free, gluten-free, kosher and high in fiber (contains at least 5 grams of fiber per serving). One serving of the Black Bean Chips (about 10 chips) has 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. It also provides 6% of your daily dose of iron (pretty good for a snack chip!).
Lundberg Rice Chips
This second type of chip is made from 70% organic ingredients. The package has the Whole Grain Stamp and the Non-GMO verified label. There are 9 flavors available—I tried the Sea Salt (my favorite), Sesame & Seaweed and Sante Fe Barbecue. One serving of Sea Salt Rice Chips (about 9 chips) has 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of fiber,and 2 grams of protein. First ingredient listed on the package is organic whole grain-brown rice – a whole grain!
Fooducate is an easy-to-use, free smartphone app that helps you make healthier food choices. To use it, scan a packaged item’s bar code or search for food items and you’ll see its letter grade (A to D) with an explanation of its nutritional benefits, or lack thereof. When I recently introduced this app to a table of women they couldn’t believe their favorite so-called “healthy” snack foods scored so low (they received a C- or D+). They now use it to help them make more healthful food choices. I had the opportunity to speak to Fooducate creator, Hemi Weingarten, to learn more about it.
Q: Fooducate is a fantastic app that’s easy to use at the market or at home. How did you come up with the idea?
A few years ago, when my children were still babies, we bought a glow-in-the-dark yogurt in the supermarket. I was curious as to the source of the bright pink color and read an ingredient list for the first time in my life. I was shocked to discover Red #40, a synthetic dye, with potential links to hyperactivity and cancer is being used in kiddie yogurt. In Europe it is banned and beet juice is used instead.
I started researching the modern food industry and discovered many other ingredients or processes for food manufacturing that seemed to make good business sense for companies, but were not in my family’s best interest. Fooducate started out as a blog to help myself and other parents be more cognizant of the food we buy for our families. When smartphones started to become popular, I put together a team and we built the mobile scanning app.