All Posts In Taste Test

Taste Test: The Battle of the Almond Butters

by in Taste Test, April 8, 2015


PB&J has gotten an adult makeover. These days, peanut butters are being crowded off the supermarket shelves by almond butters. They’re a great alternative for those with peanut allergies. Aside from being lower in saturated fats than most other nut butters, almond butter has nutrients like magnesium and potassium, and provides more calcium, iron and vitamin E. If that doesn’t make you a convert, maybe the fact that almond butter is also ridiculously delicious will.

We tasted five brands, judging them on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the best) for taste, texture and value, to help you make an informed decision the next time you’re standing in the grocery aisle. Watch out for added sugars: Each of these brands has between one and four grams of sugar per serving (two tablespoons is standard), making them good choices for your spread. Read more

Food Network Test Kitchen Taste Test: Plant-Based Waters

by in Taste Test, March 17, 2015

The hydration bar has been raised. With a whole host of new plant-based drinks (even ones from trees!) flooding the marketplace, it’s never been more exciting to quench your thirst. We taste-tested a few of the new beverages in our test kitchen so you can pick your favorites.

Harmless Harvest: 100% Raw Coconut Water
What they say: This coconut drink is organically grown in Thailand, where the brand employs locals to do the harvesting and processing. Pressure-treated and never heated, each bottle has its own unique flavor.
Stats: 56 calories and a hefty 514 milligrams of potassium per single 8-ounce serving
What we thought: This water is what we’ve always wanted in a fruit-spiked product. With both floral and pleasant vegetal notes (someone mentioned toasted pumpkin seeds), the super-refreshing drink was a hit with staffers. Read more

Taste Test: Frozen Macaroni and Cheese

by in Taste Test, October 20, 2014

Mac and Cheese
Are you falling for claims that many brands of frozen macaroni and cheese are reasonable options for a healthy dinner? Check out the results of this evaluation before your next trip down the freezer aisle. Read more

Taste Test: Green Cold-Pressed Juice

by in Taste Test, September 26, 2014

green juices
The rising popularity of cold-press juices has brought an influx of bottled products to the market. But is there anything specific you should be looking for when you buy? For starters, it helps to know what “cold-pressed” means: Also known as high pressure processing (HPP), cold-pressing applies very high pressure to raw juice in order to kill any harmful microorganisms that may be present. Once HPP is applied, the juice is placed into a bottle, sealed and refrigerated.

The Criteria
For this taste test, each variety of cold-pressed juice contained at least one green vegetable (be it kale, celery, cucumber or anything else with a verdant tint). We rated the bottled stuff on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest score), assessing each juice for taste, nutrition, serving size and cost.  We were also on the lookout for any ingredients that surprisingly jack up the calories. Bottles ranged in size from 10 fluid ounces to 16. Read more

Taste Test: Which Hot Dogs Are the Top Dogs?

by in Taste Test, June 30, 2014

hot dogs
With the season of backyard food fests in full swing, Healthy Eats vetted the most popular hot dog brands around to see which ones deserve a coveted spot on the grill grates. Find out which frank emerged as top dog.

The Criteria
We rated beef wieners on a 5-point scale (5 being highest), judging the dogs on taste, ingredient quality and nutrition and paying special attention to calories, fat and sodium. We stuck with regular franks instead of the reduced-fat versions, as many of those use a considerable amount of fillers made from potato starch to displace some of the meat (no thank you). We were also on the lookout for the presence of preservatives such as sodium nitrite. Hot dogs ranged in size from 42 to 57 grams (1.5 to 2 ounces) per piece.  Read more

Taste Test: Healthier Crackers

by in Taste Test, June 21, 2014

Have you  browsed the cracker aisle lately? In addition to stocking the classic varieties, shelves are overflowing with versions made from whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. But are these options really what they’re cracked up to be?

The Criteria
For this taste test, we chose the plain or original flavor crackers. Each was tasted alone, without any toppings or condiments. The crackers were rated on calories, fat, fiber and sodium, along with ingredients (including preservatives and additives), flavor, texture and cost. Each brand was rated on a 5-point scale, with 5 being highest.

Kashi Original 7 Grain Snack Crackers (above)
Rating: 5.0
Cost (per ounce): $0.44
Nutrition Info (per serving: 15 crackers): 120 calories; 3.5 grams total fat; 160 milligrams sodium; 3 grams fiber
The Healthy Eats Take: With plenty of crackers per serving (15!) and a respectable amount of fiber, these delicious crackers won’t leave you hungry. The snacks have a hearty crunch and a well-rounded list of whole-grain ingredients, including millet, oats, hard red wheat, brown rice, barley, buckwheat and sesame seeds.

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Taste Test: Kale Chips

by in Taste Test, May 25, 2014

kale chips
Crunchy versions of this leafy green vegetable are taking the chip aisle by storm. There’s no doubt kale is delicious and nutritious — but do its dried spin-offs live up to the hype?

The Criteria
We rated these leafy snacks on a 5-point scale (5 being highest) and judged them on taste, texture, price and nutrition, with special attention paid to stats such as calories and sodium. All of the brands were vegan and gluten-free, but none contained only kale. Most featured various spices and nuts, so it’s worth reading labels carefully, particularly for anyone who has food allergies.

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Taste Test: Frozen Burritos

by in Taste Test, April 4, 2014

As more burritos hit the frozen food aisle, Healthy Eats was curious to see which fit the “healthy” bill. Sure, making your own bundle of deliciousness is ideal — but sometimes you’re just in the mood for a grab-and-go meal. So which burrito to heat and eat?

The Criteria
Supermarket freezer cases are overflowing with burrito options, including vegetarian, beef and egg. But for the sake of simplicity, this taste test was narrowed down to chicken. Five brands of burrito were in the running, and each was heated in the microwave according to the manufacturer’s directions. The burritos were rated on calories, saturated fat and sodium, along with ingredients, flavor, texture and cost. Although some brands contain seemingly healthy ingredients, they can also have a laundry list of preservatives and additives. Each brand was rated on a 5-point scale, with 5 being highest.

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Taste Test: Turkey Bacon

by in Taste Test, March 20, 2014

turkey bacon
Do you reach for turkey bacon as a healthier alternative to conventional bacon? As it turns out, there’s not always a huge difference between the two when it comes to nutrition stats. An average slice of traditional pork bacon (about ½ ounce in weight) contains 35 calories, 1 gram saturated fat and 130 milligrams of sodium. Now find out how the turkey version stacks up.

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Taste Test: Better-For-You Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

by in Taste Test, February 27, 2014

Reaching for a more wholesome cookie seems like a smart choice, but do these seemingly healthier brands pass the test for nutrition and flavor? Healthy Eats did a Taste Test to find out.

The Criteria
Each brand of cookie was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). The cookies were evaluated on taste, nutrition and ingredient quality, with special attention paid to the types of sweeteners and fats used in the all-important filling.

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