I like to review new products because so many products come out each year, and many of them claim to be better and healthier than previous products. I must say I am generally on the cynical side when evaluating them, but I try to be objective and positive in my cynicism…if that is possible. In reality, I am glad that food science exists. It does help us in many ways. But I am also fully aware of the benefits of eating whole unadulterated foods. So with that I begin with some new products to review.
Ronzini® Garden Delight Pasta™: The box claims a full serving of vegetables for each 4 ounce serving of pasta. The vegetables come from a dried vegetable powder and would be a great way to get more vegetables into your family...except there is a catch. A serving of pasta on the nutrition facts label is 2 ounces, so you have to eat 2 servings (4 ounces) of this pasta to get 1 serving of vegetables.
The bottom line: It is certainly fine to obtain ½ serving of vegetables for every 2 ounce serving of this pasta you eat, but it is also best to rely on vegetables to get your daily vegetable servings! Note you can go to the Ronzini® web site and get a coupon.
Uncle Ben’s® Whole Grain White Rice: What? Whole grain white rice? I too was initially perplexed. I know there is a special type of wheat used to make whole grain white wheat, but had not heard of special rice. Well apparently they process this rice just like white rice and add enough bran back to the rice toward the end of processing to qualify it as whole grain. Additional fiber is also added to this rice in the form of inulin. Inulin comes from chicory root and is indeed a fiber that serves as a pre-biotic in your digestive tract. Pre-biotics are good and help to nourish the good bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract.
The bottom line: It would be nice to think we can all switch to brown rice but in reality I know there are some people who just don’t like brown rice, so if this helps them get in more “whole” grain (albeit processed whole grain) then I am all for it.
NoPudge® Fudge Brownie Mix: Before we get started, let me just say that these are not necessarily healthy just because I am mentioning them. I mean, they are brownies, after all! I am usually not a fan of fat free or fat free baking in particular--truth be told I am usually not very successful with fat free baking. This product, however, is actually quite tasty and has a real brownie texture, not gummy like the times I have made brownies with apple sauce and spinach (yes I made them with spinach). Remember, brownies freeze really well, so you don’t have to eat them all at one time :)
Justin’s® Maple Almond Butter: This is very similar in nutrient content to peanut butter. The sugar added is maple sugar and it contains no Trans fat. I think it makes a nice replacement to the standard PB&J sandwich occasionally. The portable packs would be good for someone who maybe exercises in the morning and takes breakfast to go, or lunch to go for that matter.
Land O Lakes® Seasoning butter flavor: There are 6 seasonings to choose from and they are very similar to the brands we have seen before (Molly McButter® and various store brands). The difference is that the Land O Lakes® contain no partially hydrogenated oil. That of course is a good thing.