Archive for the ‘ Snacks ’ Category

Limited Edition: Gingerbread Pop-Tarts

Okay, so I swear I’m not on some creepy Pop-Tarts related fix. I think it’s just been their push for the seasonal treats that has caught my eye. For me, it was the Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, but for my roommate, it was these: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Gingerbread Pop-Tarts.

So I’m going to jump straight into my thoughts on this. First off, the package advertises soft and chewy. Okay, so I went to try my first one of these sans toaster like always. Nope, not soft. Definitely get more of a graham cracker vibe from this particular pop-tart. Still, the gingerbread flavor is decent if not mild. The frosting in the middle is different, more like a glaze than the standard pop-tart paste. Overall, I was pretty meh about these, and happily left them to my roommate.

Well, he continued with these pop-tarts, and found that they are a whole new animal when toasted. So, I had to try them again. Oh boy was he right. I didn’t get a chewy feeling from the pop-tart after toasting, but with the frosting all warm and gooey, these pop-tarts were in their natural form. Soooo much better.

Overall, these are another novelty item. They’re fun to try for the season, but past that they’re really just another pop-tart. I won’t turn one down, but you won’t see me go out of my way for them again. Still, if you LOVE gingerbread, you might be obligated to give them a shot. As a final note, I’d say these are much more a snack than a breakfast, although that goes for almost everything in the pop-tart family.

Limited Edition: Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts

Ah, the season continues as the leaves start to change color, and the temperature steadily drops. Shorts turn into pants, and sweatshirts become part of my daily attire.

As much as I love the climate of the fall season, I also am a huge fan of the onslaught of seasonal treats, and goodies that storm the store shelves. Now, I’m a huge pumpkin fan, and when I read about these, I knew I needed to find them, and give them a try for myself.

These, are Kellogg’s Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts. It took a little digging, but I was able to find these at my local Target in the Halloween section. “Sadly”, they only com in the 12 pack.

So, digging into them, what are they like? Well, it really is like a pumpkin pie. Now we’re not talking your grandmother’s homemade pumpkin pie with buttery flaky crust, and velvety pie filling. This is still a pop-tart after all. Still, biting into the pastry, you really do come away with an honest to goodness pumpkin pie flavor. The crust is a little dry, but that happens with a pop-tart no matter what. The filling is where it’s at, filling your taste buds with that pumpkin and spice flavor that makes you think of breezy days, and falling leaves.

So, what am I saying? If you see these, and like pop-tarts and pumpkin pie, grab them. It’s a nice change from the  standard brown sugar pop-tart that I think everyone has tried at least once. I tried mine sans-toaster, as I usually don’t have hot pumpkin pie. My final thought on this would probably be that it was a cool thing to try, and I enjoyed it, but that I’m good with it past that.

A Decent Snack: Dried Apple Slices

So, I occasionally find myself in need of something to munch on. This is usually on my off diet days, and without thinking I often reach for things like candy or junk food in addition to the bad stuff I eat with meals. Well, I have recently tried to balance myself out, and to do that, I grabbed a treat that I love to eat all the time, and is good for me as well.

During the week, I’m always eating apples. As a morning snack, I munch a fresh apple. With my lunch, there’s usually a thing of unsweetened applesauce (it really is better without the sugar). Sometimes, I even fall back on my grilled apple recipe for dessert.

Well, this time around, I caught myself buying a Ritter Sport bar, and instead bought a healthy alternative while in Walmart: a bag of dried apples. Now, these things aren’t the dehydrated apples that you may find in other places. These are more akin to a dried apricot, being kind of moist, but at the same time not your standard apple. I guess in a snack world, I’d say that they were more like a fruit snack in texture.

What’s important to me is that they serve several purposes. First of all, they are sweet. I mean, they’re apples after all. Second, they are filling. These are dried, and expand when they hit your stomach. Third, they satisfy that craving I get for gummies sometimes. Oh, and fourth, they are only 1 point a serving with three servings in a bag. The bad news is that the bag will run you around two dollars, but you could do worse as I can easily get three separate servings out of this.

So, if you’re looking for a fat free snack that’s better then your average chewy gummy, give these dried apples a try. You’ll be eating them like candy.

Healthy Treat: Grilled Apple Slices

So, I am always on the lookout for healthy foods and recipes that don’t taste like they are healthy. It’s because I love me the sweets, and have one heck of a sweet tooth.

Well, lets take that knowledge, and combine it with Summer, the season of grilling…everything. Recently I talked about grilled zucchini and summer squash, and how easy and delicious it was. Well it got me thinking about what else I could potentially grill up. Somehow, I settled on apples. I had heard of baking an apple in a microwave from my roommate Jess back in college, so I figured that this would be on along the same lines of taste and consistency.

Ok, to the point: what I actually did. As you can see from the pictures that I thankfully managed to remember to snap, I sliced the apples into rings, but left the core in. After being told that it wasn’t bad by a former boss, I became one of those people who will much an ENTIRE apple. Combine that with the softening properties of grilling on high heat, and the center of the apple is no longer a problem.

Now for what you can’t see here. In addition to just grilling the apples, I used some of my lovely 0 calorie cooking spray, and a pack of Splenda to help caramelize the apples a bit. So, what are we left with? Rings of apple that taste somewhere between applesauce and candy, but have a much more satisfying heft. Oh yeah, did I mention that with a small granny smith like this, it’s only 1 point? Oh yeah, it’s awesome….Ok, why are you still here, you should be making this RIGHT NOW!

Spreading Out Your Meals

I don’t know about everyone else, but I was raised in a big dinner house. This entailed the standard three square meals a day, with the last being a big and hearty supper. For a diet, this is not the best mentality to have.

First off, there is all of the research that has been done about the metabolism. From what I’ve heard, it is better for your metabolism if you eat several small meals throughout the course of the day. This means effectively snacking all day instead of power loading on food at set intervals. This is great in theory, but very hard for those of us that like to feel “full”.

I am no expert on metabolisms, so the aforementioned point really has no ground. What I do know is that eating smaller meals/snacks throughout the day is good for hunger management. The key, and hardest part, is letting go of that need to feel full or stuffed. It’s all mental, and what stands in your way from feeling content all the time. By eating at certain blocks of time, we allow ourselves to get hungry, and then overload on food. If you eat snacks all day, you can remain at a steady comfort level of contentment.

I’ve been trying to do this myself, moving my weight watchers points to be used throughout the day instead of leaving the bulk (half or more) for dinner. This has been pretty hard to do, but helps keep me more alert, and less uncomfortable throughout the day. The only hard part is the same as anything to do with a diet: willpower.

Slim-Fast Optima

Ok, so in an effort to vary my eating habits (I have a tendency to eat the same thing too much for too long) I decided to break up my meal schedule. To start, I decided that I should eat my breakfast at home, and then have something else once I got to work in the morning. By using my points more throughout the day, I could avoid power loading at night; eating too many of my points at the end of the day.

With that in mind, I though about foods that would be good as starts to the day as I like to curb my hunger so that I can stay focused, and at the same time not eat too much because I don’t like to feel overloaded in the morning. After looking around online, I decided to try Slim-Fast Optima, one of Slim-Fast’s shakes designed to curb hunger.

Well, today marks the last day of my personal “trial”, and I won’t be buying any more. At a steep price of $7.99 at my local grocery store for six cans, its way too expensive. Also, it is about as satisfying as an over-glorified chocolate milk. I will say that it does taste good, but doesn’t provide the hunger curbing effect that I was looking for. Also, at four points a pop, it’s pretty steep on the weight watchers points for the day.

Overall, if you are in a hurry and on the go, this might be a solution for you, but I think that a granola bar or or Nutri-grain might do better. Also, as I’m finding that I might have a slight issue with lactose, this is definitely not for me.

Hostess 100 Calorie Packs

So, as part of this blog, I mentioned that I wanted to point out particularly good foods to eat when on Weight Watchers, or at least ones that have helped me.

One of my biggest issues when dieting in portion control. I can cook healthy, and buy good food, but limiting myself to just that right portion or point value has always been a problem. The recent outbreak of 100 calorie packs from several snack distributors has helped a lot with this. Someone on weight watchers can generally count on these being a perfect 2 point snack in just the right portion.

Hostess has actually done better, bringing on treats that satisfy the darkest cravings (chocolate, carrot cake…you know what I’m talking about) for only one point! That’s right, some (not all) of their 100 calorie packs are only one point, making them the perfect addition to any lunchbox.

The flavors that can be had for one point are the chocolate cupcakes, carrot cakes, cinnamon coffee cakes, banana muffin, and strawberry cupcakes. I have only tried the first three, and they are all fantastic. These little treats are perfectly split into three moist bite-sized replicas of their original snacks, and contain just as much flavor. For an extra treat in the summer, try refrigerating the snacks. In my opinion, this makes them more moist, and more flavorful.

Now for the drawbacks. Keep in mind that yes, these are one point per package, but when you start having multiple, the points can stack. For instance, two packs are actually three points. This is usually how it is with any food on weight watchers. The other drawback is that they are so delicious. The temptation to have more than one is very high.

That said, enjoy this tasty treat, and good luck in the dieting battle!