Archive for March, 2007

Kellogg’s Special K Bliss Cereal Bar

Bliss Cereal Bar
Price free – it was a gift
Serving: 22g bar
Calories: 88
Fat: 2g – 1g saturated / 0g trans
Sodium: 0.05g
Carbs: 16g
Fibre: 0.9g
Protein: 0.9g

The Score: 4 out of 5

Compared to what there is available in the UK, Canada’s selection of granola/cereal bars is pitiful and unimaginative. My roommate was kind enough to bring me more gifts and this time it was a nice little cereal bar.

I live off of snacks. If there is a satisfying snack that I can grab, I’ll do it. They’re easy to throw in my bag and open up during lecture or if I’m on the bus. It keeps my blood sugar from running too low if I’m not at home and don’t have money on me. At or even under 100 calories, they don’t make a dent in my calorific intake for the day.

I did notice that for such a small bar, the 16g of carbs is a little high. It’s also not very filling – since it is mostly just cereal. It lacks both protein and fibre so I wouldn’t think this could sustain someone for very long. It’s a snack and definitely not a meal replacement.

The Look: I put a sharpie pen next to the bar to show scale. The bar itself is only about three inches long. It’s not very big at all. But the chocolate coating covers the entire base, it’s not just a zig zag drizzle. You can see the chunks of raspberries and the different kinds of puffy rice cereal. There are also what I believe to be oat bran pieces.

The Smell: Slightly fruity. You do smell that chocolate.

The Taste: It is amazing. Fabulously sweet. The combination of the different textures – chewy fruit bits and the crunchy cereal is great. The chocolate, raspberry together balances the sweet and tangy nicely. The light cereal even contributes in making the taste not too sweet, but sweet enough that it hits the spot for a chocolate treat. It’s chewy – not at all like the stiff and often tough brick that are the Special K bars here.

The Verdict: Definitely a favorite of mine. I’m not even going to get into the cliche appropriateness of this product’s name. I wish they were sold these in Canada. With only 88 calories you can’t go wrong. My regret is only that it is so tiny and it makes me want to grab another. But it’s better than any cereal bar on the market to date here. It puts the Special K bars here to shame. It beats it in taste. You don’t even realize you’re eating a ”diet” cereal bar. If you ever get a chance to try one, I highly recommend it.

March 28, 2007 at 11:24 pm 1 comment

Options choc Mint Madness

chocolate mint drink
Price free – it was a gift
Serving: 11g (bottle has 20 servings)
Calories: 40.4
Fat: 1.1g – 1g saturated / 0g trans
Sodium: 0.1g
Carbs: 6.2g
Fibre: 1g
Protein: 1.3g

The Score: 4 out of 5

Having a roommate who goes home to the UK means I get to try some products that we don’t here in Canada. What I find interesting is that they use different ingredients in some of their versions of the products we have here. Some of their candy products (I think she mentioned Skittles) don’t use gelatin. Also their chocolate bars, although similar portion in size, had fewer calories. Anyway, my roommate herself is hooked on Options choc drinks and brought me a canister of the mint flavored one.

It comes in different sizes: large, small, and individual serving packets. There are also plenty of flavors: chocolate, chocolate mint, hazlenut, chocolate orange, toffee, Turkish delight, mocha, Caribbean coconut, cinnamon, banana, white chocolate, and vanilla.

Whey power (from milk) is the first ingredient – which probably helps in the calorie reduction. It’s flavored with natural mint flavor. However, it is partially sweetened with aspartame. It’s gluten free and contains a source for phenylalanine.

The Look: Looks a little lighter than usual cocoa mix. To me it looks like a cross between cocoa mix and whey protein powder – in terms of consistency. It’s chocolate brown with lighter cream colored flecks. You have to really stir; it doesn’t dissolve as easily as cocoa does. I get residual lumps.

The Smell: A distinctive minty smell greets me. It’s not too strong, but I smell that more than I smell chocolate.

The Taste: It’s sweet. You can taste the mint but the nicest part is that refreshing rush in your mouth. The chocolate taste is very light, but it underlines the mint. There is a bit of that aspartame aftertaste. I made it using water – I’ll try milk next time (we don’t have any in the fridge at the moment) and see if it makes it creamier.

The Verdict: The mint is great and any chocolate-mint fan would probably enjoy this a lot. However, it’s noticeably not as rich as normal cocoa. But at only 40 calories a cup (and it’s a regular mug size), and with it definitely being chocolaty and light, I’d say it’s a great substitution that I wish were available in Canada.

March 28, 2007 at 11:19 pm Leave a comment

noname Dark Chocolate covered Digestive Cookies

dark chocolate covered digestive cookies
Price: $2.19/ roll approx.25
Serving: 2 biscuits (25g)
Calories: 140
Fat: 6g – 3g saturated / 0g trans
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 200mg – 8%
Carbs: 16g – 5%
Fibre: 1g – 4%
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 2g

The Score: 4 out of 5

When my roommate came home from Spring Break, she brought back with her from the UK this roll of caramel and chocolate covered digestive cookies for her boyfriend. Since he was at our place, I was able to partake in the goodies and they were mouthwatering and tasty. I think they eventually finished the roll in about two days. Unfortunately Valu-Mart doesn’t sell them and I haven’t come across them in any other store yet either.

But I did find that noname sells two varieties (that I saw) – plain and dark chocolate covered. I have a fond weakness for dark chocolate. The label says: IMPORTED FROM ENGLAND… I don’t know why but I don’t associate noname with importing high end goods…

The Look: Approximately 5.5cm in diameter with ’sweetmeal digestive cookie’ embossed on one side and about a millimeter of dark chocolate on the other. Looks like a typical digestive cookie.

The Smell: Cookish?

The Taste: Cruncy. Sweet, but not too sugary. I’m guessing that’s because it’s dark instead of milk chocolate. Enough chocolate to not make me want to wince at the sweetness. I definitely miss the caramel though. The balance is perfect. The chocolate melts a little in your mouth a little too. For a normal treat, the two cookies would be sufficient.

The Verdict: Well I only bought the package today and I’ve eaten about 1/3 of it already so it’s definitely a winner in my books. I would have given it a perfect score if it didn’t have so much fat per serving. With all those 100 calorie packs out there with 2-3g of fat and only a few cents more, I could see someone grabbing those instead. But I’ll be buying this again, especially when I want a chocolate cookie but am scared of devouring an entire pack of President’s Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies.

March 28, 2007 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

High Liner Healthy Bake Breaded Fish Fillets

Frozen Fish
Price: $4.99/box of 10
Serving: 2 fillets (100g)
Calories: 140
Fat: 1g – 0.1g saturated / 0g trans
Cholesterol: 35mg
Sodium: 350mg – 15%
Carbs: 20g – 7%
Fibre: 1g – 4%
Protein: 12g

The Score: 1 out of 5

I love sole and salmon. They are typically the only two types of fish I choose to eat. I especially like my dad’s homemade crunchy fillet (with the light Japanese bread crumbs). We don’t have it often since it’s not the healthiest, but when we do, pretty damn tasty. So when I was at Valu-Mart and I saw these healthy alternatives, I figured for the price, I’d give it a shot. I’m the eternal optimist and wanted to believe that even though it’s frozen fish, it might be half descent.

I was disappointed that the fillets were actually Pollock. Then again, what was I expecting for $4.99/10. Nutritionally it’s not that bad. No trans fats. If you’re worried about sodium, one serving does include 15% of daily-recommended intake and for such a small portion, it might be worth taking note of. However, it does have a respectable amount of protein. And hey – It’s Prepared Without Frying!

The Look: I put the fillets in the pre-heated oven for 16 minutes. I took them out and they didn’t quite look opaque. Since I don’t really want to get food poisoning from frozen raw fish, I threw it back into the oven for another ten minutes. I was also put off by the screaming orange mush that was between the fish and breading – I assume an amalgam of fish juices and breading… Or at least that’s what I hope. Obviously this doesn’t look appetizing. Fish was white with some dark gray/brown areas… I try to overlook some things.

The Smell: Predictably fishy… However, it’s also somewhat nauseating. The fresh fish fillets my dad cooks up never made me make this face…

The Taste: The smell and appearance made me very apprehensive. Crunchy. Slight taste of what I’m assuming is the spices. A chewing consistency. It tastes like subpar frozen fish. Now I wonder if I ate this with my nose plugged would it taste fishy at all? I’m very glad I have the immense helping of Miracle Whip. The aftertaste leaves much to be desired. There seems to be some sort of residue left over in my mouth, perhaps from the breading? Side note – the Miracle Whip is tangy.

The Verdict: It’s not very filling. I want to make a turkey sandwich right now. Obviously because it cost me $4.99 for 10 fillets I’m going to finish the box. I only have a month left of school. But I’m never buying this again. Even if it’s on sale. I’m going to brush my teeth and I’m really glad I had a salad.

March 28, 2007 at 8:38 pm Leave a comment

The Beginning

Am I following a trend… I’ve made a food review blog! Unfortunately, I can’t boast any special features over any of the other blogs out there.

The only thing I am doing is reviewing food that I find at the grocery store, with somewhat reasonable nutritional value (for the most part), on a meager university student’s budget.

Sometimes it’s fabulous, sometimes it’s bold and sometimes it’s really ugly.

March 26, 2007 at 12:01 am Leave a comment