Category: Product Review

Newman’s Own Marinara Review

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While we promote whole, unprocessed foods, we are realists. When we find a product that is wholesome and healthy that meets our criteria of no added sugars and good nutrition, we not only occasionally eat those foods, we will tell you about them! I was a SAHM, (stay-at-home-mom) for many years and even then, I was not making marinara from scratch. I have always been able to find a bottled sauce that I liked, but Newman’s Own Marinara is the best bottled sauce that I have found by far.

This delectable sauce is made with heart healthy extra virgin olive oil. It’s kosher and also gluten-free. It has a perfect tanginess balanced with a slight sweet tomato flavor like truly vine-ripened tomatoes should have. I am from the Deep South and we know what tomatoes should taste like. So often, I have bought marinara that had that “Winter tomato” flavor that only comes from low quality tomatoes. This sauce tastes like it was made from tomatoes that were grown for producing a great sauce. It’s seasoned to perfection.

The texture of this sauce is perfect for my purposes. My son doesn’t like anything “chunky”, while I prefer a bit of bulk. This sauce satisfies both of us because it doesn’t have obvious chunks of veggies but it does have a nice thick quality. You can feel the texture of the vegetables on your tongue so it tastes more like a freshly cooked, home-made sauce straight from the garden than some of the thin, super smooth pasta sauces that flood our grocery store shelves. It contains diced tomatoes that have been cooked until there is no obvious bulk and pureed carrots that thicken it up nicely.

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I don’t eat pasta but I understand that there are protein pastas available. I brown ground beef in chunks and add this sauce and serve it like a stew or thick soup. This fits my low-carb lifestyle perfectly and fills me up with a smile on my face.  Instead of saying, “Lot’s of sauce, please.”, I just eat the sauce. You might also like pouring a jar over chicken breasts in a slow-cooker and topping it with mozzarella. Use your imagination, you can’t go wrong with this sauce.

At only $2.18 per bottle, you can use this product as much as you like. There are 5 servings of 1/2 cup each per bottle and each serving has only 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, 11 grams of net carbs and 3 grams of protein, a nutritional goldmine for sure. The lycopene content of this product is high because it’s made from tomatoes. Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights the oxidative stress that is associated with certain chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. (1) Lycopene may also prevent or delay the formation of cataracts and reduce your risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults. (1)

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When I consider the excellent flavor, texture, price and dense nutrition of this sauce,  it’s hard to imagine not stocking this great convenience food in my pantry. As with all of our reviews, you may not agree but I challenge you to give it a try.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lycopene

 

 

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Dr. Praeger’s Gluten Free California Veggie Burger Review

Disclaimer: Just because I like, or dislike the flavor of a food, our tastes are all unique to us. Your experience could be different than mine.

Ingredients

Carrots, Onions, String Beans, Oat Bran, Zucchini, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Peas, Spinach, Corn, Broccoli, Red Peppers, Arrowroot Powder, Corn Starch, Corn Meal, Roasted Garlic, Sea Salt, Spices

For me, some veggie burgers makers knock it out of the park with their products. Others can be kind of a yuck. I found Dr. Praeger’s Gluten Free California Veggie Burger to be somewhere in the middle taste wise. Not good, not bad, not good enough to buy again, but I could eat them to be polite if a friend served one to me. I browned mine in a cast iron skillet with a very small amount of olive oil, and then placed it on an Ole brand Extreme Wellness, High Fiber Spinach tortilla. I did not add any condiments as I wanted the full flavor profile of the pattie to come through. I thought it tasted heavily of fried carrot, peas, some broccoli and canola oil. I believe the oil taste would have come out even if I had browned it in a 450 degree oven per the oven browning instructions. As I cooked the pattie, I could see it releasing the oil into the pan. I will not let the remaining patties go to waste, but for the rest, I will dress them with lettuce, pickles and mayo to improve the flavor. I might add a little chili lime seasoning too.

I do not own non-stick skillets and only use cast iron with a small amount of olive oil to pan sear foods. The skillet instructions called to use non-stick, but this would not have improved the flavor.

Nutritionally, these patties are okay. Low in calories and a good source of fiber.  Ten percent of the total calories are made up from protein, yet the protein in these do not provide a full profile of essential amino acids which is something that those who are new to veganism need to be mindful of consuming for good health. I’m not sure why not containing soy is important to anyone unless they have some type of sensitivity to it. Soy contains all nine essential amino acids.

 

Edit: Five hours after eating just one of these patties, I keep burping up the taste of them. The remaining patties just got chucked into my trash.

Qrunch Quinoa Burger Review

I have seen these Qrunch quinoa burgers in my store lately and became intrigued to try them for a product review. Qrunch has more than one flavor of these patties, but my store only had the spicy Italian in stock, so that is the one I settled on…

The patties come precooked, but must be warmed from frozen either in an oven or skillet on the stove top. I chose to warm mine in a skillet with a bit of olive oil for about three and a half minutes on both sides per the warming instructions. Qrunch does not recommend placing them in the microwave, maybe I will nuke one later just to see how it comes out.

Once I had warmed my pattie, I decided to eat it on an Ole Extreme Wellness spinach tortilla. I had no preconceived expectations for my first bite, but thought maybe the flavor might actually have a spicy Italian flavor as advertised.

It didn’t.

The patty had a texture that was somewhat grainy which came as no surprise to me, after all, it is made from millet and quinoa. I found the texture kind of odd and dry, but not unappealing in the least. For me, it was just different from other foods I am used to. I sometimes like different, so this was not a bad selling point for me.

Now, back to the flavor…

The flavor did not taste anything remotely like any Italian foods I have ever consumed. It tasted like grain to me, with a very slight bit of spice. I believe that if you are stuck on having an Italian flavor, you are going to hate these patties. But, if you are not stuck on that and enjoy nutty grain flavors, you might just like these plenty well.

I rather enjoyed the different flavor and texture of these patties despite the fact there was not a trace of spicy Italian I could detect in them. I liked the first one enough that I cooked a second one. The first two ingredients are millet and quinoa, and I think these earthy flavors compliment each other nicely.  Qrunch claims fennel adds a distinctive, rich flavor reminiscent of many popular Italian dishes in their advertisement. However, I could not taste fennel, nor any of the 14 other ingredients listed. Yet, I still like these patties as a little something different for a change. I think one aspect that appeals to me is that despite being advertised as a burger, they do not try to copy the flavor of a beef burger as many of the other vege-burger brands do. I also love the fact they contain quinoa, which contains a full profile of amino acids, as a main ingredient. Many other vegan products do not contain a full profile of amino acids which are essential to our good health.

At a price of $7.79 for a box of four patties, some might find this to be expensive. But, this is nowhere near as expensive as a value meal from your local fast food joint now days, is it?

For our vegan friends, these patties should fulfill your desires!

As you can see from the ingredients list and nutritional info, these burgers are nutritionally sound, but I wish they had a higher protein content. But, this is not a deal killer for me. At four grams of fiber per patty, this is a good amount. In western society, most people do not consume enough fiber, which results in many bowel issues with an emphasis on diverticulosis and colon cancer. For the health and environment conscious individuals, you might want to give Qrunch products a try!

Realgood Low Carb Pizzas and Poppers Review

Disclaimer

I must begin this review by stating the obvious. My opinion may not be yours. If a low carb, chicken crust pizza snack interests you, you might want to try these for yourself. Personally, I had to wrangle with the idea that “If you can’t say anyting good, say nothing at all.” before writing this review. Even my autistic son,who normally doesn’t struggle with trying to spare my feelings about anything, was less than enthusiastic where these products were concerned.

Late Night Discovery

As I rambled through the aisles of frozen food looking for frozen peas, the various new pizza inventions caught my eye. Always looking for new products to review, I was thrilled when my eyes fell on these pizzas. Wow! Low carb, no sugar added and high protein all rolled up into pizza and pizza rolls. The crust is made from chicken so they looked promising. I hurriedly threw them in my cart, checked out and drove home. They only take a few minutes to prepare in the microwave and I was preparing food for two so in about 15 minutes, I had both boxes ready. I had a lot of calories left for the day so I was able to sample both products. The sad thing was that I didn’t fix anything else and after one bite, I had eaten all of these products that I wanted. Had I not been hungry, which is pretty rare, I would have thrown them out and started over. At only $5.67 per box, the “dinner” was cheap enough but so is dogfood. I think that I might have liked that better.

Pizza?

If you absolutely LOVE salty chicken then you might really go for these processed foods but remember, I said SALTY. One serving of the Snack Size Pizzas contain 750 mg. of sodium which is 31% of the Daily Value of what our government recommends that we should eat. There are 2 servings in a box. Although the poppers contain 10%, you must realize that is for only 3 poppers. There’s 9 in a box. There was nothing about this salty, processed chicken concoction that reminded me of pizza. The texture was rubbery and seemed to chew back. The flavor was just chicken. When I asked my son how he liked them, with as much tact as an autistic man can muster, he said, “Uh, they’re a little bland.” The boy loves pizza… all pizza. This was not pizza to him.

Binge Food?

I understand that sometimes we may look for a substitute for a “trigger food”. If you are craving pizza and you don’t trust yourself with the real thing then you might find a use for these products, but what you should do is try our  pizza casserole recipe. It’s quick and easy to make and guaranteed to satisfy your craving. You control the ingredients so sodium is your choice. While the recipe calls for turkey pepperoni, you can modify that with any meat or other protein that you like. I frequently make it with ground beef which has only 306 mg for an entire pound of meat. You can serve this to your family with confidence that they will like it. My son loves for me to make this delectable recipe. Sometimes I modify it to make a Mexican inspired taco casserole with taco sauce and Mexican spices instead of tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. It’s your choice! The recipe is quite versatile. If you actually binge on these Realgood products, you’re going to ingest a lot of salt.

Overall Impression

I will not buy any of these products again. I buy very few processed foods to begin with and these will not make that list. While I was full and the high protein kept me satisfied, it was like taking bad medicine to choke that stuff down. I kept thinking that it “would get better’. It didn’t. I know we’re always looking for something that’s quick to fix but still meets the low-carb, high protein, no sugar added criteria but this ain’t it for me. I think I’ll fire up my crock pot so that supper will be waiting when I get here. Hopefully, I’ll get good reviews from my son on that. I think he may lock the door if he knows I’m coming in with this stuff. Again, you may like these products. If so, go for it if you can tolerate the salt. Personally, when I want pizza, I’m making my own with the aforementioned recipe. If there’s any recipe that you would like to see featured here on David’s Way, comment here or drop us an email on the “Contact” tab. We will find one just for you!

Sodium

Wow! I wanted to give you a good, online photo of the nutritional information of these products, but the full label for the Snack Size Pizza is incredibly difficult to find! I can’t help but wonder if it’s because of the massive amount of sodium in this product. Even Walmart has a limited label available on their website. It doesn’t show the sodium, so I fished this box out of the garbage. See for yourself.

 

 

Cleveland Kraut Beet Red Review

If you like sauerkraut, you need to try the products being produced by Cleveland Kraut. Even if you do not normally care for sauerkraut, you still need to give them a try. I have had three of their kraut products and have loved each one so far. These folks truly have a gift of knowing the perfect blend of ingredients where each come through with none over powering another.

Fresh fermented beets and carrots make the Beet Red kraut earthy & tart. Add a beautiful bite to meat dishes, hot dogs, and salads paired with goat cheese. Cleveland Kraut

Ingredients:

Red Cabbage, Beets, Carrots, Kosher Salt

The great irony with my love of this product is I do not normally care for the taste of beets nor that of carrots. Yet, the earthy sweet flavor of these two ingredients come through to compliment the tartness of the kraut. The beets and carrots provide a superb touch of natural sweetness  and crunch. There is a hint of pickled beets that comes through the flavor, yet it is only a hint. The carrots are also not prominent, but you do know they are there. I can think of many foods I could pair Beet Red with, but this morning decided on pan seared, chili lime seasoned salmon with scrambled eggs topped with habanero hot sauce.

Sauerkraut is a low calorie, genuinely healthy food that is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Its probiotics also help your body absorb these nutrients more easily. It is a food that should be added into your diet if you have never tried it.

Health benefits of sauerkraut:

Sauerkraut is a rich source of immune-boosting probiotics and nutrients.

For starters, the bacteria that populate your gut can have a strong influence on your immune system. The probiotics found in sauerkraut help improve the balance of bacteria in your gut, which keeps your gut lining healthy.

A stronger gut lining helps prevent unwanted substances from  “leaking” into your body and causing an immune response.

Maintaining a healthy gut flora also helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and may even boost the production of natural antibodies.

Moreover, regularly consuming probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut may reduce your risk of developing infections such as the common cold and urinary tract infections.

If you do get sick, regularly consuming probiotic-rich foods may help you recover faster and could reduce your chance of needing antibiotics by around 33%.

In addition to being a rich source of probiotics, sauerkraut is also rich in vitamin C and iron, both of which contribute to a healthy immune system.

In particular, upping your vitamin C intake when you have the common cold may help you get rid of symptoms more quickly. (1)

(1) http://www.healthline.com

Simple Truth Chorizo Review

I like chorizo, and I really wanted to like this product. In the package, it looked like it might be a delicious treat, but the reality once cooked, was this plant based chorizo was a terrible disappointment to me.

The first chorizo link I prepared with eggs for Huevos Rancheros, or chorizo and scrambled eggs. I cut the chorizo into small  bite size pieces, then lightly browned them in olive oil. Once browned I poured my chili lime seasoned eggs into the pan with the chorizo pieces and scrambled them together until the eggs were done. I topped my Huevos Rancheros with habanero hot sauce after I plated it and then sat down to enjoy a tasty Mexican breakfast.

Well, my scrambled eggs were good, but the chorizo I found to be too bland, just lacking in flavor like an unfinished product. The chorizo only kind of tasted like the actual meat product, but it had a less than desirable texture along with a blandness that could not excite the taste buds. Considering the first ingredients are Filtered Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Wheat Protein Isolate, the weird bland texture and and taste should have only been expected.

How about this for a product website disclaimer:

Actual product packaging and materials may contain additional and/or different ingredient, nutritional, or proper usage information than the information displayed on our website. 

I tried a second link which I browned and consumed with only an Ole brand Extreme Wellness High Fiber Tortilla. This was a worse decision than the Huevos Rancheros. I actually do enjoy some plant based meat substitutes. Some are pretty damn good, but the simple truth with Simple Truth Chorizo is this product was a complete failure to me, you might like it though.

Ingredients
Filtered Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Wheat Protein Isolate, Apple Cider Vinegar, Yeast Extract, Paprika, Spices, Cane Sugar, Onions, Cultured Sugar, Vinegar, Garlic, Garlic Powder, Paprika Extract, Spice Extract.

With the exception of the small amount of cane sugar, I find nothing inherently wrong with the ingredients, but for the fact, they did not come together well enough to create a product that actually tasted good.

At $3.99  for a package of 4 links, this product is nutritionally sound for an inexpensive meal. It is high in protein and low in carbs. However, for a little more money, next time I have chorizo, I am going to go ahead and have an actual real deal, meat product.

Cleveland Kraut, Curry Kraut Review

This is the second sauerkraut product produced by Cleveland Kraut I have tried, and I must say, I am quickly becoming a huge fan of their products. I thought their Gnar Gnar Kraut was pretty darn good, but this Curry Kraut raises the bar in delicious flavor. The guys at Cleveland Kraut state;

“At Cleveland Kraut, we take pride in producing the best tasting and crunchiest sauerkraut in the world.”

If you are going to make a bold claim to be the best tasting and crunchiest in the world, you had best be able to back it up with a superb product. Cleveland Kraut is doing so, in the products I have tried. They have knocked it clean out of the park with this one. Home Run!

The same as they accomplished with their Gnar Gnar product, this kraut is a perfect blend of spices and peppers where you can distinctly taste each savory ingredient without it overpowering another. Some might find the curry and jalapenos to be a bit warm for their palate, although I found it to be quite mild. My disclaimer: I consume an entire bottle of habanero hot sauce about every week and a half to two weeks. You might use caution when first trying this product as I have a high tolerance for hot foods.

As a bonus, this kraut is not only delicious, it is a healthy probiotic food which is important to good digestive health. Sauerkraut contains enzymes that help he body to break down food into smaller, and more easily digestible molecules which in turn helps the body to absorb more nutrients which help to keep your body working in an optimum condition.

I paired this Curry Kraut with a 4 ounce pork chop I had pan seared in a little bit of olive oil. This pairing was quite excellent, but it would be possibly better on a good brat. This satisfying meal only yielded 220 calories with 23 grams protein, 4 grams of complex carbs, and 18 grams of fat. 13.5 grams of this fat was from heart healthy olive oil.

Ingredients:

Cabbage, Jalapeno Peppers, Carrots, Kosher Salt, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, Mustard Seed

Nutrition:

 

 

Zero Evil Italian Sausage and Gnar Gnar Kraut Review

I have said before that I am a carnivore at heart, I am a true lover of meat and meat products. However, I also have a curiosity when it comes to all of the plant based meat substitutes, and love trying the new products as they begin appearing more frequently on my grocer’s shelves. The products are hit and miss, some are really good, some are just okay, while some are absolutely horrendous in my opinion. The Worthington X Burger reminded me of how awful the soy burgers were that my school district served us for lunch back in the sixties and seventies. Well, maybe not that bad, but pretty damn close…

The Stallion, Zero Evil’s Italian Sausage was a good choice for today’s review, and pairing it with Gnar Gnar Kraut made for a superb lunch too.

From Zero Evil’s website:

The Stallion delivers the knockout punch. No matter how you slice it, our signature blend of spices and whole ingredients comes out swinging. 

There is truth to their advertising. I thought the sausage was excellent, even though it was a tad dry. However, the flavor was good enough for me to get past the dryness which might have come partly from my own cooking of the product coupled with the fact there is only 1 gram of fat per link. I removed the casing per the instructions on the box and pan seared two links in a cast iron skillet on medium low heat with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. The sausages cooked fairly quickly as I also heated up the Gnar Gnar Kraut. Both were done in only a few minutes.  A cooking point to remember is these are entirely plant based, yet the fact they are so similar to actual meat sausages, you might find your self looking for the same cues of being done as you would meat. You need not over cook plant based meat substitutes.

In my opinion, I thought the Italian sausage tasted very similar to an actual meat based sausage with the biggest difference being in they are not fatty and the texture is not meaty, I already mentioned the dryness. But over all, the blend of seasonings was spot on perfect and I will definitely be buying more of these sausages in the future.

You might find Zero Evil Italian Sausages a tad expensive at $7.99 for a 12 ounce package of four links. Compared to cheap sausages, this is pricey. However, with the expense of a healthier diet, the cost of good nutritious foods can be offset by you not having to visit your doctor quite so often for ailments that can be traced entirely to unhealthy dietary habits.

These plant based sausages are indeed nutritionally sound.

Ingredients:

Vital Wheat Gluten, Filtered Water, Organic Red Kidney Beans, Organic Shoyu, Chickpea Flour, Nutritional Yeast, Sea Salt, Organic Smoked Paprika, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Chili Flakes, Organic Fennel Seed, Organic Thyme, Organic Rosemary, Organic Cayenne, Organic Black Pepper

My only concern in regards to the ingredients would be the Vital Wheat Gluten for those who are gluten intolerant.  Otherwise, all else is perfectly fine.

This is Cleveland’s answer to kimchi. This spicy & gnarly kraut will add a bold and delicious kick to any dish. Beware, you might get hooked!

Hands down, this has to be the best damn Kraut I have ever consumed. The blend of red bell pepper, jalapeno’s, onion, and siracha peppers is a perfect addition to sauerkraut. While each flavor profile was distinctive in the kraut, not a one over powered any of the others. I have to tip my hat to the folks at Cleveland Kraut for developing such an excellent recipe.

A point to consider though is this product is a little on the spicy side with heat. For me, I thought is was pretty mild, but I also go through a bottle of habanero hot sauce every two weeks. If you do not like heat, you might want to avoid this product, if you like heat and kraut, fill your plate, you will enjoy this! At $5.99 for a 16 ounce package, you cannot go wrong.

This probiotic food choice is low enough in calories, you could eat and entire bag every day with no worries about expanding your waist.

Ingredients:

Green Cabbage, Green Bell Peppers, Jalapenos, Kosher Salt, Leeks, Sriracha (Chili Peppers, Sugar, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic, Chili Extract, Beet Powder), Garlic, Red Chili

Worthington XBurger Review

Although I am a carnivore at heart, I must admit there are a few vegetarian burgers on the market which I really do enjoy on occasion for something a little different. I have found the taste and quality of vege burgers to be a mixed bag of pretty damn good to just plain awful. However, as I state on every food item I review, taste is subjective. What I find to be a delectable treat, you might think of as gross. And of course, the opposite could be the case with some of these foods.

On my Saturday grocery shopping excursion, I was actually searching for a different plant based meat substitute to sample and do a review on. I had just found the No Evil plant based products and made a selection for their Italian Sausage when the Worthington X Burgers caught my eye a few shelves below. I have been seeing their Facebook ads on my feed almost daily so I decided to give them a try for a review too. And who knows, I might just the X Burger enough to make them a regular staple on my weekly grocery list. I already buy Morningstar and Boca products fairly often, it can’t hurt to add more variety to my diet now can it?

I had zero preconceived notion whether the X Burger would be any good or not, my mind was entirely open to them being good, or not so good.

Pictured above is an X Burger fresh out of the box and still frozen, they tell you the burger can be cooked frozen or thawed. I do not know about you, but I felt this was not all that appealing in its appearance. The other thing I noticed about this burger was it had what smelled vaguely like dog food to me, I actually noticed a similar smell with the Beyond Burgers too, and still found them to taste pretty decent once they had been cooked.

Never the less, I moved forward with preparing it and kind of felt as if I was taking one for the team with its appearance and odor.

I browned the X Burger in a well seasoned cast iron skillet with a little olive oil.

As you can see, the X Burger does not even remotely appear to look like hamburger if that is important to you. This was not an issue for me, I have eaten some foods during my military career,  Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), that were far less appetizing if you based the appeal solely on appearance.

Okay, this is a vege burger and I really have no expectations for it to really have a beef like taste or texture. I would actually prefer it have a flavor all it’s own as long as it is satisfying to my palate. For instance, I love Morningstar Southwest Black Bean Chili burgers  which are very tasty without tasting anything like a beef burger. Having a beef flavor is not an issue for me, but for the fact with this burger, their packaging has an image of a cow next to their statement where the manufacturer refers to their “meaty goodness”. Is it wrong that I interpret this to mean the burger is beef like in taste and texture? Because the taste and texture is nothing close to that of ground beef. I will say the texture was firm, and easy to chew. However, the taste left a bit to be desired for me. The flavor was not horrible while I was consuming the burger, but it left me with an after taste that can only make me think of dog food. I found the after taste to be similar to how Alpo dog food smells. It may not smell horrible, but you know you do not want to eat it.

Ingredients:

Non-gmo Textured Soy Protein Concentrate, Palm Oil (sustainably Sourced), Non-gmo Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Oil, Contains 2% Or Less Of Wheat Protein, Methylcellulose, Corn Starch, Natural Flavors, Yeast Extract, Dextrose, Salt, Vegetable Juice Powder, Beet Powder (for Color), Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid

Nutritionally, these burgers are wholesome and healthy enough, but I personally will not buy them again. But, as I said above, you might like them even though I did not care for these burgers. At $6.49 US for two burgers, I had higher expectations.  The only plus side to these burgers in my personal opinion was the 21 grams of protein. And with that protein coming from soy, you will be getting a full profile of the nine essential amino acids which are crucial to building and maintaining lean muscle mass. Try them for yourself though, you might find the Worthington  Burger to be much better than I did.

 

Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Review

I have tried other Quest brand protein bars and despite all the favorable hype I have seen regarding them on a couple weight loss social media apps, I never cared for the very strong, over powering artificial sweetness I tasted with each that I have tried. However, I understand and accept that everyone has different likes and dislikes. You might just love this artificial taste.

I do not buy protein bars or cookies very often as they often have an off taste from the vitamins the producer has incorporated into the ingredients. However, while out on the road in my semi yesterday, this product caught my eye during a stop at a service plaza. I almost walked on past it since I do not care for their protein bars, but the look of a chocolate chip cookie that has 15 grams protein, 4 net grams of carbs, less than one gram of sugar while containing 9 grams of fiber caught my attention. For all intents and purposes, the nutritional values meet what I look for in foods, and after all, who can resist a good chewy chocolate chip cookie that is also a healthier choice than any other cookies stocked on the truck stop shelves.

I finished my purchase and walked back out to my truck for the final leg of my 945 mile trip. Once back behind the wheel of my truck, I slipped it into gear and began unwrapping the cookie as I was merging back onto the interstate highway. The cookie looked delicious. It had a soft texture to it which was a bonus for me too. I was anticipating a little something tasty and healthy with a hot cup of coffee to hold me over until I got home as I took my first bite.

OK, at first bite, the cookie was soft and firm enough to be chewy! I have always loved a good chewy chocolate chip cookie over those that are crisp. Just a personal preference of mine. The initial taste was pleasant enough. The flavor kind of reminded me of a chewy Chip’s Ahoy. Except, it had a sickening artificially sweet undertone, that actually became over powering with each additional bite. To be honest, I am not 100% sure, but I cannot help but to assume this sweetness comes from their use of stevia as a sweetener. I know it does not come from the erythritol as I bake and cook with erythritol products at least once or twice a week.

You may like this taste, I do not. Again, it is just a matter of personal taste and opinion. There is no wrong or right to what flavors we like or do not like. But for me, Quest took a perfectly good cookie and ruined it with whatever the ingredient is that causes this over bearing sweetness. In fairness, I must say that by my having been entirely sugar free for a few years now, my taste for sweet treats has declined. Just like eating a low sodium diet, it gets where just a little salt can totally ruin a meal for me too. The last I will say on this sweetness is the taste in my mouth did not leave for quite some time. Thank god I had a few pieces of spearmint gum to finally get rid of it, I was tempted to pull over and get a mouthful of dirt to make it go away…   🙂

Quest Chocolate Chip Cookies are nutritionally sound, and you might really enjoy them. Try these before buying some sugar laden cookie that will only serve to fatten your belly while spiking your blood sugar and insulin. These cookies might fit your needs for a sugar free sweet treat on occasion. I feel if there was no stevia in these cookies, they would be a really good, wholesome snack to treat yourself with. For $3.74 for one cookie, you are also not likely to gorge yourself on them.

Ingredients:

Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate), Butter (Cream, Natural Flavor), Soluble Corn Fiber, Erythritol, Palm Oil, Unsweetened Chocolate, Calcium Caseinate, Natural Flavors, Water, Cocoa Butter. Contains less than 2% of the following: Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Sodium Caseinate, Xanthan Gum, Steviol Glycosides (Stevia)

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories: 250

Total fat: 17 grams

Saturated fat: 10 grams

Trans fats: 0 grams

Cholesterol: 30 mg

Sodium: 220 mg

Total Carbs: 19 grams

Net Carbs: 4 grams

Fiber: 9 grams

Total sugar less than 1 gram

Added sugar: 0 grams

Erythritol 6 grams

Protein: 15 grams

Vitamin D: 0 mcg

Calcium: 150 mg

Iron: .4 mg

Potassium: 100 mg