Product Review:Tinned fruit

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blueberries

Price: $4.07 / 415g ($0.98 / 100g)

Nutrition: per 70mL serve: Energy = 271kJ; Sugar = 10.3g; Sodium = 10mg.

Verdict: Canned varieties should be drained as most of the sugar is contained in the liquid. Opt for ‘In Juice’ over ‘In Syrup’.

You might have guessed now that some canned fruits are more appealing than others, a can of peaches is far more appealing than strawberries for example. The point is that there’s no reason not to incorporate things like canned peaches and canned/frozen blueberries when the fresh stuff is out of season or out of your price range. Remember that you could be doing your body a favour if theses are fruits you usually aren’t eating. We need to be consuming a variety of colours!

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Product Review: Macro Quinoa Snack-pot

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IMG_1418Price: $2.50 / 110g  ($2.27 / 100g)

 Brand: Woolworths macro. Not much to say, other than this is their specialty and certified organic range.

Verdict: Yuck! That was my first reaction to this product. After doing some thinking I feel now that the product has been stripped on any fun to appeal to the heath-conscious crowd who are likely to pick this up and go straight to the NIP (nutrition info panel). I could only have a few spoons before adding a little something to sweeten it. Once I did that it was edible. Definitely not something I’m willing to buy again, unfortunately. If you can stomach it, or can come up with a better way to serve I’d love to know. There is value in this product, it provides over 100% of the daily wholegrain goal and is a source of dietary fibre.

 *** This item appears to be no longer available***

Product Review: Quinoa Flakes

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flakes

Price: $7.49 / 350g ($2.14 / 100g)

Brand: macro

Woolworths macro. Not much to say, other than this is their specialty and certified organic range.

 

Nutrition in a 28g serve:445kj Energy, 3.2g protein, 19.3g carbs, 0.7g sugar, 1.7g fat, <5mg sodium.

Verdict: So… what can I say here. Quinoa is new and shiny, everyone who is cool is talking about it, but that doesn’t mean it tastes good. I know, blasphemy, I’m sharing an opinion not supported by pop culture. It is packed with protein, which is why it’s so filling.

I don’t have anything against quinoa and like to experiment with it. What I’m saying is that if you don’t like the taste then there is not much you can do about it (except for not eat it). If you eat oats in the morning or any other high fibre cereal then it’s best to stick with that when the alternative is a bowl of sugar with some quinoa on the side. At the same time, adding sweeteners is okay, but your choices matter.

Personally I like quinoa in savory things with lots of vegetables. I probably like it more this way because I cook the grains in stock rather than water so the bitterness of the quinoa is muted.

Share your quinoa experience as a comment!

Product Review: Mexican Tortilla Soup

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soupPrice: $3.50 / 400g ($ 0.88 / 100g)

 

Brand: Hansells All Natural

The New Zealand parent company of Alfa One, Aunt Betty’s, Hansells, Real Yoghurt, Vitafresh, Vitasport, Pane Toscano, Sucaryl and others. They’re best and originally known for their traditional steamed puddings, sold under the Aunt Betty’s brand in New Zealand and Australia.

 

Nutrition

Per serve: 697Kj Energy, 6.5g Protein, 3.9g fat, 26.3g Carbs, 5.2g Sugar, 6.8g Fibre, 820mg Sodium

 

Verdict: Firstly let me say how frustrating it is to see a product containing two serves which must be used immediately. What if I’m eating alone? Or what if my eating buddy doesn’t like Mexican Tortilla Soup in a pouch? The pouch really should be re-sealable. Of course I could decant half the packet into a container for refrigeration, but if I were able to put in that much effort I wouldn’t be eating pre-prepared soup now would I!

Other than the obvious shortcomings of the packaging, this product is delicious! Hansells lose points for excessive salt however. The excessive salt is especially a problem when you decide to eat the whole packet. I fate forced upon me by the people who decided against putting a seal on the pouch for reuse.

 

Product Review: Sesame Bar

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sesame bar

Product: Sesame Bar $0.90 /  45g ($ 2.00/ 100g)

Brand: Edens

A mystery as the company seems to have no online presence. If anyone knows about this company, please comment!

 

Nutrition

Each bar gives 728kj Energy, 2.5g Protein, 8.3g Fat, 20.8g sugar, 1.5g fibre, and 43mg sodium

Half a bar gives 364kj Energy, 1.25g Protein, 4.15g Fat, 10.4g sugar, 0.75g fibre, and 21mg sodium

 

Verdict: An old favorite which has been a joy to review. I hadn’t had one in about a year, I forgot how much I love them! While the bar is considered a single serve, it gives quite a lot of energy. I suggest eating it in two halves. Oh and another thing, if you’re unfortunate enough to have braces on your teeth as I do maybe cut it up first! I’m also pretty sure this isn’t a dentist-friendly product either, being quite sticky and sugary.

 The low sodium is a plus but the high sugar is a minus

Review: Flats by Fine Fettle

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Product:Flats $2.00 / 18g ($11.11 / 100g)

Brand:Fine Fettle

Launched in 2009, Fine Fettle is Australian-owned and based in Sydney. They run a fully Gluten Free facility and pride themselves on an innovative method of dehydration that keeps more nutrients in the final product. They use nothing artificial and Australian-grown where possible.

Varieties: Sweet  Corn & Paprika, Tomato & Basil, Zucchini & Almond, Carrot & Pepita, Spiced Pear & Hazelnut, and Apple & Cinnamon.

Nutrition: The Apple & Cinnamon flavour has 374 kJ Energy, 4.8g Sugar, 2mg Sodium, and 2.3g of protein per 18g packet.

Not much bang for your nutritional buck is my opinion. This snack is quite energy dense for its volume and interestingly dietary fibre has not been reported on the packet. Dietary fibre contributes to feeling full which is an important quality to look for in a snack.

Verdict: These are a curious product which is hard to place.

One thought I have about these is that they are a bit gimmicky, are not very filling and expensive.

On the other hand they’re not easy to scoff down quickly and when topped with fruit, ricotta, or yogurt as the packet suggests, they would make an okay snack.

The best use for these may be as a tool to fend off over- or non-hunger- eating. I can imagine having them within reach on my desk  and taking a flat when feeling fake-hunger or boredom. One flat would certainly be better than a chocolate bar, marshmallow or anything else I could rustle up away from my desk.

Review: Weet-Bix Energize Protein

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Price:  $4.49 / 400g ($1.12 / 100g)

Brand: Sanitarium 

A company that believes in the physical, mental, and emotional potential of every Australian. That nutrition provides a firm-grounding for health and wellness in the journey towards reaching ones potential. Sanitarium claims to champion key issues of health and wellness via the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum. Values: Care, courage, humility, integrity, and passion.

 

Nutrition: 780Kj Energy, 2g Sugar, 195mg Salt, 11.1g Protein, 4.5g Fibre (per 50g serving or 3 biscuits).

Verdict: One glance at the packaging for this new weet-bix variety and ¾ of the population will be turned-off. The product is obviously targeted at young men, which is sad really because in my opinion the people who might benefit from the added protein would be old people. Young people tend to eat a full and overly nutritious diet, they really don’t need any hidden ‘extras’. Older people may be more restrictive with their diet, and for a subset the extra protein here will protect against muscle degradation and increased risk of falls. In short the box needs to be a pastel colour and adorned with fluffy cats to reach its proper audience (according to this nearly-dietitian at least).

Oh and by the way, despite the fancy packaging it tastes exactly the same as the original. Also and interestingly the nutrition panel lists one serve as three biscuits instead of the two on the original product. I can only think this would be so that Sanitarium can say there is >10g protein per serve …. shady.