Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Holey Donuts (yuck) and Vitatops (YUM!)


My wonderful husband knew I had been wanting to try Holey Donuts so he ordered 3 boxes of different assortments as an anniversary treat! He's such a sweetie! It's important to note that I do not blame him at all for the bland, raw-dough flavored donuts that arrived. When they arrived, the filled varieties were slightly better than the unfilled simply because they have SOME moistness from the filling but for the most part they all have the same bland, white bread flavor and dry, stale texture! Holey Donuts states that their products will remain fresh in your freezer for up to 2 months. After only one month the donuts were basically completely stale, inedible whether you microwaved them or let them sit for a few minutes on the counter. (Both methods that the company gives you for preparing them.) They have a raw, doughy taste and are so dry and tough, I couldn't believe it! I had read such good reviews but I suppose most of those reviews were on blogs that were given donuts to test out and give away as a promotion.
I was really dissatisfied and disappointed with these. I can't understand why people think they are so great tasting. To me they taste like stale, dry wonder bread with the slightest smear of frosting. I emailed them, letting them know that they were not even close to being worth the price they charge and did not stay fresh as long as they stated.

Their response was a very polite email stating that they do not offer money back guarantees on quality or personal experience. They only refund money if the shipment is destroyed during delivery.

I give Holey Donuts a BIG thumbs down. They look pretty but taste like stale bread.

Vitatops on the other hand are awesome!! I purchased the Gift of Health basket which contains a sampler of 20 Vitatops. Just like Holey Donuts, you store these in your freezer.
But unlike Holey Donuts, they stay fresh because they are individually wrapped and they are ALL delicious! My favorites are Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip, Golden Corn and BlueBran. Each Vitatop has only 100 calories, a good amount of fiber and protein and contain no artificial additives or preservatives! To eat, simply pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds still in the plastic wrapper. That's the secret to keeping them moist! You can order Vitatops online but I've also seen them at Supermarkets like Meijer and Kroger.

I give Vitatops a BIG thumbs up! For a low calorie, sweet treat, choose Vitatops, NOT Holey Donuts. They regularly have discounts and shipping promotions, too! The most recent offer is 5% OFF your next online purchase when you enter coupon code: EWCQ3TQYQ.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vegetarian gelatin alternatives

In my last post I talked a bit about gelatin and how a lot of products aren't vegetarian because they contain it as a thickener. But I really like gelatin! Vegetarian gelatin alternative, that is!

One of my favorites is actually a pre-packaged product. Dole Fruit Gels are made with carrageenan. These awesome gel cups are vegan except for the black cherry variety, which is colored with cochineal. My favorite is the lime with pineapple, yum!
For do-it-yourself gel, I like KoJel. It is a Kosher jel dessert made with carrageenan and can be found in the Kosher section of your supermarket. It comes in flavors very similar to Jell-o and is nice and clear. (unlike some agar agar-based gels) As I said before, you cannot assume that Kosher gelatin is vegan unless it specifically states in the ingredients that it uses a non-animal agent. In the very confusing Kosher rules, beef or fish gelatin can be consider meatless if it has been processed in such a way that the meat ingredients make up 1/60th or less of the final product. Therefore, because it is considered pareve (neither meat nor milk), the label or common sense may lead you to believe it is vegetarian. But it's not. It's considered meatless, for those keeping Kosher, but to those who value vegetarianism, it's not. Moral of the story-read your labels and if a food lists Kosher gelatin, it's probably NOT vegetarian unless it says it's from a non-animal source.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Breyers Lowfat Yogurt Inspirations


Breyers is not my usual brand of yogurt. But when I saw the Breyers Inspirations lowfat yogurt in mint chocolate chip, I had to buy a package. I've got to say, it's not half bad.

The mint flavor is unexpected in a yogurt, but it does remind me half-melted mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt which makes it seem more acceptable. The chocolate flavored chips (not actual chocolate) melt nicely compared to some fake chocolate products which can be chalky or have a weird texture. I think the coconut oil helps them melt on your tongue.

I tend to like a yogurt in the 60-100 calorie range and these are 140 each which puts them a little high for me. But these are low fat as opposed to the nonfat yogurts I usually choose.

A bit about gelatin in yogurt: Yes it contains gelatin, which most yogurts do. This makes it not vegetarian if you are strict about that sort of thing. I tend to think the benefits of yogurt offset the minute amount of gelatin in there but if given a choice I try to choose those that do NOT contain gelatin. You may notice most yogurts mention kosher gelatin. I REALLY wish they would mention the source of the gelatin and not just that it is kosher. Specifying kosher gelatin does not mean it is not from cow or fish and unless they mention the use of a non-animal kosher gelling agent like agar-agar, guar gum, carrageenan, or xanthan gum it is safe to assume that the kosher gelatin used is from animal sources. Some yogurts, such as Dannon Naturals, use pectin instead of gelatin.

INGREDIENTS: CULTURED PASTEURIZED GRADE A SKIM MILK, FRUCTOSE, SUGAR, CHOCOLATE FLAVORED CHIPS (COCONUT OIL, SUGAR, COCOA {PROCESSED WITH ALKALI}, COCOA BUTTER, NATURAL FLAVOR), CORNSTARCH, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, CREAM, KOSHER GELATIN, TAPIOCA STARCH, PECTIN, NATURAL FLAVOR.