This page contains products that I've had much success with. As I've said, depending on your version of healthy, you may or may not agree. None of these products paid me to recommend them. Let me know if you have any suggestions for products you'd like me to try on their own or to use in recipes.
Annie's Organic Pizza - Pizza isn't something I indulge in often, partially because I actually don't enjoy it that much and partially because of the nutritional value (fatty cheese, sugary sauce and the carb-filled dough). Although this spinach and mushroom pizza still has a hefty 50 grams of carbohydrate for 1/4 of the pie, it's organic, filling and delicious so I will use it on occasion with a salad for a quick meal. The garlic cheese in place of red sauce also helps minimize sugar.
Bella Terra Sauce - This is the best sauce I've ever had in my life. That might sounds like a bold statement but it's true. The quality is so high that this organic sauce has NO sugar, very little sodium, calories and carbohydrate because it just doesn't need it. I found it in Whole Foods on sale for $3 per jar.
Arrowhead Mills Popcorn - My issue with most snacks is the serving size. When I want something to munch on, there are endless options available but most can be consumed before even getting to a chair (i.e. 7 pretzel nuggets). However, popcorn is a generous serving of 3 cups of popped popcorn for 33 grams of carbohydrate (and 7 grams is fiber). This brand is my favorite because it's organic and it leaves minimal unpopped kernels in my machine.
Polar Seltzer - My husband calls me sponge because of how much water I drink and I can't really argue...I certainly get my 8 glasses in every day. However, I can't drink only water and since I'm not a fan of hot beverages and sugar is out, my options are few. I sometimes have a glass of wine and I do drink some diet soda but my favorite non-water choice is seltzer. Not just any seltzer - Polar seltzer. It comes in a lot of flavors but personally I like the original with a fresh lime wedge.
The Better Chip - I typically support any snack I see that uses good manufacturing practices to avoid cross contamination of nuts. I support them even more when they taste so good. These flavorful chips are an occasional crunchy treat. I've only had roasted red pepper but now that I see the other flavors, I will be looking to try the rest. I don't even use any dip because the ingredients provide such a burst of flavor.
Freeze-dried Edamame - As I've mentioned, it's not that easy to find protein snacks that don't require refrigeration with my allergies. I often look at roasted chickpeas and that sort of thing but they always have those words: "May Contain Nuts." It's so annoying. There are no nuts in the product BUT there might be. Scanning the snack aisle in Target recently, I spot these freeze-dried edamame and ready to see that warning, I sigh and flip the bag over to see "Contains Soy." Ready to put them down, I pause and look again. To my amazement, it really says soy, not nuts! And a 1/2 cup serving provides 12 grams of protein. I grab bags of these sea salted miracles and the rest is history (or future I guess).
Bulgur Wheat - Since I now mostly avoid dairy (unless it's organic), I have a few less breakfast options with protein than I used to. Naturally when I saw bulgur wheat could be used as breakfast cereal like oatmeal rather than just as a side like couscous, I was happy. When I made it topped with assorted berries and tasted how good it was, I was ecstatic. At 5 grams of protein per serving and a great taste, this easy-to-make grain is on my short list of breakfast favorites.
Vermont Turkey Pepperoni - One of the biggest challenges I find for snacks is finding protein options that travel well without refrigeration. Being allergic to nuts makes that even harder. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across these turkey pepperoni sticks. The have 10 grams of protein and virtually no carbohydrates. As if the great taste wasn't enough, they have no sodium nitrates, MSG, gluten, etc. I've found them in Whole Foods and online and while I won't eat them daily, I always use them for snack when traveling.
Ezekiel English Muffins - I can't believe an English muffin could taste this good? This company has changed their packaging to say something about good manufacturing practices to avoid cross-contamination so I gave them a try. Wow! I've had a variety of English muffins and well, they just don't compare. These are so hearty, super filling and delicious no matter what you do with them. I've used them for breakfast sandwiches (e.g. turkey sausage and tomato or poached egg), lunch (e.g. tuna salad or sunbutter with jelly) or even just toasted. Try them...now.
Corn Thins - I could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered these tasty snacks. These better than rice cake type snacks come in a variety of options such as organic flax & soy, sesame, original, multi-grain and more. At less than 50 calories and 8 grams of carbohydrate per serving (2 slices), I use them in so many ways. I eat them with an egg on top for breakfast, tuna salad on top for lunch and even Sunbutter and a few dark chocolate chips for a treat!
Explore Asian Pasta - This soybean spaghetti is certainly a keeper. With 3 servings of protein and only 1 serving of carbohydrate in a generous portion, I was skeptical. Regular pasta has more than double this amount of carbohydrate. I was pleasantly surprised how similar to regular pasta the texture was. It didn't taste exactly like pasta but once I had grilled chicken, veggies and some marinara on top, it was so delicious that I didn't care. With the nutritional benefits, I am switching to this pasta. I'm excited to try the black bean variation next.
Lily's - These dark chocolate chips are not only delicious. They are sweetened with stevia instead of sugar. They are a great alternative to chocolate chips in baking and 60 chips is just 8 grams of carbohydrate.
Sunbutter - This is a great alternative to nut butters for those will allergies looking for protein. At 200 calories per serving, I don't eat it daily but it's especially helpful when traveling without access to refrigeration.
Alvarado Street Bakery Bread - This bread comes in many varieties. My favorites include California style complete protein, sprouted wheat cinnamon raisin and sprouted multi-grain. It's filling, has a great texture and there is no nut allergy warning (unlike other sprouted breads). I always keep a loaf in the freezer or refrigerator.
Enjoy Life - This allergy friendly brand is a staple in my house. They make an assortment of products like granola, cereal, granola bars, chocolate and chips. While I don't eat these types of snacks on a regular basis, they are great to keep on hand at work and when traveling.
Bare Fruit - These apple chips are exactly that...apples. They have a few different types such as Fuji, Granny Smith, cinnamon, etc. They are great on their own when traveling and I especially love sprinkling them on salads since I'm allergic to nuts.
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Copyright 2014 Rachel Molina
Copyright 2014 Rachel Molina