Felt spring like this week and I’m ready to start shedding the jackets and scarves for flip flops and tank tops. Which is why this post is a little late today…I’m out enjoying this fabulous weather.
But it wouldn’t be a Friday without my faves! Here they are for Feb. 24. Hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!
LaCroix Coconut Sparkling Water. Fooducate grade: A-. Price: $2.99/12 pack. Found at Target and most major grocery retailers.
What is it: A sparkling water with a hint of coconut flavor.
Why do I love it? Because it tastes like summer and suntans and the beach. I’m not a huge fan of heavy coconut flavor and this is the perfect amount. I stopped drinking soda of any kind over a year ago but still crave that fizziness from time to time. The LaCroix sparkling waters are my favorite. And, this one is just enough coconut to taste tropical without being too much. Mixed with a splash of OJ or pineapple juice, it’s even yummier. And, I may have tried it with some Malibu Rum last summer. And, it was maybe delicious. Just sayin’.
What you need to know: Picking the right sparkling or flavored water can be tricky. Some are laden with artificial sweeteners and flavors. Look for varieties that have zero calories but are flavored with natural flavorings. I am partial to LaCroix but have friends who also swear by Dasani’s version, as well as Schwepp’s and Canada Dry brands. If you’re trying to get off the soda, this does help. There’s literally a flavor for everyone. Today, I’m just lovin on the coconut because it makes me think this insanely warm weather is here to stay!
Califia Farms Pure Coconut Almondmilk. Fooducate grade: A- Price: $3.99-$4.29. Found at Target and most major grocery retailers.
What is it? Unsweetened non-dairy milk substitute that blends together coconut milk and almond milk.
Why do I love it? Keeping with the coconut theme, I love this because it’s a good blend that’s sweet enough for me to use in my coffee yet doesn’t have a ton of calories or saturated fat (45 cals/8 oz and 1g/sat fat). I got a little burned out on unsweetened almond milk and started to look at other blends. Plus, one serving gives you 45% of your daily recommended intake of calcium! This one tastes amazing and goes great with cereal, oatmeal, in my Shakeology and as a drink when I ‘m craving something sweet.
What you need to know: Not all plant milks or milk substitutes are created equal. As with anything, do your homework. A sweetened coconut or almond milk can have twice as many calories per serving and five times the fat. Fewer ingredients are always better. And, unfortunately, some of these milk substitutes can be expensive. However, if you stock up when there’s a sale or sign up for coupons online, it’s worth the expense to have this milk alternative.
Kirkland Signature Himalayan Pink Salt. Normally sold at Costco; also available on Amazon. Fooducate grade: B+ Price: $13-$15 for 13oz.
What is it? Pink salt from the Himalayan Mountains, duh.
Why do I love it? I love it because I swear it tastes saltier than regular salt but in a more flavorful way. Stop laughing. I’m just saying it tastes better. Because I have Sjogren’s Syndrome my taste buds are very sensitive to spicy, salty and acidic flavors. Sometimes, regular table salt “burns” my tongue. This doesn’t. It seems to have a more mild salty flavor. Maybe it’s just me. I also like the way the grinder grinds the crystals is a little chunkier than regular salt. If you read up on it, Himalayan salt is said to be the purest salt there is. Less processed than regular table salt with benefits like improving respiratory problems and balancing your body’s PH levels. I prefer salt or pepper freshly ground for the best flavor and this one delivers.
What you need to know: There are a lot of great reasons to try Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and if you do, there are few things to remember when storing and using it. For example, store in an airtight, covered container in a cool, dry place to keep it at its best. Also, make sure your pink Himalayan salt comes from Pakistan, which is the only true source of real Himalayan salt.
Kirkland Signature Organic No-Salt Seasoning Fooducate grade: A. Price: $14/14.5oz. Found at Costco or Amazon.
What is it? An organic, no-salt, all-purpose seasoning.
Why do I love it? It’s my go-to seasoning for just about any recipe. Here’s a screen shot of the ingredients:
It contains EVERYTHING! Well balanced though so you can use it in Italian, Mexican, American dishes as well as soups, dips and dressings. No one ingredient stands out to take over and it’s all organic and no salt (win-win).
What you need to know: It’s a big container. Keep an eye on the expiration date. Spices expire a lot faster than we realize and lose their flavor. I keep mine on my counter so I am reminded to use it more often. Although, I use it quite a bit.
Ronzoni Super Greens Enriched Pasta. Fooducate Grade: B+. Price: $3.49 Found at Target.
What is it? enriched pasta with 5 green vegetables: spinach, zucchini, broccoli, parsley & kale with 3 servings of vegetables in every 3.5 oz.
Why I LIKE it. I changed this to a “like” because I’ve only made it once. But, I think it’s pretty tasty. I will say, neither my husband or son would even try it because it is very green but, that didn’t scare me. The spinach stands out as the dominate flavor and paired with a marinara sauce, it’s really yummy. I think a skinny alfredo sauce (I have a recipe!) would be delish as well. While I usually get my servings of veggies every day, this is an easy way to add a couple of servings if you don’t.
What you need to know: It’s made with veggies but it’s not really lower in calories or carbs than regular pasta. It’s not gluten-free. However, it does have more fiber than white flour pasta. Pasta can be bland, this adds flavor, veggies and fiber. All good in my book. Now, if I can just get the boys to try it.
That’s all for this week! Have a happy and healthy weekend.