THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for Breakfast

DISCOUNT: $1 Oatmeal at Jamba Juice

What does a buck buy you these days? A healthy cup of steel cut oatmeal at Jamba Juice, thanks to the Starbucks-Jamba Juice Oatmeal War.

Starbucks made the first move in early February, announcing an oatmeal “breakfast pairing” with a tall latte or a tall brewed coffee for $3.95 (among several breakfast pairings).

Called the Jamba Economic Boost Plan, the $1 oatmeal offer (generally priced at $2.95) is available through the end of March. Download a printable coupon for use at participating locations at OatmealForABuck.com, and enjoy the organic steel-cut oats plain (for maximum health benefits) or with the typical brown-sugar crumble and a choice of three fruit toppings.

– See why oatmeal is so good for you, and learn what is and what isn’t a whole grain, in our review of whole grain breakfast cereals.

Earthborn Steel-Cut Oats, a NIBBLE Top Pick.

10% off Fudgy PB VitaTops

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PRODUCT: VitaMuffin VitaTops

VitaMuffin Muffin Tops People who like muffins, chocolate, muffin tops and reduced-calorie foods have discovered VitaMuffins (read our review). The 100-calorie chocolate muffin tops are so popular that VitaMuffin expanded the options from the original Deep Chocolate to Chocolate Fig, Dark Chocolate Pomegranate, Double Chocolate Dream (with white chips), Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip, and Triple Chocolate Chunk. There’s also a Sugar-Free/Low Carb Velvety Chocolate.

We recently tasted all seven chocolate varieties in one sitting and found the original Deep Chocolate to have the most satisfying chocolate flavor (it contains chocolate chips). In retrospect, that’s not much of a surprise: the semisweet chocolate flavor of the chips is taken away when white chips, PB chips, pomegranate and fig are substituted in the other flavors.

A box of 12 two-ounce individually-wrapped muffin tops is $16.00 ($18.50 for sugar-free) at VitaMuffin.com. They freeze beautifully. The all-natural VitaTops are also made in Banana Nut, BlueBran (blueberry), Golden Corn, CranBran, MultiBran and AppleBerry. The non-chocolate varieties retail at $14.45 per dozen and most have 80 calories.

Vitalicious, the manufacturer apprises us that you can walk off the 80-100 calorie VitaTops in 13-15 minutes. Share a muffin top, coffee and a stroll with a friend.

A box of chocolate VitaTops goes on our list of Valentine gifts for people you love too much to send a box of chocolate. Gift certificates are available. Read the full review at http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/nutri/breadstuffs/vitalicious-vitamuffin.asp.

Vitalicious

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PRODUCT: Pasteurized Shell Eggs

Safe Eggs There’s a new egg in town, and he’s wiping out salmonella. Now, you can crack an egg into your steak tartare, Caesar salad or egg nog without fear, and eat all the cookie dough you want.

The newest type of egg is the pasteurized shell egg. A regular hen’s egg is pasteurized in the shell without cooking the egg, eliminating the potential danger of egg-borne illness caused by salmonella bacteria. Dishes that use raw eggs can be enjoyed without risk; those who enjoy licking the spatula full of brownie batter can do so; and people with illnesses who avoid foods with possible contaminants can enjoy eggs to their hearts’ delight. Many hospitals and nursing homes are already using the products, which are just making their way to retailers. If you want them, make your voice heard at your local supermarket. The “P” stamped on the egg signifies that it is pasteurized. Learn more at SafeEggs.com.

Read about the different types of eggs in our Egg Glossary. You won’t believe how many different types there are!

BC POM Large Full Banner

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NEWS: Oatmeal, The New “Hot” Food?

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A healthy, hearty bowl of Holly’s Oatmeal.

Starbucks began selling oatmeal in portable covered bowls this fall, and it has proven to be one of the most successful food products the company has introduced, according to an article in this week’s Wall Street Journal. Smoothie chain Jamba Juice has launched oatmeal in Chicago, with a rollout to all locations by January. Is the food that so many moms had to struggle to make kids eat becoming hot?

It should. Oatmeal a whole grain cereal. A diet high in whole grain foods (2.5 servings per day) is associated with a significantly lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. If you think your current cereal or bread is whole grain, read our article on whole grain cereals)—you may be surprised.

Oatmeal tips:

– Try to avoid turning your bowl of health food into a high-glycemic nightmare. If you crave sweetness, instead of topping it with brown sugar, try an artificial sweetener and fresh fruit, like half a banana or some strawberries (strawberries are pricey right now, but there are bargains to be found).

– The Quaker Oats product most of us have grown up with is rolled oats. A quick lesson: After the outer husk (the chaff) has been removed from the oat grains, the bran-covered grains that remain are known as oat groats. Steel-cut oats are oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces and retain bits of the bran layer, that provides flavor, texture and nutrition. Rolled oats have been rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers, so they lose that texture.

– Don’t scrimp on the quality of your oatmeal. As with any other food, you get what you pay for, and the specialty brands are better than the mass marketed brands. (Try Bob’s Red Mill, which can be found at Whole Foods Markets, natural food stores and other specialty stores.) It you don’t like the “mushiness” of rolled oats, try steel cut oats. They take a while to cook (there’s no “quick-cook” version), but it’s worth it.

– Best of all, try Holly’s Oatmeal, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week and a winner of THE NIBBLE Outstanding Artisan Award. If this textured, flavorful mix of different whole grains, almonds and dried fruit doesn’t convert naysayers into oatmeal lovers, nothing will. The small gift boxes may seem pricey ($6.99 for a 16-ounce box yields 8 portions, or 81¢ a serving—of course, a fraction of what you’d spend on a muffin or croissant). But you can buy it in bulk bags for the same price as any other oatmeal. One serving of Holly’s Oatmeal has 38g of the 48g of your daily whole grain requirement and there’s a gluten-free variety, too.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Southern Alps Dried Fruit

Not from Switzerland or even from New Zealand (home of the Southern Alps mountain range), Southern Alps is a U.K. company with an attractive line of artisan products. Selecting the finest fruits from around the world, Southern Alps makes “slow dried” fruit, fruit and nut mixes, and includes the fruits in granola and muesli. The fruits are a find for elegant grab-and-go snacking, and there is a beautiful dried fruit gift box. Muesli lovers fond of bananas and figs may find a new favorite in Muesli No.5.

As is often the case with specialty food producers, what started out as a healthy, homemade food has become a major success. Founders Andrew and Lotte Garner started making their own muesli at home, then moved on to selling it at their local farmers’ market in the U.K. That was in 2001. After a friend suffered a severe reaction to the sulphur dioxide used in dried fruit (some, not all, dried fruit products use the additive), Lotte, who has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, created a warm-air fruit and vegetable dryer. Through experimentation, the Garners found that by drying high-quality fruits slowly, they retained maximum flavor and nutritional value without the need to add sugar or preservatives. The fruits were a hit and the tiny venture became a company with fans around the world.

Read the full review on TheNibble.com.


Sweet, thick slices of dried green apples.

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