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Archive for Sugar-Free

PRODUCT: Sweet Leaf Diet Tea

We prefer iced tea with no sweetener, or a just a touch, such as the bottled teas crafted by Honest Tea and Inko’s White Tea.

So we are not a prospect for Sweet Leaf Tea, a brand we’ve tasted on numerous occasions. In organic and all-natural, original and flavored variations (lemon-lime, mint & honey, peach, raspberry, etc.), it is Southern-style sweet tea. Made with excellent tea, it’s a hit with many, but too sweet for us.

So we were excited when the brand introduced two flavors of Diet Sweet Leaf Tea, The Original and Citrus.

They’re absolutely delicious, and some kind of magic incantation must have been cast over the sucralose to make the drinks taste so natural.

Diet “The Original” Sweet Leaf Black Tea

If you doubt our word that a zero-calorie sweet tea can taste as good as this, company owners Clayton Christopher and David Smith recount the true story of how they ran out of Original Sweet Tea at an Austin City Limits Music Festival. They served Diet The Original for a few hours and no one noticed.

 

Sweet Leaf’s two diet tea flavors. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

Diet “Citrus” Sweet Leaf Green Tea

As with The Original, Diet Citrus is made with filtered water, plus organic green tea, natural flavors, citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

While Diet The Original has very fine tea flavor, Diet Citrus has layers and layers of flavor: not just citrus but peach and pineapple, as well.

We’ll be ordering them in bulk. Fortunately, both flavors are made in 64-ounce plastic jugs along with 16 ounce glass single-serves. Buy them by the jugful.

The line is certified kosher by OU.

Here’s a store locator. You can also buy Sweet Leaf on Amazon.com.

Find more of our favorite iced tea brands, plus recipes.

  

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PRODUCT: Diet Snapple Half ‘n Half

Photo courtesy Snapple.

 

Snapple didn’t invent the “Half ‘n Half,” a refreshing beverage made of half iced tea, half lemonade.

The drink was popularized by golfing great Arnold Palmer.

As the story goes, in the 1960s, after a long day spent designing a golf course in Palm Springs, Palmer asked a bartender for a mixture of lemonade and iced tea.

A woman sitting next to him told the bartender, “I’ll have that Palmer drink”—which quickly became known as an “Arnold Palmer.”

Whether Palmer created it himself or got the idea elsewhere is currently lost to history. And the term “Half ‘n Half” has long been used in the U.K. to describe various combinations of beverages.

 

So don’t be confused when you see Diet Snapple’s new Half ‘n Half. It’s a diet Arnold Palmer—and it’s delicious.

The entire 16-ounce bottle has just 10 calories,* and it’s worth many times that in terms of refreshment. The sweeteners are sucralose and acesulfame potassium. There’s no “diet” taste: just total deliciousness.

Mix your alcohol of choice into an Arnold Palmer and you get a John Daly—named for a golfer who is not happy that his name is being used. But if you want to put some vodka (or citrus vodka) in your Half ‘n Half, Diet Snapple provides the base for a low-calorie cocktail.

*Per 8-ounce serving: 5 calories, 0 g total fat, 5 mg sodium, 1 total carb, 0 g sugar, 0 g protein.

  

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VALENTINE GIFT: Sugar-Free Chocolate Hearts

If your Valentine loves chocolate but is on a sugar-restricted diet, the Choclatique artisans have the solution: Their Sweet Deceit 100% Sugar-Free Chocolate in heart shapes are certain to make someone happy.

The assortment includes solids and truffles (chocolate ganache centers). The chocolates are also gluten- and nut-free and al-natural (no preservatives or artificial flavors).

The chocolate and fillings, which are made with maltitol, taste as close as can be to the “real thing.”

Eight pieces are $20.00, 15 pieces are $35.00 and 30 pieces are $65.00

Buy them at Choclatique.com.

Find more of our favorite sugar-free candy.

 

You won’t find better sugar-free chocolate than this. Photo courtesy Choclatique.

 

  

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GIFT OF THE DAY: Sugar Free Biscotti

Bella’s sugar-free biscotti: delicious in four
flavors. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE
NIBBLE.

 

Thanks to Deanna Bellacicco, owner of Bella’s Home Baked Goods, for affording everyone on a sugar-restricted diet the opportunity to have her delicious sugar-free biscotti.

Her regular biscotti line is just lovely, with classic flavors and the cutting edge (try the Peanut Butter Pretzel Chip Biscotti).

But the good news here is that sugar-free biscotti are available in four flavors: Sugar Free Almond, Sugar Free Cappuccino Chip, Sugar Free Chocolate and Sugar Free Lemon Pistachio.

The all-natural sugar-free biscotti are sweetened with isomalt and acesulfame-K (see the different types of sugar substitutes). There’s a subtle bitterness from the sugar substitutes, but the enjoyment of crunchy biscotti far outweighs it.

The boxes are conventional plastic, but anyone who receives a gift of Bella’s sugar free biscotti will be so excited, they won’t notice that it isn’t a deluxe gift box.

Don’t worry about buying too many boxes: Biscotti have a shelf life of many months (more about this below).

 

All four flavors are available at Amazon.com; $7.50 per eight-ounce box:

  • Sugar-Free Almond Biscotti
  • Sugar-Free Cappuccino Chip Biscotti
  • Sugar-Free Chocolate Biscotti
  • Sugar-Free Lemon Pistachio
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    The History Of Biscotti

    Biscotti date back to ancient Roman times. Because they’re twice-baked (a loaf is baked and sliced, and the slices are baked again), most of the moisture is evaporated and the biscuits (cookies) don’t deteriorate for a long time. The Roman biscotti were more about a durable convenience food for travelers, including sailors who were away from reliable food sources for months on end.

    Here’s the full history of biscotti and Mario Batali’s recipe.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Have A New York Egg Cream

    The glass is contemporary, but the egg
    cream ingredients are classic. Photo ©
    Linda Schirmbeck | Fotolia.

     

    There is tuna in a tuna noodle casserole. There are strawberries in a strawberry shortcake. There’s ice cream in an ice cream soda.

    But there’s no egg in an egg cream—and there’s no cream, either. The ingredients are milk, seltzer and chocolate syrup. In other words, it’s a carbonated chocolate soda made creamy with milk, or carbonated chocolate milk.

    Since today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, we’ve been thinking about great Jewish-American food inventions. The egg cream, invented in a Jewish neighborhood in New York, is at the top of the list.

    So our tip of the day is: Experience the legend and enjoy an egg cream. We’ve included the regular recipe and our own diet version below.

    EGG CREAM HISTORY

    Many references say that the egg cream was likely invented in 1890 by a Brooklyn soda fountain and candy store owner, Louis Auster. However, Auster’s store was in actually in the East Village of Manhattan, at the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street. In October 2008, the grandson of the founder of Ratner’s, the famous deli restaurant next door, set the record straight with his recollections of Louis Auster’s candy store and the egg creams made with Auster’s own secret chocolate syrup formula.

     

    More exciting than a “two cents plain” (a glass of seltzer, or carbonated water*) and less expensive than a malted milk—not to mention great-tasting—the egg cream was a hit. Carbonated soft drinks were in their infancy. Coca-Cola, a fountain syrup available in Atlanta starting in 1886 and first bottled in 1894, was not a northern soda fountain feature at the time (Coca-Cola history).†

    Kids and adults alike loved the egg cream. It was enjoyed at soda fountains, with patrons sitting on stools or in booths, sipping egg creams through a straw. Other soda fountain owners got in on the act, spreading the egg cream throughout New York City. The chocolate syrup of choice became Fox’s U-Bet.‡ And the egg cream was often enjoyed with a pretzel, making the combo a sweet-and-salty snack. Some soda fountains served the egg cream in glasses with silvery metal holders. Others just used a tall glass.

    How did they make the famous drink? First, soda jerks pumped the syrup into the glass: two or three pumps, each pump the equivalent of a tablespoon and a half of syrup. The milk followed, and then the seltzer, which produced a foamy white head.

    There are different theories on the name of this “eggless” egg cream. Perhaps the best is that the foam on the top looks like beaten egg whites.

    We’re old enough to have had egg creams mixed at a soda fountain. After most of the remaining soda fountains and luncheonettes of New York disappeared in the 1970s—replaced by fast food restaurants and delis that did not make drinks—the egg cream faded from view.

    Years later, in 1990, Jeff Goltzer, who fondly remembered them, started to produce Jeff’s Egg Cream. You can buy them online in chocolate, diet chocolate, vanilla, diet vanilla and even orange, which is like a Creamsicle soda.

    EGG CREAM RECIPE

    For immediate gratification, make your own egg cream. In a tall fountain glass, combine:

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup (you can buy Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup online, including a sugar-free version)
  • 6 ounces whole milk (you can substitute lowfat, nonfat or nondairy milk)
  •  
    Mix, then add:

  • 6 ounces seltzer or club soda (soda water)
  •  
    Serve with a straw. For a modern variation, use cherry- or raspberry-flavored club soda.

    Note: If you don’t have large fountain glasses, use less milk and seltzer to fit into the glass. Adjust the sweetness to your preference.

    For a diet egg cream:

  • Use sugar-free chocolate syrup and nonfat or lowfat milk, plus seltzer.
  • Or, try our recipe mixing Canfield’s Diet Chocolate Fudge Soda with milk. We fill the glass 1/3 with milk, then add the soda. To make the drink sweeter, we add a packet of noncaloric sweetener to the milk, and stir before adding the soda.
  •  
    Canfield’s also sells a Diet Cherry Chocolate Fudge soda.

     
    *Seltzer and club soda are both soda water. The difference: seltzer is salt-free and club soda has salt.

    †It was the rise of the well-advertised Coca-Cola and other soft drinks that led to the wane of the egg cream, and the rise of fast food restaurants that led to the demise of the soda fountain itself.

    ‡In 1894, H. Fox & Company in Brooklyn began to produce chocolate syrup. The name U-bet wasn’t created until the 1930s.

      

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