Sunday, March 24, 2019

Wendy's Great Eight for March 2019 #greateight #tryit #newfoodfinds

Spring is in the air...and it's time for another monthly edition of my Wendy's Great Eight column! This month, you might notice that I've included a new element: because I'm following the Weight Watchers plan, I'm going to include WW Freestyle™ SmartPoints® information for every food or beverage item that I highlight -- data is calculated on the WW Freestyle app. I hope those of you who are following this eating plan will find the information helpful...and that you discover some new food items to add to your repertoire.

(1) Litehouse™ Foods OPA Greek Yogurt Salad Dressing. As the weather gets warmer, we start to include more main dish salads in our weekly dinner rotation. Lean protein, veggies, fruit, etc. are healthy additions...but then comes the dressing. Most regular dressings contain tons of excess fat and calories and make that healthy salad...not so healthy. I was thrilled to discover OPA Greek Yogurt Salad Dressing -- it's a healthier dressing that tastes amazing! This line of Litehouse refrigerated dressings are creamy from Greek they require much less oil. I've tried two flavors so far: Feta Dill Greek and Avocado Cilantro. Both dresings add delicious flavor to my salads, but I'm especially partial to the Avocado Cilantro. This gluten-free condiment is definitely great on salads, but I also add it to my sandwiches/wraps in place of mayo...and drizzle it on tacos. To find the entire line of OPA Greek Yogurt Salad Dressings near you, check out the website's convenient Where to Buy feature.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints® for 2 tbs of dressing: Avocado Cilantro 2 SP; Feta Dill 1 SP

(2) Blossom Water Flower + Fruit Botanical Water. I'm always striving to drink more water every day...but plain water can be so boring! Enter Blossom Water, which is pure spring water infused with floral and fruit essences for flavor. The waters are sweetened with Stevia. The first flavor note is always the fruit essence (not juice): mango, lemon, plum, pomegranate, or grapefruit. Then comes a lingering whisper of a perfectly paired floral note: hibiscus, rose, jasmine, geranium, or lilac. Each bottle also contains as much immune benefit as a billion CFUs of probiotic. This water is so far from boring! We loved all five flavors, but my personal favorite is the Lemon Rose. It tasted like lemonade on the front end, then the fragrance/taste of rose on the end. Not bad for just 20 calories per bottle! I can see this being my signature beverage all Summer long. Blossom Water can currently be purchased online and shipped direct to you.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints®: 1 SP for the entire bottle OR 0 SP for half of the bottle (8 oz.).

(3) The Spice Lab's Herb Blends Seasonings. I know that eating healthy is important...but I still need the Big Flavors I crave! Enter The Spice Lab's line of bold-flavored Herb Blends Seasonings, which feature plenty of bold flavor to chicken, seafood, and veggies. These spices definitely have an Italian/Mediterranean accent. I have been using the Mediterranean Citrus, French Onion Garlic, Sicilian Seasoning, and Spicy Italian Sun Dried Tomato blends in a variety of ways...all delicious! I have added the French Onion Garlic (with salt, minced garlic and onion, chili flakes, chives, thyme and parsley) to nonfat plain Greek yogurt for a tasty fat-free dip, and the Mediterranean Citrus (with salt, garlic, onion, black pepper, lemon oil, oregano, thyme and coriander) is perfect for seasoning grilled chicken breast and shrimp. These days, I'm all about adding robust flavor without added calories or fat, and these spices really deliver. These Herb Blends Seasonings can be purchased online at The Spice Lab's website

WW Freestyle SmartPoints®: 0 SP for herbs and seasonings!

(4) Brownie Brittle Chocolate Chip Blondie Crisps. Face it: sometimes we all want...need even...a sweet treat. Preferably one that won't break the calorie bank! I recently discovered Brownie Brittle's amazing new Chocolate Chip Blondie crisps. I've always been a fan of Sheila G's Brownie Brittle, but a version that tastes like crispy chocolate chip cookies? Count me in! Each one-ounce serving (4 pieces) is just 130 calories of buttery, chocolately goodness. A serving makes a delicious sweet evening snack -- the crumbs are delicious stirred into fat-free Greek yogurt too! Brownie Brittle products can be found at major retailers nationwide, and they also be purchased at Brownie's Brittle's online store. FYI...the Blondie crisps -- which also come in a Meyer Lemon version -- are a new item, so you may find it easier to locate via the online store.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints®: 6 SP per ounce of both Chocolate Chip and Meyer Lemon varieties (four pieces of Blondie Brittle).

(5) Puffworks Organic Peanut Butter Puffs. Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods, so I have really been enjoying Puffworks' organic peanut butter puffs for a crunchy snack. These crunchy treats are made with simple ingredients, including organic peanut butter and corn. They're also gluten free and non-GMO. There are three flavors to choose from. Original -- which contains only organic peanut butter, corn, and sea salt, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Honey Peanut Butter (my personal favorite). These tasty snacks help beat cravings for something crunchy...and they provide filling protein. Original has 5 grams of protein per serving, Dark Chocolate has 4 grams, and Honey has 4 grams per generous serving. Puffworks Peanut Butter Puffs can be ordered via Amazon.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints®: 2 SP for 13 puffs (5 SP for 26 puffs).

(6) PB Crave Flavored Peanut Butter Spread. Peanut butter is one of my favorite snacks because of the protein punch it packs. There's one caveat, though: the kind of peanut butter you choose is important! PB Crave is made with natural ingredients...and it contains no hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors, or high fructose corn syrup -- it's sweetened with natural honey! PB Crave comes in six fun flavors: Raspberry White Fudge & Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Banana, Sweet & Dark Chocolate, Coconut Milk Chocolate, and delicious new Honey & Sea Salt. These fun flavors are so versatile! I love a tablespoon spread on graham crackers, with a crisp chilled apple...or spread on a low-carb flour tortilla that's folded over and warmed in a skillet for a sweet quesadilla! PB Crave can be purchased direct from their online store, or at retailers nationwide.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints®: 3 SP per tablespoon for all flavors.

(7) Popsalot Popcorn. After my stroke, popcorn was off limits because of my swallowing issues. I was told I might not be able to eat it again because of the hulls...but I was thrilled to discover at the movies last month that I'm now able to eat popcorn! I've been enjoying Popsalot's creative flavored caramel popcorn the last few weeks! This California company offers a fun line of not-too-sweet caramel popcorns. Their Gourmet Collection features house blended nut butters infused into their signature bourbon-infused caramel -- along with either roasted pecans, almonds, cashews, and macadamia nuts. Popsalot's Signature Series features global flavors inspired by the owner's travels. Flavors include Saigon Cinnamon, London Kettle Corn, Costa Rican Cocoa, Clandestine Caramel, and slightly spicy Moroccan Harissa.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints®
  • Signature Series: 5 SP per cup for all flavors except Moroccan Harissa, which is 3 SP per cup.
  • Gourmet Selection: 5 SP per cup for California Almond, 6 SP for Cashew and Southern Pecan, and 7 SP for Macadamia.
(8) Fat Badger Bakery Vegan Cookies. Yes...vegan cookies! Pennsylvania-based Fat Badger Bakery creates vegan cookies so good you'd never guess they're not a traditional cookie with butter and eggs. When the owners and bakers at Fat Badger couldn't locate a vegan cookie that tasted great to them...they created their yummy vegan cookies, opened a bakery...and started shipping them across the US! 
Each cookie is individually wrapped and shipped with bubble wrap to ensure they reach you in pristine condition. Fat Badger vegan, non-GMO cookies come in eight great flavors: Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Sea Salt (my favorite!), Chocolate Chip, Sweet Raspberry, Oatmeal Chip, Toasted Coconut, Cinnamon Sugar, and Chocolate Mint. The cookies are flavorful and not too sweet. If I didn't know they were vegan, I'd never guess. They're a great cookie...period! Because they're individually wrapped, they're great for enjoying on-the-go...and it's built-in portion control. Fat Badger cookies can be ordered directly from the bakery via its online store.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints®: Could not locate nutrition information online to calculate. 

Disclosure: The makers of the products featured in this column provided me with sample products. I only recommend products that I have personally tried myself and enjoyed. All WW Freestyle™ SmartPoints® data provided was determined by me using the Calculator tool on the WW app. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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