Saturday, August 22, 2020

Wendy's Great Eight IS BACK!!! #wendygreateight #tryit #newfoods

 After a hiatus this year due to the craziness of 2020, my monthly Wendy's Great Eight column is officially back! I've really missed sharing my favorite food and kitchen finds with you, so I'm really excited to being this popular feature back moving forward. This month, I'm sharing some fun snacks...and a few items that will help you cook healthier meals at home. Ready to get started?

(1) Rise Bar Protein Bars. I'm always on the lookout for healthy, great-tasting protein bars. Rise Bars are one of my favorite protein bars because they contain only a few simple ingredients...and they taste amazing! Rise Bars are non-GMO...and they contain no soy, gluten, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or sugar alcohols. My personal favorite is the supremely simple Almond Honey Protein Bar, which contains THREE ingredients: almonds, honey, and whey protein. This chewy bar is lightly sweet, and the flavors of each component shine through in every bite. Each Almond Honey Protein Bar has 280 calories...and a whopping 20 grams of protein. It's a perfect quick breakfast for busy mornings...and a fantastic post-workout snack. I've also been enjoying Rise Bar's new Mocha Almond Protein Bar, which adds carob powder and Arabica coffee beans to their three-ingredient base protein bar. This bar tastes like a yummy mocha latte and provides 15 grams of protein. Rise Bars can be purchased at their online store or at select retailers.

(2) Justin's® Vanilla Almond ButterDon't get me wrong...I love peanut butter! However, I've been gravitating more toward to almond butter lately. Its earthy taste and texture -- somewhere between smooth and chunky -- really appeals to me. I'm crazy about Justin's® lightly sweet, vanilla-infused almond butter. I spread it from the jar onto toasted English muffins and spread it on pancakes in place of butter. Truthfully? This nut butter is so crave-worthy that it's tempting to eat it by the spoonful right from the jar. To help with portion control, I especially LOVE Justin's handy squeeze packs! These handy packs come in a box of 1o packets that hold 2 tablespoons of almond butter. These squeeze packs make it easy for me to enjoy Justin's® Vanilla Almond Butter without overindulging. I also like to keep a pack in my purse in case I want a protein-rich snack while outside the house. Vanilla not your thing? No problem! Justin's® offers a wide range of nut butters to appeal to all tastes. They offer convenient online ordering...and a handy Where to Buy feature.

(3) Rice Krispies Treats® Snap Crackle Poppers™. Rice Krispies Treats are a staple from most of our childhoods -- the perfect combination of gooey and crunchy! These days, Kellogg's offers a convenient line of ready-to-eat Rice Krispies Treats for immediate gratification...and less kitchen mess! New to the lineup is single-serving bags of Snap Crackle Poppers™ -- bite-size treats dipped in a yummy creamy coating. Snap Crackle Poppers™ come in three great flavors: Chocolatey, Cookies 'n' Crème, and new Caramel. I love portion-controlled treats -- it's a great way to indulge without consuming too much sugar or calories. The Caramel poppers are chewy, with a nice caramel flavor. Each box contains five 1-ounce bag that have just 13o calories. All the flavor...and no a win-win for me! To find Snap Crackle Poppers near you, check out Kellogg's handy Where to Buy feature on their website.

(4) Country Crock® Plant Butter. Whether you're trying to eat more plant-based products...or you're lactose intolerant, finding good substitutes for dairy butter can be a challenge. Enter Country Crock's® new line of plant butters! Using these products helps me reduce the saturated fats in my diet without sacrificing flavor or the quality of my recipes. These dairy-free, gluten free butters are made with plant-based oils -- including almond, olive, and avocado. Best of all? They cook, bake, and taste like dairy butter! I find the sticks best for baking or cooking, while the soft tub butter is ideal for spreading on my morning toast. While all three varieties are personal favorite is the Tub Plant Butter with Almond Oil. It spreads like a dream and tastes amazing! To find Country Crock® Plant Butter near you, visit their handy item-specific Store Locator tool.

(5) Whole Earth Sweetener Co. Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit Cubes
I've been a huge fan of Whole Earth's Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit sugar-free sweetener packets for a few years. Imagine my delight when I discovered they also sell handy cubes of the sweetener I love packaged in a portable tin! I keep a tin of these cubes in my purse at all times to sweeten iced tea when I'm on-the-go. Whenever I'm ready, I simply add a cube...or an unsweetened beverage, stir, and sip. Great flavor and zero calories is a winning combination in my book! Each sweetener cube contains erythritol, stevia leaf extract, natural flavors, and monk fruit extract -- and 
the same sweetness as approximately 1.5 teaspoons of sugar. Whole Earth products can be purchased via Amazon...and at select retailers.

(6) ONE PLANT® Protein Bars. One of my healthy eating goals for 2020 is to eat more plant-based meals. I eat several protein bars for breakfast or snacks each week, so I was very excited to try ONE's line of plant-based protein bars! Each vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free bar has less than 200 calories. Even better, it provides 15 grams of filling plant-based protein...and just 1 gram of sugar. The flavors are crazy good too: Banana Nut Bread, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Churro! I especially love the Banana Nut Bread bar with a piece of fruit and/or yogurt for breakfast.I stay satisfied and full for HOURS! ONE PLANT® bars can be purchased from their website, via Amazon, and at retailers near you.
(7) Cheez-It® Extra Cheesy Baked Snack Crackers
. If you love Cheez-It crackers like I may have secretly wished there was more even more cheese in each bite. If so, these new crackers are a dream come true. Cheez-It® Extra Cheesy Baked Snack Crackers take the iconic cheese cracker, coating them with a yummy cheese coating. That means each bite has maximum cheese flavor! These cheesed-out crackers are great straight from the box, but I love to make a simple snack mix for at-home movie night. I add a box of Cheez-It® Extra Cheesy Baked Snack Crackers to a large bowl...then add popcorn, pretzel rods, smoked almonds, and chili cheese corn chips. Give everything a toss to about instant gratification! To find these Cheez-It® crackers near you, check out the Where to Buy tool at the company's website.

(8) Ortega Flavor Craver Taco Ranch Taco Sauce
I'm always looking for fun, big-flavor ways to make my at-home Taco Night dinners fun and tasty. One of my favorite recent discoveries is Ortega's creamy, mild Taco Ranch Taco Sauce. It's like ranch dressing and salsa had a baby...and it's downright addictive! I love to put it on chicken and grilled fish tacos...but it's not just for tacos. I also love to use this versatile Ortega taco ranch sauce for dipping chicken tenders and French fries. As an added bonus? This flavorful sauce has just 35 calories per tablespoon, so you can have a good-sized portion for about 100 calories. To find Ortega's entire line of taco sauces near you, check out their website's Where to Buy feature.

Disclosure: The manufacturers of the foods featured in this column provided me with sample products to facilitate inclusion. All opinions stated are solely my own.

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