As I bumble my way through my low sugar lifestyle, it’s nice to keep it fresh and try various products that might enhance the experience. After all, variety is the spice of life eh? Over the past month I’ve been trying some new products and so this post consists of a few reviews that you might be interested in trying at some point too.
Just to be clear, these products were sent to me for free. Whilst this a nice perk of blogging there are in fact quite a few products I turn down. I am super selective about what I review and I am completely honest in my views on things. The other day I was asked if I wanted to review a range of ‘healthy’ cereals that were packed full of sugar. Er, no.
Saying that I have reviewed Nakd bars which I don’t eat regularly, but the review serves a purpose and is very useful if you’re a sucker for squidgy condensed dried fruit in a bar (like I was). Definitely read that one if you haven’t already.
Anyway, onto the reviews…
I was sent these products by www.myprotein.com , a sports nutrition website which sells lots of different health-sport related products online. There were all sorts of energy bars, gels etc. that were not for me (because they contain sugar) but alas I did find some snacks I hadn’t tried before that fitted with requirements, so here they are…
A giant tub of cashew butter
I’ve written about my love of almond butter before but I had never tried cashew butter which is strange because I love cashew nuts. Safe to say this stuff is delicious, almost dangerously so. It’s a great source of fat and protein. I’ve been drizzling it over my buckwheat (or sometimes just normal) porridge, adding a tablespoon to a smoothie and I also even made these low sugar grain free sweet potato & cashew cakes with it.
A handy trick if you’re suffering post meal sweet cravings is to get a teaspoon of this, sprinkle on some cacao nibs and have it with a cup of tea. It’s a fructose-free treat but feels super indulgent. Make sure you savour every creamy morsel that goes in your mouth!
A 1kg tub is £10.99 , which I feel is quite a good price. Previously I was paying £4 a time for a diddley little 170g almond butter that wouldn’t last very long. Cashew butter…I say thumbs up and give it a go
Update: I just want to add that this cashew butter does contain 4% of organic sunflower oil. Now I on the whole try to avoid vegetable oils like sunflower as they are generally overly processed and somewhat ‘toxic’. However, avoiding them completely in life is extremely hard and when it comes to finding a tasty sugar-free foodstuff that you can experiment with, I was prepared to let the small amount of oil here off the hook. It depends where you sit on this.
Now I’m sorry, but I forgot to take a picture of this before I ate the whole pack which was slightly irresponsible of me! That shows how much I did in fact enjoy this unusual form of coconut. I recommend coconut flakes and pieces as a sweet-tasting fructose-free substitute, but I have never had this somewhat in-between form. Think thicker than a flake, but not a chunk.
I can conclude that the result is a very satisfying snack or semi-sweet fix, especially if you’re at war with a late night or post meal craving. Yes they are high fat, and somewhat addictive in their own right (if you like coconut a lot), so you do need to exercise control over portions as it’s easy to just pick from the bag. However, I would buy another bag of dried coconut for sure, even if they are £7.99 a pop (note: a bag goes a long way and lasts well).
Beef Jerky & Bitlong
Now I had never tried this before and I was curious. It’s never really appealed to me and I’m not a massive red meat eater to be honest. Myprotein.com kindly sent me loads of the stuff, in a variety of flavours (Original, smoked, cajun & Teryaki). Now the good thing about beef jerky as a snack is it a mega source of protein and will do a very good job of steadying the blood sugar and keeping you full. The packets are very handy for taking to work or out and about snacking too. This stuff is so substantial I couldn’t eat a whole packet. A pack gives you a whopping 25g of protein in 139 calories which is serious muscle building stuff.
However, these products do contain sugar and other ingredients which don’t quite align to my ‘clean eating’ philosophy. The sugar isn’t loads, we’re talking just 1.7g per 100g which is very little and isn’t going to drive some mental cravings, but it’s important to point out as it is added sugar. I’d still classify them as a ‘savoury’ snack and in my opinion they’re far healthier than a Special K bar, but personally I’m still not a raving beef jerky fan and won’t be eating this regularly.
Saying that, I was popular in the pub when I whipped out a packet one evening amongst after work drinks for my colleagues to try – healthier than crisps that’s for sure! My brother was also delighted at them so maybe this is a good option for the sugar-addicted meat lovers out there.
So there’s my lowdown on some new foods that have made their debut in my kitchen the past few months. Have you tried any of them? Have nut butters or coconut flakes helped you overcome cravings in the past? And finally, what do you think of beef jerky? Is it a love hate Marmite type thing?!