Sticky Toffee Pudding
Total score 86
Quickly call, tweet or email all your friends, invite them over for a dinner party and this is dessert. The Sticky Toffee Pudding Company has made a delicious 40 second microwaveable cake with fresh dates, espresso, vanilla and fabulous toffee sauce. Your friends will love this, but there is some downside – each cake is 525 calories, 28g fat and 41g of sugars; but it is worth it. This is so delicious and so easy. Perfect for the Christmas Day dinner!
Retails for $2.99 – 3.99.
The Sticky Toffee Pudding Co.
512 472 0039
Coconut Cocoa Tea
Total score 87
The Republic of Tea is all about chocolate these days. This Coconut Cocoa Tea is designed as a dessert tea and has a fabulous coconut and chocolate aroma. To be honest with you I was a little disappointed in the taste which does not deliver what the aroma promises. The coconut flavor overpowers just about any other ingredient, but it is a nice refreshing change from the typical herbal tea. Just one thing, this product does not contain any green, black or white tea, it is herbal. One thing I do like on all of The Republic of Tea’s containers is that it shows you the caffeine content with this little scale on the label.
Retails for $9.50.
The Republic of Tea
800 298 4TEA
Marsala & Mushroom Sauce
Total score 70
I love the idea of Fortun’s Finishing Touch Sauces. These come refrigerated and all you have to do is microwave or heat the sauce, but they do not tell you how long to microwave the sauce for and frankly I found the Marsala flavor lacking. The nutritional info is based just on a 2 oz serving which is a ¼ of what’s in the package – I’m pretty sure that most of us would use about half. I do like the fact that it comes with recipes. A note to those people who are sensitive to MSG, it does contain yeast extract which contains MSG.
Retails for $4.95-5.96.
Fortun Foods Inc
888 988 1045
Tamari Peanut Gluten Free Asian Dressing
Total score 89
San-J’s new gluten Free Tamari peanut Dressing is a great alternative. It is made with organic sugar instead of the typical high fructose corn syrup and it is even made in a plant that is inspected by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (and you will see that certification become more important!) It is low in fat – just 2g in 2 tablespoons, but higher in sugars (7g) than I would like - especially since the dressing does taste a little too sweet and not peanut-y enough.
Retails for $3.29.
San-J International, Inc.
800 446 5500
Honey Nut Chex Cereal
Total score 87
And talking about gluten free, this proves the trend is mainstream. General Mills has introduced Honey Nut Chex that is gluten free. Made with real sugar, honey and brown sugar molasses this whole grain corn cereal is crispy and very tasty. It does have 28g of carbs and 230mg of sodium, but it is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Kids and adults alike will enjoy even if you are not avoiding gluten.
Retails for $3.29.
General Mills Cereals, LLC
800 328 1144
Phil taste-tests and judges each product based on the following 8 criteria:
1. Taste (30 points): the most important attribute of any food
2. Value (20 points): is it worth it?
3. Health (15 points): based off the nutritional information, is it nutritionally balanced?
4. Ingredients (15 points): what's in it, how natural is it?
5. Preparation (5 points): when applicable, how accurate or good are the directions *
6. Appearance (5 points): is it appetizing and does it resemble its photo or description
7. Packaging (5 points): Is it appropriate for the product and does it have any benefits such as resealability, added freshness, better storage, etc.
8. Sustainability (5 Points): is the packaging biodegradable, is it wasteful, is the company endeavoring to offset their carbon footprint?
*products that do not have any preparation will have the full value of these points included in their total score.