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Product Spotlight: Canned Goods

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9.21.05 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Campbell's Carb Request Soups

If you haven't had a chance to try Campbell's line of Carb Request Soups, you could really be missing out on a comfort-food find!

There are 5 varieties to choose from:
Roasted Chicken & Penne with Garden Vegetables (at 5 carbs per serving), Chicken Broccoli Cheese (at 3 carbs per serving), Savory Beef and Mushroom Medley (at 6 carbs per serving), Mediterranean Style Meatball (at 3 carbs per serving), and Spicy Sausage with Chicken (at 5 carbs per serving).

Campbell's Carb Request Soups More importantly, they taste good. While you might miss the potatoes and corn from some of the varieties, they're packed with good low carb ingredients, and they're low in calories as well.

Our favorites was definitely the Chicken Broccoli Cheese (made with a creamy blend of cheeses, broccoli, and white meat chicken.)... it's very rich and satisfying. Save the carbs and enjoy this easy to fix convenience food!

They're priced right, contain pretty good ingredients, and are great staples to keep onhand in the pantry when you want something warm and don't feel like cooking. Pair them with a crisp tossed salad. They're available in the canned soup aisle in most groceries.


11.01.04 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Carb Clever Fruits from Del Monte

When many of us started low carb, we felt we had to curb things like fruit... certainly the canned stuff. Even though for some of us, it was our favorite kind. Canned fruits are usually either packed in Heavy Syrup (HFCS, sugar, etc), Light Syrup (a little less of the same), "In its own juice" (concentrated fruit juices to sweeten the fruit and hike up the carbs), or Water (ugh...)

Del Monte Carb Clever Peaches And then the good folks at Del Monte got an idea. Why not pack the fruit with a Splenda sweetened syrup? And thus was born
Carb Clever Fruits from Del Monte.

They come in 5 varieties:
Sliced Peaches (6 net carbs per serving)
Sliced Pears (9 net carbs per serving)
Fruit Cocktail (10 net carbs per serving)
Pear Chunks (9 net carbs per serving)
Peach Chunks (6 net carbs per serving)

But the first question's going to be, "Does it taste good?"
"Can I tell the difference?"

I think you'll be pleased with the results... In fact, many non-lowcarbers we had tasting these didn't know the difference at all. Bottom line, Carb Clever fruit cocktail tastes like Del Monte's regular fruit cocktail.
Del Monte Carb Clever Pears
Not for induction, these fruits will fit into most any other part of your weight loss plan. And besides simply chilling them and enjoying them as-is, you might think about the ways you used canned fruits in your pre-lowcarb life. I'm working on a great version of "dump cake" and will post the recipe when it's complete.

Try using the peaches to bake over chicken. Or try the sliced pears in your salads with a sprinkling of walnuts. Use them to make your homemade ice creams with (think peach chunks in a vanilla base!) The possibilities are endless.

Del Monte Carb Clever Fruit Cocktail The 14.5 oz fruit cocktail, pear slices, and peach slices each contain 3 1/2 servings, and the diced fruits in 8.25 oz cans offer up 2 servings. Each contains fruit, water, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ace-k, and sucralose. That means that these fruits come in at 50 to 70% less carbs than fruits in heavy syrup. And they don't contain preservatives. So you can feel good about them as a healthy alternative.

Good job, Del Monte! A big thumbs up from us!

Del Monte Carb Clever Fruits are available nationwide in your local grocery. If you can't locate them, give Del Monte a call at 1-800-543-3090.


01-05-01 - Product Recommendation & Review:
Carnation Thick Cream No doubt about it — low carbers use a lot of cream. Take a short stroll through our recipes area and you'll see what I mean. It's in 30-40% of them. If you're like me, it's constantly on the grocery list and the fridge is full of the stuff.

Of course we use it to make Whipped Cream, but it also finds its way into our gravies, our sauces, our cookies, our soups... the list goes on and on. Someone had mentioned to me once that it was a shame there's not a canned cream instead of just the much higher carb evaporated milks. Well, there is.
Carnation Thick Cream
Carnation makes a canned thick cream that's very versatile! It has a 25% milk fat content, so it's a "light cream" and suitable for nearly all recipes referenced above. It's not going to "whip" properly, so you'll still need real cream for that, but this can be stocked in your pantry and you need never be out when you need to make a white sauce, a cream gravy, a smooth soup, or a quick pour-over for fresh berries.

We also had success with it when making a quick "sweetened condensed" milk. We took two cans (each contains about 3/4 cup), heated them with a mixture of Splenda and Diabetisweet until it had reduced by about 30% and was quite thick. This worked really well and baked beautifully into a pumpkin pie. We also melted a bar of low-carb dark chocolate and blended it into a bit of the canned thick cream. It made a lovely frosting.

Each can contains about 5 grams of carbs and contains only sterilized cream and sodium citrate. It's a product of Holland; distributed chiefly in Canada and can be found there in nearly all groceries. It was harder to locate here in the U.S., but several of our larger stores did carry it. It's worth looking for and if you find it, you'll want to stock up!
NOTE: Since we first published this review, The Low Carb Dieter's Page is now carrying the Carnation canned Thick Cream. So if it's not in your area, you can now order it online!


06-21-00 - Product Recommendation & Review:
I can't think of rutabagas without remembering the old WKRP episode where Les Nessman was lamenting the plight of the "lowly rutabaga — the forgotten vegetable." It always makes me grin. Well, while shopping one day a couple of weeks ago, I spotted the canned rutabagas on the high (ignored) shelf at the grocery.

canned rutabagas Curious, I grabbed them and checked the label for carbs. Wow... after fiber they work out to around 5 to 6 grams per serving. I grabbed a few cans to experiment with and served them up to our review panel as an ersatz potato wanna-be. We were all pleasantly surprised. We'd all tried using turnips as a potato substitute both mashed and in stews and soups, but none of us had tried rutabagas.

They come in with a very similar taste to the turnip — perhaps a bit milder, but the advantage to these is that they come canned — already diced. A big time saver to keep in the cupboard. Now, that being said, they didn't make acceptable "mashed potatoes" for that very reason — being canned. But in a beef stew we made, as well as a turkey soup (and I imagine most soups), they were really tasty and we didn't miss the potato at all!

We bought the
Allen's Sunshine Brand but I think any quality brand would be just as good. I have been told they're easier found in the south, but I located them here in Ohio, so look around. If you can't find them, they can be ordered online at a great price from The Low Carb Connoisseur.


04-30-00 - Product Recommendation & Review:
Tony Packo's Chili Love a good chili dog? I mean a really good chili dog? If just reading the sentence makes you drool, then Tony Packo's is for you! It's a local-to-Toledo (Ohio) delicacy that can now be ordered on the web and is showing up in a number of groceries!

If you're a fan of the old M*A*S*H TV Series, you might recall that the Corporal Klinger character - a native of Toledo — was forver lamenting being without Tony Packo's chili-dogs. (In one episode he had some shipped over to Korea.) This legend is not without merit. This is a terrific chili-dog! But if you can't make it to a Tony Packo's Café, you can now get the next best thing in a can! They offer a frozen version as well at their website store. And their chili has a negligible amount of carbs, so enjoy without guilt! (I have them rolled into a low-carb tortilla, myself!) If you can't locate it in your local stores, visit their website to order.


12-23-99 - Product Recommendation & Review:
Eden Foods of Clinton, Michigan packs a wonderful product that can bring beans back into the everyday cooking life of a low-carb dieter. They offer Eden Organic Black Soy Beans that are both versatile and delicious! First, the best news — a 1/2 cup serving of them offers up only 1 gram of bioavailable carbs (8 grams carbs Eden Black Soy Beans minus 7 grams fiber!) I made a pot of steamy tummy-warming chili with these beans and you could not tell them from regular navy or chili beans. Boil good quality ground or minced beef (I use 1/2 lb ground chuck and 1/2 lb ground sirloin to get the best mix of lean and flavorful) with just enough water to cover. Reduce and add 1 cup beef broth (canned works fine) or 1/2 cup beef and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Reduce to half and add your favorite chili spices and low-carb tomato base (I think the Newman's Own sauces work very well here!) I Eden Black Soy Beans also add diced, sautéed onion and peppers here, but it's your call.

Final step — add the beans and heat thoroughly. If you like your chili thick, reduce a bit more or add a pinch of Xanthan Gum (see suggestion further down this page.) Here in the Dayton/Cincinnati area we have
Skyline Chili restaurants who make a fabulous chili that's extremely low-carb (they use no sugars, fillers or thickeners netting about 1 carb per serving.) I have found these beans are excellent added to the Skyline Chili (you can buy it canned or by the quart from the restaurants.)

Where to get these things? My stores carry the Eden Black Soy Beans either in the canned organic foods section or with regular canned beans. If you can't find them, they can be ordered online at The Low Carb Connoisseur very inexpensively. One word — don't confuse these with "Black Beans" which are much higher in carbs. The Skyline Chili (in both cans and frozen paks) can be ordered directly from their website.


8-16-99 - Product Recommendation & Review:
Lucky Leaf Lite FillingsThe folks at Knouse Foods who make all those lovely Pie Fillings you USED TO enjoy but had to give up for low-carbing, have now had the foresight to offer a new formula of their LITE versions of Apple and Cherry pie fillings that use Splenda®! You have got to try the new Lucky Leaf Lite Cherry and Lucky Leaf Lite Apple pie fillings.

To slather this heavenly treat over a piece of low-carb cheesecake will cost you an extra 3-4 carbs. (Allowing for the fiber, there's 7 grams per pie-wedge size serving in the cherry and 6 grams in the apple, but as a topping, we figure you'd use about 1/2 that quantity.) Worth spoiling yourself now and then! I plan to start working on new recipes using these products and will add them to the recipe section when they're ready. But I'll bet you'll be brimming with your own ideas!

If you can't find them in your area, they can be ordered online at
The Low Carb Connoisseur.



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