Nothing says cold weather is here like soup and hot cereal.
Dei Fratelli which has produced canned tomatoes, tomato products and sauerkraut since 1923 has just re-introduced their original tomato soup as a 100% gluten-free condensed soup. A 1-cup serving, prepared with water, has 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 19 grams of carb, and 410 milligrams of sodium. One can provides 2 servings but if you eat the entire can the sodium content may be too high for some. The soup is kosher certified.
All Dei Fratelli tomato products come from seedlings germinated in the company’s own greenhouses. The seedlings are then planted on local family farms that have grown tomatoes for multiple generations within 10 to 50 miles a Dei Fratelli processing plant.
We highlighted Better Oats last winter and thought the brand brought an excellent extension to the instant oatmeal category. The brand has expanded, again, with the introduction of Oat Revolution! Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal.
Steel cut oats are the whole grain inner portion of the oat kernel which has been cut into pieces. Most oatmeal is rolled. The oat kernel is flattened, steamed and lightly toasted. Steel cut are less processed and take longer to cook. Better Oats Steel Cut Oats cook in 5 minutes on the stove in 2 ½ minutes in the microwave. Steel cut oats are slightly thinner after cooking but they thicken as they cools off. As with all other Better Oats varieties, the pouch serves as the measuring device for water or milk which is very convenient.
Steel Cut Oats come in 3 flavors: Classic, Apples & Cinnamon and Maple & Brown Sugar. All have flaxseed which makes them a good source of omega-3, heart-healthy fats. We tasted two of the varieties.
• Classic contains nothing but steel cut oats, flaxseeds and salt. One pouch as prepared with water has 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 105 milligrams of sodium and 140 milligrams of potassium. • Maple & Brown Sugar has 170 calories, 3 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 11 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 210 milligrams of sodium and 140 milligrams of potassium. All flavors are kosher certified (OU).
Special K Nourish is a multi-grain – quinoa, oats and barley – instant hot cereal. It comes in three flavors – Cinnamon Raisin Pecan, Cranberry Almond, and Maple Brown Sugar Crunch. The on-the-go heat and eat container is topped with add-ons of dried fruit and nuts. You can either microwave Nourish or simply add hot water and let the container sit for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened. Add the toppings, stir and eat. We preferred the hot water and sit method. This would be
excellent for an office breakfast because hot water is always available to make tea.
Each variety, made with water, has 190 calories, 5 grams of fat (with only 0.5 grams of saturated fat), 32 grams of carb (11 to 12 grams of which is sugar), 5 grams of fiber and 7 to 8 grams of protein, plus a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. To help consumers better understand what is in their food, the ingredients list for Nourish is divided into a food ingredients list and a separate list for vitamins and minerals. The correct ingredient names for nutrients can often sound daunting, such as alpha tocopherol acetate. This is the name for the form of vitamin E added to Nourish. By separating the food ingredients from the nutrient additions the shopper is better informed about the cereal they are buying. This is an excellent education tool.
Nourish is also available as nutrition bars – Cranberry Almond (170 calories), Dark Chocolate Nut Delight (180 calories), and Lemon Twist (160 calories). Each bar (1.58 ounces) provides 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber and is multi-grain (oats, wheat, barley and quinoa).