There is never a time of year when it does not pay to be eating with healthy habits in mind. Healthy foods can also have a great taste to them. In turn, there is no shortage of interesting new food and beverage options that manage to be nutritious and delicious – and often fun, too.
Here are 15 of my most recent food and drink discoveries that fall on the Kosher and Kosher-ish spectrum, some of which premiered and/or available for sampling at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show.
The Gerrit J. Verburg Company’s Chocolates & Gummies
As showcased at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, the Gerrit J. Verburg Company recently unveiled FORT KNOX Cool Llamas and Unicorn Milk Chocolate Coins, FORT KNOX Unicorns Mini Chocolates, Gustaf’s Gourmet Gummies Penguins and Wild Mice, and Gerrit’s Bakery Stroopwafels Gift Tins. The company offers gourmet and imported treats made with non-GMO ingredients, and many also are gluten-free and made using natural colors and flavors. My favorites of the bunch are the FORT KNOX Cool Llamas Milk Chocolate Coins, which ought to remind you of Hanukkah gelt. Made in Holland in a nut-free facility, the creamy milk chocolate is gluten-free and made with Kosher-certified ingredients.
The Spice Lab’s Taste Of America Collection
The Spice Lab has created three Seasoning Collections featuring some of their most popular premium spice blends. Each set includes a themed selection of four seasonings in shaker jars packaged in a gift box. These careful-crafted seasonings are all-natural, OU Kosher and most are gluten-free. Available on Amazon and at www.spices.com, my favorite of these offerings is the Taste Of America Collection, which includes Key West Seafood (a flavorful blend of onion, garlic, thyme, and other spices) and the Everything+More (all the popular bagel toppings plus hot pepper flakes).
HEATH Ice Cream Cake
Made by Rich Products, the leading maker of ice cream cakes sold in grocery stores nationwide, the HEATH Ice Cream Cake delivers consumers’ favorite HEATH taste with a signature toffee crunch. The dessert features crushed pieces of real HEATH Milk Chocolate English Toffee Bar layered between smooth vanilla ice cream, and is finished with chocolate whipped icing and Hershey’s chocolate syrup drizzle. Shoppers can find it at Shop Rite, Publix, Stop & Shop, Meijer, Tops, Market Basket, Acme and Hy-Vee. And yes, HEATH candy bars are still manufactured in the same town where they got their start: Robinson, Illinois.
Lotus Foods’ Organic Rice Ramen Noodle Soup Cups
Another favorite from this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, Lotus Foods has won both the Silver and Gold Sofi Award in the “Pasta, Rice, Grain” category for its Organic Dehraduni Basmati Rice and Organic Forbidden Pad Thai Rice Noodles. Lotus Foods’ Organic Dehraduni was recognized because of its standout taste and is grown with agricultural practices that use less water, generating fewer methane emissions and freeing up mostly female rice growers for other work and family pursuits. This year Lotus launched its Organic Rice Ramen Noodle Soup Cups, which feature freeze-dried soup cubes with gourmet spices and chunky veggies. The new soup cups come in Garlicky Veggie and Hot & Sour and feature vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, daylilies and bamboo shoots.
Split Nutritions’ Spreads
Split is a new spin on an American classic made for the active and on-the-go lifestyle. With no bread required, you can eat the nut butter and jam combo straight out of the pack or drizzle it on your favorite snack. Founded by Award-winning Chef, Jeff Mahin and Celebrity/Athlete Nutritionist Dr. Philip Goglia, Split provides a quick healthy snack of balanced proteins and carbs to keep you both nourished and satisfied. Split recently launched nationwide in Whole Foods and is launching two new flavors available at Whole Foods; they also recently switched its nut butter from roasted to raw.
SNAX-SATIONAL Brands’ Penne Straws
As recently showcased at the Summer Fancy Foods’ show, SNAX-SATIONAL Brands’ Pasta Snacks have been available as Pasta Chips and BowTies. Its newest release is the better-for-you chip alternative, PenneStraws. The low-calorie, gluten-free, pasta-shaped treats made of lentils and white beans are offered in the following flavors: Cinnamon Churro, Lemon Garlic, Mac & Cheese, Marinara, and Sweet Pepper. Recently striking a licensing deal with Disney, SNAX-SATIONAL Brands now has Disney characters featured in its Bow Ties snack.
Dieffenbach’s Ugliest & One Potato Two Potato Chips
Dieffenbach’s Potato Chip Inc. recently revealed its new bag design for its One Potato Two Potato Brand, along with fresh new flavors and products at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show. New packaging aside, all products from Dieffenbach’s are Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, Kosher-certified and Vegan. Their latest products will be made from whole-root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, batata, taro, parsnip and yuca to name a few. The proprietary brands of the company include Dieffenbach’s Kettle Chips, One Potato Two Potato and Uglies. My favorite offering is the Kettle Cooked Uglies Barbecue chips, which help benefit the Viva Kids organization – to help end childhood hunger – with their sales.
Ritter Sport’s New CACAO Bars
Ritter Sport debuted its three newest bars at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, all of which deliciously pure, silky, and smooth chocolates produced from sustainably-grown beans sourced from Africa and South America. The 55% Smooth is a bar of heavenly milky chocolate with a dark chocolate twist made with single-origin cacao from Ghana. The 61% Fine is a bar of dark chocolate made from single-origin cacao from Nicaragua offering delightful nutty notes. The 74% Intense is a bar of divine dark chocolate produced from single origin Peruvian cacao with fine, fruity, spicy notes. As a chocolate-lover, you can not go wrong with any of these new offerings.
Mason-Dixie Biscuit Company’s Biscuits
The Mason-Dixie Biscuit Company is known to proclaim itself as making the best biscuit in America. That claim has previously been validated at the International Biscuit Festival, as voted on by 60,000-plus people. The company has also been a part of the Chobani Incubator this year, growing to distribution in over 5,000 stores nationwide this year. Its biscuits appear to be the only natural frozen biscuits on the market today, and the only biscuit in the country made with no more than nine high-quality ingredients, like real butter and fresh. Intended to be made “freezer to oven,” these biscuits taste homemade because they are made from scratch by Mason Dixie Biscuit Company; the organization is indeed a certified woman-owned, minority-owned and managed company in Washington, DC.
Garden Lites’ Veggies Made Great
Veggies Made Great by Garden Lites, the leader in unique veggie-rich foods, recently unlimited two new flavors of Frittatas (Broccoli Cheddar Frittata and Mushroom & 3 Cheese Egg White Frittata) to Costco stores and two new flavors of Veggie Cakes (Butternut Squash and Broccoli Cheddar) to Kroger stores. Veggies Made Great Frittatas meet the growing consumer demand for healthy plant-based food. Like all the items from Veggies Made Great, veggies are the #1 ingredient, they are gluten-free and remarkably delicious. The Frittatas have the added benefit of high protein and made with only clean and simple ingredients; both Frittatas have less than 90 calories and 5 grams of protein. Other Veggies Made Great products include the very popular veggie-rich Muffins. The Muffins are made with fresh zucchini and carrots and include flavors such as Blueberry Oat, Double Chocolate, Banana Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Orange.
Amazing Grass’ Effervescent Line
Amazing Grass is considered to be the best-selling producer of green superfoods. The brand recently launched its effervescent line, which is the most novel and convenient way to get your daily dose of green nutrition. While they are all USDA Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan, my favorite Amazing Grass offering is the Smooth Chocolate protein powder from its “Protein & Kale” line; one scoop stirred into your beverage of choice will take you a long way.
Meli’s Monster Cookies
Arguably the best tasting gluten-free cookie on the market, Meli’s Monster Cookies are indeed certified gluten-free. Available in both pre-baked and dry mixes, they come in three flavors: Original (inclusive of peanut butter M&Ms), Cashewlicious and Choco-Lot. I had the pleasure of experiencing both the ready-made and dry-mix versions and recommend both anyone seeking a gluten-free cookie.
Daily Harvest’s Cold Brew + Cacao Smoothie
At Daily Harvest, the belief is “living good starts with good food” as the food” feeds us physically, mentally and emotionally.” The brand has a Michelin-trained chef and topline nutritionist at the helm to craft and balance all of its soups, smoothies, lattes, bowls, and cookies. I’ve had the pleasure of trying a variety of the soups, smoothies and bowls, and my favorite was the Cold Brew + Cacao Smoothie. It provided a way to get your daily immediate energy-rush with satisfaction sans the guilt; it tastes like a healthy mocha frappe.
DONA’s Spice Sodas
DONA is a Brooklyn-based award-winning, spice-based beverage company. At the Summer Fancy Show, it unveiled DONA Spice Sodas three 3 amazing flavors. One of them is the Turmeric Honeybush with Orange & Black Pepper, which recently won the 2019 New Product Sofi Award in the “Cold Beverage, Ready to Drink” category. Founded by the spice-obsessed Michigan-native Amy Rothstein (also behind the popular DONA Masala Chai and DONA Turmeric Concentrates) the brand’s sodas are fizzy, tastefully-sweet and ready-to-drink. They are brewed in-house in small batches using real ingredients – including freshly-ground spices, zesty citrus peel, aromatic herbs and flowers – which help to provide a perfectly-balanced flavor. They are made without extracts or artificial flavorings and are caffeine-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Planet Oat’s Oat Milk
Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Planet Oat – a popular new alternative milk – recently announced a series of Plan-oat-tarium pop-ups. Each of the pop-up spots offered consumers the opportunity to try tasty oat milk treats and product samples as they took a trip through space and learn about the newest planet to hit the solar system, Planet Oat. Pop-ups aside, this rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage is slightly-sweet with no added sugar, while also dairy-free, peanut-free, soy-free and gluten-free. The Dark Chocolate flavor is my favorite of the brand’s current offerings.