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Product Spotlight: Syrups, Jams and Spreads

Back to Product Review Main 

04.03.03 :: Product Recommendation & Review: Colac Chocolate Topping
It's ice cream season, folks! (Okay, so I eat ice cream year-round... not everyone does.) And whether you make your own (we have recipes here at the site!), you use a mix, or you buy your favorite sugarfree ice cream ready made, you're going to want some great toppings to "do it up." We love it when we get to review ice cream toppings! Could there be a more fun job? This time, we took the new
Colac Toppings out for a spin!

There are some yummy choices:
Strawberry, Passionfruit, and of course Chocolate! Traditional or not, we loved the Chocolate the most. It can hardly be distinguished from real Hershey's Syrup. It's thick and deep, and it just feels sinful. We made (of course) Chocolate nut sundaes (we used LeCarb Vanilla as our base) and oh, oh, oh... Choco-holics rejoice! This is good stuff. Be careful, though, and just don't overdo. It's made with maltitol.

Pour it over any frozen treat or low carb dessert. And yes, you can make chocolate milk with it too... mix it with a tiny bit of slightly warmed cream, then pour in cold half-and-half and a little cold water. Mix well, and enjoy! And if you heat this syrup/topping before pouring over ice cream, consider adding a little DaVinci sugarfree vanilla, caramel, or peanut butter syrup to this rich chocolate. Yum! Colac Topping

Now let's talk about fruit toppings, because these were also quite good. They are even better over low carb pancakes or crepes, and over cheesecake, they add a remarkable level of "wow". Again, these are made with maltitol plus real fruit, so don't go crazy. But we'd definitely buy these for our families.

Carbs according to the labels are 1 effective gram, but they take off all the maltitol carbs. If you're sensitive, it's best to consider these 5 to 7 carbs per serving.

All three flavors in 13.3 oz Bottles are available from The Low Carb Dieter's Page. The Chocolate is available in a large (45 oz) Food Service size squeeze bottle from The Low Carb Connoisseur.

06.23.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Country Cupboard Jams In our never ending search for delicious low carb jams, jellies, and spreads sweetened with Splenda, there's a new player on the field. This week, the group tried some delicious selections from Country Cupboard.

The varieties we tried were Strawberry Preserves (that tasted like it was homemade), Apricot Amaretto (just like it sounds — a mix of apricots with a deep almond-y flavor), and Wild Forest Berry (a blend of wild blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.) Country Cupboard Jams

We thought they were all exceptional, but have a particular fondness for the Apricot Amaretto. It's just so unique. The Wild Forest Berry tastes like a topping they used to serve on pancakes at IHOP, and in fact is good that way. However you use them we think you'll be pleased with the super fruit-y taste.

They come in at about 2 carbs per 2 Tbsp serving, and are available from Greenbeanz.

06.03.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
DaVinci Sugar Free Starfruit Syrup We are very fortunate indeed to have a company like DaVinci Gourmet that makes an ever-growing line of Splenda sweetened zero carb flavored syrups. We do our best to try each new flavor as they are released and have found many to be worthy of mention here. This month, we highlight several of their new flavors that we think are exceptional!

First up, we loved the new
Starfruit Syrup! When I first opened the bottle, several people asked me what "Starfruit" was... I guess it's a lesser known fruit (also called five corner fruit or Chinese Star Fruit,) they make pretty little stars when sliced, and I'll bet you'll recognize the taste. One of our members said, "It tastes like those lollypops we ate as kids." And they do. The best way to describe this syrup is to say it tastes like fruity candy. And it's luscious. For flavoring icings and baked goods, and for adding to sodas. I love a Starfruit Cola mix!

DaVinci Sugar Free Green Apple Syrup Next we tried the
Green Apple Syrup. I'd tried some a couple of months ago when it first came out, but this was my chance to share it with the group to get their thoughts. It's so true to flavor, you can almost hear the crisp "bite" of the apple. A green apple cheesecake will knock your socks off! (See the recipe in our April 12th Newsletter.)

It will lend a fresh apple flavor to lots of things in the kitchen without adding carbs, including refreshing marinades and sweet sauces for chicken, or a warm apple salad dressing to drizzle over greens mixed with pecans, and diced chicken. As we always say, just get creative! The syrups are always carb free, and don't need refrigeration.

DaVinci Gourmet Sugar Free Syrups are available at Synergy Diet, or from netrition.

05.06.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Steel's Gourmet Wild Blueberry Syrup This week we found a product that makes a low carb breakfast very, very special. If you're a pancake and waffle fan (and with all our newest low carb options, who isn't?) you'll find the new Steel's Wild Blueberry Syrup to be an exceptional topping! Made with real blueberries and sweetened with maltitol, it's delightfully rich and fruity.

Steel's Wild Blueberry Syrup First we tried it on pancakes — we added a touch of lemon to the pancake batter (use your favorite low carb pancake mix or recipe and flavor with lemon). It's a thick syrup and a little goes a long way. We also found that not surprisingly, this syrup makes a great cooking and baking ingredient (try it added to your favorite low carb cream cheese frosting recipe!!) And it's heaven on vanilla ice cream.

It comes in at 10 total carbs per serving, but 8 of those are maltitol and for most of us will cause little or no reaction. So, for me, I count it at 4 effective carbs per serving. If you usually discount maltitol entirely, it can be counted as 2 effective carbs per serving. Since a little does so much, we consider this another great carb bargain. It's delicious! You can order Steel's Wild Blueberry Syrup online from The Low Carb Connoisseur.

01.22.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Yoder's Cider Barn No Sugar Apple Butter I see it as a very good sign that more and more often trips to the grocery, specialty stores, and other food vendors, mean seeing yet another new sugar free product on the shelves. They may not all be embracing low carb, but more and more options are out there for those avoiding sugar, and that's gotta be a good thing.

A few weeks ago, while shopping at my local Meijer's stores (in the Dayton, Ohio area), I found a "No Sugar Added" display of
Yoder's Cider Barn Fruit Spreads and Butters. Some were sweetened with grape juices, making them just a little overly high for most low-carbers (unless you're on maintenance), but the exception was the Apple Butter (basically made with just apples and cinnamon.)

It comes in at 4 grams of carbohydrate per serving, and this seemed acceptable to me, so I bought it. And once I had a chance to try it and serve it to a few others (my son loved it), I knew I had to buy a few more jars for our Review Group to try. Two weeks later, we were all enjoying it on warm buttered low carb toast. Most loved it as is, but a few wanted it sweeter and added a touch of Splenda. Either way, it was unanimous — loved by all. We think you will too. If you've been missing the warm country taste of a rich, thick apple butter, this might be a great occasional treat for you. I have it on a slice of my favorite bread recipe and a cup of tea for a total of 6 carbs that makes me feel spoiled.

Yoder's Cider Barn is located in Martinsburg, Ohio. Martinsburg is a small Amish community Northeast of Columbus with a population of approximately 213 — about 88 families live there. I expect you should be able to find their products if you live (or travel) to most areas of Ohio and eastern Indiana. So if you're in the area, this one's worth looking for!

11.30.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
DaVinci Gourmet Egg Nog Syrup When our Thanksgiving guests this year happened to glance at our ever-burgeoning collection of DaVinci Gourmet Sugar Free Syrups (and commented that the shelf was getting a bit too heavy), I realized what a big fan of these syrups and their many uses my family really is! And our latest recipe session included the new Egg Nog Flavored Syrup. We've already run through 3 bottles trying out some creative uses of this sweet, holiday-rich flavor. First up, the obvious... making eggnog. To make a scrumptious, and super easy eggnog for holiday guests (or for yourself!), mix 1 quart of half n half, 1/2 cup Splenda (or to taste), 1/4 cup egg beaters, 1/2 cup DaVinci Sugar Free Egg Nog Syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a spritz of nutmeg. Shake well and refrigerate.
DaVinci Gourmet Gingerbread Syrup
Next, we made a Holiday Eggnog Cheesecake to die for. Yum. Want to try Eggnog Ice Cream? We made our favorite Keto Vanilla ice cream mix with DaVinci Sugar Free Egg Nog Syrup instead of water, and add nutmeg (and a few quick shakes of ground cloves and/or allspice!) You'll want to keep this eggnog syrup on hand for all sorts of things.

We also want to remind you all of their amazing
Gingerbread Syrup! We first recommended it last year, but it's not something you want to miss this holiday season. Add it to your favorite low carb pumpkin pie recipe for a snappy twist. Or make a Gingerbread Angel Pie (this was fun!)

We took our recipe for Lemony Angel Pie and instead of using 1 pint heavy whipping cream, we used 1/2 cream and 1/2 DaVinci Gingerbread Syrup. Leave out the lemon, and add holiday spices. Light as a cloud with a gingery snap. And speaking of snaps, try making the Ginger Snaps and use Gingerbread Syrup instead of water. You'll get an even richer cookie.

All DaVinci Gourmet Sugar Free syrups are available online at netrition.

09.27.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Steel's Peanut Butter Fudge Sauce You know, just the name of this product is somehow comforting, isn't it? Peanut Butter Fudge Sauce... Sounds yummy, right? The good news is, that this new sauce from Steel's Gourmet really is yummy! It's creamy, rich, and just the right mix of peanut butter with decadent chocolate. And it's sugar free Splenda sweetened. Also made with erythritol — the only polyol super low in carbs and causes no "gastric problems." And it's made with real butter (which you can taste!) and no transfats!

Mix it with cream cheese for a frosting for your favorite low-carb cupcake or cake recipes, or warm it for a great "drizzle." Or dip strawberries in it. Of course you could also use it for the obvious — a topping for sugarfree ice cream.

A 2-Tablespoon serving comes in at 4.5 carbs, with 2 grams of fiber, netting 2.5 effective carbs per serving. Steel's Gourmet Peanut Butter Fudge Sauce is available at The Low Carb Connoisseur.

07.18.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup Many people consider chocolate to be the very definition of bliss... It's no surprise that chocolate is the world's most sought-after treat. Obviously some of that stems from a general sugar addiction, but since we're now eating sugar free chocolate and still love it like the dickens (that's the technical term), it's obvious there are other reasons we love it.

It's decadent, it's rich, and it makes us "feel good." So that's why you've probably noticed we're always looking for the best low-carb options in all things chocolate!

This week, we have a new entry that fits the criteria of our spotlight products. A new chocolate treat's been introduced by
Walden Farms — sugar free, carb free Chocolate Syrup!

The most positive aspects of this product are obvious — it contains no carbs (actually a small trace per serving — we figure about 1/4 carb per serving), almost no calories, no sugar, no trans fats, and amazingly, no sugar alcohols whatsoever. It also tastes great and is pretty thick. The only drawback is that in order to be calorie free, it is fat-free as well, so it lacks a little richness it could otherwise have had with a touch of butter.

Obviously it's great on ice cream, but consider it an all purpose chocolate condiment — pour it over cheesecake (we had it over lemon cheesecake and it was terrific!), dip strawberries in it, or pour a bit over your favorite low-carb crackers.

Sweetened with Splenda and easy to pour, it's available online from The Low Carb Dieter's Page or The Low Carb Connoisseur.

06.19.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Steel's Gourmet Splenda sweetened Chocolate Sauce
What has all the great new choices in low-carb ice cream been really lacking? An absolutely superb — yet low carb — Chocolate Sauce! Yes, there are other sugarfree chocolate syrups out there (and we've tried 'em) but they didn't make it here. They usually try to be low-fat or fat free as well and end up being thin and tasteless. But now there's
Steel's Gourmet Splenda sweetened Chocolate Sauce!   It's rich, deep, and decadent. Hot or cold, it's just terrific. It's a semi-sweet sauce very reminiscent of melted toll house chips. Drizzle it on anything that appeals to you — not just ice cream. It's fab with our basic Almond Pound Cake, and equally good with pancakes. About 4 carbs per serving and worth every one.

It's sweetened with sucralose (Splenda brand), a little maltitol for texture, and erythritol. If you've never heard of "erythritol," it's a polyol (sugar alcohol) that unlike all the others, does NOT cause ANY laxative effect, and is nearly true-zero carb. We wish it would be used in MORE things.

Lastly, this great sauce is made with REAL butter (not trying to be fat-free) and is that much more delicious for it. If you love a deep chocolate, you'll love this one. It's a new favorite here! It's available from The Low Carb Connoisseur, and The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

06.11.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

DaVinci Sugarfree Syrups In case you it's slipped past you, our old friend, DaVinci Gourmet now has some great new flavors of their terrific Splenda-sweetened syrups available. And they really are some of the best. We had a ball experimenting with and taste-testing these newest flavors!

First — what we tried:
Blueberry, B-52, Banana, Watermelon, White Chocolate, Toasted Marshmallow, and Cookie Dough.

Several of these new flavors are the very ones that our visitors have been writing and asking for sugarfree versions of (and we've been passing those suggestions on to DaVinci!) The two most requested flavors have been for Banana and Blueberry. And we see this was with good reason. The banana holds a strong, true flavor when adding to baked goods — use it in place of water or other liquid called for to get banana breads, cakes and muffins (adjust sweetener downward to compensate — and lower carbs while you're at it!) DaVinci Sugarfree Syrups

The blueberry was also terrific added right to a light pancake mix. We used it in place of water when making Keto brand Blueberry pancake mix and they were SOOOoo blue-berry-ish!

The Toasted Marshmallow, the Cookie Dough, and the White Chocolate were heaven over low-carb ice cream. Try mixing 2 parts cookie dough to 1 part white chocolate over a little sugarless vanilla ice cream. It tastes like a Tollhouse Cookie!

DaVinci Sugarfree Syrups The other two flavors — Watermelon and B-52 were at their best in drinks (virgin or otherwise.) A simple Watermelon & Diet 7-Up is surprisingly good and Summer-y. As for the B-52... in case you don't know, this one's named for the famous bar drink made from Kahlúa liqueur, Irish Cream and Grand Marnier. This non-alcoholic syrup is a combination of coffee, Irish Cream and a hint of orange flavor. This is a burst of flavor with a "club attitude" that won't seem sugarfree to you.

Lastly, we had never gotten around to reviewing DaVinci's classic
Cherry syrup (though it's not a new flavor.) What the heck took us so long? This one is a must-have in every low-carb kitchen. From making on-the-fly Cherry Colas (we love it mixed with Diet RC!) to making a quick cherry sauce for baked ham, it's a very realistic cherry flavor with no aftertaste or off-flavor of any kind.

All flavors of DaVinci Gourmet are available from netrition.

06.11.01 :: - Product Recommendation & Review:
Low Carb Yummies Flavored Butters One of my favorite things about being a devoted low-carber is that the richness and depth of REAL butter is always a part of my diet. Butter not only imparts a classic flavor of its own, it also lends itself to a great base for most anything you throw at it. So adding inventive flavors and a touch of sweetness just seems a natural... Our group recently sampled such an inventive new product — Flavorburst Butters from Low Carb Yummies !

Pure and clarified with a touch of Splenda, these versatile butters come in three flavors at present with more on the horizon:
Chocolate Amaretto, Cinnamon, and English Toffee. Melt them to drizzle over your favorite low-carb baked goods. Or soften them to spread on pancakes or waffles... or try the cinnamon with a piece of toasted Gabi's Bread. Because they're ZERO carb, you can have them on induction too — just have them with a VERY low-carb bread like Dr. Atkins' Original Diet Revolution Rolls.

Two thumbs up for taste and creativity. Low Carb Yummies Flavorburst Butters are of course available from Low Carb Yummies or by calling 1-800-845-7991. (For those of you located in Lakewood/Denver, Colorado, they have a Low Carb Yummies Cafe & Market!)

03.12.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
DaVinci Gourmet Gingerbread Syrup
Here at my house, we've been using, flavoring, and baking with the Sugar Free DaVinci syrups for well over a year — at least since they went to Splenda for their sweetener. But we've never found the time for the entire group to really evaluate them, even though we get a lot of letters asking our opinion of them. Well, it always takes something to push you to do something you've been leaving on the back-burner. What it took in this case was a couple of exciting new flavors that harken back to my childhood (and apparently a lot of other's as well judging by the querries we've gotten!)

A few months ago, DaVinci Gourmet introduced (for the Holidays) their new Sugar Free
Gingerbread Syrup! I admit I was late hearing about it and regret that I never got it in in time for Christmas baking, but there's no time like the present, right? We can't express how much we adored this syrup. It is SOOOooo good. It really, honestly tastes like a bite of a gingerbread cookie. Any soda or tea you add it to takes on this heavenly aroma and the spicy, sweet bite of ginger! It was amazing in a cheesecake. Think about it — Gingerbread cheesecake. (Use the recipe for our New York Style Cheesecake and instead of 1 cup sour cream, substitute 3/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup DaVinci Gourmet Gingerbread Syrup.) Or pour it over your favorite low-carb ice cream.

DaVinci Gourmet Red Hot Cinnamon Syrup Then there's the new Sugar Free DaVinci Gourmet
Red Hot Cinnamon Syrup (released as a Valentine Special.)  Did you love those little Cinnamon Red Hot candies as a kid? Do you like your cinnamon with a kick? If so, you're gonna find yourself emotionally attached to this syrup. Pour 1/4 cup over ice and then top with diet cola or diet cream soda. It's like dessert!

Like the Gingerbread, (and most all of the DaVinci Gourmet syrups,) they're superb in coffee, tea or soft drinks, and they are "must-haves" in your low-carb kitchen when creating desserts. Their flavors are strong and true; they need no refrigeration (except the pancake syrup) and they have absolutely NO CARBS. Use them for shakes, over cottage cheese, or get creative and mix flavors. Try mixing their Almond with their Cherry. Or their Raspberry with their Chocolate. You'll be surprised at the exotic results you can get! Need a fruity sauce to serve with meat? We love using the DaVinci Orange with duckling. It's so delicate and sweet. You can use a pinch of arrowroot or xanthan gum to thicken a little if you like, or simply boil down to concentrate.

All DaVinci Gourmet Sugar Free syrups are available online at netrition.

03.08.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Steel's Gourmet Jams This week, we continue our look at the new sugarfree jams and jellies coming your way — all sweetened with Splenda. The low-carb consumer is getting quite a large selection to chose from and and while some boast more sweetness, some boast more body, some more fruit, and some less carbs, we have rarely been disappointed.

This brings us to the rather delightful discovery that
Steel's Gourmet Foods are now marketing Splenda-based products with the low-carber in mind specifically. We had the opportunity to try all their swoony little toast toppings — fruit heavy jams in varieties that proved to be irresistible. They offer such gems as Wild Blueberry, Crimson Strawberry, Apricot, Red Raspberry, Sour Cherry, and Champagne Peach !

The Steels jams are definitely for fruit lovers. They are more purely fruit and less glossy-sweet than most others in their genre. They are a rich, no-nonsense spread that was superb on low-carb biscuits (a staple around here now — top the warm biscuit with whipped cream cheese AND the jam — Heaven!)
Steel's Gourmet Jams
They make great cooking ingredients too as they add a ton of fruit essence to a dish with only a small quantity addition. Use it in the "Very Berry Frosting" recipe in your choice of flavors (change extract as needed or leave out.) The Blueberry and Raspberry made excellent frostings. The Champagne Peach is great on ice cream (low carb, of course!), and can be heated. The Sour Cherry shines best on good old toast (we tried it on Irene's Health Bread and on our homemade!)

If you like a very heavy, fruit packed spread, the Steel's Gourmet Jams are definitely for you! They're 1.5 carbs per Tablespoon and contain no sugar alcohols or fillers.  They're available online at The Low Carb Dieter's Page and The Low Carb Connoisseur.

02.12.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Keto Fruit Spreads
Jams, Jellies and Preserves are always a welcome addition to our daily routine and satisfy that fruit craving most of us have. Since we've been doing reviews here (and indeed since I began this way of life) a number of jams and spreads have been introduced that fit into our low-carb regime. But how much is too much? Well, in the case of fruit spreads, you may never find out from us! We're not sure there is a limit — as long as the variety continues and the quality is good. This month, Keto introduces their new line of hand-crafted, kettle-stirred
New Zealand Fruit Spreads — and we can assure you, they are top quality!

Keto Fruit Spreads Sweetened with sucralose, Keto offers a wide assortment of sweet, juicy favorites. There's
Grape, Strawberry, Raspberry, Apricot, Orange Marmalade, Blackberry Apple, Pineapple, Plum, and Black Currant.
Our favorites? There were none that we didn't like, but the Pineapple (it reminds me of the pineapple topping we used to get on Dairy Queen banana splits), the Plum (made with Black Doris Plums), and the All-American Strawberry topped our list!

They're 2 grams of carb per Tablespoon and worth every decadent bite! You can order online at The Low Carb Connoisseur, and The Low Carb Dieter's Page, or from Life Services.

12.12.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Nature's Flavors Sugar Free Syrups Recently, our group had the opportunity to test and enjoy an assortment of the new Splenda-sweetened syrups from Nature's Flavors. These syrups — sold both as "syrups" and as "snow cone syrups" — come in big unbreakable 1-quart bottles and are very concentrated and rich. Enriched with Vitamin C, they are zero carbs and filled with some of the most creative flavors we've found anywhere. The flavors are too numerous to fully list, so check their site for all of them, but we tried Maraschino Cherry, Butterscotch, Lemon Meringue, Black Cherry, and Grape Syrups (I believe they have over 50 flavors!)

Snow Cones The obvious use was to add them to snowcones, so we did that first. Mixing the cherry and the grape was really good and we are now anxious to try lots of the other flavors. The Maraschino Cherry added to a Diet RC made for more of a classic soda-fountain "cherry cola" flavor than we'd been able to get with the DaVinci syrups, and the Lemon Meringue in both a Diet 7-Up and a Diet Slim Jones cream soda proved to be divine! (The grape was pretty good in the cream soda as well!) Since once we started we couldn't stop, I pulled some pre-made Keto Ice Cream from the freezer (I had both chocolate and vanilla on hand.) The Lemon Meringue made the vanilla taste like the pie it represents — ala mode! And the cherry was good on both flavors.

Lastly, we took advantage of the ability to cook with these because they are sweetened with sucralose, so I used the Butterscotch in my low-carb version of my Mom's famous Southern Pecan Pie recipe. Wow. It worked better than I'd hoped. (You gotta try it!)

Nature's Flavors also still carries the aspartame sweetened syrups if that's your preference. They taste about the same, and are less expensive, but they contain Aspartame, Acesulfame K, and Sorbitol.

So now, I can't imagine ever being without the Maraschino Cherry (which tastes like the real thing) or the Lemon Meringue (our favorites) ever again! To order Nature's Flavors online, visit The Low Carb Connoisseur.

11.29.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Jok 'n Al Splenda-sweetened lemon curd There really is nothing quite like a good lemon curd. The sweet buttery tartness is an excellent foil for a rich main course. For those of you unfamiliar with Lemon Curd , it's a sweet-tart custard of rich British heritage, traditionally made with eggs, sugar, butter and lemon. Until now, the sugar part has kept it at arm's length on our low-carb eating plan, but we were pleased this weekend to be able to discover it all over again with Jok 'n Al's new (no sugar) Splenda-sweetened version!

Lemon-on-Lemon Cheesecake Lemon curd, (sometimes called "lemon cheese" by the locals) is often served as a spread on English scones, but its versatility lends it to an unending range of possibilities for our way of eating. With a flavor and texture resembling a thick, velvety lemon pie filling, lemon curd is delightful as a filling, a topping, an ingredient, and a glaze. We know — we cooked up a myriad of delights with it! Here's the list of the best of what we enjoyed:

  • First, the basics — try it spooned directly on a piece of low-carb buttered toast. For extra richness, spread the toast with Double Devon Cream first, then top with Lemon Curd!

  • Make the Almond Pound Cake, cool and slice in half through the horizontal center. Fill with lemon curd layer and place the sliced half back on top. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of Keto Vanilla Ice Cream!

  • We also made the almond pound cake in 3-layers, filling once with Lemon Curd and once with low-carb raspberry preserves. This was elegant enough to serve at a fine party!

  • Make a batch of Keto Blueberry Pancakes with Lemon Curd Topping.

  • (It will remind you of morning at an English Bed & Breakfast!)
  • Make up a batch of our Low Carb Biscuits and serve them with rich melted butter and lots of lemon curd!

  • Fold whipped cream into lemon curd for a cookie "dip" at Christmas. We tried it with our Ginger Snaps recipe and the taste was sensational!

  • We created a cool and scrumptious Lemon-on-Lemon Cheesecake.

  • And lastly, as a main course glaze, it was ideal! See our Roasted Chicken with Lemon Curd Glaze.

In short, we found the Jok 'n Al Splenda-sweetened lemon curd to be rich and sophisticated, yet simple. It can go just about anywhere in style!

Jok 'n Al Splenda-sweetened Lemon Curd comes in at 3 carbs for 2 Tablespoons and is available from The Low Carb Connoisseur.

10.19.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Renaissance Low Carb Jellies If, like many of us, you're now enjoying all the new low-carb breads, crackers and bagels available (both from-scratch recipes and ready-to-make mixes), you'll want to check out the new jellies from Renaissance!  Available in four flavors, ( Apple, Grape, Strawberry, and Blackberry), they're pretty tasty and hold a pretty good 'gel' for not containing sugar. Made from Fruit Juice Concentrate and sweetened with Splenda, they offer up virtually no carbs. The jars are a generous 12 ounces and will last for some time. And kids seem to love 'em. We know — we tested them out on a whole group of often picky eaters in the ultimate forum — on a peanut butter and jelly "samwich."

While we really like the Jok n Al preserves and jams (see our earlier review), these offered some jelly flavors we couldn't get in Jok n Al, and are very affordable. Because they're sweetened with Splenda, we plan to try making some "thumbprint cookies" with them for the holidays. We'll post the recipe if all goes well.

Renaissance Low Carb Jellies are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur.

09.30.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Sugar Free Twist Spread
With all the new crackers and breads we low-carbers can now indulge in, it's nice to see we have an alternative to cheese spreads and peanut butter. Imported from Holland, De Boer Food Importers bring us the new
Sugar Free TWIST. It's a Chocolate Hazelnut Spread that contains approximately 1 gram of carbohydrate per tablespoon. It's creamy, sweet and rich. And it lends itself to a great deal of use.

We found we loved it swirled with peanut butter on a slice of low-carb bread, but it also mixes well into a chocolate frosting, or for making Oreo-style cookie filling (we used it with LC sugar cookies — YUM!) It's sweetened with something called "maltisorb," which I at first assumed to be a hybrid of maltitol and sorbitol, but a little research revealed that it's a brand name of crystalline maltitol. (Conversion of maltitol requires little or no insulin and does not cause a significant increase in serum glucose levels.)

Because it's versatile, delicious, and low carb, we recommend it, but we must do so with the caveat that if you avoid hydrogenated oils (trans fats), this does contain them.

TWIST spread is available online from The Low Carb Connoisseur, and The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

08.17.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Keto Syrup In the low carb pancake syrup area (and by "pancake syrup" we mean Maple Syrup), there are those with zero or near-zero carbs, and those with low-carbs (4 to 7 grams per serving.) Depending on your needs and how much, when and where you'll use it, it's often a good idea to have both onhand. In the "zero/near-zero" category, the major players are DaVinci, Atkins, and Keto Brand from Life Services. As you might note from our use of it in so many recipes here at the site, we've found the Keto Brand to be the best by far.

Sweetened with Splenda, it's not only thicker and richer than the others, it actually offers a very "buttery" taste. We find it holds its flavor better when baked into recipes than the others. And it's great for making Maple Ice Cream (use 1 cup Keto Syrup in place of the 1 cup of water when making Keto Vanilla Ice Cream!)

Want to use it as a glaze? Microwave it on low until it reduces by 1/3. Remove and cool a bit and you'll have a super-thick glaze. Great over a low-carb pound cake or to mix with softened butter for a french toast spread.

Keto Brand products are available from Low Carb Connoisseur, The Low Carb Dieter's Page, and Life Services.

07.23.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Jok 'n' Al Jams and Jellies Low carbers today have an advantage over those of recent years in that we now have so many companies making formerly-taboo low-carb versions of our pre-lc favorites. We have tortillas, crackers, breads and more. And while there's no shortage of fillings and toppings for lunches and dinners (chicken salad, egg salad, deli meats, cheeses, etc.), sometimes you want something sweet and fruity.

Smucker's Jams For a long time your choices were either low-cal versions of
jams and jellies using sugar alcohols or fruit juice (fructose) that were not very low-carb, or using those sweetened with an aspartame-fructose mix, such as the Smucker's Jams. (The Smucker's come in at over 5 carb grams per tablespoon serving, so we don't consider these a good option.) So what are good options? We found two brands that are perfect for the low-carb lifestyle, use Splenda as their sweetener, and taste terrific!

First, there's
Jok 'n' Al Jams and Jellies (sometimes privately labeled with the Synergy name.) While they do contain a small amount of fructose, it's kept low enough to come in at 2 grams per serving which means you don't have to skimp. They come in a range of many flavors from Orange Marmalade to Blackberry Apple, but our favorite by far is the American favorite, grape jelly! (Peanut butter and jelly roll-ups on lc tortillas are not to be missed!)

e.d. smith's jams The next great option is
e.d. smith's no sugar spreads. There's Mixed Berry, Strawberry and Apricot, but our top favorite there was the Blueberry! These come in at less than 2 1/2 carb grams per serving, and are worth every bite. Rich and thick with a traditional jam and preserves taste. We highly recommend both brands. Try these with a slice of Ketogenics fresh bread, or a toasted piece of Gabi's Bread. It makes breakfast feel complete. Plus, because these spreads contain no aspartame, both brands are good for making fruit sauces for desserts or glazes for ham or duckling.

To order Jok 'n' Al Jams and Jellies online, try visiting The Low Carb Connoisseur.
The e.d. smith's products are a Canadian brand, but I have seen them in specialty stores in America as well. They have a website if you want to learn more.

07.11.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Estee Blueberry Syrup
On May 19th, we reviewed the Blueberry Pancake mix from Keto Brand, and since that time, they have become a regular breakfast item here at our house — and probably many of yours. But the one thing we'd comment on from time to time was that we missed being able to sometimes have Blueberry Syrup on them. In fact, we probably get more letters asking if we know of a good sugar-free blueberry syrup than any other single product request.

Well, now the folks at
Estee have made an amazingly authentic tasting Blueberry Pancake Syrup that is a natural with the Keto Brand Blueberry Pancake mix, or just plain low-carb pancakes from your favorite recipe.

It's Sorbitol and Aspartame Free and is Splenda sweetened. It's 7 grams per serving, so isn't a "free" food, but is really delicious as a time-to-time treat. It's available in most larger supermarkets with a "diet foods" aisle. If it's not in your area yet, it should be soon (and you can always ask your grocer to order it for you!)

04.27.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Are you a Maple Syrup fan, but haven't been totally pleased with the zero carb ones? That describes me .. at least a little. I do like the Keto Syrup (my favorite for zero-carb) and I think the Atkins and DaVinci are pretty tasty too, but Estee Syrup let's face it — they do lack the gooey, super-sweet maple we used to have.

Estee, the folks that have been making "diet foods" for years — usually still pretty heavy in carbs — have now made their Maple Syrup Sorbitol Free and are using Splenda as their sweetener. To give it its body and thickness, there are some thickeners and a dab of maltodextrin, giving this syrup a 7-gram per serving (1/4 cup) count. If you can afford the extra carbs, it's a really good tasting syrup now. And it's aspartame free as well, so you can heat your syrup if you like! Available in most supermarkets, but read the label — stores will get rid of old stock first.

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