I’ve decided to start writing some product reviews, because some of my friends and family members are always asking me what ingredients I use in my cooking or how I get certain things to taste the way they do. The truth is that my secret, which is really no secret, is that I try to make as much homemade food as I can. This means that I NEVER buy processed or frozen “ready made” foods. The reason is simple. I want the purest ingredients which makes for not only healthier but also tastier results. I know that is seems like you need a lot more time to dedicate to this kind of meals but the truth is that all you need is just a little extra time, maybe 30 minutes or an hour, that you can take from the weekend instead of watching that reality show. Trust me your body and your family will be better for it. And if you want to go the extra step you can prepare quantity and freeze fore those moments when you really don’t have time or energy to prepare things from scratch.
There are moments, however, when I find myself needing to buy packaged foods because either I have run out of my own supply of homemade ones or just because I honestly do not have the infrastructure or the knowledge to make my own.. yet .
Here are a few of my favorite to go products to buy in a pinch:
POMI: Italian strained or chopped tomatoes
I have been canning for the last 3 years now and the more I do it the easier it gets, but it seems that I still haven’t quite realized just how many tomato jars we go through in this house! I doubled my production last year I now, March I only have 4 jars left which are now being rationed carefully in the hopes that they will last until the next tomato season. But who am I kidding… I LOVE tomatoes! But, I rarely buy them in the fall or winter (only about 3-4 at the most)
So, when I run out of jars and I still crave the occasional red sauce, or I’m in a pizza state of mind I always buy POMI.
The reason why I love this brand is because after carefully reading every single (really, EVERY single) can label on the supermarket I realized that POMI is the only one that has 1 ingredient in their list, you guessed it: TOMATOES.
How refreshing is that!
The simpler the ingredient list the better a product is and it doesn’t get any better than 1 ingredient.
Even thought they are not organic, they are the least processed tomatoes I have been able to find in the market. They don’t need any preservatives or citric acid because they package them as soon as they are picked and peeled in BPA free cartons, which you can even recycle to plant your own tomato plants! See? Now you are even recycling the package and using it to your advantage.
So there you go, POMI for sauces, salsas, pizza sauce, etc..
PASTA: WEGMANS Super Pasta
Again, I have been trying to perfect the homemade pasta, but I still haven’t gotten my hand on a pasta maker so it’s not that easy when you have to roll and cut it by hand. And even though I love the work, I am still not that crazy. So when I buy my pasta in a package I buy Super Pasta. It even sounds cool “Super Pastaaa to the rescue!”
This pasta is actually a step beyond whole wheat pasta, without tasting like it completely. I actually hate whole wheat pasta. To me, it tastes like cardboard and sand… sorry but it’s true. But super pasta is only partially made with whole wheat flour, and then they added extra protein and fiber, calcium, vitamin D, and ALA omega 3-s.
I try to give this pasta to my daughter instead of the regular bleached flour pasta and she loves it. Super Pasta has fiber from whole grains, as well as some resistant starch, a kind of fiber that comes from corn. Both types slow down the rate of digestion, so you feel fuller longer, and the rise in blood sugar is more gradual and sustained. That’s good for everybody, but especially for people with diabetes and people trying to watch their waste line… and who isn’t right?
So these are my 2 reviews for today. I'll post more as I remember and/or use them.
Hope this helps!