Reviewing some great new low carb snacks and kitchen gadgets. Plus taste-testing the best of the low carb ice cream and frozen desserts on the market. Which ones come out on top?
If you’re like me, you are always on the lookout for new low carb and keto products. Sometimes they’re food, sometimes they’re beverages, sometimes they’re kitchen gadgets that make the low carb lifestyle a little easier. And then you like to share with the low carb community at large, telling them about your new findings so they can reap the benefits. I’ve had a ball doing this lately, keeping my eyes peeled for anything that might make a good low carb or keto treat. I do have somewhat exacting standards, so not everything makes the cut.
And now that summer is here, I am all about the ice cream. I make plenty of it myself but I am delighted to see more low carb and sugar-free products hitting the market. I’ve tasted a lot of them…do they really live up to snuff? Read on and find out!
*Please note that some of these products have been sent to me for review, although the majority I paid for myself.
Eastside Distilling Cherry Bomb Whiskey: Okay, this is not necessarily a low carb product but I’ve been dying to review this anyway. Because I am not a whiskey lover. In fact, I am a whiskey disliker for the most part, but I loved this whiskey! Loved with a capital L, which means I could actually drink it straight. Or neat. Or whatever the term is for drinking whiskey. It tastes like a lovely cherry liqueur, but it’s not. It’s simply whiskey that has been infused with fresh Oregon cherries, with no added sugars or colours. It makes a lovely sipper. I am sure it makes lovely cocktails too but I like it straight too much to try!
Eastside Distilling is a local Portland company that is starting to go nationwide. They have a number of great products, including Portland Potato Vodka. If you’re looking for a vodka that is not grain-based at all, you might want to check this out.
I do not know the carb count on the Cherry Bomb Whiskey. Regular whiskey has no carbs but I imagine the cherries add a few grams to this whiskey.
Bacon’s Heir Pork Clouds: I ordered these on a whim one day and fell quickly in love. I love the single serving packs and I love the flavours. It’s pork rinds gone gourmet, and without any questionable ingredients or additives. They do fry them in olive oil and I wish they chose to do it in the traditional lard. But they are so good, it’s easy for me to look past this. Watch out, though. The Habanero flavour is really, really hot!
The same company does “pork dust” too, pre-ground pork rinds for low carb breading and other uses. It’s pretty easy to crush pork rinds, but it might be nice to have a bag of this handy.
Wallaby Full Fat Organic Greek Yogurt: Finally! I reviewed Wallaby 2% Greek yogurt a few years ago and at that time, I asked if they had any plans for a full fat version. Not any time soon was the answer. I suppose I was just relieved that there was an organic brand that was not completely fat free. But just the other day, I saw this at my local Whole Foods and I think I squealed in excitement. It’s really good, really creamy and rich. And you want to know what’s in it? Organic milk and cream. And live active cultures. Just what true Greek yogurt should be.
Bailey Kitchen Silicone Molds: Want a fun way to jazz up your fat bombs or homemade low carb candies and chocolate? The molds from Bailey Kitchen are so cute and easy to use. I was sent a few to try and I keep meaning to take photos of the results but my kids eat them too quickly! They have so many fun shapes. I love the bonbon and flower molds, but of course my kids love the teddy bears. They are great as ice cube trays too.
Elli Quark Cheese: For some reason, I kept seeing the ads for this product on Facebook. Then I spied it at Whole Foods and decided to give it a try. If you check out their website, you will see that they have a ton of amazing flavours and they are all sweetened with erythritol and stevia (yay!). The plain was fine and was great with some fresh berries, but I give the flavoured varieties a big thumbs up. It was like having flavoured yogurt again, although I am sure they will cringe at my description. I honestly don’t truly understand the distinction between quark and greek yogurt at all and they taste quite similar. My only wish is that it wasn’t fat free as I am a girl who likes her dairy fat. But at 6 g net carbs for the whole cup, it’s definitely a great snack find.
Sahale Parmesan Cheese & Herb Almond Snacks: I’ve long been eyeing this brand of nut snacks because they always look so good. Alas, most of the varieties are quite sweet and not appropriate for a diabetic or low carb diet. So I was very excited when I saw this kind and thought they’d be a perfect on-the-go snack. And it really was delicious. BUT…and that’s a big BUT…I was surprised to see that the second and third ingredients were tapioca syrup and organic cane sugar. The total net carb count is still just 5 g but I have to wonder why a savoury nut snack needs the sugar. Perhaps to make it stick together a bit but I am pretty sure I could make my own version sans sugar. So although I really liked these, I recommend with caution. Good in a pinch but could be made a little more low carb and healthy.
Zipsicles: Have you seen these things? They are the answer to every mum’s desire to give her kids healthier ice pops and yogurt squeezers. And they’d be great for low carb treats for the adult too, although I haven’t really used them this way. I saw them a while ago and ordered a big pack last summer. I’ve been using them ever since to make my own low sugar yogurt squeezers to send in with my kids to school. They are a bit tricky to fill, so you need a good funnel with a mouth that fits into the opening. Or you can do what I do, and use pastry piping bags with a large opening decorating tip.
Low Carb Ice Cream Review:
I’ve been taste-testing a number of low carb ice creams and frozen desserts lately. I love making my own ice cream but sometimes you need dessert in a pinch and making a custard, chilling it and then churning it is just not practical. But not all low carb ice cream is created equal. There are some clear winners and losers in this battle for the low carb audience.
Arctic Zero: I don’t love giving negative reviews but I did not think this was a very good ice cream alternative. I picked up two flavours at Whole Foods, the Chocolate Peanut Butter and the Hint of Mint. They tasted like….nothing. There was barely any flavour to them and my son nailed it when he said they tasted like watered down hot chocolate. It’s not that surprising, when you look at the ingredients. It’s not really ice cream at all, there’s no cream or milk (there is whey protein concentrate), and it’s fat free. In this case, it also seemed to equal flavour free. Even at 5g net carbs, it just isn’t worth it to me. Some people seem to really like it, but I am not a fan. Neither were my kids.
Halo Top Creamery: If you want real ice cream that isn’t made with artificial sweeteners but is still low in carbs, you will want to check out this brand. It’s wonderfully creamy, has great flavour, and comes out to 4 net carbs (once you subtract the fiber and erythritol). It’s also non-GMO. I’ve been purchasing the standard flavours, the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, at my local stores and I love them all, as do my children. But they’ve come out with some great new flavours for summer and they kindly sent me a batch to try, including the Mint Chip and the Chocolate Mocha Chip. It does contain some organic sugar, but it doesn’t seem to spike my glucose at all because the net carbs remain quite low. This is a winner, in my opinion, and a product I plan to have on hand all summer long. Check out their store locator to see if they sell it near you. And if they don’t, start bugging your local grocery store chains to carry it!
So Delicious No Sugar Added Dairy-Free Frozen Desserts: If you’re dairy-free, don’t despair. There’s actually a really great low carb dairy-free alternative out there for you too. Normally I am leery when I see “No Sugar Added” as it usually means there is plenty of sucralose which I don’t like. But this is sweetened with vegetable glycerin, chicory root and erythritol. Thus far, I’ve tried the chocolate ice cream, which is deliciously dark with a hint of coconut, and the chocolate covered mini vanilla bars. I give both a big thumbs up. They do contain carrageenan, which I know many people try to avoid, so just a heads up there.