Did You Miss National Cookie Day? It’s every day during the pandemic, apparently

Did you know Dec. 4 this year was National Cookie Day? Me either, but it’s ok because it seems like during this pandemic, every day is cookie day for many. many Americans. U.S. cookie demand is up 25% in the pandemic while global cookie demand (crisps in Britain) is up 31.6%, found integrated marketing network Top Global LLC.

And almost all Americans, 95%, eat at least one cookie per month, Top Global found in its research. Roughly four in 10 of us eat many more than that (see the table here, provided by Top Global).

Top Global also has a map of the United States showing cookie consumption by state, along with data on which cookies are most popular where; just click here to see all that…and then have a cookie to celebrate 2020 being almost over!

Walmart’s fat-free devils-food cookie passed my taste test

Fat-free cookies have become an indulgence of mine since having an angioplasty in 2012. Indeed, I think they are a major reason I have regained about 10 of the 30 pounds I lost in the year after the surgery.

Walmart's fat-free devil's food cookies match up well with similar products from others.
Walmart’s fat-free devil’s food cookies match up well with similar products from others.

SnackWells are the brand version of these fat-free chocolate cookies, but tend to be expensive, so I keep searching for store brand alternatives. A local dollar store had one variety but doesn’t seem to carry it now. Continue reading “Walmart’s fat-free devils-food cookie passed my taste test”

VitaTops — a quick snack but don’t believe the picture

Baked goods like cakes and even snack cakes (i.e. HoHos) have been largely off my diet since having angioplasty in 2012. And I miss them terribly.

So I’m always looking for something baked that I can eat without too much presumed damage to my arteries. That means looking for low-fat, low-salt baked items, almost an impossibility. But there are some. Normally they’re smaller than anything I once ate, but at least they satisfy my cravings a bit.

Look at all those chocolate chips on each top...
Look at all those chocolate chips on each top…
Here's what they really look like on a  small plate.Find the chips?
Here’s what they really look like on a small plate.Find the chips?

One such product is VitaTops. They’re essentially muffin tops with chocolate chips in them so I can taste a bit of chocolate. Each is only 100 calories and has only 3 grams of fat and 170 mgs of sodium. So eating two means 340 mgs of sodium, about a fifth of my daily 1,500 mg limit. Continue reading “VitaTops — a quick snack but don’t believe the picture”

New Year’s Eve: what can you eat to ring in the New Year?

New Year’s Eve during my childhood meant a big family party at my grandmother’s house. Those events stayed with me in such a profound way that I eventually wrote and produced a play about them called New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House. Food was a major part of those parties but many if not all of those treats are off my eating list since having a angioplasty done in 2012.

My low-salt, low-fat Super Bowl treats. Try them for New Year's Eve too.
My low-salt, low-fat Super Bowl treats. Try them for New Year’s Eve too.

If you’re in a similar boat, take some heart, there are low- and no-salt treats you can still munch on this New Year’s Eve. You’ll still have to watch the fat in many of them, but it’s better than sitting home alone waiting for the clock to strike 12 by yourself.

My suggestion would be to host your own party so you can pick the menu and control what’s available. If you go out instead, check ahead. My wife and I plan to have dinner and go dancing at a place with a menu of fish and lean beef, perfect for me to ring in a New Year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Stella D’oro: an old friend offers a low-fat baked good

Growing up in an Italian-American household, Italian pastries and butter cookies were regular Sunday treats for me. In between those, we also regularly bought baked goods with Italian flair to them, such as Stella D’oro cookies.

Loved these as a kid and now, and they're low-fat.
Loved these as a kid and now, and they’re low-fat.

I crave anything baked these days since most baked goods don’t fit into my low-fat, low-salt needs. So I was wonderfully surprised recently to see old friend Stella D’oro come to my rescue with its anisette toast cookies. Continue reading “Stella D’oro: an old friend offers a low-fat baked good”

Low-fat cookies: here’s one to try, from Hannahmax Baking

Cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies, were one of my favorite binge foods but since my angioplasty, cookies have been largely out of my diet. I keep searching for low-fat, low-sodium varieties, but few exist. I did find one variety at Whole Foods, but buying those requires a special trip to the one (of three) Whole Foods in my area that carries them regularly.

So I was excited to see a cookie that seemed relatively low-fat and low-sodium at a local Jewel supermarket. The offering, from Hannahmax Baking, was relatively tasty and if you look at the nutrition label on the package, you’d think it was low-fat and low-sodium. Five of these chocolate chip cookies has only six grams of fat.

Hannahmax cookie chips
Hannahmax cookie chips: tasty but tiny
Hannahmax cookie chips nutrition information.
Hannahmax cookie chips nutrition information.
Continue reading “Low-fat cookies: here’s one to try, from Hannahmax Baking”

Irene’s fat-free biscotti, a great baked item

I miss cakes and cookies so much since my angioplasty, but I’m restricted to no more than 40 grams of fat a day and 1,200 mgs of salt, so baked goods are largely off my plate these days. I’ve been searching for some that are low- or no-fat and low- or no-sodium at the same time, with some good results.

A favorite is Irene’s fat-free biscotti slices carried by Whole Foods and until recently by my local Jewel supermarket.

Irene's biscotti slices are expensive, but good when you crave something baked.
Irene’s biscotti slices are expensive, but good when you crave something baked.
Continue reading “Irene’s fat-free biscotti, a great baked item”

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