While there are still a few misses, overall many of the 125 picks named by Women's Health magazine as this year's healthiest and best tasting packaged food products are surprisingly natural. Unlike years past when conventional brands like Weight Watchers, Jell-O and Baskin Robbins made the list, this year's roundup includes more than a few natural stalwarts. Though the full list is only available when you buy the magazine, of the 50 products I saw, roughly 44 percent can and do appear in natural products stores.
Here are a few hits:
Earthbound Farm Power Greens
This tender mix of baby spinach, red and green chard and kale is certified organic, rich in vitamin K and totally delicious!
Food Should Taste Good Barbeque Kettle-Cooked Sweet Potato Chips
I wouldn't put barbeque sauce on a baked sweet potato, but in chip form, these smoky, sweet potatoes can't be beat.
So Delicious Dairy-Free Almond Milk Cherry Amaretto Frozen Dessert
This dessert had me at, "Almond Milk Cherry Amaretto." Need I say more?
And a few misses:
Sunsweet 60-Calorie Packs Cherry-Essence Prunes
These prunes boast being pumped with "cherry-essence," but why? To make a healthier cherry? A better tasting prune? I have a better idea, let's source organic produce picked at the peak of the season and let our cherries and prunes shine for being the best of what they are.
Peas of Mind Broccoli Veggie Wedges
These broccoli wedges may be made with actual broccoli, but let's not kid ourselves that they could actually be substituted for the real deal. The rest of the ingredient deck includes a host of multi-syllabic unnatural additives such as pyrophosphate, mono- and digylycerides and monocalcium.
Sunchips 6-Grain Medley Parmesan & Herb
These Sunchips may boast being made with 6 grains, but I can't overlook that their first ingredient is corn followed by canola oil. Buckwheat and quinoa flours do appear, but they are waaay down (below something called gum acacia) on the ingredient list. Sounds like health washing to me.
The list, which was selected by Women's Health editors and nutritionists, features products in the following categories: Sweets & Treats; Condiments; Soups; Meats & Seafood; Fruits & Veggies; Dairy; Bread & Cereals; Frozen Meals; Drinks; Pasta & Rice; Snacks, Crackers & Chips. You can check out some of the other products that made the cut here.
What brands are you surprised made the cut?
And stay tuned next summer for Delicious Living's own food product awards which will look at the best of the best within the natural category.