All Entries For supermarket food

16 Seasonal Supermarket Treats Worth Trying

Which flavors come to mind when you think about fall? Apple, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger? Probably no flavor is more closely associated with fall than pumpkin. It seems as though every food company and restaurant under the sun is offering limited edition pumpkin delights these days—you can find the flavor in just about everything from yogurt to granola bars to tea.

But just like a lot of the foods found year-round that may sound healthy, many pumpkin-flavored treats are high in calories, fat and sugar (or all three). (Check out our list of fall's most fattening foods here.) In many cases, you'd be better off having a slice of pumpkin pie, than that "innocent" impulse item tempting you from the checkout line!

So which pumpkin treats are worth trying this fall? We scoured supermarket shelves to discover seasonal offerings that will let you indulge—without breaking the calorie bank.

There are actually more supermarket options than you might think, some of which even contain real pumpkin (instead of artificial pumpkin flavor). Pumpkin, along with the rest of the winter squash family, is packed with beta carotene, vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus, potassium and fiber.
The top supermarket pumpkin treats worth trying fall into three categories:

Pumpkin-Flavored Drinks
While you won't find any actual pumpkin in most pumpkin-flavored drinks, they can still offer a low-calorie way to enjoy fall's most popular flavor.

Pumpkin-Flavored Bars
You always have to be careful in this aisle, as snack and energy bars are often just candy bars wearing a "healthy" halo. But the right bars can be a convenient, on-the-go choice when you're busy.

Pumpkin-Flavored Breakfast Foods and Snacks
Pumpkin makes a great complement to many breakfast foods. It's easy to find pumpkin donuts and pastries at the grocery store, but there are low-calorie, high-flavor options, too.

This tea offers lots of flavor with zero calories. 

If you have a Keurig brewer, you can try this flavorful brew.  

If you use a regular coffee machine, Trader Joe's offers this fall coffee flavor.

To punch up the flavor of pumpkin or regular coffee, use this syrup.  

If you like your coffee with cream, International Delight offers this tasty creamer

If you crave a cold, pumpkin-flavored drink this beverage could be just the thing to quench your thirst.  

This coconut milk contains some real pumpkin and only 1 gram of fat. 

These granola bars are 170 calories per serving (that's two bars per package).

These nutrition bars would be appropriate before or after a strenuous workout.

This Alt bar is also workout-worthy with 220 calories and 10 grams of soy-free protein.

This cream cheese spread is offered every fall—and it’s made with real pumpkin.

Pop two of these waffles into the toaster for a filling breakfast at home or on the go. 

For a protein-packed option, this yogurt flavor comes with a whopping 14 grams of protein per serving.

These cereal bars are not a bad choice to satisfy a pumpkin craving without going for a pastry.

Swap out your usual breakfast cereal for one serving of these for a tasty choice to keep you full through the morning. 

To add protein, healthy fat and some fun pumpkin flavor to yogurt or oatmeal, try these almonds.  

Serving  Size  Calories  Fat  Carbs  Sugar  Protein  Contains Pumpkin
Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea 1 cup brewed 0 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g no
Califia Pumpkin Spice Latte Cold Brew Coffee 8 oz 90 3 g 15 g 12 g 1 g yes
Clif Spiced Pumpkin Pie Bar 1 bar 240 4.5 g 45 g 25 g 8 g yes
Green Mountain Coffee Pumpkin Spice K-Cup 1 cup brewed 0 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g no
International Delight Fat Free and Sugar Free Creamer 1 Tbsp 15 0 g 3 g 0 g 0 g no
Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax 2 bars 170 6 g 26 g 10 g 5 g yes, seeds
Kellogg’s Pumpkin Spice Mini-Wheats 25 biscuits 190 1 g 46 g 12 g 5 g no
Larabar Alt Pumpkin Pie Bar 1 bar 220 6 g 30 g 18 g 10 g yes
Nature’s Path Pumpkin Spice Waffle 2 waffles 210 7 g 35 g 6 g 2 g yes
Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds 28 g 160 12 g 9 g 5 g 5 g yes
Siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice Yogurt 1 container 130 2 g 13 g 11 g 14 g yes
So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk Beverage 1/2 cup 70 1 g 15 g 14 g 0 g yes
Torani Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Syrup 1 oz 0 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g no
Trader Joe’s low-fat Pumpkin Bars 1 bar 140 2.5 g 27 g 1 g 15 g yes
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread 2 Tbps 70 5 g 6 g 4 g 0 g yes
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee 1 cup brewed 0 0 g 0 g 0 g 0 g no
More Food Ideas for Pumpkin Lovers
  • These sweet treats feature the goodness of real pumpkin, which adds moisture and flavor while lowering the fat in the recipes.
  • For a festive fall twist on hummus, try this pumpkin bean dip.
  • To warm up a fall evening, fill up a bowl with delicious spiced pumpkin soup (that can be made in just 20 minutes)!
What your favorite healthy way to enjoy fall's favorite flavors? Have you tried any of the fall foods above?
Posted 11/1/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 42 comments   62,151 views
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A Dozen Quick Ways to Use Rotisserie Chicken

That lovely, roasty aroma hits you when you walk into the grocery on your way home from work and you spy a display case of rotisserie chickens near the checkout aisle. Of all the convenience foods on the store shelves, this one’s a good choice—a simple roast chicken, a good tossed salad and a loaf of whole-grain bread can make a satisfying, healthful and easy dinner.
A store-bought roast chicken can easily feed a family of four—and there’s more you can do with it than simply slicing and serving. Shredded or diced roast chicken can star in all kinds of easy meals. 
For these meal ideas, start with a store-bought chicken, or try this slow cooker version.
Posted 1/25/2013  12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 30 comments   100,372 views
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What a Serving Size Really Looks Like

Ever gulp down a container of juice, only to find out there were actually 2 1/2 servings in that 20-ounce bottle? Gobbled up a "personal" size bag of chips? What about that pint of ice cream in the freezer? That surely is one serving. Right?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you're not alone. Food companies and restaurants often try to trick us by making it really difficult to determine how many portions are in a package.

Most of us have experienced portion distortion, especially as we start our healthy living journey.  Portion distortion is widespread, but thankfully it's something that's easy to overcome!

Today we're sharing an eye-opening graphic that will show you how much many of us are really eating--and how much we should be eating! We put our marketing intern, Betsy Emmert, on the case!
Posted 11/15/2012  2:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 81 comments   104,735 views
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Study: Adding Fiber Can Be a Pain the Gut

I'm a fan of fiber. In addition to keeping your GI system happy and healthy, fiber helps fill you up and ward off hunger--if Mother Nature put it in your food, that is. When fiber is added to processed foods by manufacturers, a new short-term study found that this functional fiber lacks the same hunger-busting benefits--and might even cause discomfort.
This "stealth" fiber is added to foods like granola and snack bars, breads, crackers, cereals, and even yogurt in the past few years. Inulin, polydextrose and maltodextrin are among the added fibers used by food manufacturers to add health benefits to foods.
Back in 2010 I wrote about the adverse reactions I have with inulin, so I avoid it and other forms of functional fiber to prevent bellyaches and bloating. The women in the study, who were given four snack bars with no added fiber and one with extra fiber, had the same reactions. When they consumed a high-fiber bar, they felt no difference in hunger levels versus when they ate the low-fiber bar, but they did report more gas and bloating.

I understand the appeal of added fiber foods. But if you're eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, consuming the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber daily is within reach.

Let's look at a sample meal plan to see how fiber adds up:
Posted 8/15/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 24 comments   15,430 views
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A Dietitian's Take on 5-Hour Energy Drinks

(Photo credit: Flickr)

The break room was set up with my presentation displayed on the large white wall, handouts neatly stacked on a corner table.  The alarm sounded and 100 assembly line workers hustled into the room.  They each grabbed a packed lunch, found a seat, and prepared to devour their meal along with the ''lunch and learn'' topic of the day.  Exactly 22 minutes later, they were all out the door and back to work.  This scenario took place five times throughout the day to assure that all shifts received the same information. 

These are not the folks who live a sedentary nine to five lifestyle, pushing pencils and attached to a computer screen.  Rather, these folks are working very early mornings and graveyard shifts…lifting, toting, screwing, wiring, welding, and painting.  This work forces the body to develop an unnatural alarm clock, accompanied by many missed family functions and numerous stress-related health complications.  These folks are trying to make ends meet, feed the family, and pray daily that their line doesn’t get moved out of the country. 

As I talked with these men and women about feeding their families healthy foods, the question that surfaced again and again each and every shift was: ''Hey Becky, What do you think about the 5-Hour Energy Drink?''
Posted 5/10/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Becky Hand : 68 comments   75,386 views
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The Scoop on Lower-Carb 'Milk Drinks'

There are many non-dairy drink options available in supermarket dairy cases these days. Whether people are allergic to cow's milk or avoid it for other reasons, finding delicious milk alternatives is relatively easy. Although almond milk saw a 79% increase in sales last year, soy milk has been the leading dairy alternative for years. Recent reports indicate that in 2011 soy milk comprised 68.7% of the dairy alternative beverage market followed by almond milk (21.2%), rice milk (7.2%), and coconut milk (2.6%).

Did you know that science has created a way for people to enjoy the nutrition of milk but with less carbohydrates, sugar, and calories? Perhaps you have seen milk beverages or milk drinks on supermarket shelves as well. They might not catch your attention if you don't live with diabetes or aren't seeking new ways to control carbohydrate-containing foods to manage blood glucose levels. However, for those who are, it is exciting to see these new options on store shelves. Here is some information to help you decide if a dairy beverage is right for you.
Posted 4/2/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 19 comments   16,831 views
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Poll: Are You Concerned About Where Your Food Comes From?

One of my goals for the New Year is to become a more informed consumer.  For me, it’s a double-edged sword.  I think it’s important to know where my food comes from and how it makes its way to my dinner table.  But at the same time, reading too much starts to drive me crazy and often leaves me with more questions than answers.   Where is the balance?  Do you think about how the food made it to your grocery store shelves when you go shopping?  Or do you just focus on making healthy meals with the basic ingredients your local store has to offer? 
Posted 1/10/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 32 comments   10,727 views
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Donate Healthier Items to Food Pantries This Holiday Season

During the holiday season many schools, religious groups, and businesses conduct food drives for local food pantries. In the rush to grab something to contribute, nutrition or food safety isn't always high on the list of considerations. While the generous efforts of donating are appreciated, sometimes the food from pantry shelves is past the expiration date, which causes them to have to be tossed out instead of being able to benefit those that need it. Many of the typical non-perishable choices picked up at grocery stores tend to be high in sodium, sugar, or calories, which do not provide maximum nutrition for those that really need to make every bite count.
This winter, more people than ever are expected to visit a local food bank or seek out a pantry or assistance for utilities, housing and medical care than ever before. Use this list of suggestions to makeover your food pantry donations this holiday season and all winter long. Your healthier donations will go a long way to help those who receive them be as healthy as possible.
Posted 12/19/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 17 comments   7,814 views
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Peek Inside Hungry Girl's New Book (and Enter to Win a Copy)

UPDATE: The link is fixed, and the giveaway will run for TWO WEEKS!
Attention, Hungry Girl fans! HG Lisa Lillien has a new book out: Hungry Girl Supermarket Survival: Aisle by Aisle, HG-Style! It launches next week, and we're giving away three copies!

They say:
Finally . . . a real-world guide that will help you navigate the supermarket and stock up on guilt-free foods, from mealtime must-haves to snack finds and more! It’s Hungry Girl’s ultimate resource for grocery-store survival---a must-own manual that makes shopping for better-for-you foods easy and fun! Inside you’ll find:
* HG All-Stars and grocery-store standouts! 
* Calorie counts and comparisons for foods in every aisle
* Guilt-free meal ideas and snack solutions for every craving and situation!
* Easy-to-digest info about nutrition labels and ingredient lists
* HG’s complete supermarket list with aisle-by-aisle food finds
Hungry Girl’s amazingly comprehensive supermarket guide is your key to guilt-free shopping, eating, and living!
To enter, click here! Be sure to read the rules. This contest will end TWO weeks from today!
In the meantime, let's peek inside at some of Hungry Girl's essential supermarket foods!
Posted 10/8/2011  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 61 comments   23,676 views
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Are You a Food Waster?

I'll admit that I'm not a fan of grocery shopping.  One of my biggest pet peeves is going back to the store multiple times a week for more milk, fruit, or because I forgot an ingredient for tonight's dinner recipe.  So I make a list once a week before I go, planning out the week's meals, and I even organize it by row so that I can get through the store as quickly as possible. 
Posted 8/25/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 62 comments   16,247 views
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Contest Closed: Win a Case of Coconut Water from VitaCoco

Staying hydrated in the summertime can be a challenge, and while water is tops in our book, sometimes (like after hours in the sun or long workouts) you need more than water. Many of us reach for a sports drink to quench our thirst and replenish our electrolytes, which are lost when we sweat.

We first reviewed coconut water in 2009
. Then, I could only find it at health-food stores and many readers said they hadn’t tried it. Now, just two years later, we see it talked about on blogs, Message Boards and the like, and it’s available everywhere from mainstream supermarkets to yoga studios.

We’re thrilled to be hosting a giveaway with VitaCoco, which offers five varieties of coconut water: original, peach & mango, pineapple, tangerine and acai & pom.
They’re giving away a case of coconut water to five lucky readers. They also gifted us with a few cases earlier this summer. Boy, did they hit the spot.
Posted 7/29/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 46 comments   19,024 views
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Which Helps You Shop Healthier: Pushing a Cart or Carrying a Basket?

When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, does the method you use to cart—or carry—your food around the supermarket really make a difference?
I hadn't thought about it much until I heard about an observational study published recently in the Journal of Market Research. Researchers observed 136 people grocery shopping and found that those who used a grocery cart were more than three times as likely to choose healthy items versus unhealthy ones.

The explanation behind these findings gets a little interesting. Researchers theorize that bodily sensations—like holding the weight of a shopping basket—can influence your thoughts and emotions. They believe that the act of flexing your muscles to holding a basket influences people to choose instant gratification—like junk food. And that for some reason, pushing a cart with the arms extended or lengthened, has the opposite effect.

I'm not sure that I agree with this small study or the theory behind what the researchers observed, so I wanted to ask, which do YOU think results in healthier shopping habits: pushing a cart or carrying a basket?  
Posted 7/29/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 128 comments   17,866 views
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Cartin' Disaster at the Supermarket

I've been writing about weight loss since 2000. It's 2011. I'm older, but I wish I were a whole lot wiser.
I don't know how many times over the past 11 years that I've gone food shopping while hungry. I do know it's a stupid idea... but I do it anyway. Like just last week, for example.
The cupboards at home were fairly bare--that happens a lot with a teen son and his 11-year-old sister. So I collected up the kids and headed to the nearest supermarket to restock the homestead.
I made two mistakes.
  1. I did it without my wife
  2. I did it before I ate lunch.
Two hours and $200 later, I drove home with more junk in my trunk than Kim Kardashian. (Sorry, couldn't resist that one.)
Don't get me wrong. I have been known to shop wisely. Just not when I am hungry or accompanied by my carb-craving daughter and her brother, who takes advantage of dad's inability to just say no.
So we started out OK with the basic food staples--whole wheat bread, fat-free milk, fresh fruits and veggies. But then we began journeying down the aisles of no return--the snack section, soda spot, and that mile-long stretch of coolers that houses the frozen pizzas and overly processed and ready-to-heat-and-eat foods. And, of course, we didn't forget the ice cream freezer.
By the time I made my way to the check-out line, my cart runneth over with one fatty, high-cal food after another. I could have avoided much of the dietary damage--and the nasty stares I got from my wife when she returned home from work to find our pantry stocked floor-to-ceiling with cookies, crackers, chips and other assorted “treats.”
From experience, I know you don't go shopping without first drawing up a list. Rule 2: You stick to that list!
Posted 7/27/2011  10:00:00 AM By: John McGran : 55 comments   15,053 views
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Easy Access Doesn't Always Equal Better Food Choices

Does having easy access to supermarkets affect people's food choices?  You'd think that if you have good access to things like fruits and vegetables, you're less likely to go for fast-food or other convenience items that have a long shelf life.  But a new study says that income and proximity to fast food restaurants actually matter more than proximity to supermarkets in the battle against obesity.
Posted 7/26/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 29 comments   10,380 views
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Poll: Do You Judge Other People's Grocery Carts?

When you grocery shop, do you ever notice what other people buy? I find that sometimes it's inevitable when standing in the checkout line—especially a really long one. It can be a fun way to entertain yourself while you wait for your turn, after all.

Recently, I stumbled across a great SparkPeople blog post on this very topic that led me to wonder: Do you judge what is in other people's grocery carts?
Posted 5/6/2011  6:00:02 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 150 comments   20,296 views
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