It's summer! Everyone around me is bitching nonstop about the heat, but I kind of love it. I routinely turn the air conditioning off in the house when I'm home alone, because I should not be forced to huddle under the covers in my bed at 3 in the afternoon, swaddled in a sweatshirt and sweatpants in the middle of June because it is the only remotely warm place. Summer also means vacation, which is where I'm going tonight. I'll be sharing a cabin in the boonies of Michigan with my parents, my sister, and her husband and children. I'm looking forward to a week with no TV; not so much looking forward to being without my exercise bike. But I'm going to enjoy myself by baking, swimming, reading, and sleeping as late as possible, because shortly after I get back I begin my Soul Sucking Office Temp Job. I don't think it will actually be soul sucking; in fact, it might be quite entertaining.
But you don't read this blog to find out about my boring mundane life. You read it to find out about something equally boring- diet food! Today I'm taking a foray into the often-scary world of diet dessert products. A big reason that people are terrified of anything 'lite' is because of a traumatic encounter with some sort of nasty, pre-Splenda sugar free baked good. That shit used to be nasty. But the times, they are a-changing, and now there are several not only adequate but sometimes downright tasty diet desserts.
Unfortunately, the one I'm reviewing today is not one of them.
Sorbee Sugar Free EatRite BeFit Caramel Flavored Syrup
In every grocery store, there is a little section of sugar free things. And I don't mean diet things, I mean sugar free things, generally marketed toward people with diabetes. At my Kroger, it is located between the canned and dried fruits and the international foods. Surprisingly, I had never really investigated this little enclave of the grocery store; I can pretty easily find healthy or lite versions of things I want to eat elsewhere. But a few weeks ago, I was doing a big shopping trip with my mom, and I happened to walk by them. There I saw it, staring me in the face- Sugar Free Caramel Syrup. Only 15 calories per serving!
I fucking love caramel. For four years I worked at Steak 'n Shake, and it was not uncommon for me to squirt a big heaping helping of caramel into a cup, cover it with nuts, and top it off with some whipped cream, then eat it with a spoon like a big ice cream-less sundae. I'm the same way with hot fudge. Everything delicious just tastes better with caramel on top. Something about the buttery aftertaste, I think. Just imagine a delicious turtle sundae. Nom nom nom.
Problem with caramel (or carmel, as I'm sure I will go back and forth with the title throughout this post since I don't really care what you call it, it's fucking good): bad for you. It's pure sugar that you heat with milk and butter. I don't have to tell you that that is a whole mess of calories and fat. However, most people don't eat caramel like I do, i.e. with a spoon like a container of yogurt. So most people don't care about the calories in caramel because they're not eating it by the bowl. But what if you are?
Then you solve your problem with a sugar free caramel syrup! Thinking back, I should have known I was making a mistake. Removing the chief ingredient in something with only two other ingredients does not bode well. But Mom was buying, and God help me, I can't resist the caramel. So into the cart it went. I should mention that several of the products in the sugar-free aisle were covered in a thin layer of dust. This should have told me something.
Later that night, I so excitedly made myself a little faux turtle sundae- Jello creme brulee Rice Pudding (btw, so good. Getcha some), a few almonds and a nice dollop of sugar free caramel syrup. Little did I know I was ruining some perfectly good pudding and nuts.
This stuff is NASTY. I do not say that lightly. I can't quite describe why it tastes so bad, but I'll try. First off, it is very thin- not thick and decadent like caramel syrup should be. Second, it has the distinct taste of Sweet and Low, even though it claims to use Splenda. Suuuuure. Third, it reminds me of those horrible containers of powdered creamer that cheap people put by their coffee machines. Why? Because non-dairy creamer is one of the ingredients, along with sorbitol, a common sweetener.... in cough syrups. This stuff was the definition of scary, plastic-y diet food. When your mom was on a diet in the early 80s, this was what she was eating, and is the reason why she decided dieting is not worth it and now is 50 pounds overweight. It's enough to turn you off diet food FOREVER. I beseech you, do not waste your money. In fact, I just put a little dollop of my finger to remind me of the taste, and now my throat kind of burns. There's something wrong with it. It is also, according to the bottle, "New." I wonder what the old kind tasted like.
Sorbee Sugar Free EatRite BeFit Caramel flavored Syrup has 15 calories per 2 tbsp serving, 0 from fat. However, it is kosher, so if Rosh Hoshana sneaks up on your this year and it's the only thing left in the grocery store, chug away.
Something else for you to read and eat!
I've taken up eating meat again. I just couldn't stay away from the foul. I still haven't eaten pork or beef and don't plan to, but damn, did I miss turkey. Turkey is one of those perfect foods- low fat, high protein, and tasty to boot. Lately I've been wrapping one in a tortillo slathered with blackberry fruit spread for lunch.
In keeping with tradition, I'll add an easy recipe here with some turkey.
Apricot Turkey Burgers
1 lb ground turkey
a handful and a half of shredded cheddar
a handful of diced dried apricots
a handful of breadcrumbs
garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper, and whatever other seasonings you're partial to
Combine all of this in a big bowl and mush it around with your hands. Form as many burgers as you want- I made seven, but you can make fewer or more depending on the size. Put them on a rack on top of a shallow broiling pan (to drain the fat) and stick them under the broiler for five minutes per side. They're tasty- just a hint of sweet with the savory, and juicy. Maybe you could add some brown sugar. That might be good. I ate mine without buns and dipped them in some delicious Premium Select Chipotle mustard. Dericious!
That's all for now! Comment and tell me the nastiest diet food you ever ate!