Every now and then I’ll be posting product reviews, since there are a number of specifically low-carb products that you can buy at specialty sites like CarbSmart, and before you do, you may want to know if they’re worth the cost and shipping. CarbSmart is a fantastic resource if you want to try baking low-carb, which is not easy and requires some specialty ingredients. It also has many low-carb snacks, condiments, and other products you won’t be able to find in your local grocery store.
This weekend I was headed up to Seattle for New Years, and I wanted to bring along some snacks for the road or between meals. Normally, I like to do my own baking, but was poking around on CarbSmart and thought I’d give these a try. This is actually a picture of the blueberry muffins, and what I tried was cranberry orange. But it gives a good sense of their size and appearance. A package makes 12 small muffins, and there are 4 net carbs and 2 gm protein in each muffin. There’s a “protein power” version that I haven’t tried yet, which has 8 gm protein.
Overall, I’d give the cranberry orange muffins a B grade. They were much better than many low-carb foods I’ve tried, and were rated 5 stars by most of the CarbSmart customers – but I’m comparing them to regular muffins, since I’m a picky cook, and I want anything I make to be as good as a non-carb-limited version. The texture was good – light, but dense enough to feel substantial. They’re a bit small, but that’s also fine, as it helps to practice restraint about the sizes of our baked goods portions.
The flavor was pretty good, but the only negative really is that the sweetening seemed a little off, a flavor I wasn’t used to. There are no artificial ingredients, so it isn’t that – they seem to have used concentrated fruit juices in some way, and it just tastes a little different. My boyfriend thought it was fine, and the other customers agreed – so this may just be me. There are also many other flavors that can be tried. One note of caution – these things really, really stick to the pan, even a good non-stick pan. Follow their advice and use cupcake wrappers or a spray coating first.
Dixie Carb Counters’ motto is “Health Food that Tastes Like Junk Food” and in that, I think they’ve succeeded! You need to be a little careful with these if they make you crave sweets or baked goods you shouldn’t have. It’s best to wait a little while until you’ve gotten fully into the program before adding things that taste like sugar and carbs, and then only for a little variety or occasional treat. These are good enough that I’d definitely try the protein power version, as that would help meet your daily protein requirements and balance out the carbs.
My review: If baking low-carb from scratch is too complex, or if you just want to make some quick snacks that you and the rest of the family can enjoy, these are a good choice. There are enough flavors that anyone can find something they like. Try the protein power version for greater nutritional value as well.