Bonnie: Green tea enthusiasts can now enjoy the flavor of their hot beverage in an ice cream in this new limited-edition Haagen-Dazs flavor. But I found ice cream an odd medium for the flavor of green tea. Those limiting their fat intake might reach instead for Haagen-Dazs' new Vanilla Honey & Granola Frozen Yogurt, with only 4 grams of total fat (compared to 17 in the other new flavors).
Those looking for something sweet and indulgent might try the Reserve Fleur de Sel Caramel, with its combination of chocolate-covered caramels and caramel swirls in caramel ice cream with a French sea salt accent. Fleur de sel means "flower of the salt" in French and is a rare delicate salt whose flavor balances nicely with the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate without boosting the sodium level too much. This ice cream has only 150 milligrams of sodium per serving.The Vanilla Honey Bee Ice Cream should have wide appeal, as its goal is to bring awareness to the disappearing honeybee. For reasons not understood, more than 25 percent of Western honeybees have disappeared over the past few years. Those bees pollinate fruits, nuts and berries in a third of the food we eat. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this ice cream and other bee-affected flavors (up to a quarter-million dollars) will be used for research at Pennsylvania State University and the University of California on the cause of this problem. For that list of flavors, visit helpthehoneybees.com/#/whyWeCare/beeDependentFlavors.
Carolyn: The good thing about the disappearing honeybee population is your diminishing chances of getting stung by one. The bad is that without their pollination, there will be no more honey and therefore none of this wonderful new Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee Ice Cream flavor.
I don't normally eat honey, but it's wonderful in this rich vanilla ice cream. In fact, I haven't liked a new Haagen-Dazs flavor this much since the trend-setting Dulce de Leche. Honey fans should like it even more because the honey flavor is very strong.
The Vanilla Honey & Granola Frozen Yogurt is a similar idea but is nowhere as good. The primary culprit: the 13 fewer grams of fat this contains that Bonnie just referenced.
The Reserve Fleur de Sel Caramel is my beloved Dulce de Leche with even more caramel and embedded chocolate-covered caramel candies that are surprisingly soft, given how teeth-chippingly hard even nonfrozen caramels can be. This ice cream is almost too rich and sweet for me.I approached the Green Tea Ice Cream with an open mind: Stonyfield Farms Vanilla Chai Ice Cream is wonderful, after all. But this ice cream is almost without sweetness and is as bad-tasting as its tea inspiration. I could maybe see someone serving it as a palate cleanser between savory dishes at a snobby dinner party to which I hope I'm not invited.
Post LiveActive Cereal. Nut Harvest Crunch, and Mixed Berry Crunch. $3.79 per 13-ounce box.
Bonnie: Tastewise, I found these two new LiveActive cereals lacking, but nutritionally, either is a good choice. A bowlful provides one of the three recommended daily servings of whole grains and a hearty 7 to 8 grams of fiber, of which 3 grams are from inulin, the prebiotic fiber that gives the cereal its name.
Prebiotics are natural food ingredients that promote the growth of live and active cultures already in your digestive system. These prebiotics serve as a source of food for the good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut and can help strengthen your immune system.But a cereal like this is only part of the good-gut picture. To keep your gut functioning regularly, eat fiber-rich foods such as whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies daily. And be sure to add regular exercise and drinking fluids to that, as too much fiber without fluid is a recipe for constipation.
Carolyn: Post LiveActive Cereal is halfway between indulgent, delicious "adult" cereals like Post Selects Banana Nut Crunch and awful-tasting, good-for-you cereals from Kashi and Nature's Path. The crunchy flakes are tasteless. Some flavor is offered by sweetened clusters that are too big and sparsely distributed (in both varieties) and dried cranberries and blueberries (in the Mixed Berry Crunch). But the best-tasting thing in either are Nut Harvest Crunch's largely unadorned sliced almonds.I wouldn't buy either LiveActive cereal, but if you're married to someone who insists on filling the cupboard with Kashi and Nature's Path, I would recommend a bag of sliced almonds. If LiveActive Nut Harvest Crunch is any clue, they'll greatly improve the taste.
Best Foods Mayonnaise With Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil. $3.99 per 30-ounce jar.
Bonnie: At first glance you may think this is simply Best Foods' Real Mayo made with Bertolli brand extra-virgin olive oil. It's actually not mayonnaise at all, but salad dressing somewhat on the order of Miracle Whip, having more water, sugar and vinegar, and fewer egg yolks. The first ingredient is water, not oil, as in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's standard of identity for mayonnaise.
It's also odd and possibly misleading, considering that Best Foods is touting the Bertolli (a sister Unilever brand) olive oil this contains: Olive oil is the third listed ingredient, after water and soybean oil (which is the primary oil in Best Foods Real Mayonnaise). Olive oil contains more monounsaturated fats than soybean oil, and those fats may help lower blood cholesterol levels more than polyunsaturated fats (the main fat in soybean oil). But you won't get much of that benefit unless you change the type of fats in your overall diet.If you want to cut down on fat in general and don't mind paying more money for water than oil, then this new mayonnaise may be for you. (This jar is also 2 ounces smaller than the regular, making it even more expensive.) One tablespoon contains 50 calories and 5 grams of fat to Best Foods Real Mayonnaise's 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. I'd rather just use less of the Real stuff.
Carolyn: As for ingredients, this new Best Foods may be closer to salad dressing than mayonnaise, but it tastes more like mayo. That is, it's eggy and not as sweet as, say, Miracle Whip. The olive oil has very little flavor presence.
To be fair, I could also hardly taste olive oil in the full-fat Spectrum Olive Oil Mayonnaise I taste-tested this against. And this Best Foods is a lot lighter and fluffier than the Spectrum (and I mean that as a compliment).Buy this new product for those things and for its fat and calorie savings (similar to light mayonnaise) not because you like the taste of olive oil ('cause you won't get any here).
Bonnie Tandy Leblang is a registered dietitian and professional speaker. Carolyn Wyman is a junk-food fanatic and author of "Better Than Homemade: Amazing Foods That Changed the Way We Eat" (Quirk). Each week they critique three new food items. For previous columns, visit www.supermarketsampler.com, and for more food info and chances to win free products, visit www.biteofthebest.com. © Universal Press Syndicate