In keeping with our New Year’s resolution to adopt healthier habits in 2023, we’ve been trying some plant-based meat and dairy substitutes—some more successfully than others. After reading that pepitas (tiny squash in Spanish, or pumpkin seeds in English) are high in antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients, I was invited to try them as an egg substitute. Since eggs have gone sky-high at local grocery stores, and we eat a lot of breakfast scrambles and omelets, I decided to try the offer from Spero Foods.
A plant-based dairy company that launched in 2019, Spero has been featured on The Food Network and other outlets for their innovative use of technology to create plant-based dairy foods. Their products are sold by Sprouts and other health food stores.
Healthier Spinach and Mushroom Omelet
So far we’ve tried Spero Pepita egg substitutes in a veggie omelet, using their recipe for a mushroom/spinach omelet. Spero Pepita eggs come in liquid form, and cook slower than regular eggs or eggbeaters. I added chopped mushrooms and chopped spinach to a bottle of Pepita eggs and cooked them together in a covered non-stick pan for seven minutes. Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes were also added.
I used regular low-fat mozzarella cheese instead of the recommended cheese substitute that we didn’t have. The resulting omelet was very tasty–served with heated corn tortillas and chunky picante sauce. For more information, including a number of recipes using their products, please visit SperoFoods.co.
LaCroix Sparkling Water
We also tried switching from calorie-laden sodas like my husband’s favorite comfort drink, Dr Pepper, to LaCroix Sparkling Water. These no calorie/no sweetener/no sodium, and no caffeine drinks have been a great way to break our soda dependency. In the interest of full disclosure, the switch-over worked very well for me, but not quite so well for my spouse. Missing his daily dose of DP gave him withdrawal symptoms, and we had to bring back one can or bottle a day to stop them.
My favorite is the Black Razzberry essence sparkling water, with a lovely fruit flavor and with no calories or caffeine, I can drink one, even two a day. To avoid too much carbonation, I still drink more still water and often squeeze fresh lemon in mine for an authentic “natural” fruit flavor. An eight-pack of LaCroix Sparkling Water is currently priced at $3.82 at WalMart.
Balance Your Buzz (BYB)
What on earth will they think of next? Balance Your Buzz is a vitamin and electrolyte cocktail mixer that replenishes and hydrates those of us who aren’t practicing Dry January. In a variety of flavors including lemon/lime and passion fruit, BYB mixes with vodka or tequila, water and ice. It helps prevent hangovers or feeling fatigued after drinking cocktails the night before.
Mix one package BYB with 8 ounces water and 2 ounces vodka or tequila, stir and add ice. For mocktails, leave off the spirits and mix with water, stir and add ice. The next time you go out to a cocktail party, just stick a packet of BYB in purse or pants pocket. With only 10 calories per packet, no need to worry about your new diet resolutions. An 8-pack variety cocktail mixers sells for $13.99 or $1.75 a packet. For more information, visit BYB Mixers online.
Just Pure Food Tomato Chips
All of our efforts to eat healthier didn’t pan out, like the promotional samples of Just Pure Food Tomato Chips. I love tomatoes and use them in most of my salads and other dishes, but the combination of sun dried or dehydrated tomatoes into a veggie chip didn’t work for us. My husband tried the first pack, only to discover it was flavored with jalapenos and he doesn’t like anything spicy. Since I love spicy foods, I tried eating some of his tomato chips. Results: Don’t buy these chips if you’re expecting crispness. You won’t find it here.
We gave some samples to my 30-something son, who’s also on a healthy eating diet this month, and he liked the Jalapeno and BBQ flavors. They also come in cheese flavored, and an 8-pack in assorted flavors is available at Amazon for $19.99.