Wendy’s Frosty Alternative

This is the end result of what I call “Facebook made me do it.”
Browsing Facebook I saw a friend posted a Frosty alternative recipe. Going over the recipe I was intrigued but decided I was going to make it with a few tweaks to make it more my “style” if you will. The original recipe had really no sweetness to it (as told by the ingredients and those who tried the recipe comments).  I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it as it was originally, so I opted to tweak it a bit. I have to say, the end result came out pretty well. It’s not an exact Wendy’s frosty replica, but it’s a healthier alternative. The only thing missing was my small fry on the side.
I didn’t go into making this expect it to be creamy and smooth. It’s got the classic frosty flavor, with a hunt of banana in the background, but texture wise it’s icier (to be expected) but nonetheless it was an enjoyable treat.
Serves 1. 1 Points Plus Values.
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup
  • 1 packet Equal
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15 ice cubes
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and ice is all chopped up.
Serve in your favorite glass.

Starbucks Caramel Flan Frappucino Light Blended

Those of us folks who are coffee fans have been hearing and seeing the new Caramel Flan beverage line (available in both latte and frappucino) advertised.  I’d been looking into the drink online and was interested in perhaps giving it a try one day.  That “one day” came a lot sooner when I received a complimentary drink e-mail from Starbucks for a tall Caramel Flan drink for 1-day only.
Since I am a Weight Watchers member I hopped on the Starbucks website and looked up the different versions of the drink and was very pleased to find this drink is sold in light variety – which is different from their nonfat no whip version.  According to Starbucks website the drink is described as follows: “Caramel Flan Frappuccino® Light Blended Beverage is a creamy-cool indulgence. Along with our own caramel flan flavored syrup, we add a drizzle of caramel flan sauce.
I was sold.
While running an errand I popped into my local Starbucks and picked up my drink. I found this to be quite delicious. It’s undoubtedly caramel but there is that flan flavor lingering in the background.  It wasn’t overly sweet, actually perfectly sweetened, and was a great treat for the coffee and frappucino lover in me.
A tall is 110 calories and only 3 points plus values.

Swiss Miss Limited Edition Candy Cane Hot Cocoa

While making a quick run through the grocery store I noticed they had a display up for the new winter flavored Swiss Miss. I figured since it’s getting frigid cold out I’d get a box of Swiss Miss Limited Edition Candy Cane Hot Cocoa to try out.
My boyfriend is more of a mint flavored drink/dessert guy over me. I’m more of a peppermint hard candy girl. One night it was sooo cold I decided to boil a kettle of water and make myself a hot cocoa. Opening the package up, you wouldn’t quite be able to tell its peppermint (aside from the red and white striped marshmallows). After adding the water, I was awarded with a noticeable peppermint scent. The flavor is undoubtedly chocolate with a peppermint infused flavor in it. It’s definitely more peppermint than I’d say the marshmallows gave off. But nonetheless it tastes like Christmas.
An envelope packet is 90 calories or 2 points plus values.
What is your favorite Swiss Miss flavor?

Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog

Egg nog! One of those beverages that I love … but I find the calories/points associated with it not even worth it … so I don’t have it. When Thanksgiving/Christmas roll around I start eyeing the egg nog selections hoping someone will invent a delicious egg nog that’s calorie/points plus friendly. Last year I tried the Silk version and it’s tasty but it’s as thin as water. Egg nog is delicious because of its flavor, but also due to that recognizable thick and creamy texture.
While at Wal-Mart I noticed they carried Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog, so I checkd the nutrition facts label and stuck the bottle in my cart.  I’ve only tried Bolthouse Farms salad dressings, so I wasn’t entirely sure how the nog would be.  After cracking open the bottle as a late night treat, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was thicker in consistency. Very egg nog-like which was appreciated well before I even took a sip.  After I did take a drink I was sold … this is hands down the best lighter alternative to egg nog that I have had. It’s thicker, it’s creamy, it’s nutmeggy, it’s vanillay … and it’s just a party in a glass.  I’m truthfully quite floored as to how good this is so once I finish the bottle I purchased, I will gladly purchase another.
A 4 ounce serving (1/2 cup) is 80 calories or 2 points plus values.
Have you ever tried a Bolthouse Farms limited edition beverage?

Gevalia Mocha Latte

I received a sample of the new Gevalia Mocha Latte k-cup “foam at home” drink.  I was intrigued by these because I am a fan of lattes, coffee and milk chocolate and this just seemed so interesting. The lattes are sold with k-cups and foam packets, so you add the foam packet to your coffee mug, put the k-cup in and brew.
The lattes are sold in three flavors: mocha latte (a creamy blend of cocoa and coffee topped with a velvety layer of froth), caramel macchiato (creamy and smooth with the indulgent flavor of caramel, made from real milk) and cappuccino (smooth, mildly sweet, with subtle roasted notes, made from real milk).
The mocha latte is truly as described – a delicious blend of coffee and cocoa. It tastes as if you brewed a cup of coffee and put half a packet of hot chocolate into it. It’s smooth, mildly sweet and a decadent late night treat or even early morning wake-me-up. I did not add any extra milk or sugar into my cup as I found it to be perfect. What I will note is that it was making this really strange crackling sound as the coffee was drizzling into the foam. Initially I thought some sort of glass was cracking in my kitchen until I realized it was coming from the cup that was brewing.  After a few stirs once my keurig was done brewing, the crackling sufficed once the powder mixture was fully incorporated. I enjoyed this quite a bit and will be picking up a box next time I spot it in stores.
Each cup is 80 calories or 2 points plus values.
Have you tried any of the Gevalia foaming drinks?

Trader Joe’s Coffee Cups – Medium Roast K-Cups

If you have a Keurig machine, you know the cost of k-cups. That little cup containing a single serving of coffee can get pretty pricey, especially if they’re not on a really good sale. I realize bags of coffee are far cheaper, but it’s the convenience factor that sucks me and possibly a large number of other folks in.  So when I saw these Trader Joe’s Coffee Cups in Medium Roast I picked them up.
Each box contains 7 individually wrapped k-cups, which sell for $2.99 a box. The cups aren’t your standard plastic k-cup; they have a mesh bottom with a clear plastic lid. I have to say I really like this packaging because I was anticipating it to be similar to the New England coffee k-cups.  The New England k-cups have a mesh bottom and a plastic top, but they’re all in a pouch together which doesn’t exactly keep the coffee in the freshest of forms. At least with the Trader Joe coffee it can sit in its box and each cup will be as fresh as the last because they’re sealed.  Great thinking, Trader Joe’s!
After brewing my first cup I was a little apprehensive. I’m a light roast type-a-gal and I find some medium roasts are too much for me to handle. I gave it a sip when black and found it to be a bit strong, so I added a little extra water, my artificial sweetener and a splash of milk and I was quite surprised. It was really good.  The next day I had one without the extra water and found it to be a very pleasant, smooth cup of coffee. I have to say, I’m a big fan of this product!
I already have this on my Trader Joe’s shopping list to pick up a box or two next time.
What is your favorite type of coffee?

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Swiss Miss No Sugar Added Hot Cocoa

I love hot cocoa – but I tend to only drink it in the fall and winter months – probably because I associate it with a warm and cozy beverage. Sure, I drink hot coffee all year round, but cocoa has it’s place – at least in my book.  I usually prefer the original cocoa, but I received this box for free – so no sugar added it was.
Swiss Miss No Sugar Added Hot Cocoa is Swiss Miss’ take at hot cocoa that is without the added sugar in comparison to the original. I find this one to be pleasantly sweet enough without it being too much. There are occasions where regular hot cocoa is just too sweet for my taste buds.  This particular type is smooth, creamy, rich and delicious. It could be made with hot milk to make it even more filling but I tend to prefer my hot cocoa made with water and perhaps a splash of milk to help cool it down just a tad.
A single packet is 60 calories or 2 points plus values (truthfully, the same points plus value of the original Swiss Miss – but if sugar is a concern for you – this is good).
How do you prefer your hot chocolate/cocoa?

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Herbal Blend Tea

I’m sure many of you have read how much I enjoy pumpkin-things especially in the fall/winter months. So with that I was given a tin of Trader Joe`s Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Herbal Blend Tea and I got that giddy child feeling when you get something you typically love but haven’t tried.
The moment you open the metal canister you get a nice fragrant smell — pumpkin, nutmeg and a little cinnamon. It just has a very homey and delicious scent. After reading the ingredients, I was a little hesitant because the tea does have clove in it and I just happen to not be a huge clove fan.  Thankfully, I have found after trying the tea, the clove taste doesn’t come through very much otherwise this would have been a complete miss for me
I prepared my tea as I would any other.  Boiled the water in my tea kettle, poured it over the tea pouch and let it steep for about 5 minutes. I then removed the tea bag and added in one packet of artificial sweetener and gave it a whirl. I have to say, this was really delicious. The flavors blended together nicely and there was a hint of all the flavors present (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, etc), but not one stood out more than the pumpkin flavor. Which is appreciated.
Do you like pumpkin tea?

Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Coffee

When I saw the Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Coffee on a trip through my favorite store I was initially tempted to buy two bottles. My boyfriend said it might make more sense to only buy one incase we found it wasn’t our “cup of tea.”  We both are big coffee (iced or hot) fans … but I have to say I’m glad I took his advice.
I’m a bit torn with this cold brew.  I’ve made cold brew at home and even though it can be a bit tedious, I enjoy mine a lot better.  The coffee itself is concentrated where in order to make a cup of ice coffee it’s one part coffee to two parts milk or water (or any combination of the two).  I made my coffee with ½ cup milk and 1 cup water along with 1 tablespoon of sugar free creamer.  But I have to say … the coffee itself is very bitter.  I felt it was a little reminiscent of Dunkin Donuts coffee but DD’s coffee is not as strong and not quite as bitter.
I’m kind of on the fence. Its okay for a rush type situation where I want ice coffee but don’t have any on hand to make. But it’s definitely not a coffee I’d willingly reach for.  So I guess we can say I’m just meh about this whole experience!
Have you tried cold brew coffee?

Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Tea

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … I am pumpkin obsessed. I love fall, I love pumpkin … so you can pretty much say this is my favorite time of the year.  With my love of pumpkin I’m more than willing to try pumpkin items out. One of those things was this Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Black Tea.
I’m a coffee girl by nature, but I do enjoy my teas here and there … typically while at work around 2/3 o’clock it becomes “tea time”.  It also becomes tea time when I’m absolutely freezing and I’ve already had my morning hot coffee.  This Sweet Harvest Pumpkin tea is delicious – it’s got a very fragrant pumpkin scent and taste, but it’s pleasant on the palette.  I enjoyed my tea black with a little 0 calorie sweetener in it.  It would also be good mixed with a little bit of milk if you’re into that sort of thing.
I do want to point out that this is a caffeinated tea and it also has some natural stevia extract in it to help give it that sweet flavor the description states. I personally highly dislike the taste of Stevia but I find it’s not noticeable in the beverage. The tea is slightly sweet and not bland as regular black teas are, but it’s not really a noticeable flavor.
Do you enjoy limited edition tea flavors based on the season?