About Marianne Bloudoff, RD

Member since 6/16/2014
Occupation: Registered Dietitian
Website: http://evergreeneats.com
Twitter: @Evergreen_RD

Favourite food: Sushi
Favourite piece of kitchen equipment: Blendtec Blender
Favourite cooking shortcut: Pre-shredded coleslaw
Favourite meal(s) to prepare: Homemade pizza
Recipe that you have always wanted to make but have yet to attempt: Souffle

Comments by Marianne Bloudoff, RD:

  • Activia Pure Yogurt
    I had planned on trying the Activia Pure Unsweetened, but somehow I picked up the sweetened variety - perhaps that was all my store had (or I just wasn't paying attention enough). I think the sweetened was quite nice - not overly sweet like some sweetened yogurts. I enjoyed mine as a snack with fruit (like raspberries and pomegranate seeds). The consistency wasn't my favourite - I prefer a much thicker yogurt like Greek style yogurt - but if you like a more "standard" yogurt consistency, then this would be completely acceptable. I would consider recommending the sweetened version for people who do enjoy a pre-sweetened yogurt, but it wouldn't necessarily be my go to choice for myself. It also doesn't seem to be available in all stores just yet, so if you live in rural areas, this might not be an option. Thanks for the opportunity to try out Activia Pure!
  • OIKOS SuperGrains Greek Yogurt
    The Mixed Berry OIKOS SuperGrains Greek Yogurt comes in a convenient 4 pack, perfect for on the go snacking. I found the berry flavour nice, but wasn't sold on the grains being already mixed into the yogurt - I found their texture to be a bit odd. Not quite soggy, but also not crunchy. My yogurt also seemed to have separated weirdly. It's not a product I would buy personally, as I find single serve yogurts to be expensive and wasteful when it comes to packaging. I also generally prefer plain yogurt so I can add whatever flavours/ fruits/grains myself. But I think that they can definitely be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet if they are something you enjoy :)
  • Liberté Greek Seeds & Fruit Yogourt‏
    Yogurt is a food I love, so I was excited for the opportunity to try a new yogurt product from Liberté. I am normally a plain Greek yogurt eater, as I enjoy the versatility of plain yogurt (it can be used for sweet or savoury dishes, and I can add in whatever flavours I want), so it was a bit different for me to buy a fruit flavoured product. I tried both of the flavours (strawberry and pineapple/banana). I must admit, I wasn't overly excited about the flavour options - I wish they had kept the pineapple alone without the banana to muddle the flavour, and I found the strawberry flavour to be a bit fake tasting. But given that flavour of yogurt is a really personal thing, I didn't hold that against them too much. What I liked: - The portion size. It made for a good sized afternoon snack, unlike some single serve yogurts. - That it was 2% yogurt. So many yogurts out there are 0%, and they just don't have a good mouthfeel to them. I want to see a little fat in my yogurt - it tastes better and is more filling. What I didn't like: - The seeds weren't crunchy. Because they are mixed in the yogurt they are soft. I want a definite texture difference, so I would rather add them myself. - The fact that it's single serve. I really don't like buying single serve products from an environmental standpoint, as they have more packaging. - The cost. At my store they were $4.09 for 2 yogurts, which is pretty expensive when you consider you can buy a container that will give you 3-4 servings for close to that price. Would I recommend them? Probably not. They aren't bad, and if someone enjoys them instead of a candy bar, great. But I wouldn't go out of my way to suggest someone buy them, as I don't think they are economical, and I think adding your own seeds, nuts, fruits, etc is a better way to go.
  • Truvia® calorie-free sweetener
    Stevia is definitely the hot non-caloric sweetener these days, so I was glad to take the opportunity to try out some Truvia. I was a little disappointed to see the first ingredient on the product was erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and not actually stevia. I understand that the stevia is probably quite sweet straight up, and expensive, but this makes me wonder how different this is from other artificial sweeteners, when the first ingredient is not the "natural" product many people are looking for. I tried a package in a mug of tea. Now, I rarely sweeten tea when I drink it, but I wasn't sure what else I would use a small package of sweetener in - definitely not enough to try in a full recipe of cookies or something. I did not like the bitter aftertaste it imparted on my tea, and it was much too sweet for my own tastes. I passed the other package off to my partner, as he is diabetic, and he doesn't mind it as a sweetener for coffee or tea, but I imagine this is because he has become used to the aftertastes of artificial sweeteners for his whole life. I did take a small taste of it straight up, and it has a very sugar alcohol taste too it - that sort of cooling taste you get with many minty chewing gums. Would I buy it again? Not for me, but maybe for my partner if he enjoys it better than other non-caloric sweeteners. I would rather look for a product that included more stevia and less artificial stuff personally. And I think it's impractical to use something in small single use packages for baking or cooking where you need a large quantity. It's an awful lot of excess packaging! I would rather just work towards using smaller amounts of sugar, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten foods instead. But I feel that I can at least help clients make more informed decisions when they are at the grocery store. Thanks for the sampling opportunity!
  • Chia seeds
    I was already happy to get to sample the Nutiva Chia Seeds, but was pleasantly surprised to find myself with a full sized bag of them to play with. Chia seeds are a product I have used many times over the years (you might call me a chia seed hipster). While I had never tried the Nutiva brand, I found them to taste and act the same as any other I have tried. They have basically no flavour, so they are a great addition to plenty of different foods when you want to add a kick of nutrition - they have fibre, protein, and omega-3's. You can use them as an egg replacement in some baking, or to make a great pudding or breakfast parfait. These particular ones I used in some smoothies for their thickening properties - great when you aren't using frozen fruit. I think they are fun to play with in recipes because of their gelling properties, but I can also appreciate that some people might be turned off by that texture. But I think that even if you aren't into that texture, you can use them in baked goods to add nutrition, and not even notice they are there. Would I use them again? Of course! I'm not going to stop now. And if someone is interested in them, I would have no issues recommending them or helping them fit them into their diet. And if you are looking for some great ways to use them, here are a few of my favourite recipes: Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Seed Jam - http://frenchfriestoflaxseeds.com/2013/11/30/strawberry-rhubarb-chia-seed-jam/ Dark Chocolate Raspberry Chia Breakfast Parfait - http://frenchfriestoflaxseeds.com/2013/07/08/dark-chocolate-raspberry-chia-breakfast-parfait/
  • Omega Crunch flax topping
    Flax seeds are a product I am very familiar with - I add them to my oatmeal every time I make it, and use them in baking, either to add some extra nutrition, or as a vegan egg substitute. But I have always purchased regular ol' ground flax seed (which I store in the freezer to keep from going rancid), so I figured it would be fun to try some flavoured flax seed products. The Sweet Cinnamon flavour was my favourite - I added it to some plain, local greek yogurt, and it gave it a nice subtle apple pie flavour. It was also the first one I tried, so it left me with high hopes for the remaining 2 flavours. Sadly, I wasn't as impressed with the others. I used the Roasted Garlic to top a quinoa salad, and I found that the flavour got lost in with the other ingredients. I tried the Roasted Maple flavour on their own, and honestly, I couldn't really even taste the flavour there. I did enjoy the texture these shelled flax seeds added to my foods - they give you more crunch and presence compared to ground flax seeds - but I too worry about the clear packaging and shelf life. Since they come in a shaker, you would probably want to keep them visible so you use them often, but with the light hitting the product, I can't see they staying fresh long. And I also echo other concerns with price point - seems like a lot of money for a small amount of flax, small amount of extra flavour, and a product that might not keep as well as other flax products. Would I recommend them? I doubt it. But it someone told me they were using them and liked them, I wouldn't discourage them from doing so, because at least they are choosing a product that is adding fibre and omega-3 fatty acids to their diet. I just don't think I could justify the cost based on taste, convenience, and shelf life. Thanks for the opportunity to try out another product! Marianne Bloudoff, RD Twitter: @Evergreen_RD
  • Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts
    Hemp seeds - something this west coaster is definitely familiar with! For eating of course :) I like these Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds for their mild, nutty flavour, and ease of use in so many dishes. They make a great addition to baked goods - I often add them to muffins or cookies. My boyfriend loves adding them to smoothies, as he finds they make the smoothies more filling. They are good as a yogurt or oatmeal topper. And my favourite way to use them is in a chia seed/hemp seed/cashew/oat muesli blend, paired with nut milk and whatever fruits are in season. Hemp seeds add a great kick of protein and omega-3 fatty acids to your foods, great for vegans and people following a gluten free diet. Because they are mild, you can easily hide their taste for picky eaters. Not to mention we grown them in Canada - it's great to support our local agriculture! Overall, I love hemp seeds, and they are a staple in my kitchen. Manitoba Harvest is my go-to hemp seed brand. And PS - Costco even carries them in affordable large bags.