About A Little Nutrition

Member since 6/12/2014
Occupation: Private Practice Dietitian
City: Winnipeg, MB
Website: http://www.alittlenutrition.com/
Twitter: @https://twitter.com/LittleNutrition

Susan is passionate about teaching others how to achieve optimal health and wellness by taking the confusion out of nutrition and promoting fun ways to stay active.

Favourite food: Too many to name
Favourite piece of kitchen equipment: Kitchen aid mixer
Favourite cooking shortcut: batch cooking and planned extra's
Favourite meal(s) to prepare: too many to name
Recipe that you have always wanted to make but have yet to attempt: sour dough bread, or bread using a starter

Comments by A Little Nutrition:

  • Liberté Greek Seeds & Fruit Yogourt‏
    Thanks for sending the product coupon! It took me awhile to locate the product, but eventually found it. I sampled both the strawberry and the pineapple, and let my two kids try the second container. They loved it. They were not bothered by the texture, which I thought they might be. The products tasted like strawberry and pineapple yogurt. However, I wasn't a big fan of the texture. I really nuts and seeds to be crunchy. The seeds in this product are soft because they are mixed in, but it still tasted good. I don't think I would purchase this product again for myself, but as a dessert or treat for my kids. I would recommend this product to people as a dessert yogurt, as I found the sugar content to be the same a ice cream (which is why it tasted sooo good :-). My overall rating of this product is that it is a great once and awhile treat, but I wouldn't recommend it as an everyday food item. It is a bit pricey, and a tad high in sugar to be consuming as a regular food item everyday. I like that is it 12 grams of protein, in that it didn't leave me wanting more.
  • Truvia® calorie-free sweetener
    Thank you to Confessions of a Dietitian for sending me two packets of Truvia no calorie sweetener to sample. I used the product in two different ways. 1. In a sweet and sour vinaigrette salad dressing recipe ... the purpose was to balance out the tart acidic taste of the balsamic vinegar. I found that it didn't really take out the tartness out of the vinegar. I had to add a few tsp's of honey to balance the flavour in the dressing 2. To sweeten a berry smoothie - I didn't even notice that it was added. I found the sweetness was quite mild. As mentioned, it didn't really add any sweetness to the recipes that I tried it in. Personally I am trying to unsweeten my diet, and I am trying to not to use any forms of added sugar or sweetener, so probably would not use the product again, but that doesn't have anything to do with the product, just personal preference. If I was to use the product again, I would use it over some other artificial sweeteners. I like that it didn't have an after taste, and that it wasn't an over powering sweetness. However, I am not too sure about the GI side-effects that the erythritol may have. I didn't notice any symptoms while trialing the products, but I typically avoid sugar alcohols. I was surprised to see that Truvia used erythritol in its product as they use the "natural" approach in their marketing. *Note: Sugar alcohol ingestion may result in gastrointestinal symptoms including flatulence, cramping, bloating and diarrhea (PEN). I give Truvia 4 out 5, mostly because I liked that it looked like real sugar, wasn't overly sweet (good if you are trying to reduce your sweet tooth), and there was no awful after taste. For my full review with pictures see my blog: http://www.alittlenutrition.com/blog/?p=1622 Susan Watson, RD Twitter: @LittleNutrition Instagram: Winnipeg_dietitian
  • Chia seeds
    Thank you for sending me a bag of Nutiva Organic Chia seeds to sample. I was thrilled to get a large sample of the chia seeds because I have been really interested in experimenting with chia seeds in the following areas: egg substitute, xanthan gum substitute, and fibre-weight management tool. I tried a variety of recipes to get a good feel of how to use chia seeds: #1: Ginger Lime Blueberry Chia Seed Jam, where I used ground chia seeds to replace the pectin and sugar used to gel jam. I was happy with the results. #2: Chocolate peanut butter chia seed pudding: Didn’t like the texture, but my toddler loved it! #3: Berry chia seed overnight oatmeal: Loved the addition. The oatmeal masked the gelling properties of the chia seeds, yet the chia seeds improved the texture of the oatmeal. #4 Chai Spiced Chia Seed Granola: The chia seeds didn't add any specific flavour, but definitely contributed to the crunch, fibre and protein for this recipe. 1/2 cup of granola with milk and berries filled me up all morning, and didn't leave me ravenous for lunch. The chia seeds didn't gel up when I added milk either (maybe because they were toasted, or because I ate the granola before they had a chance to gel up). #5: The next recipe I used chia seeds in were my gluten free muffin recipe. I added 3 tbsp ground up chia seeds to the recipe to see if they would help with the binding, as you can see below my muffin recipe was crumbly. Turns out the ground chia seeds helped improve the binding of the flours, but also smoothed out the gritty brown rice flour texture. I still have some work to do on this recipe, but it was quite insightful. #6: I used the chia seeds in my gluten-free oatmeal cookies to try to replace the eggs. I want to still work on this recipe, as the cookies got really hard really fast (not baby friendly, but taste good when I dunk them in my coffee). #7: I tried my hand at "vegan xanthan gum free gluten-free bread". The chia seeds were to replace both the eggs and xanthan gum. All my attempts did not turn out, but there are too many factors involved to say that the chia seeds had a role in why the bread did not turn out. I don't blame the chia seeds for this flop ...but more so my lack of knowledge of how different gluten-free flours and gums work. I've only been at dairy-free/gluten-free baking for a few months now, and the learning curve is steep. Overall, I am so glad that I've had this time and opportunity to experiment with chia seeds and I do highly recommend consuming them. I learned that I don't like the texture of them on their own after they have been sitting for a while, but mixed into recipes they add a unique texture that I do enjoy. I really like chia seeds when they are crunchy and enjoy them in smoothies. They remind me of kiwi seeds in a blended drink. The chia seeds have mild nutty taste, but really don't contribute any flavour to recipes. I think the nutrition profile of chia seeds is pretty good for fibre, protein, calcium, iron and omega 3, but like any seed oil you have to be mindful of the calories from fat. 1 tbsp = 60 calories. I did find that just a small amount 1/2 tbsp added to a glass of water did help me feel full ...although more isn't always better, as they do swell in your stomach (and one day after a lot of testing I felt fairly bloated). 1 tbsp of chia seeds is giving you 20% of your daily fibre intake, but you are consuming 60 calories to do so. Up until I discovered chia seeds, I've been using psyllium husk as a fibre booster in recipes, which in 1 tbsp you get 5 grams of fibre for only 20 calories, but it is void of any omega 3s. I will be using chia seeds again, as I love the idea of using unprocessed ingredients like chia seeds in allergy friendly baking. *For my full review with the recipes, nutrition facts, and photo’s, please visit my blog at : http://www.alittlenutrition.com/blog/?p=1471 ~ Susan Watson, RD Twitter: @LittleNutrition
  • Omega Crunch flax topping
    Thanks to Confessions of a Dietitian for sending me product samples of Omega Crunch. I used my 4 (small, sniff sniff, could have used more ) samples in a variety of ways. I sprinkled the roasted garlic on fresh tomatoes and bocconcini cheese, which tasted amazing (not like fresh garlic would, but more like garlic powder…no breath mints needed). I incorporated the regular/plain flavour flax into some gluten free cheese crackers that I made for my baby (and she gobbled them up) and there was no significant flavor that stood out. I mixed in the roasted maple flax in with a serving of my homemade granola. The maple flax gave the granola a little more crunch with a subtle maple favour (not the same punch a tsp. of maple syrup would give, but the maple flavor did stand out). The last sample was the cinnamon flax. I was starting to realize (after reading some other reviews) that the product seems to work much better as a “topper” rather than mixing it into foods (which I am use to doing). I sprinkled the cinnamon flax on some homemade oatmeal cookies rather than mixing it in, and the cinnamon flavor was able to stand out (with a little extra crunch). Overall the flavours tasted great and were true to their flavour. They were subtle to mild, and you were still able to taste the flax taste of the seed. Sometimes I find that flavour infused foods taste artificial, and lack the real ingredient taste, but that is not the case with the Omega Crunch flavours. I would use the product again and definitely would recommend it to clients and friends. Unfortunately, Omega Crunch Flax Topping doesn’t seem to be available in my local stores in the Winnipeg area…yet. Hopefully one day soon. Would I order it online? …probably not, too much hassle. My overall thoughts about the product from a healthy eating standpoint is that it is really just a novelty food product item…if you like to spend your money on novelty food items (like I do), then go for it because I do think consuming this product will contribute to good health. But if you can’t afford it, then plain ground flax seeds will do fine. For weight management, adding 2 tsp of Roasted garlic to say, a salad, would add an extra 30 calories, 2.5 grams fat (only 0.2g saturated), 0g sodium. Not too significant. However, depending on how much you are “shaking” on your food, the calories could add up. This product could also be a good flavour enhancer for someone on a salt/sugar restricted diet, and is looking for other options to add flavor to their foods. I think the shaker bottles would make great gifts, or would be a great way to get someone to try flax seeds that may have an aversion to them. Susan Watson, RD Twitter: @LittleNutrition Note: This is a condensed version of my full product review. Please check out my full product review with pictures on my blog: https://alittlenutrition.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/grind-no-more-with-omega-crunch-product-review/
  • Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts
    Thank you for sending me the Hemp Hearts! I used the sample product in my oatmeal to replace my usual serving of either walnuts or almonds. I really enjoyed the nutty taste, and I feel that hemp hearts make a good alternative to nuts. I liked the unique velvet texture of the hemp hearts I shall definitely use hemp hearts again. My overall thoughts on hemp hearts as a healthy product are pretty good. My main concern is that 170 calories for 3 Tbsp. seems high, but compared to other trendy super foods like ground flax (150 calories/ 3 Tbsp.), and chia (210 calories/3 Tbsp.), it seems about the same. I really like that the product packs 10 grams of protein in 3 tbsp. I am always cautious of my consumption of nutrient dense foods, and if not measured carefully, hemp hearts (just like other nuts and seeds), may add up in calories really fast if just dumped on top of a salad, or in my case, oatmeal. I would recommend using hemp hearts sparingly in that you measure out a serving (just like butter or any other oil/fat). Personally I am not a big fan of some of the marketing the company sent out. It kind of seems like they are pushing the product as a life transforming food product. It seemed a little over the top for me. I do plan on purchasing more hemp hearts and using them in my baking. I plan to add them to my granola bars, multigrain bread, and crackers. I also will be sending them with my 3 year old to day care, as she ate the entire second sample bag and wanted more. That was surprising. I would rate this product 5 out of 5. See pictures on my blog: http://alittlenutrition.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/manitoba-hemp-heart-product-review/ Susan Watson Twitter: @LittleNutrition