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Hungry Girl Today: 06.06.07


Dear Hungry Girl,

My friend Joanne told me that Splenda actually has calories. This CAN'T be
true, can it? And if it IS true, how can they call it a "no-calorie sweetener"?

Sweet Sue

Dear Sweet Sue,

Unfortunately, Joanne is right. Here's the deal. Splenda DOES have calories --
four calories per packet. The reason they can call it a "no-calorie sweetener"
is because, according to FDA rules, if something has less than FIVE calories
per serving, the label can claim it has ZERO calories. Weird rule, I know, but
it is what it is (yet another thing for us to be upset with the FDA about).
Soooo... if you use two packets of Splenda (or pretty much ANY "no-calorie"
sweetener) in your coffee, you are adding 8 calories to your beverage. If
you use the granular version of Splenda for baking and in recipes, you
should know that even though the box says "No Calorie Sweetener", it
actually has 96 calories (and 24 carbs) per cup. (Heads Up: Splenda Sugar
Blend for Baking is a different product altogether, with significantly more
calories.) It's a bit of a bummer, but before you get all freaked out, please
realize that those numbers are a heck of a lot better than the 770 calories
and nearly 200 carbs that a cup of SUGAR has. By the way, in case you were
wondering, we DO add the calories from Splenda to our HG recipe
nutritionals. One more thing: This is NOT dissimilar to the I Can't Believe It's
Not Butter! spray and nonstick cooking spray Qs I recently tackled, so check
those out if you haven't already. Have a good one!


Dear HG,

Now that summer is here, I have dusted off my blender and am ready to
make yummy frozen smoothies and coffee drinks. Unfortunately, I don’t
know what to buy to make them. I'm clueless. Can you please give me a list
of your favorite ingredients for making guilt-free frozen beverages?


Dear Smoothie-Lover,

Worry not! I'm a pro when it comes to whipping up guilt-free drinks in the
blender. And if you keep some simple ingredients on hand, you can mix and
match to your heart's content, and make gazillions of insanely delicious, low-
cal icy drinks. Here are 10 things to keep on hand at all times:

1. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze - With just 40 calories for a full cup,
this milk-swap is THE best way to make your coffee drinks and smoothies
CREAMY without adding lots of calories.

2. Torani Sugar Free Syrups - There are other sugar-free syrups out there,
but Torani makes the BEST ones. All their flavors are fantastic and have zero
calories per serving (a full ounce). My favorite fruity ones are Strawberry,
Peach, Black Cherry, Mango, and Watermelon. My fave coffee-friendly
flavors are Vanilla, White Chocolate, and Almond Roca.

3. Coffee-mate powders in Fat Free and Sugar Free versions - With these, a
little goes a long way. In fact, you typically only need to use a TEASPOON of
this stuff (not the recommended serving size) to add flavor and creaminess
to your beverage. (FYI: A teaspoon of each has around 10 calories and less
than a gram of fat.) Just dissolve it in a tiny amount of warm water (an
ounce or less) before adding it to the blender.

4. Instant coffee - For coffee drinks, of course!

5. Frozen fruit - Bags of frozen fruit are AWESOME for fruit smoothies! Just
be sure to check that there are no added sugars or syrups (which are icky
and unnecessary).

6. Splenda or your guilt-free sweetener of choice - Use this to make your
drinks taste nice and sweet.

7. Low-calorie or calorie-free fruity powdered drink mixes - Ones by Crystal
Light (or any of the other dozens of fruity drink mix brands out there) are
GREAT ingredients for frozen fruity drinks. Dissolve 'em in water first, and
they can take the place of hi-cal juices as a smoothie mixer.

8. Fat Free Reddi-wip - This is the world's best blended-beverage topper, with
just 5 calories per serving!

9. GREAT ice! - Ice is important. Do NOT use lame ice! Pre-crushed frozen
water (ice) works best if your blender tends to be lazy. Or you can place
cubes in a baggie and smash 'em until they break into smaller pieces -- it
makes blending easier and eliminates stress!

10. Bendy straws - They make any drink more fun. Doy!

Good luck -- and have fun!!!

For links in the above answer please go to:

Chew on This:
June is National Dairy Month. Click here for our list of guilt-free supermarket
must-haves (including awesome dairy finds)!

Have a question for Hungry Girl? Send it in! She answers two new Qs each
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