Monday, September 17, 2012

About Fats, Part 1: Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil

Often people ask me about fats. The most common question is what fat is better among the “good” fats: Olive oil  vs. Coconut oil. The truth is, there is really no one single answer to this question because both of these fats are very different. Let’s investigate…

Olive Oil:

-       Also known as oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is very common in the Mediterranean Diet. 

-       One tablespoon contains 119 calories.


-       Studies shown this to lower total cholesterol and raise HDL (aka “good” cholesterol).
-       Linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (as well as a number of other chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s).
-       Associated to reducing risk of cancer.
-       Powerful antioxidant (phenolic compounds).
-       Linked to reducing hypertension (high blood pressure).
-       A natural anti-inflammatory.
-       Is part of the treatment to delay the onset (but not a cure) to ALD aka Lorenzo’s Oil disease.

Coconut Oil:

-       Also known as primarily lauric acid.

-       One tablespoon contains 117 calories (and 12 grams of saturated fat).


-       Although coconut oil has been shown to raise overall cholesterol (due to high saturated fat content), it has also shown to raise HDL (aka “good” cholesterol).
-       Contains anti-fungal properties.
-       Has some antioxidants (polyphenols).
-       Contains medium chain fatty acids, which are absorbed optimally in the small intestine (especially among those who have a difficult time absorbing fats - such as ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease).


Monday, September 10, 2012

Little Soya Gluten-free Tortilla Chips

Little Soya Gluten-free Tortilla Chips (a.k.a – the most amazing homemade chips ever).

For this post, Catherine and I created two recipes, deep fried in extra virgin olive oil (yes, olive oil, and It worked wonderfully!) and a baked in the oven version for a lower calorie variation.

Makes approximately 4 servings (16 chips):

Ingredients for both recipes:

4 corn tortillas (cut into fours).
1 ½ Little Soya Packets.
1 Tsp. Garlic Salt.
½ Lemon, juice.

Fried Variation:

You will also need: 1 ½  -2 cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a small pot or frying pan.


Cut tortillas into fours and set aside. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, Little Soya packets, and garlic salt and mix gently with a whisk. Pour oil into pot or frying pan and heat over a medium flame until you see some bubbling. (Tip: to ensure that the oil is ready, test by inserting a small piece of tortilla. The piece should immediately start frying. If it doesn’t, continue to heat the oil). Once the oil is ready, begin frying (I recommend two to four at a time).

Step 1: Fry chips until crisp (about a minute) and remove. Place chips on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Using a pastry brush, brush on the Little Soya mixture evenly to each piece. Turn over and repeat on the opposite side.

Step 2: Repeat step 1 until all chips are prepared. Serve and enjoy immediately.

Lower Calorie Baked Variation:

You will also need:  1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into fours and set aside. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, Little Soya packets, oil, and garlic salt and mix gently with a whisk.  Place tortilla pieces flat onto baking tray. Brush little Soya mixture evenly onto each piece. Bake in oven for about 9-12 minutes until crispy. Remove from oven. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Label for baked Chips is for 1 Serving (4 chips).

 Simple Guacamole:

1 Avocado, peeled and cubed.
½ cup of pre-made Pico de Gallo Salsa.
½ lemon, juiced  


 In a small bowl, mush the avocado into a paste with a fork. Add lemon juice and Pico de Gallo to mixture. Serve with chips and enjoy!

Special Thanks to Little Soya Soy Sauce!

Go to for more info on the product used in this post.

© KATE EZRA WOLF, 2012. In association with french toast and wine and viva glam  magazine . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Product Review: Tasty Brand Organic Cookies, Chocolate Chip

Overall Rating: A

Allergen info: Contains wheat, milk, soy. Produced on equipment that may be exposed to tree nuts, peanuts and eggs.

Other info: USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Kosher.

Back when I first started this blog, I did a review on Trader Joe’s 100 calorie chocolate chip cookies (here: They were good but not AMAZING. Well, I found a new brand that is worth raving about! Tasty Brand cookies are sooo good. They taste like little butter cookies, which guess what, are actually made with real butter!

Part of the reason that I started this blog is because today there are a lot of misconceptions and confusion when it comes to food products due to labeling and marketing campaigns.  For instance, the label “Zero trans fat” means (as defined by the USDA and FDA) that it actually contains the maximum of ½ gram of trans fat per serving (which is extremely deceiving). Thus, if labeled, thanks to our government, one has every reason to question it.

It is refreshing to find brands, like Tasty Brand that have nothing but the intention to bring natural and nutritious ingredients to families (free of trans fats and not having to claim the fact).  These cookies come in the trendy 100 calorie packs which are a great way to reinforce the principal that some of us struggle with, portion control. They are made with all natural ingredients (and not FDA’s definition of “all natural”) and are sweetened with agave sweetener as opposed to refined and/ or processed sugars. They are also added with sweet potato to help increase their nutritional value of vitamin A. My only real complaint is the complete lack of fiber at 0g (which accounts for the minus in the A- in the dietetic profile category). However, taste brings it right back up to a solid A. =)


Would I purchase again: Yes.

Palatability Grade: A

Potential for Improvement: Sure.

Dietetic Profile: A-

Overall Grade: A