All posts by Jeff Fidler

da vinci gourmet sugar-free syrups

Da Vinci Gourmet Sugar-free Syrups

Da Vinci Gourmet Syrups Bring A World of Sugar-Free Flavours to Your Kitchen

Low carb dieters need to be smart when adding flavours or sweeteners to foods and drinks. Making sure that you’re not piling on sugar and extra carbs in to your diet is critical to success with the low carb lifestyle, so having the right products on hand in your kitchen can help you get the taste you want and still stick to your plan to get results. This is where Da Vinci Gourmet Sugar-Free syrups really shine, and we’re going to tell you how.

Da Vinci syrups are some of our most popular products here at The Low Carb Grocery, and with good reason. The wide array of flavours that are available from Da Vinci means that there’s something for every taste preference, and the excellent quality of their syrups is second to none. Let’s take a closer look at Da Vinci Gourmet and explore their range of sugar-free syrups and flavours.

About Da Vinci Gourmet

Da Vinci Gourmet is all about the experience of flavours. Their goal is to deliver authentic taste and the highest quality products for you to enjoy. With a strong reputation in both the commercial food service industry and the world of consumer food products, Da Vinci Gourmet is committed to customer satisfaction and uncompromising quality standards.

Sugar-Free Syrups from Da Vinci

Da Vinci has made a name for themselves among low carb and low sugar dieters for their incredible selection of sugar-free syrups that are bursting with delicious flavours. By using Splenda as their sweetening ingredient, Da Vinci syrups have a wonderful natural sweetness to them and are completely sugar-free, without the lingering aftertaste that some artificial sweeteners have.

Popular Sugar-Free Syrup Flavours from Da Vinci

We’d be here all day if we listed every flavour of syrup that Da Vinci makes, so we’ve decided to showcase some of the most popular varieties that our customers keep coming back for time and time again.

Butter Rum – This rich tasting syrup combines the creamy flavour of butter with the light sweetness of classic rum. This syrup is a very popular ingredient in coffee-based beverages and also in many baking and dessert recipes.

English Toffee – Bringing the nostalgic taste of crunchy English toffee to your favourite drinks and desserts, this syrup is a delight! Try it in lattes or hot chocolates, or as a syrup drizzled on some vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Pineapple – The perfect balance between sweet and tangy, this syrup is absolutely perfect for mixing up the fanciest tropical drinks at your next summer-themed party. You can also use this as an ingredient in salad dressings and in smoothies or shakes. It’s a very refreshing flavour!

Dulce de Leche – Now this is what we call decadent! Da Vinci Dulce de Leche syrup brings the smooth, creamy flavour of this classic European caramel spread to all kinds of hot drinks and fancy desserts. Add a shot of this in your coffee and relax with the incredibly smooth taste.

Ways to Use Da Vinci Sugar-Free Syrups

Coffee and coffee-based drinks are perfect for adding an extra layer of flavour in to them. You can keep things as simple as you want, such as recreating the popular vanilla lattes found at many nationwide coffee shops or go a bit more exotic and add in your own preferred flavours from the wide array of Da Vinci syrups. Lattes, cappuccinos, frappes, and all other kinds of coffee drinks are ideal for flavouring with these tasty sugar-free syrups.

Smoothies and blended drinks are another great way to use Da Vinci syrups to experience even more unique and wonderful flavours. Try exploring Da Vinci’s frehs and fruity selection of syrups like banana, pineapple, coconut, watermelon, peach, and many others to discover your new secret smoothie ingredient.

Desserts & ice cream that are in need of a flavour boost are perfect for Da Vinci sugar-free syrups. For recipes that call for sugary syrups or flavours, you can easily just swap in a Da Vinci product and not miss a beat. You can also use them as a drizzle over top of a variety of desserts, including ice cream, cakes, brownies, and many other sweet treats.

Start Discovering New Flavours with Da Vinci Sugar-Free Syrups

Now that we’re sure your taste buds are craving some new flavour experiences, it’s time to check out the wide array of delicious sugar-free syrups from Da Vinci here at The Low Carb Grocery! Get your kitchen equipped with the finest in sugar-free syrups and let the creativity flow as you discover a wonderful world of flavours from Da Vinci.

home made sports recovery drinks

Guide to DIY Sports Recovery Drinks

How to Make Awesome Sports Recovery Drinks

When it comes to refueling your body after a hard workout, there are a million sports recovery drinks you can buy. But how do you know what you’re really drinking? Especially if you’re conscientiously trying to follow a low carb diet?

According to chef and cyclist Lentine Zahler, the best way to control what goes into your body is to make it yourself, especially where workouts are concerned. You need to consume “whole, real and unprocessed ingredients,” she says.

Zahler advises sticking to real food with pronounceable ingredients that can help you restore sugar, fat and protein. “My favourites are chocolate milk or iced coffee with milk,” she says. But in truth, there’s an infinite world of possibilities you can explore.

The basic theory behind recovery drinks

When you’ve just finished exercising, your muscles are tired—and your carbohydrates are depleted. By having a recovery drink, you have a chance to reverse all that, minimizing recovery time while replenishing your resources. By adding a healthy source of protein into the mix, you can improve your recovery by enhancing glycogen storage, repairing damaged muscles and stimulating muscle synthesis.

The essential idea of making your own sports recovery drink is to experiment a bit. Figure out what works best for you and your workout. Replenish your electrolytes but be open to trying new things in the process.

You can make a simple drink with coconut water, a bit of honey, sea salt, and lemon or lime juice. This gives you a great base of carbohydrates and electrolytes to build on. Next, it’s time to consider adding some protein.

Adding protein into the mix

For long-lasting energy, try branched-chain amino acids. These occur naturally in rice and soy proteins. Laurent Bannock, a sports nutritionist, advises adding whey powder. Your body digests it quickly and it has all the amino acids your body needs.

You can also add soy and/or casein protein in as well. These protein sources may not be a fast acting as whey, but by combining them into a time-released formula you can maximize your window for muscle building and overall recovery.

It’s also possible to use milk as the base for a recovery shake. If you’re not into cow’s milk, you can always experiment with coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk. Try different base liquids to see what you like best.

Other considerations

Think about adding probiotics into your sports recovery drink. These “good” bacteria support healthy digestive tract flora and strengthen your immune system. Great sources of probiotics include unsweetened yogurt, kefir and kombucha.

To boost your protein and your fibre at the same time, add some chia seeds to any recipe. Chia seeds also help you replace all the electrolytes—like magnesium and calcium—you can lose through sweat. They’re also packed with iron to help rebuild your red blood cells.

And if you’re looking for vegan protein sources, you might also want to investigate pea, hemp and rice proteins. These veggie-friendly proteins help your muscles recover while also giving you a healthy dose of micronutrients, antioxidants and fibre.

What’s going on?

Working out depletes your muscles’ reserves of glycogen, the multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that energizes our bodies. Downing some carbs right after a session is vital for replenishing these reserves.

And it’s not just for recovering from endurance training. Sure, it can help you out after that 10k run or after you’ve spent most of the day cycling. But it’s also great at helping you recover from resistance training, which also drains your energy reserves.

Getting some protein into the mix provides the amino acids necessary for rebuilding muscle and healing micro tears that can affect your muscles when you’ve exerted yourself. Your muscles get stronger and denser as their fibres regenerate. This will help lead to greater strength and better muscle definition in the future.

If you fail to consume post-workout protein your body could have a negative protein balance, ultimately leading to a loss of muscle mass.

Why do it in liquid form?

When you enjoy a recovery drink after working out, you deliver an easy-to-digest dose of carbohydrates and protein to your worn-down muscles. And making sure the proteins and carbs are in the form of a liquid helps get those much-needed nutrients to your body as expediently as possible.

It replenishes your body much quicker than eating a meal of solid food ever could. Liquids also tend to be easier on your stomach than solid food right after heavy exercise.

To have and have not

You will not require a sports recovery drink every time you flex your muscles. In fact, after only light exertion like a brisk walk or a quick round of chores, post-workout replenishment won’t be necessary at all.

Save your recovery drinks for things you actually need to recover from. Like an hour of cardio. Or a spin class. Or 45 minutes of heavy-duty weight lifting.

Consume your recovery drink as soon as you can after your workout. If you’re working out at a gym, take a non-dairy based drink with you that won’t require refrigeration.

Try to schedule a proper, well-balanced meal about an hour after you’ve had your recovery drink. Concentrate on lean proteins and vegetables.

Finding just the right mix

Under most circumstances, a good post-workout recovery drink will have about 15–20 g of protein and 30 g of carbohydrates. If you’re eating low carb it might be tempting to cut that as much as possible. But as we mentioned above, carbohydrates help quickly replenish your body’s depleted glycogen reserves, reserves that will be severely depleted by a heavy workout.

This is where the trial and error gets tricky. You will have to play around and see how low you can get the carbs in your sports recovery drink while still making sure the drink helps you recover.

But keep in mind that carbs do serve a purpose—driving your muscles—and if you’re going to seriously push them on a regular basis some carbs will come in handy from time to time.

Wrapping up

When you buy a sports recovery drink off the shelf, who knows what’s gone into it? Most low-carb dieters need more control over what they put into their bodies than that.

By enjoying do-it-yourself recovery drinks after your workouts, you make sure you’re not getting any hidden carbs factored into the mix against your knowledge.

A well-balanced sports recovery drink will help rebalance your electrolytes, glycogen and amino acids. This will help repair any damage you may have done to your muscles in this session and help them get stronger for your next. You can use water, coconut water, juice, or any type of milk as a base for your sports recovery drink and get as creative as you like. Remember to try adding some probiotics in as well to help boost your immune system.

Taking nourishment in liquid form helps quickly get everything back to normal after you exert yourself. It also helps you avoid feeling wiped out afterward. But only have a recovery drink if you’ve done something you need to recover from, especially if you’re counting carbs.

Make the most of your low carb lifestyle

If you have questions about going low carb, we’ve got answers. Our low carb lifestyle blog is your one-stop source for all things low carb and keto. From cooking tips to recipes and all points in between, we’ve got all the information you need to do low carb right. And, of course, if you ever need help tracking down low carb groceries, stop by our grocery store and check out our full selection of low carb and keto-friendly items.

lunch ideas for back to school

Healthy Back-To-School Lunch Ideas for Kids

Send the Kids Back to School with Lunches They’ll Actually Eat

The new school year is nearly upon us, and while many parents are rejoicing at the notion of their kids getting back in the classrooms, others are dreading the thought of another year of time-consuming school lunch prep & half-eaten foods coming home at the end of the day.

This year, we think it’s time you turn things around and make school lunches easier and more fun for everyone. That’s why we’ve gathered up this helpful collection of tips and tricks that you and your kids can use to plan healthy lunches that are still fun and delicious. We’ve also provided a bunch of advice on how to save time and get the kids more involved in their healthy eating habits.

However, before we get in to the fun stuff, it’s important to note that when you send your kid to school with a full lunch box, there are rules to follow that help keep everyone at school safe from allergies.

Foods to Avoid

While it’s pretty much common knowledge that any and all nut products are off-limits for school lunches, you’d be amazed at all the different places that nuts can hide in many of the popular foods we eat. It can be easy to miss some of them if you’re not diligent on checking labels.

It’s obvious that anything made with peanut butter should be avoided, but it’s important to be aware that nuts can often be found hiding in other foods like cookies, crackers, and granola bars. Other places nuts can be found are in sauces, such as many of those found in different types of Asian cuisine and noodle dishes, and anything cooked in a nut oil like peanut oil.

Aside from the dangers of allergens, there are other things that just don’t need to be in your kids’ lunch box. Many sodas, gummies, and pastries are loaded with added sugar and carbs, so either avoid them entirely or swap for sugar-free versions. There are plenty of healthier versions of these products to choose from so you won’t have to worry about kids missing out on the sweet treats they love.

Choose a Nutritious Drink

When you’re deciding on what to include for a school lunch, it’s easy to start things off with a healthy and nutritious beverage. Milk is always a popular choice for many kids, and it’s got plenty of health benefits like calcium and protein. Fruit juice is another popular option, but also one that has a higher risk of being high in sugar. Check for sugar-free and low-sugar juice options instead.

Pop and sodas can be okay for an occasional treat, but you’ll want to select a sugar-free version like the tasty beverages from Zevia. These sugar-free sodas are available in all kinds of flavours, including classics like cola, root beer and cream soda, as well as fruity flavours like grape and orange.

For the most nutritious option, why not send your kid to school with a home-made smoothie made with some of their favourite fruits? Smoothies are a great way to get more nutrients in to a lunch kit and still deliver a delicious & sweet taste. Using ingredients like Greek yogurt help to boost the protein content and mixing in a dose of Chia seeds will ramp up the dietary fibre. Making a batch of smoothies in the morning can become a fun ritual you share with your kids, and then you get to take some with you for your own lunch. It’s a win-win!

Healthy Main Ideas

When selecting the main component of your lunch, you want to choose something that is filling, healthy, easy to prepare, and easy to eat at lunchtime. Sandwiches are always a popular option, and with the wonderful variety of low carb breads, bagels and wraps, you can offer your kids plenty of different ways to put them together. Any types of deli meat, sliced cheese, and fresh toppings like lettuce and tomatoes are all fair game when it comes to sandwich-building.

Soups are another option that are easy to take for lunch, and with a good quality insulated container they will stay hot all morning and in to lunchtime. In our opinion, there’s not too many lunches out there that will beat hot homemade chicken soup on a chilly day. Find out what your kids’ favourite soups are and have some on hand to heat up in the morning and fill their thermos. Just don’t forget to include a spoon!

Fun & Healthy Snacks

Focus on fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fibre in snacks, but figure out ways to accompany them with stuff that makes them a bit more fun from a kids’ point of view. For example, apple slices on their own might seem a bit boring, but if you include a small container of sugar-free caramel sauce for dipping, they get a lot more fun!

Cheese is definitely another favourite lunch item for kids, which is probably why the stringable-cheese snacks are so popular. These are a simple addition to any lunch that adds protein and calcium, and lets the kids have fun while they peel it apart.

Carrot sticks and hummus is great lunch combo that kids and adults both love to munch on. Celery sticks and cream cheese is another option, too. Other healthy snack options include things like yogurts, grapes, dried fruits, and low carb crackers.

Finally, there are all kinds of low carb snack chips that come in a wide range of flavours and seasonings that are an excellent addition to lunch kits for kids who like crunchy salty snacks. We recommend products like Beanitos Bean Chips or Quest Protein Chips, which are some of our most popular snack chips.

Save Time & Involve the Kids

One trick to saving time in preparing lunches is to get the kids involved in a way that makes them feel like they are in control of their lunch. This also has the added benefit of them being more likely to eat a lunch that’s made entirely of stuff that they chose on their own.

Of course, you need to give them the guidance and tools to make healthy choices and put together a complete lunch with all the necessary items. Working with your kids, pull together a list of acceptable choices for the different components in a lunch, like drinks, mains, fruit, vegetables, and fun treats. In general, you’ll want to have about four or five different items for each category to select from so that there’s a good amount of variety but not so much that you have too much food stocked up that it will spoil before it gets eaten.

Post the lunch-building list on your fridge and include a guideline of how many items from each category are needed for a lunch. For example; one drink, one main, two fruits or vegetables, and one fun treat. As long as they meet the criteria and quantity for what you’ve agreed is a complete lunch, they can choose their own items from those categories to build their lunches.

Another way to save time is to have a lunch prep session on Sunday before the week begins and work together to gather up supplies for the week. Put on some fun music, and spend some time as a family chopping vegetables, organizing snacks, and planning around any special considerations like school field trips that may have special lunch requirements.

Fun Low Carb School Lunch Recipes

While you won’t have any difficulty finding helpful and interesting lunch ideas on the web, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more complete set of low carb lunch ideas for kids than in the Low Carb Kids series of resources at DitchTheCarbs.com. The author of the site, Libby, has gathered together several helpful guides for parents to use to plan kids’ lunches for school, and dozens of great recipes to draw from.

Here are three of our favourites that Libby recommends as great options for healthy school lunches for kids:

Grain-Free KFC Fried ChickenHow jealous will your kids’ friends be when they show up with this delicious fried chicken? We’re guessing VERY.

Keto Egg WrapsEggs, cheese, and bacon all wrapped up in an easy-to-eat package. Kids will love having breakfast for lunch!

Grain-Free Granola Bars – Regular store-bought granola bars are often loaded with extra sugar, but not these tasty home-made versions!

Healthy Lunches and Happy Kids

At the end of the day, your kids will be glad that you’ve let them take some control over their lunches with these kinds of tips. Plus, you’ll have more time in the mornings and be sure that they’ve got a healthy lunch packed up that will keep them happy and energized throughout the day. Packing up healthy lunches that also include some fun in them is easy, and we’re sure that these tips will help make the coming year of school lunches be better than ever.

Last Long Weekend of the Summer

5 Ways to Celebrate This Summer’s Last Long Weekend

Summer. It’s glorious. All that sunshine and warmth and such. Shorts, sandals and sunscreen without having to cower indoors for fear of freezing.

Part of summer’s appeal is its transitory nature. Much like the elusive love who slips further and further away the harder we try to hold on to them, summer’s here for a good time—but the clock is always ticking.

Short of moving closer to the equator, there isn’t much you can do to extend summer. You get what you get, and it’s gone before you know it. If you don’t make the best of it while it’s here, the best you can do is bundle up warm and start planning for next summer.

Dr. Azadeh Aalai is a psychologist who teaches at Queensborough Community College in New York. She says that while summer is invigorating for its seemingly limitless potential, “the possibility of accomplishing everything—or nothing—[depends] on how that precious time is spent.”

So, to help you make the most of what little is left of summer, we’ve put together a warm weather bucket list of things to try cramming into your Labour Day weekend. The idea here isn’t to try them all. That would be so stressful it would be counterintuitive. But you have three days to enjoy before everyone returns to the perennial grind we know and love as fall. You might as well make the best of it.

1.      Have an outdoor adventure

Summer is a time for the great outdoors. Especially if you live somewhere that will soon be covered by snow. True, winter sports can be amazing, but let’s concentrate on things that don’t involve the risk of frostbite for now.

The summer sun is great for inspiring physical activity. Even people who’ve neglected exercising for months are game for going outside and doing something that might make them sweat. And there are so many things to do that are only around for a limited time, you can’t help but feel the urge to do them all.

Lace up your boots and go for a good long hike. Check your tire pressure and take your bicycle out for a spin.  Or dig out that bathing suit and hit the beach. Even if a public pool is your only option, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as hopping into cool water on a hot day.

Take advantage of the heat and extended hours of daylight simply by adding more walking into your plans. And let yourself stray into parks—if only to sit under a tree on occasion. In Japan, this practice is called Shinrin-yoku, which roughly translates as “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere.” A 2010 study published in the journal Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine studied the phenomenon’s ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Long story short: just being in nature does wonders for both your nervous and immune systems.

Try taking at least one day away from screens to reconnect with nature. Research shows that periodic unplugging helps your brain process the rapid-fire stimuli of everyday life. And who knows, you might also stave off a vitamin D deficiency in the process.

2.      Be a tourist in your own town

Summer is traditionally the time of vacations. And when we think vacation, we often think of hopping on a plane and jetting off to somewhere exotic. Or at the very least going on a road trip requiring hours of driving.

But we’re talking about one weekend here. Sure, it’s a long one, but still . . .

Have you ever considered being a tourist in your own town? Stop thinking of your home turf in every day terms and try seeing it through the eyes of someone who would need a passport to visit. Before long, it’s like the city itself changes before your eyes.

Visit the local tourism website and make a list of all the attractions you haven’t seen yet. Then prioritize them by which ones you want to do the most—and start doing them. Already done everything in your town? Then get out of town, but not far. See what surrounding communities have to offer and make a day of it.

The trick to vacationing, according to Aalai, is not the distance travelled but the break in routine. Losing yourself in unfamiliar surroundings—even if you haven’t gone far—is great for relieving stress and helping you unwind. Finding new ways of forgetting about everyday obligations on the weekend ultimately makes you happier and healthier, and more creative and productive.

3.      Dine outdoors, a lot

Perhaps you’re the kind of person who’s happiest breaking bread with others. Sharing a meal with friends and loved ones is a great way to deepen your interpersonal connections and make us feel happier about your station in life. And summer offers the rare opportunity to enjoy a meal al fresco—in the open air.

Whether you host an end of summer blowout in your backyard, take a picnic lunch to a park, or enjoy some fine cuisine on a restaurant patio, dining outside is a wonderful way to connect with nature—see above—and the people that matter the most. Savour not only the food but also the company and embrace every moment.

Fretting about the clock running out on summer only wastes the precious little bit of warm weather still available to us. Instead, squeeze every moment out of your end of summer dining to make memories you’ll cherish for years to come.

4.      Take in something local on a whim

Speaking of cherished memories, did you ever notice that some of your happiest recollections involve a certain spark of spontaneity? With this in mind, try an off-the-cuff adventure right in your own backyard and see how much fun you have.

Check the local paper for community events and make the rounds. Who knows what you’ll find? A street festival? A flea market? An outdoor movie screening? Let life surprise you; see where it wants to take you. You never know what you might discover about your neighbourhood, your neighbours, or yourself in the process.

Make a deal with yourself to leave the TV off all weekend—you can get it all on-demand later—and get ready to embrace the lesser known elements of your surroundings.

5.      Spend time with a good book

For many, there’s no substitute for truly losing yourself in a book. Unlike any other media, reading requires your mind to fill in certain sensory gaps by suggesting sights, sounds and smells. And when we really connect with a story, it’s an immersive experience unlike any other.

Sadly, studies suggest that reading is not as popular as it used to be. With all the pressures of keeping up in the digital age, it seems that reading for sheer enjoyment is the first thing people sacrifice to make more time for work and other pursuits. Polls suggest that adults only read four books a year on average, with as many as one in four not reading at all.

But taking time to read has so many benefits. It’s great for your memory, helps you focus, and stimulates brain activity. And aside from giving you a better command of the language, connecting with a diverse range of characters on the page gives you greater empathy in real life. It literally makes you a better human being.

So, carve out a little time on Labour Day to cozy up with a book you’ve been putting off far too long. If you can read it outside, under a tree, perhaps in a hammock, you can also enjoy the tranquility of Shinrin-yoku at the same time.

And if said tranquility encourages you to put the book down and close your eyes for a quick nap, carpe diem!

Make the most of summer while you can

Like sand through the hourglass, the last days of warm weather slip away from us, often completely unnoticed. Don’t let the last long weekend of sunshine get the better of you.

It only takes a little planning to take full advantage of the Labour Day weekend. Make an effort to spend some time reconnecting with nature. Get to know your town better by acting like an outsider, or just by spontaneously getting off the beaten path and exploring some new aspect of your community. Take the time to dine in sunlight, whether it’s a picnic lunch or getting reacquainted with your barbecue. And make a date with a book, a hammock, and maybe a margarita or two.

Before you know it, the dog days of summer will become the doldrums of autumn, and you’ll have to wade through three seasons of cooler temperatures to revel in the splendor of the sun again. But with this guide as your template for living it up as the last rays of summer flicker out, you’ll make enough warm and happy memories to help make it through again.

beanitos healthy chips and snacks

Delicious & Healthy Snack Chips from Beanitos

Discover the Variety of Healthy & Delicious Snack Chips from Beanitos

For low carb snackers who crave salty, crunchy chips, it can be a daunting task to find a great tasting snack chip that also fits with your dietary needs. Far too often the healthy chips don’t have the flavour you want, and many times the tastiest chips are off-limits due to high sugar or carb counts. Well, you’re in luck today, because we’re going to introduce you to the world of Beanitos snack chips!

History of Beanitos Bean Chips & Snacks

Founded in Austin, Texas in 2010, Beanitos began with a simple goal; to make a better, healthier snack chip that delivers delicious taste and a great crunch. By using beans as their base ingredient, Beanitos chips don’t have the same high carb counts of wheat- or corn-based chips.

Beanitos snacks are also gluten-free and soy-free, making them perfect for a wide range of dietary needs, and all Beanitos snack chips are high in protein, fibre, and antioxidants. Try getting all that from a regular old potato chip!

Types of Beanitos Snacks

Whether you prefer the simplicity of a classic restaurant-style chip for dipping in your favourite salsa, or something a little zestier to munch on during your next movie night or sports game, you’ll find a wide range of tastes available from Beanitos.

Original Beanitos Chips

These chips are what started it all. Beanitos classic chips are lightly salted and perfect for dipping. Choose from Original Black Bean chips, Simply Pinto Bean chips, or Restaurant Style White Bean Chips.

Seasoned & Flavoured Chips

If you want to kick your snacking experience up a notch, then you’ve got to try the amazing flavoured Beanitos chips. Available in great flavours like Nacho Cheese, Sweet Chili & Sour Cream, Honey Chipotle BBQ, and Hint of Lime, these chips are amazingly tasty and deliciously crunchy.

Mac & Cheese Crunch Snacks

For those of us who prefer the style of a puffed cheese snack, Beanitos now offers Mac n’ Cheese snacks that will definitely satisfy your cravings for a cheesy crunch. Made from white beans, these fun and tasty snacks are every bit as healthy as the other Beanitos chips.

Recipes from Beanitos

The folks at Beanitos are simply crazy about delicious and healthy snacks, and it doesn’t just show through in their amazing products. They’ve also put together a wonderful collection of tasty recipes using Beanitos that you can use to craft fantastic snacks that the whole family will love. Here are a few of our favourites!

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Well, you knew for sure that there would be a nachos recipe on this list, so we figured we’d start it off with this amazing creation. Starting with a bed of Beanitos Restaurant Style chips, and piled high with awesome ingredients like rotisserie chicken, pickled jalapenos, sugar-free bbq sauce, fresh onions, and melty shredded cheese. This isn’t a snack, this is a meal!

Fresh Melon Cucumber Salsa

Now here’s an unusual salsa recipe that will have you coming back for more again and again. This is the coolest, freshest salsa we’ve ever seen thanks to the brilliant combination of cantaloupe and honeydew, along with cucumbers, onions, jalapenos, and cilantro. Finish off the recipe with a squirt of fresh lime juice and a bit of salt, and you’re ready to dive in with your favourite Beanitos chips.

BBQ Crusted Chicken Strips

Looking for a new way to use Beanitos chips in your kitchen? This recipe for crispy crunchy chicken strips will have your kids cheering for more. Plus, it’s incredibly simple and uses just three ingredients. Using your favourite sugar-free bbq sauce and crushed Honey Chipotle BBQ Beanitos chips, these chicken fingers are the perfect combination of sweet and zesty, and make for a fast and easy meal that will always be a big hit.

Snack Healthier with Beanitos

Low carb dieters who are also fans of crunchy snacks can finally have their chips and eat them too with Beanitos. Whether you’re just looking for a small handful to crunch as a quick snack or are loading up the car with treats for a long summer road trip, Beanitos chips and snacks are a great option that helps to keep the carb counts low and the entire family happy.

Shop our entire selection of Beanitos snacks and chips here at The Low Carb Grocery.

charcoal or propane what is better

Charcoal vs. Propane, What’s Best?

BBQ Masters – Grilling with Propane or with Charcoal – Which is Better?

Summer is now in full swing, and grills around the country are fired up and furiously cooking up burgers, dogs, steaks, chicken, and more. Backyard grilling is one of the simple pleasures of life, and a favourite pastime of Canadians from coast to coast.

However, although we can all agree that barbecuing is a great way to cook, there is some debate on which type of grill is truly the best. Should you spend your cash on a propane gas barbecue, or a classic charcoal-fueled grill? While both have their advantages, each grill master will need to make their own choice based on how they prefer their grill to work and their food to taste.

In this article, we’re going to break down the essentials you need to know on how to choose between propane gas or charcoal for your backyard grill, as well as the different pros and cons of each type of grill. Let’s get right in to it!

About Propane Gas Grills

Propane grills are the most common type of barbecue that you’ll find in backyards and on patios all over Canada. They are available in all sizes, from compact gas grills that can be used for camping, up to massive 5- or 6-burner behemoths that can cook up massive amounts of food for large gatherings.

These grills use a tank of liquid propane as their fuel. The liquid propane turns to gas as it exits the tank and flows through the pipes of the grill, before being ignited as it exits the burners of the grill. Most propane grills use a battery-operated electric starter for easy one-touch ignition.

Although propane is the most common gas used for grilling, natural gas can also be used. Most modern grills can be converted to use natural gas and connect directly to the gas line of your home. This means you are always ready to grill and never run out of gas.

Why Choose a Propane Grill?

Propane gas grills have many advantages, which is why they are so common and popular. They’re easy to use and heat up quickly, which means that you can get the food cooking right away. For grill masters who want to spend more of their time cooking and less time waiting for the grill to heat up, propane is the way to go.

Grilling on a propane barbecue is quite easy, and the ability to quickly adjust the heat means that you can have plenty of control over the consistency of your cooking. You can dial the heat up or down independently for each burner, which means you can have one side hotter than the other for different foods to cook simultaneously.

Propane grills are relatively easy to clean and maintain as well. You’ll need to regularly brush the grills and clean or replace the grease drip tray, as well as inspect the gas lines and connections from time to time.

The propane used to fuel these grills is readily available, and can be obtained at most hardware stores, gas stations, and even supermarkets. When getting your tank refilled, the employee will check the date stamp on the tank and inspect it to ensure it is still safe and in proper working order. If it doesn’t meet these requirements, they will offer to replace the tank with a new one for a fee and will dispose of your old one for you. A new propane tank, which is usually sold empty and will need to be filled, runs about $50 for a standard 20lb tank.

Disadvantages of Gas Grills

Although propane gas grills are the most common and popular type of grill right now, they are not without some disadvantages. For example, while you can purchase smoker boxes for gas grills, they are generally not as efficient or effective at infusing different smoky flavours in to your food as a true smoker or charcoal grill would be.

In addition, dealing with propane tanks can be frustrating if you’re grilling a lot and need to head to the refill station often. Your average refill cost for a 20lb tank is usually around $15-$20, which can add up fast over the course of a summer.

Initial setup and building of a gas grill can take a fair amount of time as well. Although many retailers will offer to build it for you at no cost, if you take the initiative to build it yourself you can expect to spend at least a couple of hours getting everything unpacked, sorted, and assembled before you are ready to cook.

About Charcoal Grills

Many of us will undoubtedly have fond memories of summer cookouts from our childhood, where the highlight of the meal was always a burger full of rich, smoky flavour, hot off a charcoal barbecue. For a lot of grill masters, this nostalgia for simpler times and big flavours have driven their dedication to charcoal grills.

Charcoal grilling isn’t much more work than using propane, but there is definitely a technique that you’ll develop the more you do it. Getting the right timing on when to start the grill and how long to heat it up is essential, but once you do it a few times it gets easier.

Charcoal grills work by laying a layer of charcoal chunks in the base of the barbecue and igniting them. The charcoal is allowed to burn and heat up for a period of time in order to get the cooking surface up to the right temperature.

To ignite the charcoal, we recommend using a chimney starter. These special devices are specially designed to make it fast and easy to light charcoal without the need for lighter fluid, which can leave an unpleasant taste in the food. With a chimney starter you’ll never need to use lighter fluid again, so your grilling experience will be safer, and your food will taste better.

Why Choose a Charcoal Grill?

Using a charcoal barbecue will ensure that the foods you cook have a very distinctive flavour which comes from the smoke circulating around the food. This flavour can easily be changed or altered using different types of charcoal or adding special wood chips, such as Applewood or hickory.

The cost of charcoal can vary, anywhere from $5 for a small bag up to $20 for a bigger bag of premium charcoal. Lump charcoal tends to be the preferred choice for experienced grillers, while briquettes are slightly less expensive.

Maintaining a charcoal grill is quite simple, and usually just requires that you keep the grill grates clean by brushing them regularly, and that the ashes from the charcoal are removed and disposed of safely. Occasionally inspecting the whole grill is also a very good idea to check for any other wear and tear.

Disadvantages of Charcoal Grills

Although cooking with charcoal can be learned quite easily, the process of grilling with charcoal is still more complex than simply using propane. It requires more attention to the heat in the grill, as hot spots and cold spots can develop depending on the thickness and consistency of the charcoal layer. If you’re not careful and attentive, you could end up with some food over-cooked, and some food under-cooked.

In addition, while the smoky taste associated with charcoal grills is a big selling feature for many people, there are some instances where it can overpower the taste of some types of foods. Whatever goes on to a charcoal grill will inevitably come off with a smoky flavour, so it’s important to be aware of that when you’re planning your meal.

Which type of grill should you choose for your backyard?

Now, we’ve come to the big question; Which is better, charcoal or propane? To be perfectly honest, the answer is both and neither. Charcoal and propane are both great ways to grill, and each have their distinct advantages. Ultimately, the best choice for your backyard depends on your own desires and needs.

Do you want a grill that’s very easy to use, convenient & predictable when cooking? Then we’d recommend going with propane.

Do you like to experiment with different flavours and get creative with your food? You sound like a charcoal person.

After You Choose Your Grill

Once you find the type of grill that suits your personality and cooking style, we’ve got plenty of other resources that you can use to find amazing delicious low carb recipes to test out your new grill and hone your skills.

We’ve got recommendations for cool bbq gadgets, great summer grilling recipes, guides for cleaning your grill, and even ideas for making your own marinades and sauces.

Whatever type of grill you end up with, we hope that it helps bring you and your family plenty of good times and great food!