Kosher consumers and anyone interested in healthier alternatives to sugary and corn syrup-filled alcoholic beverages can now sample Steve’s Sugarfree Margarita, a Ready-To-Drink (RTD) margarita which contains only 12% alcohol so it can sell in establishments with only a beer and wine license. It is certified kosher by the OK. Most RTD cocktails are very sugary, and people’s increasing concern about health and nutrition means they’re looking for alternative beverages that deliver the same flavor but with fewer additives and preservatives. Sweetened with sucralose and erythritol, this new sugar free margarita in Steve’s line of RTD cocktails is a breakthrough for cocktail consumers, especially those who keep kosher. For more information, see Steve’s Margarita or call (305) 652-2540.
Ashkelon…by Tova Ross, Kosher Today Feature Editor…A new generation of Israelis are making changes in their diets that would no doubt shock earlier generations who grew up on a Middle Eastern diet of hummus, tehini and falafel. Today’s supermarkets showcase healthier products, including many made with olive oil. Of note is Nature’s Bars and Snacks, a new kosher line of food products made by the Israeli company Tivit (www.naturesugarfree.com). The products are completely organic and gluten-free; made with all-natural ingredients; are low-fat, sugar-free and cholesterol-free; and vegan (can be an ideal addition to the diabetic diet). The unsaturated fats found in the products from the seeds and nuts are proven to help lower cholesterol. The low-carb bars, including an even more reduced-calorie version, include flavors like peanut brittle with honey; cashew and almond with berries; cereal, dates and cinnamon; cereal and chocolate; cereal with cashews and hazelnuts; and sesame, sunflower, and honey. Nature’s Snacks are bite-sized versions of the bars in easy, re-closeable take-along bags.
Rami Offer, Tivit’s CEO, declared, “When incorporated into a nutritionally balanced diet, our unique products can contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle living.” Tivit is acquiring an increasing chain of distributors throughout the United States and Europe. Israeli food sources say that companies like Tivit are using cutting edge technology to develop healthier products that are replacing products high in saturated fats and sugars. Israelis often travel long distances just to visit farms that sell natural products. Food shows on Israeli cable TV are also of late focusing on healthier eating. Tivit and other companies that are marketing the healthier foods are betting that they may be able to get Israelis to trade in a half falafel sandwich for the healthier snacks.
The perception that kosher foods are healthier than other foods has led many Americans to embrace kosher fare. While it is true that kosher products certainly do not use pork and in most cases today are devoid of animal foods, it would be incorrect to say that kosher foods are by and large healthy. The recent national obsession with fighting obesity might also target those who observe kashrus. Many observers of the Shabbos would make the case that their diet was high in saturated fats and perhaps not so healthy only on Shabbos. It was as if they made the spiritual case that Shabbos calories simply don’t count. But then came the fad of eating cholent, kishke and kugel on almost every night, and certainly from Wednesday on, and that tore the one day calorie splurge theory to shreds.
With the Jewish community suffering from high rates of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, there is certainly a new awareness of eating healthier. The kosher community has responded in kind with a broad range of low fat, sugar-free, and gluten-free products that offer the kosher consumer an unprecedented choice of healthier items. A Kosher Today reader recently wrote: “As an Orthodox Jew, I feast every seventh day, on numerous Jewish holidays and a seemingly endless stream of organizational dinners, bar mitzvahs, weddings and sheva brachos. It is virtually impossible to control my weight.” Another begged for healthier snacks for his young children from kosher manufacturers. As is the case with every medical or social problem, awareness is the first step towards coming up with a solution. That first step has seemingly been taken by many kosher consumers. It is now time for action. The health of the kosher consumer deserves a serious response!