NEW ORLEANS — Many people gain weight during the holidays and then get back on track in the new year, but in Southeast Louisiana, we roll right into carnival season and king cakes.
Now there is a way to have your king cake and eat it too, without guilt.
There are a lot of people around the area whose doctors say indulging in king cake for the next six weeks is not a good, healthful option.
“We are leading the nation, unfortunately, in diabetes and hypertension,” explained Ochsner Health Registered Dietician Emma Poling.
So, Ochsner's eat fit program helps by partnering with groceries, like at Robért Fresh Market, with all sorts of products, and with more than 200 restaurant menus across the state, along with its own king cake.
“The original Eat Fit king cake was born out of an idea with Swerve, which is a natural plant-based sweetener, we use in our Eat Fit king cake. They're actually a company that's based here in New Orleans,” she said.
It's not necessarily low calorie, but there's no gluten, grains, dairy, or sugar, and there are 93 percent fewer carbs. There's no artificial purple, green, and gold coloring. That's all from fruit and veggie juices. It's keto diet friendly, made with almond and coconut flour and oils. So, there is some saturated fat, but not the kind from animals.
“MMM, that's so good. MMM, yummy,” says a little girl tasting the king cake.
So, we decided to conduct a series of, well, unscientific, blind taste tests, starting with the Matherne and Higgins families we found in Lafreniere Park.
“It's yummy for me,” says a child about the Eat Fit cake.
“We must be real New Orleanians because we have to have the sweet king cake,” says a mother who likes the real king cake better than the Eat Fit one.
Among the adults and children, it was a split decision, 50/50 between the more healthful option and the regular king cake.
Then just up the road at the dog park, again, with another group, it was also a split decision, 50/50.
“It's got a normal taste of a king cake,” said a woman who preferred the real king cake. When asked if she at least liked the Eat Fit one, she replied, “Yes, I did, but it's got a different flavor.”
“Yeah, it tasted more like a Danish, a cinnamon Danish,” said a man who liked the Eat Fit cake better.
Now we needed a tiebreaker. So, we turned to the discerning, sophisticated palate of a canine, Bugsy, the schnauzer.
And when we asked for his opinion, well, we got no comment.
Eat Fit has books with recipes for food and mixed drinks. For more on those and a list of all the groceries and restaurants with their foods, click here.