Understanding Food Labels 101

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Food labels can be hard to understand, so make sure to choose foods that are good for your heart health: i.e. no trans fats, low in sodium and no cholesterol. Our Smart Soups fall right into all those categories! For the full list of ingredients and product attributes in Smart Soup, visit www.thesmartsoup.com/products. Which flavor is your favorite? #WHD2015

Start Your Balanced Diet Early

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Preventing cardiovascular disease should start early. It’s estimated that one in 10 children is overweight, putting them at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Eating a balanced diet and getting your kids involved in regular physical activity is a great way to keep them healthy.  What are some of your favorite activities to do with your kids? #WHD2015

4.5 Cups of Fruit and Vegetables A Day

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For our campaign in support of World Heart Day on September 29, we’ve been uploading daily tips that can help you make healthy heart choices. The American Heart Association recommends adults consume 4.5 cups of fruit and vegetables a day. By filling up on fruits and vegetables, and reduce foods high in saturated, trans fat, salt and sugar, it decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke.  For more information on how to boost fruits and vegetables to your diet, visit About Fruits and Vegetables. What are your favorite fruits and vegetables? #WHD2015

The World’s #1 Killer: Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD), a heart and blood vessel disease, is the world’s number one killer for both men and women.  The World Heart Federation estimates that Cardiovascular disease claims 17.3 million lives every year and is expected to rise to 23 million by 2030. By addressing your risk factors, such as tobacco use, diet and physical activity, you can decrease your risks. The American Heart Association also offers resources to help you understand and manage your cholesterol and blood pressure. What heart healthy choices are you making? #WHD2015

Exercise to get your heart healthy

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Regular exercise is important for your heart health. Walking is an easy way to start or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a bike ride? According to the American Heart Association, 30-minutes of brisk activity everyday can provide long-term health benefits. They also have a section on their website that lists all sorts of physical activity information to get you moving. For more information on how you can get active and stay active, visit their website here!

REVIEW: A SOUPER LUNCH OPTION: SMART SOUPS

Smart Soup Review
Chi Organic Girls
June 2, 2015
http://chiorganicgirls.com/2015/06/02/a-souper-lunch-option-smart-soups/

Forget you, Olive Garden!  We are bringing our own soup and salad to work.  Soup is an awesome option to consume more veggies AND feel full with fewer calories but packaged soups often have too much sodium, weird looking meat pieces, or too many additives.  We were souper (hehe) excited to try some samples of Smart Soups because they are (ehem..be jealous cans o’ soup) none of those things.  Creator, Anne Chong Hill has long history in the prepared food industry and recognized the need for high quality, easy to make food and her recipes are inspired by her international background and travel experiences.

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Smart Soups are:

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free (Hooray!)
  • Made with REAL FOOD and no preservatives
  • American Heart Association Certified (cholesterol free!)
  • Low Calorie and controlled sodium (as one of our friend with high blood pressure was amazed to notice during our lunch break)

Taste:

With 7 souperb (ha ha ha) flavor options, we had a hard time choosing what to try first.  We received 5 options.

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Greek Minestrone was Kate’s first go to.  Packaged minestrone tends to be bland or have too many noodles in the way.  The Greek Minestrone was packed with veggies and rich in herby flavor, possibly the best Minestrone out there except what your grandma might be able to make (if she can cook).  Pairing tip: Greek Salad with feta, olives, artichokes and mixed greens.

Thai Coconut Curry is Mon’s fave Smart Soup.  Full of coconut water blended with fresh red curry made an amazingly authentic dish, especially tasty on a rainy day.  It includes plenty of baby corn, bamboo shoots and red pepper.  Pair with side of grilled spiced tofu.

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Sante Fe Corn Chowder is vibrant with red peppers, black beans, and corn, balanced with a squeeze of lime.  Dunk a vegan tostada and plenty of avocado in it!

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Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass is filled with rich tasty Asian flavors and veggies.  Pair the satisfying soup with a Tofu Bahn Mi sandwich.

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French Lentil Soup makes a hearty meal with green and red lentils, leeks and moorish spices.  Mix it up with a baguette and nicolaise salad.

Cooking:

Smart Soup stores easily in the freezer and couldn’t be more simple to make.  You open the bag and pop it on the stove or in the microwave and then you’re done.  You can get creative with Smart Soups too by integrating them into new recipes as well.

What’s the most delicious soup you’ve ever tried?  Maybe you could inspire a new Smart Soup!

BY

REVIEW:SMART SOUP AND GLUTEN-FREE, LOW-FAT CORNBREAD

Smart Soup Review
Hungry Empress
May 14, 2015
http://hungryempress.com/2015/05/14/smart-soup-and-gluten-free-low-fat-cornbread/
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We received a FedEx package from Smart Soup today.  Smart Soup is a family owned business that makes healthy flash-frozen soups that are vegan, low-sodium, low-fat and American Heart Association certified.  Our family has been invited to try the soups because we have been sharing and advocating healthy meals through our blog.

There were five different flavors of soup in the package and we tried Santa Fe Corn Chowder today together with my healthy cornbread.  They were absolutely delicious together!  The hint of sweetness from the cornbread nicely complements the slight spiciness of the soup.  As I tasted the flavorful soup, I imagined that the soup would go well with many of my recipes, such asCauliflower Mac and Cheese, Quinoa Chickpea Avocado Salad or Salmon Burger

Receiving these healthy soups gave me the idea that I should stock up the freezer with them when I am away on location.  They are made of ingredients that I can trust.  The girls can just make a salad or bread and pop a pouch of soup in the microwave.

Oh yeah, and I can stock up Angela’s freezer with the soup packages when she goes to college.  I can’t believe I just wrote that.  How is this even possible — my big-headed baby is going to college in just over a year! 

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Gluten-free Low-fat Corn Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup corn meal (whole grain)

1 cup almond meal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

1/4 cup Xylitol or sugar (I used xylitol)

4 oz organic no sugar added apple sauce

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 tsp guar gum (optional)

Fresh corn kernel from 2 ears of corn

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Preparation:

Pre-heat oven at 380.  Grease an 8×8 baking pan. 

Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly together in a mix bowl.  Add all the wet ingredients and the fresh corn kernels in and mix.  Do not over mix.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Vancouver Sun: Healthy soups boil down to big business for Richmond company

Anne Chong-Hill with her son Richard Breakell at the Global Gourmet facility in Richmond.
Photograph by: NICK PROCAYLO, PNG

By Jenny Lee, Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER — Manufacturing natural, healthy soups for mass retail is easier said than done.

For one thing, peeling vegetables and making stock from scratch takes time, physical space and labour. That means a facility not only needs volume sales to offset the cost, it must be physically configured for all that chopping. Using concentrated powdered soup bases and precut vegetables is the conventional approach and much easier to handle.

“There’s less competition than you might think,” said Richard Breakell, sales and marketing director of Richmond’s Global Gourmet Foods, which launched Smart Soup, its healthy soup brand, in the U.S. in 2013 and plans to launch in Canada this fall. Whole Foods, Kroger and Costco in the U.S. are among its larger customers.

Small companies tend to lack both capital and distribution, Breakell said, while large companies reporting to corporate boards lack the will to wait for a return.

“When we decided to launch the brand, we easily had $1.5 million invested before a single box was produced,” Breakell said.

Global Gourmet is a 27-year-old family-owned food service business started by Anne Chong-Hill and her husband Lawrence Hill. The 140-employee company has a 75,000-square-foot facility and extensive distribution across Canada, the U.S. and Japan selling soups, chilis, sauces and entrées to multi-unit restaurants, supermarket delis and institutions such as hospitals. It also produces private label product for customers such as supermarket chains.

Chong-Hill built the business on gumption and luck.

Take the time she walked into the Bank of Nova Scotia back in 1976.

“I need a job,” the then young mother told the bank manager. Her previous work experience was mostly in a secretarial pool.

“‘You don’t have a loans officer. You should be concentrating on your job and hire somebody like me to expand your loan profile …’ He was laughing at me. ‘I can come in part time,’” she persisted.

She got the job.

It surprised no one when Chong-Hill started her own food service business three years later — with a Bank of Nova Scotia line of credit. It was 1979 and the recession was just beginning. The first month in business, Hill’s Cornish pasties, sausage rolls and curry puffs brought in $200.

That’s when she showed up at BC Ferries with a box of curry puffs. Luckily for her, the head of catering in Horseshoe Bay was a former British Army chef and he knew his curries.

“That’s how I started with four ferries,” she said.

The experience taught her to be frugal. The contract went out to tender every six months so before long, she was competing against big players. She had to deliver to Departure Bay and Swartz Bay, so she’d get up at five a.m., fill up her car with curry puffs and ride the ferry over.

“I was delivering for two years by myself,” she said. “Twice a week to Horseshoe Bay and twice a week to Tsawwassen. You know what? It was fun. I had all the truckers honking at me and they’d come sit with me and have a coffee early in the morning.”

A few years ago, when Chong-Hill was diagnosed with hypertension, she discovered a shortage of healthy, natural soups on the market — “Products may be low fat, but full of sugar, for instance,” Breakell said — and decided to manufacture a line of all-natural, cholesterol- and gluten-free soups with reduced sodium.

With strong U.S. distribution networks already in place, the company launched its frozen retail product down south and is now working on adding a single-serve product for refrigerated deli sections.

Consumers are increasingly seeking heart-healthy, minimally processed foods with recognizable and short ingredient lists. While canned and jarred soups make up the majority of the total U.S. retail soup market, frozen and chilled soups are growing fast. Chilled soups are usually located in a supermarket’s “deli fresh” area and that’s the fastest-growing grocery segment, according to Breakell’s research.

Manufacturing, storage and distribution costs for canned soups is much lower than for frozen or refrigerated, but “the reality is the fresh side of the business is growing and canning is declining,” said Breakell, Chong-Hill’s son.

Canning requires a high-pressure, high-temperature process that is “really hard on the food and the nutrients,” Breakell said. “It’s really hard to execute great textures and there’s a lot of salt and sugars involved to get any flavours out of it.”

“Our manufacturing process is very different from most facilities capable of manufacturing at scale,” Breakell said. “We are really, truly boiling vegetables to make a stock.”

“We’re trying to do our best to get scale and systems and that’s how we bring the cost down,” Breakell said. “We know we’ve got to keep it under a 30-per-cent premium.”

Smart Soup single-serve, 10-ounce portions (with flavours such as Thai Coconut Curry and Indian Bean Masala) will retail for $2.99 in the U.S. and a similar price in Canada.

Smart Soup’s accounts include Japan’s Ito-Yokado chain. Local clients include BC Children’s Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital and the Good Soup Truck, a mobile outreach soup kitchen.

jennylee@vancouversun.com

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Healthy+soups+boil+down+business+Richmond+company/11018257/story.html#ixzz3cgTIhUhd