A few weeks ago, the health conscious trendsetters over at Koochikoo contacted me to see if we would be interested in trying out their new line of sugar free cookies. Unlike the vast majority of pre-packaged sweets, Koochikoo cookies are sweetened with monk fruit rather than sugar. As it turns out, monk fruit (also called Luo Han Guo), has been used as a natural sweetener in China for hundreds of years, though it's still relatively new here in the U.S. The best news for us, given Mufasa's pre-diabetic state, is that sweeteners derived from monk fruit are a low-calorie, low glycemic alternative to good old-fashioned refined white sugar. Boo-ya!
Aren't they cute? As an added bonus for our family, bite-size Koochikoo cookies are not only sugar-free, but egg-free as well! As much as I love to bake and have become rather proficient working around both nuts and eggs in recipes, I am always on the lookout for a few not-too-unhealthy packaged egg-free treats I can stash in my purse in the event of an impromptu snack session, which if you have kids like mine, seems to occur with surprising frequency.
Koochikoo currently offers 4 adorably named crispy cookie varieties: Blissful Chocolatey Brownie, Sunny Strawberry Shortbread, Joyful Mapley Oatmeal, and Cheerful Chocolately Chip. We had a great time sampling each flavor. The kids all agreed that Blissful Chocolatey Brownie was their unanimous hands down favorite. I was partial to the Joyful Mapley Oatmeal, which were totally perfect with with a cup of Constant Comet tea. The summery melt-in-your-mouth Sunny Strawberry Shortbread cookies, on the other hand, would be refreshing on a sweltering day with a glass lemonade. The fact that these are sugar-free cookies is truly amazing given that Looly and I both thought the strawberry variety tasted almost like candy.
On top of the yumminess, there is much to appreciate and admire about Koochikoo cookies and the folks behind the brand. It's always heartening to see a company making a first rate effort to provide healthier alternatives to the "regular" snacks many of our kids often eat. I almost did cartwheels when I saw that Koochikoo provides complete ingredient lists for all of their products online, which is so important for all of us dealing with allergies, dietary restrictions or other nutrition concerns. In addition, Koochikoo fully supports its mission to promote smiles around the world by donating a portion of every purchase to Smile Train. You're smiling already, aren't you? These are some feel-good cookies, people.
That said, I will offer a few words of caution. While Koochikoo cookies are technically soy-, egg- and nut-free, the are produced in a facility that uses soy, eggs, milk, peanuts, almonds, and coconut. To date, with peanut, tree nut, and egg allergies, Roo seems to tolerate food made in a shared facility, though we typically draw the line at shared equipment with nuts. Obviously, if you or someone you love is extremely sensitive to any one of these ingredients, you must take that into consideration. Here's a photo of the actual label for reference.
Second, did I mention these are crispy, crunchy cookies? If you have anyone in residence with a loose tooth or two, you might want to warn them before they tear into a bag. Just saying. Still, teeth or not, they were happy to go back for seconds. And thirds. And given the sugar-free profile, I was okay with that.