Girl Scouts offer new Sugar-Free Little Brownies

An occasional look at what's new on the grocery store shelves.

Girl Scouts

Sugar-Free Little Brownies

Girl Scout cookie season officially started on Friday, so it's time to start hoarding Samoas and Thin Mints to last the rest of the year.

This year's newest cookies are Sugar-Free Little Brownies. The mini cookies, made with Splenda and sugar-free chocolate chips, are aimed toward those who have a sweet tooth but are trying to avoid sugar. Each serving of four bite-sized cookies has 130 calories and 8 grams of fat. The Little Brownies, like all Girl Scout cookies this year, contain no trans fats.

The new cookies got mostly negative reviews, except for from a few staff members who already avoid sugar. The rest of us had to eat a couple Tagalongs to forget the taste of the sugar-free brownies.

The bottom line - as long as you're not trying to avoid sugar, it's best to stick with the real thing.

Girl Scouts will take orders through Feb. 4 and deliver cookies in March. The Little Brownies cost $3.50 per box of 20 cookies. A Taste of Thai quick meals

A Taste of Thai has expanded its line of ethnic supermarket offerings with a new noodle meal that can be cooked in four minutes in its own box.

The microwaveable meals are available in four flavors - Peanut Noodles, Pad Thai Noodles, Red Curry Noodles and Coconut Ginger Noodles.

Each box contains two 1-cup servings with about 300 calories and up to 10 grams of fat each, so don't be tempted to devour the entire box of noodles.

These microwaveable meals aren't as simple to prepare as college staples like ramen noodles and Easy Mac. Assembling the individual bags of rice noodles, spice packs, sauces and garnishes is a bit of a pain, and definitely remember to bring scissors with you to the break room.

But the flavorful dishes are packed with authentic Thai spices - the ingredient list for the Coconut Ginger noodles includes galanga ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and Thai coriander leaf. The end result is a filling meal that's a step above ramen, but not on par with takeout Thai.

The noodle meals are available in supermarkets and at Wal-Mart and Super Target stores.

Crystal Light Green Tea

Perennial low-cal favorite Crystal Light is jumping on the green tea bandwagon with its new drink mixes.

Green tea is often touted for providing lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and Crystal Light Green Tea provides 55 milligrams of antioxidants per serving, as well as vitamins A, C and E.

The powdered beverage is available in Honey Lemon and Raspberry flavors, and in 6-quart canisters as well as On The Go packets. The teas are sweetened with Splenda and contain five calories per serving.

The convenient On-The-Go packets, which can be poured into a bottle of water and shaken, are a refreshing alternative to water. The drinks taste more fruity than like green tea, but they're a good way to get in the antioxidants if you don't have a taste for traditional green tea.

The suggested retail price is $3.29 for a 6-quart canister and $4.59 for a 14-count package of On-The-Go packets.

- Compiled by Lifestyle Editor Shelley Mann