Top 10 Products of 2015

January 04, 2016

From baby food to gazpacho, here are our top 10 products of the year!

Phil tested and reviewed 260 products for our Phil’s Food Reviews video series in 2015. Some were hits and some were misses. And for some of the products chosen as Phil’s Pick of the Week, we interviewed the creators to find out more about what it takes to succeed in developing a great new product. From baby food to gazpacho, here are our top 10 products of the year!  

Back to the Roots Cereal Organic Stoneground Flakes
Total Score: 98

You'll love the cereal, the package, the nutrition, the ingredients and the company. Wow! Companies like this are the future of the food world. Just 3 ingredients - 100% stoneground whole wheat, organic cane sugar and sea salt. 1 cup is 160 calories, 5 grams of sugars and 6 grams of protein. The package even lists the ingredients of the packaging itself. The ultimate in transparency and sustainability. Send them a photo and they donate a box of cereal to an elementary school! And this is one delicious cereal!

Diestel Family Organic Turkey Breast Slices French Roasted
Total Score: 97

When was the last, or first, time you read the ingredient label on prepackaged dli meats and it read: Organic Turkey Breast. That's it - nothing more added. No nitrates, nitrites, phosphates or sodium added. No gluten, msg or carrageenan. Sounds like I'm doing a commercial - but I am not. The taste - the beast turkey breast you've ever had! Diestel is known for their humane treatment of turkeys and delicious products. This product continues their tradition. Would like to see a ziplock resealable package.

LUVO Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Butternut Squash, Whole Wheat Noodles & Kale
Total Score: 96

I just love these recipes, these ingredients, this company! This is by far the best vegetable lasagna I've ever had from a freezer case. In fact, it's the best I've had from anywhere. The combination of butternut squash, tomatoes, peppers, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, spinach, collard greens is so good I don't even mind the kale! You can taste each vegetable and the whole wheat pasta is perfect taste and texture. All ingredient statements and nutritionals should be this good. 250 calories, 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of fibers, 6 grams of naturally occurring sugars and 12 grams of protein. I do wish there was less sodium as that clocks in at 480 mg. Cooks perfectly in their steam-able and good for the environment bag 

Bella Vado Avocado Oil Garlic
Total Score: 96

You have to try this oil! It is one of the freshest and best tasting oils I've ever had. A blend of avocado and garlic oils the peppery and garlic notes are terrific. I could see using this on salads, for dipping bread, drizzling on vanilla ice cream and of course for cooking and sautéing. Avocado oil has a high flash point - up to 480 degrees so it is perfect for high heat cooking and it is rich in Vitamin E and high in the monounsaturated fats - the good fat! 100% California and USDA Certified Organic this is the only avocado oil produced in the US.

California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil Miller's Blend Bold & Peppery
Total Score: 96

This brand continues to impress. This variety is superb. Fresh aroma. Fresh flavor. This is what olive oil should taste like. I'd put this one up against any import - including the best ones from France. Two outstanding consumer benefits - beyond the fabulous taste - the indents in the side of the bottle make it the perfect bottle to use while cooking and the harvest date on the back of the label instills confidence in the product and brand. Of course it is from California!

Pure Spoon Baby Food Creamy Avocado and Pears
Total Score: 96

A fabulous recipe that I enjoyed, and I'm over Stage One! The pear and juice flavor is 100 calories, 5 grams of fat from the avocado - the good kind of fat!,  5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of naturally occurring sugars.  Is nice and clean and hides the avocado. Great texture. Great color. Delicious with no added sugars or anything besides pears, avocado, grape juice, lemon juice and a splash of water - all organic. You'll want to have a baby just so you can feed them this! And grab a spoonful for yourself. It's that good; but it is expensive.

Saffron Road Chicken Vindaloo Indian-Hot Heat
Total Score: 96

March is Frozen Food Month, so we are celebrating, and rating all frozen foods this week! This is a brand I really like. Not only are their foods tasty, but because of their commitment to be certified Halal they practice respect for the environment, and farmers and the humane treatment of animals. Vindaloo is a spicy Portuguese-Indian curry and is delicious - a bit hot and sweet at the same time. I love that they put a "heat meter" on the package front. This recipe uses dark meat chicken, which has more flavor and is more tender and has been raised on 100% vegetarian feed and without antibiotics. One portion, 10 ounces, is only 330 calories, 9 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein and 500 mg of sodium. How does it taste? Delicious. As good as any restaurant, if not better. One suggestion is to serve as they show - don't eat the basmati rice separately - it deserves some of this great sauce! One confusion though.... this call out that says New, now with chicken? How can chicken vindaloo not have chicken?

G.H. Cretors Organic Popped Corn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Total Score: 96

Whenever I see a product that touts using extra virgin olive oil on the label I am skeptical. Usually its as a blend with other cheaper oils - but not this time! This popcorn is simple. Organic popcorn, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. That's it. And wow, it is fluffy, delicious, not oily. A 3 1/2 cup portion is 140 calories, 8 grams of fat and no sugars. Yes, I almost ate the whole bag. It is that good.

YumbutterGO Peanut Butter with Chia, Hemp Seeds & Goji
Total Score: 96

This is delicious. More than just peanut butter in a pouch! A terrific recipe of peanuts, sunflower, Chia and Hemp seeds with a bit of coconut sugar and oil, Goji Berry and Lucuma - which is a subtropical fruit that is used to sweeten and is a great source of antioxidants, fiber and vitamins and minerals. A 2 ounce serving is 14 grams of fat (which is about half of regular peanut butter), 7 grams of protein (which is about double that of regular peanut butter) and 4 grams of sugars. This brand is giving back in a big way by joining the Buy One|Feed One campaign where they donate an equal amount to feed the hungry. Excellent product, excellent company.

Tio Gazpacho: Tio Gazpacho
Total Score: 96

This is seriously great. Smart idea. Great recipe. Delicious. Yes, it's a chilled soup that is loaded with great ingredients. It is one of the only products this year with kale as an ingredient  that I truly like. Cucumber, Tomato, Avocado, Green pepper, Kale, Spinach, Red Onion, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil, Jalapeño Pepper, Mint, Himalayan Pink Salt, Cumin, Black Pepper, Garlic. Refreshing. Nourishing. Convenient. Forget that latte in the afternoon. This is the pick me up your body wants. 100 calories in this bottle with 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and just one gram of naturally occurring sugars. Well done! One of our highest rated products so far this year!