Once upon a time a cookie met a protein bar and they fell in love and got married. This is their child, a wonderful mix between a protein bar and home made tasting cookies (or as we call them Bite-lettes ®!) Whether eaten as a snack, breakfast on-the go, trail food, or for energy after a work-out, you won’t believe something this tasty is good for you. Indulge your sweet tooth without experiencing that annoying sugar crash you get from unhealthy sweets. Bite-lettes ® taste great, and you know you are eating real food, not candy or laboratory snacks. Here is the story behind our ingredients. Growing up, Laura’s mom always looked to use the highest quality ingredients and to make healthy cookies taste good. That is our philosophy: make our cookies like we are making them for family, and our customers will taste the difference.
We perfectly balance rolled oats with our other ingredients to provide a strong base without taking over or tasting “too healthy”. Our biggest compliments come from people who never liked “healthy stuff”. Since our number one ingredient is a whole grain, not white sugar or flour, our products provide a slow burn that satisfies and sustains energy.
We know that people come in three varieties: those who HAVE to have chocolate, the fruit lovers and a few who like them equally and choose depending on their moods. We decided to put our accent flavors, such as raisins and bananas (found in the Oatmeal Raisin and Anna Banana respectively), and chocolate chips as our second ingredient so that you are pleasantly surprised and will never have a disappointing mouthful. Our raisins and bananas provide a natural, fruity sweetness, and being unrefined, also help with long-lasting energy. Our rich, vegan, gooey chocolate chips, found in six of our flavors, are made exclusively of real chocolate and without dairy or white sugar. Cholesterol free, all our products contain nothing artificial.
Dates? That’s right. All-natural dates. Did you know that dates are considered a fresh fruit rather than a dried fruit because they ripen on the branch? The number one sweetener in our products is date paste as it provides a natural sweetness along with naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients. It adds a sweet gooey taste that no white sugar can compete with. And, dates are fat free. Dates are also 9-10 times more expensive than traditional white sugar. Even folks who dislike dates love our cookies!
We had a difficult choice to make early on. We wanted a product with a 6-month shelf life but didn’t want to add preservatives. But, for this type of product to taste great and stay moist, most companies would either add granulated white sugar or a chemical, or give up the idea of low fat. We decided that a naturally occurring oil, such as Expeller Pressed Canola oil, would be our first choice.
Dr. Laura explains: “There has been a lot of negative press about fat. However, having a medical background I know that animals and humans need fat to live. From my own experience, I have found that expeller pressed oils are digestion friendly, not hydrogenated, and are currently the best choice for us. Our product is not fat free but, if you look at low fat or non-fat products, the fat is mostly replaced with a refined sugar and bucketfuls of chemicals. We are into making real food for real people.”
We have two different sources of soy in our Bite-lettes ®: soy protein isolate and a soy powder. They are non-GM (not genetically modified). Soy is one area where many products have been genetically modified, but we are paying extra on our end to get soy products that have NOT been genetically modified.
We use a rice syrup and grape juice concentrate to help retain the moistness using a natural, more expensive sweetener versus a quick and cheap blast of white sugar. Originally, our goodies contained no granulated sweetener but we had some requests to make it a tad sweeter. So, we added a small amount of evaporated sugar cane juice crystals, which is sugar cane pressed and then left to crystallize with many of the nutritional benefits of molasses intact. This provides some calcium, potassium, trace iron and protein. Evaporated cane juice costs more but it follows our all-natural theme.
Dr. Laura comments, “One of my favorite reactions is when people are ready and excited to try our product and I mention it has coconut. They might say, “Isn’t coconut bad for you” or “I don’t like coconut.” After tasting it, they always end up wanting more, much to my delight!”
Natural unsweetened shredded coconut is very different than partially hydrogenated tropical oils. Much like an avocado, the coconut contains some fat and, naturally so, since it is actually nothing more than a very BIG seed. The fiber and flavor that coconut adds to our product is worth the naturally occurring fat it has in it. It also provides some of that slow burn resulting in energy for a longer period of time. We searched far and wide to find coconut without the additive/preservative bisulfite and finally found just plain coconut.
We use small amounts of unbleached, enriched wheat flour in 4 of our 8 flavors. We tried making our regular flavors without using any wheat flour–or using rice, barley, or soy flour and the texture was simply the best with a small amount of regular flour.
When we developed flavors that did not contain any wheat flour, we selected oat flour for our Extreme Fudge and a combination of brown rice flour with a small amount of tapioca starch for the Better Brownie, Cashew and Mint Double Fudge. Dr. Laura knows about the goodness of brown rice and wanted to keep the fiber content up while maintaining great flavor.
Regular table salt versus unprocessed sea salt… Sea salt just felt more natural and the majority of the baking powders are made with aluminum. However, we found a brand that uses calcium instead of aluminum. Because of the studies that linked aluminum levels to possible illness, we didn’t want to take any chances.
We want our customers to trust us, and that includes not tricking them on the label. How many times have you wolfed down a cookie with only “30 grams of carbs” and then realized the cookie was supposedly two servings? We have NEVER eaten a packaged cookie in two sittings. Have you? You can also see what you are buying.
Most people tell us they eat two Bite-lettes ® because that fits well in their hands when they are on the go.
So, our nutritionals are calculated for two Bite-lettes ®.
We understand that some people may not understand the difference between “refined” and “unrefined” carbohydrates and may be unsure of the fat content. To show support for the health component of this tasty treat, we have written “A wholesome snack developed by a Medical Doctor with your health in mind” in white on the front of the label. We hope this will allay many concerns people have about the benefits of our products. Our label also contains our e-mail address. We have an excellent reputation for responding promptly to all questions and comments.
You feel good because you are making a healthy profit on a high quality, great tasting product. Your customer feels good because they feel gastronomically satisfied and do not feel cheated on the size, nutritionals, flavor or number of raisins/chocolate chips. Their stomachs are full, their mouths are happy and they will be back for more!
Getting your sales going and your snack profits climbing are our goals. Most customers like to taste a new product before purchasing it. We know we do. Since our product is so delicious but not fancy-looking, we are certain that a tasty sample will result in a sale. To support your sales, we provide our clients with sample product for passive and/or active demos AT NO CHARGE. For non-profits asking for sample donations, we ask that shipping costs be covered by you.
We enjoy promoting our product and any store that carries it. We also really love supporting communities. We have participated in over 300 charitable and fun events from the Detroit Marathon to Child safety awareness to in-school nutrition programs.
Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food has been awarded First Place in the Yummiest category by StartUpNation’s 2008 Home-Based 100® Competition, and Dr. Laura was named one of the Top Ten Women in Business. The competition is sponsored by Microsoft® Office Live Small Business and ranks the best performing home-based businesses in America. Started in 2007, the contest chooses ten top home-based businesses in ten distinct categories.
We are available to come and speak about our products to your employees so that they can understand the value of a cookie that can serve so many customer needs from a light meal, to a school snack, or a pre-workout energy boost. Our staff and Dr. Laura also consider health education part of their job by checking with stores to see what questions customers and staff have as well as answering all emails promptly.
Getting fat from artificially hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils (trans-like margarines) has a much different effect on the body than, say, a tablespoon of olive oil. Human beings actually need fat yet the over consumption of laboratory altered fats have led to many health problems. This led the food industry to do whatever it took (including adding many chemicals and types of refined sugar) to make a favorable low fat nutritional label. What has been shown again and again is that people do not regularly buy most low-fat or non-fat products because they lack the taste and satisfaction consumers seek.
Carbohydrates are the same. White flour and white sugar are cheap and not particularly good for you.
Getting carbs from an apple versus a sugar cube is a night and day difference to your body. You can find a sweet bar that has almost no fat and practically no carbs, but what are those 15+ ingredients and can you even pronounce them? More importantly, are you okay with your family eating them?
We are not competing for the lowest fat content, but we think we win first prize for best tasting and best ingredients!
Our healthy macaroon cookie debuts soon!
Hosted by Dr. Laura, YouTube videos serve as a vessel for a vital subject – nutrition – from Cooking with Kids to a day at the Farmer’s Market, families will find valuable information on how to make healthy eating choices. Check us out on YouTube to see our latest premier!
Healthy Bytes is published each quarter and is filled with tips, articles and advice by Dr. Laura and staff. Emailed to over 1,200 subscribers.
Monthly email featuring Dr. Laura’s original dessert recipes using unrefined and natural sweeteners only.
A wide variety of clothing and household items with Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food logos is available for sale. These include men’s and women’s t-shirts, hats, high-end aprons, top quality green canvas bags and shopping totes. These are being worn nationwide by individuals and by employees of large health food stores.
Read more about Dr. Laura’s new cookbook here: The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook.
Dr. Laura has appeared as an expert in the field of health and nutrition on stage, telecast and radio, including The 2008, 2009 and 2010 TED Conference in Los Angeles and The Entrepreneurial MD, and in publications such as the Harvard Business Review. Dr. Laura also maintains a busy schedule of speaking engagements at health-related events around the country on topics ranging from healthy eating for kids to gluten-free living and how food impacts the quality of your sleep.