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Sugar-Free Peeps

Sugar-Free Peeps are a nod at making one of the most high-sugar items there are a bit more healthy. How well does this attempt succeed? Can Peeps ever be good for you?

First, a word of course on Peeps. These marshmallow creations are then rolled in colored sugar and come in a variety of shapes. The most common shape is the yellow bird for Easter, but there are also Peeps for many other holidays. Peeps are notorious for lasting years and years and being able to survive microwaves and other torments. They fall into the Twinkie category of "indestructable."

In an attempt to ensure even people who avoid sugar can get peeps pushed on them, there are now sugar-free peeps which are made with maltitol. The look at the ingredient list is fairly impressive. These are all the ingredients: maltitol, isomalt, polyglycitol syrup, sorbitol, gelatin, calcium chloride, natural and artificial flavors, yellow #5 lake, sucralose, potassium sorbate (a preservative), and carnauba was. So in essence this is a chemical soup that has been extruded into a bird shape and then coated with yellow.

Still, let's say you grew up eating peeps as a family tradition and you'd like a once-a-year trip back down memory lane with just one trio of peeps. The trio gives you 60 calories, 23g of carbs of which ALL are sugar alcohols. Be prepared for the traditional laxative effect and bloating.

Is it worth it, for the two minute dose of flavor? I can't say that I'm impressed. Real high-sugar peeps are coated with sugar and when you eat them you get the crunchy texture along with the sweet on-the-tongue flavor as you eat them. However, these sugar-free peeps are missing that entire experience. The outside yellow coating could be tiny bits of shredded plastic for all the flavor or sweetness it has. The inside does taste marshmallowy but a Peep isn't about eating a marshmallow. If I'd wanted to eat a marshmallow that's what I would have bought. A peep costs more because it is supposed to have that extra layer of flavor and interest.

I'm afraid these sugar-free Peeps are just not up to the level of sugary peeps - and I care for my health too much to either compromise with the sugar-free one or to eat the buckets-of-sugar version.

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