3 Unbelievable "Time-Saving" Foods

Black socks and shorts. Babies and pitbulls. Fanny packs and... everyone. There are things that just don't go together. Unfortunately, food companies in their never-ceasing drive to offer us novel palate-pleasers (and also to separate us from our cash), are not getting this memo. Behold: Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus Parfait Smoothie. It purports to be a new twist on the yogurt/fruit/granola breakfast favorite. It even has 25 grams of filling protein, which I love. The problem? They blended it all together in one big bottled drink. Are we really so busy we need granola blended in with our yogurt rather than sprinkling it in ourselves?

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Dear Bolthouse Farms,
The reason people put berries and granola in their yogurt is because yogurt has the texture of snot and gags half the population. (The other half probably ate their boogers as a child. Kidding! I'm sure you were all very hygienic children and you just have more sophisticated palates than I do.) The granola gives it a nice crunch and the berries are fun to chew. BF, I like to chew my food.


Bolthouse Farms is not the only company to venture into the culinary equivalent of a beauty parlor/propane tank shop. I consider myself a very adventurous eater. I eat all kinds of "weird" stuff: liver, raw fish, kohlrabi, Rice Krispie treats made with Cap'n Crunch (totally delish - you must try). Perhaps it's just the overly processed nature of these Frankenfoods, but even I find these "convenience" combos really unappetizing.

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1. Kraft Bagel-fuls. Do you really not have time to spread cream cheese on a bagel that you need to buy a frankenfood of bagel and cream cheese rolled together corn-dog style? I mean if you're going to do this right, at least put it on a stick. Plus the rush of simple carbs to your brain will have you slumped over your desk by 10 a.m. Is it so time consuming to spread some whipped cream cheese on a whole-grain bagel? Add some lox and you'll be good until lunch!

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2. Smuckers Goober
. Peanut butter and jelly have long existed in separate jars. And for good reason. I can't be the only child who used to separate knives to make my PB&J's to avoid cross-contamination, can I? I think jelly in the peanut butter jar is icky. Sure they can mix in my mouth but not before then! Besides, jelly goes in the fridge and peanut butter goes in the pantry so where does this unholy union reside?

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3. Jimmy Dean Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick
. Okay, two points for the stick - people love things on sticks! But a sausage rolled up in a chocolate chip pancake? And then frozen and reheated? Really?? Of course I was never one of those people who liked dipping my breakfast sausage in my leftover syrup. Maybe if they did it State Fair style and battered, deep-fried and drizzled that sucker with chocolate sauces and sprinkles, I'd like it more. Okay, no I wouldn't.

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Am I a food wuss or do these sound gross to you too? Is it worth it for the time savings in the morning? What foods have you tried that should not be eaten together?

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the new book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.