Saturday, August 8, 2015

Copy Cat Tiger's Milk Bars in 2 flavors - Part 3 - How I refine my formulas

Peanut Butter & Jelly Tiger's Milk Bars!

Tiger Test Batch No. 2 is in the house!

I'm impatiently waiting for the chocolate coating to set up on this newest batch of Tiger's Milk protein bars. I made a few subtle changes to formula No. 1, we will soon see how it went.

See Tiger's Milk bar formula No. 1 HERE.

See my first post about Tiger's Milk bars HERE.


This post on my copy-cat Tiger's Milk bars has been given a new home due to the sugars they contain. If you want to see my formulas for these bars, please visit my blog called Beaute and the Feast. Thank you. 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Please note that my goal was to first copy the original...THEN remake them into a healthy and tasty protein bar! The healthy improvements are coming.

...Well, lets see what formulating round 3 yields! Who's gonna eat all these protein bar experiments???


Leila Cheetah Girl.

Copy Cat Tiger's Milk Bars - Part 2 - How I engineer Copy-Cat Formulas

Copy-Cat Tiger's Milk Bar - TRIAL # 1.
Trial No. 1 for my Copy-Cat Tiger's Milk Bars Now completed! See my formula below.

See my first post about Tiger's Milk bars HERE. As I have researched this project, I have found that there is quite a cult following for these Tiger's Milk protein bars. They are a guilty pleasure for many. I frequently hear comments about protein bars in general, that are like, "No one eats protein bars because they want to or because they like them, they choke them down just to get a quick dose of protein and curb their appetite fast." I pretty much agree with that.

However, that is not the case for me and Tiger's Milk bars. I discipline myself when it comes to eating these though, they aren't exactly health food anymore. I will buy 4 to 6 every year or so and I hide them from my kids. With out fail they find my stash and eat them all. Do you have any idea of what that torture is like? You're sitting there, you remember your tiger bar stash. You get all pumped about the idea of eating one. You go to your stash - and it's totally wiped out! My kids got smarter and figured out that it was a good idea to leave me at least one. They do not enjoy seeing their mother act like a tiger because she was denied her Tiger's Milk bar! Seriously.

I could not find ANYTHING even remotely close to a Tiger's Milk Bar knock-off anywhere. I saw comments online that others are searching for how to make them too - all dead ends. Grrrrr (like a tiger), now I'm getting stubborn. Watch out, when that happens, I actually figure stuff out!

I did see that there was also a Tiger's Milk Nutrition Booster drink powder that people are still pining away for.  Like at this website HERE. Hmmmm...  I don't remember if I ever tried the drink mix as a child, but it was so highly praised, I'm tempted to figure out a recipe for that too! There is also a highly sought after Tiger Cookie recipe on the back of the old Tiger's Milk tin. I researched and found the original recipe for those tiger cookies. I will be posting it soon.
Tiger's Milk Drink Mix, 1963.

When I reverse-engineer foodstuffs, I go to the actual product ingredient label and nutrition facts panel. Thank you for those, then I don't have to go by just taste and texture alone.

I write down their ingredient list in order, like a recipe card (it helps to clearly see each ingredient). Then I look at the nutrition facts. How much in carbs, sugars, fats, proteins, etc... I look at which of the ingredients on the list fit into each category (like soy protein isolate fits into the protein category). I look up any "mystery " ingredients and what section they fit into on the nutrition facts panel.

I most definitely look at what is in the commercial product ingredient list that I DON'T want in my formula (a lot of the "mystery" ingredients, sugar, starch, etc.).

Here, I must point out a pet peeve of mine: It bugs me when people automatically assume that any ingredient that is lengthy in spelling, or is unfamiliar to them, is deemed automatically as bad. It's just not the case. I hate it even more when these same misinformed people negatively blast the ingredient online. My point is, please educate yourself. Check your sources (do any of them have an "agenda"?). It does take a little time but it is so worth it.

I do research on the foods that are like my chosen project,  if there are any. I think of what I know from past formulating and cooking experience. I ponder  and brainstorm for a while... Then I "wing it" and start writing guesstimate proportions.

When it comes time to make my trial formula, I get out my ingredients and line them up in the order I will use them. I have my notes handy along with a good scale. I measure and weigh everything, writing it down immediately. I document the processes used as well. Then I write down my results and include details like taste, sweetness level, texture, moisture, after-tastes, etc... I then write down what I would like to change and my ideas for doing that. REPEAT...


This post on my copy-cat Tiger's Milk bars has been given a new home due to the sugars they contain. If you want to see my formulas for these bars, please visit my blog called Beaute and the Feast. Thank you. 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Please note that my goal was to first copy the original...THEN remake them into a healthy and tasty protein bar! The healthy improvements are coming.

Have fun!

Leila (Kitchen Cheetah Tigress).

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Copy Cat Tiger's Milk Bars - Part 1 - How I incubate a formulating idea

I have a confession. I love Tiger's Milk Bars.

But as a Kitchen Cheetah (which is in the cat family), and considering the fact that I am a LEO, I guess I should not be surprised.

My mom would shop at health food stores when I was little (she still shops at health food stores) and would often let me pick out a treat there. I would often select one of these Tiger's milk Bars. I love the chewy texture they have. They used to make a flavor called Peanut Butter & Jelly that I absolutely loved. They stopped making this flavor many years ago. A sad day. My mom did not have candy, chips or soda pop in the house. We rarely had desserts either. We did eat fruit, and I remember pulling homemade buttery honey taffy with my mom. My tiny hands could hardly pull that slippery warm taffy. I sure loved eating it though!  Anyway, she did us a favor in keeping junk food out of the house.

As I look at a Tiger's Milk Bar ingredient label, I'm now inclined to think that Tiger's Milk Bars are not much elevated above junk food status. Hmmmm, I don't think the ingredients were exactly the same as when I was a child. No matter, I want to remake them. 

So here is what I'm thinkin'...

I think I will keep the carob coating. this is one of the rare places where I would actually choose carob coating over chocolate... It's a nostalgia thing. About the only other time I like carob is over bananas,which are then rolled in sunflower seeds and frozen (another treat my mom made me when I was little). Carob pods grew (on trees) in Southern California where I grew up. I remember a friend of my moms picked some and told me I could eat the carob pods. I did, and soon after got sick and threw up. Let's just say I never ate carob pods again.

Anyway, I will start with an organic smooth salted peanut butter.Tiger's Milk Bars also list peanut butter powder. I do not have any of that right now, so ill just pour off the oil that floats on top of my peanut butter, and call it good for now.

For the protein component, I will experiment with a combination of non-fat dry milk powder, soy protein isolate (or whey protein isolate), and a touch of calcium caseinate (which is also in my homemade healthy High Protein Coffee Creamer Powder). Maybe I will even add collagen powder! Good idea.

Then I think I will make a binding syrup of IMO syrup, raw honey, a little vegetable glycerine, a touch of stevia extract powder, and gums for added soluble fiber and binding power. I'll heat it up gently, adding the raw honey last.

I may use inulin or IMO powder in place of the maltodextrin and use Hi-Maize resistant starch (a dietary fiber) instead of the rice flour they use.

And I'll add a little calcium/magnesium powder for good measure.

Last, I'll melt down some some naturally sweetened carob coating from the health food store and en-robe the formed protein bars.

Sounds like a good rough sketch to me.

I included the ingredient labels for the Protein Rich and peanut butter & honey flavor. I like these too.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Author, Leila.

P.S. This post on Tiger's Milk Bars and the 2 subsequent trials that follow are being moved to my new blog called

Due to the brown sugar and corn syrup these copy-cat recipes contain, they do not belong on Kitchen Cheetahs, which is a clean eating blog.

When I remake these bars using healthy sweeteners like IMO, Erythritol, Stevia, and such, I will post the healthified Tiger's Milk bar recipes here on Kitchen Cheetahs. T-T-F-N!

Tiger's Milk Nutrition Bars, Protein Rich Flavor

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size:1 bar (35 g)
Servings Per Container:24
Amount per Serving
Calories Total140
   from Fat45
Amount per Serving% Daily Value+
Total Fat 5 g8%
  Saturated Fat 2 g9%
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 60 mg2%
Potassium 105 mg3%
Total Carbohydrate 18 g6%
  Dietary fiber <1 g
  Sugars 13 g
Protein 6 g
% Daily Value
Vitamin A  IU15%
Vitamin C  mg10%
Thiamin (B1)  mg35%
Riboflavin (B2)  mg40%
Niacin (B3)  mg20%
Vitamin B6  mg30%
Vitamin B12  mcg25%
Biotin  mcg6%
Pantothenic acid  mg15%
Calcium  mg15%
Iron  mg20%
Phosphorus  mg20%
Magnesium  mg30%
Copper  mg20%
* Daily Value not established.
+ Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
High Fructose Corn Syrup, Peanut Butter (roasted peanuts, salt), Corn Syrup, Carob Coating, Brown Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Whey Powder, Carob Bean (Ceratonia Siliqua) Powder, Soy Lecithin (as an emulsifier), *, Soy Protein Isolate, Peanut Flour, Dry Milk (nonfat), Rice Flour, Contains Less Than 2% of calcium caseinate, Calcium Phosphate (Calcarea Phosphorica), Magnesium Phosphate, Dextrose, Natural Flavors, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Ferrous Fumarate (Iron), Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate), Niacinamide, Calcium D-Panthothenate, Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), Copper Gluconate, Thiamine Monohydrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin (Vitamin H)
7G-51878 - Tiger's Milk Bar Peanut Butter & Honey
Peanut Butter & Honey Flavor

  • 1.23 oz Bar
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Bar (35 g)
Servings Per Container 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 140
Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value
Total Fat5g8%
Saturated Fat2g10%
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrate19g6%
Dietary Fiber1g4%
Vitamin A15%
Vitamin C10%
Vitamin B630%
Vitamin B1230%
Pantothenic Acid15%
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients: Peanut Butter (Roasted Peanuts, Salt), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Carob Coating [Sugar, Palm Kernel and Palm Oil, Carob Powder, Whey Powder, Milk, Nonfat Dry Milk, Soy Lecithin (as an emulsifier), Salt, Natural Flavor], Nonfat Dry Milk, Peanut Flour, Maltodextrin, Corn Syrup, Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, contains less than 1.5% of Brown Sugar, Calcium Caseinate, Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Dextrose, Natural Flavors, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Ferrous Fumarate, Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate), Niacinamide, Calcium d-Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), Copper Gluconate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Salt.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

DIY High Protein Coffee Creamer - Sugar-Free, Low-Carb & Healthier than Coffee Mate!

 High-Protein, Low-Carb Coffee Creamer Powder.

Replace unhealthy sugar-filled creamer with this great tasting protein packed creamer!

This is a really cool formula and I have not seen anything out there like it anywhere. I have been thinking about making a healthy creamer for a long time. Creamer manufacturers make a liquid slurry and then spray dry it into a powder form - Not something we can do at home. Quite a conundrum....

Plus, I wanted a creamer powder that would enhance my diet, not take away from it! Commercial creamers are as bad for you (or worse?) than margarine. This creamer is a delicious and healthy way to include more protein in your diet. You also avoid all the empty carbohydrates and unhealthy fats too. It is wonderful added to herbal chai, herbal coffee substitutes, fruit smoothies, boba drinks, hot cocoas, protein drinks, herbal milk teas, herbal Thai tea etc...

It takes only a few minutes to make this super easy creamer powder. Now you have a better alternative to the corn syrup and chemical laden commercial creamer powders. PARTY.

Here is the ingredient label to Coffee Mate creamer powder:

Note: They say 1 tsp (2 grams) is a serving. Who ever uses only 1 tsp.?

According to their label: 1 gram is carbohydrates (sugar) + .5 g is saturated fat + .5 g is other stuff. 

That means Coffee Mate is 50% corn syrup solids (sugar), and 25% fat. The sodium caseinate is at least 15 % of the formula, probably a little bit more, because the rest of the ingredients are listed as being less than 2% (which would fall under 10% of the total).

This is a cool way to read an ingredient label, huh?

Coffee Mate ingredient label.

Personally, I can do without all the corn syrup solids (the main ingredient), unhealthy hydrogenated fats, and aluminosilicate (aluminum), and artificial flavors. What about you?

Did you notice that the protein content per serving was a big fat ZERO?

I'm good with the sodium caseinate (milk derived protein) and natural annatto coloring (annatto is a brick red colored spice and colorant used in Mexican cooking). I find the lecithin powder colors this enough to make it look like Coffee Mate's creamer powder. If you are against all dairy, this creamer is not for you. I personally find these proteins agreeable to me and they have a much nicer texture than gritty vegetable proteins.

Our creamer dissolves nicely in liquids, and gives a milky look to them. This is low in lactose, due to the type of milk proteins used. Note that this is not a dairy-free creamer. Making a non-dairy creamer powder will be a project for later...

I noticed that if your beverage sits a while (as in, it's starting to get cold), the protein in this creamer settles to the bottom of the glass a bit. I just give it a stir, and it's fine.

The coconut oil I use here does not add a coconut oil flavor and adding it makes the creamer dissolve easily in liquids (hot or cold). My formula is lower in fat than Coffee Mate's, although I don't mind fat from coconut oil, since it is so good for you. The lecithin helps to emulsify the coconut oil into the water-based beverage. Lecithin is also really good for you and it helps your body digest fats in your diet, among other things.

The sweeteners I use here do not negatively impact your blood sugar levels. The IMO powder (related to inulin) is a mildly sweet tasting fiber. You could omit the IMO and just add a bit more erythritol, however, erythritol is a cooling sugar and is slow to dissolve, IMO is warming and dissolves easily, so they balance each other out. F.Y.I.

I also added Collagen (Collagen hydrolysate) powder. Why? Because it is a very clean and bio-available protein, with many health benefits! It dissolves quickly and seems to disappear into what ever you add it to. Collagen is like gelatin, except that it does not set up like gelatin (think Jell-O). At Kitchen Cheetahs, we like to add it to protein drinks, hot chocolate, soups, stews and gravies, gluten free baked goods, and of course desserts!

Here is a link to a very interesting article about gelatin (collagen) and why it is so important to our health. It's called "Gelatin, Stress, and Longevity", by Dr. Ray Peat. He discusses how collagen impacts our hormones, sleep patterns, thyroid, stomach issues, heart arrhythmia, body inflammation, aging, and lots of other cool stuff. I hope you take the time to read it. The take away? Eat collagen.

I also have special organic flavor powders that enhance the cream flavor of my creamer beautifully. Unfortunately, the public does not have access to these flavor powders, since they are made available to us because we are professional food formulators. I would recommend you add some vanilla flavor powder instead.

I really enjoy this creamer with my home made herbal chai tea, and home made boba drinks and smoothies. It is a wonderful substitute that leaves your beverages tasting rich and creamy.

I will be tweaking this recipe further...because I can't leave well enough alone. But this first recipe is definitely worth posting now. This formula is so much better than just mixing powdered milk with powdered sugar and calling that creamer - YUK. Hold out and get the needed ingredients to make this instead, you will be happy you did.

What may I do when I decide to tweak this recipe?

I will add another T. or more of melted deodorized coconut oil.
I will add at least another 2 T. of healthful collagen powder. (a T. of collagen a day is a good dose)
I may add another T. of lecithin powder.
I may lower the whey pro isolate to 1 1/4 cup and add another 1/4 cup calcium caseinate
Then I may need to up the sweeteners a bit, say, IMO to 40 grams and erythritol to 64 grams?

Anyway, here is the yummy recipe I am using now...

High Protein Coffee Creamer Recipe:

1 1/2 c. ( 120 g) plain 100% whey protein isolate
1 c. (80 g) calcium caseinate
6 T. (48 g) finely powdered erythritol
4 T. (32 g) IMO powder
3 T. (24 g) lecithin granules
2 T. (12 g) collagen powder
1 T. (8 g) Hi-Maize resistant starch, optional
Vanila flavor powder, to taste, optional
2 T. (26 g) melted deodorized coconut oil


Grind the erythritol with the Hi-Maize until finely powdered. The Hi-Maize is an added fiber that also acts as a processing aid for grinding the erythritol without it getting overly sticky. I use a small coffee mill to do this.

Weigh out all of the ingredients, except the coconut oil into a medium sized bowl. whisk to blend.

Process the powder in batches in a small food processor until all is a fine powder.

With the powder still in the food processor, drizzle the coconut oil over top of the powder. Place the lid on the food processor and pulse to blend very thoroughly. The powder will start to cling together nicely.

Transfer the creamer to an air-tight container and store in your pantry.

To use: spoon the desired amount into a hot beverage and stir to dissolve. I use 1 T. for a mug of herbal chai, or 2 T. for a big smoothie. Add to taste freely - It's healthy!

Assemble your ingredients.

Whisk the powdered erythritol with the other dry ingredients.

Here is the creamer after the coconut oil has been well blended in,

Ready to put in my pantry.



Classic Potato Salad - Flavorful and Sugar-Free

Classic Potato Salad

This classic potato salad is easy to make and very flavorful. The hot potatoes first soak up a seasoned brine so that they absorb nice flavor, and then after they have cooled down a while, the other ingredients are added.

This is one of our families favorite potato salads. It keeps very well for a few days in the refrigerator and it is a classic for summer outings and B-B-Q's.

Classic Potato Salad Recipe:

4 pounds boiling potatoes (like Yukon Golds, long whites, round Maine, red new potatoes)
1/2 c. raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup xylitol (or sugar)
1 T. BioSalt or sea salt
1 t. dry mustard powder, optional
1 c. minced white onion
2 c. diced celery
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 c. Best foods or Hellman's mayonnaise
1 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 c. diced dill pickles or sweet hot pickles, optional
Additional BioSalt or sea salt, to taste


Scrub the potatoes and place in a large pot of cold water.

Bring the potatoes up to a gentle simmer and simmer 15 to 25 minutes, just until firm-tender.

Drain and let cool slightly.

Make the vinegar brine by mixing the vinegar, sweetener, salt, and mustard powder in a small sauce pan. Gently heat to dissolve the sugar. Taste your brine and adjust to your liking. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, if desired (the peels are usually bitter), cut into 1" pieces and place in a medium-large bowl. Add the onions to the bowl.

Pour the vinegar brine over the hot potatoes and onions, and gently toss to coat the potatoes.

Let the potato mixture cool to room temperature. Or chill for a while.

Add the celery, eggs, mayonnaise and pickles (if using) and stir gently.

Serve immediately at room temperature or chill until serving time.