When Marie Kraft of Ambler was trying to improve her diet, tofu, the low-fat, high-protein soybean curd, was one of the foods she hoped to add. But she was vexed by the process of trying to squeeze the water out of it, a necessary step in improving the texture and taste. She searched the Internet for a gadget to make this easier, and found nothing, so she set out to invent her own.

Her father, a retired engineer, helped with the first bolts-and-glue prototype, which she said was "just hideous" - the first in a series of designs. The final, made-in-America TofuXpress is food-grade polycarbonate, measuring 5-by-5-by-7 inches. The press squeezes water out of a block of tofu, but it also works on other food, such as thawed chopped spinach. In the end, Kraft's invention has her taking tofu to new levels. She brings tofu dishes to children's parties, files tofu recipes on her Web site, and is working on a tofu cookbook.

- Lea Sitton Stanley

TofuXpress, $39.95, at Essene Market & Café, 719 South Fourth St., 215-922-1146, or at www.tofuxpress.com.

Chocolate wins

These updated fudgsicles drizzled with chocolate are creamy and rich enough to live up to their truffle name - even though they are made with low-fat ice cream and have only 100 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. The French Vanilla Truffle bar, on the other hand, tastes thin and artificial - not worth the calories.

- Maureen Fitzgerald

Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle bars, $4.99 for a box of 6 bars, at local supermarkets.

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Homemade is best, but ...

This tomato sauce is expensive, but it may also be the best sauce in a jar I have tasted. Made with San Marzano tomatoes, carrots, onions, and basil, the chunky sauce tastes so fresh, honestly, it could be passed off as home made. No sugar or preservatives added.

- M.F.

Mario Batali Pasta Sauce, Tomato Basil, $9.99 for a 24-ounce jar, at Di Bruno Brothers, 1730 Chestnut St. 215-665-9220.