Posts Tagged ‘Vegan’

vampirekiller

Photo from Knoshy.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

There is no better way to start the new year with a healthy snacking plan! Our favorite kale snack is hands-down these organic kale chips from Brad’s Raw Foods. The ‘vampire killer’ is crispy, nutty and has a great garlic flavor. Organic, kosher, and vegan.

I received a package of these kale chips in my January box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

When I eat chips, I usually like a glass of iced tea to go with it … and kale chips are no exception.  The iced tea I had chilling in my ice box when I snacked on these kale chips was this Cherry Limeade Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas.

What I Think:

I really like kale chips.  I’ve had a few different kinds in the past, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve tried.  My family has been less receptive to the idea of kale chips.  Which is both a blessing and a curse:  when I do happen to buy (or receive as part of one of my monthly subscriptions) a package of Kale Chips, I get to enjoy them for myself and not have to worry about them disappearing before I have a chance to taste them.  That’s a blessing.  But on the curse side, because I’m the only one who likes them … I don’t buy them often because I don’t like buying things just for me.

I like the flavor of these Kale Chips … I love the garlic-y taste!  The cheesy flavor is there too, but it is less apparent … or perhaps I should say that it doesn’t stand out quite the same way as it does in some of the “cheesy” flavored kale chips that I’ve tried in the past.

But the garlic-y notes are delicious.  Not too sharp on the garlic, just enough to let you know that what you’re tasting is garlic … it’s an easily identifiable flavor but it doesn’t go overboard and make your mouth feel like its in desperate need of a thorough brushing, flossing and a handful of breath mints before anyone’s gonna kiss you.

On the downside, I didn’t like that most of the kale pieces were small “crumb-ish” size.  It was a bit more like eating a handful of peanuts than it was like eating chips, you know?  I also didn’t like that I came across a couple of large stems in my package.

My Final Thoughts:

I loved the flavor of these, I just wish that there was a bit more attention paid to the details of the chips.  Less large stems in the package and more large, leafy crisps.  I have seen this product in Chuck’s Produce, and have been tempted to purchase because I did enjoy the flavor … but I’ve found myself looking for another brand that carries a similar garlic-y flavored kale chip because I didn’t like having a package that was mostly crumbs.

???????????????????????????????Product Description:

Craving some chips and dip? Dipin Dip’s all natural Roasted Pepper and Artichoke bruschetta is made from black olives, extra virgin olive oil and a lip-smacking heap of mountain herbs .

With only 70 calories, this gluten free and jet-setter friendly dip can be spread on anything: saltine crackers, toasted bread, chips, or maybe just your spoon. One taste, and you’ll be pining for more!

I received a cup of this dip in my September Love with Food Box.

Tea Suggestion:

I ate this dip spread on Club crackers along with a cup of Dragon Well tea from Yezi Tea.  The sweet, clean, vegetative taste of the tea brought out some of the more subtle flavors in the dip, and I found this pairing to work very well together.

What I Think:

This stuff is really tasty.  Sweet and savory and a little bit spicy.  I paired it with a salty Club cracker and which gave the sweet and savory a little bit of salty to round things out.

It’s a thick dip, but it’s smooth.  The roasted peppers are prominent and they taste sweet and really make this dip something special.  I also taste the artichoke … and olive.  I taste a hint of olive oil.  I like that I can taste it in there but this an overly oily dip.  It’s not a loose or thin dip … it’s really thick and can be piled high on a cracker for maximum flavor … but it’s smooth enough to be spread.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this dip with Club crackers.  It would also be great spread on some toasted bread (my thoughts are some Hawaiian bread would be really amazing with this).  It’s not quite what I think of when I think Bruschetta dip – I’m usually thinking of a more tomato-y, basil-y type of spread, but, I liked this a lot.  I don’t know that I like it enough to order it online, but, I’d definitely buy some if I found some in the store.

Product Information:

Undercover Agent Double Oh Cheesy is our most popular flavor yet. We smother each leaf in Agent Cheesy’s super secret sauce, which is also 100% vegan. Let Agent Cheesy spring into action and tantalize your tastebuds with each satisfying crunch. One bag is never enough, so make sure you stock up!

These kale chips were part of my first (September’s) Goodies Box!

Tea Suggestion:

Because these chips already have an earthy, vegetative flavor to them, I wanted something that was refreshing and would help keep the palate from feeling overwhelmed.  Actually, with my first few bites of these kale chips, I wanted something that was going to taste sweet and cake-like to help offset the earthy, veggie-ness of the snack!  So I chose this Blueberry Streusel Honeybush from 52Teas to help make this snack time taste a little more decadent.  The sweetness of the blueberry and the sweet pastry-like flavor helped bring balance to the vegetative taste of the chip, while the hint of lemon in the tisane brought a bright note, a touch of acidity that I really enjoyed.

Where to Buy:

These are not the first kale “chips” that I’ve tried.  In fact, I liked the other cheese flavored Kale Chips (these are also vegan) that I tried and reviewed previously so much that when I found them in my local Whole Foods, I bought a package of them.

These kale chips from snackLets are not as immediately pleasing as those first kale chips that I tried – the instant those others hit my palate I was in love!  Like love at first bite.  In contrast, these I had to “get to know a little better” before I could say I liked them … in fact, before I started writing this review, I thought it was going to be a negative review because I didn’t think I liked them.  But now that I’ve given them some time … I’m liking them more.  I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where I’ll love them enough to buy them again, but, I’m eating them.  And I’m enjoying them.

So what’s the biggest difference between these and those?  These are not as cheesy as the others… and they taste more like Kale.  They are more vegetative, more earthy, and even a little bitter in the first few bites.   In contrast, these taste “healthier” than the others did, but I think that is what makes the biggest difference to me.  I want my healthy snacks to not taste this healthy.   At heart, I’m a junk food junkie, but, I know that it’s not smart to eat like that … so I want to be able to snack smart, but I don’t want it to taste like I’m snacking smart.

My Final Thoughts:

I liked these, but I didn’t love them.  I probably won’t seek this particular brand of kale chips again.  But if I see the other brand, I’ll still grab that one!  That one lets me snack smart without tasting like it!

You can subscribe to the Goodies Co. Box here.

Product Description:

These yummy cookies are topped with shredded coconut and cocoa nibs. Cookies are dehydrated at 105 degrees.

Learn more about Sunna’s Cookies on her website.

Tea Suggestion:

This cookie make a deliciously different tea time treat.  Since this is a locally made treat, I decided to go for a locally acquired tea, so I brewed a cup of Buddha’s Delight from Mint Tea to enjoy with this, and it was a delightful moment of tea and cookie.  The warm spices of the tea paired nicely with the sweet coconut and dates.

What I Think:

So many things about this cookie make me happy.  I am happy that it is a handcrafted, local food item (it was in my Portland Tasting Box, so it better be local, right?) and I am happy that Sunna’s Cookies is a company that sells its wares on Etsy.  I love that Foodzie is helping Etsy sellers gain some exposure.  I’m happy that this is a raw and vegan food, although I’m not exactly sure why, because I’m neither vegan nor a raw-food foodie.  I think that it just makes me feel good to know that this is might be healthy, or at least, it seems like it might be given that it is a raw, vegan food item.  Those terms make me think “health food.”  But mostly, what makes me happy about this cookie is that it is chocolate!

YUM!  This is really good.  I love the texture, it’s a bit like eating raw cookie dough – it’s soft and moist and chewy.  And really, who doesn’t love raw cookie dough?  The chocolate is rich and the coconut adds sweetness and it’s own, distinctive flavor.  I can taste the dates in there, and the walnuts give it a moment of crunch every once in a while.

It doesn’t taste exactly like cookie dough, because, well, the pastry dough part of it is not there.  Instead this is a bit more like one of those health food power bars, only I am enjoying it much more than I do most of those commercially made bars you can find at most grocery stores.  It tastes delicious, and it is really satisfying. I felt hungry before I tore into this cookie, and now, I feel satiated.

My Final Thoughts: 

When I first received this cookie, even though it is chocolate (and coconut!) and even though it’s a locally handcrafted food, I wasn’t too sure about the vegan and raw part, mostly because I don’t think I’ve ever had a “raw” cookie except for raw cookie dough and this didn’t seem like it was going to be that.  But one bite had me convinced.  I really like these … I’ll have to get these again and maybe try the other flavors!

Product Description:

This is the recipe that started it all! A delicious, crispy blend of organic oats, sliced almonds and a touch of pure Madagascar vanilla, this is our bestselling granola.

Try warming it up as your morning oatmeal or crumbling it as a topping for your favorite peach cobbler recipe.

Learn more about Michele’s Granola here.

What I Think:

I’m loving this stuff.  I occasionally purchase granola cereal at the grocery store, and it’s alright, but, this granola from Michele’s blows the grocery store stuff away!  It tastes so fresh and toasty, and it pleasantly crunchy without that hard kind of texture.

It has a very delicious nutty flavor.  It is sweet, but not sticky sweet as if it’s been saturated with honey.  That’s because it hasn’t been.  This has brown sugar, but it doesn’t taste sugary sweet.  It tastes as if it has been lightly sweetened, just enough to give it a pleasing taste without overwhelming the natural goodness of the other ingredients.

And every ingredient is represented in each bite.  I taste the almonds and the sunflowers, I taste the coconut.  It all works together very well.  So delicious right out of the bag, which is how I ate most of my package of this granola.  I did manage to save some for a bowl of cereal, and it makes for a very hearty,  satisfying breakfast.

My Final Thoughts:

This is the best granola I’ve ever tasted.  So incredibly flavorful.  Each individual oat is toasted crisp, and this brings out the deliciously earthy, nutty flavor of it, and really enhances the overall texture, which is light but crunchy.  If you try this, you won’t want to go back to ordinary granola.  There’s just no comparison.

Where to Buy:  La Vigne Organics on Foodzie

Price:  $30. for a case of 24 Fruit Leathers

Product Description:

100% Organic Kumquat blend Fruit Leather. Made by hand from Organic Persimmons and Kumquats grown on our farm.

What I Think:

Tasty!

I’ve found many different fruit leathers in local grocery stores, but I don’t think I’ve ever found one made of Persimmons and Kumquats.

But that’s not all that makes this one stand above the rest.  Unlike some other fruit leathers that I’ve tried, this is soft.  Chewy, yes, but it isn’t “beef jerky” tough to bite into.  It has a pleasing texture that is chewy without being tough.

I haven’t had a kumquat in a long time – when I was young we lived near a condominium complex that had a kumquat tree and we would often walk down there and snatch one or two off of the tree.  Since that time, I’ve found them occasionally in the grocery store but they never looked appealing enough to me to inspire me to buy them.

The flavor is tart, but, there is enough sweetness to this to keep it from tasting too pucker-y sour (I’m not a big fan of sour).  This tastes very much the way I remember from the ripe, beautiful kumquats that I used to pick off that tree when I was a kid.   The persimmon flavor is less evident, but, I can taste the mild sweetness of the persimmon.  Mostly what I’m tasting is kumquat, and it is delicious and memorable – just like those kumquats from my childhood.

I also appreciate that these contain no added sugar, only the naturally occurring sugars from the fruit puree.   They’re 100% organic, vegan, and absolutely dee-lish!

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed these.  I don’t know that I enjoyed them enough to spend more than a dollar a piece for them (at $30 a case, the price per unit is $1.25) but, who knows?  Maybe by next week I’ll find myself craving them to the point where I break down and shell out the money for a case.  It really isn’t to terribly expensive, as the leathers are larger than the typical grocery store fruit leather, and it certainly tastes better than anything I’ve found in the local market.   Just wait, I’ll talk myself into these eventually!

Where to Buy:  Bobo’s Oat Bars on Foodzie

Price:  $28.80 for a case of 12 bars.

Product Description:

Bobo’s Oat Bars are a nutritious, all natural, vegan and wheat-free oat bar.

What I Think:

When I first saw this as one of the items in the Foodzie box, I thought it would be another typical granola bar – but it isn’t!  Not by a long shot!  This is soft – not crunchy or hard – and the flavor is reminiscent of a crumb doughnut, believe it or not!

The coconut gives this bar a nice texture, which is probably why I made the crumb doughnut comparison.  It is a sweet bar but not cloying.  An incredibly moist, dense, cake-like bar.

One bar is quite substantial – making this a great meal substitution!  Great as a breakfast on the go… in fact, if I had discovered these a few years ago, I would have stocked up on them for my oldest daughter who always was running out the door in the morning without eating anything for breakfast.  These would have been perfect, and I know she would have loved them – they taste like a cake-y dessert.  This is seriously tasty health food!  YUM!

My Final Thoughts:

Delicious!  A very satisfying bar:  not only tasty, but also quite filling and provides a nice energy boost too.  This is the kind of healthy snack that will change your mind about what healthy snacks are all about!  This is great!

Where to Buy:  Liz Lovely on Foodzie

Product Description:

Similar to a traditional coconut macaroon, but mellow and soft, with a hint of lemon. Born from late night cookie binges with limited ingredients in the pantry, these “macaroonie” cookies became a pick-hit.

What I Think:

After trying last month’s Ginger Snapdragons from Liz Lovely, I had to order more.  They were so good.  And, as I was placing that order, I decided that I would like to also try these.

These are a little different than I was expecting.  It has always been my experience that a coconut macaroon was a coconut macadamia nut cookie, but there are no macadamia nuts in these.  But even though I was kind of looking forward to that crunch of macadamia nut in these, I am finding it hard to say I’m disappointed.  Even without the anticipated macadamia nut, these are incredibly good.

The cookie itself tastes a bit like a sugar cookie might, except that there is a beautiful lemony note to these.  It is not an overpowering lemon taste – it is just enough to make your taste buds perk up and say “hey, there’s something deliciously different about these!”  It really brightens up the flavor.

Without the macadamia nuts, the coconut really becomes the star of these cookies, giving them a creamy sweetness and a chewy texture. I paired these with this rich, delicious Keemun from Two Leaves and a Bud.  The savory cocoa notes of the Keemun complimented the coconut flavor nicely.

Just like the Ginger Snapdragons, these are incredibly soft cookies.  But unlike the Snapdragons, these have a very mild flavor.  These cookies are an incredibly comforting food – they just taste like something gramma would have made!

My Final Thoughts:

Liz Lovely takes vegan baking to a whole other level with these cookies.  The fact that these are vegan is not something that is noticeable in the taste.  They just taste like delicious, indulgent cookies.  YUM!

Where to Buy:  SeaSnax on Foodzie

Product Description:

The Classic Grab & Go is a small convenient version of the Classic Single – grab it & throw it in your bag or lunchbox! It’s the same great Classic ingredients: seaweed, olive oil & sea salt.

What I Think:

Of the many items that comprised our May Tasting Box from Foodzie, this was the item that intimidated me most.  The last time I tasted something like this was a good many years ago (more years than I care to admit to), when a co-worker came into the office with a jar full of seaweed sheets.  He gave me a piece and I did not like it.

Well, not much has changed, I’m sad to say.  This is the first item from a tasting box – since I subscribed in February – that I did not enjoy.  But, I will try to be objective in this review…

The package contains ten small, extraordinarily thin sheets of SeaSnax.  These are so thin that if you hold them up to light, you can almost see through them.  I say almost because even though they’re very thin, they are not translucent.

When I bite into it, it reminds me of the texture of the membrane of an onion.  You know those thin sheets between the onion layers?  Kind of dry yet slimy?  To the tooth, it is almost like lettuce that has been severely wilted and then dried.

But even more bothersome than the texture to me is the taste.  Seaweed must be quite an acquired taste, and it is one that even throughout my years of drinking green tea, I’ve yet to acquire.  It is highly vegetative and quite salty.  I can taste the note of olive oil in these, as well as a roasted flavor in the background.

It is actually the roasted flavor that I am enjoying most about these.  Unfortunately, it is not strong enough to overpower the strong vegetative taste and that is quite off-putting for me, I’m afraid.  The olive oil is also a nice note, but, again, it isn’t enough to offset the seaweed taste.

So, I didn’t like these, but, I would hope that you don’t let that persuade you.  We all have different palates, and appreciate different flavors.  This may be right up your alley – it just isn’t my thing.

My Final Thoughts:

I think I probably would only like these if they were dipped (heavily) in chocolate.  Sorry.  If you liked them, please comment here – I’d love to hear from you!

Where to Buy:  Liz Lovely on Foodzie

Product Description:

People have sent letters, emails, and even called Liz on the phone to pledge their undying love for Ginger Snapdragons. Intense organic spices, sweet and sharp organic candied ginger, and a deep undertone of blackstrap molasses all working together… oh my goodness!

What I Think:

Oh.  My.  Goodness!

These are so good.  When I first saw the package of these cookies in my Tasting Box, I had assumed they would be crunchy cookies similar to the ginger snaps you would find in the grocery store.  But upon closer inspection, I see that these are two ENORMOUS soft cookies.  These are the size of those jumbo cookies you might find as an impulse item at the checkout counter in a convenience store.  But… these taste even better than anything you’d find in that convenience store, let me tell you!

It wasn’t until I consumed my first huge cookie that I noticed that these are vegan.  That surprised me because had I not read it on the package, I would not have known.  These are so soft and moist and tender that I am left wondering how such deliciousness is achieved without using the “usual” ingredients.  But perhaps, that is just it.  Liz Lovely has discovered a secret!  And I am content in not knowing it, so long as they continue to make these incredible cookies.

These dark, molasses-y cookies are sweet but with just enough of that ginger-y spice to balance things out.  The exterior is lightly covered in sugar and they are topped with what appears to be candied ginger.  This proves to be a special treat, because, I still eat large cookies like this the same way I did when I was a kid:  breaking off the edges and working my way around, leaving the moistest, tastiest part for last (the center!)  In this case, it truly is the tastiest part of the cookie, and when eating the center of these Ginger Snapdragons, you get an extra kick of peppery ginger!  Awesome!

My Final Thoughts:

These are the best ginger cookies I’ve ever eaten.  I would have never known they were vegan if the package didn’t say it.  These are just plain GOOD.  These are truly a LOVELY treat.  I think I shall have to put these on my holiday shopping list and put a package in everyone’s stocking – this is better than homemade gingerbread!