Sunday, March 25, 2012

GT's Synergy Cherry Chia Kombucha

Kombucha is one of those things you either love or hate. Up until yesterday, I dreaded the thought of even trying it. It just has this stigma about it. I've known people who have made Kombucha at their home and the whole process sounded bizarre and gross. Like you have to take this moldy thing and cultivate it, or something. After all that, I couldn't imagine Kombucha tasting good, so I've avoided it at all costs.

That brings us to GT's Synergy Cherry Chia Kombucha. Kelly Peloza, aka The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur dared me to try Kombucha. Kelly just so happens to be in town and pressed the issue, so I agreed to try the Kombucha, but only if she tried Vega. The deal was sealed and the rest is history (video).

Shockingly, I enjoyed it! The consistency was a little slimy, almost like jello. I tried to chew the chia seeds at first and then I realized you are just supposed to drink them. It had a nice smooth cherry flavor, not alcoholic or medicinal like I expected. I would find it a little difficult to eat something while drinking Kombucha, but alone, it's like a self contained meal.

So if you are apprehensive about Kombucha in general, give the GT Synergy Cherry Chia Kombucha a try. It has an easy going cherry taste that most people will enjoy. Once you get past the weirdness of the consistency, you'll be feeling like a champ. Thank you to Kelly for forcing me to drink it!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Vegan Easter Bunny 2012

It's hard to believe it, but Easter is almost upon us. The Vegan Easter Bunny is all packed up and ready to deliver his basket of goodies. This year I found a couple of new things that, if you act quickly, can be part of your Easter celebration! But let's start with an old favorite...

Sweet and Sara Easter Peepers & Skippers. I'm not sure how you can have Easter without these! Sweet, sugary marshmallow to remind you of your childhood.

Lagusta's Luscious English Cream Egg. A Vegan version of the Cadburry Egg is one of the most requested candies ever. Lagusta comes through with a decadent cream filled organic chocolate egg. The gooey white and yellow center is divine.

Yum Earth Naturals Sour Beans. A delicious new twist on an Easter classic! I'm seriously addicted to these. They remind me of Tearjerkers (which I used to buy in bulk in the early 90's) but in jellybean form. Buy at least two bags, trust me.

Candy Tree Organic Mixed Fruit Toffee. These are some really unique toffees! Flavored by fruit juices and made with organic ingredients, these will be a hit with kids and adults. The five flavors are black current, cherry, lemon, strawberry and orange.

Divvies Super Stars. Mmmm! Little star jellies that have popsicle flavors. I swear, you will think that you are eating orange, grape, lime, cherry or lemon popsicles! So good.

Lagusta's Luscious Chocolate Matzo Toffee. And last but not least, I wanted a treat for all of you that are celebrating Passover. These are off the hook crazy! I've had motzo, but nothing like this. Motzo with toffee and chocolate drippings will make anyone go Jewish!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lagusta's Luscious Tabby Toffees For The Teal Cat Project

As you may have noticed, I have a Teal Cat Project link on my blog. Isa Chandra Moskowitz started the Teal Cat Project last year to help the feral cat population across the country. Cats are near and dear to my heart so it was a no-brainier to volunteer for the project. One of Teal Cats newest fundraisers is the Tabby Toffee Chocolate Box from Lagusta's Luscious. As you can see, they are super adorable, organic and fair trade! The Tabby Toffees are $20, with $10 going directly to the TCP.

What a cute box! Isn't the Teal Cat Logo by Anna Dorfman adorable?

You get four Tabby Toffies and three Solid Birds. The Tabbies are delicious! The chocolate exterior is phenomenal. Dark, rich and bittersweet, it's the perfect contrast for the sweet caramelly filling.

You can see the gooey butterscotch and milk chocolate ganache inside. So do yourself a favor and buy a box of Tabby Toffees and while you are at it, check out Lagusta's AMAZING Smoky Corn on the Cob Chocolate Bar, it's heavenly!

Monday, March 12, 2012

So Delicious Almond Plus Almond Milk

Finally at the end of this long, windy So Delicious Almond Milk road is -- surprise, surprise -- actual Almond Milk! I've been exclusively drinking almond milk now for the last three years, so I'm very familiar with how amazing it is. So Delicious is new to this almond milk game, and they're offering two flavors, Vanilla and Original.

The interesting thing about both flavors is the amount of protein per cup. Compared to another almond milk brand, the So Delicious Almond Milk is 5 grams protein per cup vs. 1 gram of protein. That's quite a difference! Added pea and rice protein help to fortify the milk. Starting with the Vanilla, to me is tastes like a melted milkshake. Which isn't bad if you want to drink it straight. It's a pretty good option for people who like sweetness in their milk. The Original is a little less sweet but still flavorful enough to drink straight. I tried it on cereal and it was perfect. And the true test was using the Original flavor in a recipe. My girlfriend (aka the best cook in the world) used it in a test recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake and it turned out beautifully. So Original is a-ok for baking.

And now we've come to the end of my So Delicious Almond reviews. I want to thank So Delicious for sending all of these products to me! It's pretty exciting to get two huge boxes of goodies sent right to your door. And the best part is that the products are amazing and I think people will really enjoy them. Look for them at a store near you!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

So Delicious Almond Milk Ice Cream Minis

I'm back with some more So Delicious Almond Milk goodness! Today we are looking at the Almond Milk Vanilla Minis and the Mocha Almond Fudge Minis. Nothing against coconut and soy, but I've been really happy with the almond ice cream. I guess what I'm saying is that even though So Delicious sent me all of this great stuff, I'll be the first in line when it's on sale here in Omaha.

Let's start with the Vanilla Minis! I'm a sucker for vanilla ice cream bars dipped in chocolate and these are no exception. The chocolate shell was rich and delicious and the ice cream was classic vanilla. I had one problem with both bars, the chocolate fell off of the bars or was already broken in the packaging. It could be how my bars were shipped or some other anomaly. Either way, it wasn't the biggest deal, just something I noticed.

The Mocha Almond Fudge Minis were a delightful as expected. It's the coffee-chocolate tinged ice cream that I already reviewed with the added bonus of dipped chocolate and almond coating. I love the crunchy, nutty texture of the chocolate, it's almost like two desserts in one! I'm gonna predict that these won't last long in your house.

So this brings me to the end of So Delicious's Frozen Almond Milk selections! Tomorrow I'll be looking at So Delicious new Almond Milk beverage. Life is good :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

So Delicious Almond Milk Ice Cream

A couple of days ago I received two mammoth boxes from So Delicious. Inside were all of So Delicious's new Almond Milk offerings. Today I'm delving into the Almond Milk Ice Creams.

Butter Pecan- I don't like nuts in ice cream but this has to be my first exception. Tasty pecans surrounded by rich butterscotch ice cream. Really good, rich, caramel flavor. I'm sure Butter Pecan fans will approve!

Vanilla- No surprise here, the Vanilla is delish. Dare I even say I like it as much as the Soy Vanilla? It's definitely in the same class.

Chocolate- Chocolate is probably my least favorite ice cream in general. I liked this well enough though, just nothing I would eat on a regular basis.

Cherry Amaretto- I'm really diggin' the Cherry Amaretto! I'm gonna go on limb and say I like it better that the coconut stuff. It's a cherry explosion! Lots of tart, sweet, juicy cherries in a creamy almond ice cream.

Mocha Almond Fudge- Coffee ice cream with a hint of cocoa, with lots of toasty almonds and a ribbon of fudge. Someone finished this off in a day. Not naming names.

Overall I enjoyed the Almond flavors. I fact, I may preferred it to the coconut and soy counterparts. At the end of the day I'm excited that there is yet another Vegan alternative!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Laziest Vegans Top Ten Asks Dan Hanley

Dan Hanley is the powerhouse behind the blog The Gay Vegans and the non-profit pop-up Vegan accessory shop Cruelty-Free World. Dan was recently mentioned in "The Man Issue" of VegNews, which celebrated Vegan men. Along with his husband Mike, Dan is a dog lover and they foster as much as they can. And if that isn't enough, I have to mention that Dan was an organizer for the 2008 Denver Veg Fest, which I think was one of the best Veg Fests ever. It changed my life and I'm eternally grateful. But enough about that, what kind of cereal does Dan like?

What is your favorite store-bought veggie burger?
Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burgers.

What is you favorite frozen dinner?
Amy's Vegan Mac N Cheese. (to say it's my favorite frozen dinner is an understatement)

What is your favorite ice cream?
Good Karma's Organic Rice Divine Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.

What is your favorite chip or cracker?
Whole Foods 365 round cracker.

What is your favorite cereal?
Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins.

What is your favorite candy?
Sweet and Sara's Peanut Butter S'mores.

What is your favorite cookie?
Eat Pastry Chocolate Chip. If that's not considered pre-packaged (since you have to bake them) then I would say Uncle Eddies Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter.

What three pre-packaged food items would you take to a desert island?
Amy's Vegan Mac N Cheese, Daiya Cheddar Shreds and Evol's Tofu and Spinach Burritos.

Name a product you would like Veganized?
I can't think of one. It's a good time to be a Vegan!

What are your favorite local and/or online stores for Vegan products?
Our local Whole Foods. (Belmar in Lakewood)

And that concludes The Laziest Vegans Top Ten. Thanks Dan!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shakes

When I heard that Vega was changing their Whole Food Health Optimizer to a new product called Vega One, you could say I was a little concerned. You see, I have been a loyal buyer of WFHO for 5 years and it has been very important in my life. Many questions were spinning in my head. What if this new fangled Vega One sucks? Where does that leave me? Is there even another Vegan supplement out there that's half as good? Well, I'm happy to report, it seems Vega has improved its formula and at least from these samples they gave me, I feel confident that I will survive the change.

Lets start with the flavor! As far as I'm concerned all of the flavors have improved. My two favorite WFHO flavors were always Chocolate and Vanilla Chai and that is still the case. They seem to be the same flavors, just a little sweeter with less bitterness. I also found the Berry enjoyable but I don't think I would ever want a whole tub of it. Natural was a little less putrid then it used to be but you'll never see me chugging on it after a workout.

Texture wise, Vega One is a revelation! WFHO always had a grainy, gritty texture but Vega One is super smooth. It's definitely more shake-like than it used to be. I'll probably never do it, but I imagine fruit and juice could be seamlessly integrated with Vega One. With the new flavor and texture I think that some of my friends who have been telling me that Vega tastes like crap will be converted.

The one complaint I have is that it seems Vega One is more expensive. According to my calculations per large jug, WFHO had 30 servings (according to the new serving size) and Vega One has 20. So you lose 10 servings but pay about the same price. While that won't keep me from buying it, I imagine some people might be upset. Is it because it's more expensive to produce than it was 5 years ago? Probably. High quality food isn't cheap as I'm sure you know -- you get what you pay for.

So bottom line is that I love Vega One. I feel that it's an improvement over WFHO and will make Vega accessible to more people. The flavor has been enhanced and the texture is smooth. The price increase will upset some but in the end, Vega is making a better product. Drink up!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ethnic Gourmet Pad Thai With Tofu

I get a kick when someone really loves a product and they implore me to try it. In this case, my girlfriend's mom, knowing that I have a blog about Vegan convenience food, wanted me to try the Ethnic Gourmet Pad Thai with Tofu entree. For some reason I've skipped over the Ethnic Gourmet dinners in the past, but Marlene was very enthusiastic, so I had to give it a shot.

I have to say, it was pretty darn good, with the right balance of sweet and spicy and tofu that mixed in really nicely. Also, the peanuts and rice noodles provided some great textures. My only warning is to make sure you don't overcook it, or you'll end up with some burnt rice noodles at the bottom of the bowl. But if you're looking for a nice backup meal or a quick lunch, I totally vouch for the Pad Thai with Tofu. Thanks Marlene!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Go Picnic Hummus + Crackers Ready to Eat Meals

I was on my way home from Columbus, OH and looking for food to eat at the airport. When I saw this Go Picnic box, I starting doing jumping jacks. Rarely do you find something so awesome at the airport. Usually you are lucky to find some fresh pineapple, cashews and a banana. So let's take a look inside this hummus and crackers box!

Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers. Delicious gluten free and 100% whole grain, delicious.

Wild Garden Traditional Hummus Dip. Pretty good for hummus in a tube :)

Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame. A nice healthy, crunchy snack.

Baja Blend Fruit & Nut Mix. Yummy mango cranberries with peanuts and habanero almonds. Yum, my mouth is watering just thinking about them!

Endangered Species Supreme Dark Chocolate. And last but not least, dessert! You can't go wrong with a big chunk of chocolate.

Hopefully airports will become more Vegan friendly over time, but until then, look for the Go Picnic Hummus + Crackers Meal!


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