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Vegan Review Round-Up

Posted Dec 29 2012 2:43pm
I wish all my readers a merry and blessed Christmas season! 

Now that I have more free time during break, I'm going to tackle some of the reviews that have been piling up this fall. So here it goes! 

NadaMoo is a non-dairy, vegan, organic, kosher, and gluten-free coconut milk ice cream comes in 6 delicious flavors : Creamy Coconut (so creamy, smooth, and perfectly sweetened), Vanilla. . .ahhh, Gotta Do Chocolate, Java Crunch (all chocolate and cocoa is fair-trade), Lotta Mint Chip (so refreshing!), and Mmm. . .Maple Pecan (fabulous maple flavor!). As a bonus, it also features less fat and sugar than many competitors. Magically, it still retains a creamy and rich feel. You can find some fun recipes for NadaMoo on their blog, The Inside Scoop .

SunWarrior protein powders are a popular vegan brand for those looking for supplemental protein. Although it is easy to get more than enough protein without powders, some people prefer an extra boost for satiety, for a filling snack, to replenish after a workout, to jumpstart the morning, or for numerous other reasons. All flavors are vegan, plant-based, gluten free, non-GMO, dairy free, hypoallergenic, raw, and soy free. They are also sweetened with stevia (except for the the Natural flavor, which  is unsweetened). I tried several different flavors and types, and they are great for adding to a smoothie--or how ever else you use protein powder. They pack quite a healthy punch. For example, one 21 gram serving of the Chocolate flavor contains 16 grams of protein and only 80 calories. Beyond the original brown rice protein blend they also carry a Warrior Blend , which is a "synergistic proprietary blend fortified with coconut (MCT) oil" that contains a complete amino acid profile. This contains a mixture of pea protein, cranberry protein, and hemp protein. In addition to protein , they also have Activated Barley and Ormus Supergreens (which contains probiotic cultured greens, barley, wheat & oat grass, spinach, parsley, yucca, alfalfa, peppermint & stevia). 

New York Naturals Kale Chips - I am a huge fan of kale chips, and these were no exception. These incredibly yummy and healthy munchables are vegan, raw, and come in flavors such as Sea Salt & Vinegar (my favorite, which also happens to be nut-free), Spicy Miso (which as a little kick from the habanero), Vegan "Cheese" (really tasty!), Bombay Ranch (just the perfect hint of Indian spice). In addition to kale chips, they also sell kale granola-- Greenola --which sounds completely weird, but is actually pretty delicious. I enjoyed the Cranberry Nut Cr unch , but didn't care for S pirulina Crunch (only because I'm not a big fan of spirulina in general). I would love to see this company go organic.

Starry Lane Bakery sent me a a few selections of their gluten-free and vegan baked goods. The Lemon Shortbread Cookies were delicious and practically melted in my mouth; I would never be able to tell these were gluten-free! Plus, they had that tart lemon flavor which I love. The FudgeBrownies had a nice crisp crust and gooey center. I'm not a huge brownie fan, though, and I found these to be really greasy (which could've just been a shipping error or defective batch). I would definitely be interested in trying more of their products in the future!

The GFB: Gluten Free Bar - Another fabulous gluten-free offering, these tasty little bars are portable, nutritious, and very satisfying. All the flavors--Oatmeal Raisin, Cranberry Toasted Almond, Peanut Butter, and Peanut Butter Chocolate--were thoroughly enjoyed, but the Peanut Butter one was my favorite. It tasted like peanut butter cookie dough! I find energy bars can be rather hit and miss. Some of them taste like sawdust, and some of them have ingredients that resemble that of a candy bar. Thankfully, The GFB is neither. It manages to taste great while also being healthy. Each bar is under 300 calories and provides 11-13 grams of protein--which make them ideal for a filling, on-the-go snack.

Medicinal Flower Flavor Extracts - These organic, cold-pressed extracts are revolutionary! I can't wait to try more of them. It can be hard to find flavorings--for baking, cooking, and more--that are truly natural and don't have a lot of sugars, chemicals, and additives. The great thing about these extracts, is that they are truly pure and natural and contain a very concentrated flavor. Although they are pricy, the quality ingredients make them stand out from the competition. Plus, whereas with many other flavorings a teaspoon or so is needed, with this brand all you need for a big flavor punch is one or two drops. Besides all the typical uses, they are really fun to mix up smoothies, warm beverages, or even water. So far all that I have tried have been great (I received the Coffee , Vanilla , Raspberry , and Almond ). The vanilla, in particular, is a favorite. 

Living Harvest Tempt - I tried their unsweetened vanilla hempmilk . It's a nondairy beverage that is creamy and rich and perfect for smoothies, baking, and more. The flavor of hemp is slightly noticeable, but if you know what it is it isn't so bad. They also make an ice cream line, of which I sampled the mint chip. It wasn't my favorite brand of non-dairy ice cream, but I enjoyed a little on a brownie or in hot cocoa. 
Bearded Brothers Energy Bars - These energy bars are dense, filling, delicious, and--bonus--use a lot of organic ingredients. In short, they aren't a wimpy bar. I tried the Fabulous Ginger Peach (featuring the strong flavor of fresh ginger),  Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla (has a wonderful full-bodied vanilla flavor. Despite containing protein powder, it isn't chalky like some bars),  Mighty Maca Chocolate (the maca and cinnamon combo give it an exotic flair), Colossal Coconut Mango (the tropical flavors complement each other well). Betty Lou's Snacks - I tried a sampling of vegan offerings from this company, and all of them were great. The Almond Butter Ball , Cashew Pecan Butter Ball , and Spirulina Ginseng Nut Ball were all fun and creative snacks that tasted very good! I also loved the Apple Cinnamon Fruit Bar , Blueberry Fruit Bar , Cherry Fruit Bar , and Strawberry Fruit Bar . It was hard to pick a favorite, as all of them seemed better than the next. The ingredients also seemed very fresh, and I noticed among the fruit bars, that the filling actually tasted like real fruit! I also got to try the Organic Powdered Peanut Butter and Organic Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter , and am going to be adding this to my shopping list. Both flavors were so good, and I never would have known that they are low fat!

SnackLets Kale Chips - I told you I liked kale chips! This brand had less coating them some, but they were still perfectly crispy and hard to resist. With fun flavors like Double O Cheesy , BBQ Giddy Up , Spicy Chili-lata these are sure to be a hit. One can never have too many kale chips! These aren't organic either, but I hope that they consider it in the near future
Enjoy the final days of 2012, and have a joyous and peace-filled new year! 
Thank you to all the companies that sent me products to review!
Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of reviewing on this blog. I received no monetary compensation.

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