NEW VEGAN PRODUCTS WE'RE lOVING!
Lately we've been enjoying trying all kinds of new things. Being in Maine has allowed us to try a lot of new (to us), Maine made products. Having expendable cash has allowed us to splurge a little and try some new national vegan product releases, as well.
We're here to share some of our very favorites from the last few weeks.
This kimchi, picked up at Rising Tide, our small and local co-op, is life changing. And really local! In fact, after purchasing, we found out that this kimchi is made about 2 miles up the road from us at Thirty Acre Farm in Whitefield.
They make 20,000 pounds of organic sauerkraut, Ruby kraut, Kimchi, gingered carrots and sour dill pickles every year and grow over 95% of the ingredients themselves. How badass is that? So proud of my fellow Mainers!
And did I mention, this stuff is fantastic? It retails for around $6 for a 15 ounce jar but lasts at least a week in our house. Its great munched on by itself- I bring some to work everyday! But its also fantastic on sandwiches, in fried rice or noodle dishes, and soups. Plus, we should all be eating more fermented foods.
Foods are considered fermented when the lactobacilli bacteria convert their sugars and starches into lactic acid, naturally preserving the food itself. This makes the it easier to digest and rich in dietary fiber, plus gives you over 50% of your daily Vitamin C intake. Health magazine named Kimchi in its top 5 list of World Healthiest Foods for being rich in vitamins, aiding digestion, and even possibly reducing cancer growth.
Check out more on Thirty Acre Farm's kimchi at their website: http://www.thirtyacrefarm.com
Before we get going on this one- I have heard the sad truths about palm oil, and I have incredibly reduced the amount of earth balance I use in my everyday life...but I had to try their new shortening. I bake a lot, and was really curious how this stuff would hold up and taste in a batch of my famous chocolate chip cookies.
Without launching into details of how rich and wonderful they came out, let me just tell you that I was sincerely impressed. All the good, fatty texture without that sort of fake butter flavor. My family said they tasted so rich, they couldn't get enough!
The sticks are packaged just like the butter sticks, 4-1/2 cup sticks per package. They were whitish-clear in color and easy to slice through with a butter knife. Almost comparable to a product like crisco in texture and melt-ability.
On the other hand, to avoid using products like this all the time, try mixing a bit of coconut oil and applesauce for a fairly similar result.
It was worth trying, and in a pinch I would probably use it again.
For more product info, visit their website here.
Another Earth Balance release this year: the raved about white cheddar popcorn. I will admit- I miss that cheesy flavor sometimes. Nutritional yeast and Daiya get me through the day, but sometimes I crave more. Not enough to ever go out and eat real from-a-cow cheese, but enough to want case loads of this delicious snack delivered to my door.
As you can see from pictures, I made a pretty size-able dent before even getting it home to photograph.
For those of you cheese-cravers like me, this product is heaven. It tastes sort of like Smartfood Popcorn, my childhood weakness, but is lightyears healthier. It is made with non-GMO corn and navy beans, and has a slight garlic flavor.
It is lick-your-fingers-clean good.
Highly recommended to quell those cravings, and travels well! Now if only they'd come up with a cinnamon sugar flavor...
Check out more on this treat here.
We tried Beyond Meat for the first time this week and have had some almost everyday since. It is by far the most realistic chicken-like product I've ever tasted. Even knowing it was vegan before I tried it I insisted on checking the ingredients again after the first bite- how did they get it to taste and feel so realistic?!
Even my Dad, a self-proclaimed Carnivore Extraordinaire, loved it. We made big salads loaded with veggies and snuck some of this on top and it was fantastic. Everyone went back for seconds!
Besides being 100% vegan and gluten-free, beyond meat chicken-free strips are a complete protein, containing 18 grams of protein per serving. It currently comes in three flavors: southwest, grilled, and lightly seasoned. My favorite so far is the southwest; paired with avocado, tomato, and dijon mustard on a sandwich is my favorite way to eat it. But Beyond Meat is so good, I've been stopping by the fridge for a strip or two cold, straight from the package. I can't wait to try more recipes with the stuff-its really great!
To read up on Beyond Meat and their products, check out beyondmeat.com.
Tried any great vegan products lately? I wanna know! I'm always looking for recommendations and love trying new things.
Share your favorites in the comments below!