So Delicious Dairy Free Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert Bars

It feels a little strange to write a post about an ice cream treat in November. It has been in the 50’s and 60’s where I live and that is not exactly ice cream weather. I think true ice cream lovers do not care about the temperature to enjoy a cold treat though. A hot beverage afterward or a blanket can help warm up. As the holidays approach your family might enjoy ice cream with dessert and I wanted to share a favorite in my household. We find cashewmilk to be both rich and decadent and double chocolate bars do not disappoint. I tend to only buy them on sale as a treat, but they are a favorite!

box of 4 barsProduct: Cashewmilk Double Chocolate Delight by So Delicious Dairy Free

Overall Grade: A+

Pros:

  • Delicious!! As I said above, this bar is both rich and decadent with the chocolate coating and chocolate ice cream inside.
  • I find So Delicious cashewmilk to be very creamy and similar to what I remember of diary milk ice cream.
  • These beauties are easy to find in regular and health food grocery stores near me.
  • I trust this brand as I have been buying the products for years. They clearly label allergens and most, if not all, of their products are good gluten free.
  • This product is free of dairy, gluten, peanut, and soy.
  • They have several delicious flavors. Including one that has vegan caramel!!! That is also a favorite in our home.

Cons:

  • They are pricy, unless on sale. I have generally seen them for $5.99 for a box of 4. That is about $1.50 a bar. These are only a treat for us, not a staple.
  • With only 4 in a box, they are expensive to share. With a family of three, only one of us can have two!

 

 

 

 

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No Whey! Truffles

Those who know me well, know that I am a no presents type of gal for holidays. Every holiday, I remind my husband that I do not want anything. He loves to get me gifts, but I generally return them to the store. He usually bugs me for something that he can get me and I usually have the same answer- nothing. Before Mother’s Day, I knew he was itching to get me something so I sent him an email with information about a sale from No Whey. Sure enough, on Mother’s Day I received a big box of truffles. I rationed them to one per day and had a nice sweet treat for several weeks, until the box was gone. I even offered to share with him, but he said they were mine. I gave him one and enjoyed the rest. If he is reading this, I hope he gets from it that I would accept truffles, or any sweet treat, from No Whey for any holiday!

truffle box

Product: Signature Truffle Collection, No Whey! Foods

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • They are made using a vegan milk chocolate and are the closest to dairy milk chocolate that I have had.
  • The truffle flavors were fun. My box came with the following: “milk” fudge, coffee, grand marnier, raspberry, and salted caramel truffles.
  • The truffles were delicious! I enjoyed getting a box with a variety of flavors. I am not usually a fan of white chocolate, but I liked the grand marnier one that was covered in white chocolate.
  • The company is vegan!
  • All of the products are 100% Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Soy Free! Free of the common eight allergens.
  • No Artificial Colors and Flavors Free of the common eight allergens!
  • The company is Kosher.
  • If you sign up for the email list, you are notified of sales and holiday candy.
  • They have a great selection of candy for each holiday. This is helpful when trying to find candy for Easter and Halloween.
  • The pricing for the truffles seems in line with other high-quality truffles.

 salted caramel truffle

Cons:

  • The truffles have to be ordered online. I am able to find one product in a local store (No No’s), but all others need to be ordered online. I have a vegan son and I would like to be able to go out and buy this candy locally for holidays or for an occasional treat.
  • While the truffle price seems to be reasonable, some of the other candies are a bit pricy- especially with shipping. I don’t mind this for special occasions, but I really wish vegan candy was not so expensive. I would like to buy this for my family for all holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

A Chocolate Holiday Treat!

Do you remember those popular chocolate hazelnut truffles? They aren’t vegan. Pretty disappointing, I know. I’ve been longing for a vegan version and finally Sjaak’s has come through.

truffles-seal

Product: Sjaak’s Melk Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Overall Grade: A+

Pros:

  • These are incredible. They have a smooth milky-chocolate hazelnut taste just like I remember.
  • Organic
  • Gluten free
  • Soy free

Cons:

  • I don’t know if this is a true con, but they don’t have the delicate crunchy shell that I remember the non-vegan version had.
  • Slightly pricey ay 11.99 for a box of 9, but you get what you pay for. These are definitely worth it for a gourmet, nostalgic holiday treat!
  • I wish they were more widely available. I purchased from VeganEssentials.com but I would love to see them in Whole Foods some day!

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Dandies Marshmallows, Vegan MoFo Day 24

Happy Vegan Thanksgiving to those of you who live in the United States. I’m thankful for many things today, one of them being all of you! I really only love this holiday for one reason, it means that I can start decorating for Christmas at the end of day! I love Christmas decorations, carols, music, lights, and holiday inspired food. When it gets chilly, I start craving a nightly cup of homemade hot chocolate. You are in for a treat today because I’ll be sharing a recipe of mine along with a product review. It’s a holiday gift from me to you! As I decorate the tree tonight with my husband as my son is nestled in bed (no one wants a toddler’s help decorating), I’ll have a mug of piping hot chocolate in my hand adorned with a white fluffy vegan marshmallow or two….or three!

marshmallow bag with seal

Please enjoy this recipe that I’ve adapted from my mostly abandoned personal blog from a Vegan MoFo post from 2012.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup of almond, soy, rice or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
  • 3 1/2 tbsp natural peanut butter (my tablespoons were not rounded, so feel free to go over this amount)
  • 2 or more of Dandies vegan marshmallows

Place all of the ingredients into aVitamix, or high powered blender and blend for 4 minutes or until steam comes out of the top of the lid. Check for desired heat level and blend more or pour into a mug and enjoy! You can also make this on the stove, but you will need to whisk like crazy to break up the peanut butter and incorporate into the hot chocolate.

Product: Dandies all natural vegan vanilla marshmallows

Overall Grade: A+

Pros:

  • This tastes exactly like I remember marshmallows tasting. I want to make a bonfire and make s’mores and sing camp songs!
  • They are fluffy and delicious.
  • They can be eaten straight out of the bag or in your favorite warm beverage.
  • They are made will all natural ingredients. All things that you can pronounce and no corn sryup: Tapioca Syrup, Cane Sugar, Filtered Water, Tapioca Starch, Carrageenan, Soy Protein, Natural Vanilla Flavor. (See cons regarding one of the ingredients).
  • They are gelatin free!
  • They are gluten free!
  • They are free from most of the common allergens: peanut, tree nut, milk, egg, wheat, fish, shellfish, and corn.
  • They are sold as large and small marshmallows.

Cons:

  • They contain carrageenan. This doesn’t bother me, but some people wish to avoid this ingredient.
  • They are not soy free, for those of you who wish to avoid soy.
  • I’ve only seen them at Whole Foods and our Co-op locally. I hope they become more widely available. If you can’t find them in stores, you can buy them online.
  • They seem to range from $4.50-$5.50. This is a lot more than gelatin containing marshmallows.

 

 

 

Twilight Candy Bar, Vegan MoFo Day 20

I feel like I am always dreaming of candy. You’d think I eat candy every day, but I don’t. I only get it every once and a while. After the recent U.S. election I went FOUR WHOLE days without any sweets. I probably should have eaten some given the state of this country and my sad state of mind.* It is a very rare occasion that I have a candy bar, but when I do I want it to be a real treat. If I am going to throw away all of those calories and fat, I should indulge. Go Max Go has candy bars that make me want to indulge. The one I am highlighting today is the Twilight bar. It is an imitation of a candy bar that has a whipped chocolate center and rich caramel all covered in a milk chocolate. Go Max Go uses rice milk chocolate. It is better than what I remember of milk chocolate.

candy bar with seal

 

Product: Twilight Candy Bar by Go Max Go

Overall Grade: A+

Pros:

  • The chocolate covering this candy bar tastes better than what I remember of milk chocolate.
  • This candy bar imitates the childhood candy bar that I remember perfectly.
  • Vegan Caramel!
  • This is a vegan candy bar. This should count for several pros.
  • It is gluten free and now has a GF symbol.
  • There are no hydrogenated oils/trans fat like diary candy bars.

 

Candy bar inside

Cons:

  • I wish this product were available at all stores! I’ve only been able to find it at Whole Foods and online.
  • As with most vegan products, the price is a bit high. I think the average price is about $2.50 a bar. This isn’t bad for a treat, but is pricey if you want candy bars on a regular basis.

 

*This political viewpoint is from Amanda and is not necessarily the viewpoint of all reviewers on this blog.

 

 

 

Made Good Granola Minis, MoFo Day 8

Happy Election Day for those of us in the United States! This election season makes me want to snack! There are snackers and non-snackers (who are those weirdos? Oh yeah, I’m married to one!). Put me in the snacker column. I could probably snack all day and not eat a real meal. Luckily, I have a child and husband who need to eat structured meals and so I follow them. When I was a single gal, I sometimes ate snacks for dinner. Don’t judge, you know you do sometimes too. I like the convenience of small snack packs, but not too many are organic, vegan, somewhat healthy, and gluten free. When I found Made Good Granola Minis, I knew I hit the snacking jackpot. I love to give the mixed berry ones to my toddler. He LOVES them! I think he might be a snacker like me. The little mini balls are filled with oats, dried berries and they claim to have a serving of vegetables in them. Even better, they are safe for school lunches since they are free from the 8 common allergens.

mini packs img_6078

Product: Made Good Granola Minis, Chocolate Chip and Mixed Berry

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • These products are peanut and tree nut free! They are safe for school lunches!
  • They are free from the 8 common allergens. Free from: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat/gluten, dairy, egg, sesame, fish & shellfish.
  • They are also free of eggs and are certified vegan.
  • They are organic and certified non-GMO. I prefer to mostly give my son organic and non-GMO food where possible.
  • They contain 10g of grain per serving
  • One small pack has vitamin A, C, D, E, B6, Thiamin, and Iron.
  • A package contains the nutrients fond in one serving of vegetables. Hidden in the ingredients is spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and mushrooms.
  • They have a delicious flavor. The large package comes with two flavors: Mixed berry and Chocolate Chip. I give my son the berry and I sneak the chocolate chip bags.
  • They are convenient in that they are small .85 oz bags
  • A huge bag contains 20 snack packs.
  • They are about $10 for a bag with 20 snack packs, so the bags are about 50 cents a piece. I get them at Costco.

Cons:

  • They are a bit sweet. This could be a pro, if you don’t mind. I wish they had less sweetness to them. They have both sugar and agave nectar. A bag has 14g carbs and 5 or 6g of sugar. Since I feed these to my son, I wish they cut down on the sugar.
  • While the snack packs are convenient, they create a lot of waste. To offset this, I collect all of the bags and take them to a local Terracycle drop off bin.
  • They are a good snack size for a kid, but the adult in me wishes they packs were bigger. I think I like snacks too much.

 

 

 

 

Simple Mills Baking Mixes – Vegan MoFo Day 7

The first Simple Mills product that i tried was the Artisan bread mix. It was on sale so i decided to give it a try. It immediately turned me into a fan and I have purchased it several times since!
 simple-mills-bread-sealsimple-mills-cake-seal
Products:
Overall Grade: A
Pros: 
  • Both of these mixes were absolutely delicious! They has a nice soft texture and didn’t taste ‘gluten-free’ at all.
  • Super easy to make. You only need one bowl, the mix, and 2 or 3 other ingredients. I used flax to replace the egg. 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flax and 2 tbsp warm water.
  • Each mix gives you multiple recipes, depending on what you want to make. The bread mix gives you the option to make flat bread or rolls. The chocolate cake mix gives you options for cupcakes or muffins.
  • Simple Mills has a variety of other mixes, as well. I’m hopeful that their other mixes are just as great as these were.
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free, Soy-free
Cons: 
  • On the expensive side at $6 – $8

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Candies, MoFo Day 5

We all grew up on those candy coated milk chocolate pieces with the letters printed on the front. I’m not uttering the name, but you know the ones that I am referring too. I never really loved them, but the crunch made me keep coming back. It was so easy to pop a few in your mouth and crunch away. Before you knew it, you might have downed half a bag. I’ve been missing the convenience of those candies and their ability to only melt in my mouth and not on my fingertips. I then discovered the Classic Dark Chocolate Candies by a company called Little Secrets. After downing a bag eating them one by one, I realized they are better than I remember the milk based originals they imitate. I’ve tried several flavors and I enjoy them all.

Package

Product: Little Secrets Classic Dark Chocolate Candies, Raspberry

Overall Grade: A+ I’d give this product more pluses, if it didn’t seem childish!

Pros:

  • They taste better than the original candy that they imitate. I’d like to see you try not to eat a whole bag. Just try!
  • They don’t melt on your fingers.
  • They are relatively easy to locate for me locally as they are in Earth Fare and Whole Foods. They are also sold on Amazon.
  • The company has four flavors that do not contain milk. More if you count holiday flavors.
  • They are great for vegan kids!
  • Really, who am I kidding, they are great for adults too!
  • The products are made using fair trade chocolate.

Cons:

  • Your candy loving husband might try to pilfer the whole bag from you, not even savoring them-just shoving them all in his mouth. Yep, this happened! I was not pleased, these are meant to be savored!
  • Like most vegan products, they are not cheap. For me, this is an occasional “I deserve a treat” product. And seriously, when don’t I deserve a treat?
  • The company doesn’t label their products as vegan. I’m not sure that I understand the reasoning behind this (see below).  We all know that many other products are made in production facilities with dairy and most of us don’t mind as long as the product doesn’t contain milk.

Text from website

  • Their candy isn’t officially labeled as gluten free. I eat it only because I contacted the company, but the information on the website would make me suspicious about consuming if I had not contacted them. They explained to me that they use good segregation processes. Please contact them if you don’t feel comfortable consuming.

text from website

  • Their website FAQ contains information that is confusing, see the above two bullet points.

 

 

 

 

 

Square Bars

I love a good vegan snack bar. Bonus points for it being organic AND gluten free! Square Bars have definitely made it to my favorite list.

IMG_1084

 

Product: Squarebar
Overall Grade: A
Pros: 
  • Delicious! They taste like a less sweet version of a candy bar
  • Organic
  • Gluten-free
  • They have great flavors – the peanut butter and mint are the best
Cons: 
  • On the pricey side ($3 each at the store, however if you order a case on their website and use a coupon code, it can be less than $2 each depending on the sale or coupon code)
  • Not easy to find locally. The only store that I have seen them at is Whole Foods
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Imitation S’mores

I have fond memories as a kid sitting in front of campfires eating s’mores as a girlscout, even despite the threat of bugs. Yeah, I’m terrified of bugs. Eating s’mores helped me not think about bugs. I was the kid who put blankets down on logs. Why? Because logs hide bugs.  Moving on….I still dream of s’mores. I recently found the Gramwich made by Van’s. It’s not exactly like a s’more as there is no marshmallow, but the chocolate is gooey in the center so I’ll consider it a contender.

Product: Gramwich Snack Bar by Van’s

Gramwich box

Overall Grade: B+. I probably would give this item an A if I wasn’t thinking of s’mores when I first tried the bar. The graham part was soft and chewy and the chocolate center was gooey. It is really delicious, but please don’t expect it to taste like a s’more because it is different. I’ve enjoyed throwing these in my bag for a snack.

gramwich

Pros:

  • They are individually wrapped so you are not tempted to eat more than one.
  • The chocolate in the center is delicious. It is in a melted state and is what I want on the taste of a graham-like cookie.
  • The cookie part of the gramwich isn’t like a graham cracker, but has a nice grainy and soft texture. Don’t expect a crunch.
  • it is exciting that there is a graham-like cookie with chocolate on the market that is vegan (and gluten free!).

Cons:

  • The bars are small, only a couple of inches long. While delicious, they are not filling. I recommend this for a very light snack.
  • There are only five bars per box. I sort of expect six bars per box.
  • They aren’t like a s’more. They are missing a vegan marshmallow and a crunchy cookie….oh and a campfire.