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!
Product: Signature Truffle Collection, No Whey! Foods
Overall Grade: A
- 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.
- 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.
I have a confession to make, I have a bit of an attachment to coffee. I have a hard time starting my day without it. There was a few years where I swapped a cup of coffee for a green smoothie, but sweet aroma of coffee called me back. When I see a vegan creamer, I try it out because I love knowing my options. I would prefer not to just have a vegan milk, but an actual creamer because it is thicker and creamier than a milk. When I saw that Coffee-mate was coming out with a line of non-dairy creamers, I was intrigued. I prefer my coffee without sugar or sweet creamers, but it is nice for a treat every so often. I have fond memories of drinking coffee-mate flavored creamers when visiting my sister-in-law. It was always a treat for me since we bought unsweetened creamers. Up until recently, the world of vegan creamers was mostly limited to unflavored soy. I was ok staying in that world, but so many options have been popping up that I have been venturing out.
Product: Natural Bliss Almond Milk Creamer by Coffee-Mate
Overall Grade: B+/A-*
- This tastes very similar to coffee-mate dairy creamers, from what I can remember.
- There are several flavor choices in non dairy: caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, sweet creme
- They are easy for me to find locally at Target and Kroger.
- They were comparable in price to other flavored vegan creamers.
- No gluten, soy, or GMOs.
- I did not taste an overwhelming almond flavor that I do in almond milk and creamers. I do not prefer an almond milk flavor in coffee, so this was a nice change.
- Usually almond creamer takes quite a bit of product to lighten my coffee. This creamer lightened it with about the size of a listed serving on the bottle.
- The creamers were $2.37 on sale at Target. They seemed in line with, if not a little cheaper than other vegan creamers.
- I tried the caramel one and it is very sweet. This could only make an appearance in my coffee on occasion. This could be a pro if you like your coffee extra sweet.
- I didn’t see a plain or unsweetened flavor in stores or on the website. I really wish they come out with that option as I would be more likely to buy it.
*I struggled with grading this creamer. If you are looking for it to taste like a sweet creamer, then this gets an A. The sweetness in this creamer was a bit much for me, but I enjoyed the flavor. My grade leans more toward a B for this reason.
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.
Product: Sjaak’s Melk Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
Overall Grade: A+
- These are incredible. They have a smooth milky-chocolate hazelnut taste just like I remember.
- Gluten free
- Soy free
- 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!
Graham crackers are hard to find and vegan. Now say you need a vegan, gluten free graham crackers and you might have thought that feat was impossible. Not any more! I have recently stumbled upon Kinnikinnick Graham crackers and brought them home for a taste. They used to contain a non-vegan ingredient, but changed their recipe (beware they say “may contain egg” because of the production facility). These beauties made a mean vegan s’more. They have an awesome crunch and delicious graham flavor. They have brought s’mores back into my life. All I can say is “Thank you and YUM!”
Product: Kinnikinnick Smoreables Graham Style Crackers
Overall Grade: A+
- Delicious, delicious, delicious!
- They are crunchy, just like you’d like a graham cracker to be.
- They are thicker than a traditional graham cracker, but bit smaller.
- They make a wonderful vegan s’more. Just add your favorite vegan chocolate and marshmallow.
- They are relatively easy to find. They are sold online, whole foods, and I’ve even seen them at Food Lion.
- They are gluten free!!
- The box is a good size, but there are so few crackers in the box. I’m thinking you can get about 6 s’mores out of the box (around 12 crackers).
- They aren’t cheap for having so few crackers. I think they were close to $5.
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!
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+
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Product: Twilight Candy Bar by Go Max Go
Overall Grade: A+
- 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.
- 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.
I may be alone in this, but in my dairy days I was a big fan of plain yogurt. The fruited ones were good, but there was nothing like the plain with my own added ingredients or along side a Mediterranean meal. When I stopped eating dairy, there really was nothing like it. I’m allergic to soy, so I couldn’t even try most vegan yogurts. The ones I could try were either overly sweet or they were chalky. Then I met Kite Hill.
I see on the Kite Hill website that they’ve released an unsweetened plain soon. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for that. But, for now, I present to you the original Kite Hill plain almond milk yogurt.
Product: Kite Hill Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt (Plain)
Overall Grade: A
- It actually tastes like I remember plain yogurt. Even though it has sugar in it, it’s not overly sweetened.
- It’s creamy not chalky or grainy
- It’s perfectly tart.
- The container is recyclable
- It’s just one of a line of yogurts which will be reviewed in the future.
- It gives me back one of my favorite breakfasts: plain yogurt, blueberries and granola
- The only thing holding the Kite Hill plain yogurt back from getting an A+ is that it’s not quite as thick as I like yogurt.
- It’s spendy at $1.99 for a 5.3 oz container (it’s on sale at the WFM in the Triangle area this week for $1.69)
- I’d like it to come in larger containers too for recipes (can we say tzatziki sauce?)
From what I can gather, Almetta Almond Milk Mousse launched in late 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. They launched in the Pacific Northwest. For those of us in NC that usually translates into a long wait to try a product. We hear about them and then have to wait to get them so we can review them for you. But, this time, I got to try a product that’s only currently available in the Pacific Northwest (yay vacation!). We can hold out hope on the east coast though, as they plan to expand their coverage and to get into online retailers who use refrigerated delivery. UPDATE: I’ve been in contact with the powers that be at Almetta today and it’s their plan to be on the east coast sometime during 2017.
I’m usually more of a pudding fan than a mousse fan, but Almetta could potentially sway that opinion.
Product: Almetta Almond Milk Mousse (Lemon)
Overall Grade: A
- Perfectly lemony. You can taste it, but it’s not too tart
- Sweet without being overly sweet
- Recognizable ingredients
- Fluffy and creamy without being too airy or light.
- Variety of flavors. I haven’t tried the others (strawberry, French vanilla, dark chocolate) but I can only imagine they’re good too. Maybe Almetta can send me some to find out 😉
- Soy Free, Gluten Free, Non GMO
- Current lack of availability in all areas
- A little pricey (I think it was around $3 for single serving pack), but that’s the trade off for wholesome ingredients and supporting new vegan business.
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.
Product: Little Secrets Classic Dark Chocolate Candies, Raspberry
Overall Grade: A+ I’d give this product more pluses, if it didn’t seem childish!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Their website FAQ contains information that is confusing, see the above two bullet points.