Brad’s Plant Based Crunchy Fruit Kale Chips

When I plan to review a product, it is usually one that I have had several times (or bites) and feel that it is worthy of a blog post. I often come across mediocre food and move on from it forgetting to do a review. Every so often, I come across something so terrible that I feel like I cannot let a single person waste their hard earned money to buy said product. That is where we are today. I am a kale chip fan, even of this brand, but the product at hand today was so disgusting. I plan to come back and review one of their delicious flavors, but you must be informed of this particular flavor and to stay away. Both Julie and I gagged at the smell and taste of this product. We asked two other people to try it who also felt the same way. Then we asked my toddler to give it a try. He actually ate a few and then said he was done. I think he wanted to like them, but just could not. The compost pile is currently eating this snack. You are probably wondering how kale chips could be this bad. Please read on for more information.

kale chip bagProduct: Brad’s Plant Based Crunchy Fruit Kale Chips

Overall Grade: F

Pros:

  • They are healthy. Sure, they taste horrible, but at least they are good for you. And they are gluten free. Maybe this is why people think vegan, gluten free is not palatable.
  • They are a brand I trust, in general, so I will continue to buy their other flavors.kale chipsCons:
  • They smelled putrid. The smell was something like a fruity, earthy, death. I accidentally got a whiff before I took a bite. Big mistake.
  • The taste is…indescribable. I like beets and I like strawberries and I’ve eaten these things together and liked them. I don’t understand why they tasted so bad in this kale chip.
  • They have oats. Normally, that would not be such a bad thing, but I think that contributed to the rank flavor.
  • Whatever price was paid, was too much. Julie, purchased these and I know she thinks that they were not money well spent.
  • These are being sold with other kale chips. These give kale chips a bad name. If I had never had, or made, kale chips and picked these up I would have thought all kale chips were bad.

 

 

 

 

 

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Green Juice – Vegan MoFo Day 4

This product has become a regular in my house. I like to have a little with breakfast for a little extra healthy sweetness.
 telula seal
Overall Grade: A+
Pros: 
  • Delicious! This juice tastes healthy but also just a little sweet, so you’re getting the best of both worlds
  • Organic
  • Gluten-free
  • The only ingredients are fruits, veggies, and tea… no additives
  • They have other great flavors
Cons: 
  • Slightly price, depending on where you purchase (My local Whole Foods charges $8, but Target is less than $6 which i think is reasonable)

 

 

 

Chocolate Covered Fruit, A New Way to Meet Your Five Servings of Fruit

With Easter tomorrow, I’m in a candy mood. I’m an adult, hopefully you already guessed that, but I still need my candy fix every once and a while. I don’t get an Easter basket anymore nor do I want one, but I still occasionally want a special chocolate treat around this time. I didn’t order anything fancy like chocolate bunnies or caramel eggs. I happened to be walking around Costco and saw chocolate covered mango. I picked up the package thinking “surely, there will be milk in this”. To my surprise, the ingredients looked vegan. I had to take these beauties home to give them a try. After all, tomorrow is Easter and I need my candy too!

Product: Dark Chocolate Covered Mangoes by Kirkland

Dark Chocolate Covered Mangoes Package

Piece of candy

Overall Grade: A+. I could barely wait to get home to open the package. I ripped into them and tasted my first ever chocolate covered mango. One bite did not prove to be enough, I needed more. A lot more! I tried to limit myself to only a few. This combination really works together. It is sweet, but not too sweet. There is a chewiness from the mango that helps you not to gobble it up in one bite.

Pros:

  • The flavor! Dark chocolate and mango both have wonderful flavors and work so well together.
  • They are chewy and melty. The chocolate melts in your mouth and the mango gives you a little to chew.
  • The bag is over a pound. (And still these will probably only last a few days)
  • They are sold at Costco, which is a national chain in the U.S. I’m not sure if all Costco’s have these, but if they don’t…ASK FOR THEM!
  • They were reasonably priced. I don’t remember the exact price, but they were around $8 or 9 for over a 1 pound bag.
  • The pieces were large enough that you get a few bites per candy.
  • They are labeled gluten free.
  • You get a serving of fruit when you eat them. Well, not really. I’m just saying that so I can justify eating more.

Cons:

  • I currently can’t think of many. The only con would be if you don’t have a Costco where you live or if they don’t carry this product.
  • Maybe they they are too readily available to me because I know every trip to Costco now will include these candies.

 

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE!! Organic Dark Chocolate Belgian Thins

CHOCOLATE! Sometimes you just need a bite- or 10-of chocolate. I usually get the itch for a sweet treat in the evening. Maybe it is a habit, but I crave that sweet rich taste of cocoa. Often times a small square will quell this craving. Other times, I go a little overboard.

Product: Organic Dark Belgian Thins by Deavas purchased at my local Costco

Packaging

Belgian Thins
Overall Grade: A+, quite possibly A++! These thins are decedent with organic and fair trade chocolate sprinkled with quinoa, goji berries, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds. They satisfy my daily need for chocolate. With these beauties in my kitchen, my daily need for chocolate seems to rise. I find myself sneaking into the pantry several times a day for a “taste”.

Pros:

  • They are delicious!!!
  • Every bite has crunch and different flavors with the variety of ingredients.
  • The dark chocolate is sweet, but not too sweet.
  • These thins have 30% of your daily need of iron. It kind of makes you feel like your eating something healthy….kind of.
  • They are addictive, it is hard to just eat one thin (wait! Is this a pro or a con?).
  • They are vegan.
  • They are organic.
  • They are made of fair trade chocolate.
  • They are gluten free.

Cons:

  • One serving packs a lot of fat–15 g!
  • They are only available at Costco in my area.
  • The package indicates that it is 12 ounces, but it does not seem like 12 ounces worth of chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

Prep It Up (with Seasonal Produce) – Day 22

Our focus on Veggie Product Reviews is generally on name brand products, but I’m going to switch it up a bit today.  Today, our product is pre-prepped fruit and vegetables.  I’ve seen them in pretty much every grocery store and discount store with a grocery section.  Some of them come to the grocery store preprepped, but the kind I really like is where the grocery store preps and packages it for you right there.

Ok, I hear some of you sighing and thinking “how lazy can one person be that they can’t chop their own onion?”  I hear you because I used to be you.  Then at the end of May, I messed up my wrist trying to perfect my tennis forehand.  Fast forward nearly four months and I’m still in the stupid wrist brace.  Needless to say, my knife skills, which were minimal anyway, were completely destroyed.

At first, we thought I might only be in the brace for about a week or two, so I did what most of us would do.  I went for the prepackaged food.  While I’m not disparaging prepackaged products, because I like them as much as the next person, I can’t live on them exclusively.  So, I swallowed my superior attitude and started buying some pre-prepped veggies for making meals.

Once you learn your grocery stores, you’ll know which ones have which fruits and vegetables at the ready for you.

We’ve recently had a Lowe’s Foods open near my work that has this beautiful spread.

 

pickNprep

 

The only thing in that whole refrigerator that isn’t vegan is some cheese on the mushroom caps and some ranch dressing in a veggie tray.  Everything else is ours!

In fact, this particular Lowe’s Foods has a booth where you can walk up to them with anything from their produce department, tell them how you want it prepped and they’ll do it while you’re shopping.  One day, I even had one of the employees track me down in the store and deliver it to me. You’ll pay extra, of course, but we always pay extra for convenience.

The only thing I’m not a huge fan of is the plastic containers.  I’ve been meaning to ask if I can take my own containers.  I’m doubtful, but maybe.  If nothing else, at least maybe I can reuse the ones I get a few times before recycling them.

In honor of local produce day for Vegan MoFo, I found a recipe online for a Caramelized Onion, Sweet Potato and Cabbage Chowder with Rosemary and headed to my local grocery.

I had to get the savoy cabbage chopped to order, but the rest was waiting for me in the refrigerator section.

 

chowderIngredients

 

While I’m usually more of a fan of spicy soups, this chowder had a delicate sweet flavor that reminded me of a Moroccan tagine.  I had to cook longer because my sweet potato cubes were bigger than diced and I reduced the fat to just a tsp or so of oil in the cabbage (used all called for to caramelize the onions though).  In order to make it a little more chowder-like, I actually mashed my sweet potatoes at the end of cooking.  Definitely a good choice for an early fall meal on a cloudy day like yesterday.

 

chowder

 

So the next time you’re injured, super busy, or just feeling a little lazy, but you don’t want a packaged meal, check out the pre-prepped produce at your local market.  I don’t think I’ll be giving it up even when my wrist is healed.