Quokka Brew Oat Milk Latte

As August comes to a close, the heat and humidity are rampant in North Carolina. It is hard to be outside for extended amounts of time during the heat of the day. Morning or late evening is best, but the humidity is still present. Being a coffee drinker, this presents a challenge for me as I adore a good cup of coffee, but also cannot drink hot coffee in the middle of a hot summer day. Luckily, the makers of Quokka Brew contacted me and asked me to try their new oat milk latte for an honest* review. Their lattes combine cold brew and oat milk with a blend of organic amino acids and nootropics eliminates the jitters, anxiety, and crash from caffeine. The creators share that Quokka Brew is also proven to improve focus, cognition, and mental clarity.

I was excited to put this product to the test. I often want a cup of coffee in early to mid-afternoon, but do not want to make a hot cup during summer days. I also tend to get a bit hyper when I have coffee later in the day. One of my coworkers used to beg me not to drink afternoon coffee because I would always get overly ambitious with our work goals. Morning coffee does not do this to me, but afternoon coffee gives me hyper energy. It does not always lead to productivity, it sometimes leads to just being hyper.

I had inquired with the company to make sure the oat milk used was gluten free and was told it was, so all lights were go for this product. I waited until afternoon to try the samples to see what happened. This product did not disappoint. It did for me what morning coffee does. I was able to focus, stay awake, and be alert. I did not feel any hyper energy and I felt focused on my work.

The coffee was sweet, which is different than how I generally drink coffee. However, I enjoyed it for a treat. With only 3 grams of sugar and 90 calories it was a decent afternoon snack. I enjoyed the flavor of the vanilla and oat milk together. I could see myself buying this for hot summer days and afternoons when the weather is cooler too. Quokka Brew currently has an indigogo campaign to buy this new flavor, but they also have a link in their shop as well. Be sure to head to both places and check it out. Happy sipping!

* Do you have a product that you would like me to review? I am happy to accept samples of your vegan product for an honest review. Please visit here to read more


Drink Wholesome PB Chocolate Vegan Protein Powder

I have tried quite a few vegan protein powders. Most of them have not gotten a second look from me because I do not like the aftertaste of stevia. I find that I only like stevia in leaf form and not in powder form. I would rather items contain sugar. When I recently was contact by Drink Wholesome to provide an honest* review their vegan protein powder, I was a bit reluctant. Once I saw that stevia was not an ingredient I agreed to give the powder a try.

One of the things that caught my eye was that it was only 6 ingredients: chickpeas, peanuts, coconut, cocoa, sea salt, and monk fruit. Protein powders are generally filled with many ingredients that are often not things we would generally put into our bodies. I eat all of these ingredients with the exception of monk fruit. It is a fruit though, so I can support that! I was also drawn to the flavor. Chocolate and peanut butter? Yes, please!

My samples arrived and I tested them unsweetened soymilk. I did not follow the directions and tried to mix the powder with a spoon instead of using a shaker bottle or blender. Note to other users: follow the directions! This powder needs the force of a shaker bottle or blender to dissolve the clumps. Once I corrected the issue, I was able to enjoy the after workout drink.

I really enjoyed the taste! It was nice not to have the overpowering aftertaste of stevia. The drink was slightly sweet and tasted like chocolaty goodness! The powder does not have a lot of other vitamins and nutrients beyond protein and fiber, but that is okay with me. Soy milk has much of the added vitamins and minerals that I am looking for in a drink.

cleanest plant based protein powder

Overall, I really like this product and would buy it as an after workout protein shake. The current price is about $25 (it is currently on sale) for 14 servings which makes it a tad more expensive than the other vegan supplements that I am able to find in stores. I compared it to a couple of other brands in pricing and it is about 30-40 cents more per serving with the sale price. Once the product returns to its original price of $28. However, I think that the whole and recognizable ingredients make this powder excel above the rest. The cost is worth it to me!

* Do you have a product that you would like us to review? We are happy to accept samples of your vegan product for an honest review. Please visit here to read more

Oma’s Own Freeze Dried Fruit Chips

I was recently contacted by Oma’s Own asking me to try some of their products for an honest review to be posted on our site. I gladly accepted when I learned that their products were both vegan and gluten free. The package arrived with bags of freeze dried fruit chips, vegan soup cubes and FUNoodles. I quickly ripped open a package of the mango chips to give them a taste. They were crispy, sweet, a little tart and a bit salty. I am a huge fan of mango, but I do not like when mango is overly sweet (usually signifying that it is past its prime of ripeness). These chips carried the perfect amount of sweetness for me. The bit of salty was an interesting surprise on a dried fruit. It seems as though the salt brought out the mango flavor and lessened the sweetness. Liking this flavor, I ate the two serving bag (2.0 oz) in one sitting! I wanted to try the remaining bags right away, but decided to wait until another day.

three packages that arrived to test

The other two flavors in the package were mango & strawberry and banana & strawberry. Both bags also had the same level of salt and hint of sweetness. I enjoyed the bags as much as I had the first bag. I tried to control myself again with the contents of the two serving bags, but I failed. I ate both on different days and all at once. The plan was to save some for my kiddo to try. I plan to buy more for him to try.

Product: Oma’s Own Fruit Chips. Mango, Mango & Strawberry and Banana & Strawberry.

Overall Grade: A

Pros

  • The chips have a great flavor. They are sweet, salty, tart, and crisp.
  • They pack a nice crunch. It is like eating a fruity potato chip.
  • They have only a few ingredients. All things that are familiar. Fruit, non-gmo oil, and sea salt.
  • I enjoy the combinations of the bag flavors. I cannot decide which one was my favorite, but I am usually partial to mango.
  • The packaging is bright and fun. Every time I saw them in my pantry, I wanted to grab for them.
  • The products are easily available Amazon.com.
  • Even though my son did not get a chance to try the chips, I know this is something that he would like. I would feel good about giving it to him as a snack.
  • They are free of gluten and seem to be free of many other allergens because of the simple ingredients.

Cons

  • The bag is only 2 ounces. It felt like a lot of waste considering I ate the whole bag in one serving.
  • The bag is indicated as 2 servings, but it feels more like one.
  • This is not a low calorie snack. It has 120 calories and 4g of fat and contains rice bran oil.

Miyoko’s Vegan Roadhouse Cheese Spread- Cheers to Cheddah

Sharp cheddar has always been my favorite flavor of cheese, vegan or not. There is something about the tang of the cheddar that keeps me coming back dipping for more. Miyokos line of Roadhouse spreads have been a welcomed addition. The Cheers to Cheddah is smooth, creamy, spreadable, and delicious. Portion control has been a serious concern with this flavor. Pretzels have been my favorite vessel for this flavor. No surprise that in the absence of pretzels, straight off the spoon has also worked.

cheddah container

ProductMiyoko’s  Vegan Roadhouse Cheese Spread, Cheers to Cheddah

Pros

  • It has a rich, cheesy, and cheddar flavor.
  • Miyoko’s products are all vegan and that means that they are also cholesterol free.
  • They are also non-GMO, gluten free, and soy free.
  • The product is versatile, it can be used as a spread, dip, or mixed into a sauce. The possibilities stretch as far as your imagination.
  • Miyoko’s products are becoming more widely available in more “health” food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Earth Fare, and the like.
  • The product is cultured and it gives it a cheesy taste that non-cultured products seem to lack.
  • It has a relatively short ingredient list with items that are pronounceable and that I am familiar and comfortable with consuming.

Cons

  • It’s likely that you will not be surprised by this con- price. The product is sold in 8 oz portions and I have only seen it for over $6 or $7. This product is cultured and therefore takes more time and resources to make, but it is still too expensive to be a staple in my home.
  • It is 10g a fat for a 1 oz serving. That is a lot of fat for a small amount of food.
  • It does not contain any calcium. I do not take issue with this, but those looking to switch to a vegan lifestyle might be looking for cheese substitutes to contain calcium.

 

 

 

 

No Whey Fear Not Candy Bag

It is almost Halloween and that means C-A-N-D-Y! Even vegans need candy. Each year I search for vegan candy that will allow my son to participate in the fun of Halloween. This often includes a purchase from No Whey Chocolate. They sell candy online and in select retailers across the country.  Their products are vegan and free of most common allergens. This year, I was excited to see the new Fear Not Candy bags. I ordered one for us, along with a few other treats. This bag did not disappoint.

Fear Not Candy Bag

Product: Fear Not- Spook Free Treats by No Whey Chocolate

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • Vegan milk chocolate! There are not too many companies that make, or make well, milk chocolate that is vegan.
  • They have imitations of Reeses, Snickers, and Hershey’s without the cruelty. It has been a decade since I have had any of these brand names, but I think this chocolate tastes better! And I don’t feel any guilt.
  • They taste delicious! I felt like I was a kid again tasting these with my son.
  • They are vegan, gluten free, tree nut free, soy free, and peanut free.  They are also Kosher.
  • They are small and individually wrapped like other popular candies.
  • This company does a good job creating candy for each season. Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc. They are a regular stop for me before any major holiday.

Cons:

  • I can only find these online making them less environmentally friendly.
  • They are $8.95 for a pack of 10, which is not bad, but when you calculate the shipping, it is much more. I also had to buy a cold pack as I was concerned that the chocolate would melt.
  • They are not ideal to hand out for Halloween as they only come in packs of 10. I wish there was an option for a larger pack.

 

 

 

 

 

JustPea Protein Powder

The kind folks at JustPea contacted us recently and asked if we would review their product.* I personally am not a fan of most protein powders because I don’t like the taste of stevia. When I realized this product did not contain stevia, I was immediately interested in trying it. It is made from a single ingredient (peas) and contains no GMO’s. Overall this product has proven to be a winner in my book.

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Product: JustPea Pea Protein Powder 

Overall GradeA

Pros:

  • I didn’t even notice it was in my smoothie. Really. The first time I used it, I only used half a scoop because I was worried it might make my smoothie taste bad. It didn’t. The next time I used it, I used the full scoop and we still didn’t even notice it was in there. It really let the flavors that I put in my smoothies shine.
  • There are 20 grams of protein in one scoop. That’s a lot of protein!
  • The bag is a large one. There are 30 scoops in a bag. I personally don’t feel the need for 20 grams of protein in my smoothie, so I will continue to use half a scoop to get 10 grams of protein and make it last longer.
  • NO STEVIA in this product!!!
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and fully sourced in the US.
  • It’s priced on par with comparable protein powders.

Cons:

  • The only suggestion I have to possibly improve the product in the future is to make it fully organic. It IS already non-GMO, so that is a great start. If you’re looking for a protein boost for your smoothies that won’t affect the taste, go ahead and give this a try.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1c93

*Please note that we are happy to try vegan products for an honest review. If you are interested, please contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Baileys Almande, Almondmilk Liqueur

I used to watch my mom drink Bailey’s with family and sneak a sip here and there. When I was old enough to drink, I indulged in the original Baileys a couple of times on its own or in coffee drinks. I only drink a couple of times a year, so it was an occasional treat with friends. Then I went vegan and Baileys was off the table. I had forgotten about it until I read stirrings on the internet of a vegan version of Baileys called Almande. To see that it was also labeled gluten free made my heart do a happy dance. As soon as it was available at my local ABC store, I bought a bottle.  I am still on my first bottle, but it has been enjoyed in hot chocolate, coffee, and plain.  I imagine this bottle will last a while, but I like having it around for an occasional treat by myself, with family, or friends.

baileysalmande

Product: Baileys Almonde, Almondmilk Liqueur

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • It is vegan and gluten free. It says so on the bottle!
  • It is becoming more widely available where alcohol is sold.
  • The flavor is sweet and smooth like the original.
  • The bottle looks very different from the original, making it easy to determine if you are drinking the vegan version.
  • The price seemed in line with other specialty liqueurs.
  • Having this option allows for vegans to have more specialty drink options.

back of almonde bottleCons:

  • The bottle does not have a “use by” or “best by” date. I have had my bottle for a while and put it in the refrigerator, but I do not know how long I can continue to enjoy it.
  • It would be helpful if they put the ingredients on the bottle. Some of us like to know what we are consuming. I read every label, so this was hard for me to trust that the ingredients were fine for me to consume. The only information the bottle gives is that it contains almond and soy ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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.