Kite Hill Jalapeño Cream Cheese

I have been vegan for quite some time, but still enjoy bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. I try not to eat it every day, but I will admit that it makes a regular appearance on the breakfast table. Some mornings I switch it up for oatmeal (or a half of an English Muffin), to be a little healthy.  Kite Hill has always been a delicious brand, but it is a bit too expensive to have every week. However, the jalapeño flavor makes me want to buy it weekly. cream cheese tubProduct: Jalapeño Cream Cheese By Kite Hill

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • It is vegan cream cheese!!
  • It has a delicious creamy flavor with a hint of spice.
  • It is mildly spicy. I would prefer it a bit spicier, but it is good for most taste buds.
  • The package lists less than 10 ingredients!
  • It is almond based, unlike other popular cream cheese alternatives made of soy.
  • It is a cultured cheese product and therefore has a more in-depth flavor. Kite Hill cream cheeses are the closest flavor to dairy cream cheese that I have tried.
  • It is gluten free and soy free.

cream cheese on a english muffin

Cons:

  • The cream cheese is quite pricey. I have seen it for about $7 a tub. At this price, it will only make an appearance on my table for special occasions.
  • I can only find it in health food stores. I hope to see it in more mainstream grocery stores.

 

 

 

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Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Almond Milk Creamer

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.

coffee-mate bottle with seal

 

ProductNatural Bliss Almond Milk Creamer by Coffee-Mate

Overall Grade: B+/A-*

Pros:

  • 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.

coffee-mate and coffee

Cons:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Bakehouse With a Big Flavor

I feel like I have been living in a vegan, gluten free bread desert. The available options on the market have been less than desirable, unless you enjoy munching on cardboard. Some of the major gluten free bread makers refuse to make a bread that is also vegan. Besides a few specialty products, I’ve been skipping sliced bread. Then one day I was introduced to a loaf of bread that gave me hope. This bread was soft, fluffy, and tasted great even without toasting. Let me repeat EVEN WITHOUT TOASTING. Straight out of the bag. If you are doing a little happy dance, I’m right there with you. I was finally able to have a delicious slice of cinnamon toast, grilled cheeze, tempeh ruebans, the possibilities where endless. My desert was turning into a tropical oasis. Only one problem, I had a hard time finding the bread. Then slowly, it started creeping into a few markets somewhat nearby. It still needs to get into more shelves, but in the meantime I’ll keep driving to the locations so I can have bread. If you see this bread, do your little happy dance and then buy as many as you can carry!

LNB Bag
I forgot to take a picture before we devoured most of the bread.

Product: Millet and Chia Loaf by Little Northern Bakehouse

Overall Grade: A++

Pros:

  • This bread is delicious out of the bag. Even if it is frozen, when it thaws it can be eaten as is. Most GF bread has to be toasted to be semi-edible.
  • It doesn’t taste like cardboard. It is fluffy, soft, and flavorful.
  • It comes in three flavors, plus rolls. I have loved all four products.
  • All of the ingredients are things you have heard of! There isn’t anything obscure in the ingredient lists.
  • The bread is non-GMO and certified vegan.
  • They use a certified gluten free facility.
  • The facility that they use is also peanut and tree-nut free.
  • They are soy free as well!

LNB Sandwich

Cons:

  • They need to be in every grocery store! They are not in Whole Foods yet locally, but I am still able to find them.
  • They are priced like other gluten free products. You will most likely pay over $5 a loaf.

 

 

 

 

 

Not Your Parents Tofu Scramble (Microwave), Vegan MoFo Day 26

Last year for MoFo you might remember that we posted about The Vegg’s egg scramble product. Since then they have come up with an updated version of that product called “Not Your Parents’ Tofu Scramble”. The creator of The Vegg contacted us to ask us to provide a review the microwave version of the “Not Your Parents’ Tofu Scramble”.* I loved the old product, but it had complicated directions and it is no longer on the market. The title of the new product is a little confusing. It is an “egg” scramble. It is not a tofu scramble where you use a block of tofu. Confusion of the name aside, this product seems to imitate scrambled eggs quite well. As you can see by the pictures, it looks like scrambled eggs. The directions were very simple. Mix with water, place on a plate, microwave, push curds around, and then microwave more. You might remember that Follow Your Heart has a vegan egg scramble out as well that we reviewed during Day 1 of MoFo 2016. I am a huge fan of The Vegg because they were the first company to come out with a vegan egg yolk that has a wonderful taste and is easy to use.

5 oz package with seal

Product: Not Your Parents Tofu Scramble by The Vegg (Microwave Version)

Overall GradeA

plate with cooked NYPT scramble
Breakfast: GF O’Doughs bagel, Tofutti Cream Cheese, The Vegg Not Your Parents Tofu Scramble, and a SoL patty

Pros:

  • This product has 22g of protein per serving. Move over eggs from a chicken’s butt, this is some serious proteinage!
  • The product has 15% of your daily needs of iron and 20% of your daily needs of B12. The Vegg really took an opportunity to make this product more nutritional than the Follow Your Heart vegan egg.
  • There is NO cholesterol!!
  • The instructions are easy. No stove necessary, just a microwave.
  • The product is able to be made on the stove or in the microwave. Options are good.
  • The products is certified Kosher.
  • I don’t have to add any vegan milks to make this product high in protein. I’ll mention it again…….22 g of protein
  • The product easily makes curds that have a feel just like an egg in your mouth and look like scrambled eggs on your plate. Texture and look of this product is spot on.
  • It is gluten free! It is made in a facility with wheat though.
  • This product is toddler approved! My son loved it.
  • This made us feel like we were eating a plate of scrambled eggs. I’ve often missed that as a vegan and am glad to have this back in my life. I like being able to whip up some vegan eggs on a weekend. And since this is so easy, I can do it during the week too!
Whisked with water, ready to go into the microwave.

Cons:

  • Currently the 5 oz version is sold on The Vegg’s website for $9.59 (plus shipping and tax).  This product is not cheap. A carton of eggs is much cheaper.
  • The current products are mostly available online only. This isn’t for lack of trying on the part of The Vegg. I’d love to see this product on store shelves some day.
  • Without adding black salt, pepper, and other seasonings this product is quite bland. It didn’t have that much of an egg taste. I was able to easily remedy this with seasonings.
  • This product contains soy, which would be a con for people who need to avoid soy.
  • This product isn’t as versatile as it’s competitor at Follow Your Heart. It can only do scrambled eggs. It doesn’t seem to be able to be used for an omelette or quiche. The good news is that I think there are plans on the horizon for a product that makes an omelette. We hope to review that product when available.
NYPTS in microwave
After being microwaved for a few minutes. The curds are starting to form.

 

*We are willing to review any vegan product in exchange for an honest review from a member from our review team.

 

 

Hot Dang Breakfast Toasters – Vegan MoFo Day 13

Product: Hot Dang Breakfast Toasters (Peanut Butter Banana flavor and Berries & Seeds flavor)
hot-dang-seal
Overall Grade: A
Pros: 
  • Both of the flavors that i tried (Peanut Butter Banana and Berries & Seeds) were really good. They tasted healthy with just a little natural sweet flavor.
  • Healthy, clean ingredients – 6-7 g protein, 5 g fiber, and ~220 calories in one patty.
  • Quick, convenient, portable, and easy. Pop them in the toaster or heat in a pan.
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
Cons: 
  • Could use a topping or sauce. I added a touch of maple syrup to mine. (This is more of a suggestion than a true ‘con’)

 

 

 

Follow Your Heart VeganEgg, MoFo Day 1

Welcome to Day 1 of Vegan MoFo 2016! I’m excited we are back and blogging. I really hope this will give us the motivation we need to keep posting after MoFo is over. This is our second year as a group participating and we have been busy little vegan bees trying products!

In the past year there has been a lot of hype about vegan eggs. There are two products that I am aware of on the market that scramble and one possibly coming soon. I’m loving this because I miss the ease of eggs for breakfast on the weekends. It’s probably been 10+ years since I’ve bought a carton of eggs, but I always loved how easy they were for a weekend breakfast. I just didn’t love the cruelty that came along with the egg. Follow Your Heart has come out with a powdered egg that can be mixed with ice cold water and scrambled in a pan. Pretty cool, huh? I think so too!

VeganEgg box

Product: Follow Your Heart VeganEgg

Overall Grade: I give this product an A-. It earns our seal of approval. I’ll explain in my cons why I am giving it a minus. The short of it is that it is on the right track, but still needs a little work. I think the other egg product by The Vegg needs work too. I still like both enough to buy them regularly!

Breakfast plate
Vegan breakfast. Coffee with coconut creamer, vegan sausage patty, and VeganEgg scramble.

Pros:

  • It is available in stores and on Amazon. It still doesn’t have wide availability in the stores near me, but I can find it if I need it.
  • There are easy to follow directions.
  • The product scrambles up pretty quickly and easily.
  • It looks like a plate of eggs.
  • It makes an omelette!!! This is the big one! This is why I give this product an A. It can make a fancy omelette, scramble, and quiche. It is so versatile.

  • This one needs it’s own bullet point to repeat. It makes a mean quiche! It is so realistic and delicious.Quiche
  • It has an “eggy” texture.
  • There is no cholesterol in the product!!!!

Cons:

  • It doesn’t really have an “eggy” taste. I have to add black salt and other spices to make it taste like something. This is what leads me mostly to the minus.
  • It is NOT comparable to an egg nutrition wise. This is a fail for this product. Someone who eats eggs would not switch to this product for the nutrition. This product is not going to convince non-vegans to give a vegan egg a try. There is one gram of protein. Compared to eggs that contain more protein, vitamin D, and B12. There are many other sources to get these vitamins as a vegan, but the company missed an opportunity to have this product be more nutritionally comparable to an egg. I have increased the nutrients by adding plant based milk instead of water.

nutritional contents of product

  • It is pricey compared to a carton of eggs and that will turn some people off to it. A carton of eggs is under two dollars and this product is usually more than five dollars a carton.
  • Some people might have a problem with the ingredients, specifically the carrageenan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 14 – Sharing vegan cream cheese with a non-vegan

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Whenever my mom comes to visit, I make sure that she tries all of my favorite new vegan products. The hands-down winner of her most recent visit was Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese Style Spread. She wanted to take some home with her, but you know how difficult the airlines make things. 
 20150904_085252
This proves that vegans and non-vegans can agree – this stuff is amazing! It’s exactly what I remember cream cheese tasting like – creamy, salty and a little sweet. The chives in this one are an added bonus. Mom thought it was even better than regular cream cheese. 
 
We enjoyed the cream cheese on bagels, but I’ve also used it on breakfast burritos, on top of a tofu scramble, on top of pancakes or breakfast quiche. It’s good on crackers, too. Here are a couple of pics showing it spread on some homemade vegan, gluten free bread. Along with my soy latte (made with awesome Larry’s Beans El Salvador Dali coffee), it made quite a delightful breakfast!
20150904_085504~2
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Not Quite A Kitchen Tour (and a protein powder) – Day 13

I’m not going to do a full kitchen tour today for two reasons: 1. I don’t live alone so the kitchen isn’t fully vegan and 2. my cabinets are a mess.  I’m in the middle of reorganizing the ones that are specifically mine, but it’s a work in progress.

Instead, what I’m going to do is share with you a new kitchen addition since last year’s Vegan MoFo.  My nephew gifted my sister and me a Nutribullet last Christmas.

The one we got is red, has two small and one large blender cups, two lids, an extra screw-top handle for the handle-free cups, a blender blade and a mill blade.

My nutribullet is like this one.

This thing is a little powerhouse.  We use it for small batches of hummus, for smoothies, to grind chia seeds, to make flour out of whole grain buckwheat, to make nut meal and for various other things.  It’s easy to clean – all dishwasher safe, except the base obviously.  It’s also easy to take the cups on the go…take off the blade, flip the cup, and screw on the lid. The only real issue we have with it, is it takes just the right hand to get the cup/blade to connect with the base.  I’ve found that if you turn it so it fits into the base and makes a slight “drop” into to then you can the push the cup down to blend.  It was hard to get this down at first, but I think I have it now.

The other day, I made a smoothie in it using Vega Choc-a-lot protein smoothie.  As a recall, this was 1 scoop of the protein powder, 1 small banana, a couple handfuls of kale, coconut milk (beverage, not the canned kind), and a small spoonful of peanut butter.

 

Vega Protein Smoothie

 

 

Made with pea protein, hemp protein and other proteins (no gluten or soy), there’s 15 grams in a single scoop.  It also advertises two servings of veggies per 90 calorie serving.

I like using the variety of protein and getting so much nutrition in a small serving.  But, there’s one caveat.  The stevia taste is strong.  If you dislike stevia, you won’t like this protein powder.  I’m ok with stevia most of the time and it’s even a little strong for me.  I find that using a banana as the fruit helps temper it as does adding a little agave or maple syrup.

I realized as I was writing this post, that I’ve never used it in just a glass of non-dairy milk like it suggests on the package.  It didn’t really change my view on the powder.  It doesn’t fully stir in so it wasn’t smooth like a chocolate flavored milk and the taste is still stevia-like with a mild chocolate flavor.

So, it’s a mixed review from me…it’s something I buy because I like the nutrition, but I have to mask the taste a bit to really enjoy it.

 

 

B12, It’s What’s for Breakfast! Day 11

Most every vegan that I have met likes nutritional yeast (a.k.a.- nooch). We add it to things like popcorn, scrambles, baked goods and uncheeses to give a nutty and cheesy flavor along with a yellow color. Nooch has B-complex vitamins and many brands are specifically fortified with a vegan version of B12.  In addition, nooch contains fiber, a fair amount of protein, all nine amino acids and iron. Nooch is easy to sprinkle on many foods and is a quick and delicious way to get B12, which isn’t abundant in plant based foods.

The Vegg Scramble cooking in a pan
The Vegg Scramble cooking

While it is fun to sprinkle nooch onto food, I also like to eat foods fortified with B12 like nut/legume milks and The Vegg. If you haven’t heard of The Vegg, I suggest you check it out. They make several products to replace eggs- such as the vegan egg yolk, scramble mix, baking mix and French toast mix. I have tried the egg yolk and most recently, the scramble mix. Several years ago, I sampled the vegan egg yolk and created a recipe for The Vegg on my personal blog.  The recipe was even published in one of their cookbooks! Then I heard about the scramble mix coming out and ordered it as soon as it was available on their website. I was so curious what it would be like to have a scrambled eggs again. I love tofu scrambles and I was interested to have a product that looked like and tasted like eggs.The Vegg Scramble packageI have made plain scrambled veggs, a scramble with veggies and a scramble sandwich.  The texture is very similar to what I remember of eggs. They are light and fluffy and look just like a scramble when taken from the pan. I really enjoy the flavor of the scramble, but I can’t say if it imitates eggs exactly. It isn’t what I remember a scramble tasting like, but it has been quite a while since I had scrambled eggs. Either way, I really enjoy the flavor and will be sad when my package runs out. You get 12 servings in the package, which is a generous amount. With so many vegan products costing a lot of money, I really appreciate this!

The instructions caution to follow them exactly and they aren’t kidding. I once thought that I could cut corners and the product didn’t turn out as described. The instructions are not hard to follow, so follow them! The package indicates to use a soy milk that has 9 grams of protein, but I used one with 7 or 8 that was unsweetened and I think it turned out great. I still plan to find out what the soymilk of choice is and use that as well. To enhance the eggy-ness, I add a little more nutritional yeast and black salt.

The Vegg sandwichMy most favorite way to enjoy the scramble is to have it on a gluten free English muffin, with a tomato slice, a SoL patty and Chao cheese (tomato cayenne flavor). Another great addition to this would be vegan cream cheese or vegan mayo. Or maybe even a squirt of ketchup!

I am looking forward to trying the other products as well. Happy MoFo’ing!

Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Day 1

Good morning and welcome to Vegan MoFo 2015! We at Veggie Product Reviews are so happy to be participating! This is our first year as a group; however, two of our bloggers have participated individually in previous years on personal blogs. We are excited to be blogging as a group and think that you will enjoy our different writing styles, food preferences and humor. Many of our posts will fall into the MoFo themes. To start off the MoFo month, we are sticking with the day 1 theme- Breakfast!

I’m a new mommy to a 7 month old and when I was pregnant, I got in the habit of eating the same thing every morning- a gluten free English muffin, vegan cream cheese, SoL patty and a tomato slice (if in season) or a squirt of ketchup. Along side this is a cup of coffee. (What? Like you’re surprised?) I like this breakfast so much that I still eat it now that I am no longer pregnant. The only difference is that I only eat a half of the muffin, instead of the whole thing. Nom, nom, nom!  Breakfast SoL PattiesLately, I’ve been liking vegan meat analogs and SoL patties are high on this list! I started eating the patties in pregnancy since they offer 7 grams of protein per patty. They also have a great taste and are not too salty and when cooked properly have a good texture (if they are under cooked, they can be sticky). I usually zap them in the microwave, but if I’m feeling fancy I’ll warm them up on a pan on the stove. If I’m feeling frisky on the weekend, I’ll make a tofu slice or The Vegg Scramble and have a sandwich with a slice of vegan cheese.

Breakfast Before going vegan, I was a vegetarian teenager and the SoL patties remind me of the patties I used to eat. My grandfather abstained from meat for religious reasons three times a week and I enjoyed eating with him on those days. My grandmother would make us delicious vegetarian meals throughout the day and a veggie sausage patty was usually included in breakfast. Having these patties remind me of my grandfather and how he made me feel a bit normal when I felt like I lived in a sea of weird.

At some point I plan to vary up my breakfasts a bit, but it is just so easy with a baby. Happy Vegan MoFo’ing!