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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Cow Vegan Protein Shake and Meal Replacement

The makers of Happy Cow Vegan Protein Shake and Meal Replacement contacted us recently and asked if we would try their product.*  Smoothies are a regular occurrence in my household and we go through the protein shake mixes monthly. I happily accepted as I am always on the search for affordable vegan protein powders. The containers arrived quickly and I was pleasantly surprised by the design. It is different from other commercial shake containers with a picture of a cartoon cow and a black background. It stood out to me immediately that I it was a vegan product and that always makes me smile. I would be drawn to this product in stores. For now it is sold online through Amazon, but I would love to see this product in stores soon. Happy Cow Vegan Protein Shake containerProduct: Happy Cow Vegan Protein Shake and Meal Replacement, Vanilla and Chocolate flavors

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • Great packaging design with an adorable cow. I like that the company advertises boldly that it is a vegan protein shake.
  • They have an offering of two common flavors: vanilla and chocolate. Nothing too weird or fancy.
  • The products both have a delicious smell that is decedent and inciting.
  • They list a good amino acid profile on the container. Many of the other vegan shakes/meal replacements either don’t contain amino acids or haven’t taken the time to label them on the containers. This is important to some people. The more nutritional information, the better.
  • The serving amount is one scoop, whereas many other vegan shakes require two or more scoops.
  • I have not compared pricing very closely between all other protein powders, but this seems to be on par (or a little cheaper) with the price of other vegan brands. Currently, it is listed for $25 on Amazon.

Cons:

  • I wasn’t a fan of this product on its own (mixed with water only). Not many, if any, protein shakes taste good on their own. They all seem to have to be mixed with a vegan milk and other ingredients like fruits, vegetables, nuts and/or seeds.

 

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

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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.

 

 

 

 

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
 IMG_1083

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.