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


CBD Is Better Supplements

I was recently contacted by the creators of CBD Is Better asking for a review* of their products. The company makes several lines of 100% vegan softgels that contain CBD oil and other ingredients to help with focus, sleep and mind-body balance. The three products that I sampled were: CBD Is Better For Everyday, CBD Is Better for Focus and CBD Is Better for Sleep. I took the span of about a month to try all three separately from each other so that I could truly see the benefits.

In taking the supplements, several benefits. When I took the CBD Is Better for Sleep, I found that sleep was more readily available to me. With the weight of the world right now, I have been having trouble succumbing to sleep and finding peaceful rest. Often feeling tired in the morning. Going to bed at time that provides enough rest to wake up early in the morning has been a constant struggle. On the evenings that I took the gels designed for sleep, I found that I became tired and fell asleep faster adding to the over all hours of sleep that I got in a night.

In addition to sleep problems, my focus at work has been distracted at times during the day due to outside factors. In taking CBD Is Better for Focus, I found myself more able to concentrate on the work that I needed to get done instead of succumbing to distractions. I am not generally someone who has focus problems, but when they did arise it was helpful to have extra help in focusing. I felt a bit more alert for a longer period of the day. The afternoon drag felt lighter than usual.

The softgels were easy to swallow and the formulas fast acting. One of the samples provided, had a red color instead of the typical yellow tone that softgels generally have. The pills had a pleasant smell and I had no problem swallowing them with a sip of water. The only downside that I see to the softgels was when the pills leaked, as a couple did, they had a strong bitter flavor. Luckily, it was easily washed down with water.

Overall, my feedback for these three products is positive. I found them to add some help to my current daily struggles with life. If you are looking to add CBD to your health routine, I would recommend adding these supplements.

* 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 FUNoodles and Soup Cubes

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. The soup cubes came in three flavors: Grandma’s No Chicken, Grandma’s No Beef and Grandma’s Vegetable. The FUNoodles came in two flavors: Spicy Noodles and Grandma’s No Chicken Noodles.

It took me a little while to try everything that came in the box, but I found both of the products in this review ended up being tasty and useful. Having the soup cubes ended up saving dinner one night as I ran out of my homemade vegetable broth and was able to use the cubes in one of my favorite soup recipes. I tried the FUNoodles during my first week of work at my new job and found that it was a nice solution when I didn’t have any leftovers in fridge and had not had a chance to run to the store. The FUNoodles were filling and delicious.

ProductOma’s Own FUNoodles and Soup Cubes

Overall GradeA

Pros FUNoodles

  • They are convenient and easy to use.
  • Lunch was ready in five minutes.
  • It is a good option on days that you need a quick lunch, but don’t have time to pack food.
  • Both soups had a nice flavor.
  • The spicy flavor was just spicy enough for my liking, but not too much to overpower the true flavor of the soup.
  • The Grandma’s No Chicken soup had a nice mild flavor reminiscent of meat broths.
  • They are gluten free.

Pros Soup Cubes:

  • The bullion cubes all have a rich flavor.
  • The cubes dissolved quickly in hot water, unlike other bullion cubes.
  • It is nice to have a no Chicken and no broth flavor that is different than the vegetable flavor. The variety of cubes offer more options for cooking.
  • A half of a cube makes a full cup of broth, so the cubes will make a good bit of broth.
  • They are a convenient solution when you don’t have broth on hand.
  • They are gluten free.

Cons FUNoodles

  • The cups came with a plastic throw away fork which may add to the convenience, but it adds to the waste of this product. These forks don’t seem necessary as it is easy to bring a reusable fork along.
  • I like the convenience of this product, but I generally don’t buy products like this as they generate more waste than I am comfortable with- even without the fork.
  • I would have liked to see more vegetables and/or a protein in the cups like tofu or beans.

Cons Soup Cubes

  • I followed the instructions for the ratio to make broth, 1/2 cup per cup of water and the broth was a bit too salty for my taste.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Bar

Recently, we were contacted by the owner of Love Bar to ask us to provide an honest review of their bars.* I was excited about this review as I have enjoyed their bars for years. I eagerly said yes! They sent me one of each of the flavors to try. I am a creature of habit and have usually purchased the same two flavors, so this was a real treat to get to try the third flavor. They quickly arrived and I got to work sampling. The kiddo tried them as well and was also a huge fan. I will remember this for when we are out and need a quick and healthy snack.

Love Bars

ProductLove Bar- Ginger Spice, Cashew Brownie, and Goji Cocao

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • The bars are absolutely delicious! I cannot even pick a favorite between the three. They managed to use the tastiest combination of ingredients in each bar. I am a sucker for brownies, ginger, and goji berries!
  • Each bar only has a handful of ingredients that work well together and are common ingredients. You won’t find anything processed or fake in these bars. They are real food. They do not contain any processed fillers or additives.
  • Their nutritional content is important to me. It offers protein, fiber, healthy fat, and iron.
  • They are certified vegan and gluten free!
  • They are organic!
  • They are made in North Carolina. I live in NC, so I can feel confident in supporting a local, vegan business.
  • I can easily find these bars locally. Do not worry if you are not located in North Carolina, you can check out their store locator and online shop.
  • They have free shipping, if you buy online. That is a great deal!

open barCons:

  • They are about $3.49 a bar, online. That is a bit on the pricey side, but they are worth it because of the pure, unprocessed ingredients.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Melty So Delicious Mozzarella

It still feels peculiar as a vegan to exclaim “I like cheese!”, but I do!  When I learn of a new vegan cheese, or new to me, I jump at the chance to give it a try. On Instagram, I started to see buzzing that So Delicious created a line of vegan shreds. Being a fan of their ice cream treats, I knew I wanted to give these shreds a try. After a couple of months of waiting for them to appear in my local stores, I finally found them at an area Whole Foods and grabbed one of the last two on the shelf. I am now able to get all three flavors regularly in my area.

 

Mozzarella PackageProduct: Mozzarella Flavored Shreds, by So Delicious

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • The shreds are gluten free, vegan, soy free and non-gmo verified.
  • The shreds melt well. They melted instantly in my microwave testing and quickly in the oven. I have tried them in mac n cheese, nachos, and a sandwich.
  • This cheese tastes good out straight of the package. Hold the presses! Yes, you read that right. I have tried the Mozzarella and Cheddar and they taste reminiscent of their dairy counterparts, as is. Watch yourself as you might eat the whole bag before it heads to food!
  • They are perfect for pizza! I haven’t yet tried them on pizza, but seeing how they worked on other foods convinced me that I have to buy another bag and make pizza.
  • This product would be a great one to share with your dairy eating friends to show them how delicious veganism alternatives can be!
  • They have three flavors: Mozzarella, Cheddar, and Cheddar Jack. I hope to try Cheddar Jack soon!mac n cheese

Cons:

  • If you are a reader of the blog, you can probably already anticipate the first con. Price. Like all other vegan brand name cheese options, the bag was pricey. I am pretty sure it was priced the same as Daiya at over $5 a bag! Vegans aren’t made of money!
  • An area where I feel that vegan cheese makers are failing is in the nutritional content. Many people who eat dairy cheese do so because it has calcium and protein. Yet very few, if any, of the vegan brands have protein and calcium. This brand has zero for both. While I don’t need to get these from vegan cheeses in my diet, I know this could be a impediment to others switching to vegan cheese.
  • It is fattening! It is made from coconut and has 7g of fat per serving. I looked up a brand of dairy mozzarella and it was only 3g of fat per serving.
  • It is not available as widely as other vegan brands. I hope it will be soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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.