Review: So Delicious Cultured Almond Milk Greek Yogurt

So Delicious Greek Almond Milk YogurtMan, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Sorry for that. Thanks have been crazy busy, but good. I finished my yoga training, and have actually been subbing here and there at my regular yoga studio. My new job is going really well; although, my brain is usually fried by the end of the day because I’m learning so much. All this being said, I’m looking forward to a boring and uneventful rest of the year.

Anyway, back to the important stuff: the food. I thought I’d start my foray back into blogging with a review of So Delicious’ Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt is one of the few things I miss being vegan and I was so excited to find that So Delicious is offering a vegan version. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it. And then I did. And then I was so, so disappointed.

So, where to begin? I opened the attractive packaging and dipped my spoon into the vanilla yogurt. The consistency was very much like regular Greek yogurt: thick, rich and creamy. The color, however, was brown and off-putting. And then I took a bite and my heart sank. The texture was very mealy. I tried another bite, hoping that maybe I could get past the texture, but I just couldn’t. And the flavor wasn’t appealing either. There definitely wasn’t the tang that you get with regular Greek yogurt. Frankly, it made me gag a bit. My husband tried the strawberry flavor and had the same experience with the mealiness and flavor.

After browsing the site, I noticed that So Delicious offers a Greek-style yogurt using cultured coconut milk. I’d definitely be willing to try that if I come across it, though I haven’t seen it in the stores. Have any of you tried the coconut milk version? If so, what are your thoughts?

I hope you all are well!!

Review: Daiya Cheddar Wedge

If I had a dime for every person who, when they find out I’m vegan, says, “I could never give up cheese!” Let’s just say this blog would look a whole lot better than it does. The great thing about being vegan today is that you don’t have to “give up” anything; you just have to find the right products to replace the ones that you currently use.

I FINALLY got my hands on the new Daiya Cheddar wedges that just hit the market. You would have thought I won the lottery when I spotted them on the shelf. I promise no one got hurt, but I do think I scared a few people.

My first impression was that the package is really small for the nearly $5 price tag. But when I opened the package, I found that the block of cheese is the same size, if not bigger, than a block of the fancy cow’s milk cheese you see at Whole Foods. So, really, the price isn’t so bad.

Reviews of the cheese had led me to believe that it wasn’t very firm, but I found just the opposite to be true when I cut a few slices. Is it as firm as a traditional block of cheddar? No. But it sliced easily and held its shape.

I’ve tried many other brands of block-style vegan cheese and they were all pretty gross. My biggest worry when I heard about the wedges was that they wouldn’t taste very good cold. And I was relieved to find that not to be true. The cheddar had a nice tang to it that worked really well by itself, or with crackers and slices of apple. And I was surprised by how rich it was; a few small slices go a long way with plate of fruit and crackers.

This product certainly gives me more options for my lunch dilemma. I can’t wait to try the other varieties.

Up next this week? I’m making Japanese-inspired hot dogs with wasabi fries, as featured in the latest issue of VegNews. I’m also making a pot pie using my slow cooker. I’ll have posts on those later in the week.

I hope you all are well!

New Pantry Products

Let me just say: I would rather spend my money on food than anything else. I say this as I sit here in old yoga pants and a t-shirt that desperately need to be replaced. But I was browsing Whole Foods yesterday during my weekly grocery run when I spotted two products that I’ve been wanting to try: Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and Artisana Organic Raw Coconut Butter. Now, neither are very cheap. The coconut butter set me back nearly $14. The chocolate hazelnut butter retails for almost $10, but I decided to go with the 99-cent packet for my first try.

Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Prior to becoming vegan, I was a big fan of Nutella — a chocolate hazelnut spread that is very popular in Europe. My husband and I binged on crepes stuffed with the spread while in Paris (my mouth is watering just thinking about it!). I had read about Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter in VegNews, and I was curious to see if it tasted anything like Nutella.

Upon my first try, I was a bit disappointed. The spread is kind of grainy, like most natural nut butters, and not as smooth as Nutella. Also, it tastes a lot like peanut butter, which brings me to a confession: I’m not a big fan of peanut butter. I know, blasphemy, right? Who doesn’t like peanut butter? Well, I don’t hate it, but it’s certainly not one of my favorite foods. Believe me, life as a vegan would be a lot easier if I did like it.

After a second spoonful, I definitely got the flavor of the hazelnuts, but it wasn’t as chocolate-y as I would have liked. That being said, I’m glad I stuck with the cheap packet rather than spend $10 on a full jar. Obviously, since I’m not a big fan of peanut butter, I’m probably not the best person to offer a review. So, if you’re a fan of peanut butter, I say, go ahead and give it a try.

Artisana Organic Raw Coconut Butter

I’ve been wanting to incorporate some raw foods into our diet, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I read a review of this Artisana Organic Raw Coconut Butter on Vegan Crunk, and was intrigued. So when I spotted it on the shelf at Whole Foods, I decided to splurge and give it a shot. Coconut butter is high in saturated fat, but the fat is supposed to contain healthy triglycerides that can actually reduce cholesterol and heart disease. It also contains lauric acid, which is supposed to boost immunity and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.

This isn’t going to be much of a review, because, well, I don’t really know what to do with it yet. I’ve heard that it’s good by itself. I’ve also heard that it’s good for desserts. So, if you have any suggestions for using the coconut butter, I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, I’m going to try to find a good recipe to showcase this new ingredient. I’ll be sure to post it on here as soon as I make it.