Archive for the ‘Earth Balance’ category

New Vegan Junk Foods: Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Puffs and Popcorn, Silk Iced Latte

January 17th, 2013

Nashveggie - Nashville Vegan - Silk Iced Latte

Browsing around the grocery stores this week I ran into some new vegan items. In Kroger, I noticed Silk now has iced latte available in half gallon sizes. Being a coffee snob, I’m one to make my own iced coffees at home but for those who need a coffee fix on the go with ultimate pre-made convenience, these may fit the need.

Also, at Whole Foods the much reported Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Puffs and vegan butter popcorn and well as vegan cheddar popcorn is now available. At $3.99 a bag these we’re a bit out of my snack price range. Considering the cheddar popcorn seemed to be no more than popcorn with salt a nutritional yeast, paying more than 99 cents for a big bag is just out of the question for me. I can make that stuff at home by the metric ton. I may try the puffs if I find them cheaper or on sale, however.

Nashveggie - Nashville Vegan - Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Puffs

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Battle of the Nogs

December 5th, 2011
Vegan Nogs: So Delicious - Rice Dream - Silk - Earth Balance

Vegan Nogs: So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog, Rice Dream Rice Nog, Silk Nog and Earth Balance Soy Nog

 

Egg Nog. I once guzzled that stuff by the carton this time of year. I’m a nog lover. A connoisseur of the nog. AficioNOGdo. If your nog is off then I’ll know it. I’m on top of the nog. Etcetera etcetera… Let’s not think about the sugar and fat content in a glass of that drinkable pudding. I think it’s very tasty but of course since the vegan switch years ago egg nog has been off limits. Silk has had their variant on the shelves this time of year for a few seasons and now were confronted with other entries in this holiday guzzle-fest. I welcome them all but only want the one that tastes best and can hold up, as in coat the side of the glass, like a true nog should. No thin watery stuff. Nog should to be thick.

Looking on the shelves in the cold section of the grocery store this season I was greeted by the usual entry by Silk, a good standby when you just have to have the nog  but I also found some new ones. So Delicious has a coconut milk version of nog and Earth Balance has their own nog as well. One I was surprised to find is Rice Dream Nog. You won’t find this one in the refrigerated section, it’s in a septic pack.

I have four choices now for my nog fix and a decison needs to be made as to the best vegan nog available.  The best way to make such a decision and not be skewed is a blind taste test, Pepsi Challenge style. Four glasses blindly filled and letters corresponding to each nog placed in front of each glass. With paper in hand for notes on each nog this nog tasting was ready to get serious.

Vegan Nogs: So Delicious - Rice Dream - Silk - Earth Balance

Vegan nog blind taste-tasting ready to begin. Each glass filled and with a corresponding letter.

 

Vegan Nogs: So Delicious - Rice Dream - Silk - Earth Balance

Top view of nogness. Note color.

 

Tasting was not limited to just me.  Mrs. Nashveggie and The Kid also participated. Mrs Nashveggie is not the most avid nog fan and it shows in her opinions but it’s still good to get such an objective view included. The Kid, on the other hand, likes most anything sweet.

 

Rice Dream Rice Nog

A – Rice Dream $2.99/32oz

My first thought when seeing Rice Dream Rice Nog is it’s not supposed to be pink! Getting past the pinkness and tasting this overly watery drink left little flavor. There are what appears to be spices in the bottom of the glass so that’s a plus but the only one. Pink, watery, bland.  F

Mrs. Nashveggie: Too pink! I don’t want to taste it… Sweet and chalky.

The Kid: It tastes good.

 

Silk Nog

B – Silk Nog $2.69/32oz

I’ve tried this one before but it was still a little hard to pick out from the four. As a usual standby in recent years when I’ve had the urge for some nog it has stood up well. Being critical though, I could point out flaws as well as high points. Silk Nog has a good flavor. There’s nutmeg flavor you can pick out that should be there though the one flaw that makes this one fall is its consistency. While not as thin as Rice Nog it definitely could stand to be a little less runny.  B

Mrs. Nashveggie: Did you put something in this? Smells like yogurt. Tastes like rum.

The Kid: I like this one. I think it’s my favorite.

 

Earth Balance Soy Nog

C – Earth Balance Soy Nog $2.69/32oz

Earth Balance is known for their vegan butter substitutes but lately they have branched out into other endeavors such as mayonnaise and,  more-notably, soy milk. Their seasonal offering of Soy Nog is likely my favorite of the four. It does have a good consistency and could hold up to a brandy, if that’s what you like. The flavor is a little lighter than I prefer but overall this is a good choice.  A-

Mrs. Nashveggie: Gagged. Too thick.

The Kid: It tastes a little sour. Just a little sweet.

 

So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog

D – So Delicious Coconut Nog  $2.99/32oz

I’m no fan of coconut milk beverages. I find them generally fatty tasting and off-putting. I do like coconut but everything has its place and coconut milk isn’t meant to be swilled like a bottle of cheap malt liquor. With that said So Delicious Coconut Nog had the expected consistency. Thick and rich and that works here. It has that right but that about the only thing. I thought I was drinking liquid candy! So sweet! My teeth hurt after drinking this. I couldn’t taste any spice, if there is any for the overpowering coconut flavor and booming sweetness. For those that want an alternative to soy you have this and Rice Dream Rice Nog to choose from. If I was forced to choose one of the two this would be it. For that reason alone I’ll give it a letter grade up. C-

Mrs. Nashveggie: Where’s the spoon? Thickest one. Tastes too much like coconut milk.

The Kid: This one tastes like coconut. Eww.

 

The clear choice of vegan nogs is Earth Balance Soy Nog. A good balance of everything though not perfect. Still, faced with the decision when these four on on the shelf it would be the one to come home from the grocery store with me.

Those are my opinions on the nogly offerings you’ll find this season. Suffice it to say Mrs. Nashveggie is not a Nog fan and I’ll not likely let The Kid near that much sugar at a time so I’ll be drinking what’s left of the nogs. Each of the four have room to improve, some more than others. Hopefully next year someone will have the perfect nog. I can hope.

 

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November 3rd, 2011

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Oprah Goes Vegan(ish)…Again

February 2nd, 2011

So the time rolls around again and I hear the talk of the upcoming event, Oprah is doing another show on veganism. The Twitter is aflutter and people just can’t rock their socks loud enough to get the word out. Now listen people, Oprah isn’t going vegan. Don’t get so excited to think that the Queen of Materialism is about to put a Vita-Mix and a lifetime supply of Earth Balance under the seat of everyone in her audience and spew forth the news that she will shed her life of all animal meat edibles. No, I’m so sorry to say that won’t happen, nor did it. These are just some quick thoughts on the show that I have.

Yes I watched the show, reluctantly and only to prove to myself that I was right. All I saw was a TV show skimp over an issue while sugar coating everything, “Oh, yes it isn’t easy.”, “We’re only doing it for one week but we’ll make it with these food replacements.”, “No, they don’t taste good.” Enough! First, if you want to show the virtues of a vegan diet, and diet was all you touched as veganism is so much more, if you want to show how great a vegan diet can be get off the processed fake meat replacements!

When a woman pushed the point of having eggs as long as they are from “happy hens”, Oprah’s guest Kathy Freston, a self-proclaimed “veganist” said yes, sure. Now, I’m all for allowing whomever to eat whatever they choose but if you’re calling yourself a “veganist” the least you could do is serve up so well-intentioned facts on why one shouldn’t eat those eggs. Opportunity missed. At the end of the show Freston goes through Whole Foods promoting every processed and prepackaged food she can get her hands on. Apparently, she doesn’t care about how delicious and nutritious fresh veggies are and how absolutely easy the are to prepare. I’ll go out on a limb and say Kathy Freston is as fake a vegan as the fake meats she pushed.

Michael Pollan, who only serves to cuddle the guilt-ridden meat eater and pat them on the back all the while telling them thier corpse ingestion is not the greatest thing but a little bit two or three times a week is OK, seemingly tells the audience that eat all the meat you want as long as it’s from Cargill as they have the cleanest factory farms and slaughter-machines in the nation.

As far as taking people into a slaughterhouse and showing what happens to the cow pre-steak that’s great. I think everyone should see that but that entire segment seemed to show reasons why it was OK to eat meat. Is Oprah scared of the meat industry now after her run ins a few years back? Michael Pollan did nothing but say what a great job Cargill does and stroke the executive sitting next to him.

There are vegans that think this was great publicity and getting the vegan word to the masses. It was the wrong message. This did nothing for veganism as the vegan message was toned down through the course of the show from full vegan diet to eating meat to 2-3 times a week, to vegan-ish (whatever that is) and finally just settling on Meatless Mondays. This was not a show on veganism as much as it was a show on a diet leaning toward plant-based. Veganism is about so much more than food, don’t count on Oprah to ever understand that.

In the end the episode did more to show reasons why your SHOULD eat meat than reasons to adopt a vegan diet, not to mention the vegan lifestyle it didn’t even touch on.  From allowing, and agreeing, that Cargill puts out a good product, animals get a dignified death and vegan food doesn’t taste good as shown by staffers in line at the Harpo cafeteria eating processed junk the loud message was “meat is OK”.

Did you watch the show? What are your thoughts? Were you a meat eater that has been transformed by this? Are you a vegan who thinks there is potential in what Oprah does for veganism? Let me know, agree or disagree I would love to hear from you.

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Varied Vegan Chatter

January 28th, 2011

Over time I gather thoughts. Some I tell myself I’ll write about and some I think why bother. Most of these thoughts never have enough behind them to warrant a lengthy post for the site so I toss them aside and forget it. What I’ve decided to do is throw those all into one post. There won’t be much to go on but jump in the comments and complete my thoughts. I’m counting on you.

I’ve been on the fake meat bandwagon once in my vegan/vegetarian life. It was early on, of course, as most people who do get into that habit of eating with convenience in mind. I’ve not so recently put that aside. Fake meats are, to me, for transitioning vegetarians. They lend the familiarity of what once once the edible mainstay but as a vegan I have moved on to fresher foods. That’s not to say I don’t eat some here and there and you’ll likely see reviews for them pop up on this site. They are what they are, a transition food and that’s fine.

While on the subject of fake meats Just a mention that one of my biggest dining-out peeves is a vegan or vegetarian restaurant that relies on fake meats to fill their menu. How about the veggies, guys? I don’t want to pretend to chew pork or chicken/chick’n/chic’n, no matter how many letters you remove form the word, when I’m paying $15 to eat at your restaurant. If you can’t prepare fresh vegetables, and I don’t mean prepared in some gourmet-style, just simple fresh vegetables, then you have no place running a vegetarian dining establishment.

I have been noticing Earth Balance soy milks at Whole Foods for a few months. I’ve even bought the milks regularly but it wasn’t until recently that I noticed the absence of Silk products in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. I asked about the disappearance and was told that Whole Foods had decided to stop carrying Silk due to the changes Dean Foods had made to the product line. Specifically, the dropped “Organic” from the standard packaging and came out with a new package design and marketed the Organic line again though with a higher price tag. There was no marking on the original package to signify it was no longer organic less the absence of the organic seal. Shady? Greedy? Shysters? No big deal?

For the past few months I’ve been doing P90X. I completed the first 90 days and immediately started a second 90 days which, at this point, I’m at day 60. I’ve had tremendous results losing some weight and finding muscles I never though I had. I have discovered that Tony Horton, creator of the series, is vegetarian and is now working on a vegan diet plan for his next workout series. Vegan P90X works!

“Flexitarian” is just omnivore disguised in a fancy catch phrase that makes advertising pop and sounds trendy. You know how people love trendy.

As the father of a vegan 5 year old I ‘ve often wanted to hear from other parents of vegan children. If you fall into that description drop something in the comments about your experiences. I would love to hear from you.

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