I know I’m not the healthiest girl in the world- I can never seem to get enough sugar. But this summer Jake and I have done an amazing job of staying away from processed “junk food” and sticking to a diet of fresh whole foods. This means lots of trips to the farmer’s market and staying away from most sections of the grocery store.
So what happens when I wonder into the “unsanctioned” areas? This:
I haven’t really looked at the products in these isles for a long time. I mean really looked. I usually just grab what I need (if I need anything) and high tale it outta Dodge. So when I was actually looking I found a lot of new things I NEEDED to try.
First off I went straight to the Daiya cream cheese. Before being a vegan I could never get enough of the stuff, but I don’t love the animal-friendly alternatives so I tend to stay away from them. Unfortunately the Daiya Chive & Onion is no exception. The flavor is good and its rich and very creamy, but the after taste tasted the way a dentist office smells: latex gloves and Novocaine. I didn’t mean for that to be harsh, we did finish the whole container, but it was very overwhelming at times. Maybe I just don’t like chives. My Whole Foods only had this available, but if I can find a different flavor I’ll definitely give it a try!
The next thing we tried were the Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Shreds, I think on tostadas. When we get a vegan cheese we usually get the Daiya because Jake really likes, but I’m pretty indifferent to both. I was excited to see this on the shelves because I really like mozzarella block of cheese that Follow Your Heart makes. Its so good on white cheezey pizza! Anyway, these were okay the first time we had them. Not as sweet as the Daiya with a tangier, cheesier taste. The melting is decent, but the texture is a little powdery, which didn’t actually bother me. The tanginess of the flavor reminded me a bit of sour cream.
The great thing about this brand, though, is their “environmental commitment.” There’s been a lot of talk lately, especially in the vegan foodie community about palm oil. Most of our processed products use it. So what’s the big deal? In order to get this palm oil Indonesian palm oil farmers have to destroy orangutan habitats, which is so not vegan. Follow Your Hearts solution was simple. Don’t use Indonesian farmers. According to their site, “We only use palm fruit oil that is sustainably grown and harvested in South America, which is not an orangutan habitat. Our supplier has not cleared any primary forest to create new agricultural developments and has set aside or restored more than 10% of their land for wildlife corridors, allowing animals to range undisturbed through their plantations. In addition, we purchase palm oil exclusively from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms. Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms meet standards that improve the quality of life for farm families, protect the wildlife and waterways, and conserve forests.”
A few days later we tried the Daiya pizza. We’ve actually tried the cheese one since buying this, as well. I have to say i prefer the Fire Roasted Vegetables. It’s one of the only veggie frozen pizzas I’ve had where the veggies didn’t taste like freezer and didn’t get that weird watery consistency. The crust is good. Thin, crispy and a little sweet. The pizzas are pretty small so I’d plan on sides to go with it. Maybe add some veggie buffalo wings and you’ll have your own “Pizza Hut” experience! On the whole this pizza reminded me a lot of Tony’s frozen pizza I used to eat when I was a kid, but I really liked Tony’s pizza so that’s okay with me.
Finally we tried the Field Roast Lentil Sage Deli Slices. This is by far our favorite product. The slices are thick and “meaty” as opposed to the Tofurkey brand with the really thin slices. The flavor is rich, a little salty, and tastes just like their other products so if you’re a fan (which we are) you’ll love these! When I first tried them I made a bagel sandwich and used the Daiya Onion and Chive Cream Cheese with it. Good call on my part, the sandwich was pretty tastey and made me like the cream cheese a little bit more.
In the end it was nice to mix things up a bit and have something different in my diet. And I can’t wait to see what new products these companies come out with next!