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Archive for July, 2012

Almond Milk Ice Cream

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

The other day while in the grocery store, I made a discovery that pleased me very much. You see, I’m always checking the small vegan ice cream section of the cooler to see if anything new has come in. Of late, it’s been monopolized by the coconut milk ice creams, and they’re just too high in fat for my liking, so I usually walk away empty-handed.

Well, this time, a few weeks back, there was indeed a new treat. Almond milk ice cream in both chocolate and vanilla from So Delicious. And, they were reasonably low in fat too, especially as it regards saturated fat. I picked up a pint of chocolate, and it was great. Not thin like rice milk, but actually creamy.

Then, came the real surprise when a week or so later they added mint chip to the line-up. Like I told my Dad, I was “over the moon.” It’s been ages since I’ve been able to enjoy a commercially-made mint chocolate chip ice cream (my all-time favorite ice cream flavor), and this almond milk one absolutely hit the spot. Refreshing and rich, but not cloying.

I have to admit I’ve gone a bit overboard (shhh ), and it ain’t cheap at $5/pint, so I tried my hand at one using my ice cream maker just using what was on hand. Typically, I’d use tofu, which is definitely creamier than the one I whipped up here with just chocolate soy milk, a banana, chocolate chips, and peppermint extract.

It’ll be interesting to see if they also start stocking the other So Delicious almond milk ice cream flavors, as I see on their website, they have butter pecan, cherry amaretto, cookies ‘n cream, and mocha almond fudge.

Vegan Ice Cream Recipe Books:
The Vegan Scoop | Vice Cream | The New Scoop | Lick It!


Core Foods Defender Meal Review

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

I recently had the pleasure of receiving a free sampler pack of a new-to-me vegan food bar called the Defender Meal from Core Foods. They come in three flavors, almond-raisin, walnut-banana, and cashew-cacao, and are made with only the simplest of organic ingredients, including oatmeal, nuts, and fruit. Furthermore, in addition to being vegan, they are raw and gluten-free.

Note: Their other line of bars, the Warrior Meal, contain whey.

The story behind the not-for-profit company’s origins and the inspiration for the bars is a fascinating one. The founder, Corey Rennell was a nutrition major at Harvard.

“In a research project partly underwritten by the Discovery Channel, Rennell lived with remote tribes in Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, rural Mexico and 11 other locations.”

He followed up that experience, where he learned much about how the world eats outside of the Standard American Diet — namely, a high-starch, raw food, mostly plant-based diet — with a stint at Whole Foods, and Core Foods was born.

Source: A Harvard Project Leads To A Healthy Snacks Startup, Forbes.com

“Sounds great,” you say, “but how do they taste?” Glad you asked, as I was eager to find out as well!

In order to get a wider range of opinions, as in the past when I’ve reviewed new vegan food products, I got together with friends for a little taste test. This time it was Scott, a fellow vegan, his wife, and their 4-year-old daughter.

We rated each on a scale of 1-5 for taste, texture, perceived healthfulness, and price (would you buy it at between $4-5 [a case of 10 costs $39.99 before shipping]). We tried not to influence one another, and took note of the little one’s reaction.

First up was the almond-raisin bar. This was hands-down the favorite of everyone with 4-5 on taste and texture. It was moist and had a good flavor of cinnamon and raisin, like a comforting bowl of oatmeal in the morning.

Next, we tried the walnut-banana, which due to some rough transit in the mail and the big pieces of walnut, was a bit broken up. No matter, the taste was still much appreciated; it was almost spot-on to that of a banana bread. The texture got slightly lower marks all around, as it was a little dry. Right about now, we all drank some water, prompted by their daughter’s request.

Last up was the cashew-cacao. Unfortunately, the initial reaction was that it was too bitter. Scott’s wife and daughter couldn’t finish their portions, but we persisted. It did grow on you a little as you ate more, but wow, that first bite was a surprise. There’s no added sweetener in any of these bars, which was great with all the fruit, but when it came to the cacao, its natural bitterness won the day.

For healthfulness, it was 5′s across the board on all of them, save for my 4 on the cashew-cacao due to its higher saturated fat content.

So, overall, pretty good and certainly filling. The price was perhaps a bit prohibitive. Scott did picture maybe picking some up if you knew you were going on a hike or something though. I could see it for a road trip too.

If you’d like a chance to win your own sampler pack, Core Foods has agreed to let me run a giveaway for my readers. You can enter here.

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