Vegan Product Reviews

Vegan Product Review: Botanical Cuisine, Carmen's Crackers, Freedom Foods Crafted Blend Quinoa Chips, Halo Top Dairy Free Ice cream, Organ Quinoa Porridge Apple and Cinnamon, Sweet William Dairy Free Chocolate Bunny

 

Anyone else obsessive about good food and bitterly disappointed by wasting money and calories on anything crap and/or overpriced? I’m sure I’m not the only one 😉

There are a lot of new and innovative vegan products on the market that I see in the grocers or am encouraged to try by other vegans. To be frank, some of these products do not live up to their hype. On the flip side, some of these are freaking amazing and people need to know about these heavenly foods!

Below is my take on recent vegan product purchases. Thumbs up = I would definitely buy again. Thumbs down = save your pennies.

Thumbs Up

Botanical Cuisine Lemon & Dill Cashew Cheese RRP $12.15

Vegan Product Review: Botanical Cuisine Leon & Dill Cashew Cheese
Holy sh*tballs.

My kingdom for a lifetime supply of this lemon and dill cashew cheese.

It’s heavenly. It’s creamy. It’s lemon-y and dill-y.

It’s possibly the most delicious spread I’ve ever tasted.

Even my non-vegan, omnivore parents thought this was delicious. They ate it instead of the dairy cheese I bought for them on their last visit to Casa de Nomads.

Hyperbole aside: in terms of texture and consistency this cheese is probably a cream cheese spread equivalent. It’s perfect on tasty crackers, and as a spread on sandwiches. It also goes nicely eaten out of the jar with carrot and celery sticks. Vegan friends have mentioned they used it with the Botanical Cuisine Pesto as a base on DIY pizzas.

The Botanical Cuisine website states these are organic,  cane sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, low gi, vegan, and raw.

Ingredients: activated raw cashew* (45%), spring water, olive oil*, lemon* (8%), dill* (3%), pink lake salt, garlic*, onion*, black peppercorn*, culture. (*organic) 

Freedom Foods Crafted Blend Quinoa Chips $5 at Woolworths

Vegan Product Review: Freedom Foods Crafted Blend Quinoa Chips

My expectations for these were pretty low, to be frank. I spent what I considered to be a bit of money, yet expected salty cardboard sticks. Thankfully my faith in the vegan health gods was rewarded. I didn’t know healthy chips could be so good!

Texture wise, they aren’t like your average Smiths Chip or a Pringle. If there’s any comparison I can draw, it would be to a firmer, crispier prawn cracker. The hardness of these gives a very satisfying crunch, and the flavours are vibrant. I’ve tried the Salt & Apple Cider Vinegar, and the Smoky Chipotle. Both are delicious and I can’t settle on a favourite.

Freedom Foods‘ website states that these are Gluten Free, Wheat Free,  a Source of fibre, with no artificial colours or flavours, no added preservatives, no palm oil and 4 HSR.

Salt & Apple Cider Vinegar Ingredients: Flour Mix [Quinoa (26%), Maize, Chickpea (10%), Rice], Sunflower Oil, Chickpea Fibre, Potato Starch, Natural Flavours, Sugar, Salt, Glucose, Citric Acid.

Carman’s Kitchen Super Seed & Grain Crackers – Ancient Grain & Cracked Pepper $3.80 at Coles

Vegan Product Review: Carman’s Kitchen Super Seed & Grain Crackers - Ancient Grain & Cracked Pepper
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are good!

These were *also* another product I had low expectations for.

I thought they’d be healthy, and possibly cardboard-y.

Nope, nope, nope.

These are crunchy, peppery and sturdy enough to handle my over enthusiastic dunking into Botanical Cuisine Lemon & Dill Cashew Cheese without breaking. I *may* have eaten the entire packet in one sitting – I blame both products equally for this diet breaking incident.

Carman’s Kitchen website states it is a family owned, Australian business, and these crackers are gluten free, nut free, palm oil free, and vegan.

Ingredients: Seeds 52% (Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, White Sesame Seeds, Black Sesame Seeds, Millet, Amaranth), Grains 27% (Quinoa, Brown Rice), Sunflower Oil, Linseed Meal, Cracked Pepper, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Natural Rosemary Extract.

*NB – Image used is taken from the Carman’s Kitchen website.

Thumbs Down

Halo Top Dairy Free Ice Cream $10 at my Woolies (NB – I have seen this for $8 online via Woolworths)

Vegan Product Review: Halo Top Dairy Free Ice Cream

Oh, Halo Top. How I wanted to love you. I truly did.

I’ve seen vegans raving about Halo Top’s dairy free ice cream. At 280 calories a tub, it sounded too good to be true.

And that’s because it was. This stuff does not taste like dairy free ice cream.

What does Halo Top Dairy Free Ice Cream taste like?

It tastes like an approximation of ice cream.

It tastes like what an alien who has travelled to Earth from another galaxy, who has never had ice cream before and has only heard about ice cream from humans,  has tried to create thinking it’s made ice cream.

It tastes like a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of dairy free ice cream, that has lost its very essence from endless copies.

I drove an hour ‘round trip to buy a tub of the chocolate Halo Top Dairy Free Ice Cream from the nearest stockist on the Coffs Coast. If you can’t already tell, I was pretty disappointed.

If you want dairy free ice cream, do yourself a favour and buy some Weiss dairy free ice cream. It still tastes like ice cream.

The Halo Top website states that its dairy free chocolate ice cream has 280 calories in a tub, and that it is dairy free, low sugar, low carb, low fat, certified organic, with no synthetic growth hormones.

Chocolate Ingredients: Coconut milk (coconut cream, water), organic cane sugar, erythritol, rice protein, high fat cocoa, prebiotic fiber, vegetable glycerin, pea protein, organic carob gum, organic guar gum, sea salt, organic sunflower lecithin, organic stevia leaf extract.

Sweet William Dairy Free Chocolate Bunny – $9.99 at Aldi

Vegan Product Review: Sweet William Dairy Free Chocolate Bunny

I was so excited to see these at Aldi that I grabbed not one but TWO dairy free bunnies.

Do you remember the flavourless, no-name, small, hard chocolate Easter eggs you’d get as a child in the 80s or 90s? Imagine a dairy free version of them, and you’ve got this bunny.

I started having regrets when I got past the ears on the first one. But, because I’m a trooper who doesn’t believe in waste, I ate them both.

I still quite like other Sweet William’s dairy free chocolates, but I’ll stick to the small bars and cooking chocolate from this line.

The Sweet William’s websites says that all of its products are Dairy Free, Nut Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Vegan Suitable, GMO Free with No Artificial Additives and are Australian Made.

NB – I couldn’t locate the ingredients online. Will teach me to take a photo of the ingredients on the box!

Orgran Quinoa Porridge Apple & Cinnamon $7 at Woolworths

Vegan Product Review: Orgran Quinoa POrridge Apple & Cinnamon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh ye gods, this was bloody awful.

I love quinoa. I love apple. I love cinnamon. I usually love Orgran products… What could go wrong, I asked myself?

Everything.

Ever wondered what mushy cardboard with a mild hint of apple tastes like?

This.

THIS DOES.

I understand the lure of convenience, but surely there’s got to be a better way to make quinoa taste like oatmeal.

I usually love the Orgran brand, so I want to give a positive shout out to Orgran’s rice, veggie and buckwheat pastas. My digestive system doesn’t process wheat and gluten well (I’m not allergic, but the details of my intolerance are icky, so please just trust me on this one) and the Orgran pasta range has been a god-send for my carby, pasta indulgences. For one of their products I love, have a look see at a delicious Orgran Pasta with Parsley Pesto

The Orgran website states this product is .

Ingredients: Rice Flour, Apple Pieces (15%) [Concentrated Apple Puree, Invert Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Humectant (Glycerol), Citrus Fibre, Acidity Regulator (Malic Acid), Pectin (Emulsifier), Flavour (Natural)], Yellow Pea Flour, Quinoa Flour (10%), Psyllium, Rice Bran, Cinnamon (3%), Emulsifier: Monoglyceride from Vegetable, Iodised Salt, Turmeric, Rosemary Extract

NB Photo is taken from the Orgran Website

DISCLAIMER: I was not given any free products or paid for my opinions. All opinions stated, no matter how hyperbolic or obnoxious are most definitely my own.