Tag Archives: vegan snacks

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

23 Jun

I rarely venture above 23rd street, so when I had to go to the Upper East Side the other day, I made a few stops along the way. First on my hit list? Candle Cafe!! I didn’t have time to indulge in a full-fledged meal, but I got the Green Goddess juice which boosted my spirits. (I’m sure this guy would appreciate looking like he’s scratching his butt in the picture below. He’s actually just putting his wallet in his pocket, but my version is funnier).

Candle Cafe NYC

Look how vibrant and beautifully green the juice is!!

Green Goddess Juice at Candle Cafe. Mixed Greens, Apple, Lemon, and Ginger.

I swung by Beanocchio for a soy latte and couldn’t resist these delicious coconut macaroons.

Raw Almond Vegan Macaroons at Beanocchio

And they’re even heart-shaped (-ish)! So cute.

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons at Beanocchio

They were sweet, but not cloying, and held together perfectly. I love raw cookies and bars because I don’t feel gross after I eat them. They aren’t packed with processed sugars and artificial ingredients that can send your body into a frenzy. Plus, raw desserts are filling and satisfying. They’re typically high in protein, good fats, and fiber, which means I don’t get the urge to binge on 50 of them. It’s not about the calories, it’s about the quality of the ingredients.

I took a stab at making my own raw vegan macaroons. Next time, I think I’ll try chocolate covered ones. Mmmmmmmm.

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup almonds (soaked for 1 hour)

1/2 cup toasted unsweetened, low-fat organic coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened, low-fat, organic coconut

1/4 cup agave

Directions:

1. Soak the almonds. Drain, disposing of liquid. Reserve almonds.

2. Toast coconut in a small saute pan over low heat.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

4. Put all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until finely ground and begins to hold together.

5. Using a tablespoon, scoop mounds of the mixture and place onto prepared baking sheet. Note: when scooping, be sure to press mixture into the tablespoon to ensure it forms a mound and holds together. If the mixture is sticking in the spoon, have a cup of hot water to dip the spoon into between scoops.

6. Refrigerate for one hour. These little mounds of joy were soft but held together, even when bitten into. They tasted even better on the second day.

7. Eat!!

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

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Highlights from 1st Annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

7 Apr

Sunday, April 3rd, was the first NYC Vegetarian Food Festival. What a zoo!!!  Turnout was good with herds of people crammed into a small space at the Altman building. I was psyched I bought VIP tickets in advance through Living Social because the line for general admission was half-way down the block. I heard some people didn’t even get in? And that next year it will be at Javitz? One can only hope because we could have used the space!

I was thrilled to meet so many like-minded people, brought together by a love of food, and interest in healthy/sustainable lifestyles. Although I was disappointed that most vendors focused heavily on desserts, cookies, and numerous vegan mac & cheeses, I was very happy to see some brands that I love, and to find unique/innovative products that I hadn’t tried before. And there were samples galore! I do hope next year there are more vendors that focus on clean foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, and fruits.

Here are a few highlights. I’ll have some further product reviews in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!

Peeled Snacks

One of my favorite snacks, just came out with new variety packs like Pineapple, Mango & Banana. My three favorites together in one bag? Hip, hip, hooray!

New Varieties of Peeled Snacks

Peeled Snacks Team

Gnosis Chocolate

A vegan chocolate that’s 100% handmade. I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and never tried it until the Festival. I was skeptical at first, but that Super Choc was so delicious I bought a few bars to test out! I’ll have a full review in the weeks to come.

Super Choc

Beyond Sushi

All vegetarian, organic sushi rolls use black rice with fresh veggies, fruits and tofu based sauces like chilli & mango and tofu & miso. I was sad I didn’t get to try it. They were completely out of samples when I was there but conceptually sounded really interesting. I mean, come on!!! Look at how gorgeous these are; almost too pretty to eat.  They’d be great for pregnant moms who can’t have shellfish, or those with shellfish allergies or of course, vegetarians/vegans!

Beyond Sushi

Splitz Snacks

Organic, healthy snacks made primarily from yellow split peas, this delicious snack has 140 calories, 6 grams fat and a whopping 9 grams of protein in a 2 oz bag!

Splitz snacks

Splitz Table

Raw Ice Cream Company

I’ve tried quite a few raw, vegan ice creams and this one was exceptional. It had a very creamy, smooth consistency. And I love their tagline, “Gorge yourself responsibly!” Why thank you, I will!

Although the samples don’t look that appetizing here, the mint chip was fabulous! They have very limited distribution at the moment, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before this spreads like wildfire. Their website is the cutest ever, and has a store locator if you’re looking to purchase.

Raw Ice Cream Table

Raw Ice Cream Samples

SHEFFA snacks

Loved these little snacks from Sheffa. It would be a great beer snack; kind of like a healthy version of party mix. I guess that’s kind of redundant right? A healthy snack to go with a beer is like having a diet coke with a big mac. Still, they were tasty. I liked the Spicy snack mix made with ground chickpeas, roasted corn, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, spices and sea salt.

Sheffa Snacks

Wholesome Creations

Although I usually make my own salad dressing, I did enjoy these all natural, gluten-free, vegan, dressings by Wholesome Creations. No additives, no preservatives, no added colors or chemicals. Flavors include: Lemon Paradise, Pomegranate Cranberry, Ginger/Green Tea, Mediterranean.

Wholesome Creations Mediterranean Flavor

How cute are they?

Wholesome Creations Team

aPEELing, organic, on-the-go snacks

5 Feb

I’m a snacker. Even before I was vegan, I always had a full arsenal in my bag. You’d think I had a toddler with all the snacks I carry. Nope, I just am one. Usually I’m packing bars, nuts, and fruit. As a vegan, I always want something on hand because I can’t guarantee I’ll have a vegan-friendly option when I’m out of the house. No one wants to see me hungry with my crankypants on, not cute.

Anyway you can imagine my delight when I came home to find a box from Peeled Snacks. YIPPPPYYY! They sent a variety pack to test out. I’m a lucky dog. I had to refrain from ripping them open and devouring the entire box. Patience young Skywalker, you have to take photos.

Look at how nicely it arrived! I love getting packages.

Oooooooo……. Ahhhhh check out all the pretty colors! Their packaging is so cute. Bright, cheery, whimsical.

Not to toot my own horn, but I’m a bit of a dried fruit connoisseur (toot, toot…and yes, too much dried fruit can lead to exactly that). I’ve tried Whole Foods,Trader Joe’s, and I stop at every natural foods store I pass. Peeled really is far superior. Yes, its dried fruit, but it doesn’t taste like the life has been sucked out of it only to be replaced with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or sulfur dioxide. It actually tastes like fresh fruit, but in a form that’s portable with a longer shelf-life. They are made with premium, organic, and all-natural ingredients, with no sugar or oil added.  They also try to source from sustainable farms making them not only good for the body, but good for the environment. LOVE THAT!

These single-serve packages are great on-the-go, and are low-calorie, ranging from 110 (apple & apricot) to 150 (banana). The portions are perfect for those like me who cannot control themselves with dried fruit. It’s easy to over consume and next thing you know, you’ve eaten a bushel of apples.

Even the names of their six varieties make me smile: much-ado-about-Mango, pine-4-Pineapple, Banan-a-peel, Apple-2-the-core, Apricot-a-lot, and Cherry-go-round. I’ve had the mango before (and loved it), but had not tried the other flavors. Until now!

Much-ado-about-mango

Much-ado-about-mango was gone first. That and pineapple are the household favorites. The mango is soft so you don’t break teeth chewing it, nice benny. The colors are vibrant and you know how mangos have that thread-like texture when they’re really ripe? It was still there. Hard to believe it’s dried.

much-ado-about-mango

Mmmm pine-4-pineapple…super chewy, with a natural sweetness. It’s like crack. LOVE IT.

pine-4-pineapple

Look at this, whole apple slices!

apple-2-the-core

Even the apricots are soooo plump and juicy. How do they do that? I don’t usually love apricots because they’re always depressing, shriveled up balls, but look at these gorgeous little morsels!

apricot-a-lot

I bought Balaton cherries with no sugar added from Whole Foods a while ago and I just had to compare them to the Peeled cherries. Look at the difference between them. Well, it’s hard in the picture… I’m not great at the close-ups yet. The cherries on the left are Whole Foods, the right are Peeled. You can see the Peeled cherries are plump and juicy. The Whole Foods cherries are dry and completely flat. They’re actually kind of hard to chew. I did like how tart the Whole Foods cherries were and think they’d be good in cookies or oatmeal when they’re cooked and can plump up a bit. The Peeled cherries are amazing on their own, and mind-blowing in trail mix when combined with nuts and chocolate. Which would you rather eat?

whole foods vs peeled

In addition to just regular snacking, I used the Peeled bananas and apricots in my oatmeal and OMG it was awesome. Totally tasted like banana nut muffins.

banan-a-peel

banana nut oatmeal

I prefer steel-cut oats over old-fashioned rolled or quick cooking. Although steel-cut take longer to cook, I like the nuttier, chewier texture, and find it’s always a little better on day two. What’s the difference between steel-cut, rolled and quick oats? Well, they’re all the same grain (groats – the inner kernel), just different stages of processing. Steel cuts are the least processed since it’s the whole raw oat, and are cut with steel blades into smaller pieces. Rolled oats are rolled (shocker) so they are a little thinner and cook a little faster. Quick oats are basically rolled oats processed a little further, so they cook even faster. Instant oats are the thinnest and are pre-cooked so they, cook the fastest. Click here for more info.

And here’s the recipe for Banana Nut Oatmeal. I use Bob’s Red Mill steel-cut oats, but use whatever you can find at your local grocery store. They even have a gluten-free version. Of course you can substitute any of the ingredients with any nuts, dried fruit, or even use jam instead of maple syrup. The options are endless!

Banana Nut Steel Cut Oatmeal

1/2 cup steel-cut oatmeal, cooked

1/2 pack Banan-a-peel peeled snacks

1 T pecan pieces

1/2 T maple syrup

2 Apricot-a-lot diced

1 T ground flax-seed

Splash of nut milk (just to moisten)

1. Add splash of nut milk to cooked oatmeal and microwave for 1-1.5 minutes depending on your microwave. Mix in toppings and eat!



Vegan, gluten-free, yummy, on-the-go snacks

6 Jan

Day 4 – Vegan on-the-go!

Ok so I’m not going to lie, I’m tired today. Been tired all day, still tired now. I did another double session of Bar Method and Soul-Cycle so maybe my body is angry and fighting back. Either way, I was running around all day on a couple coffees, but no food. Not good for me or my metabolism. Being vegan does pose a few challenges like grabbing a bite when you’re out and about, which is why it’s always good to have goodies stashed in your purse for emergencies. Thank you Larabars for surviving the beat down of being jostled around in my overstuffed purse.

No, I don’t get paid to promote these brands, but I would happily do it; they are life-savers! I have been eating them for years, way before I began this vegan journey. I first got them as on-the-go snacks for my husband and I. We wanted something easy and low-calorie for pre or post-workouts, and occasionally in between meals. For a while we tried Balance bars, but didn’t like that they are full of ingredients you cannot pronounce. It’s like translating the periodic table. So I searched for a natural, good tasting bar. The search was over when I tried Larabars and Go Raw bars. They are now my go-to healthy snacks. They are gluten-free, wheat-free, and vegan. The Go Raw products are even nut-free and organic, and flavors like Banana Bread are only 120 calories. I recommend keeping Go Raw in the refrigerator since the ingredients are “live” and are susceptible to going bad (although I’ve never seen that happen).

Here are a few of my favorite flavors:

Larabars: Peanut butter cookie, Coconut cream pie, Peanut butter & jelly, Cherry pie and Apple pie.

Go Raw: Real Live Flax Seed Bar, Spirulina Energy Bar, Banana “bread” Flax Bar,  Spirulina* “super chips” and Ginger Snaps.

*Spirulina is a blue algae and complete protein containing all essential amino acids.  It’s also a rich source of potassium which is why I love it post-workout!

Happy Snacking!

Available at Whole Foods. Go Raw brand sometimes available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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