Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Recent Vegan Essentials

So long without a post! I always miss my veggie friends when I'm offline. I have so many pictures of food, I hardly know where to begin...

This was the last order we had placed with Vegan Essentials several months ago. There's nothing like a big box of vegan food delivered to our door to get us excited!

We ordered a lot of candybars. But if you want to get your fair share in a family of five, you have to make sure there's plenty to go around. And I had really wanted to try all of the new types. We also like to get as much as we can when we're paying for 2 day shipping.

I was excited about trying all of these bars because as tasty as the Go Max Go candy bars (which are sold at our Whole Foods) are, the ingredients are too un-organic for my preference (corn syrup, soy protein, etc.). The ingredients for all of these are much better, I think.

First up in the Eli's Earth Bars line ($2.49): the Dream Big Bar. Yum! (But small!) The ingredients: Organic dairy-free “milk” chocolate (organic rice milk, organic evaporated cane juice, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa paste, organic non-GMO soy lecithin, organic vanilla), organic peanuts, organic rice syrup, sea salt.

This was the Dark Angell Organic Candy Bar. It was definitely good, and I would order one again. I might have preferred the Eli bars, but this one is good for a dark chocolate taste. The ingredients: Organic and fair-trade dark chocolate (organic and fair trade chocolate, organic and fair trade vegan sugar, organic and fair trade cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin, organic natural vanilla), organic tapioca syrup, organic oats, organic almonds, organic Dutch cocoa powder, sea salt, organic almond extract.

Another one of Eli's Earth Bars, the Treasure Bar. So good! The ingredients: Organic dairy-free “milk” chocolate (organic rice milk, organic evaporated cane juice, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa paste, organic non-GMO soy lecithin, organic vanilla), organic evaporated cane juice, organic peanuts, organic rice syrup, organic palm oil, organic rice milk, sea salt.

I don't have a picture of the coconut flavor. I'm not a huge coconut-in-candy bars fan. I ordered a couple of those because I thought my son would like them.

We Can't Say It's Cheese Spreads by Wayfare Foods. I liked the taste of this. My oldest kid who likes most things also liked it. My 4 and 6 year olds did not. Between the two of us, though, we didn't end up quite finishing the tub before it had to be tossed. I should have planned my meals toward it better because I'm not a big snacker. I probably wouldn't order it again for that reason and because I like the cheese dips I made from scratch just as well. But if you don't have time to cook from scratch, try it out. The reviews on Vegan Essentials recommend the Hickory Cheddar flavor.

Cheddar ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice.

Eco-Planet Cheddar Organic Crackers ingredients: Organic wheat flour, organic sunflower oil, and / or organic safflower oil, and or organic canola oil, organic palm oil, salt, organic flavor (non-dairy), leavening (monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), autolyzed yeast extract, paprika, natural vegan flavor, organic onion powder, annatto powder, organic red pepper, papain (enzyme).

These aren't really something I want my kids to snack upon on a regular basis (autolyzed yeast extract, etc.). HOWEVER. Those of you who are around kids might understand that Goldfish Crackers are constantly being thrust into my little one's hands. It's unreal. It's like people think the only things kids can eat are Goldfish and Dum Dum suckers because I can't begin to believe all of the situations and places that hand those things out. Get creative, people! One of my pet peeves in life: handing out food to my kid without my permission or during times when food shouldn't even be a factor, and I wasn't prepared! It's THE snack handed out to my kids at homeschool co-op snack time. And although my daughter would pass it up for her alternate snack, my 6 year old would not, unless he has another "cheesy-type" food substitute. So I had to stock up on these for the rest of the school year.

Audrey's Pleasure Royal Cheeze Veggie Bar snacks. I LOVED these. I think 3/5 of my family liked them.

Royal Cheez ingredients: Macadamia, cashews, bell peppers, lemon, spices, sea salt. If I was better about using my dehydrator, I'd try to make something like these babies all of the time.

Of course, we had to throw in some of Justin's Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. I had gotten really excited when my Whole Foods got an order of them in, but it's lookin' like that was a one-time deal. I keep forgetting to find the ordering guy and ask him to restock. I know they sold out the time they had them, and I know this because I bought most of them.

When I was in highschool, one of my favorite places to spend my time was the Battlefield Mall (in Springfield, Missouri). Whenever I got a hold of an extra $20, I'd head to the mall. It would get me a new shirt with enough money left over to purchase an unmentionable product at an unmentionable frozen yogurt establishment. (This was when I was a vegetarian, not quite vegan.) What I ordered looked something like the above. So I couldn't help from make it for my son when he asked for icecream one day.

Organic Chikin Fillets by Viana ingredients: Tofu (organic soybeans, water), water, organic wheat protein, organic sunflower oil, organic almonds, sea salt, yeast extract, organic rice flour, organic cane sugar, organic palm oil, organic maltodextrin, organic turmeric (added for color), organic locust bean gum, organic spices.

This is one way I enjoyed those. Tomato, lettuce, and warmed tomato sauce with melted Daiya.

Gone Nuts! White Chocolate Cashews, Almonds & Cacao Nibs - ingredients: Organic raw cashews, organic agave, sprouted almonds (organic and/or transitional), organic coconut, organic cacao nibs, organic cacao butter, Himalayan crystal salt, organic vanilla, organic mesquite pod powder.

Raw and sprouted, these are one of the things I was trying to help fatten up my oldest son. They were good.

Overall, our order was a success, and plenty of vegan treat-induced smiles ensued.


  1. Ok, so you're just doing this post to make me jealous huh ;-)

  2. wow, what a treat! look at the kids tearing into that box of goodies -- can't blame 'em! those raw cheezy snacks look super addictive. i'm tempted to try making some on the dehydrator, but i'm trying to lose weight so that would be a BAD idea :)

  3. Man, what a nice haul! I always dream of ordering things like crazy from online vegan stores but I'm afraid I'd miss the delivery.
    I've heard great things about those cheezy crackers, and the raw cracker version looks really intriguing as well!
    Plus, peanut butter cups? Totally "essential." ;)

  4. What fun! I love ordering stuff online and then receiving it; it's like presents. I bet the kids loved unpacking that box!

    I like that We Can't Say It's Cheese too, I've bought it a few times, but then I always feel a little guilty cuz I figure I could make something similar fairly easily...the Hickory Cheddar flavor is my fav...and I bet I couldn't do "hickory" flavor as well as they can. :)

    Your chickin' fillet sandwich sounds like a taste bomb, and I agree with Sara that those cheese snacks look totally addictive!

    Enjoy all those vegan treats!

  5. It's so weird - even as an adult, unexpected snacks show up in the weirdest places. I have trouble turning them down.

    I can't say I've tried any of this, but thanks for the evaluations! I am tempted to do a little online shopping now, too. And I love that last smiling photo.

  6. Those Justin PB Cups are so good. And the ingredients are better than the Go Max Go stuff. My hubby is addicted to the Joker bars (like Snickers) but he always loved PB cups the most pre-vegan, so I'm trying to steer him toward the Justin's. And I am soooo with you on the photo backlog. I have so many pictures waiting to be blogged right now, it is kind of sad :)

  7. I wish I'd been at your house when the box came — what a stash! I once went to Vegan Essentials warehouse (for boots) and it was pretty astounding to be surrounded by endless shelves of vegan food. I had the same experience you did with the hickory smoked cheese, though, we liked it but couldn't finish it before it needed to be tossed.

  8. It would be fun to see your kids cracking open the package like a pinata. Do they really ship everything so it's a big pile of crazy goodness when the box is opened?!

    You should post more often.

  9. lucky kiddos!

    I am interested in the raw cheesy crackers. not sure why the reader above thinks they would make one gain weight, most raw foods do not act like in the body and even if they are higher in fat, they are good fats and the body does not to hold onto excess weight when they are eaten. sorry to go off, that sort of stuff just gets me. enjoy them!

  10. wow my girls and I would love that box of goodies

  11. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाJune 26, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Nice stuff!!
    I've ordered from them once, I should place another order soon.

  12. Sorry! Catching up! We've had some sunshine round these parts and when the sun shines in Scotland you get out into it!

    These look so yummy! Especially the chocolate ones! I now feel the need to order some tasty treats... I'll try to resist. You're a VERY BAD INFLUENCE!

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