Categories
Health Plant-Based What's New

The Hummus & Pita Co. Turns Hummus Into a Dessert Dip

With a focus on creating healthy, inclusive and unique vegan creations, The Hummus & Pita Co. is no ordinary Mediterranean joint. 

Known for the daring Chickpea Chiller AKA the Hummus Shake, a milkshake made using garbanzo beans, The Hummus & Pita Co.’s journey into the great vegan beyond resulted in the creation of the Chickpea Schmear. What makes this special menu item different is that it’s hummus made for dessert. 

The Chickpea Schmear is available in three flavors: Cookie Dough, Cake Batter and Chocolate. Untouched, the Chickpea Schmear almost looks more like pudding than hummus. Recommended by co-founder and recipe developer Dave Pesso, their in-house cinnamon toasted pita chips are the perfect compliment to the creamy dip.

Each Chickpea Schmear is made with only a handful of healthy ingredients with only 59g per serving, and is low in calories, fat and sugar. With summer right around the corner, this sweet treat is a healthy and fun way to enjoy hummus.

Think it’d be a good compliment to pickle hummus?

Categories
Health Plant-Based Products

These are the Best Plant-Based Food Alternatives of 2022

With each passing year there’s a new plant-based brand that hits the shelves. Some of these newer products fall flat, while others are truly pushing the flavor envelope forward and achieving surprising results. 

For some time, before Beyond Burger and Impossible Foods changed the game, the plant-based burger occupied a bland landscape. Similarly, new plant-based alternatives are making a mark and showing what’s truly possible with the right amount of passion, palate and plants. 

Below is a list of what we consider the best plant-based brands that make faithful alternatives to many of our favorite foods. 

BEST PLANT-BASED BURGER

Photo: Impossible Foods

Impossible Burger 2.0

Photo: Beyond Meat

Beyond Burger

Kicking the list off with these two hugely popular plant-based burgers. Whether you rep OG beef flavored Impossible patties or Beyond Burger’s unique approach to flavor, you’re in for a great patty. Each of these patties are juicy, take well to seasoning and are easy alternatives for plant-based newcomers.

BEST PLANT-BASED SAUSAGE

Photo: Morning Star Farms

Morning Star Farms Hot & Spicy Sausage Patties

Morning Star Farms mastered the plant-based sausage game a long time ago. Their Griller Burgers were legendary way before Impossible or Beyond were household names. Today, they continue to offer healthy and tasty plant-based proteins with the Hot & Spicy Sausage Patties being no exception. 

BEST PLANT-BASED CHORIZO

Photo: Abbot’s Butcher

Abbot’s Butcher

If you enjoy your savory protein with a subtle kick, Abbot’s Butcher Spanish Smoked Chorizo delivers just the right amount of flavor. Made from pea protein with garlic, chipotle peppers and an imported Spanish smoked paprika, it’s a zesty and appetizing compliment for a wide array of dishes. 

BEST PLANT-BASED BACON

Photo: Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods

Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon

Bacon is a favorite of meat-lovers worldwide. It’s also incredibly challenging to recreate. While many contenders have put forth admirable attempts, none successfully stuck the landing. Thankfully, Sweet Earth’s Benevolent Bacon has done just that. It’s generously flavored with hickory, sage and garlic. Unlike others, it can be cooked crispy or tender. Make sure to grab some next time you have a hankering for a BLT.

BEST PLANT-BASED MEAL KIT

Photo: Foodbeast

Nona Lim Dan Dan Noodles Bowl w/ Beyond Meat

In our ever-busy lives, having delicious on-the-go food options is essential. The Bay Area-based Nona Lim brand specializes in classic Asian street foods without MSG, artificial ingredients, preservatives or lots of sodium. The Dan Dan Noodles Bowl with Beyond Meat is a delicious marriage of savory broth and chewy Beyond Meat crumbles that can be ready to enjoy in 30 seconds. 

BEST PLANT-BASED CHICKEN TENDERS

Photo: Gardein

Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Chicken Tenders

Gardein has been making plant-based alternatives for some time now, providing a range of classics that help preparing dinner easier. Found in the frozen section, Gardein’s chicken tenders are great for salads, sandwich wraps and as an easy snack for kids.

BEST PLANT-BASED CHICKEN FOR STIR FRY

Photo: Daring

Daring Original Pieces

This company focuses solely on making the best plant-based chicken possible. Managing to overcome the stringy, often sponge-like consistency that most chicken alternatives have, Daring’s plant-based chicken sizzles, shreds and serves just like the real thing. It goes great with Asian dishes like stir fry and fried rice. Aside from their Original flavor, they also offer Lemon & Herb, Breaded and Cajun.

BEST PLANT-BASED SPICY NUGGETS

Photo: Morning Star Farms

Morning Star Farms Veggie Buffalo Wings

Plant-based buffalo wings is one area with a high hit-or-miss average. As one of the pioneers in the plant-based space, Morning Star Farms has been making tasty alternatives for more than a decade. Their spicy nuggets have a great buffalo sauce flavor and chewy consistency that is perfect for dipping.

BEST PLANT-BASED FISH FOR COOKING

Photo: Omni

Omni Foods Golden Fish Filets

Omni Foods is truly doing special things with plant-based seafood. Using magic or something, they’ve managed to closely recreate the texture, taste and consistency of actual fish. Their Golden Fish Filets can be fried and baked to be the perfect plant-based centerpiece to your meal.

BEST PLANT-BASED FISH FOR SUSHI

Photo: Current Foods

Current Foods Original Tuna Filet

Also doing amazing things with plant-based seafood is San Francisco upstart Current Foods. Their resident scientists managed to create a plant-based seafood alternative that rivals the taste, texture and nutritional density of actual seafood. With Current Foods Original Tuna Filet, you can make tasty sushi at home and help support ocean restoration. 

BEST PLANT-BASED SHRIMP

Photo: Facebook

New Wave Foods

New Wave Foods was one of the first to market with a plant-based shrimp substitute, and it still stands out as the gold standard. Made from algae, their vegan replica is nearly identical from a texture standpoint, and the sweetness and flavor are a close match too. It’s exceptional as a fried shrimp substitute.

BEST PLANT-BASED EGGS

Photo: JUST

JUST Egg

The road to the perfect plant-based scramble has been a bumpy one. That’s not surprising considering yolk is an interesting consistency that changes once cooked. Thankfully, our innate desire to achieve the impossible has resulted in JUST Egg liquid mix. With super simple ingredients and a great egg-like taste, this is the closest you’ll get to the real deal.

BEST PLANT-BASED CHEESE SLICES

Photo: Violife

Violife “Just Like” Slices

In the beginning, plant-based cheeses were bland and refused to do that thing we love cheese most for doing — melt. But thankfully, over the past few years things have improved considerably. With a cheesier taste, chewy consistency and satisfying melt game, Violife “Just Like” slices are the best dairy-free pick that’ll give you the experience you’re looking for. 

BEST PLANT-BASED SHREDDED CHEESE

Photo: Violife

Violife “Just Like” Shreds

If you prefer a shred over a slice, Violife also makes excellent, melt-happy shredded cheese too. With four types of shreds to enjoy from Colby Jack to Mozzarella, Violife has your meal plans covered.

BEST PLANT-BASED CREAM CHEESE

Photo: Kite Hill

Kite Hill Foods Chive Cream Cheese

Kite Hill’s almond-based dairy products are well renowned, and it’s pretty hard to find a tub of this stuff ‘cause it keeps flying off the shelves. When you do score one, though, the combination of chive with the slightly tangy, rich plant-based cream cheese will be a taste bagels won’t be the same without. 

BEST PLANT-BASED MAC AND CHEESE

Photo: Freezer Meal Frenzy

Trader Joe’s Vegan Mac

Easy to prepare and great for those on the go, Trader Joe’s Vegan Mac is the creamy plant-based alternative you’re looking for. It comes in a microwavable plastic container and includes two hearty servings of dairy-free deliciousness. The taste isn’t quite cheesy, yet is richer and more filling than what you’d expect from vegan mac. It also has a dash of cayenne pepper for a subtle kick.

BEST PLANT-BASED MILK

Photo: Oatly

Oatly Oat Milk

I’m totally unsure who discovered that you could squeeze milk from oats, but they deserve a medal or something. Oatly comes in as our top pick as best plant-based milk with its well rounded yet subtle oat flavor. While not exactly dairy-esque, the oat-y flavor compliments all the usuals from cereal to smoothies, or simply drink it straight up.

BEST PLANT-BASED ICE CREAM

Photo: Van Leeuwen

Best Overall: Van Leeuwen Vegan Ice Cream

Many brands are trying their hand at plant-based ice cream hoping to achieve the rich and creamy roundness the dessert is known for. From brand to brand, experimenting with a range of base ingredients like almonds, cashews and even avocado means results may indeed vary. Van Leeuwen began with only an ice cream truck before expanding nationwide. With a good selection of plant-based flavors, you’re sure to find something for your sweet tooth. I definitely recommend their super delectable pistachio flavor.

Photo: SO Delicious

Best Cookies & Cream Ice CrèmeSo Delicious Wondermilk

But wait there’s more! In my experience, most plant-based brands miss the mark with Cookies & Créme. They either lack the creamy consistency, an authentic flavor or only use small cookie bits. Basically, there’s always something off. While Van Leeuwen has great Cookies & Créme adjacent flavors, they do not offer the traditional mix. Thankfully, well known plant-based brand So Delicious has answered our Cookies & Créme dreams with their new Wondermilk series, which features a crazy combination of ingredients like coconut, organic cane sugar and sunflower.

BEST PLANT-BASED YOGURT 

Photo: Silk

Silk Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative

Landing as our top plant-based yogurt pick is Silk Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative. The popular brand has successfully sidestepped the often chalky, liquid consistency of most plant-based yogurts. Available in several flavors, each bite is a creamy and sweet treat for your taste buds. 

BEST PLANT-BASED BUTTER

Photo: Earth Balance

Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread

Creamy and rich, Earth Balance makes plant-based butter that spreads, melts and tastes like the real thing. In addition to their Original Buttery Spread, they have a wide selection of butters that perfectly compliment your preferred slice of bread. 

Besides the health benefits that eating plant-based foods have, many of these brands also support great causes. The awesome thing about it all is that plant-based food is only going to get better. Next time you’re looking to add more plants to your plate, try one of these.

Categories
Culture Health Recipes

10 Unlikely Air Fryer Recipes

Air fryers are becoming increasingly popular as more people are focusing on better health. They cut an estimated 70% to 80% more calories than frying oil, and reduce the chemical acrylamide, which is linked to cancer, by 90% in potatoes. While having many health benefits, there are some cons, albeit avoidable ones.

Mostly though, air frying is a great and often simpler way to cook up some of your favorite dishes. They happen to be pretty nifty at doing a lot more than just frying. However, there’s some air fryer recipes out there that would surprise many.

Below is a list of interesting and unlikely recipes you can whip up with your air fryer.

Soft/Hard Boiled Eggs

With an air fryer, you can skip boiling water and cook whole eggs exactly how you want.

Tortilla Bowl

Aside from more elaborate recipes, air fryers also have a wide assortment of practical uses. For example, create your own taco bowl experience in just a few short minutes.

Air Fried Oats

Oatmeal is amazing because there’s countless ways to prepare it. You can even use an air fryer to take your oatmeal recipe to the next level.

Sweet Chili Salmon Bites

Making fish can sometimes be hit or miss because it’s easy to overcook. So it’s clutch that you can make these tasty and sweet chili salmon bites using an air fryer.

Oreo Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

See what happens when crunchy OREOs meet fluffy cinnamon rolls in this mouthwatering clip. Who knew an air fryer could produce such decadence?

Roasted Garlic

Another unlikely recipe that has many practical applications is roasted garlic. This clip shows you how to make a quick batch of whole roasted garlic that can be stored for future use — all while cutting down the time it requires to roast garlic by half.

Camembert Bites

Cheese lovers will drool over this gooey explosion of a recipe. Truly this level of melted goodness is always a welcome sight.

Fried Plantains

These sweet and savory knockouts are the perfect handheld bite. They’re especially perfect to fill with whatever tasty toppings you want.

Air Fried Spam

Turn your Spam into a quick and crunchy snack with this simple recipe. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself knocking out a whole can in one sitting.

Mini Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Learn how to make miniature cheesecakes that pack a sweet and smokey punch with this easy air fryer recipe. Who knew an air fryer’s magic could create legit cheesecakes?

KFC Air Fryer Pie

Chicken pot pie just got an upgrade with this inventive hack. This quick and easy recipe is sure to impress.

From desserts and savory dishes to practical ingredients, air fryers can do it all. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying one out yet, I definitely recommend it.

Categories
Health Packaged Food What's New

KIND Wants You to STOP Eating Its Snacks To Promote Its Latest Product

Did you know that only a reported 10-12% of adults eat their daily recommended serving of fruits and veggies? With so many packaged food options, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the convenience of life. Continuing to raise awareness around healthier diet options, KIND is going further than they’ve ever before and asking you to NOT eat their delicious snack bars. In place of KIND bars, they’re offering three unique experiences which promote increasing your fruits and veggies intake. 

The vitality that raw fruits and veggies represent has always been the inspiration behind KIND products. On February 23rd, KIND will launch its new initiative with the goal of making whole nuts, seeds and fruits more accessible to Americans:

  • The Secret KIND Farmers Market: KIND will unveil a KIND bar-filled vending machine in the heart of New York City’s West Village, where upon ‘purchase’ of one of its snacks, the machine will open and transport shoppers into an immersive, speakeasy-style pop-up where they can shop free-of-charge for fresh produce.
  • KIND Whole Fruit & Nut Box: KIND will introduce its healthiest offering yet, a curated box of fruits and whole nuts which will be sold exclusively on kindsnacks.com.
  • Website Shutdown: In celebration of National Nutrition Month, KIND will shut down all sales of its snacks on its website on March 1st and 2nd to encourage consumers to purchase its Whole Fruit and Nut box instead. 

Check the website on February 23rd to experience The Secret KIND Farmers Market or get your hands on a KIND Whole Fruit & Nut Box.

Categories
Health News Packaged Food

Hormel Health Labs Debuts New ‘Bread and Dessert Mix’ That Helps People With Swallowing Disabilities

Photo: Hormel Health Labs

Bread is a ubiquitous food in most cuisines. For many, carbs are life. However, for those with dysphagia — the medical term for swallowing difficulties — bread must have a specific consistency to be safe to swallow. Hormel Health Labs’ new and innovative ‘Our THICK & EASY’ Texture-Modified Bread and Dessert Mix, looks to make the consumption of breads easier for those with dysphagia.

‘Our THICK & EASY’ Texture-Modified Bread and Dessert Mix is made with enriched flour and is Kosher-approved.

Dysphagia affects up to 40 percent of those in skilled nursing facilities, and many others. Hormel Health Labs has prioritized the development of nutritional products that make dining easier for those challenged by dysphagia, with ‘Our THICK & EASY’ Texture-Modified Bread and Dessert Mix being its latest crucial innovation.

Categories
Fast Food Health News

McDonald’s To Host Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics Across Orange County, California

mcdonalds-storefront

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc globally, though through proven science and medical facts, getting vaccinated has been the best deterrence to the deadly disease. As part of California’s ongoing efforts to make COVID-19 vaccines more convenient, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and California McDonald’s franchisees are continuing their partnership to set up pop-up clinics at restaurant locations across the state.

McDonald’s Orange County, California restaurants will be hosting a number of Pop-Up Vaccine Clinics starting September 17th, offering vaccines and free menu items to the public.

All clinics are open to McDonald’s employees, their family members and the general public. Walk-up vaccinations will be available at all sites, and some sites may allow for booking an appointment ahead of time. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available at all clinics.

Here’s more details on locations and times below:

WHEN

Friday, September 17th | 1:00pm – 4:00pm (Buena Park)
Saturday, September 18th | 9:00am – 12:00pm (Fullerton – Imperial Hwy)
Monday, September 27th | 1:00pm – 4:00pm (Fullerton – Brookhurst)
Tuesday, September 28th | 9:00am – 12:00pm (Brea)
Wednesday, September 29th | 9:00am – 12:00pm (La Habra) 

WHERE

McDonald’s Buena Park | 7861 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, CA 90620
McDonald’s Fullerton – Imperial Hwy | 205 Imperial Hwy Fullerton, CA 92835
McDonald’s Fullerton – Brookhurst | 1341 S Brookhurst. Fullerton, CA 92833
McDonald’s Brea | 825 Imperial Hwy Brea, CA 92821
McDonald’s La Habra | 1400 S Beach Blvd, La Habra, CA 90631

Categories
Deals Fast Food Health News Sweets

Krispy Kreme Now Offering Vaccinated Americans Two Free Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme is giving some sweet incentive via its campaign to support those who get vaccinated by offering every American who has received at least one vaccination shot TWO free doughnuts any time, every day from August 30 through September 5. 

The campaign to give one Original Glazed doughnut each day to anyone who has received at least one vaccination shot will resume on September 6 and continue for the remainder of the year.

Since the vaccination campaign began back in March, more than 2.5 million Original Glazed doughnuts have been given away.

Doing your part to protect yourself and others while scoring some free doughnuts? Sounds like a win-win to me.

Categories
Drinks Health Packaged Food

Twrl Is A Naturally-Flavored Nitro-Infused Milk Tea In A Can

Fans of milk tea now have healthier, new option to enjoy their favorite drink from the comfort of their home with Twrl Milk Tea.

Launched earlier this year by Pauline Ang, Twrl is the culmination of her personal mission to find a healthier version of her favorite beverage, milk tea. As devoted as she was to the drink, Ang wanted to find an alternative to most of the sugar-laden options she was faced with, many of which used low-quality ingredients and powders.

What differentiates Twrl from other ready-to-drink milk teas is that its crafted with organic, fair-trade tea from small family-owned farms, uses low-carb, plant-based milk, and is a significantly less sugary option. What’s more, Twrl claims to not use any natural or artificial flavoring at all, thus letting the actual tea speak for itself.

Twrl comes in the following flavors: Original Black Milk Tea, Hojicha Roasted Green Milk Tea, and Supreme Jasmine Milk Tea. If you’re looking to try, availability and more info on the beverage can be found on their website.