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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.