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Grocery Health Packaged Food

Hidden Valley Ranch Now Has A Dairy Free Option

Photo courtesy of Hidden Valley Ranch

Ranch dressing is known for having buttermilk and not being friendly to those with dairy or lactose issues.

That doesn’t have to be a hindrance to those wanting to sample ranch anymore, however, as Hidden Valley Ranch just announced a dairy-free version of their iconic condiment.

As the most ubiquitous bottle of ranch out there, this makes the dressing way more accessible to those who couldn’t consume it before, and makes it an option for those on lactose-free, vegan, or flexitarian diets.

Hidden Valley Ranch normally contains egg yolk and buttermilk in it, according to information on the brand’s website. This new plant-based version swaps those out for soy protein isolate. The company also claims to have no animal-derived ingredients in the new Plant Powered Ranch.

Bottles of the plant-based Hidden Valley Ranch will be available in stores nationwide starting in April 2021. A 12 ounce bottle comes at a suggested price of $3.49.

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Culture Fruits & Vegetables Health Nightlife Plant-Based Restaurants

This Creative Eight Course Plant-Based Meal Is Attracting Vegans and Non-Vegans Alike

As a vegan, I know about all the new products, restaurants and Netflix documentaries. I have vegan friends and share some of the same vegan views. At times, in this vegan bubble of mine, I even begin to believe everyone’s becoming vegan. A simple conversation with a relative quickly dispels that notion. The reality is that within the United States, vegans only make up an estimated 3% of the entire population. That’s like comparing an edamame, to an, I don’t know, elephant. 

A recent study reveals the silver lining, as veganism has increased around 300% in the last 15 years. That’s an incredible explosion within a short space of time. You can credit the internet with this “mushroom” cloud of a diet shift. Whereas the initial conversation siloed around animal rights, over the years it’s expanded to include climate change and personal health and wellness. More specifically, two important factors for any new way of approaching things; advances in technology and just plain ol’ hands-on human ingenuity. 

One person forging her own brand of human ingenuity is Executive Chef Mimi Williams of Counterpart Vegan in Echo Park, California. Using 100% market fresh ingredients and plant-based processes, she creates familiar staples that are nearly indistinguishable from their original meat-based iterations. This is in stark contrast to many vegan spots that feature alternative protein-heavy menus, which are great advances as well, yet different. 

Raised in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, Williams was one of only a handful of Black families in the community. She shared a household with her parents and six brothers of Sicilian/Creole descent. Although she didn’t resemble most of her neighbors, Williams had a strong family support system. One could say she grew up with a traditional family in a non-traditional setting.

While her mother seemingly loved cooking and wanted Williams to learn, she recalls initially being resistant, feeling forced into doing a thing based on her gender expectations. Learning how to cook felt more like work than fun. Noticing that, her father encouraged her to cook things that interested her. That encouragement was the magic needed to open the floodgates of the world of food.

Williams’ was pushed to explore alternative diets during a period in which her father experienced health complications. With his doctor citing less meat consumption as a course of action, her family subsequently became early adopters of a mostly plant-based diet. By this time, Williams had become the de facto cook for her family, with her siblings frequently requesting her food.

At first, it took awhile to adjust to a mostly plant-based lifestyle, but after witnessing her father’s health improve firsthand, she was convinced the diet change was the right decision. These experiences helped Williams develop a perspective on food many Black people don’t have. She discovered veganism some years later during pregnancy after realizing she could no longer consume meat.

Honing her craft at restaurants across America, Williams’ still carries the same spirit of fearlessness and creativity her father encouraged as the current Executive Chef of Counterpart Vegan. Joining the team in 2019, she set about revitalizing Counterpart’s array of offerings. She credits a period of stagnant creativity as the stimuli behind her latest eight course tasting menu.

Consisting of familiar foods inspired by her upbringing, the flavors feel authentic. Some of the offerings include heirloom tomato carpaccio with a tasty and tangy vegan feta, pappardelle made from beets, seasoned squash ravioli and an unforgettable tiramisu as the finale. Williams’ new menu is a fine dining experience vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy. She says she wants people to walk away feeling a sense of hope, and that when they share, “I didn’t know you could do that with this type of food,” that’s how she knows she’s on the right track.

If you’re looking for some momentary respite from quarantine, while supporting small businesses during the pause of outdoor dining, Chef Mimi will be offering a condensed version of the tasting menu as take-out for two. The dinner package will include a salad, appetizer, pasta, dessert, and likely, two non-alcoholic drinks.

There will be 25 of these dinner plates available to all guests and can be pre-ordered on Tock. The dinner package will be available every Friday and Saturday for pick-up, from 6PM-8PM.

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Grocery Health Packaged Food

Kraft Mac & Cheese Goes Gluten-Free To Close Out 2020

Photo courtesy of Kraft

The gluten-free and Celiac disease communities just got a second hit of good news to cap off 2020. In addition to gluten-free OREOs launching at the start of next year, gluten-free Kraft Mac & Cheese is now available in stores nationwide.

Kraft made the pasta using brown rice and corn, and tailored the blend to meet the FDA’s standards for gluten-free. This means that the ingredients used to make the mac and cheese do not come from gluten-containing grains (ie. wheat), or are processed to remove gluten to the point where there is less than 20 parts per million of gluten in the final cheesy pasta.

The mac also retains the original’s consistency and cheesy flavor, meaning that gluten-free consumers should be getting a comparable experience to those who’ve been eating Kraft’s mac for years.

With two of the world’s most ubiquitous brands moving to add gluten-free versions of their signature products, accessibility to these types of foods just became a whole lot easier.

Categories
Grocery Health Packaged Food Sweets

Gluten-Free OREOs Are Officially Launching In 2021

Photo courtesy of OREO

For those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance issues, finding snacks that cater to those diets on the shelves is difficult, and may even come at a slightly steeper price. Studies have shown that gluten-free snacks can often cost significantly more than their counterparts.

Such snacks are about to get a lot more accessible though, as OREO, one of the largest cookie brands globally, is releasing their own line of gluten-free treats.

Available in standard and Double STUF variety, both sets of cookies will come certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), one of the most trusted and widely accepted standards worldwide. While they have no regulatory or enforcement authority, the set of audits companies have to go through to receive this certification are stricter than the rules set for “gluten-free” definitions by the FDA, the EU, and other governing bodies.

This ensures that for those who have gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, these cookies should provide minimal risk. It also gives OREO a whole new market of customers to purchase their cookies.

Gluten-free OREOs will arrive in markets starting in January 2021.

Categories
Grocery Health

Alka-Seltzer Gum Now Exists For Minty Heartburn Relief

Look, when you’re in a tough spot like catching heartburn after taking down your customary order of In-N-Out with all the secret menu fixins while on a date, the situation is unique to say the least. Relief could come in many forms, though not all at once — until Alka-Seltzer came through in the clutch.

Available now, Alka-Seltzer Extra Strength Heartburn Relief Gum is providing discrete relief for all. The dual layer gum combines a fast acting antacid with ‘cooling flavor crystals’ to simultaneously provide cooling heartburn relief and minty fresh breath. Tell me this isn’t a game changer.

You can choose between two flavors: cool mint and peppermint. So the only choice to be made is between two flavors, instead of having to buy two separate things in an antacid and a pack of gum. Happy chewing, Foodbeasts.

Categories
Health Packaged Food

KIND Announces KIND HEROES to support Mental Health

Although the coronavirus crusade continues, humanity has somehow managed to achieve some semblance of normalcy. The strength we exhibit during difficult times should be no surprise, there’s no match for our togetherness.

Much of this strength can be owed to those who work on the frontlines, day in and day out, risking their lives to ensure our health and safety. Commendably, we’ve done well expressing our thanks to essential works through billboards, commercials and community initiatives. One area that has received less consideration though, is the impact frontline work has had on their mental health. Imagine having to do your job in an atmosphere of uncertainty for months on end, all while being expected to maintain a semblance of strength.  

To help bring more awareness and support to the mental health crisis frontline workers face, KIND is launching a multi-faceted project named KIND HEROES. A recent study by JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) found that over 50% of physicians working on the frontlines felt depressed. With no clear end in sight to the pandemic, and without sufficient support, continual trauma is likely.

The KIND HEROES initiative will donate 100% of proceeds to NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. They plan to pledge a minimum donation of $25,000, matched by an additional $25,000 from The KIND Foundation that supports mental health programs for our true American heroes such as healthcare workers, first responders, military service members and veterans.

KIND HEROES was inspired by a survey conducted by The KIND Foundation’s Frontline Impact Project, a platform which directs donated resources to workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 and other natural disasters. Results revealed an increase in mental health challenges for essential workers, following PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), mental health resources were cited as the most important need.


You can show your support for our American heroes on October 6th, when the KIND HEROES bar releases online and at select retail stores.

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Health Packaged Food

This ‘Dream Honey’ Is Made To Help You Sleep

In May 2020, Sleep Standards conducted a survey with 1,015 respondents in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 70 on their sleep habits during lockdown. The results have found that a whopping 98% of Americans have developed new sleep problems post lockdown. Further, 68% feel stress or find it hard to sleep during these times.

Though the high percentages of those that have trouble sleeping are quite startling, the current state of the world and the anxieties brought on by it come as no surprise. Simply put, we need help to fall and stay asleep.

Enter Potli’s new ‘Dream Honey’, designed with a special formula that includes CBN, CBD, and either melatonin or THC to promote deep, restful sleep. The effectiveness of the honey lies in CBN, a minor cannabinoid known to inhibit optimized sleep. The raw honey itself is from wildflower and harvested from their own proprietary bee hives. For specifics, 120mg of CBN and 6mg of melatonin are in there to help you fall asleep, while 60mg of CBD help you stay asleep.

I tried the ‘Dream Honey’ myself, given my own struggles with sleeping and I found it to be beneficial in what seemed like a rejuvenating night’s worth of sleep. It’s been a long while since I’ve felt that, making me a believer in the honey’s abilities.

Shop ‘Dream Honey’ on Potli.com now, with a 4oz jar of hemp-derived honey priced at $32 and a 4oz jar of cannabis-derived honey going for $40.

Categories
Fast Food Health

Ireland Supreme Court Says Subway Bread Isn’t Bread

There’s something about Subway bread that’s always so addicting. I always chalked it up to extreme hunger every time I order from the fast-food sandwich chain. Turns out that there’s something in the bread. 

CBS News reports that a recent ruling by the Ireland Supreme Court deemed that Subway bread isn’t technically bread at all. 

A tax dispute from an Irish Subway franchisee, Bookfinders Ltd., brought forth this decision after they argued that items such as teas, coffees, and heated sandwiches should not be subjected to value-added tax. 

The appeal was rejected earlier this week by a panel of judges and ruled that the bread at Subway had way too much sugar to be considered a “staple food.” Staple foods are typically not taxed. 

To be considered “bread,” the sugar content in the flour cannot exceed 2%. Subway’s contained 10%.

Maybe that’s why I find their bread so delicious.