PETA’s Libby Awards made me really happy. Best vegan cheese: Food for Lovers queso cheese? Yay! Best vegan-friendly restaurant chain: Tropical Smoothie Cafe? Double Yay! (Can’t get enough of their Beyond Meat options) Best vegan meat: Gardein Sizzling Schezuan Beefless Strips? Got ’em in my freezer and can’t wait to toss ’em into this Chinese Stirfry tonight from The Ginger People. And best vegan snack: Dole Banana Dippers with Almonds and dark chocolate make a great friend for any sweet tooth, if you ask me. But here are a few treasure troves of vegan deliciousness that still are under the radar, but your stomach will thank you if you check them out.
It’s the kind of chocolate you don’t have to feel bad about indulging in, and did we mention these raw organic chocolates come in 78% dark chocolate with chili or ginger flavors? Enough said. Your post-dinner antioxidant-packed treat never tasted better.
What could sound more boring than a handful of salted cashew nuts? A handful of raw unsalted cashew nuts. Think again. These supremely creamy, utterly snackable nuts are unlike any bodega variety you’ve ever munched on. They’re loaded with protein (my bodybuilder BF got me hooked on the habit, and he also managed to make my bag mysteriously disappear by half), iron, omega fatty acids, and more other good stuff than I feel like typing. Throw them onto a salad as a crunchy topper or fold them into raw vegan chocolate cookie dough bites that are healthy enough to pass as a legitimate breakfast or guiltless dessert.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter = Happy Perri. Strike double the joyful nerve endings with this crunchy dark chocolate peanut butter from nut connoisseurs Nuttzo that make a variety of spreadable yumminess from creamy peanut free butter with organic cashews, organic almonds, organic brazil nuts, organic flax seeds, organic hazelnuts, organic chia seeds, organic pumpkin seeds and sea salt to crunchy original with organic peanuts, organic cashews, organic almonds, organic flax seeds, organic brazil nuts, organic hazelnuts, organic sunflower seeds, sea salt. Each two tablespoon serving offers around 7 grams of protein and more nutrition than even worth describing. Pair it with apple slices for a quick breakfast or spread onto toast with banana for a mid-day pick me up. Or, you know, just eat it straight out of the jar. Just don’t blame us seven spoonfuls later when your “quick pre-workout snack” turned into dinner.
Clever name, clever chips. They have a variety of bet-you-can’t-have just one vegan-friendly flavors but my personal favorite is Sweet Potato. With a hint of subtle sweetness, they make the perfect dipping partner for salsa or guacamole to get out of your just-another-plain-chip route. Also, try the multigrain, made with flax, sunflower and sesame seeds, sprinkled over a salad for a great crunch.
If you know anything about awesome vegan hacks, you know that baking with veggies and fruits (like zucchini, bananas and apple sauce) is just the best. These 100% vegetable purees from Green Giant–they come in butternut squash, spinach and carrot– work great thrown into soups for a quick mini meal or slipped into your favorite muffin recipe for a portable mid-morning snack.