The 5 best plant or vegan products of the week
When you go to the store and think, “I want to eat healthier, more plant-based, and choose foods that are good for me,” it can be intimidating. There are so many kinds of non-dairy milk, plant-based salad dressings, dairy-free creams and more, some healthy, others full of chemicals and added sugar. Every day new herbal or vegan products hit the market, some that we recommend and others that are as bad or worse for you than the real thing they are trying to replace. That’s why, every week, we bring you the newest and most innovative products to try, the ones we love, that make it easier to consume plant-based ingredients.
Eating the recommended number of five or more servings per day of fresh (or frozen) vegetables, fruits, is no easy task. Only 1 in 10 Americans manage to do this regularly. We’re here to help and suggest easy ways to trade that cut out meat and dairy and instead help you get all the protein you need from legumes, nuts, seeds, and more. whole plant-based foods.
Here, the editors of Beet recommend our favorite vegan or vegan products, to make it even easier (and tastier) to know what to buy, eat more plant-based, and love it. These five products make plant-based eating easier and savoring every bite.
Check out the latest herbal products to add to your grocery list or basket, which can make your decision to go plants easier and more satisfying than ever.
Check out The Beet’s favorite plant foods of the week, and share yours on Beet’Facebook page. We all want to be healthy and herbal together. What’s your pick of the week? Here are ours.
1. JOI (Just One Ingredient) nut base for homemade almond milk
I always tell people that if you check the label and a whole food is the first ingredient, buy it because it’s probably the healthiest choice. But JOI is actually just one ingredient. The genius idea is to sell a small container of concentrated almond or cashew nut base and all you have to do is add 1 to 2 tablespoons in a cup of water and stir for 30 seconds to have fresh, non-adulterated almond or cashew milk. A small container of JOI Nut Base makes 27 servings of milk. These are useful when you find yourself standing over a dry bowl of grape nuts and realize that you no longer have your favorite store-bought almond milk.
Most store-bought plant milks contain either added sugar or preservatives, but JOI has what it says inside the container: one ingredient and nothing else (no binding agents, gums or of sugars). You can use it to make spreads, smoothies, desserts, pasta sauce, or any other plant-based meals (They have recipes on their website). And since no refrigeration is required, with JOI in the house, you’ll never run out of almond milk again.
Find JOI online on their website.
1. Gardein The Ultimate Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets
Gardein has done it again: One of my favorite vegetable protein brands recently unveiled a vegan chicken nugget product, launching the Ultimate Plant Based Chicken Nuggets. It’s been a few years since I’ve eaten meat, but to me these popcorn nuggets taste absolutely the same as what I remember tasting chicken. With 15 grams of protein per serving, these fill me up right away and are perfect to add to a salad for a nice breaded crunch, or just dip in a dairy-free ranch for a snack. I recommend using an air fryer for the perfect crispy exterior.
If you’re looking for a chicken alternative to serve to picky eaters or non-vegans, I can’t recommend Gardein’s Chicken Nuggets highly enough. There is absolutely no way anyone would know they are vegans. The best part about Gardein products is that they are widely available at most grocery chains across the country, so finding the brand’s meatless options shouldn’t be a problem.
Visit Gardein store locator to find a retailer near you.
1. Caesar and Ranch Gotham Greens Dressing
Creating my favorite salads before ditching dairy has never been easier with Gotham Greens Vegan Caesar & Ranch Dressing. These dressings taste the same, if not better, than the real one.
Caesar is creamy, rich, and has that delicious spicy flavor characteristic of regular Caesar, which often comes from anchovies. The taste and texture are there.
Before I went plant-based my favorite salad was a Caesar-marinated kale salad at a restaurant called Moby’s and now I make the same dish at home with Gotham Greens dressing and have completely improved what was my favorite salad.
Ranch dressing is my all time favorite as I find it more difficult to make a homemade ranch without dairy because the consistency is thicker than a Caesar, it’s similar to yogurt. I put everything’s ranch but the other day I made cauliflower wings for dinner and devoured them with the dressing. In fact, I used the whole bottle in two days – all my meals taste better with the ranch.
If you’re trying to eat more plant-based, or want to eliminate dairy from your diet, your best bet is to add these dressings to your salads for all of the same flavors you love.
To buy Gotham Greens, visit their website.
1. Unreal Cups of Crispy Peanut Butter with Quinoa
Peanut butter mugs were my favorite candy before I went plant-based, but I’ve never found a vegan peanut butter mug that comes close to the real thing. It was until I tried the unreal cups of crispy peanut butter with quinoa. These vegan, gluten-free peanut butter mugs are out of this world and I can guarantee you’ll want to eat the whole bag in one go.
This was my first time trying some kind of sweet or candy with crispy quinoa and I have to say I was a bit skeptical at first. Once I took a bite, I couldn’t believe I had ever had a cup of peanut butter without quinoa. Unreal makes healthier chocolate cups, bars and gemstones that are free from sugar alcohols and stevia. All products are made with simple, organic ingredients like fair trade dark chocolate. Peanut Butter Crispy Quinoa Cups have the perfect balance of peanut butter and dark chocolate with the crunch of crispy quinoa. Another thing I love about Unreal is that it comes individually wrapped, so I can grab one (or three) and take it away if I want.
Unreal’s candies are so addicting, but luckily it’s a healthier alternative to other candies like Reese’s. Compare, by Reese contains 210 calories, 150 milligrams of sodium and 22 grams of sugar in two cups while Unreal contains 160 calories, 80 milligrams of sodium and only 10 grams of sugar in two cups. Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cups aren’t Unreal’s only vegan treat. Unreal also makes Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems, Dark Chocolate Gems with Crispy Quinoa, and Coconut Bars. with dark chocolate. The best part is, you can try all of Unreal’s vegan options in a varied pack. As someone who has tried literally every option, I can say they are all as delicious as the crispy quinoa cups.
You can buy the vegan variety pack at this link.
1. Sound sparkling water
Sound Sparkling Water is the first sparkling water that I have tried to really shock myself in a long time. At first, I thought the training water drink would be just another iteration of seltzer water that didn’t quite meet my expectations. I was completely wrong. Sound Sparkling Water products have gone beyond the perfect blend and eloquent of flavors. Once I opened the first can, it was almost impossible to stop drinking them.
Each Sound Sparkling is infused with tea, herbs and fruit extracts to create a deliciously refreshing drink. Sparkling water is fully organic and never sweet, providing consumers with a fresh, pure flavor. My favorite is the tangerine flavor enhanced with lemongrass and green tea. Any option is delicious and here is where you can get them.