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Check Out The Beet Editors’ Favorite Plant-Based Products of the Week

Check Out The Beet Editors’ Favorite Plant-Based Products of the Week
September 4, 2020 coraandkrist

Natalie’s Orchard Island Juice Featured On

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Check Out The Beet Editors’ Favorite Plant-Based Products of the Week

At The Beet, our editors are always trying out new, innovative plant-based products in order to give our readers the best possible recommendations. There’s always something exciting stocked in our fridges, cabinets and pantries, and we thought we would show you what products we’re loving this week. Below are the best-loved products from our team of editors, Lucy, Stephanie, Hailey and Caitlin. We only recommend what we love. So here they are:

Lucy’s Favorite Plant-Based Products of the Week

1. Brave Robot Animal-Free Dairy Ice Cream

When Brave Robot arrived it seemed too good to be tru: Here was an ice cream made with actual whey, but no cows? What? It’s vegan, lactose-free, and animal-free, but it tastes just like ice cream. Turns out this company has been working hard in the lab to change how we see our animal-free products. Much like the Impossible burger of sweet city treats, Brave Robot uses only non-animal protein to create a natural tasting, fully dairy-free product that has 390 calories per serving and 5 grams of protein, plus tastes like actual ice cream — sans cow. This may not be squarely plant-based, since there is “non-animal whey” in the carton (what does that do to my microbiome, I wonder?), but it appears to be vegan— since no cows were involved in the creation. The Whey is made in a big drum with fermented agents that help the ice cream have all the creamy taste of dairy, “with less harm to the planet”  since no cows mean less water, land, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. If that’s what you’re going for, then this is the sweet treat for you.

2. Gardein Sliced Italian “Saus’age”

When it comes time to serve my guests a little nibble with drinks, I turn to Gardein. This tradition started last Memorial Day weekend when I skewered their meatless meatballs on toothpicks, added them to a tray with a dipping sauce of tangy tomato marinara, and they went nuts. No one could believe these were not pork or beef. Then this year, due to perhaps my extolling the virtues of said meatballs, they were sold out and my husband walked through the door with Gardein sliced Italian sausage, the meatless version made with spices and fennels that you would swear are real. Again, I served them on the deck and the minute I told gusts they were vegan they dug in. Toothpicks were flying, jabbing and in minutes, the tray looked like vultures had swooped in. Nothing left. I now keep a supply for me, since for 110 calories and 7 pieces you get 10 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat. These are keepers. I just ask you one thing: Don’t tell everyone, since I am having a little socially distanced outdoor beach thing and I gotta buy my supply of Gardein Sausages before they sell out! Add them to your pasta sauce, your scramble or eat them plain. You will love these little taste bombs.

Stephanie’s Favorite Plant-Based Products of the Week

1. Cleveland Kitchen Salad Dressings

Creamy dairy-free, vegan salad dressings can be hard to come by, but one brand that has soared to the top of my list recently is Cleveland Kitchen. Available in Whole Foods, flavors of their dressings range from Roasted Garlic (a personal favorite) to Gnarly Miso Jalepeño and Sweet Beet and classics like Hail Caesar. The base of the dressings is fermented vegetables for a gut-healthy, better-for-you option than heavy alternatives. Besides topping your salads, you can also use these as dipping sauces for veggies or marinades for your meat alternatives. I love to dip oven-baked cauliflower “buffalo wings” in the Roasted Garlic and top my kale salads with Sweet Beet for a hint of tanginess. Purchase them online here or find a retailer in your area using the store locator.

2. Vegetable Biscuits, Erin Mckenna’s Bakery NYC

If you live in California, New York or Florida, Erin Mckenna’s Bakery is a must-visit for those with dietary restrictions. All products are dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, wheat-free, egg-free, and totally vegan. I visited their NYC location this past weekend and my sister and I got three vegetable biscuits, which was somehow still not enough given how delicious they are. These savory biscuits are filled with veggies like cherry tomatoes and broccoli and feature vegan cheddar cheese on top and are crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. If you’re not in NYC, LA or Disney Springs, and want to try the bakery’s treats you’re in luck: You can still order Erin Mckenna’s baked goods online to be shipped to your home for 2-day or overnight delivery.

Hailey’s Favorite Plant-Based Products of the Week

1. Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company

Natalie’s juices taste incredible and are better than any other bottled juices I’ve had before. The best part is that I don’t have to worry about any perseverates or added sugars because there are four or fewer ingredients to every bottle.

I had the opportunity to chat with Natalie over Zoom to learn about the women-owned family brand and why Natalie’s is so different from other perishable products. First, the base of their juices always starts with a leafy green vegetable like kale or spinach rather than a sweet substance like apples. Most of Natalie’s ingredients are sourced from local farmers in Florida, where the company is based, but when they need items that aren’t local to the sunshine state, they do their best to support farms in other regions. These ingredients are high quality and you will taste the difference!

My favorite so far is the Nourish juice. A base consisting of a spinach and kale mixture, a splash of sweet pineapple, a hint of jalapenos to rev your metabolism, and a refreshing taste of cilantro and lime which happen to be two ingredients I look for in green juices–I’m a big fan of the refreshing combination. The best part? I finished the entire bottle in less than 2 minutes without having to hold my nose. This is a green juice that is actually enjoyable and worth tasting every sip. My second favorite is the one ingredient, Blood Orange juice. This immune-boosting drink is high in vitamin C and has a tangy flavor that’s so addicting. After the first sip, I said: “This would taste amazing as a cocktail mix,” it wasn’t long after I had myself a blood orange sangria with white wine!

2. Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter anything is my guiltiest pleasure and I’m fully aware that eating an entire bag of Justin’s dark chocolate mini cups is not the best food for my diet. These irresistible treats are better than any other peanut butter cup out there. Justin’s cups are made with quality ingredients and the creamiest nut butter, you can taste the difference so easily. The reason why I love the mini cups in the bag is that I can pop them and eat 10 in a row and share them with my friends so I don’t end up eating the whole bag. I also leave them in the fridge for about an hour so the chocolate is extra hard of the outside and it’s a refreshing treat when it’s hot outside.

When I went fully plant-based, one of the hardest things to give up was peanut butter cups because they contained milk but luckily Justin’s treats are vegan and ‘healthier’ than the ones I ate before. I buy the bags at my local pharmacy in the candy aisle or any local grocery store. You can purchase a bag online or find them in your grocery store the next time you go shopping.

Caitlin’s Favorite Plant-Based Products of the Week

1. The Hummus & Pita Co. Vegan Mix Grill Kit

The Hummus & Pita Co. will have your favorite Mediterranean food like Spanish eggplant and vegan shawarma delivered straight to your door. The fast-casual restaurant delivers vegan mix grill kits perfect for any night of the week. Inside the mix grill kit, you will find falafel mix, vegan shawarma, vegan meatballs with Moroccan sauce and a side dish of rice or couscous.

The vegan meatballs and shawarma are made out of plant-based meat and are gluten-free. The kit also comes with fresh pita that is out of this world and is the perfect pair with the hummus or Spanish eggplant. You don’t have to buy the entire mix grill set bu can also purchase falafel or hummus in individual meal kits. This is the perfect place to order from when you crave homemade Mediterranean food without runs to the grocery store or all the work of meal prepping. You can order The Hummus & Pita Co. online here.

2. Good Foods Avocado Mash

Breakfast and snacks are easy with this avocado mash that is perfect for the days when you are out of fresh avocados or want a meal. Packaged dips and spread typically filled with bad-for-you ingredients but this avocado mash has only four ingredients: Hass avocados, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper. The spread has no added sugar or preservatives and has only 90 calories.

The avocado mash comes in single-serve cups and can be easily stored in your fridge. Good Foods avocado mash can be purchased at major stores like Costco, Target and Walmart.