Product Reviews

The main purpose of this blog is to feature food that I make at home, as evidenced by the name Vegan Homemade.  And for the most part I do eat homemade food.  I am human though, and I don’t always have the time or energy to make absolutely everything from scratch.  Especially now that I live close to both a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, I’ve been buying quite a few packaged vegan products, and I’d like to share my thoughts on some that I have had in the past months.

I tried these GoodBelly probiotic drinks because they were on sale and I was intrigued.  I eat soy yogurt with probiotics pretty regularly and don’t have digestive issues, so I normally wouldn’t have bought them.  I also take a multivitamin every day and eat a balanced diet, so I’m not worried about getting my vitamins.

But, if you’re in the market for an easy source of probiotics or vitamins, GoodBelly might be worth a try.  I try not to drink my calories, and these little guys didn’t do much to fill me up so I felt like I was adding calories to my day, which to me is not a good thing.  They taste quite nice though.  Fruity, not too sweet, and tangy, the drink is made from mostly fruit juices and purees and some oat flour.  So in addition to being vegan they’re soy-free and wheat-free, great for people with intolerances or allergies.  I probably won’t buy them again, but I would tell anyone who might be interested to give it a try.  It comes in four flavors, and I’d be willing to bet that they’re all good.

Speaking of probiotics, I gave this fairly new brand of dairy free yogurt a try.  It was just…okay.  Good, not great.  Silk soy yogurt is the standard by which I judge other yogurts, and I really love the Silk yogurt so it’s a tough competition.

I also tried one of the So Delicious coconut milk yogurts, and for me it was much too coconutty.  For those who like coconut flavor it might be alright, but not for me.  I also thought it was too thick.

I dont’ dislike all Turtle Mountain products though – far, far from it.  Let’s talk about their ice cream.

A few days ago at work we were talking about sweets.  (I work with three other women, so we have certain things in common.)  We were discussing what our favorite types of dessert are, like cookies or cake or what have you, and I couldn’t really name a sweet that I can’t resist.  Sure, I have a cookie here or there with my lunch, and I’ll eat a vegan cupcake if it’s in the same room as me, but I don’t eat dessert very often.  Most of the time if I want something sweet after a meal I’ll have fruit, dried fruit or non-caffeinated, sweetened tea.  But I digress…

It occurred to me a few days after this discussion that my weakness is ice cream, which I don’t keep in the house very often for this exact reason, which is why I couldn’t put my finger on it.  If I open a pint of ice cream I’m probably going to eat half of it straight out of the container, so I just don’t buy it very often.  But geez Louise there are about a billion kinds of vegan ice cream available at Whole Foods and sometimes a girl can’t resist.

I love peanut butter and I love chocolate, so I don’t really have to tell you how much I like this Peanut Butter Zig Zag ice cream.  I like to have a lot of stuff in my ice creams, like chunks and swirls and whatnot, and the pb in this ice cream is fantastic.

I went back to the Purely Decadent but wanted to try something different, so I went with Chocolate Brownie Almond, because I like all those things.  I like them all together for sure.  In fact, I’m eating this right now as I type.  My singular complaint, and it’s a small one, would be that the almond pieces are soft and there aren’t enough brownie pieces, but I’m not really complaining.  This ice cream is so rich that I can open the container, eat just a little bit, and put it back in the freezer.

For the times I do want cookies, I really like these Peanut Butter Cremes by Back to Nature.  (As well as TJ’s Jojo’s and Newman-O’s.)  They are salty and sweet and not too high in calories.

Another sweet and salty treat is these Peanut Butter Granola Bars by Nature’s Path.  I take two snacks with me to work every day, and some mornings I don’t have time to put anything together.  These are perfect for grabbing, and also perfect for those times you want to tuck something into your purse in case you find yourself ravenous with no other options available.  They’re tasty and chewy and chunky and all around good.  I also tried the Peanut Choco’ version and while they were just as good, the chocolate flavor wasn’t that prominent, so I’ll probably stick with plain ol’ pb.

UNLESS I find their Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, which I know exist but I have yet to find.  When I was younger I ate about a ton of those Quaker chocolate chip granola bars, and I think I would go nuts for the Nature’s Path version.

Speaking of Nature’s Path, I would like to give them a special mention, as I have enjoyed every product of theirs that I have ever tried.  It’s just good stuff all around.  I pretty much always have a box of their cereal in the pantry, my favorite being Optimum Slim.  Their Raisin Bran is great too.

Crackers to me are like ice cream in the way that if I open a box I could easily eat half of it if I’m not careful.  I usually have a box of crackers on hand, but try to reserve them for rounding out lunches and an occasional snack.  These crackers are like my crack.  They have much the same effect on me that Tings do, meaning that I just want to eat them all, all the time.  I can’t NOT buy them though, because they’re so flipping good.  Eco-Planet also apparently makes cookies and pretzel crackers, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always only buy these cheddar crackers.  If you can’t find them, I would say they’re worth ordering online and paying shipping for.  But beware, you will want them again.  And again.

Another brand of crackers I really like is Mary’s Gone Crackers.  They’re gluten free and super crunchy, and I love eating them with faux-egg salad or “cheese” slices, or just by themselves.  I’ve had the original flavor as well as this black pepper flavor and they’re both great.

I’ve been looking for a way to add some protein to my breakfasts, so I picked up these sausage patties last time I went to Whole Foods.  I’ve tried many kinds of frozen veggie sausage links and patties, some good and most not-so-good.  These fall somewhere in the middle.

I like that each patty is only 80 calories, and the flavor is pretty good.  The texture is odd though, I would describe it as spongy.  And the patty is hard to cut with just a fork.  These are okay, but I’ll probably try a different brand next time I’m in the market for sausage.  If anyone shops at Publix, I seem to remember that they had a Greenwise brand veggie sausage patty that was good.

Every time I run out of tea I seem to buy a new kind.  I like almost every tea I’ve tried from Tazo.  (I think Tazo used to have an apricot white tea that was absolutely AMAZING, and they don’t seem to carry it anymore.)  I happened to be shopping in TJ’s when I was out of green tea, so I decided to try this Blueberry Green Tea.  It’s very good, and I think it was only $1.99 for the box which is probably what drew me to it in the first place.  It smells like a blueberry donut!

Whew, that’s it for now.  I think that I’ll document new products as I try them in order to share my ever-important opinions with you all.  Although you can still expect the majority of my posts to be homemade food, I think product reviews can be fun!

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23 Comments »

  1. VeggieGirl said

    DEFINITELY love these reviews!! Keep ’em coming!! 🙂

  2. Megan said

    Mmm, I’m going to have to pick up some of that green tea!

  3. Ricki said

    It all looks good–esp that coconut yogurt (which we can’t get here) and those burgers–maybe packaged, but sometimes you need something quick and easy!

  4. WOW! You are amazing – I consider myself a healthy eater, but you put me to shame. I have never tried any of the products listed in your post. You have given me several dinner/snack suggestions.

  5. macie said

    Wow, that peanut butter ice cream has me drooling! Whole Foods is a good 30 minute drive, but I’m seriously considering going by there tomorrow just to grab a carton 😄 Guess ice cream’s my weakness, too?

    I shop at publix and mine hasn’t had the greenwise veggie stuff for the past year 😦 I wonder if they stopped making it? Their veggie crumbles were just as good as Morningstar Farms, and at only $2.50/bag instead of $3.99/bag they were a steal.

  6. Elizabeth said

    Great product reviews!!! I didn’t know Goodbelly was vegan!! I just assumed that they had milk in them!!! Man, i’m going to have to try those!! I hate drinking my calories though…. oh well! gotta get those probiotics!

  7. Nicole said

    MMmm, I need to try peanut butter zig zags!

  8. broccolihut said

    I LOVE TJ’s teas, and that one is a favorite of mine. I also highly recommend their Blackberry Infusion Tea.

  9. Sophie said

    i looooove the so delicious brand yogurts and ice creams. tasty!

  10. Janeen said

    I’ve been drinking those Goodbelly things for a while. Not bad, but they do have a vitamin-y taste.

    I like those Mary’s crackers too, but I prefer Kashi’s new party crackers. roasted veggie is a yummy one. Those cheese crackers look good, but any kind of crunchy cheddar snack is not safe in my possession!!

    Do the cookies, granola bars or blueberry tea have soybean oil or any soy in them?

  11. Carrie said

    Awesome product reviews!

    I adore PB Zig Zag too. 🙂

  12. I adore those Eco-planet cheeze crackers too! I have to order them because stores here don’t sell them. So, so good!

    I’ll have to try that brownie ice cream! My fave is Purely Delicious Turtle Tracks.

  13. Anna M said

    I’m not a big fan of adding calories to my day unless necessary either, so I choose a probiotic supplement (dairy-free of course!) and sprinkle it on room temp food or just take with water. I take Flora Source because of the high strain count and high active cell count in it. Probiotics can take a while to build up in your system…I didn’t notice any digestive benefits until about a month in.

  14. that peanut butter zig zag ice cream is so amazing! my really bad sweets weakness is ice cream as well. i’ve learned not to buy it, otherwise it will be gone within hours. still, once in awhile, i must have it.

    your post makes me wish i lived anywhere near a whole food’s or trader joe’s so that i could have some convenience food once in awhile that isn’t boca chicken or soydogs!

  15. Susan G said

    I love product reviews – get tired of spending lots of money on bad tasting stuff. Thanks!

  16. Mandee said

    I love seeing vegan products from overseas. We get some of the Turtle Mountain ice cream range here, but not all the crazy flavours you guys get! And I really want to try the Eco-Planet Cheesy Crackers!

  17. Caroline said

    Great review! I have been wanting to try the Mary’s Gone crackers and glad to hear your thoughts on them! We eat super healthy these days. Since our son went through extreme food allergies and Eczema (he is 4) since birth…we really had to change things in our life to help him. He was so severe…but thankfully God heard our prayers and we have hope now through Vidazorb kids chewable probiotics. I never even really knew about the benefits of probiotics until he took them and began to heal. i definitely want my whole family on them now and am thankful that you posted this product review to educate on tastes and brands etc. I wish it didn’t cost so darn much for our healthy yummy foods….arg.
    Caroline *mommy of 2 (one sweetie with a missing front tooth, the other ornery but cute one- healed from Eczema w/ his Zorbee yay!)

  18. Virginia said

    holy moly! recipes galore! too bad i am 90 minutes from the nearest whole foods! i am planning on bringing a cooler and making a trip soon, though! i can’t wait!

  19. Virginia said

    i meant to say “reviews galore” not recipes galore….typing too fast!

  20. non-dairy cheddar crackers? Get out! I used to eat cheddar Goldfish pre-vegan like crazy. And thanks for the nice comment about meeting up next time I visit CA!

  21. Diann said

    Great reviews! I don’t buy a lot of prepackaged stuff either, but I do love the ice creams. Since I’m soyfree, I’m glad to see the coconut milk yogurts and ice creams. I love those pb cookies too!

  22. appifanie said

    thanks for mentioning that goodbelly stuff – i don’t need it, but my picky toddler might enjoy them!!

    and silk yogurt is my fav too – specifically the key lime!!

  23. Thanks for your thoughts, especially about that Good Belly thing. I have a coupon and have been contemplating buying it. Now I actually know what it is at least!

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