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Category Archive: Product Review

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  1. The regular SuperVegan staff are a relatively un-pregnant bunch, so we asked the recently pregnant and now new mom Amy Rae Richardson to review this book for us.

    I wish Sayward Rebhal‘s Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide (published by Herbivore) had come out like 7 months earlier than it did, so I could have saved myself ridiculous amounts of time Googling, stressing myself out, and questioning everything I ate while pregnant.

    This book is everything you need to know about how to take care of your body while baking a little bun. There’s endless information about vital nutrients, supplements and general dietary concerns that typically make a vegan pregnancy harrowing. Everything from what to eat and what to take before you’re pregnant, the down-low on iron levels, DHA and B12 during pregnancy, to what you can eat postpartum to keep your spirits high and increase milk supply. She also covers the what-to-do when suffering from some of the most miserable (and sexy) pregnancy side effects like gas, bloating, heartburn, swelling and hemorrhoids.

    Sayward seriously did her homework writing this book. She arms you with all the facts and resources that will ease the tension of explaining a vegan lifestyle to a health provider during pregnancy. There’s also a nice fat section in this book on how to combat all the snarky questions comments you are definitely going to hear during a vegan pregnancy, and on the issue of raising a child in a cruelty-free home. Being confident in a vegan pregnancy (and raising a vegan baby!) during a time when you’re already overwhelmed, tired and confused is really difficult–I think this book is an absolute must-have!

  2. At first glance I didn’t have much interest in The Part-Time Vegan: 201 Yummy Recipes That Put the Fun in Flexitarian; I’m a full-time vegan, so I didn’t really see the point. But once I started cooking—woowee! Cherise Grifoni’s recipes are surprisingly good. It’s not that I doubted Grifoni—I didn’t know anything about her before this. But once you’ve test-driven a lot of cookbooks, you stop expecting to be swept off your feet. And given the title, I expected to be only partially impressed, if that. Boy, was I wrong.

    Not only is the book full of great recipes, it’s an easy “read.” Grifoni’s tone is conversational and jokey; flipping through her cookbook is like catching up with your smart-ass friend from college…albeit one who’s way off base about honey. And her approach to veganism can be a little confusing. She definitely doesn’t want to be seen as a preachy vegan, so she promotes a take-it-or-leave-it approach. And she doesn’t seem to want to pass up the occasional pastry just because it’s not vegan (she went vegan when she realized dairy was the culprit behind her migraines). But she also dedicates an entire chapter to Veganism 101, in which she provides a lot of great information. And how can you argue with statements like, “I’m here to let people know that even small changes in your diet towards veganism can help you lead a happier, healthier life”? Maybe it’s all a front, her laissez-faire approach to doing the right thing, to make it more palatable to the masses. A spoonful of sugar and all. Whatever the case, two of the three recipes I tried knocked my socks off, so at least as far as her food goes, I’m sold.

    The first dish I tried was Honey Mustard and Balsamic Vinegar Green Beans. Continue Reading…

  3. Despite what a lot of people think, being vegan doesn’t mean you’re healthy—it’s very easy to be a vegan junk food junkie. So every once in a while, after doing some fairly consistent damage, I go on a cleanse. Recently I tried Kaeng Raeng, detox drinks in powder form that first saw the light of day in founder and CEO Lindsay Reinsmith’s kitchen, when she was trying to lose weight. I caught up with Reinsmith and asked her to give me the skinny on her stuff.

    Your site says Kaeng Raeng is “committed to veganism,” and a portion of your sales benefit The Humane Society of the United States. How important is veganism to your company?

    As an animal rights activist and a vegan, it’s important for me to have a product and a company that match my personal interests and to support these organizations. But it’s also important to put a face and a person behind Kaeng Raeng; it’s not made in China by a giant corporation with offshore customer service. We’re a small business in Northern California, and we care greatly about the quality of our product and about helping people see the health and beauty that come from a plant-based diet.

    Where does the name come from? Continue Reading…

  4. Bottom line on Bee Free Honee: this stuff is really nice. It’s good for whatever I could think to try–in mint tea, on toast with earth balance, with peanut butter.

    I can’t say I particularly miss honey, but there’s some things for which honey really is what’s called for–I don’t want to eat agave on toast, do you? And I consider this stuff a proper analog–it’s probably closer to real honey than Daiya is to dairy cheese.

    There are some noticeable, if minor, differences between Bee Free and bee-made honey. Bee Free is perhaps a tad sweeter, it’s not as persistently sticky, and it also dissolves much more easily. But no question that Honee resembles honey more than it resembles anything else.

    Flavorwise, notes of lemon, golden syrup, and apple juice concentrate are discernible … and, what do you know, those happen to be the ingredients!

    And, to quote the manufacturer, “What makes this even more exciting is the fact that it is made in Minnesota, using strictly Midwest apples. The bottles and caps, labels, boxes that they are cased in are all from the Twin Cities. This product is as local as we could make it.” What an awesome alternative to the frighteningly under-regulated honey industry.

    It’s worth mentioning that honey is only one facet of the exploitation of bees in our food production system. Plenty of harm comes to the bees who are trucked around and deployed to pollinate crops (including apples, sometimes–hopefully not the ones in this Honee).

    Kudos for Bee Free Honee for knocking another item off the list of stuff that has no vegan version. My only real criticism is that it comes in a cylindrical plastic bottle rather than a bear-shaped one!

  5. When I lived in South Florida last year, I took a lot of shit for calling it a culinary wasteland. (Read: three vegan restaurants within a 75-mile radius.) That said, what the Sunshine State lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality, and it’s definitely not short on cool vegan peeps out to make the world a better place. I met one of those peeps, Katherine Botelho, at the Great American Meatout, and she’s since created a line of organic, vegan, gluten-free and (in SoFlo) local nut butters that range from simple to specialty. We caught up recently, and Katherine told me why she’s nutty for nut butter.

    Hi, Katherine. Long time no see! Thanks for taking the time to chat. What led you to start Ethical Bounty?

    I was inspired to create a business that would offer a product that’s familiar to most people, but kick it up a notch and put a unique spin on it. As someone who’s interested in natural and organic foods, I focused on nut butters. They’re so nutritious, and a great source of protein and good fats. I looked at what was available and thought, Something’s missing. Most nut butters contain added salt and oil and are produced using nuts that aren’t organic. Many also contain preservatives to lengthen their shelf life, yet in the end, they taint the purity of the product. I wanted to create a raw, organic option, and in more interesting varieties. I was also excited to offer the butters to a large scope of people via the web.

    You offer straight-up nut butters like Pecan and Brazil as well as specialty flavors like Cherry Pistachio and Vanilla Almond. How did you come up with the combinations?

    I had to put my imagination to work for the specialty butters, though some of the flavors seemed obvious. I wanted to do something tropical, so I thought, What fruits and nuts come to mind when I think about Hawaii? Pineapples and macadamia nuts. So Pineapple Macadamia Butter was born. Then I thought of pecan pie and came up with Maple Pecan Butter. A craving for banana bread (which I went through an obsessive baking phase with) was re-created as Banana Walnut Butter. And I actually had a dream in which I thought I could smell cinnamon and raisins cooking together—enter Cinnamon Raisin Cashew Butter! Continue Reading…