Taste testing new healthy vegan products
Coconut is the new kale. It is everywhere!!! These nutrient-packed bad-boys are being formed into all manner of goods. So ubiquitous are they that 3 out of the 5 products I am reviewing are coconut based. As biz peeps have seen the value (ch-ching!) of health-promoting foods there has been a huge drive to develop innovative new eats and treats. But not all of them are worthy of your hard-earned dollar. At a high price-point you need to separate the delicious noms from the dire bombs.
1. Chocolate Coconut Jam from BUKO Organic. £4.79.
I was sceptical about this product….the ingredients are coconut and cacao….and that’s it! I am happy to say my scepticism was misplaced. The jam is a rich, sweet and thick spread. Reminiscent of molasses with the spreadability of smooth peanut butter. It is quite sweet for my tastebuds so a little goes a long way….making the steep price more palatable. You can use this as you would any jam. I used it as an alternative to syrup in my sweet potato porridge, see the recipe here.
2. Carlin Peas from Hodmedod. £1.49.
Why the devil should we get excited about peas and beans? Well, if you haven’t been living under a rock you will know that our food consumption is an earth-killer. Agri-business has caused a dent in Mother Earth that we so desperately need to repair. Health foods have come under scrutiny, berated for doing just as much damage as other foods. Beans, a cheap staple for many wellness-focussed peeps, are imported from far flung countries such as Ethiopia and China. Thanks to Hodmedod we can now buy british beans, peas and quinoa. Carlin peas can be used as a substitute to chickpeas.
3. Coconut Jerky (Spicy BBQ flavour) from The Mighty Bee. £2.85.
I could not stop eating this. Even though I was not that hungry. And when I had finished the packet I was mournful. I am not exaggerating. Big on flavour and the right amount of zingy spicyness I thoroughly recommend this. For a grazer like me this is the perfect supersnack. But beware, it will leave you wanting more. I am ignoring the tempting fact that The Mighty Bee can deliver a box of 34 packs of coconut jerky to your front door. I would seriously live on this divine food alone if I could!
4. Frill (Intense Chocolate flavour) from Frill. £4.99.
This is the second product that had to be torn from my hands. Frill is, as they describe it, a frozen smoothie but you and I would know the flavours and texture as an ice cream. This particular flavour is very similar to David Lebovitzs’ decadent chocolate sorbet, rich and dark, an adults ice cream. But there is one, very important, difference – Frill is entirely healthy and vegan. It essentially removes all guilt from frozen desserts. I tip my hat to you Frill….you have excelled.
5. COYO (Matcha flavour) from COYO. £2.15.
I really wanted to like this product….I love dairy-free yoghurts, I love coconut, I LOVE matcha. But, this looked and tasted like a face pack. Not that I often eat facepacks….! COYO is a very rich, thick yoghurt. This made for a lovely texture but that was its’ only redeeming feature. The richness made it very filling and quite an overpowering taste. I ate it with chopped fruits which helped a little. But, in my opinion, you should not have to add to a product to make it appetising. Sorry COYO…..