Banza Chickpea Pasta – The Perfect, Healthy Alternative for Pasta Fiends!

Company: Banza Chickpea Pasta

“Chickpeas make delicious pasta. That’s why we used them to create Banza®. We took a household favorite and made it even better, turning the pasta you love into the pasta that loves you back!”

Product: Banza Ziti Made From Chickpeas  – $25.00 USD for a case of six, 8 ounce boxes

Review: Who doesn’t like a great pasta dish? I know I do, but don’t eat it as often as I’d like because I’m trying to get “healthier.”

Well, needless to say, I was thrilled to try out this chickpea pasta from Banza! It only has 4 ingredients: Chickpeas, Tapioca, Pea Protein, and Xanthum Gum. This badass pasta is gluten-free, non-GMO, and of course, Vegan! Each 3.5 ounce serving contains 25 grams of protein (whoa!!!!), 13 grams of Fiber, and 43 grams of carbs! Did I mention it was gluten-free?

Ok, so you may have tried brown rice pasta or some other pasta varieties that just don’t cook nicely. They get mushy, stick together, or take on a not-so-appetizing gummy texture. I’m happy to report that this Ziti was simple to cook and it took just 8 minutes to get to the perfect, slightly more than al dente texture.

Trust me when that one serving will fill you up… even for the biggest pasta fiends! All of that protein, fiber, and carbs really make one satisfying meal! I’d love to make some into a pasta salad and take it with me for lunch or after the gym for some long-lasting energy.

I decided to make a Chiken Alfredo… something I haven’t had in a decade. I was worried that my cashew-based sauce was too thick (is there such a thing?) and it would cause the pasta to break apart. NOPE! The ziti and my crazy rich Alfredo sauce paired up perfectly!

The Bottom Line

Banza Chickpea Pasta is some pretty amazing stuff! I can’t get over how easy it was to cook! It tastes just like regular pasta, only it is jam packed with protein and fiber. This is perfect for people that love to carbo-load while watching Black Mirror (me!) or for fitness enthusiasts that want a satisfying, clean meal. I can’t recommend this pasta enough!

Thank you, Banza, for sending me your pasta to review! 

Vegan Muscle Snack Box Review

Company: Vegan Muscle

Product: Vegan Muscle Snack Box 

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Review:

Ya’ll know I love a good subscription box! I love that the Vegan Muscle Snack Box includes a variety of sweet and savory snacks to please vegans and non-vegans alike!

You can choose a bi-weekly subscription to get delicious snacks delivered to your door twice a month or a one time purchase to try it out! They also have a Food Box that includes meat substitutes, etc.

Alright! Let’s jump rights in!

The first product that jumped out at me was the Primal Strips Meatless Vegan Jerky in Texas BBQ flavor. I have been vegan for years and haven’t tried any vegan jerky products. I was never a fan of it back in my meat eating days, so I’ve avoided it altogether.

In all honesty, I was pretty blown away by this! The texture was soft and chewy which made it VERY similar to meat. The flavor was tangy, sweet and simply delicious. My boyfriend (non-vegan) said he loved it, so this would be fantastic for people that are looking to go vegan or cut down on meat in their diet. I would definitely eat this again and again!

Next up, were the Homefree Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies! These little guys are vegan (of course) but are also gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO! I really, REALLY liked these! They are super crunchy with just the right amount of sweetness. The dark chocolate chips were rich and would satisfy anyone’s chocolate craving! These are a big win!

HIPPEAS! I love Hippeas, especially the white cheddar flavor! They are very close to Cheetos in terms of texture… and they’re made from chickpeas! The cheddar flavor is salty and tangy which makes these the perfect healthy and organic alternative to the notoriously unhealthy snack covered in bright orange powder that gets everywhere!

I was a little unsure about the next product. I love veggie sushi rolls with nori (thin, seaweed wrappers) but I wasn’t sure if I would like it on it’s own. The GimMe Snacks Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks in the sea salt flavor were good! They definitely have the salty, grassy quality of seaweed and it absolutely reminded me of eating sushi. The thin sheets are delicate and crispy and they soften as you eat them. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you want to try a unique snack that is healthy and low in calories, give these a try!

If you’re a fruit snacks fan or looking to eliminate animal products from your kids’ diet, try Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Fruit Snacks! They’re organic, gluten-free, and basically identical to traditional fruit snacks. Did you know that traditional fruit snacks contain gelatin, which is made by boiling animal bones, hooves, and other body parts? I don’t know who decided that was a good idea to put in food, but I am very grateful there are alternatives! These fruit snacks are sticky, chewy, and flavorful… not to mention healthy and cruelty-free. These are fantastic!

Next, I was pretty excited to see a bag of Jasmine Green Tea from Numi Organic Tea. I am trying to gradually eliminate coffee from my day to day life, so I need a healthy replacement. Green Tea is perfect for that! The floral notes and earthy green tea flavors make this a nice pick me up! Coffee, who?!

I love food that can be eaten on the go, so I was happy to try the Health Warrior Coconut Chia Bar! This little snack is low calorie and contains chia, which helps to keep your feeling full. It has 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 1000 mg of Omega-3! I loved the coconut flavor and would definitely eat these again!

Yes!!! I’m not a big candy eater, but these Cocomels are outstanding! They’re made with coconut milk so you get sweet and delicious coconut flavor as they melt in your mouth. The texture is soft, smooth, and somewhat chewy. There’s definitely some “buttery” flavors which makes it very similar to dairy-based caramels. These are fabulous and I want more!

Last, was the Raw Rev Glo Mixed Nuts, Caramel and Sea Salt Bar. This bar contains 10 grams of plant-based protein, so whether you’re looking to replenish your muscles with clean protein after a workout or just want a filling mid-day snack, these are perfect! The texture is soft but there are also crunchy nuts throughout. These bars are gluten-free and non-GMO. They have some other delicious sounding flavors that I can’t wait to try out!

The Bottom Line

What could be better than healthy, vegan snacks that are delivered straight to your door?! This is a fantastic products that both vegan and veg-curious people would enjoy.  I got to try out snacks that I know that I love (like the Hippeas) and also snacks that I probably wouldn’t have found myself. I personally love subscription boxes because you never know what you’re going to get, but you know that the products were carefully chosen.

All of the snacks have health and quality in mind and contain protein and/or good-for-you ingredients. I think it would a great idea to send a box to someone that doesn’t believe plant-based food can taste good, you could change their entire world!

Thank you, Vegan Muscle, for sending me this box to review. I highly recommend it!

Organic Living Superfoods Sprouted Snacks Review

Company: Organic Living Superfoods

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Products:

Life's Nuts Flavored Sprouted Nuts:

Pizzalmonds

Buffalo Almonds and Ranch Cashews

Salt and Vinegar Almonds

TCG Cashews

Cinnamon Pecans

Coconut-Crusted Macadamia Nuts

Crunch Time Sprouted Blueberry Baobab Crunch

Crunch Time Sprouted Rainforest Crunch

Reviews:

I'm going to start with my favorite, the Pizzalmonds! It seriously tastes like pizza! Sundried tomatoes, basil, dates and bell pepper combine to make a delicious and healthy alternative to actual pizza. Honestly, these taste amazing and I'm super impressed!

The Buffalo Almonds and Ranch Cashews are another healthy replacement to the otherwise extremely unhealthy buffalo wings with ranch sauce. I must admit before I turned vegan many years ago, I did enjoy some wings and ranch. Of course, now, I enjoy the plant-based variety, so I was psyched to try these! The Buffalo almonds have a mild spicy kick while the ranch almonds add oniony and zesty flavor. Another winner!

The Salt and Vinegar Almonds have the signature taste of their distant junk food cousins, the Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips. Salt amplifies the pleasant sourness of the vinegar and nuttiness of the crunchy, sprouted almonds. While you're eating these, it's hard to remember they're raw, vegan, gluten-free and actually good for you!

The TCG Cashews (Turmeric, Cayenne, & Ginger) were the spiciest in my opinion and had a very unique flavor profile. The cayenne and ginger definitely gave it a kick that lingered and burned for while! These ingredients are anti-inflammatory and take these sprouted cashews to the next level!

If you're looking for something sweet but know you probably shouldn't down a whole box of Snickerdoodles, try the Cinnamon Pecans! The nuts are full of protein and minerals, and with the subtle sweetness from dates and cinnamon, these are the perfect snack to quiet your evil little sweet tooth!

The Coconut-Crusted Macadamia Nuts are truly a tropical treat! Shredded coconut and dates add sweetness to crunchy macadamias. They're absolute Perfection!

The Crunch Time Sprouted Blueberry Baobab Crunch is yet another one of my favs! Sprouted cashews and macadamias add crunch and protein while Baobab adds vitamin C and antioxidants. What the heck is baobab? Baobab is a superfruit that grows in Africa and helps with energy production and immune support. To make it even healthier, blueberries are added to the mix for a fruity and satisfying snack!

Last but not least, the Crunch Time Sprouted Rainforest Crunch is a fabulous combination of raw cacao, vanilla, dates, cashews, and Brazil nuts that is guaranteed to kill your cravings! Got a chocolate addiction but want a healthier option? Try this!

The Bottom Line

Sprouted, raw, vegan, gluten-free, Kosher, Paleo… these aren't words that you may automatically associate with delicious snacks, but Organic Living Foods has done an INCREDIBLE job creating snacks that not only taste fantastic but are truly healthy and nutrient dense!

The nuts are soaked in "triple-filtered water to activate live enzymes" and then dehydrated "at very low temperatures to protect the integrity of their vital nutrients." With that level of care and detail, these snacks are a must-try! They are suitable for just about every diet and there is bound to be something for everyone!

I highly recommend these products to anyone looking for healthy snacks with great flavor (who isn't?!). Don't just take my word for it! They have sampler packs for sale so you can try all of these out for yourself!

Thank you, Organic Living Superfoods, for sending me these products to review!

Nelly’s Organics Bars Review

Company: Nelly’s Organics

“We hand-select each ingredient in our bars to deliver nutritional density, while delighting with their flavor. Our bars have the cleanest label imaginable: wholesome, raw, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, vegan and ethically sourced…with NO Preservatives or Additives!”

Products: Nelly’s Bars – Sample Pack

Pictured Above, Left to Right

Nutty Nougat Bar

Peanut Butter & Coconut Bar

Mint Chocolate Bar

German Chocolate Bar

Coconut Bar

Double Chocolate Bar

Reviews:

Based on the description of these bars, you may have the same first impression I did. “Woo hoo! Another healthy snack bar that looks delicious but falls short (way short) in the flavor department.” Well, you wouldn’t be wrong about them being healthy (it’s raw and vegan, for crying out loud!), but these actually taste like CANDY BARS!

Each bar is covered in a layer of smooth, dark Agostoni Chocolate that adds richness and decadence to every bite.

The Nutty Nougat Bar reminded me of Easter candies that I had as a kid. The nougat filling inside of these bars did actually taste like nougat! This variety is loaded with cashews, almonds, and coconut, making this a perfect post workout or mid afternoon snack!  It is sweetened with raw blue agave and covered in the dark chocolate that I mentioned before. Yum!

The Peanut Butter & Coconut Bar is one of my favorites. Whenever you combine peanut butter, coconut and dark chocolate, you have a winner in my book! It’s absolutely a cure for anybody’s sweet tooth but also provides protein and healthy fats to carry you through to the next meal. Delicioso!

The Mint Chocolate Bar was a surprise! Almonds, brown rice crisps, coconut oil, and raw blue agave combine to make the filling of this bar, and organic mint oil sends it over the top! This is a grown up version of a York Peppermint Patty (I’m sure kids would love it, too!). Mint and dark chocolate is just another one of those “can’t fail” combinations. This bar is refreshing and fabulous!

Growing up, my Dad’s favorite cake was German Chocolate. He would ask for it every year for his birthday. Not surprisingly, the German Chocolate Bar reminded me of him and his birthday cakes. Pecans, almonds, coconuts, brown rice crisps, cacao powder, and coconut oil combine to make the signature sweet and coconutty flavor. His birthday would be coming up pretty soon… I may order a case of these for that day to celebrate his memory. He would have loved these bars!

The Coconut Bar is pure, simple and delicious. It’s filling is made of sweet shredded coconut that is covered in a generous layer of dark chocolate. Again, this is a healthy yet fabulous version of a Mounds Bar. I give this one an A+!

The Double Chocolate Bar is perfect for Chocoholics. The rich filling is made with raw dates and cacao powder that’s covered in wonderful dark chocolate. You’d never guess this bar was good for you!

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a healthy snack that doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing out, try Nelly’s Organics Bars. With the wide range of flavors, there is something for everyone.  I look forward to trying more of their products in the future!

Thank you, Nelly’s Organics, for providing me with these bars to try!

Simple and Delicious Tofu Scrambles

Just a little food porn for ya… 

Tofu scramble with sautéed spinach and onions, with garlic, salt, pepper, and turmeric! I love to eat this with Light Foods Fakin’ Bacon for delicious, healthy “Bacon and Eggs.” It’s absolutely delicious and no animals had to die! It’s also packed with protein!

Do you make tofu scrambles? What’s your favorite recipe?