The Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco is always a great way to start off the year seeing new food products. Here are the Top 8 Best Vegan Foods and Drinks that I thought are exciting game changers.
There were plenty of great vegan foods at the show, but the ones that got my attention are ones that create a whole new window of opportunity for vegan and plant-based eaters. I was especially excited to see some awesome organic, vegan Asian cooking products.
Here is the quick lineup.
* Simple Mills organic, low-sugar frostings
* Milkadamia Latte Da GMO-free milk
* GoodPop GMO-free Orange N' Cream popsicle
* genuine grub organic, MSG-free fried rice sauce
* Let's Do... Organic® organic, sweetened condensed coconut milk distributed by Edward & Sons Trading Co., Inc.
* Let's Do Organic organic, Heavy Coconut Cream (Honorable Mention for Paleo eaters)
* MUSO, the Curator of Traditional Japanese "Washoku" Food distributed by Japan Gold USA various organic, MSG-free, preservative-free sauces, umami, and seaweed bacon.
* Kuli Kuli GMO-free Moringa Green Energy Shots
* Vegan Rob's GMO-free Tumeric and Ginger Puffs
Simple Mills organic, low-sugar frostings come in vanilla and chocolate and they are smooth, creamy, and delicious. Game changer quality - I have never seen a can of organic AND vegan frosting in retail ever before which is one reason I have never tried to make vegan cake or cupcakes at home. I’m too impatient to make frosting from scratch, so seeing this frosting was cool.
But the thing that put it over the top is the fact that these two frostings only have 8g and 6g of sugar each for the Vanilla and Chocolate respectively. I was blown away because these frostings are sweet. They do not taste like low-sugar frosting AT ALL. The secret is Monk Fruit. Who knew.
Also, the frostings only have EIGHT ingredients. Thats it! Organic Palm Shortening, Organic Powdered Sugar, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Coconut Oil, Vanilla Extract, Organic Rosemary Extract (for freshness), Sea Salt, Monk Fruit Extract. It’s free of Gluten, Grains, Soy, Corn, Dairy & Gums/Emulsifiers. Their palm shortening is sustainably sourced. The frostings are available in stores now.
Milkadamia Latte Da GMO-free milk. The Milkadamia regular and unsweetened macadamia nut based milk is my favorite brand and type of plant-based milk. I have a mild allergy to almond milk so that’s out for me. Milkadamia is based in Australia where they grow all their macadamia nuts. And the guys who own and run the company are just happy, cool guys!
Game changer quality - I was blown away by howthick and creamy smooth my latte drink was. They made this milk specifically to be used to make lattes and they nailed it. Almond milk doesn’t come close to the thickness and richness of this Latte Da milk. The secret ingredient they use for thickener is Yam flour. So creative! Instead of loading it with more gums they used a flour which is less inflammatory in the gut compared to gums.
I seriously cannot wait for this Latte Da milk to hit retail which will be about mid-year. If you are a coffee shop and want to make good vegan latte drinks, you gotta hit up Milkadamia for this new milk.
GoodPop GMO-free Orange N' Cream popsicle. I LOVED Orangesicles as a kid. It was my favorite popsicle so I associate that treat with happy childhood memories. But then I find out I had a dairy allergy and so bye-bye Orangesicles.
But no more! Game changer quality - This vegan Orange N' Cream popsicle made with coconut cream is so close to my original love version that I couldn’t believe it. AND each popsicle only has 80 calories. WIN!
This fabulous Orange N' Cream treat will be available this Spring in retail. Summer just got more exciting!
genuine grub organic, MSG-free fried rice sauce. Okay if you’re Asian you’re probably thinking why on earth would anyone buy a fried rice sauce because I can make that all at home easily? Well, I’m Asian and I think this sauce is a BRILLIANT idea. Why? Because it has ALL the ingredients to make fried rice in ONE bottle, and it gives you Chinese restaurant tasting fried rice.
Game changer quality - The fact that this fried rice sauce gives you the Chinese restaurant level of taste. I’ve made fried rice at home tons of times but it NEVER tastes like the stuff you get if you go eat at a Chinese restaurant. There is a special taste and you know it when you eat it and Genuine Grub has pretty much nailed it in a one bottle solution. You don’t have to measure anything, guess quantities of various ingredients, you just use this ONE sauce with rice, some peas, carrots and corn, boom done, we’re eating.
All of Genuine Grubs sauces, the fried rice and the two Korean BBQ sauces are GMO-free, MSG-free, and have NO preservatives which is near impossible to find in Asian sauces. Believe me I have looked for years. Arrow root is used as thickener instead of gums which is another game changing quality.
Genuine Grub is also the lovechild of a solo entrepreneur Dan Fruin who had a dream and went for it. He is a really cool guy with great energy so let’s help him make that dream come true because his vision and his sauces are really exceptional.
The Fried Rice sauce will be available in retail late Winter or Spring. The Korean BBQ sauces are available now.
Let's Do Organic
Sold by Edward & Sons Trading Co., Inc., Let's Do... Organic® organic, sweetened condensed coconut milk. Game changer quality - For the longest time there was no such thing as vegan sweetened condensed milk you could buy at the store. You had to make it at home if you could. But, no more!
Imagine now all the recipes you can make that call for condensed milk that you couldn’t make before like puddings, ice cream, and cream pie. The first thing I thought of was Filipino Halo Halo. This Let's Do Organic sweetened condensed coconut milk is so good!
Besides being organic, this condensed milk does not have any gums which is awesome. You can buy this in retail now.
Also sold by Edward & Sons Trading Co., Inc., Honorable Mention:Let's Do... Organic® organic, Heavy Coconut Cream. I wanted to include this product as an honorable mention mostly for people sensitive to gums and Paleo eaters who want a coconut cream that has NO gums like guar gum which most canned coconut milk and creams have. This stuff is just organic coconut milk and water. Simple.
MUSO, the Curator of Traditional Japanese "Washoku" Food distributed by Japan Gold USA has various organic, MSG-free, preservative-free sauces, umami, and seaweed bacon. You heard right, bacon.
So this one isn’t about just one top product but about an entire line. As mentioned in the Genuine Grub post, finding organic, vegan, MSG-free, food coloring free, and preservative-free Asian sauces, spices, and condiments in the U.S. is like near impossible because the Asian stores don’t usually carry it, the natural foods stores do but the selection is often scant in these stores because the percentage of Asian shoppers is not as high.
There is basically a couple brands that dominate in the U.S that meet the criteria but their selection is more American-centric sticking to things like teriyaki sauce, black bean sauce, and tamari. And these brands are based in the U.S. Muso is based in Japan where everything is made.
Game changer quality - I walk up to the Japan Gold USA booth and I cannot believe my eyes. They are a U.S. distributor for Muso International based in Japan. There is a cornucopia of organic, vegan, MSG-free, food coloring free, and preservative-free Asian sauces, spices, and condiments which are all made in Japan adhering to a macrobiotic standard. I’m like in heaven!
Immediately I see this organic umami and ask if it’s vegan and it is. WHAT!! I’m really excited because it is both organic and vegan. Next to the umami is organic smoked Shoyu which is another thing you won’t find at the natural foods store. The smoke flavoring can help give your food a cool Asian grilled flavor. This shoyu is smoked using cherry wood chips. Doesn’t that sound incredible? And it is, the flavor of it is robust and smooth.
After I try the umami and smoked Shoyu, I see organic Nama Shoyu, an unpasteurized soy sauce, White Nama Shoyu which is a soy-free soy sauce like seasoning, Ume vinegar, and brown rice vinegar. Again, rare to see these products here in the U.S. in organic versions free of all the additives.
What really caught my eye was the I sea bacon. I had heard about this stuff before and was so curious to try it but they didn’t have any samples out just bags on display. When cooked, this seaweed tastes like bacon. If that is true and it is good then that is definitely a plant-based game changer. Here is the website for it to learn more:https://seamorefood.com/
I really hope Japan Gold USA scores some good retail meetings at the Fancy Food show because I want to see these awesome products available everywhere here in the U.S. so that vegan and plant-based eaters can experience a much wider variety of Asian flavors. It really is incredible!
Kuli Kuli GMO-free Moringa Green Energy Shots. One of my food trend predictions is that Moringa is going to be the next big superfood. Moringa is the next Acai Berry. Moringa has powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-protective properties. It has been used for generations in Eastern countries to treat and prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, anemia, arthritis, liver disease, and respiratory, skin, and digestive disorders.*
So when I heard of Moringa in an energy shot I had to try it and WOW!
Game changer quality - this stuff had me wired in a minute. It felt almost instantaneous, and I only had a small amount about a tablespoon size of it. Some energy shots make me jittery too but this one did not. I just felt like superwoman and could have run a 5K in personal record breaking time. Fun!
This Kuli Kuli GMO-free Moringa Green Energy Shot has the caffeine equal to 1 cup of coffee, has 1/2 cup of leafy greens, all 9 essential amino acids, and is high in vitamins A, C, and E. Later in the day, they made margaritas using some of the coconut lime Moringa shots and that is the perfect cocktail to have before a night of dancing. You’ll be tearing up that dance floor!!
The story of Lisa Curtis, the Founder of Kuli Kuli is amazing too. She’s a former Peace Corps volunteer and created Kuli Kuli as a social venture that has economically helped women-led farming cooperatives in Africa and Haiti. She started her initial funding on Indiegogo. Read more about Lisa and the company here. You will be inspired!
Vegan Rob's Turmeric and Ginger Puffs. Before I found out I had a dairy allergy, one of my favorite salty, crunchy treat foods was cheese puffs because i really love the airy, crunchy texture of a puff. Bye bye went the cheese puffs but years later there are now more vegan puffs out on the market.
Game changer quality - There are a bunch of puffs on the market and even Vegan Rob’s has a whole line of different flavored puffs but the Turmeric and Ginger puff by far is the best I’ve ever tried in vegan puffs mainly because of the flavor profile.
Their recipe featuring turmeric and ginger is brilliant and it is really delicious. You are getting some medicinal benefits while snacking. No joke I could eat a whole bag of these puffs in one sitting because they are that good.