I hope you're ready.
Bath, Body, and Haircare
Shampoo, conditioner, and colorings
Giovanni Clear - Frizz be Gone
I have frizzy, poofy, dry hair. Generally choosing hair products for me is about minimizing how much they mess up my hair, rather than actually trying to improve it. This one was no different for me… it didn’t reduce any frizziness, and like everything else, my hair was frizzier afterwards Oh well. I wouldn’t get it again, only because I find the best (least damaging) conditioner is at TJs and way cheaper than this.
Clearly Natural Glycerine Soaps
This leaves a super dry, almost sticky/tacky feeling. That’s what I get with all glycerin-based soaps, though. I’m sure it cleans, but I hate the feeling of my skin after.
Dr. Bronner's Organic Castile Soap
I love how concentrated this soap is. You only need a teeny bit. It’s great for camping and other such things where you want to minimize the weight you’re bringing with you, and to have something biodegradable. It’s good as an all-purpose, but I haven’t found it to be a superior soap for any particular task. In other words, it’s the best when you can only have one product, but otherwise there are probably other things that can do a better job.
Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap
I liked this while I was using it, but after I found it made me break out (and I used it in the shower, not on my face!). I don’t think my face can handle that much oil near it, haha. I’d like to try the other types; it’s too bad.
Nature's Gate Organic Liquid Hand Soaps
Lemongrass and Clary Sage
My favorite hand soap evar. It’s too bad that I can usually find cheaper hand soap elsewhere. The smell reminds me of summer, and it’s a good, non-drying handsoap.
Veganu Natural Bar Soap
I got a free sample of this one time, and I kinda didn’t expect much because of how cheap it is. However, it’s pretty good! It’s less drying than pure glycerine soap, but a bit more drying than liquid soap (I find this to be the case with any bar soap, though). The smell is pretty neutral, generic-soap type of thing.
Books and magazines
The Obligate Carnivore by Jed Gillen
I generally liked this book. It partly addresses the ethical issue of being vegan while feeding a non-vegan animal (and more in depth than that, like your cat’s sake vs. the cow’s sake), and partly it’s about ensuring adequate nutrition for dogs and cats. However, on that point, it’s a bit outdated. With cats, at first there was an effort to make a low-magnesium food that wouldn’t cause so many urinary stones, but it’s still a problem. So much so, that the original people who made the vegan cat food supplement/cat food started recommending half regular diet, half vegan. On that note, it’s probably still reliable info for dogs, but not so much cats. I feel like the point of this book is like the convert-you-to-veganism books, where it presents the ethical dilemma, and then shows you a way out. Except now, there’s not really a way out with cats. : / Still, it’s something worth thinking about.
How It All Vegan
I got this pretty early on in my vegan days, and I never really liked it too much. I was pretty new at cooking at the time though, so that might have been my fault, but a lot of the foods to me were more of that health-foody taste that most pre-made vegan food used to be. However, there was an awesome recipe for coconut cream pie in there.
Japanese Cooking – Contemporary and Traditional by Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner
I love love love this book. Many of its recipes are pretty simple, but all very good. It’s the one cookbook I’m always coming back to, to make the same things over again. The author doesn’t really offer many alternatives to ingredients if you can’t find certain things in your area, so it’s probably only a good idea to get this if you’ve got a good Asian market, preferably Japanese, nearby. I know you can get a number of these things at a health food store, but they’re pretty expensive there, making some recipes a bit cost-prohibitive. That being said, I’d say the recipes are pretty authentic.
Here are some of the less-common ingredients used in the recipes;
daikon, shiitake, oyster mushroom, mirin, sake (could probably sub with white wine, but will taste different), soba, udon, fresh ramen, dashi stock/dry kombu, young ginger, wakame, gingko nuts, natto, nori, miso, panko. You don’t really need any different cookware than normal.
Most of the recipes don’t call for fake _____, but there are a couple where such things are optional (e.g., vegetarian hot dogs are optional in Japanese Karei, and you can add veggie ground beef to the Korrokeh). One recipe involves making seitan to make tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), and I have to say, that is a pretty excellent recipe, and is one of the most successful ways I’ve made seitan.
Some of my favorite from this book: sukiyaki, tonkatsu, teriyaki tofu, an tofu, karei, wafu mayonezu.
The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
I think this is a good book for someone who has no idea how to bake vegan and for more seasoned bakers. I like a lot of the recipes here, but I’m not blown away by all of them, and I often have better recipes elsewhere for particular things (chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate chip cookies).
The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak
I like that this book gives you several different ways to get something cheesy, sometimes using cashews, tofu, nooch, chickpeas, potatoes, or various combinations. There are a few recipes I really like (Colby cheese, cheese Danish, French bread pizza, unstuffed shells), a couple I hate (mostarella!), but most things are pretty inbetween. I’ve never made anything from here that would be mistaken for cheese, but everything is pretty cheese-like and good. I think this book was more of a necessity before there were decent vegan cheese alternatives out there, but for cheese sauces or places without such alternatives, it’s still a good buy.
The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
I haven’t liked this as much as JOVB. It’s cool that it’s arranged by what event you’re serving for (and for how many people, and by season), but a lot of that doesn’t really apply to me, as I’m just serving regular ole food for two people. Many recipes are pretty enjoyable, but nothing that has been indispensable. I’d say many of the recipes are vegan versions of standard American fare, which might be nice for a transitioning vegan, but I’m kind of spoiled by other cuisines now. However, there are many good recipes and lotsa pictures.
Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
I like this book. I like the idea of this book – all about vegan brunch. It’s one of those meals where I usually just settle for some hash browns or a bagel, but no more! (if I’m cooking at home.) There are some really really great recipes and very few things I don’t like. A number of the dishes are tofu-based, but not the majority. Recipes that make this book great: 3 types of vegan sausage, bagels, chocolate beer waffles, the quiches, English muffins, and bacon.
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
There are SO many recipes in this book. I’d say generally the cupcakes turn out really well for me, and in the beginning I was not very experienced at baking, so that’s saying a lot. Most of the frostings require (really require) some vegan shortening; every time I’ve tried to sub all margarine, it comes out pretty soft (but doable if cold). A couple recipes never turned out for me, so if that happens to you, just try something else in there. I think there’s a cupcake in here for everyone.
Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Eh, this book. I think there was a lot of hype about it, as the first of her books. I think since then, the repertoire has expanded, and this book probably reflects more of the author’s personal tastes (so many muffin recipes for such a small book! Haha). I had read some complaints about the difficulty of getting certain ingredients, but it’s really not that bad. I think there’s one recipe that calls for pomegranate molasses, but that’s pretty much as weird as it gets. I like several of the recipes here, but some of them I never find the motivation to make; I think it’s just differing tastes.
Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
I pretty much like this book. It has soo many recipes, it’s hard not to like at least part of it! I’d say it’s more expanded from VWAV, not just in size but also there’s more of something for everyone here, vegetable haters and vegetable lovers alike. Also, sweets play a smaller role here than in VWAV. Of the recipes I haven’t liked in V’con, it’s usually because something’s not to my personal tastes than it actually not working/burning down my kitchen. Knowing that, you can adjust seasonings if you need to, and learn to cook pretty much anything. I’d say it’s a good all-purpose book.
Companion Animal Supplies
Green Mush Companion Animal Nutritional Support Formula
I got a free sample of this one time, and I was pretty incredulous about it being a supplement for pretty much any mammal. I’m not sure if the therapeutic value is the same for any mammal, but on a more interesting note, my cats actually liked eating it, even though it’s basically powdered vegetables and herbs. I didn’t really notice any change in them (energy level or whatnot). I tried it too, and its taste is quite tolerable. You could probably use it in a smoothie to make it green and feel like you’re being healthy.
Food, Sweets, and Beverages
Angel Food Vegan Meringue Cookie Mix
This was working beautifully while I was making it, but it mostly deflated in the oven. As a result, I got merigue disks. Which is fine… as it turns out, I don’t like meringues that much anyway. Crunchy and sugary, but not as fluffy as the non-vegan version.
Better Than Milk Soy Beverage Mix
I dislike this. It’s too granuar and doesn’t work very well in recipes that call for it (it doesn’t dissolve), and it’s super beany if you drink it as soymilk (more like fresh soymilk than the stuff you get at the store). You might think it would be cost-effective, but it really comes out to about the same price as buying cartons.
Green & Black’s Organic Hot Chocolate Drink Green
Dissolves well, but in my personal taste, needs more sugar! But that can easily be adjusted. I always found their chocolate bars to be too sour for me, but it doesn’t really affect anything as far as hot chocolate goes.
Oregon chai Organic Vegan Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
I was always secretly jealous of this instant chai concentrate. My friends liked it, and I had to make my own chai from tea bags, boohoo. Anyway, finally this stuff came out, and I realized it’s just like cinnamon and sugar in tea form. The other spices aren’t very detectable, and so I really prefer teabags. I don’t think I’d even get this if they had the vegan ones at cafes. Too plain.
Candy and other sweets
Ginger Chews Candy Ginger Chews Candy
Spicy + chewy + sweet = yum. It gives me toothaches, but I love it anyway. I think it’s only for serious ginger lovers, way too spicy for others.
Lieber's Dairy-Free “White Chocolate” Chips
It works well if you’re going to bake it into something, but not for eating alone (too waxy). Even after baked goods cool, it stays kind of melty and different than its unbaked, waxy form.
Mamba Fruit Chews
Oh man, I love candy. It seems like there’ a terrible deficit of chewy vegan candy out there. These were one of my favorites as a kid.
Mamba Fruit Chews sour
they took a candy I liked and added extra tastiness to it. It reminds of the vegan sour starbursts that they have in the UK, and I loveee those. I think one of the things I like about Mambas is that the different flavors are actually different flavors, and actually bears a resemblance to their name.
Spun City Organic Cotton Candy
I likes cotton candy. This is pretty much the same as the stuff you get at a carnival, but purple. It doesn’t really taste like grape very much. I’ve never really found a strongly-flavored cotton candy, though, probably because it’s so airy.
Tree Huggin' Treats Crispy Cat Candy Bars
It’s pretty good. It’s sort of like a cross between a clif bar and a mounds.
Also pretty good. These used to be my candy bar sub (especially the peanut one), but now that those magical Go Max! bars are around, not so much.
Tubi's Organic Black Licorice
Let me start by saying, I don’t like black licorice. I got this stuff for my sister (who does), and invariably I tried some anyway. It’s actually pretty good; I think I was just used to black “licorice” with a bad flavor. It’s almost kind of molassesy here.
Vegan Macadamia Bliss Nougat Bars
Kind of light, chewy, and waaay too easy to eat a whole bar. This would be pretty sweet covered with chocolate. I’m not huge on macadamias, though, but I could dig this with almonds. I’d say it’s a pretty good version of nougat… there’s nothing weird or off about it, just regular ole nougat.
Yummy Earth Organic lollipops
Oh man oh man I love these lollipops. Small lollipops, but a LOT of flavor. Also, they actually taste like fruit, plus they’re a bit tart (I love sour candy). Pomegranate and blueberry are my favorite flavors. Because these are so intense, it’s tough to eat more than one in a row otherwise your tongue will be a hurtin… Trader Joe’s seems to make a version of these but not as great (I thought they were the same when I first saw them, but I don’t think so).
Booja Booja Imported Organic Truffles
I first came across these little magical morsels when my English aunt sent me some for xmas (she enjoys finding vegan things ^_^). Plainly delicious. They’re not as melty as the ones Trader Joe’s sells around Christmas (which is good so they don’t melt at room temp). They’re pretty rich, so it’s easy to just eat one. I like roasted hazelnut a lot, so this is my favorite flavor that’s sold on VE (there’s a Midnight Espresso variety that they no longer sell).
These aren’t super gingery, but I like these truffles anyway. The wine flavor is pretty mild too, which is good because I don’t really like the taste of alcohol.
These had a stronger alcohol taste, which kind of muted the banana (but you can still taste the banana). For that reason, I didn’t really like these. However, if you’re into cognac, maybe you’ll like these.
Booja Booja Organic Champagne Truffles
These are actually the plainest of the bunch. There’s a faint alcohol taste (very faint), and for some reason the truffle itself didn’t seem as rich to me, more just sweet. Anyway, since these are usually more expensive than the other varieties, not really worth trying. Oh well.
Bug Bites Organic Dark Chocolates
Good stuff. Quality’s better than chocolate chips, and it’s nice to have “fun size” vegan chocolate. It was so hard to find for years…
Chocolate dream bars
This is a lot like the other “milk” chocolate made with soy flour. It’s kind of got the soy taste, but if you didn’t know it was in there you might not notice. It’s pleasant, but I wouldn’t say it’s an exact replica of good milk chocolate. Still, I like it, but I like “rice milk” varieties better.
Chocolate Inspirations Cinnamon Toast Toffee
Holy sh*t this is some good sh*t. I didn’t order stuff like this off of VE for a long time just because of the price (you get a good amount, but it’s still not cheap!). It’s coconut-milk based toffee sandwiched in some goood dark chocolate, with cinnamon coarse sugar on top. The cinnamon is noticeable, but not the dominant flavor. The toffee itself is good (I can’t remember non-vegan toffee that well, so can’t compare). It kind of had a burnt marshmallow taste, and I’m not sure if that’s how all their toffee is or if it’s because it’s cinnamon *toast* flavor. Either way, I likes me some burnt marshmallows, so I like this toffee. I’d try other varieties, but it’s hard for me to imagine those other varieties topping this one.
Chocoreale Organic Vegan Chocolate Spreads
Tasty tasty. If you need to gain weight, here’s how. It’s evidently fatty, but the texture/taste isn’t waxy or anything. It also has a good balance of chocolate:sugar. They used to sell a Duo one (this plus white chocolate, swirled) that was OMG NOM, but it looks like they don’t have it anymore : (
Endangered Species Chocolate Company Chocolate Bars
Espresso + chocolate. If I recall correctly, it has whole beans in it, which might be too hardcore for some, not for me.
One of my favorites. It has a good amount of mintiness, good dark chocolate.
Pretty good, but I like the blueberry one better (Sea Turtle).
Also one of my favorites. Possibly most favorite. It’s just plain old chocolate, but it has this nice earthiness to it – hard to describe.
I was all like, what, blueberries in a chocolate bar?! But you know what, it’s good. A lot of times fruit + chocolate makes the fruit taste sour, but not so much here. The chocolate itself is a little too sweet for me, but I still like it ‘cause of the blueberries.
I think this has a higher % of cocoa mass than the Chimp bar, but I like this less – it actually tastes more sugary. Like chocolate chips made into a bar. : /
I always get these extreeeme chocolate bars, expecting them to be my fav because I’m so big on chocolate. I actually like the more mild version better; this is a little too bitter/sour for me. Still pretty good, though.
Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom Ricemilk Bars
Gah, I don’t like it. It’s… too solid? It won’t melt. And it’s weird, I usually like ricemilk chocolate. And it’s not very chocolatey. I mean, if you’ve got serious allergies, I guess this is what you have to get, but otherwise… I’ll look elsewhere.
Go Max Go Foods vegan candy bars
Like whoah. I’m glad I don’t live closer to a source for these otherwise I’d be poorer and obese. What I like about these is there’s basically no attempt to be healthy. I had my boyfriend try this (longtime Snickers and Milky Way fan), and he said it tastes better than those. It’s like a better quality candy bar, that just so happens to be vegan. Awesome.
Same story here, except I was never that into Mounds. What this does better than Mounds is the coconut – cheap coconut is dry and hairy, this stuff is nice and moist.
I like this pretty much the same as Jokerz, and it’s pretty much the same bar except Jokerz has peanuts. Which is better? It’s a toss-up… peanut, or no peanut?
3 Musketeers was my favoritest candy bar as a kid. This is pretty similar in taste and consistency, except 3 Musketeers had a cheaper, burn-your-mouth sugary nougat that I was ever so fond of. I guess this is better quality, but I still have a special place in my heart for poor quality candy.
Organic Chimp Mints
Same as Bug Bites but minty. I like mint chocolate, so this is a +1
Organica Premium Swiss “Milk-Style” Chocolate Couverture Bar
Oh hells yes. The best vegan milk chocolate sub I’ve had, but horridly expensive. Definitely worth trying though. Smooth, sweet, creamy, delicious.
Organica White chocolate bar
I never really liked white chocolate. One time I had some good quality stuff, and that was all right. I like this stuff better. It has a pretty strong vanilla (with speckles!) and cocoa butter flavor, which IMO is way better than all the whole milk and sugar put in the non-vegan versions. It’s kind of melty, though, so keep that in mind if you’re shipping it in warm temps.
Rose City 9 Piece Chocolate Assortment
I like the Rose City chocolates. They have a nice variety of flavors, sort of divided between hazelnut-truffle type fillings and cream fillings. The cream fillings are somewhat thin and sugary (like the type you’d get in those variety boxes of chocolates), and the hazelnut/chocolate fillings are pretty rich. I’d say the Rose City stuff is pretty analogous to Whitman’s or Russel Stover type chocolates; not necessarily the best quality, but satisfying. It’s tempting to do small packages when trying these, but you won’t get all the varieties with a 9-pc box. Plus, come on, you know you can finish a 16 pc box.
Rose City 16 Piece Chocolate Assortment
Same comments, but you get (pretty much?) all the flavors. Which is good.
Another thing: they will melt if it’s relatively warm and you don’t have a cold shipper included.
Sjaak’s Organic Caramel-Filled Chocolate Bar
The filling is kind of too sweet for me. But I was never a huge caramel person anyway. It’s a pretty liquidy filling.
Sjaak’s Organic Chocolate Bars
Dark chocolate with espresso filling
The filling is pretty thin here too. The espresso flavor’s not very strong either. Oh well : /
Sjaak’s Fair-Trade Organic Chocolate Mini-Bites
It’s pretty good… worth the cost. Sometimes orange chocolate stuff has a weird, chemical soapy taste, not here. Totally normal.
It’s a good balance of spicy + chocolate.
I don’t really like this. I’ve never had acai things before, so maybe it’s just that, but the filling is… weird to me (in flavor). Not sure why.
Mm, I love mint + chocolate. It’s not the best I’ve had, but hey, it’s 35 cents.
I actually like the caramel better here, because it’s in a smaller quantity. Still, it’s not great caramel to me.
Sjaaks Organic Miniature Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Cups
I like these little things (they are little.). The filling isn’t sweetened (I think…) unlike Reeses-type cups.
Sjaaks Organic Vegan Chocolate Assortment
This is one of my favorites… the fillings are more rich (and less liquidy) than the bars with filling. I think it’s a bit better quality than Rose City, but the chocolates themselves are a little bit smaller.
Sunspire Carob Baking Chips
After trying these again, I realized my issue with carob wasn’t the carob, but the sweetener. They’re sweetened with barley malt, which has a really strong, earthy taste to me. It gives the chips kind of a sour finish, too. Still, they’re all right. I had issues with carob chips burning when baking before, but this time I baked at about 325 instead of 350, and about a third longer than the cooking time. They didn’t burn, and were much appreciated by a chocolate-allergic friend who said it “kinda” tasted like chocolate.
Sunspire Organic Earth Balls Chocolates
Ah, also sweetened with barley malt. I don’t mind it as much with real chocolate, ‘cause chocolate seems to have a stronger flavor than carob.
Terra Nostra Organic Rice Milk Chocolate Bar
Rice milk choco
Good stuff. Not quite as awesome as that couveture bar, but close. Creamy, sweet.
Whizzers Chocolate Beans
A lot like M&Ms. It comes in pretty small bags, though. I originally got them for cupcakes (they’re mentioned in VCTOTW), so they went a long(er) way.
Cold pack shipping
Cold shipper bag
… My stuff was cold : ) The bags are also pretty reusable.
Cold shipper box
I ordered this, and got my stuff in two cold shipper bags. Is that the box? Well, anyway, my stuff was cold. The bags are reusable, as are the frozen-gel-bag things they have in there.
Boston Cookies Vegan Brownie
It’s pretty good, a little too sweet for me though. I wouldn’t buy this over making my own though; I got it before I got my baking skillz. Still, for the lazy at heart it’s pretty decent.
Everyday Gourmet Fresh-Baked Vegan Muffins
Peanut butter chocolate chip
This was a little bit crumbly (not too bad) when it arrived, but it was otherwise fine (pretty moist). It’s a good muffin. Again, one could probably make better at home, but in a non-baking situation, it’s a good fix. Not super sweet, pretty peanut buttery. The chips are mostly on top of the muffin.
Helwa Organic Wafers
Pretty good. They’re not a whole lot different/cheaper than the accidentally-vegan ones you can get at a dollar store, though. But they’re organic. Crispy, sweet.
Larsen Bakery Vegan Bavarian Cream Filled Donuts
Omg, so great. Tastes better than any donuts I ever had. The cream filling is pretty centered in the middle/bottom, and there’s plenty of it. The cream isn’t super sugary, just more like vanilla pudding.
Larsen Bakery Vegan Donut Sampler
The sampler comes with 3 of each type, plus the two frostings (chocolate and vanilla). I recommend it if you don’t already have a preference for one type of donut over the other and have never tried them. Otherwise, though, it’s more cost-effective to get one type (11 donuts instead, same price). The frostings are very thick and almost waxy/doughy (even if you let it get to room temp). I found that it worked better to spread the frosting on the freshly warmed donuts and put it back in the oven for 60-90seconds. The frosting melts over the donut, more like what’s shown in the picture and what you’d get at a donut shop. Between the frostings, I actually think I like the vanilla better. It has a pretty good amount of vanilla, while the chocolate is pretty mild.
In terms of the overall price, 13.50 for 11 donuts isn’t bad. They’re full-sized, believe you me.
Larsen Bakery Vegan Frosted Ring Donuts
Plain ole donuts, but still quite enjoyable. I think these heat through quicker than the filled ones, but they don’t burn if you leave them in the oven for the full allotted time.
Larsen Bakery Vegan Raspberry Jelly filled donuts
The jelly here is pretty good quality. It’s not some fancy preserves, but it’s not cheap-ass jelly either. There’s a lot of jelly here too, also all centered in the middle/bottom of the donut like in the Bavarian cream one. It’s actually kind of too much jelly for me. Maybe if it were more evenly distributed it’d be ok.
Nutrilicious Vegan Donuts
More spiced than apple-y. I like that nutritlicious has loads of flavors, and this one is pretty good. They can be kind of dry, though, without being past the expiration date. Considering that, it’s probably better to get these at the HFS if available where you can compare the dates.
Chocolate Carob Iced
It’s a good donut. And I never realized that the icing was carob until now, haha. Not noticeable at all. Still… if you have to choose, Larsen’s wins five times over, even if they don’t have a chocolate variety.
Nutrilicious Vegan Donut holes
Chocolate Carob Glazed
Just like the ring donut. I think that the holes actually have more of a tendency to dry out than the donuts. It’s too bad… check the dates : /
Better than the chocolate, best microwaved for a few seconds. It makes them a lot fresher, and helps with any dryness. Makes me wish Larsen’s offered these.
Better than the cinnamon! I think the pumpkin helps a little bit with the moisture. Again, best when microwaved.
Bob’s Red Mill TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
I’ve seen TVP sold for more. The TVP here is in a pretty small crumb, so it’s better for chili or ground “beef” and so on than something that requires chunks.
Edward & Sons Natural Vegan “Chicken” and “Beef” Bouillon Cubes
First time I tried the chicken one, it tasted weird to me. Now it doesn’t. But, it still not “chicken broth” like if you’re making a brothy soup, but it works otherwise. It’s too bad there’s no low-salt variety, though.
I really like the beef one. I don’t know if it really tastes like beef broth, but I’ve used it recipes calling for that type of flavor and so far it has worked very well, better than standard vegetable broth would. It’s more of a sweet & umami type of flavor.
Ener-G Egg Replacer
I had this foreeeever (still had about half a box left, and then it was lost while moving). It’s a pretty good deal. I was reluctant at first to spent (I think it was) five bucks on an egg replacer, but it substitutes something like over 100 eggs. I assumed it would be the bestest egg replacer ever, but there are a number of things where cornstarch + water has worked better, and other places where applesauce can be used. In fact, I regularly replace it with cornstarch in JOVB (which has Ener-G all over the place), and nothing disastrous has happened. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, but it’s not too pricey anyway. Still, I wouldn’t order it online.
Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon Cubes
It makes very good broth for just a bouillon cube, and they have a low sodium version that’s pretty much the same thing without salt, which is most excellent. I noticed with a lot of these bouillons is that they’re primarily palm oil and nooch… if I were cheap enough, I’d see if I could get away with nooch + spices for broth. It sure would be cheaper. Until then, I like to use this stuff when I can’t get super cheap concentrate.
Sauces, Dressings, Oils, and Spreads
Simply Organic Sweet Basil Pesto Mix
It actually works pretty well. I was skeptical (the Italian in me was like, dried basil instead of fresh? Hah!). Of course fresh pesto’s better, but if you’re in a sad state of no-fresh-basil, it functions.
Tartex Organic Pate
I need more pate in my life. Herby, savory, delicious. I don’t know if it’s really supposed to be mimicking some animal product here or is just something in its own right, but it’s good enough to try at least once. This stuff is cheaper in the UK, but… I don’t live there.
Vegan Marshmallow products
Dandies Air-Puffed Vegan Marshmallows
They’re pretty good, but they melt very easily. I ordered them without a cold shipper, and they were kinda melted, and then I bought some at the AR conference (non melted), and they went and melted on the way home (fine, it was a hot day…). Now that I read some reviews, they do kind of have a gritty texture (the sugar?), but it’s not really disturbing. I think the texture (non melted) is the closest to non-vegan marshmallows I’ve had; it’s lighter than Sweet & Sara. If I could keep these cold the whole trip, that’d be pretty good, but otherwise I’ll go with Sweet & Sara.
Also, I’ve used both these and Sweet & Sara for stove-top s’mores, and these are a little too liquidy when they get toasted. So S&S works better for that as well.
Ricemellow marshmallow crème
If I had no shame I’d eat the whole tub with a spoon. It’s fluffy, sweet, marshmallow-y, and magically it doesn’t have the flavor of brown rice syrup I don’t like (probably because of its lightness). If it gets too warm though, it can deflate, but apparently you can fluff it back up with a handmixer.
Sweet & Sara Cinnamon Pecan Marshmallows
Pretty good. The cinnamon isn’t throughout the marshmallow, but instead only dusted on top with sugar and pecans. I wonder if it would affect the candy-making process to put it in the marshmallows… anyway, I’d probably get the plain one over these, just so that I can toast some marshmallows.
Sweet & Sara Mini Marshmallows
A small package of marshmallows. I like that they offer these now, because the standard size is too sticky to cut up if you wanted smaller ones. It’s about enough little marshmallows for 3-4 cups of cocoa,which is exactly what I used it for.
Sweet & Sara Rocky Road Bark
This is some goood quality dark chocolate. As always, the marshmallows are good, and I’d likely buy this again. You don’t get a ton of bark, but it’s worth it because it’s so rich.
Sweet & Sara Vanilla Marshmallows
These are actually pretty heavy for marshmallows. You might look at the weight of the package online and think it’ll be more, but the box is really maybe 3.5x5.5 inches. However, I think it’s the denseness that gives them a nice, kind of chewy texture, and allows them to roast without falling off the stick (as Dandies might do).
Sweet & Sara Vegan S’mores
Yess. The graham cracker tend to crumble, but the sticky marshmallow holds it in place anyway. It’s a pretty thin coat of chocolate, but that’s ok – still tasteable. It would be tough to eat this in one sitting.
Only slightly more delicious than the original.
LifeTree Premium Laundry Liquid
It works. It’s nice that it’s so concentrated (I was tempted to use more for that reason, but resisted). It’s not amazing in any particular way, but it’ll do the job.
Crazy Rumors Perk & Brew Lip Balm
Most excellent. A story: one time I put this on in lecture and my friend sitting next to me started looking around, and asked, “ do you have a latte or something?” haha. It’s a good consistency – not melty if it’s warm, but not so stiff that it would hurt your lips if they’re already dry. I’ve had it for about 6 months, and it hasn’t gone stale or lost its scent.
Preserve recycled toothbrushes
You know what’s cool about these? You can send them back to get re-recycled. They’re just as good as any toothbrush, and even though they don’t have all the cool angles and features of non-recycled toothbrushes, if you’re as skilled of a brusher as I am it won’t matter ; ) The soft and the medium work pretty much the same.
Wooo Diva cup! I got this last year when I finally got my monthly visitor back & first had an IUD (supposedly, it would be more bleeding). IMO, it’s way cleaner than a tampon or pad. I’ve occasionally had some leaking, but that just means a panty liner now and then, which is way less than I used to use. It’s not hard to learn to use. However, you can get it cheaper elsewhere.
Natracare Organic All-Cotton Tampons
I used to use these. They worked. But Diva is better, what can I say.
Natracare Panty Shields
Kiss My Face Liquid Rock Deodorant
I use this. I’ve had no problems, and I go running pretty frequently. It’s not a bad price because it lasts a while. They also sell this at my Target, so I usually get it there.
Thai Crystal Deodorant Stone
I had this foreeever. I think it says on the package that it lasts something like 1 year, but it lasts way longer (well, it did for me). It’s pretty much the same as the liquid versions, but it takes a little more effort. But, way cheaper. In fact, how do these people stay in business? Whatever. Cheap, effective deodorant.
Glyde Premium Personal Lubricant Packets - 10 pack
It does the trick.
No really, great stuff. No sticky residue or anything, no silly scent/flavor. It’s not that expensive, but the issue is that you kind of have to use a whole packet at once are toss out the rest. The container of Glyde lube they also sell is actually a different formulation, which is unfortunate, because I don’t know if it works just the same. Oh well. It would be less wasteful…
Clothing and Message Wear
Herbivore Clothing Cow Hugger Women’s Fitted Short-Sleeve
I get (good) comments on this shirt sometimes. It’s a good quality shirt, nice pattern. I like a lot of the herbivore stuff because it’s a little more attractive than some AR shirts, at least the ones that were around back in the day.
Vitamins and Natural Therapeutics
Bone, Joint and Heart Support Supplements
DEVA Cal-Mag Plus
Good stuff. I found like maybe one study that supported that chelated calcium is more bioavailable… well, who knows. I think it’s preferable to powdered limestone or whatever. The way they use to make it, the stuff would start to dissolve before I could get around to swallowing it o_o but now they seem to coat it.
DEVA Vegan Glucosamine Tablets
I’ve had issues with tendinitis before, and ibuprofen didn’t work too well for me. I tried this, and it actually helped after taking it for a couple weeks. Apparently the effects of glucosamine might be all placebo effect, but when it comes to chronic pain, who cares if it’s a placebo or not? No pain is no pain. Anyway, I switched over to prescription 2000 just because it’s cheaper.
Prescription 2000 Glucosamine HCL Powder
Cheaper, but nasty tasting. It’s like this (not good) sweet plus a (not good) umami. But… it’s relatively cheap. I mean, you could put it in capsules yourself, but then it wouldn’t be cheap.
Individual Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids
Pure Advantage Vitamin B-12 Spray
Cherry! The package makes the claim that metcobalamin (or whatever it’s called) is more absorbable or something. I dunno, but it’s pretty cheap per dose (I think 175 sprays per bottle). I don’t take it every day though… it’s thousands of percent of B12 per spray.
VegLife B-12 Lozenges
I don’t like these as much. They’re supposed to dissolve under your tongue, but they just get kind of pasty and acidic. I think you probably wind up inadvertently swallowing a lot of it.
Nutrilicious Vegan Donuts
Chocolate Carob Iced: I thought they were really good. They are cake like but not heavy. They are not too sweet. Really satisfied my craving for doughnuts.
Soy Yogurt Glazed: These are dry and do not really taste like a doughnut should. They were crumbly as I was eating them.
Yummy Earth Organic lollipops: I bought some when I had wanted something sweet. These are better then any other lollipop I have eaten. I just wish I could find the lemon one in the bulk bin. They are small but are perfect when you want something sweet.
Mary’s Gone Crackers Organic Rice and Seed Crackers: These are the best. My favorite flavors are the herbs and the black pepper.
Sweet & Sarah > Dandies.
Angel Food Marshmallow Kit
I followed the directions to a T... it took forever for it to get up to the correct temperature (221F, I believe). Anyway, it set up pretty fast -it took maybe 45 min in my fridge, versus the hours they advise on the package. I used potato starch for powdering them (I had some anyway, and I thought cornstarch might be weird). They come out kind of off white, looking a lot like little cubes of tofu. They're sweet, but not quite marshmallow-y to me. They're still good, just more like an agar jelly dessert than marshmallows (agar seems to be the main setting agent here). I cut the block into about 64 marshmallows (cutting was easy; not sticky or anything), which is more than 2 containers of Sweet & Sarah marshmallows I'd say. Maybe even three containers worth. So yeah, they're more cost effective, and you probably won't have to worry about the kit getting messed up in transit unlike premade marshmallows, but I still prefer Sweet & Sarah. Also, I tried toasting them over a gas stove... they partly burn/crunchify, but they also kind of melt into goo as well. On that note, these might work really well for rice crispy treats, only because it can melt and agar resolidifies nicely. Also, when they're toasted they don't taste quite like toasted marshmallows either. =/ Worth trying, but I'll stick with premade marshmallows in the future.
I just received my order. I really wanted the big pail of NY but ordered some other stiff as well. I'm going to have to conusme this stuff slowly.
B-Fresh Gum: Bubble gum flavor- The flavor is good but didn't last long. My daughter loves it, even if she did think the bubbles would go up to the ceiling. (First gum-chewing experience.)
Mahalo- Wow! I agree it could use more almonds, but Almond Joys don't have many either. The coconut is so moist. So much better than I remember Almond Joy to be like.
I didn't know it was there either until reading someone's review here. You go to the little bottle and the 6# bucket is in the pull down options. I can get it cheaper elsewhere without the pail, but I thought it would be nice to have for storage. Nutritional yeast is $20/pound here at the local HFS, so this is an excellent deal for me.