Veggie Bits

Hazelnut Decadence

Rigoni di Asiago's Hazelnut Spread has officially gone vegan. This Dairy Free Organic Hazelnut & Cocoa spread is the perfect combination of chocolate, hazelnut, and sugar. Made in Italy, this product is not overly sweet, making it a lot tastier in my opinion. You can actually taste the hazelnuts in the smooth spread, which gives an authentic feel. While other varieties of hazelnut spreads contain palm oil, this one is made with sunflower oil. The product is also pro-earth by being non-genetically modified, organic, gluten free, and vegan. The spread is perfect to add to peanut butter sandwiches, or for strawberry dipping, spreading on multi-grain toast with bananas, or eating by the spoonful, as I enjoy doing. Be careful, or you could eat the entire jar in one sitting without realizing it. It is currently only available at Whole Foods Markets nationwide. Visit to find a Whole Foods near you carrying this item.

Written by Heather Francis, VRG intern.

A Healthier Brownie

Looking to indulge in dessert without feeling guilty? Pure Genius Brownies are less than 200 calories each, packed with fiber and protein, and are made with 40 percent non-GMO chickpeas – now that's pure genius! These gluten-free brownies are sweetened with maple syrup, cocoa, and vegan chocolate. They are moist, soft, and fudge-like in texture, leaving no beany aftertaste. Try the Deep Chocolate Brownie when you're having a major chocolate craving or Chocolate Chunk Brownie when your taste buds are begging for sweetness. Pure Genius Brownies are available at a variety of Whole Foods locations, natural grocery stores, and online through Amazon. To find a location near you, visit

Written by Savannah Lawrence, VRG intern.

Back to the Roots

As someone who appreciates the simplicity of breakfast cereal but always feels guilty because of the large amount of sugar cereals usually contain as well as the standard double packaging, I was extremely happy to find out that Back to the Roots chooses a different approach. Their stoneground flakes come in recyclable boxes resembling milk cartons, contain comparatively small amounts of sugar and don't use artificial ingredients at all. I got to try all four varieties — California Whole Wheat, Purple Corn, Cocoa Clusters, and Cinnamon Clusters — and loved every single one of them. I would even eat them right out of the box like crackers! Since I have a bit of a sweet tooth, my favorite is the cinnamon flakes. What's special about these flakes is the fact that the wheat used for their production is grown on a biodynamic farm, 40% of which is actually a wildlife habitat. Back to the Roots supports environmentally-friendly means of food production, and for each photo of somebody enjoying their cereals that is sent to them they will donate a box of Stoneground Flakes to an elementary school. Visit to order their products online.

Written by Alicia Hückmann, VRG intern.

Hippeas for Hippies

With seven different flavors and a texture similar to cheese puffs, Hippies Organic Chickpea Puffs have four grams of protein and three grams of fiber per serving, making them a snack worth grabbing! Vegan White Cheddar puffs are rich, filling, and wonderfully cheesy. Maple Haze has a sweet, dessert-like flavor similar to my favorite childhood cereals like Waffle Crisp or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Far Out Fajita takes taste buds south with paprika and chili flavors akin to taco seasoning. Pepper Power has an intense spice for a snacker who wants a strong kick of flavor. Happenin' Hickory is smoky with a hint of garlic, and Sriracha Sunshine finishes off with hints of vinegar and tomato flavoring. Certified organic, non-GMO, and glutenfree, Hippeas are the perfect pick for all snackers, and a variety of flavors means there's something for every palate!

Written by Savannah Lawrence, VRG intern.

Sabra Spreads

If you're anything like me, you're one of those vegans who will top anything with hummus. It's creamy, tangy, and adds a bit of protein. Thankfully, Sabra has come up with another way to help our hummus obsession thrive. They have a new handy squeeze bottle product line called Sabra Spreads. The two vegan flavors are Garlic Herb and Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper. The Garlic Herb has a savory, zesty blend of garlic, basil, and oregano while the Salt and Cracked Pepper is more of a simple spread but with a kick. This hummus has a velvety consistency and the bottle allows you to squeeze it onto salads as a dressing, sandwiches, or any of your other favorite dishes. It's perfect for kids to avoid the mess of scooping out of a tub. It would also be perfect for parties, picnics, or packing with your lunch for work or school. Sabra Spreads are in grocers nationwide. See to find one near you.

Written by Whitney Gray, VRG intern.

Yuve Protein

While on a recent workout kick, I found myself needing a quick on-the-go snack — something light that would give me a bit of energy. I made it my mission to find a vegan protein powder that I could...tolerate. Instead, I found Yuve. I've tried various protein powders in the past and had issues: grainy texture, strange aftertaste, difficult to mix. Not only does Yuve conquer these problems, it tastes fantastic! It only comes in one flavor: Chia Seeds and Cocoa, and you must be a chocolate lover to enjoy it. You must also not be bothered by the texture of chia seeds, which do not mix in, but rather stay whole, unless you use a blender. The powder dissolves easily in just a shaker bottle, no blending required. It comes in individual packets (as well as a large canister, if you prefer) which are handy for keeping in a gym bag. I was surprised how chocolately Yuve tastes when mixed with just water, but use almond, soy, or any vegan milk, and it is incredibly creamy. Mix in a banana and/or strawberries and you're entering milkshake territory. Each packet has 16 grams of protein. You can get a free sample at

Written by Samantha Gendler.

Baking with Banana Flour and Heavy Coconut Cream

Edward & Sons (Let's Do...Organic), known for their great variety of organic, natural food has recently launched two products that unconventional bakers and vegans will love. I used both of these ingredients as a basis for a vegan chocolate cream cake and was more than satisfied with the results!

The first product is their organic banana flour, a unique gluten-free alternative to grainbased flours. As its texture is a little different from other flours, you can easily replace one cup of regular flour with only 3/4 cup of banana flour. For me, using banana flour was not much different from using other types of flour and certainly not more difficult or complicated. The package provides tips and information on how to use it as well as a recipe suggestion. If you are looking for more baking inspiration, I suggest you have a look at Edward & Sons' free recipe collection ( where they publish tasty ideas for all of their products, including pancakes, granola, and even pierogies with the banana flour. In my experience, banana flour does not actually taste like bananas in a cake, but rather gives it a bit of a nutty flavor.

As an alternative to whipping cream, I used heavy coconut cream by the same company. All I had to do was refrigerate and whip it before I could apply it to my cake base. I did not have to add any starch or powdered sugar in order to preserve its stiffness since coconut fat is already quite firm in itself. Needless to say, your dessert will have a strong coconut taste after using this cream, which can be a fantastic addition to its original flavor. It would be great as a whipped topping on strawberries or other fruit for desssert.

Visit for more information and to find a store near you that carries their items.

Written by Alicia Hückmann, VRG intern.