Each year when VRG exhibited at Natural Products Expo West, we looked forward to visiting The Stand in Laguna Beach, California. This casual restaurant, not too far from the ocean with only outdoor seating and takeout, featured many vegan dishes, but the highlight was always their dessert, consisting of frozen bananas put through a machine that produced a cold and creamy vegan ice cream with no added sugar or fat. We also sampled similar desserts at the Yabba Pot in Baltimore and the Bashful Banana on the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. These frozen treats make great healthy snacks for kids. The company Yonanas has now created a home version of the machine that can turn cut up frozen bananas into a quick frozen dessert. Though you can use other frozen fruit for flavoring, bananas work best as a base. The machine is very easy to clean. It can be a little hard to take apart until the machine thaws out, but hot water helps. The manufacturer suggests not tightening it too tight. Typically, we're not into fancy devices, but we used this relatively inexpensive machine about 30 times and it still works well. Yonanas can be ordered at

Written by Charles Stahler

Donate Your Vehicle to Support the Vegetarian Resource Group

There's a free, convenient service for converting that extra car, truck, or RV into a tax deductible donation benefiting The Vegetarian Resource Group. You can donate online or call (877) 999-8322 to make your donation. See:

Combined Federal Campaign

We've been approved again this year to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign, which is a way to donate to charities through federal employees' workplaces. If you are a federal or military employee, please contribute to vegetarian education and outreach by selecting The Vegetarian Resource Group for payroll deduction. You can also donate through some state and company campaigns. If you work for a private employer, many companies will match your donation to charities such as The Vegetarian Resource Group. Thanks for your support.

A Falafel in a Chip

I had the opportunity to try Flamous Brands' Falafel Chips at the Natural Products Expo East. They are vegan, gluten-free and really live up to the Middle Eastern name. I opted for the Spicy flavor, and was not hit full-force with spice like I was expecting; it was a buildable spice level. It tasted a lot like falafel, with all the same familiar seasonings and chickpea taste, though a tad saltier and spicier than normal. The cumin was the strongest flavor of the ingredients, but was played off nicely by the cayenne. The Original flavor tastes more like a traditional falafel, without the spicy burn of the cayenne.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Falafel Chips nutrition facts: all organic ingredients, four grams of fiber and protein, and even 16% of your daily iron in one serving. I was sold. Visit or call (626) 551-3201 to find where Falafel Chips are sold near you.

Written by Valerie Shore

Vegan Versions, Candy Classics

If you've ever had a hankering for your non-vegan candy bars of old, crave no more: Go Max Go! makes vegan candy bars that are even better than those old favorites. Fans of peanut butter cups will love the Cleo's version, a creamy peanut butter filling encapsulated by sweet rice milk chocolate. On the tropical side, Mahalo is a toasted coconut-and-almond combination that's heaven for your taste buds, the dry roasted almonds providing the perfect crunch. Fans of nougat will enjoy the Twilight, Jokerz, or Buccaneer bars. The Jokerz bar especially takes it to the next level, combining caramel, nougat, chocolate, and peanuts to satisfy your sweet tooth. All the candy bars are dairy-free, egg-free, cholesterol-free, and contain no artificial ingredients, trans fats, or hydrogenated oils. The Mahalo, Cleo's, Thumbs Up, and SNAP! are gluten free. Find where Go Max Go! candy bars are sold on their website,, or e-mail

Written by Valerie Shore, VRG Intern